Why Brahmacharya?

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Wisdom For Seekers


Is there any difference between joy and pleasure? Should we seek joy - or should we seek pleasure? Pleasure creates a certain bondage within us, whereas being joyful sets us free. Joy is always within us, and being joyful is an aspect of a Brahmachari. But, among other things, isn't being celibate the definition of Brahmachari? Sadhguru clarifies...


Duration: 12 min


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Why Brahmacharya?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

One thing is its good for the nation’s population. I’m just listing the benefits! Why Brahmacharya? What is Brahmacharya first? Brahman means the ultimate or the divine. Charya means the path. One who is on the path of the ultimate, or one who is on the path of the divine, is a Brahmachari.

One who is on the path of the ultimate, or one who is on the path of the divine, is a Brahmachari

One who is in the path of the divine means – see after all, everybody is in search of joyfulness, isn’t it? Knowingly or unknowingly, yes or no? Yes? Because you could not find joy, you settled for pleasure. Pleasure is not joy, pleasure is just a shadow of joy. Its beautiful but it’s very limited. Whenever you involve yourself in pleasure, if you want to have pleasure you need something or somebody to have pleasure, isn’t it? yes?

The deeper you go into pleasure, the deeper your bondage with this something or somebody, yes? Suppose this something or somebody is taken away from you, you will be broken, isn’t it so? if you have a very deep involvement with pleasure, that something or somebody which gives you pleasure, if it’s taken away from you, aren’t you broken? So your existence becomes that of huge bondage.

Bondage is not something that any human being enjoys

Bondage is not something that any human being enjoys. There is something within you which is always wanting to be free from all bondage, isn’t it? But if you become a pleasure seeker, naturally you are setting up limitations in such a pleasant way, that you cannot transcend it. Unpleasant limitations, you can break them. Pleasant limitations, you cannot break them, isn’t it? Lot of your shackles, you have gold plated them and you’re wearing them like ornaments, aren’t you? Your limitations, you’re celebrating your limitations. Once you start celebrating your limitations, then there is no way to become free of that.

So, Brahmacharya means you are on the path of the divine. That means, first step towards that is you are joyful by your own nature. Whenever you are very happy or joyful, have you noticed you don’t seem to need anything? Yes? On a particular day you’re very happy, if you don’t eat, if you don’t sleep, it doesn’t matter, is that so? You’re unhappy, then everything has to be perfect, you complain about everything in the world, isn’t it so? When you’re really joyful, just see – it sets you free. When you’re unhappy, everything is important, everything has to be in a particular way. For everything you will complain. Unhappy people are always complaining. Happy people are always easy to work with, easy to be with, because nothing matters when you’re happy. Everything is flexible.

Unhappy people are always complaining

Which is freedom – joy is freedom or pleasure is freedom? Joy is obviously freedom, isn’t it? So, you’re seeing how to become joyful. If you seek it outside, you will invariably end up becoming a pleasure seeker. Anyway the source of joy is within you. Whenever you we were happy, did happiness happen from within you, or did it rain upon you from outside? Always within you, isn’t it? So if the source of happiness is within you, searching for it outside is quite a stupid thing. Yes? It is just that the source of happiness is within you, you are using an external stimulus to bring forth the joy in you, or in other words, your joy is on push start. Shall we fix self start on it? Don’t want? If you put self start on your joy, then you’re a Brahmachari. Now you’re on the path of the divine, you are joyful by your own nature.

Have all the Brahmacharis here become like that? Maybe not, but that’s the intention. They’re working towards that. To work towards that, you need a certain space and time of your own, that you don’t have other things to handle in your life. So, they have chosen a certain way of life. Now, yesterday we went up the mountain – just carrying your own bodyweight and reaching there, many of you, your legs are trembling, isn’t it? Suppose you want to carry four people on your shoulders and walk up the mountain – how many of you would make it? Most of you would not make it, isn’t it? So that’s why Brahmacharya. You understand? You are planning to climb a big peak. If you had the strength to carry ten people on your shoulders and walk, that would be fantastic But we rarely find such people. It’s better to walk alone, so they walk alone.

