[Advaita-l] Sannyasa and jnana

Vidyasankar Sundaresan svidyasankar at hotmail.com
Sat Feb 10 12:54:57 CST 2007

>Does shankara comment anywhere that for realization taking formal sanyasa 
>is a must? I have heard that there is a scriptural passage also in support 
>of this(I am unable to recollect the source). Shankara seems to have upheld 
>this view in one of his introduction to the upanishad(aitareya?)

Formal saMnyAsa should not be seen in terms of a "must" at all, for 
realization is ultimately not subject to injunctions and prohibitions. 
Rather, it is a strong recommendation. The one who truly knows the Self and 
does not identify with anything that is not-Self will automatically have no 
other option but to renounce the world. How is any vyavahAra possible for 
one who is always in paramArtha? If at all a jnAnI has any adhikAra towards 
any action, it is only adhikAra to renounce all action. That is what Sankara 
means in his commentaries

For others, who aspire to realization, Self-knowledge is better realized 
through saMnyAsa - whether this has to be a formal saMnyAsa as known within 
our tradition is a different story. Note that Ramana Maharishi never 
formally became a saMnyAsin, but that has not stood in the way of 
acknowledging him.


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