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Aversion, Death, Rebirth, Vanity                        






34. Sw








Swammini Sadviji Chaitanya  is a vedic monk and disciple of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, She is currently Resident Director and Acharya of Arsha Vijnana Mandiram near Valdosta, Georgia. She is also a former Professor at the University of California, Berkley and has taught at several US universities including San Francisco, Oberlin, Oregon and Valdosta. She is a prolific speaker who has given lectures and seminars at many prestigious events in US and abroad, including at the Vatican Inter Faith meeting.




Question 1. There seem to be some conflicting views coming from contemporary and also traditional advaita Vedanta teachers on this subject of Brahmacharya.
Some very popular lay teachers,  say it is not necessary to attain moksha and after you attain this.
If that is the case, then why did Sri Adi Shankara teach Brahmacharya to monks and lay people and lived this personally?
Has modern non-dualism created something new where Brahmancharya is not necessary anymore?
Swammini Sadviji Chaitanya:   Moesha is freedom from a sense of lack and judgement centered on the self. This wanting is just a notion born of self-ignorance. It is overcome by gaining the understanding that all that is here including oneself is one impartite and limitless whole. Therefore, advaita vedanta is the teaching tradition that removes self-ignorance that is the root cause of fear and sorrow. Everyone is not only entitled to pursue this knowledge, but is also enjoined by the Vedas to do so. The Upanishads proclaim that that the whole purpose of a human birth is to pursue this knowledge.
There are two lifestyles recommended by the Vedas for pursuing this teaching:
1. One can pursue this exclusively and drop all other pursuits. This is the path of brahmacharya, eventually leading to sannyasa, renunciation of all other pursuits to the exclusion of this knowledge. This is an option for those who have mastered the unconscious, and have practiced purification of the mind and the subjugation of unmanageable desires. The knowledge only speaks to one who has a matured and prepared mind, free of the emotional debris of the unconscious.

2. One can pursue this knowledge while gaining the preparation, and this lifestyle is known as karma-yoga, where a person has many pursuits, but all of them subserve the gain of the knowledge and prepare one to receive this knowledge.

Both these paths are recognized in the Vedas and in the Bhagavad Gita, and are not at odds with each other