Prepare for a Rewarding Life Ahead

Brahmachariya allows the individual to use his vital energies as an adolescent, or young adult, to prepare for a rewarding life, to develop his mind and talents for his chosen vocation. Brahmachariya is a traditional practice in Saivite Hinduism. The first of the four stages, or ashramas, of life is actually called the "brahmachariya ashrama."

Love (including sex) is one of the legitimate four goals of life according to our religion. Sex is not bad. Its place, however, is properly within the confines of a sanctified marriage. Nor are sex drives unnatural. The goal of the brahmachari and brahmacharini is not to become fearful of sex, but to understand sex and the sexual impulses in a balanced way. During the time of brahmachariya, the goal is to control the sex urges and transmute those vital energies into the brain to gain a great mental and spiritual strength. Yes, this vital life force must be focused on studies and spiritual pursuits. Brahmachariya maintained until marriage helps enable the devotee to merit a good wife or husband and a happy marriage. The Hindu Catechism explains,

When a young virgin man and woman marry and share physical intimacy with each other, their union is very strong and their marriage stable. This is due to the subtle, psychic forces of the human nerve system. Their psychic forces, or nadis, grow together and they form a one body and a one mind. This is the truest marriage and the strongest, seldom ending in separation or divorce. Conversely, if the man or woman have had intercourse before the marriage, the emotional/psychic closeness of the marriage will suffer, and this in proportion to the extent of promiscuity.

Most religions also provide a tradition of monastic life in which young men take lifetime vows of celibacy. The spiritual value of celibacy in the Hindu tradition has long been understood. Many of our greatest spiritual lights were celibate throughout their entire life, including Siva Yogaswami, Sankara and Swami Vivekananda. Others, such as Buddha, Gandhi and Aurobindo, became celibate after a period of marriage. For the individual preparing for monastic life, brahmachariya is essential in harnessing and transmuting the powerful sexual life energies into spiritual and religious concerns.


1. Sex is natural, not bad, but it is best confined to the sanctified marriage.

2. For monastic life, brahmachariya is essential.

A Creed for Saivite Hindus

We could compare the twelve beliefs of our Saivite Creed to the scientific laws governing the creation of molecules, upon which all life, all form, is constructed. Scientific laws express in a capsulated form the basic building blocks of the physical universe. Our twelve beliefs summarize metaphysical reality. Today, study beliefs one through six.


I believe Lord Siva is God, whose Absolute Being, Parasivam,
transcends time, form and space.


I believe Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature of love is the substratum or Primal Substance and Pure Consciousness flowing through all form.


I believe Lord Siva is God, whose immanent nature is the Primal Soul, Supreme Mahadeva, Siva/Sakti, the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer
of all that exists.


I believe that each individual soul is created (through emanation) by Lord Siva and (its uncreated essence: Pure Consciousness and Absolute Being) is identical to Him, and that this identity can be and will be fully realized by all souls when the triple bondage of anava, karma and maya is removed through His Grace.


I believe in three worlds of existence: the First World (Bhuloka or gross plane), where souls take on physical bodies; the Second World (Devaloka or subtle plane), where souls take on astral or mental bodies; and the Third World (Sivaloka or causal plane), where soul bodies, Mahadevas,
exist in their own self-effulgent form.


I believe in the Mahadeva Lord Ganesha, Son of Siva/Sakti,
to whom I must first supplicate before beginning any worship or task.


1. Scientific laws describe the building blocks of the physical universe.

2. Our Creed summarizes metaphysical reality.

These Are the Beliefs of Your Soul

As you study these twelve beliefs do not mistake them for mere theory or one person's idea. They are the revelations of countless realized souls. They are the beliefs of your own soul. As you begin to understand and practice brahmachariya, new light will be shed upon these beliefs, because brahmachariya helps to open the inner mind. And the inner mind is the home of pure intelligence.


I believe in the Mahadeva Lord Muruga, Son of Siva/Sakti,
whose Vel of Grace dissolves the bondages of ignorance.


