Nityananda conducts our morning sadhana at the temple. A portion of that responsibility entails reading a passage from the sacred “Bhagavad Gita.” He read today’s verse 17.14 which I find relevant and practical. 

“Austerity if the body consists in worship of the Supreme Lord, the brahmanas, the spiritual master, and superiors like the father and the mother, and in cleanliness, simplicity, celibacy and non violence.” 

I am tempted to spell out right here the excellent purpose by Srila Prabhupada. 

“The Supreme Godhead here explains the different kinds of austerity and penance. First, He explains the austerities and penances practiced with the body. One should offer, or learn to offer, respect to God or to the demigods, the perfect and qualified brāhmaṇas , and the spiritual master and superiors, such as father, mother, or any person who is conversant with Vedic knowledge. They should be given due respect. One should practice cleaning oneself externally and internally and one should learn to become simple in behaviour. He should not do anything that is not sanctioned by the spiritual injunction. He should not indulge in sex outside of married life, for sex is sanctioned in the scriptures only in marriage, not otherwise. This is called celibacy. These are penances and austerities as far as the body is concerned.

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