[Advaita-l] Samnyasa and Sankara's position?

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Apr 9 21:43:13 EDT 2019

Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com wrote:
> Namaste,
> I am wondering what Sankara's position on the necessity of samnyasa for
> seekers and/or jnanis.
> My impression is that the traditional understanding is that he does require
> it at least of seekers.
> However, I have read that he suggests that grihasthas and other
> non-samnyasins can achieve moksha, which contradicts that idea.
There are broadly speaking four kinds of sannyAsa:
1) markaTa-sannyAsa or "Monkey-like" renunciation:
   This so-called "sannyAsa" is taken up without vairAgya, and is denounced by the Wise. e.g. Arjuna's attempt (dissuaded by Krishna).
2) vividiShA-sannyAsa or "Seeker's" renunciation:
   The standard sannyAsa that is taken up by those who have vairAgya and yearn to know the Self.
4) vidvat-sannyAsa or "Knower's" renunciation:
   This is a highly esteemed sannyAsa automatically assumed by one who has already known the Self as a gRRihastha or brahmachArin,
   in order to attain *STEADINESS* (niShThA) in the Self! e.g. yAGYavalkya.
4) Atura-sannyAsa or "Deathbed" renunciation:
   A dying man who wishes to take his last breath as a sannyAsin.
Here's a more elaborate explanation regarding the illustrious third kind above:
  BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti - 7 (Summary)
  Feb 19, 2009

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