In the previous video, I discussed the Yamas: https://youtu.be/vdmHP5WmEGA After discussing Brahmacharya and Ahimsa, there were questions from several people specifically about how to continue the yogic path when NOT practicing celibacy or vegetarianism. This is a common question.
Let me try to answer it from an energetic standpoint. Very briefly, there are 3 gunas called satva, rajas and tamas. We experience all three gunas during the course of a day. Sleep is tamasic. Physical work is rajasic. Balanced, centered peacefulness is satvic. However, rajas and tamas can become imbalanced, pathological and detrimental. Rajas can become draining agitation and restlessness. Tamas can become heavy and dark inertia. With those physics in mind, let us look at sex and meat.
The Yama called Brahmacharya is often taught as celibacy, depending on the religious sect or spiritual lineage. Brahmacharya does not translate as celibacy. Let’s look at the words “Brahma’ and ‘acharya’. Brahma is the infinite Creative Force. Acharya is a master of a subject. Brahmacharya can be practiced as becoming masters over our Creative Infinite Power. When we engage in excessive lust we can become agitated, distracted and drained of prana (life force) due to outgoing elevated rajasic energy. When we ejaculate too often, we are drained of ojas, a very precious physiologic substance that is needed for superior physical performance, mental stability, immunity and spiritual fuel. Ejaculation can produce outer physical children or that same sexual energy can be directed towards a more balance state of inspiration and spiritual energy to produce spiritual fuel on your dharmic path.
Secondly, let us look at the misconception that all yogis must be vegetarians based off of the Yama called ahimsa or non-violence. Protein is important. When proper protein can be consumed without the death of another sentient creature, why not opt for non-violence. Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, a branch of the Vedas, discusses the consumption of animal products in great detail to treat medical imbalances. Sometimes meat is needed for health reasons, but let’s put that aside too and discuss meat from the stand point of energetics. Meat, eggs and many other foods produced excessive tamas (darkness, heaviness, blockages, inertia). The effects of imbalanced tamas can be felt physically as well as mentally and spiritually.
Yogis strive for optimized energy, ideal balanced states of prana. Meat, lust and excessive ejaculation can be insidious paths to energetic derailment. They are all actions (karmas). The yamas help us choose your karmas more wisely.