I have read in one text that in ancient ages/vedic period, brAhmins used to maintain celibacy upto 48 years for gaining knowledge/realisation. And, they did not take refuge to a king for material gains.

Is it correct? If so, please provide references from any scripture.

  • Where did you read about this? Perhaps we can find some references from there. Nov 25, 2019 at 2:45
  • 1
    to master 1 veda it takes 12 years. this is normal gurukula period for brahmachari (from age of 8 till 20). So, for 4 vedas, 12x4 = 48 years. you need not learn all 4, you also need not stop with 1. That's why we have people with surnames like Dwivedi, Trivedi, Chaturvedi i.e it was a honorary title given to those who have mastered that many vedas. You must only go for learning the next Veda after you have completed your birth-veda (which is mentioned in abhivadana during sandhya)
    – ram
    Nov 25, 2019 at 3:58
  • If one starts at the age of 8 years, it will take 56 years (8 + 48) to learn 4 Vedas. Anyways, I want scriptural base please@ram Nov 25, 2019 at 4:40

1 Answer 1


Yes, in ancient times that used to be the practice when a Dvija used to spend 48 years in the Brahmacharya Ashrama (the student phase of life). And, in that phase, maintaining celibacy is to be fulfilled as it's a vow.

The Baudhayana Dharma Sutras state that:

1 Forty-eight years, according to ancient practice, is the period of studentship for studying the Veda; 2 alternatively, twenty-four years, or twelve years per Veda, 3 or at least one year for each book, 4 or, given the uncertainty of life, until he has learned it. 5 A vedic text states: ‘A man should establish his sacred fires while his hair is still black.’

Dharmasutras of Baudhayana 1.3.1-5

And, note that it's applicable for any Dvija and not only for the Brahmins.

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