Brahmacharya means literally "student of God Brahma", or conduct that leads to the realization of Brahma (as one’s own Self). Brahmacharya is purity in thought, word and deed. It is celibacy and continence. Brahmacharya is the vow of celibacy. The term ‘celibacy’ is from the Latin ‘caelebs’, meaning unmarried or single, and signifies the state of living unmarried. But Brahmacharya is not mere bachelorhood. It includes the control, not only of the sex or reproductive organ, but also of all other organs in thought, word and deed. This is the definition of Brahmacharya in a broad sense of the term. The door to Nirvana or perfection is complete Brahmacharya. Complete abstinence is the master-key to open the realms of Divine bliss. The avenue to the abode of supreme peace begins from Brahmacharya or purity.
Rational meaning[edit | edit source]
Practice divine conduct, controlling lust by remaining celibate when single and faithful in marriage. Before marriage, use vital energies in study, and after marriage in creating family success. Don't waste the sacred force by promiscuity in thought, word or deed. Be restrained with the opposite sex. Seek holy company. Dress and speak modestly. Shun pornography, sexual humor and violence.
In a Jnani [fully realized being], the sexual craving is entirely eradicated. In a Sadhaka [serious aspirant], it remains well controlled. In a householder [who is not practicing], when not controlled, it does havoc. It exists in him in its fully expanded state. He cannot resist it. He yields to it helplessly on account of his weak will and lack of firm resolution.
In a Jnani or a sage, no sensual thoughts will crop up in the mind. There will not he any difference in feeling when he sees a beautiful young girl, a child or an old lady. He will see the one underlying, eternal, immortal Self in a female and a male. He will not have any difference of feeling when he touches a book, a log of wood, a piece of stone and the body of a female. There is no idea of sex in a Jnani. Such must be the condition of mind of a man who is established in Brahmacharya [control of sex].