Episode # 187 – What does “Brahmacharya” mean? Sage Sukhaachaarya’s important answer!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the next aspect of “Dharma” that Sage Sukhaachaarya had discussed with King Parikshit, which is “Ahimsa”. As we’ve witnessed yesterday, “Ahimsa” means, non-violence and more than that, it has to do with total avoidance of physical and verbal abuse of other living beings. Of course, physical abuse can be contained to a large extent, but when it comes to verbal abuse, we need to exercise restraint very strictly. This is because of the simple fact that verbal abuse can hurl much more damage than even physical abuse. This can have cascading effects too in the future. Hence, it is always better to avoid conflicting situations as much as possible, however, if we’re presented with one, we should handle it in such a way that we do not end up abusing or hurting someone in the process. There are different ways through which things can be communicated in a polite and positive way and let us try to meticulously explore these avenues and follow them.

Moving on thus, we come to the next important aspect of “Dharma”, which Sage Sukhaachaarya explains here, which is nothing but “Brahmacharya”. Now we might have a question in our mind as to what is this “Brahmacharya” and to whom is this applicable. Normally it is a customary practice and a norm that “Brahmacharya” is followed by people who are unmarried and who have renounced their married life for the benefit of the world. Of course, this is true, and I’m not trying to negate this. It is very much true that our Sanaathana Dharma has laid down a concrete framework as to how a person renounces his / her life for the service to the world. However, there is a clause to this. Married people (Gruhastas) can also practice “Brahmacharya”. How can this be possible? Again, there are certain frameworks that we need to understand here. For instance, there is a clear mention in our Sanaathana Dharma literature as to when should a couple engage in experiencing pleasures of being together, and when should the couple refrain from it. It is said that experiencing pleasures of being together is to be avoided during festival days like Sri Krishna Jayanti, Sri Rama Navami, Shivratri, etc. and also on certain auspicious days like Ekadashi, etc. If we’re able to exercise restraint atleast during these days, this itself is a “Brahmacharya Vratha” (Austerity) that we’re practicing.

Now we might ask a question thus, “Oh! Anyways, we’re getting married, and just because we exercise these kinds of restraints, is it going to change anything in our life? What kind of benefit are we going to obtain by sacrificing our pleasurable experiences?” It is of course a very valid question. We should understand here that the Vedas has prescribed certain positives and negatives that we would experience if we’re in a married life. However, what would please Bhagawan’s heart is that, if we’re following these sorts of restraints correctly and meticulously as prescribed by Him, this itself sends a clear message to Him thus – “Oh! Just because I’ve written down and told that these are some important restraints and practices that one should follow, this child of mine is meticulously following! So let me grant Moksha to him or her!” This is what is important at the end of the day, isn’t it? Ultimately, whatever we do, should add happiness to Bhagawan, and only through that, we’re going to attain Moksha.

Having this argument on one hand, we might ask another follow-up question here thus, “Oh! I’m performing lot of spiritual practices and I’m chanting my Mantra constantly every moment. This itself should take me to Moksha, isn’t it? If that is the case, why should I practice tough restraints like this?” Let us take an example to understand this point further – For instance, we’ve to appear for an exam in our school or college – What are the various parameters that we should satisfy if we’ve to appear for the final examination? We should have a requisite percentage of classroom attendance; we should have performed well in the class tests and assignments. Similarly we should know how to respect our professors or teachers. We should be an obedient student, both inside and outside the school or college. Now, only if we satisfy all of these parameters, will we be able to appear for the final examination, isn’t it? Can we tell the school principal that just because I’ve prepared so well for the examination, but I have a dismal attendance record, can I go and write the examination? Many a times, the principal would not allow, isn’t it? Similarly, when it comes to the final examination called “Moksha”, Bhagawan would consider various parameters. Of course, spiritual practices, chanting Mantras, etc. are part of the parameters, but practicing “Brahmacharya” according to the prescribed rules and regulations meted out by Bhagawan is also important.

So for today, let us realize the fact that “Brahmacharya” Dharma is beyond just unmarried people. It extends to all of us, irrespective of whether we are married or not. Hence, we should make it a point to follow as per Bhagawan’s rules and regulations. If we do so, even our married life would become a very peaceful one, without giving room for excessive desires to rule us. In any case, whatever Bhagawan has prescribed for us, is always going to be doing good for all of us. Let us have that faith on Bhagawan and do the needful! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next aspect of “Dharma”. Stay tuned! 😊


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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