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Importance of Brahmacharya in Yog

Jun 14th, 2024 | 1 Min Read
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Category: Yog Sutra


Language: English

ब्रह्मचर्यप्रतिष्ठायां वीर्यलाभः।।
Brahmacharya-pratiṣṭhāyāṃ vīryalābhaḥ
Translation: When one becomes firm in celibacy one gains strength.

Sutra 2.38 of Patanjali Yoga Sutra teaches us the benefits of Brahmacharya:
Embarking on the path of Brahmacharya, a key virtue, is a profound spiritual journey. It is a discipline where one refrains from sexual activity in thoughts, words, and actions, regardless of the situation—consistently and universally.

As one of the twelve essential virtues in yoga, Brahmacharya is crucial in perfecting perseverance and the pursuit of knowledge. Celibacy extends beyond mere physical abstinence; according to the Agni Purāṇa, one must control eight activities related to sex:
  1. Thinking about it.
  2. Talking about it.
  3. Joking about it.
  4. Envisioning it.
  5. Desiring it.
  6. Wooing to spark interest.
  7. Enticing someone interested.
  8. Engaging in it.
प्रशान्तात्मा विगतभीर्ब्रह्मचारिव्रते स्थित: ।
मन: संयम्य मच्चित्तो युक्त आसीत मत्पर: ।।
praśhāntātmā vigata-bhīr brahmachāri-vrate sthitaḥ
manaḥ sanyamya mach-chitto yukta āsīta mat-paraḥ
Translation: With a serene, fearless, unwavering mind and staunch in the vow of celibacy, the vigilant yogi should meditate on Me, having Me alone as the supreme goal. (Gita 6.14)

The above verse from the Bhagavad Gita explains that Brahmacharya aids in deepening our meditation on God. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical science, praises the practice of celibacy for its remarkable health benefits. The importance of Brahmacharya isn't limited to Hinduism. In Jainism, celibacy is one of the five major vows for laypeople and ascetics. 

Swami Vivekananda emphasised that without chastity, there is no spiritual strength. Ultimately, Brahmacharya leads one to union with the Supreme Soul, as stated in the Mundaka Upanishad.

Summary: JKYog India Online Class- Patanjali Yoga Sutra [English]- 13.06.2024