[Advaita-l] Sometimes a gRRihastha is superior to a sannyAsin, and vice-versa (was Re: Samnyasa and Sankara's position?)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 17 22:37:22 EDT 2019

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com wrote:
> Taking up sannyAsa to avoid getting pestered is an exercise in futility,
> because even if one takes sannyAsa from grihasthAshrama, the one taking
> such a sannyAsa - the body and the mind - cannot take sannyAsa from
> prArabdha. That will continue to affect the body and mind even after.
> Therefore, the only true sannyAsa is the sannyAsa from body identification,
> and there is nothing to stop that even now. May we have the strength and
> perseverance to train our mind to think on those lines.
> As long as the body is in grihasthAshrama, let it serve those that are
> dependent upon it. When they have no use for it, let it seek their
> permission to drop the relations and take up sannyAsa.
> On Mon, 15 Apr 2019, 05:20 Venkata sriram P via Advaita-l wrote:
> > Even if you want to stay at home after jnAna, your wife & children wont
> > let you stay ....wife will pester for vegetables, milk packets, curd and
> > groceries and your kids would pester for outing :)
> >
> > Hence, better to take vidwat-sanyAsa post jnAna for jnAna-niSTa ...
> >
The GYAnimAtra will eventually assume vidvat-sannyAsa as a matter of course.
However, not everyone should take up sannyAsa - in fact, doing so without vairAgya is considered
detrimental! These are the many levels below the jIvanmukta = sthitapraGYa, in order of rank
(i.e. #1 is superior to #2, and so on):
1. Vidvat-sannyAsin (sannyAsin with GYAna).
2. GYAnimAtra (a gRRihastha or brahmachArin with GYAna).
3. vividiShA-sannyAsin (sannyAsin possessing vairAgya).
4. A gRRihastha or brahmachArin following dharma (with no vairAgya or GYAna).
5. markaTa-sannyAsin (without vairAgya or GYAna - something like a "yoga-bhraShTa").
Note that if one has GYAna, it is better to be a sannyAsin than a gRRihastha (#1 > #2).
OTOH, if one does not have GYAna or vairAgya, being a dhArmic gRRihastha is far superior (#4 > #5)!
The last kind (#5) is unworthy and should be avoided at all costs. The Gita provides an example of
Arjuna being advised to NOT take up sannyAsa.
Here's a thumb-rule of sorts when taking such "sannyAsa" decisions:
If one truly possesses vairAgya, the Wise will observe this and confer sannyAsa on the deserving person.
If that does not happen, one should continue to perform Vedic rituals without desire ("Karma-Yoga") until
vairAgya (or GYAna) is attained.


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