Featured Books Yoga The Alchemy of Being: Brahmacharya


The third [of the five vows] is asteya, achaurya — nonstealing, honesty.

The mind is a great thief. In many ways it goes on stealing. You may not be stealing things from people, but you can steal thoughts. I say something to you; you go out and you pretend that that is your thought. You have stolen it, you are a thief. You may not be aware what you are doing.

Says Patanjali, “Be in a state of nonstealing.” Knowledge, things — nothing should be stolen. You should be original and should always be aware that “these things don’t belong to me.” Remain empty, it is better, but don’t fill your house with stolen things, because if you go on stealing you will lose all originality. Then you will never be able to find your own space: you will be filled with others’ opinions, thoughts, things. And, finally, they don’t prove of any value. Only that which comes out of you is valuable. In fact only that which comes out of you can you possess, nothing else. You can steal but you cannot possess.

A thief is never at ease, cannot be; he is always afraid of being caught. And even if nobody catches him he knows that this is not his. This remains a constant burden in his being.

Patanjali says, “Don’t be a thief...in any way, in any dimension,” so that your originality can flower. Don’t burden yourself with stolen things and thoughts, philosophies, religions. Allow your inner space to flower.

The fourth is brahmacharya. This word is really very difficult to translate. It has been translated as sexual continence, celibacy. That’s not right, because brahmacharya is a wide word, very vast. Sexual celibacy is a very narrow thing; it is one part of it but not the whole of it. The word brahmacharya means living like a god. The very word means living like a god, living a life divine. Of course, in a life divine, sex disappears.

Brahmacharya is not against sex. If it is against sex then sex can never disappear. Brahmacharya is a transmutation of the energy: it is not being against sex, rather it is changing the whole energy from the sex center to the higher centers. When it reaches to the seventh center of man, the sahasrar, then brahmacharya happens. If it remains in the first center, the muladhar, then sex; when it reaches to the seventh center, then samadhi. The same energy moves. It is not being against it; rather, it is an art how to use it.

A man who is indulging in sex is a suicidal man. He is destroying his own energy. He is like a man who goes to the market, gives his diamonds, and purchases pebbles — and comes home happy that he has made a great bargain! In sex you attain such a little, a tiny moment of happiness, and you lose so much energy. The same energy can give you tremendous blissfulness, but then it has to move on a higher level.

Sex has to be transformed — don’t be against it. If you are against it you cannot transform it, because when you are inimical towards something you cannot understand it. Great sympathy is needed for understanding. If you are inimical, how can you give sympathy? When you are inimical to something, you cannot even observe it: you want to withdraw from your enemy, to escape from the enemy.

Be in friendship with your sex, because it is your energy, with tremendous possibilities hidden in it. It is the divine, raw. Sex is samadhi, raw. It can be transmuted, it can be changed, it can be transfigured.

The whole of Yoga is the path to transfer, to change, the baser metal into the higher metal. The whole art is how to change iron into gold. Yoga is alchemy, the alchemy of your inner being.

Brahmacharya means: trying to understand sex energy, trying to understand how it moves in your being, trying to understand why it gives you pleasure, trying to understand from where pleasure really comes — whether it comes from sexual congress, sex release, or it comes from somewhere else. If you are an observer, soon you will realize and discover it is coming from somewhere else.

When you are in sexual intercourse a deep shock happens to the whole body. It is a shock because so much energy is released; the whole body trembles in a shock. In that shock thoughts stop. It is just like an electric shock.

A man goes mad; you go to the psychiatrist and he gives him an electric shock. For what? Because if you give an electric shock, then for a moment when the shock passes through the mind everything stops.

For example, you are listening to me. Still, thoughts will be there. Then suddenly a bomb explodes here: immediately, there will be no thought. For a second the shock will be too much so that the whole system will stop functioning. Electric shock helps mad people because the shock gives a discontinuity. After the shock they cannot remember what they were before it. The gap.... If they are thinking before that they have become horses — madmen can become anything...if they are thinking that they have become horses just before the shock, after the shock they cannot remember what the idea was with which they were obsessed. Now a new circle starts. Shock helps.

