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Sanyasa - Detachment


The behavioral state of a person in Sannyasa is described by many texts. Sannyasin does not hate, does not desire, and is liberated from bondage. Other behavioral characteristics, in addition to renunciation, during Sannyasa include: ahimsa (non-violence), akrodha (not become angry even if you are abused by others), disarmament (no weapons), chastity, bachelorhood (no marriage), avyati (non-desirous), amati (poverty), self-restraint, truthfulness, sarvabhutahita (kindness to all creatures), asteya (non-stealing), aparigraha (non-acceptance of gifts, non-possessiveness) and shaucha (purity of body speech and mind).

Nothing more than a Loin Cloth

There lived a guru and his disciple who spent all their time in prayer and meditation. Their possessions were very limited. They had only two loin clothes (kaupin) to wear. Every day they would wear one and wash the other. One day the guru decided to go on a long pilgrimage. As he bid farewell to his disciple, the guru asked his disciple lead a simple life.

One day, the disciple saw a rat running off with a piece of his spare loin cloth in its mouth. He quickly checked and sure enough, the spare loin cloth was full of holes!. So when he went begging for alms at the village the next day, he also asked for a loin cloth. But got a big cloth. He made few pieces of loin cloth, towel and so on.

He once again found that his cloth had been torn up by the rats. So, he got a cat to get rid of the rats. He wanted to feed the cat well and he got a cow from the benevolent villagers and took care of her. Now he needs straw to feed my cow. He cultivates the land around.

The land produced a good crop. So now he needed a place to store the grain. He hired laborers to build barns for him. The disciple found that his needs and his possessions kept growing and soon the hermitage where he lived was replaced by a lavish estate. Living a luxurious life, the disciple decided to get married and raise a family.

One day his guru returned from his long pilgrimage. He found the lavish estate. He thought that a rich man must have driven his poor disciple away and built his estate where the hermitage used to be. He asked one of the servants about the ascetic who used to live.
Just then, the disciple heard his gurus voice and rushed out to greet him. My son, what is all this? the guru asked. I left you leading the simple life of an ascetic. I return to find you surrounded by wealth and possessions. How did this happen?

Oh Gurudev, the disciple said remorsefully. It all started with a single loin cloth. To protect the cloth from the rats I needed a cat and then there was no end to my needs. Forgive me, Gurudev. There is no end to our desires. True Sanyasa will have no more than a loin cloth and begging bowl.

Kaupeena Panchakam

This is a very short poem with five stanzas that glorifies the life of a Sannyasi. A Sadhu renounces everything before entering in to Sannyas, and wears only a kaupina aka kaupeena (nothing more than a loincloth). That too is for the sake of the world, not for himself. Then he can enjoy the philosophical statements in the Vedanta-sutra, not otherwise.
வேதாந்த வகுஹ்யேஷு சதா ராமந்தோ | பிக்ஷன்னாமத்ரென த்ரிஷ்டிமந்த |
விஷக்கமைந்த கரனே சாரந்த | கௌபீனவந்த காலு பாஹ்யவந்த |(1)
Always thinking about sprituality and peace. Satisfied with simple food obtained by begging. That person with the only loin cloth is indeed the lucky one, without any trace of sorrow, always in state of bliss

Sanyasa is not Artificial poverty

Some monks or Sannyasis, would like to behave (act) like poor people. They are like politicians, they get support from masses, as they see leaders among one of them. "India has to be rich to keep Gandhi poor". Sarojini Naidu, then president of the Indian National Congress, famously remarked about Gandhi that "it costs a lot of money to keep this man in poverty." Current Indian Politicians and community leaders follow Gandhi only in this aspect.

Some Monk's (Sanyasi/religious head) individual life style may be 100 times costlier than any well paid professional. They are community leaders, business men and celebrities. Special uniform or Saffron dress for sanyasi is 10 time the price of pant and shirt. If a monk goes, lot of his servants have to go. He needs special food. Cook/porter/barber and etc have to go. Real cost will be more than 100 times. But he is a poor monk, who has given up everything. Are they in Spriritual Business?

Missionnaries went to under developed regions or countries like Africa. Natives lost their land and wealth, in turn got copies of scriptures for better next or after life. Their Solution to common persons for getting peace of mind, "Money is evil. Please give me all your money and You can have peace".

Detachment is Compassion towards All

न तु अहं कामये राज्यं न स्वर्गं न अपुनर्भवम्।
कामये दु:खतप्तानां प्राणिनाम् आर्तिनाशनम्॥
ந து அஹம் காமயே ராஜ்யம் ந ஸ்வர்கம் ந அபுநர்பவம்।
காமயே து:கதப்தாநாம் ப்ராணிநாம் ஆர்திநாஷநம்॥
I do not desire kingdom, or heaven or even liberation. I wish that all suffering beings are relieved from their pain.
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