Grandfathers and sannyaasa

sadananda sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Wed Nov 20 10:29:38 CST 1996

> Here is an excerpt from a talk by Shri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha,
> the former Swami of Sringeri:
>  `` A person felt like renouncing home and so wanted to determine the
>    auspicious time to leave. He finally concluded that while an auspicious
>    time is chosen to enter a new house, such is not the case with renouncing
>    home and going away. Hence, he just set out. A grandchild of his cried
>    out, "Grandfather! Grandfather! Where are you going?" Replying, "No, no,
>    I am never going to leave you", he returned to his house."
>     (Divine discourses, Published by Sri Vidyateertha Foundation,
>      Mylapore Madras, 600 004, (1994))
>    The question is:
>     Suppose the above mentioned grandfather stays at home and says he will
>     "mentally" renounce everything but stay with his family. Is he being
>     honest to himself? It may be better to continue to practise karma or
>     bhakti, in his case.
>   Anand

It is assumed in the question and Sri Anand's answer that followed that the
choice is between leaving home vs. karma and Bhakti.  First they are not
mutually exclusive. What is going to do when he leaves the house?
Renunciation is not leaving karma or Bhakti, but the notion that I am the
doer while the action is being performed.  Sankaraacharya has provided what
true Bhakti means in the VivekachuuDaamani - I donot remember the sloka.
He difines Bhakti as the contemplation on one self.

Next question is why does he want to leave the house.  If he is mentally
attached to his grand child, he will carry the grand child mentally even he
leaves the house - He wont be honest to himself either even if he leaves
the house.  There are many, who leave the house becuase of smashaana
vairaagya - who left their families in the impulsive and ended having
families else where. On the other hand, if he is detached mentally but does
not want to hurt the small grand child, he can still be staying at home
continue his practices with non-attachment. He can practices his meditation
at home to the degree possible. He has to weigh his grand childs need vs
his need.  If he is like Siddhartha, he can laeve the wife and the child,
even before he become a grandfather!

The only advantage of leaving the house for the grandfather, if he is truly
detached, is that he will have more free time without the unnecessary
disturbances for his meditation.

Hence external sanyaasa should not be taken unless internal sanyaasa is
there.  The teacher who gives sanyaasa generally does not give to his
disciple unless he has that detachment.

Hari Om!

K. Sadananda
Code 6323
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
Voice (202)767-2117

What you have is His gift to you and what you do with what you have is your
gift to Him: Swami Chinmayananda

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list