Brahmacharya in modern life

The concept of Brahmacharya was traditionally conceived of as adhering to celibacy. However, Brahmacharya can also be interpreted in a modern context as referring to the concept of moderation.

Modern life is defined by excess, shored up primarily by the capitalistic modern day practices of marketing, consumerism and planned obsolescence. The focus is on accruing, doing more, getting more out of something.

Even in yoga, the instagram craze has fuelled a generation of yogis who attempt to outdo each other by doing the most outrageous poses, practising in the latest line of yoga wear or attempting to get the next best shot of an asana that will hopefully go viral.

For the layman, life is often filled with the intoxicating success of flaunting the excess of ‘friends’ on Facebook, the acquisition of more things and items, engaging in a dizzying array of experiences that are a means to an ends, rather than an ends in itself.

The concept of moderation, captured in the notion of Brahmacharya can be applied to give a deeper perspective on material acquisition and in our entire worldview. The idea of not going to extremes, and of constantly reflecting on whether one needs to overdo things in a bid to feel or seem better can perhaps allow individuals to lead a more fulfilling life.  

– Audrey