The concept of Brahmacharya.

This post will make sense to those of you who have some insight into Yoga Philosophy.
Brahmacharya often translated as celibacy is one of the yamas(or observances/ code of conduct) of Patanjali’s Ashtanga or 8 limbed path of Yoga. Simply saying celibacy however doesn’t seem to do justice to what is being conveyed through the concept of Brahmacharya, and according to me it has some profound meaning behind it.
I think that a mismanagement or misunderstanding of Brahmacharya is what has caused many of the scandals that one hears about in the yoga world. Even apparently highly accomplished yogi’s managed to get stained, the reason is that it is a constant practice, no matter how highly accomplished one is in ones practice, there is always room to slip if we are not vigilant.

I personally do not believe in suppression and am a big advocate for complete expression. Does an insistence on a modest/prudish attire that gives away as little of the body as possible actually indicate an underlying fear of our incapability at self control guised under the label of respect? One must use one’s own inner compass and many things need to be taken into consideration and refined according to who we are and in line with our personality and stage of growth. Apart from that, one must consider what is the Ashrama or stage of life we are in? If we are in the Grihasta Ashrama, it means that we are in the stage of our lives where we are meant to create and procreate, create a family and live the worldly life.. but if in this stage we try to suppress our natural instincts, that’s where the problems start. Now some people can be naturally inclined towards Brahmacharya, so then it’s a not a problem at all because it is not forcefully induced.
The Tantric way, the definitely more difficult path which requires great strength of character and a highly developed practice appeals to me. It is not at all about turning away from one’s desires or suppressing them but confronting them, then holding the reins in one’s own hands.
Brahmacharya in both action and thought boils down to a strong command over our desires (certainly not limited to one’s sexual desire but any sensorial pleasure, like food, beverage etc.) so that one is not helpless in the face of our desires, but we come to them with purpose, understanding and an ability to deal with them as well as the added repercussions of having them fulfilled.
To an extent, Brahmacharya paves the path to Vairagya or non-attachment.

Can we smell the coffee brewing in the morning, appreciate the aroma thoroughly but not once think of drinking it?
Can we then one day decide to drink the coffee and have that experience add great joy and pleasure to that moment in our lives, but not be enslaved to a craving for a repeat of that pleasure the next day? Can we have just one bit of dessert or those salty chips then stop? Can we be apparently provocative if that is what our expression requires at that moment, but at the same time be free of temptation? Can we spend two months by ourselves in the countryside, reflecting on our true nature and have no sexual thoughts cross our mind? Upon our return to our beloved, can we then make love with such intensity and passion that the Gods themselves descend from the heavens to bow to the power of our sexual expression. Can we take time to understand what sexual union really is, beyond the surface? Can this sexual union then become a pathway to our spiritual awakening instead of becoming a sensory bondage that often brings with it emotional turmoil in the form of heartache, jealousy, insecurity, hurt from not having our love reciprocated or fear of losing our partner?

Can we love truly and then simply let go? Can we take responsibility for our desires and take care that no other is harmed, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually in our pursuit of them? Can we choose a partner and stop considering other options? Can we be so open minded and accepting of other peoples expression that nothing can scandalize us but at the same time be firmly established in our own values? Can we strongly desire getting that perfect handstand, and with equal ease give it no importance? Can we, for moments at a time forget whether we are a man or a woman and just be? Can we embrace that both the sexes exist within us?

And finally can we live this life fully and cherish completely the desire to live we wake up with everyday, but at the same time be ready to die any moment?

Patanjali says in Sadhana Padah
2.38 || Brahmacarya pratisthayam virya labah||
Upon the establishment of Brahmacharya, power is attained.

I am not claiming to be accomplished myself, but I am on the path and at the start of the realisation of all the things that this concept stands for and how it can lead to clarity and contentment.

Much Love,
T

Re-aligning

Drawing as an exercise to realign to the self.

 

 












The concept of Brahmacharya.

This post will make sense to those of you who have some insight into Yoga Philosophy.Brahmacharya often translated as celibacy is one of the yamas(or observances/ code of conduct) of Patanjali’s Ashtanga or 8 limbed path of Yoga. Simply saying celibacy however doesn’t seem to do justice to what is being conveyed through the concept […]

Weeping willow

For years, we lived in her majestic presence. Gracefully she would sway in the breeze and allow secrets to ripple through her hair, making music as through a harp. She listened quietly to our dreams as we stared at the sunlight streaming through. And when the storms came, she stood strong and bravely took on […]

Weeping willow

tara-goswami-weeping-willow

For years, we lived in her majestic presence.

Gracefully she would sway in the breeze and allow secrets to ripple through her hair, making music as through a harp.

