(Brahmacarya): “Worshiping the Supreme,” “living in Brahman,” “living under the tutelage of Brahman,” or “following Brahman.” It is sometimes translated as “to live a life of holiness and worship.” It is the fourth yama (moral restriction) recommended by Patanjali. There are essentially two ways to understand brahmacharya:
- In conventional Indian Hinduism, brahmacharya was the attitude of renouncing all sexual activity.
- In Tantra Yoga, brahmacharya means sexual continence, the control of sexual energy.
It is also understood as self-restraint, celibacy, and “chastity in thought, word, and deed.” Brahmacharya is a general directive to cultivate an excellent level of restraint and control in life. Read more about the yama here.