Thank you Moderators for providing the links to past postings. I have been
going through a few of these. I am particularly interested as I am nearing
Sanyaas and would like to go back to India after living abroad for over half my
life. I would like to now take up the life of a recluse, dedicated only to God,
study of Gita and spreading His spiritual truths to those I come in contact
with. I have been deeply touched by Swamiji's teaching and see nothing but
auspiciousness in making this life transition. The well settled children and
wife are all properly taken care off. In fact they are willing and very
receptive to me taking up this path without any desire to accompany me or pursue
a life of spirituality.
I seek your guidance in suggesting conducive places for spiritual sadhana in
India, to pursue a life dedicated to God. My needs are not many, but it would
be good to be in a holy place, possibly where Gangaji, Saints or other spiritual
activities are going on. I have some health issues, but none that should deter
me from this path. I welcome your insights and suggestions.
DUE TO THE LENGTH OF THE PREVIOUS POSTINGS, TO A RELATED QUESTION, WE ARE NOT INCLUDING THEM HERE, HOWEVER, KINDLY READ THE PREVIOUS INVALUABLE RESPONSES AT:
There is a saying in Hindi, "Man pakkaa to kathautee men Gangaa."
Wherever you go, the mind will remain with you. Gain victory over the mind. Both recluse life and God are right there, where you are.
Hindee men kahaavat hai - Man pakkaa to kathautee men Gangaa.
Aap jahaan jaayenge, man saath rahegaa. Man ko saadhiye, sanyaas aur Eeshwar vaheen hain jahaan aap hain.
There are various places in India, where you can engage in the activities desired by you.
There is no place in the world where you can find absolute peace.
As the world is made for noise, action.
When the desire for peace drops, you become peace. All actions arise from peace.
The duality between noise, action and peace drops.
Now you may visit any place in the world and see the wonder.
Y V Chawla
the discussion is very interesting as well as thought provoking and
mind rendering ..feel obliged to the almighty for getting such a
forum where people talk on such vital yet not so common issues.itoo
have some such inclinations .but every individual and every family has
different .one has to take decisions conditions in which other family
members are the least effected although iknow leaving the family is
not feasible for everybody .then the only option for such people
is to get connected with some such forum i do not know where will i
be .as i am a totally dependent person in many ways so for me gita
and bhagwannam is the only solace
jai shree krishna
I hear here aswell as at many other places that devouts who feel sanyas want to desert their mundane environment and join satsang companions or sites,as if these sites offer the wonderful sweets of devoution.Holy Bhagwat Geeta doesnot advise to desert performing duties and accomplising hard objectives.During family life it was always difficult to persue the cause of goodness in management of our own affairs.Sometimes we couldnot avoid telling lies,avoided facing injustice in the wider interests of our personal gains.As we retire from our family responsibilities we should apply our experience and stamina to much wider society which is full of injustice,corruption,sexual abuse and variety of other maladies.
Doctors can help the needy sick.Lawyers can dispel social injustice and fight legally against crime.Teachers can teach free of cost especially the students who cannot afford.It is quoted somewhere that few minutes of prayers are sufficient and need not be hours long sittings.Renunciation of greed and other similar instincts for service of society is real sanyas.
Hari Om !
Nice discussion ! May I clarify the meaning & purpose of Sannyas (if moderator allows...... ) ! Firstly, one must know that there are FOUR stages/Ashrams of living in Sanatana Dharma (..... today popularly called as Hindu Dharma)-Brahmacharya, Grihastha,Vanprastha & Sannyas. As these are the WAY OF LIVINGS, there is no discriminations between Gents & Ladies. Adi Shankaracharya initiated Rev. Bharati (wife of Mandan Mishra, later known as Sureshwaracharya as the first Shankaracharya of South-Peetha) into Sannyas. There are many examples available in Vedic period.
Now let me take another part of discussion ! The word sannyas comes from the Sanskrit 'samnyas': this is derived from two roots: sam - complete, total; and nyasa- abandonment, setting aside. The ideal of sannyas is the perfect abandonment of one's material, emotional and intellectual attachments, so that the situations of life can be seen clearly and used to enhance awareness and understanding. Without renunciation and detachment, one can never see the world objectively as it is. Only when freed of self-identification, personal desires and ambitions, can the mystery of life begin to be unravelled, so that one begins to perceive the underlying reality hidden beneath the appearances of the world. Only this knowledge, and nothing else, can bring you security and peace of mind.
Renunciation and detachment are the foundations of sannyas. These are the two qualities which distinguish a sannyasin from other people. It is the quest of a sannyasin to attain perfect renunciation and detachment, for that is the state of complete egoless-ness, the highest state of consciousness.