Now your problem is that, by the time you became 14, your intelligence got hijacked by your hormones so much, you can’t understand or you cannot accept, how somebody can be free from it. Somebody can just sit here and be happy, they don’t have to get married, they don’t have to run behind the opposite sex, they don’t have to do this or that, they’re just happy doing simple things in their life, more joyful than you, more intense than you, so does it mean all of you should become a Brahmachari? No, all of you should become a Brahmachari internally. In terms of lifestyle, not necessarily.

Brahmacharya does not mean just celibacy

Brahmacharya does not mean just celibacy, okay? That is just one of the aspects that have been taken up as a supportive system to become a Brahmachari. Brahmacharya means you are walking the path of the divine, that 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. You are joyful by your own nature. This is how it should be. The whole world should be Brahmachari, isn’t it? Everybody should be joyful by their own nature. If two people come together, it should be more a sharing of joy, not extracting joy from each other, isn’t it? So those who have decided that they don’t want to extract anything from anybody, they want to source their own inner joy, they have taken Brahmacharya.

You can be married and still be a Brahmachari, it is possible

And why a certain order has been set up – they have been taken up not just for their realization. If it’s just their realization, we can take care of in so many ways. How many of you eat mangoes? You eat mangoes ? You ate mangoes? No? How many of you have planted mango trees? See, just ten people have planted mango trees, but everybody has eaten mangoes. It’s only because constantly in every generation, those ten people are planting mango trees, everybody else is eating, isn’t it? So to carry on the spiritual path in its integrity, brahmacharis are needed.

Brahmacharis means, we are keeping them in such a way that their energies are loose, malleable. We can make anything out of them. Just anything out of them. I can combine ten Brahmacharis into one, and make ten Brahmacharis into one huge human being, a huge force. We have kept their energies loose, no personality. Whichever way you bend, they will become that way.

See if we take analogies, you are like a part. You’re a karmic part. A certain karmas, certain influences have moulded you into a certain shape. Yes? Now you become a certain type of person. With the process of living, when you were a child it was little more malleable. When you were a youth, it got a little rigid, by the time you’re a full adult, its totally rigid. This is just – we can see the part is slowly being burnt with the process of life. Now by the time you’re reasonably old, it is totally rigid shape. If you do anything else with it, it will break. See now there’s a burnt pot here, if you try to change the shape of this pot, it’ll only break into pieces, isn’t it? But when it was unburnt, very easily you could mould it into anything. You made ten unburnt pots, tomorrow if you don’t like it, you can put all of them together, and make one big pot, isn’t it?

Now we are unburning people. We are unburning them into that state where they are very malleable, we can give them any shape, any form. So Brahmacharies are working towards that. It’s a huge sadhana. It is not just, you know like others other systems in the world are doing this, just they take a vow of celibacy, this is not like that. There is a whole system of what they’re doing with their energies. There is a whole lot of work that’s being done internally. This is just a small part of it. What you see as they being unmarried, is just a small part of it. The rest of it is very internal.

And people who are willing to dedicate themselves for others well-being are needed in the society. At anytime, if there is nobody in the society who is thinking about others well-being, that society is heading for ruin, definitely. That’s what has happened to this society right now. There are very few people thinking of everybody’s well-being. Others are all what about me, what about me, what about me. If a certain percentage of people are thinking beyond their own well-being, only then a society will remain sane and stable. Otherwise societies will just go for ruin.

Is it not important, there are few people who are not thinking about their own well-being, their own life, they are seeing how to make it happen for somebody else? So Brahmacharis are an investment for future, to keep spirituality in its pristine purity. And to transmit it from generation to generation, a small core group of people are needed. Everybody need not take that thing, nor will we take everybody.

Every year hundreds of applications for brahmacharya comes, we just choose 8-10 people out of that, looking at various qualities and various possibilities. We don’t take everybody who comes, because it’s not necessary, nor can they be like that, nor can they put in the sadhana that is required, or demanded out of them. Your personality has to become malleable and conscious that you can mould yourself into any kind of pot. Is it not good to have that freedom? That’s Brahmacharya.

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