Brahamcharya (September 2014)

This month’s topic is Brahamcharya. It is one of the attributes of Hinduism that has a large variety of definitions: on one end of the spectrum is pure celibacy and on the other end is moderation in enjoyment. Even though celibacy has come to be a typical definition and often quoted meaning, we will tilt more towards the moderation in enjoyment aspect of the Brahamcharya. Without disapproving the prominence of the celibacy in the Hinduism, we will espouse the moderation definition, which is more appropriate for kids.

One or more human senses – out of the five senses (a bonus question for kids to identify them) – are used in any act of enjoyment. For instance, enjoying a movie involves eyes and ears; enjoying food involves taste buds. When exercised in moderation, an act of enjoyment can replenish a person to take on bigger tasks and challenges. Just like a brief rest under a thick tree in the middle of a long trail on a hot, sunny day revitalizes a runner, brief and healthy acts of enjoyment re-energize humans. However, when indulged in excessive form, the same act of enjoyment can sap energy, leading one to astray from the goal. For instance, watching too much TV, listening to loud music for long, and eating too much food inevitably lead to physical and mental sickness. Also, the time and energy spent in overindulgence makes a person miss out on many opportunities in life. Contrary to the person’s hope, such excesses lead to sickness, failure, and misery.

This month, kids will identify the importance of healthy and moderate enjoyments. They can quote real life examples to convey their understanding. It will be even better if they can identify and resolve to eliminate any wastage from their lives.

Harsh Mendiratta