The word 'Brahmacharya' literally means "conduct consistent with Brahman" or "on the path of Brahman". It generally refers to a lifestyle characterized by sexual continence or abstinence. Brahmacharya is different from the English term "celibacy," which merely means non-indulgence in sexual activity. Brahmacharya is restraint or control of mind through ascetic means.
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- James Lochtefeld, "Brahmacharya" in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, pp. 120, Rosen Publishing. ISBN 9780823931798