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Celibacy/Abstinence/Travelling and general decision making


Dear Guruji,

1) What can one eat when travelling by necessity for 4 days? Should one live on merely fruits, nuts, milk and raw vegetables or can one also eat the simplest of the plethora of cooked foods available?

2) Each brahmin is born into a veda shakha. This is often shown on the family amla tree at the Kuldevi's temple. What if I don't find my shakha of yajurveda sweet sounding and enjoy chanting another shakha of the yajurveda? As you know, it often takes upwards of 10 years to study one veda. Can one study the preferred shakha instead of studying the birth shakha? I come from a family that has not studied veda for many generations. I am disheartened at spending a lifetime in a shakha I don't enjoy.

1. Eat the available food, making it a point to include some fruits and milk.

2. The Veda-s and their branches concern the Ego and not the Atman (self). To the Yogi, whose sole aim is to realize the self, there are no divisions and no branches, for all that is seen and perceived is ephemeral and illusory, being Maya. The self alone is the truth, pervading everything, everywhere, there being nothing else. It is no different from universal consciousness. This is what all the Veda-s ultimately ask man to realize. This is the ultimate essence of all the Veda-s. There is no Veda whose essence goes against this truth, nor one which asks man to realize anything else.

You may chant any shakha of Veda, as long as it is done with an attitude of reverence and devotion to the Supreme.

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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