Yoga and Sex vs Celibacy


#1

Yoga requires celibacy - true or false?

Discuss…


#2

In yoga there are layers of truth and then there is the dogma of one truth. If yoga seems available to you only through your abstinence then clearly that is true for you.

If you are asking the larger question as to the availability of yoga to those who do not abstain, then my reply would be that yoga IS available to such a person.

Of course we could pontificate six ways to Sunday and likely will. But it could not only be this or only be that except as a dogma and there is no room for dogma in yoga.


#3

Thankyou for participating Gordon!

Within the yamas of yoga, celibacy is included.

The Yamas:

Ahimsa ~ Nonviolence
Satya ~ Truthfulness
Asteya ~ Nonstealing
Brahmacharya ~ Celibacy
Aparigraha ~ Nonpossessiveness

Why and what is the meaning?


#4

[QUOTE=GORI YOGINI;62356]Within the yamas of yoga, celibacy is included.[/QUOTE]

Hello,

Brahmacharya is not celibacy but wise conduction of the creative force (Brahma + Acharya). It implies to divert/channelize your creative/sensual energy or drives towards the spiritual achievement.

Personally I practice celibacy, it helps me to stay focused in my sadhana and to enjoy will power and vigor. I just flush my seed when my physical body pleads it.

Regards


#5

I also interpret it to mean respectful of sex, or non-abuse of sex.


#6

That however is based on your or another person’s quite narrow definition of Brahamacharya, now isn’t it. So to state unequivocally that it “IS” included does not leave room for discourse.

Let’s say, for the sake of moving forward with your exploration that Brahamacharya is defined as the wise use of creative force. How would that alter your perspective and would that be a slight or radical alteration?

[QUOTE=GORI YOGINI;62356]Thankyou for participating Gordon!

Within the yamas of yoga, celibacy is included.

The Yamas:

Ahimsa ~ Nonviolence
Satya ~ Truthfulness
Asteya ~ Nonstealing
Brahmacharya ~ Celibacy
Aparigraha ~ Nonpossessiveness

Why and what is the meaning?[/QUOTE]


#7

Let’s say, for the sake of moving forward with your exploration that Brahamacharya is defined as the wise use of creative force. How would that alter your perspective and would that be a slight or radical alteration?

This is what I’m here to discuss, Inner Athelete.

How cultures and individuals interpret or define “brahmacharya” and how much of that definition depends on our individual or cultural conditioning.

In India a “brahmachari” has a very specific meaning. But India is a culture that is comfortable with celibacy. The culture I am currently residing in is very uncomfortable with the notion of abstinence. I’ve noticed that “yogis” in this culture are always very defensive when brahmacharya is defined the “traditional” Indic way.

I’d like to explore - why is that?


#8

Gandhi, one of the most known brahmacharis, besides being an adherent of simple living and nonresistance.


#9

[QUOTE=GORI YOGINI;62352]Yoga requires celibacy - true or false?

Discuss…[/QUOTE]

Although we are never divided in the first place the methods of the yogic sciences should allow us to wake up to the original whole, hence unite/join. Elevating consciousness one may begin to recognize a non-dualistic state of pure reality, Truth. The yogic sciences is a well tested vehicle on the path but surely it?s not the only conduit leading to ones true nature or Self-realization, removing obstacles and false identities the true Self is revealed. If you ?believe? using your body as it was intended to operate in this world to be an obstacle, than it will become an obstacle, just as all ?beliefs? are false identities.


#10

Hi Ray!

Thanks for your input but I fail to see what this has to do with the yogic practice of brahmacharya.


#11

F a l s e.

True.


#12

I am a little defensive about the “traditional” definition (now that I’m aware), because I think fun is eggcellent. I have noticed some debate on the forum about the purity of yogis…and the implication is that there is pure yoga, and then there is non-pure yoga. Although this has some merit the core of yoga is still union, which is why I appreciate the open definition.

Some people are happy being square, and celibacy is an interesting way to demonstrate selfless dedication, especially for groups who portray themselves this way.


#13

Yoga requires celibacy - true or false?

If you are referring to yoga as a method, then it should be understood that all of these countless external observances are nothing more than a means to help create a certain inner atmosphere, they have no value in themselves. There is nothing so called spiritual in becoming an ascetic, you can remain an ascetic your whole life without any insight into existence whatsoever, nor have you any awareness of your own being. But, being an ascetic can be helpful as a way to create an outer environment which helps you channel your energies inwards, with a certain one-pointedness. Because ordinarily - you are distracted by a million and one different things, then living as an ascetic can be helpful. But if you are too much attached to the discipline - it can have just the opposite effect. Rather than becoming a medicine that liberates, it becomes a poison that binds you. The reason why celibacy has been recommended is not as a condemnation of sex, but it is simply a method to help gather your energies and channel them into your meditation. Because while you are celibate, it is not just your body which absorbs energy, but also the mind. That same energy can be used to help develop the concentrative power of the mind and it`s attention. But it is nothing more than a skillful means. And like this there are many ways to try and absorb energy from as many different sources as one can manage. But if you think that your spiritual growth has anything to do with having or not having sex - you have missed the essential matter entirely. There are some fanatics who have been saying that celibacy is an absolute necessity, that it is even impossible to become awakened without celibacy. There are even some who have said that there are certain mantras which are so sacred, that they can only be used by priests - but they are forbidden to the lower castes. Amongst the Jains, the yogi is not even allowed to sit in the same space where a woman has been before, because otherwise he will absorb her energies and it is as though he has had sex with her. Before sitting in such a place, he has to use a cloth to clean the space. And like this - there are countless fanatics that have happened in the spiritual traditions who have been far too entangled in their own tradition in such a way - that they have denied themselves of any possibility of transformation.

