Brahmacharya

From Academic Kids

Brahmacharya is a Sanskrit word. The root "Brahma" signifies The Ultimate Reality or The Unified whole. The root "Char" means To follow or practice. The word Brahmacharya symbolises a person who is leading a life in quest of Brahma, or in other words a student. It is part of the Hindu scheme of life.

Pronunciation

  • 'Brah' as the 'Bru' in 'brush'
  • 'ma' as in 'animal'
  • 'char' as the 'ture' in 'accenture'
  • 'ya' as 'ia' in 'vial'

Usage

This word in one common usuage generally denotes a particular phase of life (first 20 years of Life). Ancient Hindu culture divides the life in 100 year life span. This is the stage when the young child leads a student life, (ideally in the Gurukula - the household of the Guru). This stage of life is preceded by the Upanayanam of the child, during which ceremony, he is considered to be born again. It is the first in the four phases of a man, namely, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, and finally Sanyasa, as prescribed by Manusmriti for the Dhwija castes, in the Hindu system of life. The practise of brahmacharya among other things requires one to be celibate.

The word, Brahmacharya, is also used for the vow of celibacy that a Hindu sanyasi or renounced monk may take at any age when he has understood that living for material/sensual pleasures will never bring the perfect happiness that he (his soul) desires. Thus his life becomes centered on surrender to Guru and God with the firm hope of God realization and the perfect Divine Happiness we all desire.

In yoga, the term can also mean disciplining and preservation of sexual energy and is discussed in Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras. There are many yogic techniques, such as meditation and asanas (e.g. shirsasana) that can help one to achieve this aim.

Links for more Information and Various Views

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