Strange Facts about Brahmacharya! 48 year long Vow of Celibacy!!

ramana's pose
Sri Ramana Maharishi of Tiruvannamalai.

Strange Facts about Brahmacharya! 48 year long Vow of Celibacy!!

Compiled by London Swaminathan
Post No.1134; Dated 27th June 2014.

N.B. If you want to reproduce this article, please email me for permission. You must get written permission from me for each and every article separately.

What is Brahmacharya?
Brahmacharya is celibacy. It is not just sexual abstinence. Hindus have a unique concept of everything that is spiritual. They practise all these at three levels: Mano, Vak and Kaya i.e in thought word and deed. If someone says he is a vegetarian he must not even think of tasting it. If one is following Ahimsa (non violence), that means, not even thinking of hurting anyone in word, thought and deed. Then that person will get powers to do miracles.

Every Hindu must undergo through four stages in life: 1)Brahmacharya (period of learning with sexual abstinence, 2)Grihastha (family life with wife and children), 3)Vanaprastha (Going to Vana=forest to do penance at old age) and 4)Sanyasa (complete renunciation). Most of us have only two stages in the modern world i.e. Brahmacharya and Grihastha life. No other religion explains Brahmacharya in detail as Hinduism.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Ramana Maharishi, Sri Kanchi Paramacharya (1894-1994) and saints like him have practised it and spoken about celibacy. Mahatma Gandhi practised it at one time.
Sri Ramakrishna gives some interesting information:-

“If one practises celibacy a physiological change is produced in the body. A rudimentary nerve known as Medha will develop, the function of which is to transmute the lower energies in to higher. The knowledge of the higher Self is gained after the development of the Medha Nadi”.

He adds, Kamini and Kanchana (Woman and Gold) have drowned the whole world in sin. Woman is disarmed when you view her as the manifestation of the Divine Mother. God cannot be seen so long as one’s passion for woman and gold is not extinguished. (Sri Ramakrishna was not against women. The words ‘woman and gold’ mean lust and greediness.)

He advised his disciples to be bees which will only go to taste the nectar in the flowers, not a fly which tastes nectar a minute and faeces the next minute.

Swami Vivekananda added some more interesting details about celibacy:- He says a person who observed celibacy for twelve years obtains tremendous memory power. Swami could remember anything he read, page after page. When someone wanted to test his thought reading power, he told the person even his disciple could do it who was sitting just beside him. The disciple was so scared to hear this, because he did not have that power. But when Swami Vivekananda told his disciple to read the person’s mind, he did it. Swami attributed everything to celibacy. In short, one can develop tremendous powers if one observed celibacy at three levels= Tri Karana Suddhi= word, thought and deed.

kanchi japam
Sri Kanchi Paramacharya.

Vedas on Brahmacharya
Lord Krishna spoke high of Brahmacharya in Bhagavad Gita (6-14). Dr S. Radhakrishnan commented on this Gita sloka :–

“The aspirant for yoga must exercise control over his sexual impulses. Hindu tradition has insisted on Brahmacharya from the beginning. In the Prasna Upanishad, Pippalada asks the seekers to observe Brahmacharya a year more at the end of which he undertakes to initiate them into the highest wisdom. In the Chandogya Upanishad, Brahma taught Indra the knowledge of reality after making him undergo Brahmacharya for 101 years. The gods are said to have conquered death by Brahmacharya and penance (Atharva Veda: Brahmacharyena tapasa deva mrtyum uphagnata)

“Through Brahmacharya (celibacy) that Indra brought heavenly lustre to the Devas”- Atharva Veda 11-5-19
“It is by Tapas of Brahmacharya (Penance of Celibacy), that the king protects the state, the teacher seeks his pupil, and a maiden finds a youthful husband.” –Atharva Veda 11-5-17/18
In a later age the great Buddha supported the idea by saying that by self control Indra became the greatest among the devas (Dhammapada 2-10)

Tamil Veda Tirukkural also confirmed it in Kural 25:-
“Indra, the king of the devas himself, will bear testimony to the will power of those who curbed the desires of the five senses.”

(The above quoted Tiruukural (25) was commented with a wrong connotation by Parimel azakar. But another commentator Makakkudavar used the Vedic and Dhammapdic interpretation. I have written an article about it under the title ‘Parimelalzakar’s Blunder’ in Tamil)

Tiruvalluvar ,Author of Tirukkural (Tamil Veda)

Brahmacharya in Sama Veda
Sama Veda says that Brahmacharis become friends of god. Brahmacharis also called Vasus, Rudras and Adityas
Those who are Brahmacharis for 24 years are called Vasus
For 36 years Rudras
For 48 years Adityas

Sama Veda praises Brahmacharis as Urdhvaredhas=those who raise (semen) power upward!

Sangam Tamil Literature, which is 2000 year old, says about Brahmacharis who have been following vow of celibacy for 48 years! (Tirumurukatrupadai 179-180).

It is amazing to read about some Brahmins following 48 year long Brahmacharya vow in ancient Tamil Nadu!!!


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