Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 11 - Chapter 1 - Verse 23


मेखलाजिनदण्डाक्षब्रह्मसूत्रकमण्डलून् ।जटिलोऽधौतदद्वासोऽरक्तपीठ: कुशान् दधत् ॥ २३ ॥


mekhalājina-daṇḍākṣa-brahma-sūtra-kamaṇḍalūnjaṭilo ’dhauta-dad-vāso’rakta-pīṭhaḥ kuśān dadhat


The brahmacārī should regularly dress with a belt of straw and deerskin garments. He should wear matted hair, carry a rod and waterpot and be decorated with akṣa beads and a sacred thread. Carrying pure kuśa grass in his hand, he should never accept a luxurious or sensuous sitting place. He should not unnecessarily polish his teeth, nor should he bleach and iron his clothes.


The word adhauta-dad-vāsa indicates that a renounced brahmacārī is not concerned with a glistening smile to attract the opposite sex, nor does he pay much attention to his outer garments. Brahmacārī life is meant for austerity and obedience to the spiritual master so that later in life, when one becomes a businessman, politician or intellectual brāhmaṇa, one will be able to call upon resources of character, discipline, self-control, austerity and humility. Student life, as described here, is far different from the mindless hedonism known as modern education. Of course, in the modern age, Kṛṣṇa conscious brahmacārīs cannot artificially adopt the ancient dress and ritualistic duties described here; but the essential values of self-control, purity and obedience to a bona fide spiritual master are just as necessary today as they were in Vedic times.