Brahmacarya, Brahman-carya: 19 definitions
Brahmacarya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Alternative spellings of this word include Brahmacharya.
Purana and Itihasa (epic history)Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य).—In ancient India an ideal life was considered to pass through four stages, and Brahmacarya is one of the stages of life. The four stages are Brahmacarya (Vedic student vowed to chastity), Gārhasthya (married householder), Vānaprastha (forest hermit) and Sannyāsa (an ascetic who has renounced the world). Brahmacarya, the first stage of the four is considered as the period of education. The rules and conduct of a Brahmacārī are given in Manusmṛti, Chapter 2. (See full article at Story of Brahmacarya from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
- 1) Matsya-purāṇa 25. 23.
- 2) Ib. 175. 33, 36-41; Vāyu-purāṇa 49. 138; 56. 69; 67. 27; 104. 23.
- 3) Matsya-purāṇa 182. 8-11.
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) refers to one of the various limbs of Yoga, according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—Accordingly, the eleventh chapter contains the dialogue of Śiva and Skanda; the glories of the devotees of Śiva and the devotion to Śiva. The systems of Yoga along with its limbs Yama, Niyama, Ahiṃsā, Brahmacarya, Aparigraha, Svādhāya, Saṃtoṣa, Śauca, Prāṇāyāma and Samādhi are described while various kinds of impediments to the practice of Yoga and the means of overcoming them are explained in the thirteenth chapter.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
Ayurveda (science of life)Source: Google Books: A Practical Approach to the Science of Ayurveda
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य, “celibacy”).—One of the thee supporting pillars of the body.—Celibacy means ‘to protect the semen’ by keeping control over all the senses. The last dhātu (body tissue) formed after the digestion of food substances we eat is the śukra (semen). According to Āyurveda, the strength of the body depends upon semen. Opposite to celibacy, sexual indulgence and enjoyment results in loss of semen corresponding to loss of strength. By celibacy one becomes full of ‘ojas,’ brightness, intellect, strength and majesty. Celibacy prevents diseases, preserves health and promotes strength.
Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.
Arthashastra (politics and welfare)Source: Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Indian Ethics: Individual and Social
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य), or “stage of studentship” refers to the first of the four Āśramas (“stages of life”).—The division of one’s life into the four āśramas (e.g., Brahmacarya) and their respective dharmas, was designed, in principle at least, to provide fulfilment to the person in his social, moral and spiritual aspects, and so to lead to harmony and balance in the society.
Arthashastra (अर्थशास्त्र, arthaśāstra) literature concerns itself with the teachings (shastra) of economic prosperity (artha) statecraft, politics and military tactics. The term arthashastra refers to both the name of these scientific teachings, as well as the name of a Sanskrit work included in such literature. This book was written (3rd century BCE) by by Kautilya, who flourished in the 4th century BCE.
Vaishnavism (Vaishava dharma)Source: Pure Bhakti: Bhagavad-gita (4th edition)
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) refers to “literally, ‘spiritual cultivation’; the first āśrama, or stage of life, in the varṇāśrama system; celibate student life”. (cf. Glossary page from Śrīmad-Bhagavad-Gītā).
Vaishnava (वैष्णव, vaiṣṇava) or vaishnavism (vaiṣṇavism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshipping Vishnu as the supreme Lord. Similar to the Shaktism and Shaivism traditions, Vaishnavism also developed as an individual movement, famous for its exposition of the dashavatara (‘ten avatars of Vishnu’).
Dharmashastra (religious law)Source: Shodhganga: The saurapurana - a critical study (dharma)
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) or Brahmacārin refers to the first of the four “stages of life” (aśrama), according to the 10th century Saurapurāṇa: one of the various Upapurāṇas depicting Śaivism.—From the times of the most ancient dharmaśāstras the number of āśramas has been four:—Brahmacarya, Gṛhastha, Vānaprastha and Sannyāsin.—The first part of āśrama [i.e. man’s life] is brahmacarya in which he learns at his teacher’s house.
A Brahmacārin should be the bearer of a staff (daṇḍa), black antelope skin, girdle and he should be cleanly saved. He should live on alms, brought from the houses of gentlemen. He should partake of the alms only after proclaiming to Guru and receiving his permission. Let him eat turning his face towards the east and having purified himself by sipping water. Excessive eating is prejudicial to health, to fame and to bliss in heaven. So he should avoid it carefully. He should study the Vedas. After completing his study and giving proper fees to the teacher, he should marry and enter into the second āśrama, Gṛhasthāśrama.
Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.
General definition (in Hinduism)Source: WikiPedia: Hinduism
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) refers to “behavior that leads to Brahman” and is one of the four stages of life in an age-based social system as laid out in the Manu Smrti and later Classical Sanskrit texts in Hinduism. It refers to an educational period of 14–20 years which starts before the age of puberty. During this time the traditional vedic sciences are studied, along with the religious texts contained within the Vedas and Upanishads. This stage of life was characterized by the practice of strict celibacy.
The word brahmacharya stems literally from two components: Brahma, (shortened from brahman), the absolute, eternal, supreme God-head. (As opposed to Brahmā, the deity in the Hindu triad responsible for creation). Charya, which means "to follow". This is often translated as activity, mode of behaviour, a “virtuous” way of life.
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) refers to a “holy religious life” according to appendix 5 of the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XIV). The word brahmacarya is of brāhmin origin and designates in a general way the rigorous observation of prescribed rules and, in a more specialized way, the sexual continence imposed on the novice during his studies at the foot of the master. The word has passed into Buddhism with this twofold meaning. It designates the holy life, the religious life, notably in the form of the Arhat, but also chastity.
According to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra, “There are beings who follow the ten wholesome courses of action but who have not yet destroyed lust. Thus the sūtra here praises those who practice the conduct of king Brahmā (brahmacarya) by cutting through their sexual desire. It is said that those who practice brahmacarya purely never smell bad (nirāmaya-gandha): the person who is addicted to lust has an ugly malodorous body; thus, to praise those who have cut through lust, it is said that they do not have a bad smell”.
Also, “The gods who have cut through sexual desire are Brahmās, a term applied to all the gods of the form realm (rūpadhātu); this is why the method of cutting through sexual desire is called brahmacarya”.
Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.
General definition (in Jainism)Source: Wisdom Library: Jainism
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) or Brahmacaryapratimā represents the seventh of eleven pratimā (stages) laid down for Jain laymen. Brahmacarya-pratimā refers to “maintaining sexual purity now assuming the stricter aspect of celibacy and also not decorating one’s person” according to J. L. Jaini in his “outlines of Jainism” (pp. 67-70).
These pratimās (e.g., brahmacarya) form a series of duties and performances, the standard and duration of which rises periodically and which finally culminates in an attitude resembling monkhood. Thus the pratimās rise by degrees and every stage includes all the virtues practised in those preceeding it. The conception of eleven pratimās appears to be the best way of exhibiting the rules of conduct prescribved for the Jaina laymen.Source: archive.org: Trisastisalakapurusacaritra
1) Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) refers to the “eighteen kinds of chastity”, according to chapter 1.1 [ādīśvara-caritra] of Hemacandra’s 11th century Triṣaṣṭiśalākāpuruṣacaritra (“lives of the 63 illustrious persons”): a Sanskrit epic poem narrating the history and legends of sixty-three important persons in Jainism.—Accordingly, in the sermon of Sūri Dharmaghoṣa:—“[...] the gift of supporting dharma (dharmopagrahadāna) is five-fold: purity of giver, receiver, gift, time, and thought. [... ] That gift would have purity of receiver, whose receiver is such a man [who] practices the eighteen kinds of chastity (brahmacarya), [...]”.
Accordingly, as mentioned in Ṛṣabha’s sermon:—
Source: HereNow4U: Śrāvakācāra (Ethics of the Householder)
“[...] mokṣa is attained by those who practice unceasingly the brilliant triad of knowledge, faith, and conduct. The abandonment of all censurable activities will lead to right-conduct (cāritra), known by its five divisions, the vow of non-injury, etc. Non-injury, truthfulness, honesty, chastity, and poverty, with five supporting clauses each, lead to mokṣa. [...] Wealth is the external breath of men. It is destroyed by one who takes it. The abandonment of divine and earthly loves by action, consent to action, or causing others to act, with reference to thought, speech, and body, is called the eighteen-fold chastity [brahmācarya?]”.
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य) refers to one of the eleven pratimās (eleven stages for becoming excellent śrāvaka).—Brahmacarya-pratimā prescribes absolute continence. This is indicative of the further limitation in the objects of Upabhoga.
Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.
Languages of India and abroad
Marathi-English dictionarySource: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य).—n (S) One of the four ashram or states of life through which the Brahman passes,--that from the investiture with the sacrificial thread until marriage. 2 Abstinence from sexual commerce with women; either for a time, as of those who are about to engage in some extraordinary religious duty, or for the whole term of life. Applied also to Continence or Conjugal fidelity on the part of the male.
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
Sanskrit dictionarySource: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
1) religious studentship, the life of celibacy passed by a Brāhmaṇa boy in studying the Vedas, the first stage or order of his life; अविप्लुतब्रह्मचर्यो गृहस्थाश्रममाचरेत् (aviplutabrahmacaryo gṛhasthāśramamācaret) Ms.3.2;2. 249; Mv.1.24; यदिच्छन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति तत्ते पदं संग्रहेण ब्रवीम्योमित्येतत् (yadicchanto brahmacaryaṃ caranti tatte padaṃ saṃgraheṇa bravīmyomityetat) Kaṭh.
2) religious study, self-restraint.
3) celibacy, chastity, abstinence, continence; also ब्रह्म- चर्याश्रम (brahma- caryāśrama).
-ryaḥ a religious student; see ब्रह्मचारिन् (brahmacārin).
-ryā chastity, celibacy. °व्रतम् (vratam) a vow of chastity. °स्खलनम् (skhalanam) falling off from chastity, incontinence.
Derivable forms: brahmacaryam (ब्रह्मचर्यम्).
Brahmacarya is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms brahman and carya (चर्य).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य).—I. n. 1. studentship, the order of a religious student. 2. pious austerity, [Mānavadharmaśāstra] 5, 160. 3. chastity, [Vedāntasāra, (in my Chrestomathy.)] in
Brahmacarya is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms brahman and carya (चर्य).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य).—[neuter] sacred study, the life and condition of a Brahman student, [especially] abstinence, chastity; poss. vant†.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Brahmacarya (ब्रह्मचर्य):—[=brahma-carya] [from brahma > brahman] n. study of the Veda, the state of an unmarried religious student, a state of continence and chastity (also f(ā). , [Harivaṃśa]), [Atharva-veda] etc. etc. ([accusative] with √grah, car, vas, ā-√gam, upa-√i, to practise ch°; cf. -cārin)
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
See also (Relevant definitions)
Full-text (+65): Ashrama, Brahmacaryaskhalana, Brahmacarin, Brahmacaryavrata, Brahmacaryatva, Brahmacaryavat, Abrahmacarya, Brahmacaryashrama, Atibrahmacarya, Ashramacatushtaya, Brahmacaryyaskhalana, Vedabrahmacarya, Sabrahmacarya, Sabrahmacaryya, Abrahmacaryaka, Ekadashamanushadharma, Pashucarya, Abrahmacaryya, Brahmacari, Asabala.
Search found 44 books and stories containing Brahmacarya, Brahma-carya, Brahman-carya; (plurals include: Brahmacaryas, caryas). You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
Narada Parivrajaka Upanishad of Atharvaveda (by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar)
Yoga Sutras with Vedanta Commentaries (by Patañjali)
Sūtras 38-41 < [Part II - Yoga and its Practice]
Sūtras 28-30 < [Part II - Yoga and its Practice]
Chandogya Upanishad (english Translation) (by Swami Lokeswarananda)
Verse 8.5.1 < [Section 8.5]
Verse 8.5.2 < [Section 8.5]
Verse 8.5.3 < [Section 8.5]
Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra (by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön)
Appendix 5 - Definition of Brahmacarya and Brahmacakra < [Chapter XIV - Emission of rays]
Appendix 1 - The legend of Śāriputra and his teacher Sañjaya < [Chapter XVI - The Story of Śāriputra]
II. Endowing the kṣetra with a special wisdom < [Part 1 - Eliminating the three poisons]
The Mahabharata (English) (by Kisari Mohan Ganguli)
Section XLIV < [Sanatsujata Parva]
Section LXXXIV < [Tirtha-yatra Parva]
Section CLXV < [Tirtha-yatra Parva]
Buddhist Monastic Discipline (by Jotiya Dhirasekera)