Brahmacharya is not some kind of a fad or fashion that you take on.
The word brahmacharya is made up of two words: brahman, the divine or ultimate and charya, the path. Brahmacharya means “to be on the path of the ultimate”, which means you have no personal agendas. You do what is needed. You have no personal ways of deciding where you should go in your life, what you should do, or what you like and dislike; all these things are simply taken away from you. If you do this unwillingly, it can be an absolute torture. If you do it willingly, it makes your life wonderful and beautiful because there is nothing to bother you anymore. You do what is needed; life is simple.
Once you have given yourself this, you do not have to bother about the spiritual path or worry about your spirituality. It is taken care of. You do not have to do anything about it.
So should somebody take an official stand to be on the path of the divine? There is no such thing — everybody should be on the path of the divine. But it is the influence of body, emotions and thoughts that is so strong in a human being that they cannot stay there. So they are initiated in a particular way. A certain sadhana and transformation of energy is there. It is just turning energies into a completely different direction. That is what brahmacharya initiation is.
It is not about changing clothes. The clothes are for the sake of society so that people support them to be a brahmachari. If somebody pulls out a cigarette, he will offer it to the person sitting next to him. But if he sees brahmachari’s clothes, he will not offer it. Even if he wants to light it, he will go away and light it. So the clothes and appearance are the means to get the support from society. Their brahmacharya is not in their clothes; their brahmacharya is in the way their energies have turned.
Brahmacharya is not some kind of a fad or fashion that you take on. It is a way of giving up your personal agendas, where you do not decide where to be, what to do, how to be, nothing; you just drop that.
Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, an internationally renowned spiritual leader, is a visionary, humanitarian, author, poet and speaker. He can be contacted at www.ishafoundation.org