She listened quietly to our dreams as we stared at the sunlight streaming through.

And when the storms came, she stood strong and bravely took on the lashes from the forces. The next morning she would stand bruised but tall, and so she reminded us of the inevitable ways of nature.. having faced the onslaught so courageously, she emerged more beautiful still.

When disease came over her, she did not complain, having stood all her life, she gently lay down one fine day, to her final rest.
Leaving behind a mark and many quiet lessons in our lives, that would remain forever.

Weeping Willow.

Sauce Lloron.














The act of drawing

Drawing as performance. Drawing is an action. On repetition, it creates a doorway to transcendental spaces.

Process

In the whole act of creation, the process; from the first conception to the final birth is where the art is. The process, when lived with full awareness has a breath taking beauty.  An active participation with a state of full absorption to the exclusion of all else. In this moment, I could die, with […]

On creation and synchronicity.

A pulsating desire fuels me to create. It hasn’t always been like this. This is a recent occurrence in my life, it is as it were, some elements aligning themselves to give rise to certain motions. It is only now, slowly revealing itself to me, and I am yet to understand it completely. My dreams […]

The act of drawing

Drawing as performance.
Drawing is an action.
On repetition, it creates a doorway to
transcendental spaces.















Reality

9th November 2016 Trump becomes president.  Sudden demonetization in India. The world turned upside down, it seems. Historical moment. Trumpeting victory. Winners and losers. Bank notes and helter skelter. Everything is going to change they say, but to me Reality seems unperturbed.. as always. Unchanging and ever true. I watch the rhythms of Shiva and […]

Bathe me in your light.

The best mornings are the ones that look like this. Falling out of bed and into the studio, without breaking the dream.  

Process

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-14-50-48

In the whole act of creation, the process; from the first conception to the final birth is where the art is. The process, when lived with full awareness has a breath taking beauty.  An active participation with a state of full absorption to the exclusion of all else. In this moment, I could die, with no regret of the future or of the past for just having lived that moment to its fullness.

The life of the artist, then is a string of these complete moments from the process of creation.  So it is irrelevant really,  whether you give form, or word. Whether you create the most complex painting or just stand in one spot, staring at another spot. If you reached that moment of “death with no regret” or complete absorption, which in turn changed something in you forever, your art is complete.

These moments, are a result of an urgent sense of self inquiry, or self expression with a specific trajectory. When they come again and again, over a sustained period of time, without loosing focus or drive. They lead to a clearer understanding of the driving force behind that urgency and when and if you are able to share it and touch another, in an unspoken, indescribable sort of a way, because somewhere deep down they have that same urgency or yearning too, some may be in touch with it and some may not.. That, then becomes the masterpiece, which is the life of the artist.

On creation and synchronicity.

A pulsating desire fuels me to create. It hasn’t always been like this. This is a recent occurrence in my life, it is as it were, some elements aligning themselves to give rise to certain motions. It is only now, slowly revealing itself to me, and I am yet to understand it completely. My dreams are those of creations, moving and taking on a life of their own and I wake with the intense desire to act out those creations in the physical realm. I am being guided, beyond my will by a primal force.

A few weeks ago, for some reason I researched the hymn of creation from the Rig Vedas. Now, I have no prior knowledge of the Rig Vedas or of this particular hymn or sukta – The Nasadiya Sukta and cannot really say why or how I came to search it out. But somehow I came to look it up and then I found myself reading it aloud, over and over again. Unable to comprehend it fully, for the translation wasn’t the clearest.  I reached out for help to my teacher, who is adept in Sanskrit with a plea to help me understand the essence of the hymn, but she said she had neither time nor enough knowledge to help me. A few days later, a book found it’s way to me – Ritual art of India. The first page I turned, contained the Nasadiya Sukta in a beautiful translation. I was overwhelmed to tears.

In the background of the whole process of creation is the Primal Matter pulsating with its own life, vibrating with inherent force, seeded with potentialities. Creative heat, starting a new vibration in the Primal Matter, gives rise to creative desire, the will-to-be which acts as the seed of mind, the imaginative principle, and from this follows the entire series of creations of visible, tangible forms.’ – Nasadiya Sukta, Rig Veda.

Reality

untitled-2

9th November 2016

Trump becomes president.  Sudden demonetization in India.

The world turned upside down, it seems.
Historical moment.
Trumpeting victory.
Winners and losers.
Bank notes and helter skelter.
Everything is going to change they say,
but to me Reality seems unperturbed.. as always.
Unchanging and ever true.
I watch the rhythms of Shiva and Shakti as I move across the sky.
Dreams of delicious dives into infinity.

Blissful unawareness,
Awareness brings Bliss.

Our best way is for each to live his own Truth.