Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.12.1
by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Bombay, April 12, 1976

Pradyumna: “Narada Muni continued to speak: A student should completely practice how to control the senses, be submissive. Firmly in friendly attitude upon the spiritual master, with great vow, the brahmacari should live at gurukula only for the benefit of the guru.”


brahmacari guru-kule vasan danto guror hitam acaran dasavan nico gurau sudrdha-sauhrdah [SB 7.12.1]

So as it is stated that human life is meant for tapasya, austerity… Tapasa. Tapo divyam putraka yena suddhyet sattva, that this human form of life is meant for tapasya, not to live like cats and dogs. That is not human life. And tapasya, austerity, begins from brahmacarya. Tapasa brahmacaryena samena damena va [SB 6.1.13] This is tapasya. Brahmacarya means restraining sex life, celibacy. That is brahmacarya. So when one is serious about advancement of spiritual consciousness, he must live under the control of the guru to learn how to become brahmacari. This is main purpose.

The whole Vedic civilization is on the basis of controlling the senses. The yoga practice, it is also meant for controlling the senses. Yoga indriya-samyamah. By some artificial bodily exercise one can control the senses. That is called yoga. But one who becomes directly a devotee, his sense control is automatically done, if he is devotee. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat [SB 11.2.42]. If one is devotee, then he does not like anything material. And the sex enjoyment is the topmost pleasure in this material world. So naturally one who is devotee, he doesn’t require to practice brahmacarya separately—param drstva nivartate—because sex pleasure may be very nice in this material world, but when one gets a sense of spiritual pleasure, then this pleasure becomes abominable. It is said by Yamunacarya,

yad-avadhi mama cetah krsna-padaravindayor nava-nava-dhamany (udyatam) rantum asit tad-avadhi bata nari-sangame (smaryamane) bhavati mukha-vikarah sustu nisthivanam ca

“Since I have begun to understand Krsna consciousness and getting relish, then, since then, when I think of…,” bata nari-sangame, “sex pleasure with woman, I spite on it and my mouth becomes curved, ‘Eh,’ like that.”

Actually it is the position, but because we are under the spell of maya, we are captivated, bewildered, that after sex life, not only human being, but anyone who is living within this material world, beginning from Brahma down to the smallest insect, everyone is after sex life. We have heard that even Lord Siva, Lord Brahma, they became sexually excited. It is said that Lord Brahma was enchanted by daughter, what to speak of others. This material world is so, I mean to say, bewildering, that sometimes the first-class person also becomes bewildered by sex life. Therefore it is strictly prohibited that one should not remain in a solitary place with woman even though the woman is mother, sister or daughter. This is the injunction of the sastra. Matra svasra duhitra va na viviktasane vaset, balavan indriya-gramo vidvamsam api karsati. This is the order, that matra… Matra means “along with mother,” svasra mean “along with sister,” and duhitra means “along with daughter.” “One should not sit down in a solitary place even with mother, sister or daughter.”

So one may be surprised, that “Nobody becomes agitated, sitting before mother, sister or daughter.” But sastra says, “No, no. They are agitated.” Then you can say, “Maybe agitates some fool rascal.” “No.” Vidvamsam api karsati: “Even though one is very advanced, learned, they also become agitated.” Therefore you should be very, very careful. Very, very careful. And another place is, another… Just like in our society, compulsorily we have to mix with women—not only women, very beautiful young girls. But if one is not agitated even in this association of beautiful women and girls, then he is to be considered paramahamsa. He is very advanced. Those who are not… Paramahamsa means he’s above all these material qualities.