As far as the methods towards ones awakening are concerned, there is nothing which is absolute. There are only relative skillful means and approaches. And for one who has already come to one`s awakening - if one has been following certain rules and regulations as part of training, you can drop them. They were only needed in the same way that a staff may be needed when you are groping in the dark. Once you start seeing with your own eyes - you can cast the staff aside immediately. Liberation is such, that it is not so fragile as to be influenced by whether you have sex or do not have sex - if your freedom can be destroyed by such things, then it is not true freedom. Once you are functioning out of your own true nature - then no rules or regulations are needed, no system of morality is needed, no following of a tradition or belief system is needed. One has come to know of something far more essential, that it would be impossible for you not to be in harmony with existence.


#14

[QUOTE=InnerAthlete;62384]That however is based on your or another person’s quite narrow definition of Brahamacharya, now isn’t it. So to state unequivocally that it “IS” included does not leave room for discourse.

Let’s say, for the sake of moving forward with your exploration that Brahamacharya is defined as the wise use of creative force. How would that alter your perspective and would that be a slight or radical alteration?[/QUOTE]

Your utterance is too complex for a non-anglosaxon like me Gordon.
I frequently don’t understand what you say.

My definition could be narrow, but it’s my definition. I’m not willing to add “in my opinion” to every post I send… It’s obvious that everything I write here is my opinion.


#15

[QUOTE=GORI YOGINI;62392]Hi Ray!

Thanks for your input but I fail to see what this has to do with the yogic practice of brahmacharya.[/QUOTE]

Hi GORI YOGINI,

Take note your original question (Yoga requires celibacy - true or false?) did not include the word brahmacharya for which Hindu scriptures may be different than the yoga sutra interpretation? You asked to (Discuss…); Yoga, to bring oneself in union with the divine, may have very little to do with celibacy. Your question may not be conclusive for all, eventually one will need to move past the question towards the intent, I’m discussing not only for your benefit but also mine.

Since different beings gravitate towards different methods to obtain the same thing I did not see your original question (Yoga requires celibacy - true or false?) as “true or false” more as a discussion (Discuss…). Because of predispositions one has choice to practice a suitable yogic path, such as:
Jnana Yoga
Bhakti Yoga
Karma Yoga
Raja Yoga

Although each of these paths crosses over, many persons integrate and incorporate amongst them all, perhaps emphasizing one. If your tendency is towards recycling and purifying energies then one would be highly conscious of channeling energy and concerned how it can be used towards ones advantage, therefore conscientious celibacy may be worth exploration. I have no direct experience with celibacy after the age of 12 therefore would be of little help to anyone on this technique. What I originally tried to convey; if you see celibacy as a requirement and it works against your nature than it may manifest itself in negative not positive ways, your direct experience should provide the answer.


#16

Interesting comments from all here. Thanks for taking the time to contribute.

Panoramix said,

“Brahmacharya is not celibacy but wise conduction of the creative force (Brahma + Acharya). It implies to divert/channelize your creative/sensual energy or drives towards the spiritual achievement.”

Pan, what would you define as “wise conduction of the creative force”? On a practical level, what would that look like?

I’d like to explore the practical methods of brahmacharya and how they can be implemented in the here and now - 2011.


#17

Yes, I would love to learn about the “practicality” of brahmacharya. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that everyone on earth suddenly (or eventually over time) practices brahmacharya, and that we/they lose all desire for sex. What will become of the human race then? There won’t be much use for “practicality” then, I don’t think.

Thankfully, it is practiced by an insignificant few, sparing humanity an unfortunate misstep.


#18

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that everyone on earth suddenly (or eventually over time) practices brahmacharya, and that we/they lose all desire for sex. What will become of the human race then?

We can also discuss whether or not its important, for whatever reason, for there to be human life on this planet.


#19

[QUOTE=GORI YOGINI;62443]We can also discuss whether or not its important, for whatever reason, for there to be human life on this planet.[/QUOTE]

The seen is for the sake of the seer.

patanjali

The “lay” or “monastic” meaning of Brahmacharya - to me - is T E M P E R A N C E.
The moderation of activities.

Would you just LOOK at all that symbolism?


#20

[QUOTE=GORI YOGINI;62443]We can also discuss whether or not its important, for whatever reason, for there to be human life on this planet.[/QUOTE]

From my perspective, I would say YES! Why not! We are as deserving of existence as any other species. We screw up the environment as much as a termite colony may screw up it’s host tree. Perhaps we are meant to destroy the Earth in order for something else to exist in it’s place. That may be our destiny, or the shared destiny of our world.

But, when I look at all the wonderful things life offers (me anyway) I am in wonder. I just walked my dog with my son. Pure joy! Had I practiced celibacy, this moment in cosmic history - infinitely miniscule in the scheme of things - would not have occured, but the cosmos would be denied this little thing and would be infinitely less richer for it.

Yes, it is important for there to be human life on this planet simply because we ARE.