How should a brahmachari behave to avoid offenses?
A male devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“How would an aspirant of bramhacharya behave in public? Especially if he is a teenage boy”
Brahmacharya does not mean just being unmarried.
Brahmacharya means being pure both in body and mind and living a devotional life.
Unless the mind is controlled, body can not cooperate to follow brahmacharya.
For example, when an aspirant of brahmacharya does not have any physical contacts with girls, but is fighting within mind on seeing every girl to have her, but, does not approach her because of fear of being caught or exposed, it is not brahmacharya at all.
Being disciplined fearing for consequences is not brahmacharya. The Brahmacharya is to be followed as a penance with happy, satisfied and blissful feeling.
There are certain very few brahmacharis who claim that they are brahmacharis, but, spend most of their time in chatting / discussing with girls. They have some kind of satisfaction in discussing with the girls. Such aspirants will fall to girls one day when any ignorant girl talks to them and they have close contacts.
Falling down exists in both boys and girls. So, when the aspirants of brahmacharya speaks to many girls, atleast a few girls and boys among them will be of falling nature. So, the chances of fire between them.
So, a brahmachari should refrain from interacting with girls unnecessarily. Only if any girl/ woman approaches him for any doubts on devotion, they should speak to them only the relevant matters and then wish them HARE KRISHNA and leave.
If any brahmachari speaks mundane matters to girls unnecessarily, there may be chances for fall down. I do not say speaking to girls is wrong. We can’t avoid speaking to girls. But, we should know what to speak and how much to speak to the girls.
If they speak only about Krishna and related matters and leave them, they will be safe. After that, they should leave them without bearing those girls in mind.
If a brahmachari eagerly watches the women face to face and feel a kind of excitement with their appearance, he is going to fall down one day even in his devotional service.
All of us know a story.
A rishi was walking with his disciples along the river bed. A girl called that rishi and told that she needs his help to cross the river as the current of water is severe. That rishi wanted to help that girl as she can’t cross the river on her own.
So, he held that girl on her shoulder and crossed the river and left her safely. Then he continued his walk.
One of his disciples asked him:
“Swami, is it wrong for a swamiji to hold a girl and carry her? because you did that”
That swamiji smiled and said:
“I left that girl on the other side of the river and forgot her. But, only you people are carrying her within your mind. I am always detached. I just helped her in need and forgot her. You are still attached to them. Now tell me whether I am wrong”
The disciples realized what real sanyasa means.
Thus, a brahmachari should try to be pure both in mind and body. Which one is the most important? Mind. First you should regulate your mind. Then, all the senses will be controlled automatically.
If there is an electric shock, what will you do? Will you pull that shocked man? No. You will first switch off the main switch of the house. Then, that affected person will be relieved.
Similarly, when you control the mind, all your senses will obey.
So, a brahmachari should not remain alone and he should always remain with other devotees. He should always involve his mind in Krishna’s service. If they allow gap, maya will catch them.
Controlling the mind is very difficult as said by Krishna Himself. However, if they engage their mind in Krishna’s service, everything will be taken care by Krishna Himself. Where there is Krishna, there will be no place for maya.
So, the suggestion is simple. If anyone likes to be a brahmachari, he need not fight hard to control his mind. If they just engage their mind in the service and devotional practices for Krishna, without any break, they will always remain safe under the shelter of Krishna.
If a brahmachari feels the need of marriage, he can marry and llead a devotional grahastha life with the wife. It is allowed.
If he likes to take sanyasa directly after the brahmacharya studies, it is also permitted, but, he should evaluate his standing of senses and preferences of life honestly. He should not involve in prohibited acts after taking sanyasa. So, honest review is needed.
H.H.Bakthi Vikas Swami has written a book “Brahmacharya in Krishna Consciousness”. Search it by going through our amazon links of your area given in THIS PAGE of our site. In my view, it is only for those who like to follow brahmacharya and then fully dedicated life for Krishna. Not for grahasthas because the book is very deep and intended only to keep the brahmacharis involved in that ashrama seriously. Purchase that from ISKCON centres. Every brahmachari aspirant should read that book. It will provide them all the details meant for brahmacharis.
All the best.