Sadhana for Week 37
Body Level: Brahmacharya
For one full week follow Brahmacharya. Conserve the vital energy of the body. Do not dissipate it in indulgence. Do everything in moderation
To dissipate our energies through the sense organs is the vulgar hobby of the thoughtless mortals.
Alert and vigilant living itself is a “Sadhana” in the true sense.
He is the Mahatma,
Who keeps the tongue,
The reproductive organ, word and the mind perfectly under control
And patiently withstands all provocations.
Once Poojya Gurudev’s telephone diary was lost. But he remained undisturbed and dictated hundreds of addresses of people for the volunteer to note down in the new diary. On Another occasion, someone who had met him only once a few years ago came to meet him and he greeted the person saying his name. The person was surprised because he had hardly met Poojya Gurudev once and it was a few years ago, yet Poojya Gurudev remembered the name. Sri Parindra Kadakia from Mumbai was there as a youngster during both these incidents and so he asked Poojya Gurudev - “What is the secret of your memory?” and Poojya Gurudev replied - “Brahmacharya”
What is “Brahmacharya”?
We have made great technological progress and our comforts have increased greatly over the past few centuries but correspondingly our sorrows and miseries too have increased. That is because we have lost the art of the right contact with the world of objects. Instead of living like a master we are the slaves of the projections and desires of our mind.
Brahmacharya (self control), ahimsa (non-injury)and Satyam (truthfulness) are the three values prescribed in our scriptures which when developed and followed empower an individual and make him strong to face life inspite of all the stress, worry and pressure. These will help gain mastery over the mind.
Brahamacharya comes from the word “Brahman”, the Supreme Truth. “Brahamani charati iti brahamachari” – One whose mind revels in Brahman. To attain this state, the extroverted mind must be controlled and turned within. The practice of moderation and self-control that facilitates this is called Brahmacharya.
Comfort comes as a guest,
Lingers to become host
And stays to ENSLAVE us.
- Swami Chinmayananada
Why should we practice Brahmacharya?
1. When we indulge in sense pleasures our body becomes weak, pranic vitality is decreased and our mind too becomes indulgent, extrovert and dependent. This is bhog-vritti (all the time seeking sensory gratification). Self Knowledge can come only into a mind that is satvik. Indulgence on the other hand makes the mind lethargic and dull (tamasic). Rajasic enjoyment too makes the mind dull and eventually tamasic.
2. Over indulgence drains the body of its energy. Carnal pleasure is the highest drainer of energy as it engages all five senses. Speech or speaking is the second highest consumer of energy. We lose the stamina to fight the impurities of the mind. To save one’s energy the scriptures advocate the concept of Brahmacharya – Celibacy. To avoid self-afflicted ills, Brahmacharya is prescribed at the physical level.
3. Brahmacharya is practiced to block the channels through which energy gets drained. Over a period of time it eliminates these channels so that energy is created, conserved and channelized well for our evolution.
4. Objects are meant for us to enjoy. Brahmacharya is to help us in enjoying the objects. Otherwise, the objects enjoy us. The Rishis say: “Eat the food. Let not the food eat you. Drink, let not the drink drink you.”
Brahmacharya is the attitude of intelligent contact with the world outside from the flesh-level i.e the body. Any extremes must be avoided. Moderation is the way for a seeker. It is to live in self control with respect to all our sense enjoyments and does not mean their total denial. To talk too much, to be addicted to TV or radio, or even computers etc. is violation of Brahmacharya. Any addiction or excessive indulgence is violation of Brahmacharya.Brahmacharya does not mean one suppresses one’s desires. Suppression is harmful. Later on, the desires erupt like volcano and cause more destruction. Brahmacharya is neither suppression, nor indulgence. It is sublimation of one’s desires. Sublimation is through understanding, through knowledge.
5. In our culture our body is the tool to Realization, it is the first means to do sadhana. Without a human body it is not possible to evolve. In our ignorance we abuse this body by indulging instead of using it to evolve further. Violating brahmacharya is violating the very purpose of human life – we are here to know the Truth.
By self-policing, detect the wrong tendencies in yourself,
Eliminate them through constant and wilful effort; develop positivity,
And thus come to be the God of your own future life.
- Swami Chinmayananda
1. Conserve the vitality of the body. Avoid all indulgences that drain the body’s vitality.
2. Abstain from any form of Carnal pleasure and anything that tempts the mind to indulge in it.
3. Practice moderation in anything that is being done in extremes. It could be browsing, checking the phone continuously, drinking aerated drinks which have excess sugar, sleeping late, being a workaholic, eating etc.
1. Conservation of energy.
The most important benefit you will notice is your energy is conserved. Indulgence drains our vital energy in the body. After watching TV for hours one is tired even though one was merely sitting. On the other hand watching something inspiring for a short time can motivate and invigorate a person. When we indulge our pranic energy flows downwards and is spent but when we refrain and live in self control the pranic energy is conserved and is able to be directed upwards during meditation strengthening the body and mind.
2. Brings discipline in life
Automatically one develops and appreciates the reason to be disciplined in all aspects of life be it at work, at home or in society.
3. Sense management
One is able to withdraw and enjoy sense objects at will. No longer is the person a victim but enjoys as a master and in control without getting tempted and swayed. Eg like a tortoise the moment it senses danger it immediately withdraws itself into its shell and stays there until the danger passes.
4. Develops WOW attitude to life
One develops the WOW (with or without) attitude making a person free from dependencies. One is happy if he gets the object of desire and is still happy if he doesn’t. Both craving and dependency reduce.
5. Time management
One becomes more effective and productive. One also has more time and can spend it doing things that one loves, which earlier were not possible.
6. Aids spiritual progress
Brahmacharya is one of the 3 cornerstones to a spiritual life without which any progress is not possible.
Beginners and Advanced:
Do as advised above.
1. Do as advised above.
2. Whatever is harmful - like drinking aerated drinks, drop them completely. Don’t justify in the name of moderation. Conscious self-denial at the physical level when applied in self development is called Austerity (tapas).
UNTO HIM OUR BEST