Showing posts with label Brahmacharya. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brahmacharya. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Is Yamaha?

 

Yamaha ("restraint") is the first and most fundamental of the eight component aspects of ashtanga ("eight-part") yoga, which was defined by Patanjali (1st century C.E.?) :


  • Refraining from harming other living things (ahimsa), 
  • abstaining from stealing, 
  • honesty, 
  • celibacy (brahmacharya), 
  • and abstaining from avarice are five of them.

These are all "restraints" because their intent is negative—they don't call for positive actions as much as they call for avoiding certain thoughts or actions that are deemed particularly harmful.


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Hinduism - What Is Brahmacharya?









Brahmacharya means "pursuing Brahman." This term, in its most basic meaning, refers to the way of life of a young man from a certain social class during his time as a student (brahmacharin). 






This is the first of a twice-born man's four ashramas (“stages of life”), that is, a man born into one of three Indian social groups: brahmin, kshatriya, or vaishya. 




  • These young males are eligible for the "second birth," a teenage religious initiation. 
  • He will then begin his life as a student, moving into his guru's home and studying the holy books, the Vedas. 
  • This is envisioned as a time of intensive study, religious practice, and an austere lifestyle characterized by desire restriction, with celibacy as the hallmark. 







Although the four ashramas paradigm is now mostly obsolete, the term brahmacharya still connotes an austere monastic lifestyle, and it is often used as a synonym for celibacy.



You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.