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Celibate Life or Brahmacharya: Valentine's Day without a Partner

Is a celibate life or practising brahmacharya possible? There are still many things to do on Valentine's Day even without a partner. Read on.

For someone living a celibate life (brahmacharya), February 14 could be viewed like any other day. Men and women with a broken heart or who have yet to experience romantic love may view Valentine's Day with distaste, indifference, or hopeful optimism. Nevertheless, people without a partner can still celebrate this occasion like those with romantic relationships without being envious or lonely.

Things to do on Valentine's Day without a partner

So what if you are alone on February 14? Millions of people do not have a partner -- and most are not complaining. Only a fraction of the world's population can spend lavishly for this event. What is the best thing to do? Set a date with yourself without necessarily going over the budget. Relish your time alone by:

You can also get involved in a charitable cause that you like (e.g., visiting an orphanage, teaching illiterate adults, participating in a medical mission, etc.). You may also want to help a loved one or a friend write a love letter or a poem for the one he or she admires. Kindness to others on Valentine's Day and on a daily basis certainly offers a reward by helping you feel better about yourself.

Having a celibate life -- Benefits of celibacy or Brahmacharya

In Hinduism, according to Sri Swami Sivananda, celibacy or brahmacharya is the "conduct by which you attain or reach Brahman (God) ... absolute freedom from sexual thoughts and desires. ... It is control of all the senses in thought, word and deed." Such a vow promotes mental and spiritual development.

Though the usual commercial meaning of Valentine's Day highlights merging carnal and material satisfaction, celibates may choose to wallow in self-pity for not having an intimate partner or celebrate the freedom they enjoy for not having one.

Sivananda says that brahmacharya results in having "inner strength and peace of mind. ... It helps to conserve physical and mental energy ... a true celibate possesses tremendous energy, a clear brain, gigantic will-power, bold understanding, retentive memory and good Vichara Sakti (power of enquiry)."

In "Life Without Sex?" (n.d.), Claudia Cummins explains that celibacy is in line with yoga philosophy that teaches the "principles of truth and nonviolence." Abstinence helps transform a human being's "most primitive instinctual energies into a deeper, brighter vitality that promises good health, great courage, incredible stamina, and a very long life." She further writes that celibacy discourages promiscuity that "often leads to secrecy, deceit, anger, and suffering. " The nonprofit organization Celibrate says a sex-free life results in:

Vow of celibacy -- Staying true to a life without sex beyond Valentine's Day

Recognizing that lust "is difficult to eradicate," Sivananda and Cummins provide measures on how to continue observing the vow of celibacy. These include:

Choose to be happy even without a partner on Valentine's Day

Celibate life or brahmacharya may seem to be an impossible feat for many people. Yet, it can be done. Thus, those without a partner need not be depressed.

Depending on one's belief or perspective, celibacy is instrumental in achieving higher personal goals. For the spiritual, it serves as the way towards holiness or perfection. For others, it helps overcome the fear of being alone. For those who have lived a life without sex because of a broken relationship or a series of sad affairs, celibacy spells freedom from pain. As Whitney Houston sings, "I'd rather be alone than unhappy" -- even on Valentine's Day.

Written by Leann Zarah (

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