Q: If I get attracted to someone, I just remind myself that I can be without it and focus on the breath. Can someone be a Brahmachari or celibate throughout his/her life and still have a happy married life?
A: Beautiful question! Let’s understand the meaning of Brahmacharya. ‘Brahmacharya means ‘moving in the Brahman’.
‘Brahman’ is that consciousness or energy that everything and everyone is made up of. We are all in an ocean of Brahman. Brahman is outside and inside us. Just like fish are in the ocean. The water is inside and outside the fish. Similarly, Brahman is within and without! Some have called it ‘God’, some have called it ‘supreme energy’, some have called it the ‘highest power’. It is that power that has created all matter that we see around us. The universe is a manifestation of that unseen energy ‘Brahman’.
Understanding this basic truth of life can take a very long time. Even while reading this, you might or might not grasp it. This is because understanding Brahman is beyond the mind and intellect, therefore I say it is 100 times more complex than higher mathematics, it is an experience and not a subject of intellectual debate. Just like love, just like joy, just like bliss can only be understood by experience, just like that Brahman is the highest level of experience of “Being”!
The human mind is busy lost in ‘matter’. Indulgence in food, sex, visual pleasures, sound whether pleasant or painful keeps the mind
busy seeking for an unknown satisfaction. But this satisfaction is never attained by focus on matter. When the futility of ‘matter’ is
realized, the human mind turns towards the ‘spirit’ in search of more. That is when the journey really begins. Once the mind recognizes that this journey towards the ‘spirit’ or ‘supreme power’ or ‘supreme energy’ is more juicy than the material pleasures of the world, one starts walking towards the Brahman!
When one is firmly established in this understanding that only ‘Brahman’ is the reality and all this ‘matter’ is just an illusion [as in short-lived], then he has started walking on this spiritual path. This is called ‘Brahmacharya’ or ‘moving in Brahman’. Now while walking on this spiritual path, one starts meditating and spending more time meditating, serving others, in satsang, reading scriptures than before. The peace that is experienced ‘turning inwards’ is not experienced when lost outside in sight, sound, smell, taste & touch. A natural dispassion starts dawning towards the external pleasures. It is not an aversion, it is a natural maturity. Just like once you were
once feverish about your favorite doll or toy car, but soon you matured and now you don’t have any attachments to that doll. There is
no aversion, just a natural dispassion. Similarly, as natural maturity dawns on you.
The intellect matures and recognizes that these material pleasures are just temporary and there is something bigger that is the real purpose of human life! One starts moving inwards, and then comes to a realization “I am not the body”, it is just a part of this matter. I
am beyond the body. This inner realization makes one dispassionate towards one’s own body and the pleasures of the body. Again, there is no aversion, just a natural maturity dawns. This natural maturity propels the mind away from the carnal pleasures of the body towards the inner silence that “I am”. This is a natural phenomenon, it is called celibacy.
Celibacy is not a practice, it cannot be forced on yourself or others. It is a natural happening. When it happens naturally to a couple, they can still be married but celibate! Celibacy is the blossoming into a beautiful flower!