Search the Archives






Browse the Archives

July 1979

Special Guru Poornima issue on 'Sannyas Today'

Message to New Sannyasins

Song of the Sannyasin

Editorial

What is Sannyas?

Renunciation and Detachment

Necessity of Sannyas Life

The Sannyas Tradition

Stages of Sannyas Life

The Old and the New

The Guru

Ashram Life

Karma Yoga

Re-channelling Desires

Suppression and Control

The Qualities of a Sannyasin

Women in Sannyas

Sannyas and Children

Sannyas and Creativity

The Inner Vision

Sannyas and Religion

Questions & Answers


print this page  glossary

What is Sannyas?

Sannyas is a way of life which awakens the creative potential lying dormant, unexplored and unexpressed within the consciousness of every individual. Many people today find that their lives are empty of creative self expression and lacking fulfilment. They are really only half alive, for although they long to discover and express themselves more fully, they gain little satisfaction in their present lifestyle. Sannyas is a way to develop creativity, alertness and awareness of the higher stages and possibilities of human life. It is the path of awakening for those people throughout the world who know they have something more to give, something more to learn, and something more to realize in their life, beyond what most people consider is enough. The desire for sannyas life grows out of the urge to transcend one's limitations and do something truly worthwhile in life.

Intelligent thinking people in the modern world are wondering how to improve their lives. They cannot just accept the life which their parents have led, but want something more. They are searching for knowledge in the universities, or leaving their homes to go off wandering from country to country in search of some greater meaning and purpose. Sooner or later they come to realize that this is not to be found outside of themselves. They discover that to achieve something worthwhile, something eternal, something which can be of immeasurable benefit to others as well as themselves, they cannot look outside of themselves. The secret lies within. Self-improvement does not consist of adding M.A. or B.Sc. to one's name, but it comes about through exploring one's own self. When one realizes this, and feels fully dedicated to the inner quest, it is possible for him to enter the sannyas path.

As people become more aware they are finding themselves trapped in a prison of their own making. They have tried in vain to fulfil themselves in the pleasures and comforts which the world has to offer, but can discover no lasting satisfaction. Sensual pleasures, material possessions and emotional attachments may dull their longing for a short time, but inevitably and painfully, they wake up again, still securely bound in the prison of their own limitations.

This prison within which men and women live out their days and nights, however, is not externally imposed. Sooner or later one realizes that he is a prisoner within his own mind, and is labouring under a set of self imposed limitations, psychological barriers, fears and insecurities. Although he is longing for release, he does not know where to begin to look for the key which will open the door to freedom and higher understanding. It is this urge to transcend one's personal boundaries which is satisfied by sannyas.

Sannyas unlocks the doors of self-imprisonment, opens the windows of higher awareness, and turns on the lights to a greater purpose and mission in life. When you are ready to forego the soft beds of your prison for the thorny path to freedom then you are ready for sannyas.

Rebirth in sannyas

After taking sannyas, the spiritual aspirant dies to his old lifestyle, habits and associations. He takes on a new lifestyle, new qualities, tastes and samskaras. He assumes a new name, dress and personality. Sannyas is a rebirth, the beginning of a new life. The path of sannyas is a tried and proven way to propel the individual towards realization of his fullest potential. It is not a dead tradition, but is based around a unique personal relationship with the guru, whose guidance leads the way to self discovery. Anybody who accepts the guru's guidance and inspiration can be transformed into a sannyasin. The guru can transform even a stone into gold. Who, when and why the guru chooses one for sannyas cannot be readily understood, but everyone whom he accepts undergoes a total transformation. His life becomes real and inspired. Sannyas is an adventure and a quest which will lead you to the highest understanding and self fulfilment.

If you have the desire for spiritual life, feel tired of the pursuit of Worldly pleasures and long for peace of mind which neither family nor friends can provide, then you may be ready for the challenge of sannyas. Sannyas will accelerate your evolution dramatically, if you are ready for it. Whatever you can achieve by your own efforts in spiritual life is magnified a thousand-fold by the grace and guidance of the guru once you have entered the sannyas path.

Sannyas leads to self mastery

If one is to gain self-mastery and true knowledge, he has to work hard and constantly towards that goal. Sannyas is necessary if one is to overcome human weakness. Human nature being what it is, we often wish to forget our commitments to ourselves and others, especially when the going gets difficult. Then we want to go back to sleep in the indolence of sensual pleasure and the ignorance of our secure and habitual lifestyle. Sannyas is a promise to yourself to keep going until the end, without jumping off or giving up before that end is attained. It is a commitment to fulfil what you have set out to do and to complete something worthwhile in your life. Sannyas makes the journey to the end easier. For one whose primary goal is the spiritual quest, what other path can there be but sannyas? For such a person, sannyas is far more satisfying than worldly life.

[top]

 

Home | News | Archives | Subscribe | Satyananda Yoga | Books | Links | Contacts
All material © Bihar School of Yoga | All rights reserved | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer
Valid XHTML & CSS | Best viewed with Firefox | Hosted by 34sp.com