I believe that religion is the harmonious working together of the three worlds and that this harmony can be created through temple worship, wherein the three worlds become open to one another, and the beings
within them are able to communicate.


I believe in the Law of Karma--that one must personally reap the
effects of all actions he has caused--and that each soul will continue to reincarnate until all karmas are resolved and Moksha,
Liberation, is attained.


I believe that there is no intrinsic evil.


I believe that the performance of Chariya (virtuous and moral living),
Kriya (temple worship) and Yoga (internalized worship and union with Parasivam through Grace of the living Sat Guru) is absolutely necessary
to bring forth the state of Jnana.


I believe in the Panchakshara Mantram, the five sacred syllables
"Na Ma Si Va Ya," as the foremost and essential mantram of Saivism.


1. Study the 12 beliefs daily with renewed interest.

2. Knowledge from within is experiential knowledge.

You Are On the Sadhana Marga

My Sat Guru, Siva Yogaswami, spoke of Saivism as the "Sadhana Marga," "the path of striving," explaining that it is a religion not only to be studied but also to be lived. He taught that much knowledge comes through learning to interpret and understand the experiences of life. Brahmachariya helps us open up the inner faculties so that divine knowledge flows easily and we are blessed with valuable insights.

See God everywhere. This is practice.
First do it intellectually.
Then you will know it.


To avoid the Sadhana Marga is to avoid understanding the challenges of life. We must not fail to realize that each challenge is brought to us by our own actions of the past. Yes, our actions in the past are our life's experiences today. All Hindus accept karma and reincarnation intellectually, but the concepts are not active in their lives until they accept the responsibilities of their own actions and the experiences that follow. In doing so, no blame can fall upon another. It is all our own doing. This is the Sadhana Marga--the path to perfection.

Read quickly through each of the twelve beliefs each day during the time you are studying this course. By doing so you will begin to open the great book of knowledge within yourself. This inner book is unlike any you have ever read. It is sacred and it is within you in the akasha of your superconscious mind. Each day, pray to Lord Muruga to unfold the mysteries of your deep, inner intelligence. Lord Muruga is the God that helps the brahmachari on his way to perfection. He will protect you from temptation and inspire you onward and upward.


Let this wonderful teaching about brahmachariya enter your mind in its fullness day by day as you perform the sadhana of these daily lessons.


1. Avoid conflicting teachings and allow these lessons to impress your mind deeply.

2. Our religion is a Sadhana Marga.

Life Is a Classroom of Experience

Our creed tells us in belief nine: "I believe in the Law of Karma--that one must personally reap the effects of all actions he has caused--and that each soul will continue to reincarnate until all karmas are resolved and Moksha, Liberation, is attained." There is no getting away from our own karma. Eventually all past actions must be faced. The practice of bramachariya in thought, word and deed helps us attain the emotional stability to accomplish this.


Each experience in life offers a challenge. The Siva bhaktar, through Lord Siva's constant grace, is never given a challenge that he is not able to meet and conquer. Always try to remember this. There is another thing that you should try to remember and that is that life, consciousness, goes on and on. We pass through "death" from this incarnation into the inner world, where we also are when we sleep at night. Then we take on a new physical body. This process repeats time and time again until all the lessons that life on the physical plane has to offer have been learned and Moksha has been attained. Moksha is freedom from rebirth in the physical body. One goes on living after that in the astral body and/or the body of the soul on the inner planes.

It is for this reason that we need a vibrant, experiential religion such as Saivism to help us get through all of the karmas, which are our own creation, and to artfully avoid creating more karmas and the many discomforts that come as a result. It is through applying the wisdom our religion offers that this can happen. The tenets of our religion hold true not only in this physical world but in the inner worlds of the Devaloka and Sivaloka, as well.

Each Saivite knows that it is up to him or her to understand and practice the religion properly. No one can do this for someone else. We know this. The practice of brahmachariya, along with a continuing study and deepening understanding of Saivism, will guide the brahmachari and brahmacharini around the boulders and away from the pitfalls of emotions. It will guide them safely along the edges of ravines and through the storms of their own karma as it manifests through others.


