[Advaita-l] brahmacharya in Raja yoga abhyAsa and advaita anushtAna

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Sat Feb 25 11:01:55 CST 2012

On Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 10:48 PM, Gopal <gopal.gopinath at gmail.com> wrote:

> Respected members,
> Does the definition of Brahmacharya change with the sadhana mArga?   How do
> the sutrakArA-s treat the necessity of *brahmacharya* in the* *sAdhana in
> advaitic path? How do they define or expect the understanding of "*
> brahmacharya*"?
>  It is obvious if advaitic sAdhana is recommended to and practiced by
> sanyaasis and those who choose not to enter grihastAshrama. But  for a long
> time, advise and guidelines for advaitic practice have become common
> commodity discussed by various 'missions' , authors and self-declared
> advaitins who charmingly advocate the sAdhana in advaitic principles to
> everyone including all types of non-brahmachAris.
> In this situation, how should an aspirant or a wannabe-aspirant / student
> of advaita understand this requirement?

यदक्षरं वेदविदो वदन्ति

विशन्ति यद्यतयो वीतरागाः।

यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति

तत्ते पदं संग्रहेण प्रवक्ष्ये।। Bhagavadgita 8.11।।

Shankara's comment here is: ब्रह्मचर्यं गुरौ चरन्ति आचरन्ति | Being
associated  with / under the tutelage of a Guru is brahmacharya.

In Kathopanishat 1.2.15 for the same sounding mantra as above, Shankara
says: ब्रह्मचर्यं गुरुकुलवासलक्षणम्, अन्यद्वा ब्रह्मप्राप्त्यर्थं चरन्ति
... The extra component in this bhashya is: *any other* means an aspirant
takes up in order to attain (the knowledge of)  Brahman.

In the PrashnopaniShad 1.15 there is a reference to 'brahmacharyam' to be
followed by upAsaka-s, followers of the 'prajApati vratam'.  Here Shankara
writes for this word:  ‌ऋतौ  भार्यागमनम् ... ऋतौ अन्यत्र मैथुन-असमाचरणम् .
Having recourse to the wife during the time fit for it.

On one occasion the earlier Sringeri Acharya Jagadguru Sri Abhinava
Vidyatirtha swaminaH said, quoting a sentence: प्रथमः पुत्रः धर्मजः, अन्ये
तु कामजाः प्रोक्ताः [the first son is verily born of dharma; the rest are
only products of lust] and went on to say: if a householder follows this
and refrains from intercourse, even he is a brahmachari.]


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