Jivanmuktiviveka of Swami Vidyaranya

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 29 08:43:50 CDT 1999

Re: the discussion on ekadaNDins and tridaNDins, the following references
would be useful to understand the tradition.

1. Yatidharmasangraha of Visvesvara Sarasvati - the author is possibly
identical with the guru of Madhusudana Sarasvati.
2. Yatidharmaprakasa of Vasudevasrama
3. Dharmasindhu of Kasinath Upadhyaya.

The sources are unanimous in saying that the kuTIcaka and the bahUdaka are
tridaNDins while the haMsa and paramahaMsa are ekadaNDins. The tridaNDins
also do not give up the external caste signs like the SikhA (tuft of hair)
and yajnopavIta. The haMsa and paramahaMsa give up all such signs and are
to be clean shaven on a regular basis. The kuTicaka may live close to his
old family, but nonetheless separately, and generally subsists on their
support. The bahUdaka also retains some family connections, but may go out
for alms in the neighbourhood. The haMsa and the paramahaMsa sever all such
connections. The difference between the haMsa and the paramahaMsa is that
the former is a saMnyAsin who renounces in order to acquire knowledge,
while the paramahaMsa has attained the ultimate peak of brahmajnAna.
Properly speaking, it is only the haMsa and paramahaMsa stages that are
full saMnyAsa, while the former two stages are preparatory in nature.
However, there is to be no return to the gRhastha stage from even the
kuTIcaka stage. The above authors quote a large number of dharmasUtra
texts, most of them of even pre-Sankaran authorship, in support of these

Obviously, the contemporary traditions of monasticism associated with all
the vedAnta schools are based on very ancient norms. Renouncing is to be
taken very seriously, and cannot be entertained just as a whim. The
SrIvaishNava tradition sticks to the tridaNDin stages only, while the
advaita tradition emphasizes the ekadaNDin stages in saMnyAsa.


bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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