Sexual energy is as electrical as any energy. All energies are electrical, and sex energy is bioelectricity. It comes out of your body. In sex you create energy; by the sexual movement, fantasy, desire, you create energy. The whole energy moves towards muladhar, the sex center, concentrates there; then comes a peak, a buildup; then sudden explosion, a shock all over the body. Then peace follows. This peace is at a very great cost. You are destroying valuable life energy — for nothing.

Brahmacharya is: to understand the whole phenomenon, what is happening. And if by shocks you become peaceful and you attain a little glimpse of happiness...this cannot be eternal. It can only be momentary. And soon the energy will be lost and then you will be frustrated. No, something else has to be found and discovered, something of the eternal, something so that you remain blissful. It cannot be through the shock; it can be only through the transmutation of the energy.

When the same energy moves upwards you become a dam of energy. That is brahmacharya. You go on accumulating energy. The more you accumulate, the higher it rises. Just as in a dam: it will be raining now, and the water level will go higher and higher and higher. But if there is a leakage, then the water level will not go high. Your sexuality is a leakage of your being. If the leakage is not there, the water level goes higher and higher and higher, and a moment comes — then it passes through many centers.

First it comes to the hara; from the muladhar it comes to the second center. At that center you have a feeling of deathlessness; you become aware that nothing dies. Fear disappears. Have you observed, whenever you feel afraid something hits you just near the navel? There is the center of death and deathlessness. When the energy passes to that center, comes to that level, you feel deathless. If somebody even kills you, you know that you are not being killed.

Then the energy goes higher and comes to the third center. At the third center you start becoming very, very peaceful. Have you ever observed that whenever you are peaceful you start breathing from the belly and not from the chest?...because the center of peace is just above the navel. Below the navel is the center of death and deathlessness; above the navel is the center of peace and tensions. If there is no energy you will feel tension; if there is no energy you will feel fear. If there is energy, tension disappears; you feel very, very peaceful, tranquil, calm, quiet, collected.

Then the energy moves to the fourth center, of the heart. There arises love. You cannot love right now, and whatsoever you call love is nothing but sex camouflaged in a beautiful word love. That word is not true to you...cannot be. Love is possible only when energy reaches to the fourth center of the heart. Suddenly you are in love — in love with the whole existence, in love with everything. You are love.

Then the energy moves to the fifth center, in the throat. That center is the center of silence — silence, thought, thinking, speech. Speech, no-speech — both are there. Right now your throat only works to speak. It does not know how to function in silence, how to go into silence. When the energy comes to it, suddenly you become silent. Not that you make any effort, not that you force yourself to be silent — you find yourself to be silent, full of silence Even if you have to speak, you have to make effort. Your voice becomes musical; whatsoever you say becomes poetry a subtle glow in your words, of life. Your words carry silence within them, around them. In fact your silence becomes more pregnant than your words.

Then the energy goes to the sixth center, the third eye. There you find light — awareness, consciousness. That is the point where sleep happens, where hypnosis happens. Have you watched any hypnotizer? He says to fix your eyes to a point. When you fix your two eyes to a point, your third eye goes into sleep. That is just a trick to create sleep in the third eye.

When the energy reaches to the third eye, you feel so full of light...all darkness disappeared, infinite light surrounds you. In fact there is no shadow in you then. The oldest saying in Tibet is, “When a yogi becomes realized in awareness, there falls no shadow of his body.” Don’t take it literally; the body will create a shadow. But deep inside, because there is so much light everywhere.... Light without source! If light is with a source there will be shadow; light without source: there cannot be any shadow.

Llife now has a different meaning and dimension. You move on the earth but you are no longer of the earth; it is as if you fly. You have come nearest to buddhahood. Now the garden is very near; you can feel the fragrance. At this point, for the first time, you become capable of understanding a buddha. Before it, by and by, gradually, fragments happen to you, but not total understanding. But at this point you are close, just near the door. The temple has arrived; a knock, and the door shall open and you yourself will be a buddha. Now, so near and at such close quarters, you for the first time start feeling what understanding is.

Then the energy moves to the seventh, the sahasrar. There it becomes brahmacharya, a life divine. Then you are no longer a man; then you are a god. You have attained to bhagwatta, to divineness. This is brahmacharya.


Osho, Yoga: A New Direction, Talk #7

To continue reading, click here