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Celibacy has existed in one form or another throughout history, in virtually all the major religions of the world, and views on it have varied.
Similarly, the Romans viewed it as an aberration and legislated fiscal penalties against it, with the sole exception granted to the Vestal Virgins.
Brahma Kumaris' concept of identifying the self as a soul, different from physical body, is deeply linked to the philosophy of celibacy.
It is said that the craving for sex and impure thoughts are the reason for the whole trouble in the universe today.
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Gautama, later known as the Buddha, is known for his renunciation of his wife, Princess Yasodharā, and son, Rahula.
It was not well received in China, for example, where other religions movements such as Daoism were opposed to it.
A somewhat similar situation existed in Japan, where the Shinto tradition also opposed celibacy. Richard Sipe, while focusing on the topic of celibacy in Catholicism, states that "the most commonly assumed definition of celibate is simply an unmarried or single person, and celibacy is perceived as synonymous with sexual abstinence or restraint." Elizabeth Abbott commented on the terminology in her A History of Celibacy (2001): "I also drafted a definition that discarded the rigidly pedantic and unhelpful distinctions between celibacy, chastity and virginity".
The Islamic attitudes toward celibacy have been complex as well.
Some Hadiths claim that Muhammad denounced celibacy, but some Sufi orders embrace it.