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Celibacy/Abstinence/Diet, work, Ego and sleep


Dear Dhananjay Prabhu,

1) Does the brahma muhurtha start at 3 globally and if not can 3 be considered an auspicious time?

2) Swami Shivaananda advises against vegetables? Are salad vegetables like cabbage, capsicum, cucumber, carrots (low quantity), lettuce etc. beneficial?

3) Sometimes sleeping late is unavoidable. The next day sleep deprivation is a problem. It becomes difficult to pay the sleep debt. What can be done?

4) Is sleeping in the afternoon from 12 to 3 possible (allowed)?

5) Conversation and work (more the former) seems to lower consciousness. What can be done?

6) The ego surfaces during intellectual and verbal and other types of achievement. What can be done?

1. Yes

2. There is nothing against the consumption of vegetables. All the above said can be eaten.

3. An occasional reduction in sleep does not pose much of a problem. The same should however not be made into a habit. Retiring to bed early and waking up early is the best policy, whatever be the nature of work. Try to wake up at the same time and make up for the sleep, in the later part of the day, if possible.

4. Avoid much sleep in the day and keep it short, if there has been a deficit at night.

5. To the best possible extent, maintain silence, with a smile, in the thought of the Lord and do your Dharma sincerely. Then work does not cause any problem. The silent, pleasant and calm man is always the most efficient worker. His work is impressive and thorough. Silence is the language of the Atman.

6. By whose power has the Ego achieved? It is by borrowing energy from the Atman (self), for the Ego has no power of its own; just as the Moon has no light of its own, but shines only by virtue of the light coming from the Sun. Remind the Ego of this reality, following which it automatically vanishes.

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


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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."


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