Understanding Sannyaasa 2

March 15, 2013 Comments Off on Understanding Sannyaasa 2

Seeker’s Query:
Swamiji, I understand that true sannyaasa, based on spiritual wisdom, implies a wider outlook of life. Will it involve change of relationship with the society? How will a sannyaasin (or an enlightened soul) relate himself to the society and how should the society look at him?
Poojya Swamiji’s Response:
A person of enlightenment is very rare. At the same time, the need for such a one in every society can be felt every time. As Bhagavadgeeta describes him, he is the most wonderful person, having attained the most wonderful state – the Self itself being the most wonderful. His wonderfulness makes him dear and near to many a seeker and afflicted soul. People will rush to him for succour, finding him steeped in matchless goodness and benevolence.
To make himself available for such a new mission – involving a unique role of loka-sangraha by which all around him will be benefited – it is desirable that he gets away from bodily relationships, and throws open a new vista around him. In fact, it is with this in view that sannyaasa or the life of renunciation is described as a way of life or pursuit aimed at liberating oneself, and simultaneously promoting the welfare of the world – Aatmanah mokshaartham jagat hitaaya ca.
Our unique cultural thoughts as well as laws of dharma have emanated from the minds of such renounced and dedicated ascetics, no matter whether they were ascetics in a physically visible manner or not. Years of dedicated thinking, with the mind remaining free from usual clutches of passion, prejudice and fear (raaga, dvesha and bhaya) have been their wont. Through their austerity, they have evolved the code of conduct and norms of righteousness, applicable for one and all in every section of the society.
To be able to offer redemption to the afflicted and ignorant souls, who, unable to contain their agitations and doubts, seek the feet of the enlightened, the latter has certainly to be magnificent in every way. He should be like a moving God, with a heart as vast as the sky, and as deep as the ocean.
How can such magnificence be reached and preserved except when one gets away from the limiting environments of the so-called family and familial relations, in the usual sense of the terms?
Renunciation is coeval with true spiritual wisdom in two respects. One is that true wisdom irresistibly brings in the sense of renunciation – renunciation of the ego. Thereafter, it also induces the wise to lead a free life, not burdened by the constricted and selfish demands of the blood and matrimonial relations. Naturally, the sannyaasa way of life became the custom of such people.
Also, recognizing the greatness of sannyaasa, people started taking to sannyaasa as a pursuit for attaining the supreme spiritual wisdom, the unique Knowledge of the Self.
– Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha.
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2012

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