What if a person broke the vow of brahmacharya by indulging in sexual activity like masturbation? Is there a punishment? Something a person would do to clear the sexual sins?

  • Why this is off-topic
    – Hindu
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 3:11
  • @KeshavSrinivasan why??
    – Hindu
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 3:11
  • @keshavSrinivasan,@brahmajijnasa please reopen it,it has been reworded.if it is too personal for u leave it ,so that people who are comfortable with this question may answer it.
    – Arjun
    Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 3:28
  • The Brahma Sutras verses 3.4.40-43 says what expiation is needed for one who transgresses brahmachari. It depends upon whether one is a Nasthika Brahmacharin (lifelong) or an ordinary Brahmacharin. The Brahma Sutras are available here - wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/brahma-sutras/d/doc62753.html Commented Jul 29, 2017 at 4:26

1 Answer 1


First of all what i will be posting will apply only to a Dvija Brahmachari whose being initiated into Veda study.

For a Brahmachari wasting manhood is an offence to start with, whether its voluntary or otherwise.

Manu Smriti 2.180. Let him always sleep alone, let him never waste his manhood; for he who voluntarily wastes his manhood, breaks his vow.

If its involuntary then the prayaschitta (atonement) is rather simple.

Manu Smriti 2.181. A twice-born student, who has involuntarily wasted his manly strength during sleep, must bathe, worship the sun, and afterwards thrice mutter the Rik-verse (which begins), ’Again let my strength return to me.’

Also, breaking a vow falls under UpapAtakas or minor sins that lead to jAtibhrahmsa or loss of caste.

Manu Smriti 11.61. Defiling a damsel, usury, breaking a vow, selling a tank, a garden, one’s wife, or child,.. (are all) minor offences, causing loss of caste (Upapataka).

Atonement for voluntary discharge of seminal fluid for a Brahmachari is as given below:

Manu Smriti 11.117. Twice-born men who have committed (other) minor offences (Upapataka), except a student who has broken his vow (Avakirnin), may perform, in order to purify themselves, the same penance or also a lunar penance.

Manu Smriti 11.118. But a student who has broken his vow shall offer at night on a crossway to Nirriti a one-eyed ass, according to the rule of the Pakayagnas.

Nirrti is a demonness, who also is one the 10 Dikpalas (guardians of directions) and she guards the southwest direction.

And, the punishment for discharging semen by a householder, other than in intercourse, is as follows:

  1. If a householder willingly causes the discharge of his virile seed otherwise than in sexual intercourse, he should recite the Gayathri verse one thousand times, and should perform three Pranayamas. (ParAshara Smriti 12-63)

Note that the above verse is not related to a Brahmachari (student) but is applicable to a householder, but since its related to masturbation, i included it in my answer.

Another general atonement measure for all sins is the recitation of the Gayatri mantra. So if you have got the Gayatri mantra upadesam you can easily use this method to your benefit.

One, by reciting the Gayatri, for ten thousand times, is freed from all sins

Usana Smriti's last chapter

NOTE - All the prayaschitta measures mentioned above can be performed only by those who have been initiated into VEda study. That is by those who have Gayatri mantra initiation. The only prayaschitta that can be performed without Vedic initiation is the pranayama (without using mantra).

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Pandya
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 9:27
  • By the way I don't have usana smriti. It will be good if you quote the verse from usana smriti which says so. Because not sure whether minor sins or major sins.
    – user9554
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 18:12
  • All sins it says... it's stated elsewhere (Sankha Smriti) too that Gayatri japa is the best penance.. so don't worry about what has already happened.. just do the japa..@Parikshitha
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 5:02

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