By Urmila Devi Dasi
CELIBACY IS SUCH an important part of Vedic education that the Sanskrit word for student is brahmacari (“celibate”). The pressure to give up celibacy begins, of course, in adolescence, the most dangerous age and often the turning point of one’s life. Young adults need guidance before and during the teenage years to recognize and follow the right path.
Celibacy trains adolescents for self-restraint, whether they stay single or get married. It develops their inner strength, self-control, and good character. It also fosters good health and a fine memory.
Without celibacy we can never realize that we are spirit soul, distinct from the body. Sex reinforces the illusion that we are these bodies. Sexual attraction and its extensions in family and society are the main knots that bind us to material identification. Vedic education aims to free the child from these knots so the adolescent can act on the spiritual plane.
Children, of course, have no knowledge of sex. How do we train them to value celibacy before they reach puberty? By association and environment.