you enter in to the phase of brahmacharya"
part - 2
While the first 2o years dedicated to the learning process, the learning does not end there. One keeps learning all through one's life. Every time a individual happened to learn something, he passes through the phase of brahmacharya all over again. And the learning happens all the time, that's why separating ashramas based on age factor can prove to be a grosser exercise.
Disciple : I have a pertinent query in this connection ?
Master : Thats alright, as long as you understand what
you ask about, then all queries are pertinent only!
Disciple : I always thought brahmacharya is about
maintaining one's celibacy. In fact I was told that way.
How do I understand the connection here ?
Master : Usually brahmacharya ashrama is slotted
in the first 20 years when there is little chance of
any sexuality naturally. But such a natural state
has been stretched far beyond the need and became a
sole meaning to that particular phase !
The celibacy is a not a need for children, who have not yet matured as adults for exercising the sexual freedom. That means there is no question of practicing celibacy as a rule for the growing child. It was just a bit of distorted thinking that gave this false singular interpretation to brahmacharya as a strict abstinence from sensuousness. The ashramas do not govern one's life as a thumb rule, but only indicate the various psychological phases possible in a seeker's life.
Disciple : So how exactly I'm to know that
I am a brahmachari even in my family life ?
Master : Yes, even in a married life, the
phase of brahmacharya is possible, every time
you read the news paper in the morning !
Disciple : How come reading news paper can be
an exercise of brahmacharya? It baffles me !
Master : When you read news paper you tend
to learn something about this world which you
did not know before. That's precisely when you
become a brahmachari !
Not just the newspaper, even watching TV or just browsing the internet, or just gossiping in the office, whenever you came to know of a new thing, you have spontaneously slipped in to the mode of learning. Even if you are a married man, at that time, you are just a learner or brahmachari only. A man on the death bed decided to learn meditation and some breathing exercises, then he is no more a man of retirement and death but a fresh learner of meditation and thus a brahmachari.
Disciple : So it can happen any time ?
Master : Yes even when you learnt a
new recipe from the cook book !
Disciple : Truly amazing, to know
one can be a brahmachari all his life !
So the scriptures also propose a time table for the individual in its karma kandas (section of vedas that describe the art of living through various rituals). When you wake up, the mind is fresh and ready to absorb new information. So the scriptures talk of early morning, as the ideal time to practice brahmacharya, in the form of learning and practicing spiritual exercises. The quality of learning is at its best only during the freshness of the early morning even though anytime is suitable for learning.
Disciple : In my case, learning
never happened in the morning !
Master : It must have happened
just before the early morning ?
Disciple : How did you now that ?
Master : Most people choose either
early morning or late night for
the learning purpose !
Disciple : But they are so much in
contrast with reference to time ?
Master : Not really. The late night
and early morning are divided by
just a couple of hours only !