15 October 2013 - QA 1

Gurudev, it is said that Shankaracharya had experienced the pleasures of life by entering into the body of a king. How then could he be considered celibate? Is celibacy (Brahmacharya) of the body or of the mind?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:

It is of consciousness; the quality of consciousness is celibacy.
Brahma means infinity, and charya means to move. Moving into the infinity is Brahmacharya (celibacy). Identifying with the infinity is really what Brahmacharya is. It is a happening; it happens. That means, you don't find any big pleasure in a physical act to experience the joy because the joy is already there.

Any physical act is done to experience some joy, but if the joy is already there, then why bother with the act. That is what celibacy is.

Body has its cycle. It goes through cycles. Consciousness not getting involved in it is the real skill.