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Liam Rivera
Liam Rivera

Practice Of Brahmacharya LINK



In order to be the best version of ourselves and to use our energy in the right way, we need first of all to listen to what our bodies need. After all, to be able to spread our message to the world and really make the most of what we learn from our yoga practice, we need to have enough energy within ourselves.




Practice of Brahmacharya



In the Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist monastic traditions, brahmacharya implies, among other things, the mandatory renunciation of sex and marriage.[2] It is considered necessary for a monk's spiritual practice.[3] Western notions of the religious life as practiced in monastic settings mirror these characteristics.


In ancient and medieval era Indian texts, the term brahmacharya is a concept with a more complex meaning indicating an overall lifestyle conducive to the pursuit of sacred knowledge and spiritual liberation.[9] Brahmacharya is a means, not an end. It usually includes cleanliness, ahimsa, simple living, studies, meditation, and voluntary restraints on certain foods (eating only Sattvic food), on intoxicants, and on sexual behavior (both sex and masturbation, in some schools of thought).[9][10]


Brahmacharya is traditionally regarded as one of the five yamas in Yoga, as declared in verse 2.30 of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.[11] It is a form of self-restraint regarded as a virtue, and an observance recommended depending on an individual's context. For a married practitioner it means marital fidelity (not cheating on one's spouse); for a single person it means celibacy.[12][13] Shandilya Upanishad includes brahmacharya as one of ten yamas in Chapter 1, defining it as "refraining from sexual intercourse in all places and in all states in mind, speech or body".[14]


The great epic Mahabharata describes the objective of brahmacharya as knowledge of Brahman (Book Five, Udyoga Parva, the Book of Effort).[18] Brahmacharya leads one to union with the Supreme Self (Chapter 43). By subduing desire, the practice of self-restraint enables the student to learn, pay attention in thought, word and deed to the guru (teacher), and discover the truth embodied in the Vedas and Upanishads. According to the epic, the practice of studying and learning requires the "aid of time," as well as personal effort, ability, discussion, and practice, all of which are helped by the virtue of brahmacharya.[18] A brahmachāri should do useful work, and the earnings he obtains should be given away as dakshina ("fee," "gift of thanks") to the guru. The epic declares that brahmacharya is one of twelve virtues, an essential part of angas in yoga and the path of perfecting perseverance and the pursuit of knowledge.[18]


Brahmacharya is one of the five major vows prescribed for the śrāvakā (layman) and ascetics in Jainism. For those Jains who adopt the path of monks, celibacy in action, words and thoughts is expected. For lay Jains who are married, the virtue of brahmacharya requires remaining sexually faithful to one's chosen partner.[20] For lay Jains who are unmarried, chaste living requires Jains to avoid sex before marriage.[21] Uttam brahmacharya (Supreme Celibacy) is one of the ten excellencies of a Jain monk.[22] Brahmacharya is mentioned as one of the das dharma (ten virtues) in ancient Jain texts like Tattvartha Sutra, Sarvārthasiddhi and Puruşārthasiddhyupāya.[23]


Naradaparivrajaka Upanishad suggests that the brahmacharya (student) stage of life should extend from the age a child is ready to receive teachings from a guru, and continue for a period of twelve years.[36]


Graduation from the brahmacharya stage of life was marked by the Samavartanam ceremony.[37] The graduate was then ready to either start Grihastha (householder) stage of life, or wait, or pursue a life of Sannyasa and solitude like Rishis in forest.[33] Vyasa in Chapter 234 of Shanti Parva in the Mahabharata praises brahmacharya as an important stage of life necessary for learning, then adds Grihastha stage as the root of society and important to an individual's success.[38]


Gonda[41] states that there were no age restrictions for the start of brahmacharya in ancient India. Not only young men, but older people resorted to student stage of life, and sought teachers who were authoritative in certain subjects.[41] The Chandogya Upanishad, in Section 5.11, describes "wealthy and learned householders" becoming brahmacārīs (students) with Rishi Kaikeya, to gain knowledge about Atman (inner Self) and Brahman (Ultimate Reality).[42][43]


