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The True Meaning of Brahmacharya

By Sadhguru Email By Sadhguru
August 2021
The True Meaning of Brahmacharya

The following is a transcription of a spoken discourse. To maintain the style and authenticity of Sadhguru’s spoken words, we have retained the original language instead of conforming it to our standard style book.

“Brahman” means “the divine” or “the ultimate” and “charya” means “the path.” If you are on the path of the divine, you are a brahmachari. To be on the path of the divine means you have no personal agendas of your own. You simply do what is needed. You have no likes and dislikes, wants or desires; all these things are simply taken away from you. If you do this unwillingly, it can be an absolute torture. If you do it willingly, it makes your life so wonderful and beautiful because there is nothing to bother you anymore. You simply do what is needed; life is so simple. Once you have given yourself like that, you do not have to bother about the spiritual path. It is taken care of.

People may think a brahmachari is making a great sacrifice and is being denied life. But it is not so at all. If someone is a brahmachari only by dress, then yes, it is true: life is a torture. But for a person who is truly walking the path of the divine, the petty pleasures that the world offers will become totally meaningless. Once you enjoy the inner pleasures of your being, the external pleasures become totally meaningless.

For example, let’s say someone wants to climb Mount Everest. He prepares for years, probably for a lifetime. And then he is in the harshest climate, denying himself every pleasure of life, of comfort, family, society, and everything that people normally want to have. But do you really believe he is denying himself? Or is he making another possibility, which you can never imagine?

Anyone who has created anything worthwhile in their life have naturally denied themselves a lot of simple pleasures that other people are having. Maybe you are not eating well, sleeping well, taking your afternoon nap, sitting with your wife or husband, or having dinner with the family. But you deny yourself everything because you want to create something. The same is true with brahmacharya. They are on the path of the ultimate. Because of that, their attention is not diverted to other things that people think are valuable.

My work as a Guru is just to give you a taste of that ultimate, so that your life goes into a tizzy and you want to go for it. You want to know the power, the beauty and the joy of it. Brahmacharis do not care whether they drink, smoke and enjoy other simple physical pleasures that other people are addicted to. They have had a taste of the ultimate, now they want it all. They will not settle for anything less.

If people sleep through their life in the name of comfort and security, they are wasting their life. They must go all the way. There is something within you which is always longing for the ultimate. Today you have a desire to fulfill something. If that happens, you want the next one and the next one and the next one. If you carefully look at your desiring process, you will see that you are not willing to settle for anything limited. There is something within you which does not like boundaries. It is not my idea or philosophy that you should seek the ultimate. You are seeking the ultimate in unconscious ways anyway. If you seek in unconscious ways, you will always remain frustrated and the chances of finding it are remote. It is better to seek what you want in a conscious and focused way. Brahmacharis are those people who are seeking what you are seeking, but they are seeking it one hundred percent consciously.

Does it mean that everyone should become a brahmachari? Everyone should become a brahmachari, not necessarily in terms of lifestyle, but internally. Everyone should be on the path of the divine. Brahmacharya does not just mean celibacy. That is just one of the aspects that have been taken up as a supportive system. To become a brahmachari means you are ecstatic by your own nature. You can be married and still be a brahmachari. It is possible because you are joyful by your own nature—you are not trying to extract joy from your husband or wife. This is how it should be. The whole world should be brahmachari. Everyone should be joyful by their own nature. If two people come together, it should be a sharing of joy, not extraction of joy from each other.

Sadhguru is a yogi, mystic, and visionary, and a prominent spiritual leader. An author, poet, and internationally renowned speaker, Sadhguru is the founder of Isha Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. (www.isha.sadhguru.org)


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