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Celibacy/Abstinence/Confusion of a Young Yogi


Respected Sir,

Thank you for clearing some of my doubts thus far.

I am going through much confusion with several matters now. Kindly advise me on the right path.

I am practicing brahmacharya to the best of my ability for the past 3 months, and I have been fortunate enough to not have any night break thus far. I will strive further along this path.

1) When I pursue the path of self-realization, I notice that I lose all my motivation for external accomplishment in work, career, music, etc. I am only 21, so I cannot afford this. For the time being, would it be OK to divert my senses away from the sex impulse but focus on other worldly pursuits? I am confused.

The moment I appreciate sense pleasures, the highs and lows of emotion overcome me and I start to care about what others think, etc. However, the moment I withdraw inward, I start to become ruthlessly dismissive of others because I see them as hypocrites. Please, please help.

2) I attended a funeral of a dear mentor a few weeks back. I was gnawed for a little time but then realized that the body is merely a vehicle through which a soul continues its journey. I know you have said earlier that the Jiva leaves the body upon death and stays in the astral plane for some time, but I don't understand what is the difference between Atma and Jiva. Is Jiva part of the Atma? When people in the West talk about the "soul", which of these two are they referring to? In the case of a Yogi, are the two one?

3)A close relative who is spiritually inclined has told me that while brahmacharya is the best path for now, the secret to a long life is following the varnashrama 4 stages of life. I agree because all the great sages in the past who solely confined to brahmacharya from birth and never experienced sexual/married life had very short lives-Swami Vivekananda being most prominent. Whereas those who first tasted earthly pleasures, then started on the path to self realization, lived healthily (such as Swami Sivananda and Gandhi).

Why is it that a life of pure brahmacharya is always short?

4) Although I am ambitious, I find myself constantly lonely and depressed during the night hours and wish that I had a partner-A female who would live with me, provide me with emotional/household support, yet also understand and respect my practice of brahmacharya. Is this advisable?

Basically, I am confused. As a result of my very small experience with brahmacharya thus far I have felt healthier but I am also very, very confused. I don't understand why. Please help this young practitioner.

I don't have a physical guru. I have hoped desperately for such a guru who is truly self-realized in today's world but don't have one. As far as I am concerned, you are my only living guru and I am forever indebted to your kindness.


1. Where has it been said that one should not do his given duty? Sadhana does not mean sitting in meditation from morning to evening in one place. Sadhana is holding on to the self and doing all worldly duties without attachment and without expectation, as a service to God. , Brahmacharya then occurs all by itself. Set aside an hour for Yogic practices in the Brahmimuhurtham and do that which is required, through the course of the day. With practice, things will flow smooth.

2. Atman is the pure, real self, no different from the Lord, by whose power an individual functions. Jiva is the resultant entity formed by the superimposition of the individual Ego on the Atman, whereupon consciousness comes down into it, creating the illusion that one is a limited individual, with a body & mind and separate from universal consciousness. In the west, the Jiva is referred to as the 'soul'.

3. Ayus (life span) is dependent on various factors. Brahmacharya is not the single factor on which it depends. Do your Dharma (efforts to realize the self) and be quiet. That which has to happen will happen at the right time, based on HIS plan.

4. When marriage is destined, a suitable partner will enter into one's life at the right time. If one's efforts at Brahmacharya are honest after the birth of a child, the partner also eventually turns supportive.

5. The Lord is the real Guru. There is no other Guru. If one surrenders to HIM, HE will instruct, either from within (via the Atman) or from without (through a physical medium called as the external Guru). Hence the Guru is always with you and HE knows you better than yourself. Let there be no fears.

Simply persevere with a life of Yoga & Brahmacharya, with the sole aim of realizing the self, without asking anything in return, with love and devotion to God. At the right time, all that which has to happen will happen (be it marriage or other things). Your duty ends at doing this much. The rest, HE takes care and is not your concern.

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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