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Chapter One: Why Sannyasa?

Renunciation of earthly connections is an absolute necessity. Every religion has a band of anchorites who lead the life of seclusion and meditation. There are sannyasis in Hinduism, bhikkhus in Buddhism, fakirs in Mohammedanism, Sufistic fakirs in Sufism, and monks in Christianity! The glory of a religion will be absolutely lost if you remove the hermits or sannyasins or those who lead the life of renunciation and divine contemplation. It is these people who maintain and preserve the religions of the world. It is these people who give solace to the householders when they are in trouble and distress. They are the harbingers of divine wisdom and peace. They are the messengers of atmic knowledge and adhyatmic science, and upanishadic revelations. They tend the sick, comfort the forlorn and nurse the bedridden. They bring hope to the hopeless, joy to the depressed, strength to the weak, and courage to the timid by imparting the knowledge of Vedanta and the significance of the “Tat Twam. Asi” Mahavakya.

Sannyasins live on a few pieces of bread, and in exchange move from door to door and spread the sublime teachings of Vedanta, the Upanishads and the sublime philosophy of the realization of Brahman, throughout the length and breadth of the country. The world is under a great debt of gratitude to them. Who can repay the debts to them? Their writings still guide us. Study a few slokas of the Avadhuta Gita. You will at once be raised to the magnificent heights of divine splendor and glory. You will become a changed man. Depression, weakness, anxiety and tribulations will vanish at once.

A real sannyasin is the only mighty potentate on this earth. He never takes anything. He always gives. It was sannyasins alone who did glorious, sublime work in the past. It is sannyasins alone who can work wonders in the present and in the future also. Sri Shankara’s name can never be obliterated so long as the world lasts. It was Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Rama Tirtha, Dayananda, and Vivekananda who disseminated the sublime teachings of the scriptures and preserved the Hindu religion. A sannyasin alone can do real lokasangraha, because he has divine knowledge, he is a whole-timed man! One real sannyasin can change the destiny of the whole world! It is one mighty Shankara who established the doctrine of kevala-advaita philosophy. He still lives in our hearts.

Just as there are research scholars or post-graduates in science, psychology, biology, philosophy, so also there should be post-graduate yogins and sannyasins who will devote their time in study and meditation, in research about the Atman. These post-graduate yogins will give to the world their experiences and realizations in the field of religion. They will train students and send them into the world for preaching. It is the duty of householders and society in general to look after the wants of these sannyasins. In turn, these sannyasins will take care of their souls. Thus the wheel of the world will revolve smoothly. There will be peace in the land.

O men of the world! Realize the necessity for such a high step, the glorious life of sannyasa for self-realization!

The desire for sannyasa is really ingrained in everybody. When some trouble comes, you want to run away! What does this indicate? It indicates the yearning for liberation from earthly bondage! It indicates renunciation! It indicates sannyasa for liberation!

How terrible is Maya! How formidable is moha! How powerful is Maya’s charm. Hear me, O men! hear me and enter the sreyo-marga! As soon as viveka and vairagya dawn in you, retire from this world. There is no use in clinging to anything of this earth. Otherwise you are simply wasting your life, time and energy! You are losing the inexhaustible spiritual wealth. May you become real sannyasins! May you realize the necessity for life in the soul!

May sannyasins, the repositories of divine knowledge, the torch-bearers of truth, the beacon-lights of this world, the comerstones of spiritual edifice, the central pillars of the Eternal Dharma, guide the different nations of the world!

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Chapters Necessity for Sannyasa

Chapters Necessity for Sannyasa—Editor’s Preface

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