Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Tue Jan 6 20:40:45 CST 1998

On Tue, 6 Jan 1998, Chelluri wrote:

> Read the life stories of Sri Raghavendra of Mantralayam (19th century) and
> recently Ramadas (west coast of India).  They were in same quandary but they
> ignored their responsibilities.  The result is Raghavendra's wife commited
> suicide and Ramdas family left alone.

Far be it for me to question these cases, but may I point out that
Raghavendra Swami was from the dvaita sampradAya? He became a sannyAsin,
because his guru wanted him to become the head of his maTha in
Kumbhakonam, and he accepted this, inspite of having family
responsibilities at the time. And which Ramadas are you referring to? I
presume it is the saint who was Chatrapati Sivaji's guru, who lived in the
17th century. If so, he was also from the dvaita school's dAsakUTa, but it
should be pointed out that he walked out before he got married, i.e.
before assuming family responsibilities.

As far as renunciation is concerned, it is true that the jAbAla upanishad
advises, yadahareva virajet, tadahareva pravrajet. However, any true
guru in the advaita school will tell you that taking to the parivrAjaka
ASrama should not be done for the wrong reasons. In other words, the
criterion of vairAgya is an acid-test, which should be answered extremely
honestly. If there is the slightest sense of attachment to family and
responsibilities towards them, one should not even consider becoming a
sannyAsin. Till such a time as perfect detachment is reached, it is better
to do nishkAmya karma. Still, it seems to me that this list is not the
right forum to seek advice in this regard. You must seek the advice of a
proper guru.


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