Brahmacharya – Introduction
There are many techniques in Hindu scriptures, ancient books about increasing the efficiency of the person in mental, physical, or spiritual sector. Most of these techniques were used in ancient time to awaken something great within oneself. These techniques were special and needed extra dedication, and for people needed to go to extra length to achieve that. Most people were unable to do so, however few those who were able to do, became special among people. One such way is Brahmacharya.
What is Brahmacharya? At first the word Brahmacharya is Sanskrit. Surface Lý and in Lyman terms Brahmacharya is the practice where one does not involve in sexual activity and preserves his Chasity for lifetime. However, the question, Is Brahmacharya only that? To be away from sexual activity and preserve Chasity, Is there all to it? The answer to that question is no. Brahmacharya is much more than just preserving your Chasity. It has purposes, it has methods, and it certainly has a benefit. For its miraculous benefits people are practicing it for the thousands of years.
The art of living in austerity, taking up vows and obeying the vows of Chasity for lifetime is called Brahmacharya and the person who follow the principle of Brahmacharya is called as Brahma Chari.
When did the practice of Brahmacharya begun and who was the first person to become bhramachari? The answer to this question is a difficult one. The practice of Brahmacharya is very ancient one. The mention of Brahmacharya is found even in the ancient mythology and ages. It was the time where the gods used to live in the earth with humans. Since, then many brahma Chari has been mentioned in the scriptures.
Hanuman, Parsuram, Bheeshma are the most notable people in the ancient time that has taken the vow of Bhram Acharya. All three of them kept their vow to preserve their Chasity for lifetime. Aside from Brahmacharya another common thing about them is that they were incredibly strong. They were so strong that even the gods at the heaven trembled in fear when, they had to cross path with them. Being born in mortal word with mortal parents, they rose to such heights that even the gods respected them.
Lord hanuman and Parshu ram were of Treta Yug while Bheeshma was of Dvapara Yug. Lord hanuman and Parsu ram were also alive at the time of Dvapara Yug. At that time period Mahabharat was fought. In the war Bheeshma fell to his death. However, at that war Bheeshma was the most formidable one, is not for the trick of lord Krishna it was impossible to kill Bheeshma.
Lord hanuman and lord Parsu ram are the Aasta Chiranjivi means, that they will be alive in this world till the end of time. Bheeshma was not completely immortal as the other two but he had the power to die only and only by his will. People from centuries had believed that the source of their unparallel strength and immortality is due to their Brahmacharya.
Brahmacharya is described in various scriptures. The most notable mention and definition of it can be found on Patanjali yoga sutras. As per, sage Patanjali Brahmacharya is one of the five yamas. Yamas are the spiritual rules, that one need to follow to achieve greater spirituality. Another notable mention of Brahmacharya, is found in Upanishad. The Upanishads identify Brahmacharya as one of the ten yamas.
One of the greatest gifts the living organisms, have is their ability to reproduce. Living organisms either they are unicellular, multicellular, minute, or gigantic in size they tend to reproduce. By reproduction they keep producing their new ones and keep the cycle of life rotating in the world. The organism reproduces by various some can reproduce themselves, while some need the fusion of Purush and prakriti.
No matter the process and the type of organism, it is certain that to be able to produce a young one is the greatest of gift. The process of creating a new life is a very sacred process and requires a huge amount of cosmic energy. When the cosmic energy within an individual leaves the body via mating life is formed. This energy is extremely potent, if it were not potent forming of the life would have been impossible.
Brahmacharya, works in this very principle. The person who practices Brahmacharya, maintains Chasity and uses that potent energy within the body. Instead of letting the energy leave the body via mating, they release the energy within their body and reserve it. They keep collecting the energy for the extended period.
The energy may not be high immediately, however like each drop makes the ocean and each rupee one by one make crores. The energy collected and concentrated, through a prolonged period of time do wonders. They have enhanced physical strength to the peak, their cosmic conscious and awareness is awakened and much more.
Rules of Brahmacharya
Daily meditation and mantra chanting
Brahmacharya, meditation and mantra chanting are like the founding principles of cosmic conscious. They walk side by side and one pillar strengths other. By practicing Brahmacharya and chanting mantra one enhances his meditation ability. Likewise, by meditation and mantra chanting one keeps their Brahmacharya vow intact. Likewise, Brahmacharya and meditation, enhances one’s mantra shakti.
Avoiding opposite sex
The encounter with opposite sex must be kept as extremely minimal as possible, if it is alone then it must be utterly avoided. It is one of the biggest rules of Brahmacharya. Regardless, the age, relation, and situation the people of opposite sex must be avoided.
Company of holy peoples
The people following Brahmacharya should seek the company of the holy people, however they must be of the same sex. They should have similar interest, should have amassed vast amount of knowledge. Their spirituality should be intact, and their presence should inspire you to be intact in your vow.
