Celibacy/Abstinence/Different approaches



I would like to ask a question about the methods of spiritual practice. Some yoguis and masters of Hatha Yoga say to get enlightnement you should adopt a gradual way. You begin with asanas, pranayamas and then go to the 3 last levels of samyama. Others like Ramana Maharshi wanted to practice enquiry and you have the sudden enlightment schools like Zen that ask just to sit with awareness. So one school begins with the body (like stretching and asanas), goes to breath (pranayama) and only then it goes to mind practice. The other say to begin immediately cultivating the mind to make it still with zazen or concentrative practices. In my own preference, I prefer cultivating the mind only. Even the practice of brahmacharya or morality depends on controling the mind.

If your mind is somewhat quiet because you are dispassionate, is it not a good idea to begin with mind only?

1. Since there are innumerable Jiva-s at equally innumerable and varied levels of evolution, there are innumerable paths to the final goal.

2. Each individual gravitates to the path that is most suitable to him/her based on individual Samskara-s (impressions) & Vasana-s (tendencies).

3. In the case of those who are able to make quick progress from the mental levels directly, it is to be known that the physical levels have been transcended in earlier existences.

4. You may try to begin with the mind. There is no harm in the approach. If your body & mind have already been purified in the past as mentioned above, it becomes possible to progress. Else, it will be necessary to get done with karmic purification through the other Anga-s of Yoga to proceed.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

Bachelors degree in Engineering.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.