The Yamas: Brahmacharya - Follow the Universal self inside

by Maarten van Huijstee

The Yamas: Brahmacharya - follow the universal self ride

I will reflect on the fourth Yama “Brahmacharya”. The Yamas are an integral part of the path of Yoga and are seen as the natural laws of life which are guiding our action, words and thoughts.

The word Brahmacharya stems from two Sanskrit words; Brahman and Charya. Brahman is referred to as the Universal Self, the sacred intelligence inside everyone and everything. Charya means behaviour, conduct, to follow and go after. So loosely translated Brachmacharya means “follow the universal self inside”. 

That is off course easier said then done. Because where do we find this Universal Self and hasn’t this been the quest of humanity for a long time?

In answering these large questions for myself I try to zoom out and go inwards at the same time. So where did we as humans look to solve the mystery of the Universe? At first we started looking above and created all kinds of gods for things we couldn't explain or understand. Then we started looking outwards for answers. In studying and measuring nature we slowly started believing that science could give us a complete understanding of the vast world outside ourselves. But the further we look to more complex it gets. Maybe it's now time for us to go inwards and discover the wonders of nature inside ourselves? Because isn't nature the source we all stem from? Isn't the mind and body we inhabit governed by the same universal principles and intelligence as the rest of nature? 

Well if that is the case, and I think it is, we only have to go inwards and discover ourselves to truely understand nature and the Universe. So in my understanding of Brahmacharya it is up to us to save our energy for the journey inwards and live a complete and natural life.


The following verse is a personal reflection of the journey inwards:

Who says words with my mouth?
Who looks out of my eyes?
Who listens with my ears?
Who knows what I'm to do?

Look inside to find yourself.
Listen to your inner wisdom.
Follow your nature.
Be guided.

Enter the effortless state of flow.
Saving all energy for life.
Saving all energy for love.



About Maarten van Huijstee

Maarten is first and foremost a human being and proud father to Philip and Alexander and dedicated husband to Anna. Despite his diverse career in marketing and advertising, founding a few companies, and an extensive list of chairs on numerous boards and committees, there has always been one thing Maarten’s heart has consistently been trying to tell him..