Lesson 13 - Importance of Brahmacharya
In Lesson 12 you were introduced with Shatkarma, the cleansing techniques of Yoga. In this lesson you will understand some important concepts such as Bindu and Brahmacharya.
What is Brahmacharya?
The common meaning of Brahmacharya is observing celibacy. However, this is its gross meaning. The literal meaning of the term is "to follow Bramha, the supreme reality". At first glance you may think that this literal meaning and its gross meaning doesn't bear any relation. However, they are related. In Indian scriptures you find mention of trio - Bramha, Vishnu and Mahesh. It is believed that Bramha created this world, Vishnu nourishes it and Mahesh (Shiva) destroys at the end of the Kalpa. If you observe the scriptures you will realize that Vishnu and Shiva had consort in the form of Narayani (Laxmi) and Parvati. However, Bramha was single. He created this universe with the help of creative power of his mind. Even without this scriptural reference it can be observed that the supreme principal (often termed as God) alone created this universe. That supreme principal never needed to marry someone in order to spawn this world. Thus it was single or celibate. Thus the subtle meaning of Brahmacharya is to follow the Bramhan and develop our creative potential. Nevertheless both the meanings of Brahmacharya are important for a Yoga practitioner.
In order to appreciate the importance of Brahmacharya you must understand the term Bindu. As per Kundalini Yoga there are Chakras called Bindu Visarga and Manipura situated at the top of the head (at the same place where traditional Brahmins keep shaft) and navel respectively. These Chakras secrets a nectar like substance called Bindu. This tiny secretion then circulates in the whole body. It is this secretion that nourishes the body. Loss of Bindu causes decay of the body and old age.
The Bindu is divided into two types. The Bindu arising from Bindu Visarga is called as white Bindu (Shukla) and that arising from Manipura is called as red Bindu (Mahataja). Though both types of Bindus exist in individuals, white Bindu is predominant in males and red in females. The white Bindu forms semen whereas red Bindu forms menstrual fluids. The white Bindu is considered as Shiva and the red Bindu as Shakti. Union of white and red Bindu (i.e. male and female aspects) leads to the supreme state.
Sexual activity leads to loss of sexual fluids and thus Bindu. Since Bindu nourishes the whole body and can lead you to higher spiritual states Yoga advices us to prevent its loss by all means. The safest and recommended mean being celibacy. Hatha Yoga also suggests various mudras to prevent loss of Bindu. They include Khechari Mudra, Viparatakarni Mudra and Vajroli Mudra. However, they must be learned from an expert Guru.
Importance of Brahmacharya
Now that you have understood the concept of Bindu you will be in a better position to appreciate Brahmacharya. It is a common observation that after sexual activities vitality is lost. Modern science says that one emission of semen in males contains around 400 million sperms. If the rate of this loss is more naturally body needs to continually replace this loss. This causes loss of vital energy. Yogis suggest that this energy that is otherwise wasted must be turned towards higher spiritual activities.
To summarize it can be said that Brahmacharya is very important if you wish to follow higher Yogic sadhanas. Considering its importance ancient Yogis included it as one of the Yogic disciplines. If you are a bachelor it is recommended that you strictly keep away from sexual activities. If you are married a moderation in sexual activities can be observed.
Bipin Joshi is an independent software consultant and trainer by profession specializing in Microsoft web development technologies. Having embraced the Yoga way of life he is also a yoga mentor, meditation teacher, and spiritual guide to his students. He is a prolific author and writes regularly about software development and yoga on his websites. He is programming, meditating, writing, and teaching for over 27 years. To read more about him go here. More details about his Kriya and Meditation online course are available here.