Brahmacaryam or sexual continence is the fourth Yama

Post By: Published on: December 9, 2016 Reading time: 2 minutes

School of Yoga explains brahmacaryam (sexual continence), the fourth yama.

Sexual continence or control is the ability to control seminal discharge. However, it does not mean stoppage of sexual activity. Therefore, one can conclude that brahmacaryam is the responsible management of sexual activity with no wastage of seminal discharge.

Procreation is deeply embedded in our psyche. Therefore, the need for sexual activity and attraction to the members of the opposite sex is natural. However, it is easily possible for one to lose control and engage in indiscriminate activity, thus losing seminal fluid.

In yogic parlance, the seminal fluid is considered to contain “ojas”, an ingredient which sheaths the “nāḍi” or pranic energy channels. Consequently, loss of seminal fluid is said to weaken this ojas and inhibit the movement of the kundalini. 

However, in today’s environment, this is not easy. The amount of information available and the easy access to sex makes control difficult.  Therefore, the starting point needs to be further simplified into discrimination control. Here, the ability to be aware, respect and imbibe the dharma or value systems of people of various gender cultural/ religious/ colour/  countries, etc., and ensure acceptability of ideas becomes vital.

With people and business crossing borders, one person’s actions could be interpreted as another person’s insult, resulting in stress. Sensitivity and awareness to the other’s cultural, racial background is one of the most important requirements today. Consequently, the ability to remove sexual bias in transactional relationships is an important personal development requirement.

Correct interpretation of verbal and non-verbal signals is the key to peaceful relationships. So, brahmacaryam is the ability to controls one’s instincts and be able to work with other people’s conditioning and value systems to a common goal.

Points to Ponder on brahmacaryam.

Internal Tags: Dharma (conditioning)Stress and Situational AwarenessStress and pranaAwareness measuresHatha Yoga PradeepikaPatanjali Yoga SutraThe Bhagavat Geeta

External Tags: Consciousness

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  • Diversity in dressing and its impact on people, their opinion of others & relationships.
  • How do you adjust to diversity in religion and value systems?
  • How do you adjust to diversity in age?


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