Last time on Yoga Blog: Asteya reminded us of all the things we steal and a small bit about letting go and allowing freedom to happen. A freedom found through true purpose. Asteya, non-stealing. Need a refresher? Treat yourself to a reread of any of the blog posts (Ahimsa, Satya). Then, continue your journey towards Yoga. “Atha Yoganusasanam.”
Fourth yama! Brahmacharya…
What Is Brahmacharya?
This post will have sex in it. Time to bring on the clicks. Brahmacharya, continence, chastity, moderation. But this is a compound word. Two words put together to make a bigger more meaningful one. Word one, carya. The wonderful word carya brings motion. Meanings from activity, conduct, and behavior to wandering, walking about, and visiting. Word two, brahma. Brahma, the egotistical god that we do not worship because he does enough of that to himself. Thankfully, not the brahma we’re speaking of here. This is the greater brahma. The supreme, the absolute, the ultimate form, true legendary super saiyan. The thing that can’t be more for it is all.
What Does Brahmacharya Mean?
Brahmacharya, chastity or wandering with the absolute. “Brahmacharya pratisthayam viryalabhah.” “By one established in continence, vigor is gained.”* Self-control and knowing when you should give energy and knowing when you need to hold back. Keeping a store of power till just the right moments. Preserved energy aligns into creative energy, prana, mind clear so correct action can be taken. You build up a reserve waiting for the right time to burst forth and complete a necessity. But I said there would be talk of sex. Good old penetration… We must take into account the progress of existence. Things change. We have the means to help prevent disease. The life and death gamble of childbirth vanishes. Like all old texts their words must be looked upon in the age we live in now. This is not permission to do as you please but permission granted to ask and understand the other’s wishes. And respect them. Consent stays viable and consent can change at any moment. Brahmacharya, respect sex. But we all know that, right?
Applying Brahmacharya – Don’t Be A Vampire
What about the deeper meaning? The reality of brahmacharya, Love. Not losing your seed on everyone you meet. Not bowing to every hard body. For love reaches beyond the physical. Love perseveres without contact. Show love without performance. Not like a vampire. They fain love to quench their thirst of circumstance. Draining us of blood, vitality. Themselves never satiated. They fall into the same pattern of false love that never completes them but only continues the search for victims. Leaving the victim will-less and unmotivated to pursue a life of true fulfillment just like the vampire. The vampire has tricked himself and the victim into thinking they have received what they deserved. Blinded to true love. Love like a family offers. Love that a friend gives. Love of that special person that need only be present. Do as that supreme does. Move through life with higher purpose. Let that supreme guide you. That supreme that is you. That supreme that is everyone, everything. Provide love without theft, asteya. Without lies, satya. Without harm, ahimsa.
Move as the ultimate self would move. Intention in each step. Result with each stride. Brahmacharya does not mean we should never have sex. Sex is a wonder and Shiva would never restrict that for there is no Shiva without Shakti. Walk on.
*Just a note. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali from Swami Satchidananda rest near me when I write these brief glimpses into living.