Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Mon Aug 18 01:43:10 CDT 1997

On Wed, 13 Aug 1997, Ramakrishnan Balasubramanian wrote:

> A sannyAsi also has to follow dharma, albeit a different one from that
> of householders. Eg, one of the mukhya dharma-s of a sannyAsi is
> ahi.nsA, whereas a householder is not obliged to follow ahi.nsA always.
> Eg, if there is a threat of physical harm to his family or himself, he
> can defend himself, however for a sannyAsi it's not the case. Other
> strict vows are brahmacharya etc which are also part of the sannyAsi-s
> dharma.
> The only ones above dharma and adharma are the GYAni-s. However they
> will never give this as an excuse to indulge, as their followers would
> get the wrong idea.

Yes a sannyasi should be disciplined but dharma consists of actions which
a sannyasi cannot be bound by.  So some other word should be chosen to
describe a sannyasis ethic, niyama perhaps?

A small digression but somewhat relevant to the discussion at hand.  What
about the sannyasis we call in Gujarati "Naga bawas"[1]?  As
the name suggests they are usually naked or lightly dressed and usually
live in jungles away from people.  But on occasions like kumbha melas[2]
they parade in regiments carrying trishuls and other weaponry.  There are
many historical accounts of how they used to fight the Muslims or
Vaishnava sannyasis. They are dashanamis and they consider the
Shankaracharyas as their leaders but obviously they are going by something
other than the dictionary definition of ahimsa.

[1] "naked sadhus"
[2] and shivratri in Ahmedabad and other major Gujarati cities.

Jaldhar H. Vyas [jaldhar at]   And the men .-_|\ who hold
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