Householder (and related topics)

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vidya at CCO.CALTECH.EDU
Thu Aug 21 02:53:19 CDT 1997

In the recent discussion on the necessity or otherwise of sannyAsa, one
rather important point seems to have been overlooked.

What does it mean to "take the vows" of sannyAsa? If one thinks about this
deeply, it will be seen that there is a good amount of meeting ground for
different viewpoints. To "take a vow" indicates a deep commitment to
something, it is much more than a ritual benediction. When one takes a
vow, one must sincerely mean what one says, and one must act accordingly,
much more so than ordinarily necessary.

Developing indifference to all things is part of the process of
cultivating detachment. This is difficult for anybody, whether (s)he be a
householder or a monk. Faced with such a situation, one who has ritually
renounced everything is placed in a better position than the householder.
That is all that is really being said by those who argue for sannyAsa.


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