sannyAsa and vairAgya

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Fri Jan 10 11:52:55 CST 1997

I realize that I may have given the impression in some of my recent
postings on sannyAsa ASrama and gr.hasthASrama, that total vairAgya is
necessary for taking to sannyAsa. This is not entirely what I mean.
vairAgya is a sufficient condition for taking to sannyAsa, but it is not
always necessary. To expand on this further, the Jabala Sruti (yadahareva
virajet, tadahareva pravrajet) says, "if you have vairAgya, become a
parivrAT." It does not mean, "Only if you have vairAgya can you become a

The advaita vedAnta tradition knows of two kinds of sannyAsa - vidvat
sannyAsa and vividisha sannyAsa. In the latter kind, a disciple may be
taken into the sannyAsa ASrama by a guru, even without complete signs of
vairAgya or jnAna, but on the basis of potential for developing vairAgya
and acquiring jnAna in the future. Such a decision is a personal matter
between the guru and disciple.



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