Yesterday I happened to notice a Lululemon bag on the floor at our school that had BRAHMACHARYA emblazoned on the side. My first thought was “Yeah, right. Are they serious?” Turns out (as usual) I was not the only person to think that.
On the Lululemon blog (yes, I actually looked at their blog and no, I am not giving Lululemon a link on even this poorly trafficked blog), Sandy Wei gives praise for brahmacharya:
“If it weren’t for Brahmacharya, I’d be eating greasy Church’s Chicken while refusing to do much else except play with puppies and take selfies with said chicken and puppies. Brahmacharya has been the most impactful yama in my everyday life. It reminds me to practice moderation and non-excess, thereby consciously creating a better balance in mind and body.”
“I took this powerful opportunity to take action. I changed my diet, I applied portion size control and I took on my first 30-day challenge at the gym, where I began the process of learning to love to sweat. As a result, I learned to respect my body and my mind in more ways than I thought possible. Subsequently, I slowly gained balance in my life which, to my surprise, opened me up to new adventures and discoveries.”
Sandy, no one can deny that your newfound self-control and moderation is a wonderful and praiseworthy achievement. Congratulations, and keep up the awesome work. But please call your newfound self-awareness what it is, because it is by no means brahmacharya.
Brahmacharya has several accepted definitions: sexual fidelity to one partner (husband or wife); celibacy as a pre-requisite for spiritual practice; celibacy as an integral part of a spiritual practice; the student phase in the Hindu religion; conduct that leads towards realizing Brahman, or Absolute Consciousness. Any of these will do – it is a philosophical term, for a stage in spiritual practice, and yes, it does matter how it is used. So, out of respect for a several thousand year old tradition, please try doing a little homework next time. The one billion Hindus around the world will thank you for it. And that’s a lot of thank you’s.
Talk about gratification… 🙂