The Vedas discuss brahmacharya, both in the context of lifestyle and stage of one's life. Rig Veda, for example, in Book 10 Chapter 136, mentions knowledge seekers as those with Kesin (long haired) and soil-colored clothes (yellow, orange, saffron) engaged in the affairs of Mananat (mind, meditation).[44] Rigveda, however, refers to these people as Muni and Vati. The Atharva Veda, completed by about 1000 BC, has more explicit discussion of Brahmacharya, in Book XI Chapter 5.[45] This Chapter of Atharva Veda describes brahmacharya as that which leads to one's second birth (mind, Self-awareness), with Hymn 11.5.3 painting a symbolic picture that when a teacher accepts a brahmacārī, the student becomes his embryo.[45]


The concept and practice of brahmacharya is extensively found among the older strata of the Mukhya Upanishads in Hinduism. The 8th-century BC text Chandogya Upanishad describes in Book 8, activities and lifestyle that is brahmacharya:[46]


The Vedas and early Upanishadic texts of Hinduism in their discussion of brahmacharya, make no mention of the age of the student at the start of brahmacharya,[49] nor any restraint on sexual activity. However, there is a clear general consensus in both specific and various Upanishads (such as the Shandilya Upanishad) as well as Hindu smritis (such as the Manusmriti) that the male "student", referred to as the "Brahmachari[n]" should abstain from the "release of semen." This rule may or may not apply to the guru. The verses 11.5.4.16 and 11.5.4.17 of the Satpatha Brahamana present two different viewpoints on sexual activity, of the guru during the Brahmacharya ashrama, i.e., the teacher of the "student Brahmachari[n]", one against and one as a choice.[50] Similarly, in verse 11.5.4.18, the Satapatha Brahamana presents contrasting viewpoints on an eating restraint (regarding honey) for the brahmacārī student.[50]


If you walk without a destination then you do not know where you will end up or why you are walking in the first place. But, if you walk with a destination in mind, you are sure to reach there. In the same way, the practice of celibacy or brahmacharya should be with right understanding and with a goal in mind. If the goal of practicing brahmacharya is not ultimate liberation (moksha) then, that brahmacharya is like castration. It will make your body healthy, strong, good-looking and you would live longer. But, that is not the ultimate destination.


Dadashri: For that you have to have a deep inner intent. Everyday you have to say, 'Dear Dada Bhagwan! Give me strength to practice brahmacharya'. And you have to get rid of the slightest thought of sex as soon as it arises. If not, a seed of sex will be sown. If allowed to remain, after two days it will kill you. Hence uproot such a thought and get rid of it right away. Next, make sure that you do not look with sexual thoughts at any woman. If your eyes happen to pull you towards a woman, pull them away from her, remember Dada and ask for forgiveness. When it continuously remains within that, any element of sexuality is not worth pursuing then it will all be a clean farm, no seed will sprout. Even now if one stays under my shelter, then his goal of brahmacharya will be fully attained.


The one who definitely wants to practice brahmacharya, must first examine and severely test his control over his senses and if he feels that he may slip, then it is better for him to get married. Even after that, it should be under control and he should alert her about his desire for exercising control.


The thoughts of sex and abrahmacharya will come, and in this when one keeps praying for the energy of brahmacharya, it is highly commendable. With these prayers the seeker will attain the goal over a variable period of two to five years. The person, who conquers abrahmacharya, conquers the whole world. The governing deities, the celestial protectors of the path of liberation are very pleased with the one who is in brahmacharya.


Sticking to limits can also help us apply brahmacharya in daily life. For example, professional accomplishment is an important source of fulfillment for most people. But working excessively leads to burn out, so we need to set work/life boundaries.


Jen is a freelance writer, blogger, and yoga teacher who left her office job in Boston to travel the world with her husband. She previously worked in international development and academic research, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda. Some of her biggest passions include promoting responsible and mindful travel and helping her students develop their personal yoga practice.


Param Pujya Dadashri has unfolded the science behind maintaining a brahmacharya diet to help in the practice of brahmacharya. By following these unique brahmacharya tips (celibacy tips) related to food, one can sustain their sexual purity and celibacy.


Those who want to practice brahmacharya must be aware that sexual impulses increase with certain foods. These types of foods should be decreased in order to maintain a brahmacharya diet.


Dadashri: Unodari (eating less) should be practiced constantly. Gnan-awakened awareness will not be maintained without unodari. Food itself is alcohol. Food turns into alcohol after you eat and then the intoxication of that alcohol remains the whole day and thus one loses his awakened awareness. 041b061a72


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