As you can see below, the Linga Purana says that a married man who is loyal to his wife is same as a celibate (brahmachari).

svadāre vidhivatkṛtvā nivṛttiścānyataḥ sadā /
manasā karmaṇā vācā brahmacaryamiti smṛtam // LiP_1,8.18 //

The householders should have sexual intercourse with their legally wedded wives alone. For them to keep themselves away from other women, mentally, physically and by speech, would amount to the observing of brahmacarya.

And the very next verse says:

medhyā svanārī sambhogaṃ kṛtvā snānaṃ samācaret /
evaṃ gṛhastho yuktātmā brahmacārī na saṃśayaḥ // LiP_1,8.19 //

A householder, after enjoying an intercourse with his own wife, should take a bath. Such a type of the yogi householder is surely considered to be a Brahmacāri.

How is it justified that a married person is called a brahmachari? Do any scriptures explain more on this topic? Have any Gurus commented on this?

  • Can u post that Linga Purana verse which says so?
    – Rickross
    Feb 1, 2017 at 14:39
  • Ok... it might take some time but will provide the verse reference for sure. Feb 1, 2017 at 14:49
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    @Rickross See edits. Feb 2, 2017 at 0:34
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    Yes, many holy men have said this and there are scriptural references for this also. Why is it the same? Because scripture says it is - that is why. Feb 2, 2017 at 7:12
  • Brahma Charya ≠ Celibacy. Celibacy means abstaining from mariage and sexual intercourses. Brahma Charya means 'following path of Brahman'.
    – user14995
    Apr 10, 2018 at 10:41

2 Answers 2


No just being loyal is not enough.One has to avoid his wife on the period days and few other forbidden days too.

If a husband does that then many scriptures declare him to be as good as a celibate.

Here i am quoting from Manu Smriti:

Manu Smriti 3.50. He who avoids women on the six forbidden nights and on eight others, is (equal in chastity to) a student, in whichever order he may live.

Here by student is meant a Brahmachari(celibate) who has to maintain celibacy as a rule.

Thanks @sv for adding that Linga Purana page in the question.That same page also says :

Therefore one should practice detachment mentally verbally and physically.Abstention from sexual intercourse ,except during the prescribed period after menstruation is believed to be celibacy for the householders.

So,just being loyal to one's wife is not enough although it is absolutely necessary.There are few prescribed days and few forbidden days.On the forbidden days the wife should be avoided as well,and, it's only then that the husband is equal to a celibate.

NOTE-That one's wife is to be avoided on period days is mentioned in many Texts.I'll try to update my answer with them.

1) From Sadachara Varnan in Brahma Purana:

....never sleep during day time, much less unite with wife; rajaswala women should observe four nights of menses and observance of five nights would assure Purushatwa in next birth; in any case, observing aloofness from husband for five nights would be recommended;

2) From Parshara Smriti:

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  1. On the first day that the blood begins to flow, the woman is comparable to a female Chandala ; on the second, she is like a Brahmanicide ; on the third, she may be likened to a washerwoman. On the fourth day, * however, she is entirely pure.

[ Madhava says that the comparisons imply this, — as great a sin will be incurred by having intercourse with her on those particular days, as would be incurred by having intercourse with the females is compared to.]

Similarly,Yajnavalkya Smriti,Chapter 1,Verse 79 says:

Sixteen days or nights commencing with the day of menses are the menstrual period of the womankind ; of them one should know his wife on the night of an even day such as, the fourth,the sixth or the eighth , night.This is Brahmacharryam.On the other hand,one should avoid parva days, and the first four days of menses.

From Vyasa Smriti:

The first four nights of the period should be avoided as Parva days, as well as those marked by the asterisms called Revati, Pitraksha and Rakshasa. Fecundation should take place on each even night during the menstrual peroid alone. (43)

Even the vow of a Brahmacharin, who visits his wife during her menstrual period, is not vitiated by so doing. Even he, who does not know any other woman, commits no sin by going unto his own wife during her menstrual period according to the natural inclinations of his mind. (45)(Vyasa Smriti,Chapter 2,verses 43,45)

So,the point i made at the start of my answer is repeated in almost all Scriptures.Cohabiting with one's wife ,except on the given prohibited days,is equivalent to maintaining celibacy.

Now,if your real question is "how" then that can't be answered from Scriptures.

BTW your original question was asking Is being loyal to one's wife equivalent to celibacy if so how? But after the Edit it appears that you are only asking about the "How" part.So, i addressed your "Is" part quite well but as i have said the "How" part can't be answered from Scriptures.

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    Here u can get to know about the forbidden days.
    – Rickross
    Feb 1, 2017 at 14:38
  • "Chandala", "Brahmanicide"...why did Parashara use such heavy words? Maybe he wanted to induce fear into people, else they won't listen, take it lightly! Feb 2, 2017 at 6:25
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    @sv. The women on courses are very impure..Scriptures say as the blood flows out from the body a women gets purified(in this fashion a woman gets rid of her sins and becomes pure again)..So to cohabit with such a woman has been mentioned as sin in Scriptures..Now whether the choice of words by Parashara is only to induce fear or they are literally true is not for me to say with any authority..It can be both ways..
    – Rickross
    Feb 2, 2017 at 6:57
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    In the long run, I think it helps to know why is something declared a sin and why others are not. As such most Hindus today don't follow all these injunctions. One comment below the question says "Because scripture says it is - that is why" -- well I doubt after 100 years people will accept such an answer .. it will not fly very far. Feb 2, 2017 at 21:46
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    @sv I don't know how it helps..It does not help me at least..I think one can spend crores of years in investigating why X is sin and why Y is not by sensory methods..but in the end he will return empty handed.."most Hindus today don't follow all these injunctions." That is not surprising ..In this age most people will not follow Scriptures..Some will simply not follow them ..some others will not follow them citing "they are not rationally verifiable" as reasons..In my view everyone should follow Scriptures without questioning them..But in this age there are very few people who think like that
    – Rickross
    Feb 3, 2017 at 7:11

If objective of intercourse is only child birth then its celibacy else not.However in this age if a guy seriously took this stance he will flagged as impotent and can also lead to divorce and social humiliation.

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    Sep 7, 2021 at 20:53

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