Renunciation is a symbolic outer action, the act of leaving behind the objects and habits which bind the individual to a pattern of life in which the consciousness cannot be liberated and higher levels of awareness cannot be developed and sustained. Detachment is essentially an inner attitude. It is the breaking of the bondage of the mind to possessions, people and property. Renunciation and detachment cannot really be considered separately, because they cannot exist independently from each other. They are like the two sides of one coin. Renunciation is the outer action while detachment is the inner attitude which accompanies it. They grow hand in hand all throughout sannyas life. One who lives according to these two principles and has received initiation into spiritual life from the guru, is called a sannyasin.
What is actually renounced? Some consider that it is one's selfish motives, while others say that it is the world itself which is renounced. Still others maintain that it is only those actions which are not conducive to human welfare or which create difficulties for others, which are to be renounced. Therefore the sannyasin requires discrimination in order to know for himself what it is that he renounces!
External renunciation is actually of little value without first renouncing the ego- the principle of self-motivation. Otherwise the more external objects that are renounced, the stronger the ego will become. However, if the sannyasin principally renounces the ego, then attachment to objects will automatically diminish without any effort. It is never the object itself which has to be renounced, but the ownership, the attachment to it. Only when the relationship between the owner and the object is perceived very clearly does freedom from the illusion of the object arise. There is nothing to renounce in life beyond our attachments and our basic instincts. The sannyasin sacrifices his lower self, his instinctive life, for the sake of a higher life.
How renunciation leads to a higher life Liberation cannot be attained without renunciation. This is because the veil of ignorance cannot be lifted while one is still personally involved in worldly life. The secret of renunciation is to want nothing. Renunciation of one's family and material life is not enough. What is required is renunciation of egoism, small-mindedness and all the negative qualities that stand in the way of spiritual evolution.
Renunciation makes one fearless and happy. The wealth of the whole world belongs to one who has renounced all selfish motivation. Nature cares for him wherever he goes and his material needs are satisfied by themselves. One who possesses the divine virtues of renunciation and detachment radiates peace and bliss, and is welcomed by all. For him there is no such thing as a stranger, and the whole world is his home.
In the worldly life, people are happy for five minutes and then weep for the next five minutes. Only in the highest consciousness, which is attained by renunciation and detachment, is there eternal bliss. This is why no one can imitate the blissful smile of a sannyasin.
Renunciation or higher gratification? Although sannyas is the way of renunciation, one initially decides to tread this path because of desire. Man's real desire is for the higher life, and in sannyas, the gratification of all lesser desires is re-channelled towards this single major aim. One can have ambition, social ideals, sensual expression, or any form of desire, large or small, yet still be a renunciate. How are these transcended in spiritual life? While everyone has desire, the spiritual aspirant utilises and directs it to strengthen and stabilise the highest states of awareness. The sannyasin sees, feels and experiences everything before him, but he totally renounces that feeling we experience when something is taken away. He renounces not the object, but that feeling. The object will always be there, but the attachment to the object, craving the experience of, the object, must be eliminated.
The energy that is directed towards any desire is so powerful, and has so much force behind it that it has to be expressed in some way in order to avoid suppression and disease. Most people express it externally on the physical plane in a way that is never full or complete. Thus it leaves buds that flower and produce the fruits of dissatisfaction, discontent, restlessness, frustration and emptiness. The sannyasin, however, learns to link and direct this dissipated energy towards a higher and greater fulfilment. Through selfless service and total dedication all the desires become unified into a single desire, and as the energy and concentration increase, the mind becomes extremely powerful, like a laser beam, able to pierce to the very core of existence.
Renunciation and responsibility Although the sannyasin lives in this world without attachments, he never acts carelessly or irresponsibly. Responsibility means 'the ability to respond'. It is detachment which enables the sannyasin to respond to all life's situations creatively. Detachment is not a listless un-involvement in life, but is a living sacrifice. With detachment one strives for perfection, but without any expectation for the fruits or results of the work. Because he is free from personal involvement and problems, a sannyasin is able to shoulder a double work load. A sannyasin works for the benefit of all, considering the work itself as sufficient cause or motive and sharing with others whatever fruits result from the work.
Isn't sannyas an escape? No one can escape from life. Realising this, the sannyasin does not choose to reject life or escape from it but rather to embrace life fully. Only a person who has no personal attachments can wholeheartedly accept life for what it is, and be open in all situations. It is the person whose life is centred in his possessions and relationships who is escaping from the reality of life. The security of attachment is unreal, it can never be permanent- and when it falls away, understanding dawns only with the pain of disillusionment.
The sannyasin realises that suffering is a part of life and must be endured by everyone. Suffering is the price of higher awareness so the sannyasin utilises and accepts it equally, as a part of his own and everyone else's life. It is only the worldly person, devoted to 'the pleasure principle' who is forever seeking to avoid pain in his life. Pain is inevitable, and the sannyasin realises that it is folly to spend his life hiding from it. He accepts pleasure and pain equally, and attempts to maintain an equal mind throughout. Sannyas is not escaping from, but shaping up to life.
