In the yogic tradition, Brahmacharya is an essential step to having total control over the body and mind. Despite its numerous benefits, the average person finds it difficult to practice in real life due to the strict rule of controlling one’s avoidable sensory impulses.
It’s no mystery that today’s society makes practicing Brahmacharya extremely difficult. However, as Lord Krishna said, “Nothing great comes easily; you have to strive for it.”
There is a lot of information on Brahmacharya floating around the Internet, but only a few of them are credible. I previously wrote an article about the benefits of practicing Brahmacharya. But, to give you a quick overview, let’s look at what Brahmacharya is.
What is Brahmacharya?
The literal meaning of “brahmacharya” is celibacy, or abstinence from all unusual sensual indulgences. It is made up of two Sanskrit words, “brahma” and “charya”, which translate into “conduct of truth”.
Thus, we refer to someone as a Brahmacharya when he or she actively follows the core principles of it, such as an adult who remains unmarried for life, or a young student who lives and studies in a gurukul. Brahmacharya is more than just exercising strict control over the sexual impulses.
Brahmacharya forces the practitioner to follow the guidelines that eventually lead to the realization of the absolute truth. Therefore, a Brahmachary is someone who is committed to controlling their sensual desires and is willing to experience the divine truth.
Rules Of Brahmacharya
Hindu scriptures mention about eight stages of sensory impulses that a brahmachary shouldn’t ever engage in. These are actions such as thinking, remembering, talking, foreplaying, or engaging in any sexually motivated activity.
It requires extreme discipline in controlling useless or repeated thoughts and, if necessary, eliminating them without hesitation.
Avoid Stimulant Content
If you are serious about living a brahmacharya life, you should begin by focusing on what excites you, both physically and mentally. When we see, hear, or even think about something that excites us, one part of our brain becomes less sensitive.
This is the part of our brain that processes information and makes logical decisions based on it. In other words, the more we consume content that triggers our sensual urges, the more our decision-making abilities deteriorate.
Use Knowledge Over Impulses
Dopamine, also known as the happy hormone, is something we’ve all heard about. This is one of the hormones responsible for our happiness, and pleasure. However, it has a significant disadvantage.
It is incapable of distinguishing between what is good and bad for us. In other words, when we continue doing the wrong activities, our brain notices and gradually begins to release dopamine only while doing such activity.
In brahmacharya, we meditate on our ability to focus our thoughts more efficiently. It forces us to meditate on the idea that every hormonal related impulse is nothing but a mere chemical reaction that we can easily control with an informed mind.
Enforce Sattvic Lifestyle
Eating healthy food and leading a sattvic lifestyle is a mandatory practice in any Hindu yogic tradition. The term “sattvic” is derived from the Sanskrit word “sattva,” which means pure, clear, and powerful energy.
Therefore, as a subset of yoga, Brahmacharya also encourages its practitioners living a sattvic way of life. Even according to the Bhagavad Gita, eating sattvic food cleanses both body and mind. It purifies the mind and removes toxins from the body.
Wake Up At Brahma Muhurta
If you want to practice brahmacharya, you should also make a habit of getting up at the brahma muhurta. Brahma Muhurta is the time of early dawn, one and a half hours before the sun rises.
According to many ancient sages, the time is very auspicious for waking up and beginning the day. This morning ritual has numerous advantages, including increased self-awareness, and mental fitness.
People who wake up at this time undergo a vital shift in their health, strength, and spiritual growth. It provides the body with an added boost that allows it to keep up with the demands of the stressful work days. It also minimizes the symptoms and health risks associated with aging.
Network With Other Brahmachary
There are numerous other rules and rituals that can only be taught by a trustworthy guru. So, it is critical to train under a trustworthy guru and network with other brahmacharies.
Not only that, but you should also avoid spending time with people who might distract you from performing your rituals correctly and lead you to break your celibacy.
You can accelerate your spiritual growth by finding the right set of people who are either practicing it or not involved in activities that brahmacharya strictly prohibits. This type of person can give you the necessary advice about your celibacy and guide you through your mistakes.