Brahmacárya. The First Stage Of Learning.
by Sandra Radja
Ever seen a documentary about someone famous and they say “oh I always knew I wanted to be a …. since I was 4 years old.” Smug kids. So sure and definite I would wonder how that can be. How can you pop into this world and know what you want to do immediately? And the rest of us are still scratching our heads at what we want to be when we grow up at the age of 40.
Well apparently they must have been following their Dharma in a previous life to be boosted into this one with clarity. Dr Svoboda quoted Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita and paraphrased as ‘it is better to follow one’s Dharma and die than to not follow it, and if you do follow your Dharma, it is a path that will sustain you, your family, your culture and all things related to you and you will be reborn with your Prana pointed in the right direction.’
Dharma is aligned with the first stage of life called Brahmacárya. This stage starts from about 3 months before conception to around the age of 25, when it is believed that we have come into our full mental faculties. It is around 3 months before conception because of the long distance the ovum and sperm need to make it to their first date. It wasn’t expanded on more than that when it was mentioned but that idea alone is quite magical, to think that backseat rendezvous was pre-planned by destiny….oh how romantic!
So that first stage of life is about beginnings and ideally, if you have created a habit of following your Dharma in lifetimes before, you might have the fortune of having parents and an environment which increase your knowledge and skill base to bounce into action in adulthood from your childhood teachings. But if not, don’t fret. You can create new beginnings at the beginning of the year (preferably in Spring), the beginning of the month (preferably at the new moon) and most importantly, because it’s kind of right in front of us, the beginning of a new day.
Brahmacárya, in this context, relates to connection with the supreme reality, and the best time to do this is about an hour before dawn to about mid morning. This is your daily chance to renew, which is why the yogis like to spend their time meditating during this time. Dr Claudia Welch also likes to mention often in lectures, that it is the best time to create a new narrative for your childhood traumas, since this time of the day relates to conception/early childhood, meaning if you spend this time calming your breath and remaining as still as you can with ideal devotion to a higher spirit and feeling all good things about yourself, wonderful magical things can happen in your mind transforming the stuck loops you've been in and opening a new story. I reckon it’s worth a shot for 20 minutes a day.
Create a new years resolution, start a new project in the springtime, meditate in the mornings and plan your day according to what feels right. The Prana in your organism will follow the external Prana and good things will happen.
Dr Svoboda referenced the Tao Te Ching as an excellent reference for understanding Dharma. And as a quirky side note he mentioned one of his favourite passages in the book of changes - Ruling a kingdom is like cooking small fish
"Unless you want to turn it into a mass of bones and flesh you can only turn it once, and you can’t cook it too long and you can’t cook it at the wrong temperature – it must be done exactly right. So in ruling a great kingdom, which could be the external kingdom or the internal kingdom of you, it has to be done with just small changes performed at just exactly the right time. We don’t want dramatic things to be happening. Dramatic things will happen automatically. So make small changes, at just the right moment, and those small changes will have the right profound effects."