Those who interpret sannyas as an escape from the responsibilities of life have misunderstood sannyas completely. Sannyasins are people who want to live-life fully and not withdraw from it. Sannyas life enhances responsibility in all situations. A sannyasin is not an inactive recluse, but one who has renounced within action in order to be more efficient and responsible in the battlefield of life. People who are dynamic by temperament, devoted to their responsibilities, should not think that they are unsuitable for sannyas. They most definitely are suited. Sannyas will awaken within them a state of dynamic positivity, bestowing inner peace within the fulfilment of duties and responsibilities.
Inner peace is not attained by renouncing all actions, all karmas, but by living life in all its fullness, with the awareness and detachment which sannyas training develops.
Extroversion or introversion Many people feel that it is necessary to be introverted by nature in order to be successful in sannyas life, but this is not so. Spiritual insight and awareness is actually more readily available to a person who is extrovert by nature. This is because people who are introverted find it very difficult to maintain a continuous flow of awareness. In sannyas life, even those people who are introvert by nature become more extrovert.
Sannyas life awakens and widens the scope of the sensory activities through work and constant awareness which develops all five senses. Contrary to popular belief, in spiritual life, one has to become more aware of, and more sensitive to the outside world. At a particular stage of evolution, the sannyasin becomes very extroverted. This is not to say that he is given over to sensual life, but he becomes aware of everything which is outside, and can be received or understood by the senses.
Those people who are already extroverted can reach this stage more easily and more rapidly than those who are introverted. The extrovert responds directly to sensory stimuli, while the introvert has to learn to externalise his sensory perceptions, develop them, make them more keen and sensitive. Then he can benefit by introverting them again to follow the discipline of pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation).
Introversion is actually a spiritual disqualification in sannyas life. In the ashram, when a sannyasin is introverted, he is never allowed to practice meditation because he has not learned to manipulate and control the mind. If the mind dives deep, he does not have the capacity to bring it back out. Therefore, the mind should not be introverted until it is first extroverted, developed and stabilised. Introversion leads to neurotic behaviour. When the sannyasin learns to balance extroversion and introversion, he is able to soar to the inner heights while simultaneously performing his outer duties to perfection.
At the lotus feet of Gurudeva,
Swami Brahmavidyananda Saraswati
(presently as a paribrajaka in Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh)
A Sannyasi from Rishikesh, India
Dear Gita-member Mr. Mohan,
You don't have to throw anything except your thoughts/thinking
and then you will be able to do "bhakti" ie. prayers in thinking
with no physical thoughts in your mind. This will be perfect
"sanyas" right in your home. If you are interested in details then
contact the moderator -
Best of luck. Bye.
Guidance Needed for Retirement and Sanyaas
Congradulations. It is you who is ahead in the game and have to provide guidance to others :).
Anyway, I would like to share an interesting incidence in this occasion. Hope that is useful.
Once Swami Rama's Guru's Guru was laying down under morning sun on the banks of Narmada. Many crocodiles also shared the same pleasantry around him. The peace radiating from the fellow made the whole place radiant with bliss.
The Shankaraachaarya of Kharaveerapura who was passing by happened to witness the same. He was looking for a rightful heir to the Shankara PeeTha. Who else could fit the bill than a man who can peacefully rest amongst the crocodiles! He pursuaded the gipsy to get to Kharaverapura MaTha. Soon The Shankarachaarya left his body as already expected and the man was made The Shankarachaarya. The gypsy took into Sanyaas.
The MaTha being an institution requires both social and financial administration. The Shankaraachaarya has to follow certain decorum always escroted in a car. The man one day requested the car driver to escort him to the nearby railway station. He netered a train that came across not to return back again.
The FRRE man sought the FREEDOM again took Sanyaas from the sanyaas to be FREE as ever.
Na karmaNaamanaarambhaan naishkarmam purusho'shnute |
Na cha sanyasanaadev siddhim samadhigacchhati ||
Lord KrishNa warns a "Sanyaasaaturi Arjuna" running away from responsibilities does neither free you from your bondage to your actions and notions, nor does it set you free from yourself.
But Mohanji, I admire your proactive approach of untieing yourself from the knots you had tied with your kith and kin to seek your abode. But the deepest knot is with yourself. Till that knot is broken, you ought to seek a congenial place that helps breaking that knot as well. Though I cannot suggest you any specific geographic location for that, I can verily suggest an excellent emotional location for that - your heart - to be the one that you are wherever you seek to be.
A list of all topics discussed in 2009 along with their links are at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gita-talk/message/3189