Ten 'Show' Bottles Hanging on a Wall

The problem of early monasticism is that it leaves a person with unachieved ideals and an ever-present conscience. Thoughts of compromise or failure can remain as dark clouds on even the sunniest of days. 
'Vedic culture' as we are fond of calling it, therefore pushed monasticism to the later part of life, integrating it as a 'stage' of life rather than a 'way' of life.
The regulation or suspension of pleasure seeking was certainly encouraged in the pursuit of education, allowing time and maturation to take place before the achievement of personal independence. Again, this was a stage, a stage called brahmacarya. This stage saved a person the havoc and social disquiet of the reckless indulgence that can be synonymous with youth. To be better informed was the preference.
However, the harm comes when blurred lines fail to distinguish between the brahmacarya stage of life and monasticism. When the background narrative of brahmacarya 'life', as it has become known to us, is that its real function or fruition is the seamless passage to monastic life, then it has failed us. For it has thus left us to fail ourselves as we then live with the guilt and memories of how we once were but ceased to be. We look at our real self as opposed to our ideal self and at the love and kindness around and think-- 'maya'.
The brahmacarya stage is a superficial and purposeful engagement with renunciation. Rather it is what comes after, what is learned by experiencing an engaged and independent life without unhealthy denial that leads to true renunciation. The journey is not from superficial to 'show bottle'.
Yes, there are exceptions and as such they never constitute the rule. For life must not be overcast. The ups and downs are merely the lesson bearing milestones on our great journey toward self realisation. An optimist at heart we must remain.


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