So we cannot avoid in our Krsna consciousness movement. That was the problem from the very beginning. In India there is restriction between men and women, free intermingling, but in your country there is no such restriction. Therefore I got my disciples married. They criticize me that I have become a marriage-maker. Anyway, I wanted at least to regulate. That is required. Dharmaviruddhah kamo ’smi. Krsna also says. Now, a married man also can be brahmacari. If a married man stick to one wife, and before sex, if he takes permission from his spiritual master, then he is brahmacari. Not whimsically. When the spiritual master orders him that “Now you can beget a child,” then he is brahmacari. Srila Vira-Raghava Acarya, he has described in his comment that there are two kinds of brahmacari. One brahmacari is naisthiki-brahmacari; he doesn’t marry. And another brahmacari is… Although he marries, he is fully under control of the spiritual master, even for sex. He is also brahmacari.

So why so much restriction on the sex life? The people do not understand throughout the whole world. They are captivated by sex life, especially in the Western countries. Pumsam-striyam-mithuni-bhavam etat. Material existence means a desire of sex life, both man and woman. Pumsam-striyam-mithuni-bhavam etat. Not only in human society, in animal society, in bird society, everywhere, that is material life. Tayor mitho hrdaya-granthim ahuh. And when they are united for this purpose, a man and woman, they… We are already attached to the material activities. Then our attachment becomes more and more strong. Tayor mitho hrdaya-granthim ahuh. Then, out of this attachment, atah grha-ksetra-sutapta vittair janasya moho ’yam aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. In this way, being united, then they want grha, apartment, to live together. Then they want some land. Formerly there was no service. The grhastha used to produce the food grains from the land. Neither there was factories or big, big offices to get job. One had to produce his own food from the land. So simply apartment will not help. I must require some land for eating. Grha-ksetra-suta. Then we desire for some children. Suta, apta, then friends. Suta, apta. Atah grha-ksetra-sutapta vittaih. But all these establishment can be maintained by money only. Then money. Then, in this way, gradually, janasya moho ’ham. We are already bewildered. We are attached to this material world, but when we are united, man and woman together, our attachment for this material world becomes increased. Janasya moho ’yam aham mameti [SB 5.5.8]. Material world mean “I am this body, and in relationship with this body everything is mine,” this conception. They forget altogether that “Nothing is mine. Even this body is not mine. Even I am not mine. Everything is Krsna’s.” That is wanted. Unless we get to that status of life, that “Nothing belongs to me. This body also belongs to Krsna; I, as spirit soul, belong to Krsna; and everything belongs to Krsna…,” then we become liberated. Tapasa brahmacaryena [SB 6.1.13].

This human form of life is meant for tapasya, to learn how to become detached from this material world. And the beginning is this brahmacari life. Brahmacari gurukule vasan dantah. Danta means self-controlled. That is real teaching. Either a grhastha lives… If a grhastha lives, even he has got wife, he does not… One side, according to Vedic civilization, there is no sex life except for begetting a nice child, and that also with garbhadhana-samskara. In other words, whimsically sex life is completely stopped in Vedic civilization. There everything under regulation. Therefore brahmacari means how to control the senses, to keep under his own control, not that “I am now sexually inclined. I must have immediately sex.” No. Danta. That is taught. Just like in our society, even grhastha, he is also under restriction, and what to speak of brahmacari. But we should always remember that this human life is meant for controlling the senses. Athato brahma jijnasa. It is simply meant for inquiring about our spiritual life. That is perfect civilization.

Therefore brahmacari means living under direction of guru, guror hitam. And guror hitam… How he can be simply thinking of benefiting the spiritual master? Unless that position comes, nobody can serve guru. It is not an artificial thing. The brahmacari, the disciple, must have genuine love for guru. Then he can be under his control. Otherwise why one should be under the control of another person? Therefore it is said, acaran dasavat. Dasa. Dasa means servant. Not only servant, but menial servant. Menial servant means just like the sweeper, the cobbler, like that. They are called menial servants. So in India there is system. The sweeper class is different, the cobbler class is different, and domestic servant is different, and the barber, he is also servant, different. The washerman, he is also servant. So nica means just like the washerman or the barber or the cobbler. They are less than the domestic servant at home. They are sudras, and they are considered less than the sudras, pancama. So a disciple is expected to live in gurukula or… Gurukula means at the shelter of guru;

Thank you very much. (end)