(Warning:May by misogynist by a lot of standards)
Disclaimer:If a gay man can be a brahmacArin,all fine and good. More power to him.I’m just noting difficulties which may be purely mine. The ideal recipient of this would be a gay man who is interested in being dhArmika as far as possible.
brahmacharya is the avoidance of maithuna in the eight aspects as noted by a traditional verse:
smaraNaM kIrtanaM keliH prekSaNaM guhyabhASaNam|
saGkalpo’dhyavasAyazca kriyAnivRttireva ca||
etanmaithunamaSTAGgaM pravadanti manISiNaH|
(recollection of women/sex,talking about it,dallying with the opposite sex,looking at the opposite sex lustfully,talking privately with the opposite sex,intention to have sex with someone,making a firm resolve to actually do it,and actually having sex are the eight phases/forms of sexual intercourse.The negation of these is eightfold brahmacharya).
The problem for men who are homosexual is that in normal life ‘prekSaNaM’ with men is inevitably going to happen.(even in a traditional society,forget modern sexualized ones). And keeping them with women is not going to be a solution for reasons obvious to any man. (Amongst other things,modern gay culture,a huge part of it which is drag is about obviously exaggerated femininity,and more femininity is not what gay men need). And even in forbidding ‘kIrtanaM’…well. It’s all fine and dandy for ordinary well meaning people to say it. They basically have to isolate themselves and stay mostly alone if their ‘brahmacharya’ is going to be of any success. One is One may quote the maithunAM puMsi verse of bhagavAn manu,but other smRtis(nArada,etc) and medical literature of that mileu does note that their puMsatvam is defective,and hence one can wonder….
Of course brahmacharyam(and dedicating oneself to Hari or Hara in this way) is ideal,but in case one cannot adhere to that ideal
A possible solution-an impiety minimizing solution-(even if they are not brahmacArins or perfect brahmachArins) could be appropriated from a description of how the best courteseans spend their gains. Such men could spend their gains(which they are more likely to have because they do not support a family) on themselves rather than on hedonistic consumerism/drag sort of stuff that seems to be popular these days. They are described in the kAma sutra(in the 5th chapter of its sixth part) as “Building temples, tanks, and gardens; giving a thousand cows to different Brahmans; carrying on the worship of the Gods, and celebrating festivals in their honour; and lastly, performing such vows as may be within their means.”(Burton translation). Things like this(done yathAshakti),observing vratas like ekAdashi and pradosha,and dedicating oneself as much as possible to nArAyaNa or rudra:That is one way with which one could be better than usual. And also striving to be with one single person(if you really feel the need for companionship) as much as possible as one’s partner/friend.
And of course,the end of these dAnas,vratas,personal devotions and sAdhanAs(if one is carrying them out) are not mere avoidance of puNya and pApa,it is to attain that state beyond that(and also accompanying things like refining the buddhi towards withdrawing ones senses from their objects)
Well,maybe I was too hamhanded,I don’t know what else could be a solution.
Related:Bharat Gupt on homoeroticism.
We can further investigate śāstra to understand the purpose of male and female union. According to dharma-śāstra, the primary purpose is for procreation and not sexual enjoyment. That of course is the ideal and certainly not the observed reality. Dharma-śāstra set the standard knowing well that people in general are not at this prescribed level. Indeed, if they were, there would be no need to set the standard. In the varṇāśrama system, a brahmacāri, vānaprastha and sannyāsī were forbidden to have any sexual relationship. Sexual relation was only allowed in the gṛhastha āśrama, and the purpose of marriage, as clearly stated, was to produce a child. For this reason, in the smṛtis it is said that when the wife has taken bath after her menstrual period and approaches the husband for union, the husband should not refuse her. Otherwise he incurs sin. There are stories in the Purāṇās about a man uniting with a woman even outside of marriage only for procreation, for example Parāśara and Satyavatī, Vyāsa and Ambikā and Ambālikā.
To me it appears that the disapproval of kāma without dharma in the śāstra is about heterosexuals and not about non-heterosexuals. Why do I think so? Because the kind of sex that is abnormal for heterosexuals is normal for non-heterosexuals and if they are forbidden to engage in sex that is normal to them, then they have to repress it. However, śāstra is not in favor of repression, as Kṛṣṇa says, “All living beings follow their acquired nature. What can repression accomplish?” (Gītā 3.33) He also calls a person hypocrite who controls the senses externally but dwells on sense pleasure within the mind (3.6). Those who are born with a non-heterosexual disposition cannot overcome it by repression. Just as heterosexuals are allowed to marry and engage in sex as per śāstra, there should be a provision for the third group, tṛtīya prakṛti.
Since the past cannot be recreated,I am merely describing an ideal that is possible to follow in our current times.