In researching this yama I looked at readings from several books and wrote down the following quotes which spoke to me:
- A person who is a Brahmacharya lives in Brahmin (god) and sees Brahmin in everyone.
- Continence is chastity* in word, thought, and deed…Sex is inseparable from attachment, and attachment is an obstacle to spiritual knowledge – Patanjali
(*chastity is defined as celibacy or virtuous character)
- Brahmacharya suggests that we should form relationships that foster our understanding of the highest truths… it means responsible behavior with respect to our goal of moving toward the truth. – Desikachar
- Brahmacharya is not abandonment of sex but transcendence of it. – Baba Hari Dass
My understanding or synthesis of these definitions raised the following questions:
- How much energy do I put into non-virtuous words, thoughts or deeds particularly in relation to other people and sex/relationships?
- How does the way I speak about people, to people or even think about them affect them, and the way I interact with them?
- Am I pursuing relationships that help move me towards my highest self, or am I too focused on ego-based relationships that seem to meet my baser needs?