brahmacharya quarto yama

The meaning of the fourth yama

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE FOURTH YAMA IN YOGA

Brahmacharya is the fourth yama that we find in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and it is essential to be known by every yoga practitioner or lover of this millenary discipline.

We must say that very often this term is simply translated as chastity and celibacy or continence, which makes this principle not particularly loved by western practitioners, but it must be said that it is a rather inaccurate and misleading reduction.

If we talk about the fact that in India in addition to yoga there is also the art of kamasutra and love yoga, hence this translation seems rather unlikely.

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE FOURTH YAMA BRAHMACHARYA:

The old Rishi divided life into four parts of which the first twenty years were directed to acquire knowledge and this is what was indicated as Brahmacharya.

The essence therefore of brahmacharya is the dedication to what you are doing without having to chase pleasure, as the pleasure would in fact make it impossible to acquire knowledge.

In the first twenty years of life, hence the children and adoloscents followed a strict discipline which included in addition to study, devotion, practices of purification and celibacy.

The celibacy was understood as a necessary practice in order not to disperse their energies and therefore be able to devote to study, to the spiritual life, to individual growth and self-knowledge.

The other steps were so divided:

The second stage that ranged from 20 to 25 years was the research phase of pleasure and of its experimentation.

From 25 to 50 was the time of responsibilities, the time to form a family, have children and cultivate their own work.

From 50 to 70 years was the period in which to extend to the world everything that you had done and achieved, as if the attention at this point was pointing towards a wider family in society and in life.

In a monastic choice celibacy has a specific sense, for all other practitioners on the other hand, it assumes a very ample meaning, BRAHMACHARYA means to move in life not only as the physical body, but as ‘space’ and in this we find a type of energy akin to celibacy, where we do not seek the physicalness, but where we are progressing in other aspects of our life.

Sex is a fundamental part of life but the obsession for sex is something that may hinder the spiritual progress, in fact the energy of those who are obsessed with sex, is low and often creates opaque vibrations, weakens the mind and takes away the necessary strength to engage in life, while those who approach sex without obsession receive in exchange clean energy, and also concentration.

HOW TO APPLY BRAHMACHARYA IN MODERN LIFE

How can we apply this concept to modern life and in our daily practice?

It would suffice to return to have a contact with ourselves and with the earth:

Listen the same way animals do to our rhythms and our needs, eat healthy, disciplining our natural rhythms, even sex can become a rewarding experience.

Animals follow the course of nature and it is nature that encourages them and invites them to sexuality in most suitable moments.

As human beings, we unfortunately are no longer living in close contact with nature, apart from rare exceptions and we do not follow the cycle of nature. Instead we developed mechanical sexual habits that adapt to the needs of modern life, but do not take anymore account of the wisdom inherent in the laws of nature, neither of our body that must be taken care of, maintained and cuddled such as a wonderful Temple.

If you want to discover the other YAMA, visit our blog.

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