Brahmacharya on the Yogic Path

Brahmacharya on the Yogic Path

by Chandra Om


Inside of the Yoga system, are two paths the Yogi may choose. The life of a renunciate, a celibate monk known as a Sannyasi who renounces the material world in search of God and then, upon reaching the goal, devotes their life to the service of others. One must not be a strict Brahmacharya (renunciate) to practice Yoga, for the life of a householder is also for Yogis, and the renunciate path and that of a householder are not in conflict.

The life of a householder Yogi maintains the life of celibacy until a proper spiritual companion is found and the solemn vows of marriage are entered into for the purpose of giving a soul(s) an opportunity to incarnate. Once the period of having children is finished, for the Yogi householder, the man sees the wife solely as the Divine Mother and for the woman, husband is seen as the Holy Father.

The following discourse describes the Yogis devoted to the life of renunciation. This is the path of Brahmacharya, and many follow then into Sannyas. This is the path that all the leaders in our lineage at this school have taken.

Brahmacharya is complete freedom from sexual thoughts and desires. It is the vow of celibacy for the purpose of God-realization. It is full control of all the senses in thought, word and deed. Without celibacy no lasting or permanent spiritual progress is possible. It opens the door of liberation and is the key to awakening Shushumna Nadi (the main astral tube in the human body).

A Sannyasi, or celibate Yoga student takes vows of celibacy and renunciation of worldly ties and ambitions, to accelerate the purification of the psychic channels (nadis) to awaken this dormant energy for the purpose of being of service in the world of constant distractions. The Yogi who chooses this path forgoes the later phases in life of householder and family life, devoting their entire life to spiritual pursuits.

The practice of Brahmacharya brings Supreme health, vitality, strength, inner peace, sharp intellect and long life. All of the nerves are strengthened and stimulated. Physical, mental and psychic energies are conserved and redirected to Divine pursuits and spiritual advancement. The life energy (Veerya), supports life. It is the Supreme prana which shines through all gates of the body. One can always observe the physical characteristics of a Brahmacharya. Look how the eyes shine! The inner peace! The beastly nature is absent. The blood is strong. One drop of sexual fluid (in both male and female) is formed from 40 drops of blood.

Those rooted in worldly desires and sexual pursuits cannot understand. Sexual desires are stronger than any other Samskaras (tendencies). Observe your own mind—what are your thoughts like when you view obscene photos, images and movies? Hear vulgar words or read things that excite passions and desires? How is the state of mind when you are reading the Holy Gita, the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, or gazing upon a picture of Lord Jesus or Lord Krishna? What begins as a ripple of a sexual thought or imagining soon becomes an uncontrollable ocean.

Observe the qualities of the one who is engaged in sexual thoughts and actions. Easy to excite, irritable, loss of concentration, inability to balance, fickleness, laziness, fear and the tendency toward explosive anger over trifling things. Little things upset them. When the mind is excited by passion, the Prana is set in motion and falls downward, becoming agitated and unsteady. The body and mind refuse to work together in harmony. There is physical and mental lethargy, and not one bit of self control.

Indulgence in the sexual act is highly exhausting to the female system and a drain upon their vitality as in the case of man. The nervous strain it imposes is very great indeed. The female system, being more delicate and sensitive, is often more affected than that of the male. According to the Yoga system, sexual fluid exists in a subtle form throughout the entire body. It is found in a subtle state in all the cells of the body and is withdrawn and transformed into a gross form in the sexual organs under the influence of sexual will and sexual excitement. A Brahmacharya, or celibate Yogic student learns, under the guidance of Guru, to convert the sexual fluid into a Divine fluid (Ojas) that moves to the brain, and then ultimately eliminates the formation of the fluid entirely. This all begins with purity in thought, word and deed.

Be like a child. Do not see sexual identities. Look upon all beings as children of God and as your own Self. View all beings through the pure eyes of the Lord. Lord Jesus said, “If you have a lustful look, you have already committed adultery in the heart.” See the Divine Mother in all women, the Holy Father in all men. Hanuman, Lakshmana, Ananda Mayi Ma, Lord Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Sivananda, Swami Radha, Swami Kailashananda, Mother Teresa and Mirabai were all celibates. Only a true celibate can cultivate ultimate Bhakti and success in Yoga.

Physical Brahamacharya must be practiced first. Mental purity will soon follow. Pray for spiritual strength. Moral strength is the backbone of spiritual success. Keep Sattvic diet consisting mostly of fruits. This will calm the emotions, decrease lower passions and control the senses. Be steadfast in your vows. It is difficult to eradicate lust, but it can be done. Lack of spiritual Sadhana and the guidance of a Guru is the main cause for all sexual attractions. Theoretical abstinence will do almost nothing. You must engage in practical application, with no leniency allowed for lower tendencies. Half-hearted efforts will create a worse state than the original one.

Have faith in God. You are bound to succeed if you your faith is absolute. Listen only to the Guru, no one else. Keep talking to God, in your heart and mind, ask for Divine assistance and grace. When you go before the altar of God and pray, He comes quickly.