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 FOR A RELATED QUESTION, WE ARE NOT INCLUDING THEM HERE, HOWEVER, KINDLY READ THE PREVIOUS INVALUABLE RESPONSES AT:
Dear MohanJi, many good suggestions are given here.
Help is on the way, for you are being driven to Self discovery by Self, the truth itself! It is by Grace only, because mind will present arguments against it!
For conducive places in India, Rishikesh comes to mind where as you said Gangaji, Saints, help the journey!
However, what I have understood from my experience, and also some great Sanyasins I meet tell me in no uncertain words that, it is not in a place or anything in one's perceived world, one finds it easier to renounce!
Places and like-minded people around you offer extra-ordinary help if one is already at peace, at Home, wherever one IS, in whatever situation one finds oneself!
This one has to discover first, and then going to a place like Rishikesh or some such places can accelerate the Sadhana. A disciple in you will find a way to TRUTH by hearing TRUTH from lips of someone you need to hear!
You are very fortunate to have family who understands your inner calling!
Sadhakas best wishes are with you!
SANNYASIN'S LIFE From
SriMadh Bhagavatham by Poojaniya Swami A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada
A physically and mentally fit Sannyasin, should, after resolving everything in the Atman, wander forth without any specific destination, stopping in no village for more than a day and depend on none for anything. Except in times of danger, he shall not resume anything that he has abandoned on becoming a sannyasin. He should be indifferent to life and death, realizing that Time brings out both. He should not concern himself with non-spiritual subjects. He will have wisdom but look like a child and he will be full of inspiration but appear dumb.
To help seekers, I can share about a place that is not commercial. Those interested, you may contact me through moderators.
Shree Hari Ram Ram
We are unable to include links at the time to sites other than the ones we know well. We are sorry!
Gita Talk Moderators, Ram Ram
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
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
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
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
At the lotus feet of Gurudeva,
Swami Brahmavidyananda Saraswati
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
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