Samena ca dhamena ca
The above is a quote from the Srimad Bhagavatam, 6.1.13, and it is in reference to life as a Vedic monk. Tapasa is defined as austerity. Brahmachari means celibate practitioner. Sama refers to control of the mind. Dhama refers to a harnessing of the senses.
The above qualities are the natural semblances of an ascetic who accepts voluntary inconveniences for a higher end. These austerities form the basis or foundation for a “good man.” A healthy restraint of the mind and senses is a great way to prepare for the second phase of one’s life, the ashram called grhasta or householder lifestyle.
I raise this topic because a little extra saffron cloth came to visit us in Toronto today. My support team for the U.S. walk, Hayagriva and Marshall, came to visit in the morning before our launch to Cuba on Wednesday. It is a pleasure to have them. Hayagriva has been giving a series of talks in the area—talks based on bhakti. Yes, talks on bhakti basics.
By the way, my favourite brahmacharis, monks, from the Vedic literatures are Bhisma, whom we can hear about in the epic Mahabharat, and Hanuman, who is detailed in the Ramayana. Incidentally they are both warriors, famous for their fortitude in protecting the vulnerable. They are loyal, faithful and demonstrate the highest level of servitorship.
Narada Muni is another favourite.
May the Source be with you!