[Advaita-l] More about sannyasis

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Aug 18 20:36:53 CDT 2005

Suresh Maruthi wrote:

> Sanyasis of all Vaishnava traditions do not wear yajnopavita. For
> instance, sanyasis of Dvaita sect do not wear it. Sanyasis of Ekadandi
> order (advaita/dvaita) do not wear it. Those belonging to Tridandi
> (vishistadvaita) order, in general, wear it.

Thanks for the correction.

Seshan Narayanan wrote:

> What is the difference between tridandi and Ekadandi orders of
> Sannyasa?  Are there any more such classifications?

In the dharmashastras, four types are mentioned, kuTIchaka, bahUdaka, 
haMsa, and paramahaMsa.

Swami Vidyaranya explains these terms in jivanamuktiviveka.

kuTIchaka and bahUdaka take sannyasa because it is the fourth ashrama. 
In other words for them it is just another obligatory duty and the pursuit 
of Brahman doesn't enter the picture. (Though Swami Vidyaranya does think 
they can progress to really seeking Brahman.)  They are tridandis.  The 
triple danda signifies control over mind, body, and speech.  They keep 
yajnopavita and shikha as we mentioned.  The difference between the two is 
that kuTIchaka stay in one place, while bahUdaka wander around visiting 
different tirthas.

HaMsa refers to those sannyasis who renounce the world in order to seek 
Brahman.  Thus the jivanmuktiviveka also refers to them as vividIsha 
(seekers.)  They carry one danda to signify jnana but they do not keep 
yajnopavita or shikha.

paramahaMsa refers those who have realized Brahman and renounce because 
the world is no longer relevant to them.  Swami Vidyaranya calls them 
vidvAna (knowers)  They need no external symbols interpreting them 

Of course non-advaitins may contest these definitions but they are 
accepted within our sampradaya.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list