[Advaita-l] The Problem of markaTa-sannyAsa (was Re: Commentary on Ramana's Forty Verses)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 17 15:06:51 EDT 2021

 Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com wrote:
> Show me where in his written works it is said that one MUST take to
> monkhood and give up the householder life. Not once does he say that.
This has been discussed in a thread about a couple of years ago:
Samnyasa and Sankara's position?
Akilesh Ayyar ayyar at akilesh.com wrote:
> Namaste,
> I am wondering what Sankara's position on the necessity of samnyasa for
> seekers and/or jnanis.
> My impression is that the traditional understanding is that he does require
> it at least of seekers.
> However, I have read that he suggests that grihasthas and other
> non-samnyasins can achieve moksha, which contradicts that idea.
There are broadly speaking four kinds of sannyAsa:
1) markaTa-sannyAsa or "Monkey-like" renunciation:
 This so-called "sannyAsa" is taken up without vairAgya, and is denounced by the Wise. e.g. Arjuna's attempt (dissuaded by Krishna).
2) vividiShA-sannyAsa or "Seeker's" renunciation:
 The standard sannyAsa that is taken up by those who have vairAgya and yearn to know the Self.
4) vidvat-sannyAsa or "Knower's" renunciation:
 This is a highly esteemed sannyAsa automatically assumed by one who has already known the Self as a gRRihastha or brahmachArin,
 in order to attain *STEADINESS* (niShThA) in the Self! e.g. yAGYavalkya.
4) Atura-sannyAsa or "Deathbed" renunciation:
 A dying man who wishes to take his last breath as a sannyAsin.
Here's a more elaborate explanation regarding the illustrious third kind above:
 BrahmaGYAna and jIvanmukti - 7 (Summary)
 Feb 19, 2009
Basically, Arjuna was trying to take up the "Monkey" type of renunciation, the "BAD" kind of sannyAsa, which has to be avoided at all costs. Better to continue doing one's Karma than to give up Karma altogether and then entertain desires!
Ramana Bhagavan also repeatedly discouraged people to take up sannyAsa just to sit in a corner and think about worldly pleasures, which is really toxic, to say the least!
However, the sannyAsa that is taken up either for Self-knowledge or after Self-knowledge, is definitely superior to niShkAma-Karma.

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