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Dandavats! All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

The Glories of Brahmacarya

Friday, 20 March 2020 / Published in Articles, Tamoharadasa / 8,841 views

By Tamohara dasa

I have seen time and again how devotees who have undergone brahmacari training, and who later take up the reins of householder life, enter the workplace with skills far above those of the average man or woman. It is not that the skills and mentality of the devotional training have no value in the work theatre. On the contrary, the training as given by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada raises the devotee to a level above that of others.

The first thing that a brahmacari must do is exercise self-discipline, as according to the Iskcon temple standards. They must rise early, even though the mind may prefer to stay down for the count. This is no easy matter, especially for teenagers or younger people. They thus learn to rise to the occasion, to do the needful, even if it initially is unpleasant They learn to stave off sense gratification for the sake of a higher goal. The brahmacari thus learns that some things are worth sacrificing for, and this becomes part of his or her mind-set.

Even in regards to a simpler matter, the mind also learns internal time-keeping, such that, even without an alarm, after a while, many automatically rise at just the right time. They learn this skill from our scheduled Iskcon activities.

The brahmacari learns to appreciate the value of putting first and foremost attention on matters of the spirit, and thus the values are properly aligned. In later years, this translates into the ability to separate things which are important from those which can wait or should be neglected. This discriminatory ability serves the devotee well in all walks of life, and establishes the devotees as men of higher values.

One learns to clear the mind and to focus on transcendental matters, and to thus be attentive; skills necessary for success in any program of studies or field of work. These skills are derived from paying attention in class and staying attentive for the full morning program, all for the sake of developing bhakti. One further learns to direct the mind towards the goals of the day, a valuable lesson for anyone, and a skill often hard to attain for those with no such training. Many persons in the work world complain that their minds wander, or that their values become lost in the competitive marketplace.

Self-sacrifice for the cause instills virtue and honesty. Without these, a man cannot be said to have any good character, whether here or in the marketplace. Dedicated people find themselves ahead in the competitions of life. As well, the renunciant learns not to be envious of others’ so-called wealth. Thus, the individual becomes a loyal and dedicated employee, or manager, who is honest and self-motivated.

Devotees learn to memorize and improve their reading skills. In university, should they go to that, or in any competitive marketplace, knowledge and the ability to remember and to read with a discerning eye, are essentials. Sorting out the chaff from the grain is also important.

The brahmacari learns how to control the genitals and the urges of ego by dint of a higher knowledge and taste. This benefits society in general, and elevates the practitioner to that of the wise and self-controlled. Such a person is unlikely to get in trouble with the law over sexual criminality or become addicted to anti-social sexual activities.

The high standards of cleanliness are unsurpassed. This cleanliness goes a long way in the world, and is respected by others.

The brahmacari learns how to get along with others, how to be merciful, how to be organized, how to be humble, how to serve others, how to have faith and devotion to Godhead…the list goes on and on. I hope that others may have some attributes to add to this shortlist.

Brahmacaris learn to tolerate, sleeping on floors, having only a few necessary clothings and possessions, etc. This austerity means that they can be happy anywhere, despite material circumstances. They learn a higher taste that will carry them through many of the difficulties that the world tosses out to us. The brahmacari learns a transcendental set of values that are not dependent upon material circumstances, and thus the individual becomes steady even in the face of some adversity.

Thus, certainly, there is no loss or diminution as a result of bhakti-yoga practice as a youth. On the contrary, valuable mental skills and standards are learned which will never leave the individual but will be helpful even in grihastha life.

Hare Krsna.

All Glories to the Brahmacaris! All Glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Differentiating material and spiritual attachments
The Temple of Jagannath at Puri

2 Responses to “The Glories of Brahmacarya”

  1. varahanarasimha says :

    actually Brahmacari training is a beginning of spiritual life, without renouncing sex desires there is no advancement, the advancement in KC is also shown by the ability to renounce material desires:
    Srila Prabhupada writes SB 3.14.16 purport
    When a man or woman is afflicted by the lust of sex desire, it is to be understood as sinful contamination.

    Thus without this training everything is lost ,Srila Prabhupadas purports are a lifesaver and we offer our obaisences to bring up this issue of Brahmacari life, it should be discussed every day:
    I like to share another one of Srila Prabhupadas purports:SB 2.1.16

    One should leave home and practice self-control. In a sacred place he should bathe regularly and sit down in a lonely place duly sanctified.


