Brahmacharya is made of Brahma and charya. Brahma means the absolute, the eternal, the never born, charya “to live” or “to move towards”. Thus Brahmacharya could be translated as “to move towards the absolute”, or “a way of living in the Supreme reality”.
In many yoga traditions, It has been translated and interpreted as celibacy – a way to unite with the divine by withdrawing from worldly and sexual pleasures. This yama, for me, represents the fact that there is only one relationship, the only one that can fulfil our deep longing for real intimacy and that’s our relationship with the divine!
There are still so many unresolved issues in the collective consciousness around the concepts of romantic and sexual relationships and this is because we are all looking for what we’re missing in the ‘other’, rather than looking for it inside.
No matter how much we have tried to gain a satisfying level of intimacy and security through our romantic and physical connections, we haven’t quite managed to find it. When we find a fulfilling relationship we fear its loss and when we don’t find it, we go around and around from one relationship to the next without finding what we’re looking for. Sometimes we spend our entire life waiting for the charming man or goddess, who will appear and fulfil all our desires and treat us how we “deserve” to be treated.
In all these cases, there is longing, fear and deep insecurity.
What yoga invites us to do is to focus our life’s energy in establishing and maintaining the only relationship that encompasses all others and that is the one between us and our true self.
Between us and the one that breathes us. Between us and the one that beats our heart.
Brahmacharya is about really connecting with and loving ourselves, not at the level of the ego or personality, but at the level of our ultimate reality as living beings.
This is the true love affair worth investing in, as no one can ever take it away. We can leave the lover, but every time we come back, it’s there waiting for us and all it gives is unconditional love. All it wants is our real happiness and our peaceful heart. This lover will stop at nothing until we attain peace in our heart and discover the diamond within the lotus of our being. If it needs, it will take us through fire, through the most challenging times; until we realize that nothing outside of us can satisfy our thirst.
Through Brahmacharya, we learn that there is only ever one marriage and, that is the marriage that can take place in our inner being. The marriage between the two poles of our existence. This marriage unites our dualities and allows us to accept all that we are, by embracing our humanity and divinity at the same time.
Once we have accepted and seen our wholeness in the dance between the opposite sides, as opposed to our split in the war between the two, our perception of our experiences changes dramatically.
When we live a life focused on Brahman, we are able to step out of the mind’s perception of life and see it without its interpretations. Even a glimpse of that is enough to fall in love with the true lover; call it the source of the universe, divine mother or God.
On your mat practice Brahmacharya by focusing your attention on the life flowing through your body.
See yourself move, not as the one moving, but the one being moved by a force beyond you. See your body without the interference of your mind that defines it as beautiful, ugly, fat, slim and so on………See it as the embodiment of truth, as the embodiment of love and ultimate joy. This joy is not happiness as your mind knew it; it is the joy that creates a rose, the joy that moves the stars, the joy that moves your blood through your veins. Connect to the joy of who you are and see the grandeur present in everything you witness on your mat.
Brahmacharya is coming home to your true self.
and fall in love!