Pure thought and intact mind
It is the absolute rule that not just your body, but your mind must follow Brahmacharya. It means that your body cannot get involved into sexual matters during Brahmacharya, like wise your mind also cannot have those thoughts. Brahmacharya, extremely prohibits to have such impure thoughts.
Food and sleep
The person who is following Brahmacharya, also cannot eat and sleep without following rules. The person firstly should not eat too much, but just the amount that is sufficient. They should also at any cost avoid the food that arouse the sexual desire within the person. Likewise, they should also avoid too much sleep. The right amount of sleep that keep the body functioning is particularly good. Too much sleep makes the body dull, Brahmachari’s body always need to be energetic and active.
Avoiding unholy company
The people who follow Brahmacharya, should at any cost leave the company who will disturb their vow. The people may not necessarily be bad in nature, however for person who follow Brahmacharya any person who disturb their vow is an unholy company. They should leave their company immediately.
The person who follows Brahmacharya need to know how to reject. They must know what is good and what is bad for their vow. If it aid’s their courage then they must accept that, otherwise reject it even from the thoughts. Be it painting, idol, talk, imagination that has the probability of giving birth to the sexual desire, the brahma Chari should reject that thing with its thoughts also.
Benefits of following Brahmacharya
Control over the mind
Mating and reproduction are encoded into their genes. They are biologically equipped to reproduce. It is extremely difficult and impossible for some individual to avoid it is thought also. However, the person who will be able to do it completely, must keep their mind at restriction and win over its thoughts. This enables the person to make their mind their slave, not the other way around.
Courage and Power
The people practicing Brahmacharya become courageous and powerful. They get proficiency over their fear. The person who has mastered their fear become valiant, brave, and courageous. For these people there is nothing impossible to achieve in this world.
By channeling the reproductive energy which is designed to leave the body in the body itself, brahma Chari can boost their immunity. They can enhance their immunity to the amazing heights, they will be immune to the disease and be healthy.
By practicing Brahmacharya, the sense organs can be improved. The eyes will see better, the ears will hear better, the tongue will taste better. There will be another kind of glow in the skin. All the sense organ and body part will function at their maximum efficiency. Their performance height will be something you did not know was possible.
By practicing brahma charya, one can enhance their physical strength. The brahma Chari, that are mentioned in scriptures are said to have been exceptionally powerful. Ordinary people in mass number were unable to overpower them in battles.
Sometimes sexual matters are the matter of competition and clash. Is the root of those clash are removed from the life? The life will be calm and peaceful. This is the reason the yogi who practice brahmacharya are always calm and nothing bothers and agitates them. A calm mind and heart are the most powerful of things.
By excluding, lust, desire, competition, physical beauty from the thoughts and life. One can be immersed in the true joy of life. Knowledge, god, spirituality is pursued and achieved by the people who rejects desire, worldly matters, and lust.
Brahmacharya in the ancient Times and in present time
The practice of Brahmacharya has been around for ages. The practice was to be found also to be used by the people of Satya Yug, through scriptures and holy texts. Ancient people vowed Brahmacharya to achieve someone in life, to have a higher purpose or even to arise special power in the body.
However, there was a curious case of Bheeshma, where he took the oath neither to gain power nor for himself. Bheeshma took an oath to follow Brahmacharya, so that there will not be any type of struggle for the crown of Hastinapur. He also did not want his children in the future to wake up conflict against the throne, hence the vow. He was prince Devrat, before the vow. However, got the name Bheeshma for his dangerous and big oath.
The people of ancient time took the oath of Brahmacharya, and followed it till the end of their life. They not only by the motive of gaining something in life, awakening some special power within themselves took the oath. For the good of the world, to get something for the world, for their loved ones, to achieve knowledge, to pursue God were the main motive of people of the ancient time to vow for Brahmacharya.
Ancient time was the age of peace, devotion, God, truth, selflessness hence people were involved into Brahmacharya, meditation, mantra chanting for the better live of themselves and of the world.
Their main logic was, if they have family, children they must feed them, take care of them, and will be inclined the maya of the world. True knowledge, God, spirituality could not be obtained with getting involved into the family life. Hence, they instead of getting immersed into the world, they chose knowledge, truth, God and accepted Brahmacharya.
Brahmacharya now has been quite different than what it was in the past. As the time changed it also got affected. The rules of the Brahmacharya, are the same what it was in the past. However, the people who follow have definitely changed. We all know that this is the Yug of kail, it is filled with lust, desire, jealousy, and other harmful emotions. So, people face more difficulty than pervious Yug to get over their emotions and desires.
However, it is not also true that people are completely taken over by lust and desire and there are no one who follow Brahmacharya. There are those who have achieved it but are extremely selective in number.
Another problem here today is there are fake people who claim to practice Brahmacharya but could not achieve it completely. Most people today cannot achieve nor try to achieve it, few people pretend to have obtained it and extremely rare and selective people have achieved Brahmacharya at today’s age.