Celibacy/Abstinence/The Correct Path?



Due to your graciousness I have been able to weather many tides of Maya and ascend gradually through the stormy ocean that is Samsara.

The mind is starting to quiet down, but I cannot feel the progress for it seems so slow that I doubt it is happening at all.

I would like to ask a few things:

1) Sivananda spoke of the free will. Is there not a contradiction between us engaging in free will to embark on brahmacharya and HE deciding all? How can HE decide? The Atman (HE) is the fundamental energy or shakthi in the world which underlies aging, electricity, and gravity: What does this powerful, wonderous force have to do with our will?

2) The body often gets the desire to physically hug a female. No desire for intercourse. Just a desire for cuddling and warmth particularly during stressful times. The mind desires companionship and genuine love but not sex-sex seems too raw and too animalistic. Is engaging in such activity against the tenets of brahmacharya? I live in a cold, stressful place and I have read that human touch is essential for good health. Kindly clarify. Is this a Middle Path? or bad?

Ever your student,

1. As long as there is the apparent Ahamkara (Ego), it appears as though there is free will. When the darkness of Agnyana (ignorance) is vacated by the light of Gnyana (truth), then it will be known that there is no such thing as free will, just as the snake in the rope disappears upon the advent of dawn.

2. The Atman (Supreme spirit within) is not Shakthi. It is that Supreme power, through whom Shakthi (the principle behind creation) gets manifest. Shakthi is created and destroyed, while the Supreme remains as ever, without a second. One is really that formless self, which has no birth & death.

3. The ardent Yogi who is in the path to realize the self should keep at bay, all such tricks of Maya, which will undoubtedly cause his downfall and hold on to the Supreme alone, through his Sadhana.

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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