aapat sannyaasa

Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian ramakris at EROLS.COM
Tue Nov 2 19:50:45 CST 1999

Ravisankar S. Mayavaram <miinalochanii at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

> One important issue related to a householder taking sannyaasa is the
> status of his wife. When the husband takes sannyaasa, wife will
> her sumangali status and will be pushed to widowhood. This is not
> a pleasant event for a woman and would definitely hurt her, knowing
> this I wonder any wife will let her husband go!

If people start thinking at this level of detail, one can never do
anything, much less become a sannyAsI. Whatever one does is bound to
displease someone or the other! Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswami has
an interesting tale about this (page 125, Divine discourses):

A person felt like renouncing his 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 home, such is not the case
with renouncing home and going away. Hence, he just set out. A
grand-child 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.


I am not saying one should be totally callous and do anything he
likes. But, a person who has *true* vairAgya is advised to make
monetary arrangements for his wife and just leave.

I heard some other stories also. Apparently the Ramakrishna Mission
folks send the new ascetic inductees to some faraway place from their
hometown and do not divulge the places' name to the parents. This is
because they have had infinite trouble with many of the mothers
starting a fast unto death campaign right outside the mission where
their son had been posted. Obviously, this is only an emotional
blackmail scheme to get their sons not to go to sannyAsa. Certainly
the wishes of parents should receive top priority. But there is a fine
dividing line when things start to become ridiculous. That is why the
jAbAla especially makes a point that persons with *true vairAgya* can
take up sannyAsa even if they have not discharged all their duties. It
is upto people to decide till what point one can bend to the wishes of
others and determine where this fine dividing line lies.

> There is a reference to this aspect of dharma in MV's sankara dig
> vijaya. When shrI maNDana mishra is about to take sannyAsa, there is
> air of concern about ubhaya bhArati attaining widowhood.
> ubhaya bhArati resolves this easily by deciding to ascend to heaven
> a sumangali before maNdana takes sannyaasa. You can read this in
> from the text.

This is quite probably a poetical flourish to show that ubhayabhAratI
considered life without maNDana mishra as barren and need not be taken


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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