[Advaita-l] On Sanyasa Ashrama

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Thu Sep 8 18:16:26 CDT 2005

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005, Vivek Shankar Natarajan wrote:

> We often celebrate the birthdays or Janmanakshatras of most holy men.
> Examples include Sankara jayanthi, Birthday of Sringeri Acharya, Anusha
> Pooja of Paramacharya of Kanchi peetam. These days coincide with the
> actual janmanakshatrams of the respective Maha Swamis. But, however,
> when Sanyasis do Sanyasa Sweekara, they actually are supposed to kill
> their former identity and assume a new one. I have heard they would do
> athma pinda and then kill their former self before assuming the new
> identity. If that is the case, then why is a lot of importance given to
> the Janmanakshatra as the person who was born then has actually died and
> a new person has emerged after the sanyassa sweekara? WouldnÂ’t it be a
> better idea to celebrate the day of Sanyasa Sweekara? Can some one tell
> me as why is the actual day of birth still important?

My 2 cents:

Another example is at death (of the physical body.)  We bury a sannyasi.
The vrndavans or burial sites often become places of pilgrimage.  In
Gujarat the custom is to raise a Shiva lingam over the grave and many
prominent shivalayas started this way.

When even for an ordinary person we cremate because the body is worthless
after the soul has departed, why this emphasis on the body for one who has
disassociated himself from all it represents?

I think it is for our own benefit.  These observances remind us that
even the Devas and other lordly beings are jealous of those who achieve
the rare and precious gift of a human birth.

In another thread we discussed miracles. It is natural that people would
be awed by a miracle like a murti crying.  But isn't the biggest miracle
that anything exists at all instead of void?  And that existence is not
chaos but follows an order that mortal beings can understand.  And that
these mortals can learn the liberating shastra that can free them
from the pain of samsara.  These are also miracles that sadly we often
take for granted.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list