The Potency of Being a Brahmachari
Questioner: Namaskaram, Sadhguru. Powerful beings like Hanuman and Adi Shankaracharya did phenomenal work in their lives, and people credit that to their brahmacharya. What is the potential of being a brahmachari?Sadhguru: If you become a brahmachari, one fantastic thing is, at least you save one life. The next thing is, of course, you do not produce another brat like you. These are the tangible benefits!
What does brahmacharya mean? The word “Brahman” can be looked at in many ways. Essentially, Brahman means a limitless presence of the source of creation. Brahma also means the Creator. In this culture, the Creator does not sit in Heaven. The Creator has invested himself in every atom in existence, and occupies a large part of it. Within an atom, over 99.99999 percent is empty space. So the actual atom, that is the structure or particles of the atom, is less than .00001 percent. The rest of it is empty.
The same proportion applies to the cosmos: over 99.99999 percent is empty space. Proportionally, there are only a few stars, planetary systems, and so on. Largely, the cosmos is empty. Modern science is struggling to explain a dimension that does not fit into the logical framework of our mind. They are trying to describe it as dark energy, empty space. They are saying “this is nothing but…”
We said, “Brahma.” When we referred to it as a description, we said it is Shiva; that means it is no-thing. When we referred to it in terms of potential, we called it Brahma. What is Shiva, became Brahma. What was just empty space, became the source of creation.
Brahmacharya means you want to liquidate the limited quantities of physicality that you are in, so that it will move towards Brahma, the source of creation. If you penetrate that which is the source of creation, naturally, you move towards that which we refer to as Shiva – that which is not.
Why do we want to go there? Because once you are trapped in a boundary, something within you is naturally longing to go beyond it. This longing is not about expanding the boundary. However much boundary you have, it wants to go further. The longing is to become limitless. Anything that is created cannot be limitless. Only the uncreated is limitless. This uncreated dimension of life is called Shiva.
Brahmacharya means you have laid a path towards Brahman – the source of creation, so that you can transit into a dimension which is dimensionless, called Shiva. When you use the words Brahma or Shiva, people immediately associate them with a certain religion. But that’s not so. It is simply the traditional language of the country.
Another dimension of brahmacharya is like this: If you get into a rocket, the idea is to break all existing limitations and go to another dimension. It needs an enormous amount of fuel. And as the rocket is going up, it is dropping weight. If it carried the same weight throughout, it would never have enough fuel to go all the way.
Let’s say, you have to go to the office, you could do it in a TVS Moped. Or you could do it in a car, but you would need more fuel. Or you could do it in a helicopter which uses much more fuel. But now if you want to use a rocket, it consumes thousands of times more fuel before it even leaves the ground. But you don’t use a rocket to go to your office. It is meant to break all the existing limitations and go to another dimension.
Similarly, to just go to office, come home, and crib about this and that every day, you need a certain level of energy. But now if you want to not even go to Brahman but use Brahman as a walkway to the Divine, you need lots of energy. When you need that kind of energy, you need to look at what the most energy-dissipating processes in your life are. All those things need to be contained. And as you go, you must drop as much weight as you can. You keep dropping your ideas, your philosophies, everything.
You may have heard of Parvati’s sadhana. Parvati is a princess, but she wants to marry Shiva. Shiva dismisses her and says, “Get some man. All you need is a man.” She says, “No, I want to woo you.” She knows dressing up in front of him and flaunting herself is not going to work. She understands it needs intensity of sadhana. So she sits there. He looks at her and dismisses her, because her level of sadhana – “Aum Namah Shivaya” – does not mean a thing to him.
She realizes, “He is laughing at me because I am concerned about my body, because I cover myself and eat food.” So she gives up food. She only eats two leaves a day to sustain the body, and uses another two leaves to cover herself. So they call her Dwiparna – two leaves. Her mother Meena is getting high blood pressure. One thing is her daughter is sitting in the jungle, and her body is wasting away. How to get her married when she is becoming like a skeleton? Another thing that Meena is concerned about is that Parvati shed her clothes.
Shiva still looks unimpressed. Then Parvati drops one leaf. She eats only one leaf and uses another one to cover her being a woman. Then she is called Ekaparna – one leaf. He is still unimpressed. So she stops eating altogether and removes this one leaf she had to cover herself. She sits naked and without food, simply absorbed. Then she is called Aparna – without leaf. Nothing to cover, nothing to sustain, all cycles broken. This is brahmacharya. She later got married – that is a different matter.
Crossing the Physical Dimension
Brahmacharya means to power yourself in such a way that all cycles are broken – to such an extent that the biology and other things around you cannot hold you down. Everything that dissipates energy is broken. It is like the burning of fuel in a rocket – all energy that is being created is going in one direction. That is why it goes up the way it does. Suppose the energy went in five different directions, the rocket would not go anywhere. Similarly with you – if everything becomes unidirectional, then you will go somewhere. When it goes in five different destinations, obviously, it is not interested in going anywhere.
You know there are stories in the Mahabharat and Ramayana, where, if you try to kill one man, and one drop of his blood falls, one more guy comes up. If a hundred drops fall, a hundred guys come up. They are talking about a human being who has made himself so potent that every drop of his blood functions like semen. Every drop that falls can recreate another being. This is the significance of this dimension of life.
If a single cell can make another human being, it must have immense potential. Something that is that potent could be transformed into great fuel if you want to shoot up and go beyond the physical dimension, which is a power by itself. If you want to cross the physical dimension, you need to engage your body in a completely different way. That is why brahmacharya, though there are many more aspects to it.
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