    To prepare oneself for the better next life, one must get out of one’s so-called home. The system of varṇāśrama-dharma, or sanātana-dharma, prescribes retirement from family encumbrances as early as possible after one has passed fifty years of age. Modern civilization is based on family comforts, the highest standard of amenities, and therefore after retirement everyone expects to live a very comfortable life in a well-furnished home decorated with fine ladies and children, without any desire to get out of such a comfortable home. High government officers and ministers stick to their prize posts until death, and they neither dream nor desire to get out of homely comforts. Bound by such hallucinations, materialistic men prepare various plans for a still more comfortable life, but suddenly cruel death comes without mercy and takes away the great planmaker against his desire, forcing him to give up the present body for another body. Such a planmaker is thus forced to accept another body in one of the 8,400,000 species of life according to the fruits of the work he has performed. In the next life, persons who are too much attached to family comforts are generally awarded lower species of life on account of sinful acts performed during a long duration of sinful life, and thus all the energy of the human life is spoiled. In order to be saved from the danger of spoiling the human form of life and being attached to unreal things, one must take warning of death at the age of fifty, if not earlier. The principle is that one should take it for granted that the death warning is already there, even prior to the attainment of fifty years of age, and thus at any stage of life one should prepare himself for a better next life. The system of the sanātana-dharma institution is so made that the follower is trained for the better next life without any chance that the human life will be spoiled. The holy places all over the world are meant for the residential purposes of retired persons getting ready for a better next life. Intelligent persons must go there at the end of life, and for that matter, after fifty years of age, to live a life of spiritual regeneration for the sake of being freed from family attachment, which is considered to he the shackle of material life. One is recommended to quit home just to get rid of material attachment because one who sticks to family life until death cannot get rid of material attachment and as long as one is materially attached one cannot understand spiritual freedom. One should not, however, become self-complacent simply by leaving home or by creating another home at the holy place, either lawfully or unlawfully. Many persons leave home and go to such holy places, but due to bad association, again become family men by illicit connection with the opposite sex. The illusory energy of matter is so strong that one is apt to be under such illusion at every stage of life, even after quitting one’s happy home. Therefore, it is essential that one practice self-control by celibacy without the least desire for sex indulgence. For a man desiring to improve the condition of his existence, sex indulgence is considered suicidal, or even worse. Therefore, to live apart from family life means to become self-controlled in regard to all sense desires, especially sex desires. The method is that one should have a duly sanctified sitting place made of straw, deerskin and carpet, and thus sitting on it one should chant the holy name of the Lord without offense, as prescribed above. The whole process is to drag the mind from material engagements and fix it on the lotus feet of the Lord. This simple process alone will help one advance to the highest stage of spiritual success.

    to be noted is:Therefore, it is essential that one practice self-control by celibacy without the least desire for sex indulgence. For a man desiring to improve the condition of his existence, sex indulgence is considered suicidal, or even worse.

    Even in Grhastha life , brahmacari-grhastha sex is only for having KC children. Srila Prabhupada told devotees in Vrindavan husband and wife should not live in the same room, that is not vedic, in vedic soceity women live in the inner part of the house.
    And for other ashrama there is no interest in sex indulgence…death is knocking at everyones door- are we going to be abel to remember Krsna or will we think of our wives and children etc– renounciation may sound bitter , but this is the real medicin ,

    anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam
    anukulyena krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama

    “One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krsna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.”

  2. Mahaksa Das (KCS) says :

    Please accept my humble obeisances,
    dear devotees.

    Very encouraging article, I would like to mention two points,

    About the brahmacarya studies, when I was brahmacari I regularly read books about horses. And some grhastas had that misunderstanding that brahmacari should study just scriptures and were complaining about me, but from bhaktisatri study, specifically from Sri Isopaniosad verse 11 I have learned a bit different thing :

    “Only one who can learn the process of nescience and that of transcendental knowledge side by side can transcend the influence of repeated birth and death and enjoy the full blessings of immortality.”
    The path of religion is actually meant for self-realization, and economic development is required just to maintain the body in a sound, healthy condition. A man should lead a healthy life with a sound mind just to realize vidya, true knowledge, which is the aim of human life.

    We see from our gurukulas and temples where brahmacaris have study both aspects of life side by side that later as a grhastas they have less struggle with maintaining and therefore their spiritual life continues more smoothly. For example Krishna learnt to valuate gems in gurukul because He was expected in future to have occupational duty of ksatriya. Oposite example, last month I got information that one sankirtan party use to buy karmi bread so they safe time by not cooking and distribute more books, and claim they are more focused on spiritual things than practical things..

    And the second point, we many times hear we should rise early, of course we should rise early and how problematic it is. Actually it becomes problematic and painful when one goes sleep late. That is whole point. When I go sleep 8pm my body can’t sleep more than eight hours max nine. The body wants to wake up and to do something because eight hours is already enough. Those who go sleep 9, 10, or even 11 have difficult mornings. We have saying: “Morning bird jump farer.”

    And more over 4am I see so many karmis are wake up and 6am they already work. So they must go sleep early, that means they have discipline. Buses running, trains, powerplants, cooking houses. And on a village if one does not wake up early he is doomed, because cows gives most milk very early. So one work same as his neighbor but because wake up late — half production.

    From health point, it was discovered that a different human organs get repair during the specific hours in the night, for example the hearth is being repaired at 10pm but only if body is in sleeping mode. So if one does not sleep already the hearth does not get its rest time and then one feels difficulties. So there is another saying: “One hour of sleep before midnight is as powerful as two hours after midnight.”

    So show me a person who goes sleep 8pm and wakes up 8am. Maybe sick or really overtired person otherwise body does not want to sleep too long.

    Your servant Mahaksa Das

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