What Is Brahmcharya?
Summary: In this profound article, Sadhguru tells us what Brahmcharya really is. He says, Brahmcharya means to simply be life, to live the way you were born - alone. If you do not do anything - you are a Brahmchari. You do certain sadhana, so that you do not give in to the tendencies of the earth, the material that you have picked up - otherwise your life will become cyclical. These tendencies are not natural to you - it is like the tendencies of a vehicle you have gotten into, like the tendencies of your car. One takes on the path of Brahmcharya, to break this cyclical motion of life.
article originally published on isha.sadhguru.org
How to Live as a Brahmachari?
Q: Namaskaram. What does the path of brahmacharya involve? And how can one know if he is capable of that?
Sadhguru: Brahmacharya means to be like the breeze – that is, you do not stick to anything. The breeze is going everywhere, but we do not know where it is coming from right now. It just crossed the oceans and came, here it is, and it keeps going. Brahmacharya means simply being life – to live the way you were born – alone. Even if your mother happened to bear twins, you were still born alone. So brahmacharya means to be in a very close association with the Divine – to live like that.
On the Divine Trajectory
Brahmacharya is not a great step. It is just to exist as life is. Marriage is a great step – you are trying to do something very big! At least, people believe so. Brahmacharya means you did nothing, you allowed your life to happen just as the Creator made you – you do not make anything out of it. So there is no step. If you do not do anything, you are a brahmachari.
Brahmacharya means you did nothing, you allowed your life to happen just as the Creator made you – you do not make anything out of it.
But there is sadhana, there are other disciplines, what is that about? That is only to help you stay like that because once you picked up material from this planet, the qualities of this planet will enter you and try to rule you. One basic quality is that once you pick up earth, there is something called inertia. Even to wake up in the morning there is inertia. To be on the path of the Divine means not to give in to the way of the earth.
One thing is inertia, another thing is the compulsive movement. If you pick up a piece of this earth, you become like the earth. It tries to take you in circles. Cyclical movement is the basis of everything that you call as physical in the universe.
One takes brahmacharya as a path and a discipline instead of as a natural process, so that they do not get into the cyclical motion of life. They do not want to succumb to this.
If you move in a circle, however large the circle is, you always come back. Even if you are not invited! We do not know whether the world wants you or not, but you will anyway come back because you are on a circle. Those who have realized that they are not really wanted around here, those who want to be on a straight path, for them, it is the path of the Divine, not the planetary trajectory. One takes brahmacharya as a path and a discipline instead of as a natural process, so that they do not get into the cyclical motion of life. They do not want to succumb to this.
What does it involve? If you are very conscious, it involves nothing, it is very simple. You wake up every day in the morning like you were just born, you go to sleep like you would die. In between, whatever is useful to everyone you do, because you have still not reached that place where you can exist without activity – you need to do something.
The idea is that the activity should never be about you, because if it is, you will pile up entanglement. So, you constantly do activity which is not about you. You do so much activity, that when you go to bed you do not have a moment – you fall like you are dead. Then you wake up before the birds and get busy. The rest will be taken care of by Grace.
You need not do too much because we invest a certain amount of energy to “manufacture” a brahmachari. Actually, it should not be necessary. If they simply did not do anything, they would be there, but the ways of the earth rule from within because after all, you cannot keep your body down – it has memory, it has a huge karmic pile, so it has its tendencies.
These tendencies are not natural to your being, but this vehicle – the body – tends to go like this. Suppose you are driving a car which has a small alignment problem. You have to straighten it, otherwise it will keep pulling one way. The body also has an alignment problem, and it always wants to go like this. Once it bends or turns, it is just a question of time before it completes the circle.
But because it is taking a certain period of time and one’s awareness is not in any great place, every time you pass the same spot it looks like a new place. If you sit somewhere in the afternoon, the whole place looks in one way. If you sit there during sunset, it looks different. If you come at midnight, it looks different. So, you think you have come to a different place every time but no, it is just a question of time, season and short memory.
Admitting Your Madness
What you have is a dis-aligned vehicle or a vehicle which is attuned to go in circular motion. Whether you are doing a twelve-year cycle or a three-month cycle, the difference is only a question of percentages of madness. If you are doing a three-month cycle, everyone can see that you are mad. If you are doing twelve-year cycles, people do not make out, but if you are sincere, you know you are crazy. The only thing is you can fool the world into thinking you are okay.
You must sincerely look at yourself – do not worry about the social impact, you do not have to admit it to anyone – within yourself, are you not quite insane?
You must sincerely look at yourself – do not worry about the social impact, you do not have to admit it to anyone – within yourself, are you not quite insane? I want you to sincerely look at this. If you are sincere and straight about yourself, you know you are quite off.
If you have become so much of a social being that how you look is all that matters to you and how you are does not matter, then you can go on for many lifetimes. If how you are matters to you, if your being – and not what someone thinks about you – has become very important for you, if it is not another person’s opinion which is crafting your life but the nature of your being, then you will naturally be on the path of the Divine.