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SriRangaSri List Archive: Message 00077 Nov 2005

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Dear sri vaishNava perunthagaiyeer and smt. Jayasree saranathan

On this word `naishtika' the Monier Williams dictionary reads
? 2. mf(i)n. forming the end, final, last MBh. Hariv. Ragh. 
? definitive, fixed, firm MBh. R. Yājñ. 
? highest, perfect, complete MBh. Kāv. Pur. (-sundara mfn. perfectly 
beautiful Kum. v, 62) 
? completely versed in or familiar with (comp.) Var. 
? belonging to the character or office of a perpetual student W. 
? m. a perpetual religious student or Brāhman who observes the vow of 
chastity Rājat. BhP. 

Since hanumaan and bhishma stood `fixed', `firm', `perfect' in their 
brahmacharya vratham they are called naishtika brahmacharies. But 
manu dharma saasthram on this naishtika brahmacharya says slightly 

4.4.8 Naishtika brahmacarya
But if (a student) desires to pass his whole life in the teacher's 
house, he must diligently serve him, until he is freed from this 
body. [v.2.243.]

A Brahmana who serves his teacher till the dissolution of his body, 
reaches forthwith the eternal mansion of Brahman. [v.2.244.]

He who knows the sacred law must not present any gift to his teacher 
before (the Samavartana); but when, with the permission of his 
teacher, he is about to take the (final) bath, let him procure (a 
present) for the venerable man according to his ability, [v.2.245.]
(Viz.) a field, gold, a cow, a horse, a parasol and shoes, a seat, 
grain, (even) vegetables, (and thus) give pleasure to his teacher. 

(A perpetual student) must, if his teacher dies, serve his son 
(provided he be) endowed with good qualities, or his widow, or his 
Sapinda, in the same manner as the teacher. [v.2.247.]

Should none of these be alive, he must serve the sacred fire, 
standing (by day) and sitting (during the night), and thus finish his 
life. [v.2.248.]

A Brahmana who thus passes his life as a student without breaking his 
vow, reaches (after death) the highest abode and will not be born 
again in this world. [v.2.249.] Vritti: Brahma loka. 

Note: If this manu's rule is applied to both hanumaan and bhishma, 
both fail since both were not residing in their preceptor's place 
till their end of life [did not spend their life in guru's place]. To 
a large extent it can be said that hanumaan followed the `naishtika 
brahmacharya' rule as per manu, since his guru is soorya and he was 
[and is] serving `ina kula thilaka' raghuraama even now ? "yathra 
yathra raghunaatha keerthanam thathra thathra ----". so he is in a 
way naishtika brahmachari. 

But same cannot definitely be said about bhishma since he was all the 
time serving the royal seat of hasthinapur than his guru parasuraama.

vasudevan m.g.

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