1. Life is a classroom of experience based on karma.

2. Our religion is the greatest aid in facing our challenges.

The Yamas and Niyamas, Introduction

Our religion teaches us how to become better people, how to live as spiritual beings on this earth. This happens through living virtuously, following the natural and essential guidelines of dharma. These guidelines are recorded in the yamas and niyamas, ancient scriptural injunctions for all aspects of human thought, attitude and behavior. Through following the yamas and niyamas we cultivate our refined, spiritual nature while keeping the instinctive nature in check. We lift ourself into the consciousness of the higher chakras of love, compassion, intelligence and bliss and naturally invoke the powers and blessings of the divine devas and Mahadevas.

The yamas and niyamas are the most pervasive of Hindu ethical obligations and are thousands of years old. They are recorded in numerous Saivite scriptures, including Saint Tirumular's Tirumantiram, Sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Sri Gorakhnath's Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Yogadarshana, the Sandilya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda and the Varuha Upanishad of the Krishna Yajur Veda. All the texts mentioned cite ten yamas and ten niyamas with the exception of Sage Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Patanjali listed only five yamas and five niyamas, which are the ones often solely listed in modern books on yoga. The fullness of all twenty disciplines is a complete outline for Saivite religious life and the foundation for the practice of yoga.

Purity, compassion, frugal food and patience, forthrightness, truth and steadfastness--these he ardently cherishes. Killing, stealing and lusting he abhors. Thus stands with virtues ten the one who niyama's ways observes....Tapas, japa, serenity and faith in God, charity, vows in Saiva Way, Siddhanta learning, sacrifice, Siva puja and spiritual intelligence--with these ten, the one in niyama perfects his way.


Yama means "to rein" or control. The yamas include such injunctions as non-injury (ahimsa), non-stealing (asteya) and moderation in eating (mitahara), which harness the base, instinctive nature. Niyama, literally "to unleash," indicates the release or expression of refined soul qualities through such disciplines as charity (dana), contentment (santosha) and incantation (japa). In tomorrow's lesson are listed the Sanskrit yamas and niyamas from the Upanishads, with translations & explanations.


1. The yamas and niyamas are the Hindu ethical "restraints and observances."

2. They harness the base, instinctive nature and cultivate the soul nature.


1. Ahimsa: Noninjury
Do not harm others by thought, word or deed.

2. Satya: Truthfulness
Refrain from lying and betraying promises.

3. Asteya: Nonstealing
Neither steal nor covet nor enter into debt.

4. Brahmachariya: Sexual Purity
Control lust by remaining celibate when single and faithful in marriage.

5. Kshama: Patience
Restrain intolerance with people and impatience with circumstances.

6. Dhriti: Steadfastness
Overcome non-perseverance, fear, indecision and changeableness.

7. Daya: Compassion
Conquer callous, cruel and insensitive feelings toward all beings.

8. Arjava: Honesty
Renounce deception and wrongdoing.

9. Mitahara: Moderate Appetite
Neither eat too much nor consume meat, fish, fowl or eggs.

10. Saucha: Purity
Avoid impurity in body, mind and speech.


1. Santosha: Contentment
Seek joy and serenity in life.

2. Tapaha: Austerity
Perform sadhana, penance, tapas and sacrifice.

3. Dana: Charity
Tithe and give creatively without
thought of reward.

4. Astikya: Faith
Believe firmly in God, Gods, guru
and the path to enlightenment.

5. Isvarapujana: Worship
Cultivate devotion through daily
worship and meditation.

6. Mati: Cognition
Develop a spiritual will and intellect with a guru's guidance.

7. Siddhantasravana: Scriptural Study
Study the teachings and listen to the wise of your lineage.

8. Hri: Remorse
Be modest and show shame for misdeeds.

9. Japa: Recitation
Chant holy mantrams daily.

10. Vrata: Sacred Vows
Fulfill religious vows, rules and observances faithfully.

Personal Challenges for Chapter Two

when completed Discipline