THE "LIGHT OF TRUTH"
by Swami Dayanand
Vaanprasth and Sanyaas
Study and Renunciation
"It is perfectly certain that India never saw a more learned Sanskrit scholar, a deeper metaphysician, a more wonderful orator, and a more fearless denunciator of any evil, than Dayanand, since the time of Sankarcharya."
Contents of Page
Abstinence/studies or Vaanaprasthi
Order of renunciation or Sanyasi
What class have the right to Sanyas
Where is the necessity of Sanyaasa?
Is not Sanyaas against he design of God
Do Sanyasis have no duties to perform?
Should they accept expensive gifts?
Can a Brahmacharya enter into Sanyas?
The four orders
THE ORDER OF RENUNCIATION
"Having completed his Brahmacharya , let a man enter Grihastha (married life), and thereafter, Vaanprasth*, and last of all become a Sanyaasi."** This is the consecutive order of the different stages of life. SHATPATHA BRAAHAMAN, 14
"Having thus remained in the Order of householders, let a twice-born man, who had before completed his Brahmacharya, live in a forest with his faith firm and his senses well under control."MANU 6: 1
"When a householder perceives that his muscles have become flaccid and his hair gray and even his son has become a father, let him then repair to a forest." MANU 6: 2
"Let him renounce all the good things of town such as tasty dishes, fine clothes, commit his wife to the care of his sons, or take her with him and dwell in a forest." MANU 6: 3.
*The third stage of life, in which a man leaves off home and his relations, etc., lives in a forest or some other such secluded place, engaged in contemplation of God and in devotional exercises and the study of higher subjects. -Tr.
** The fourth stage of life when tht man begins to preach the gospel of truth from place to place. - Tr.
"Let him take with him all the materials, utensils, etc. of Homa, depart from the town, and live in a lonely wood with his senses perfectly subjugated." MANU 6:4
Lt him discharge his Five Great Daily Duties* with various kinds of food (such as Soma, etc.) maroon herbs, roots, flowers, fruits and tubers, and offer the same to atithis** and himself subsist on the same." MANU 6: 5
"Let him constantly devote himself to studying and teaching, retain a calm mind, be a friend to all, conquer his passion, bestow upon others such gifts as knowledge, and be kind to all living beings. Let him not receive gifts from others. Thus should he conduct himself." MANU6: 8
"Let him not be very solicitous for bodily comfort, let him be a Brahmachari, that is, abstain from sexual indulgence even if his won wife be with him, sleep on the ground, have no inordinate love for his dependents and for his belongings, and dwell under a tree." MANU 6: 26
"Learned men of calm minds, living righteous lives in retirement, imbued with keen desire of knowing and embracing the truth, free from all impurities, subsisting on alms, realize the Unchangeable, Immortal, Omnipresent spirit by the practice of Yoga and thereby enjoy true happiness." MUNDAKOPANISHAD 1-2: 11.
*As described in the last Chapter. -Tr.
**Missionary guests - the altruistic teachers of humanity. -Tr.
Thus should a Vaanaprasthi pray "May I, O Lord of Truth! Having been initiated (into this Order) with the performance of Homa, be able to keep my vows, i.e., be truthful in word, deed and thought, and have firm faith in Thee." YAJUR VEDA 20: 24
It behoves a Vaanaprasthi, therefore, to be truthful in speech and to cultivate other virtues, associate with devout, learned men, and thereby acquire knowledge, particularly divine - and attain purity of mind by the practice of Yoga and meditation.
Thereafter, when he feels desirous of entering the fourth Order, i.e., of Renunciation (Sanyaas Ashram), let him send his wife* back to his sons and become a Sanyasi.
This subject of Vaanaprasth has thus been briefly described, we shall now discourse on Sanyaas or the Order of Renunciation.
THE ORDER OF RENUNCIATION
THE ORDER OF RENUNCIATION
"Having thus passed the third stage of life - i.e., from the fiftieth to the seventy-fifth year - as a Vaanaprasthi in a forest, let a man in the fourth stage renounce all connections and become a Sanyaasi." MANU 6: 33
Q. ~ Is it a sin to become a Sanyaasi without going through the intermediate stages of Grihasth and Vaanaprastha?
A. ~ It is and it is not.
Q. ~ How can it be both?
A. ~ Because he who enters into Sanyaas in early life, i.e., direct from Brahmacharya, and then falls into sensuality. Is the greatest sinner; but he that falls not is the greatest saint.
*If she does not want to enter the Order of Renunciation. -Tr.
"Let a man become a Sanyaasi on the day he feels free form all worldly desires and affections, not matter whether he is a Vaanaaprasthi, Grihasthi or even a Brahmachari." BRAAHMAN GRANTH
Thus there are there ways of becoming a Sanyaasi. The first is the consecutive order that has been described before, (i.e., by passing through the first three stages successively). The second is that of becoming a Sanyaasi from Grihasthi. The third alternative is that of entering Sanyaas directly from Brahmacharya, and should be resorted to only if the man be one of perfect knowledge with his senses and mind under through control, free from all sensual desires and imbued with extreme desire for dong public good.
In the Vedas also, the practice of Sanyaas, is allowed in the following words:- "Let a Brahman become a Sanyasi, etc."
"But he whose character is low, who is not free from passions, is not a yogi and whose mind is not contented, can never know God and commune with Him, a Sanyaasi though he be." KATH UPANISHAD 2:23.
Therefore, "Let a wise Sanyaasi restrain his mind and speech from all that is sinful, and apply them to the acquisition of knowledge and the realization of his inner Self. Let him use his knowledge, and then devote his enlightened soul to the realization of the All-Calm Supreme Being, and find rest in Him." KATH UPANISHAD 3: 13.
"let a Braahman, who is a Sanyaasi, seeing that all the enjoyments of this world depend upon deeds, and that the Supreme Spirit being unattainable by deeds, mere deeds can never lead to His realization, abandon love of the world and repair with some kind of present in his mind
to a preceptor well-versed in the Vedas and wholly devoted to God for the acquisition of Divine knowledge and the removal of all doubts." MUNDAK UPANISHAD 2:12
but let him shun the company of "those ignorance-ridden people who arrogantly consider themselves to be wise and learned, and being puffed up with vain knowledge go about the world as the blind to the great misery of others and themselves," MUNDAK UPANISHAD, and of other again who being ignorant believe themselves to have attained the object of their lives by mere deeds. But since, mere acts or deeds do not lead to the realization of God, such people immersed in the worldliness are afflicted with pain and sorrow, and suffer from misery consequent on continual births and deaths." MUNDAK UPANISHAD 2: 9
Therefore, "those Sanyaasis who are fully convinced of the existence of God by the knowledge of the Vedic Mantraas relation to Him and live godly lives, whose intellects are pure by virtue of the renunciation of all worldly enjoyments who are perfect yogis with thorough control over their senses and minds, enjou immortality and resume the concatenation of births and deaths after a paraant cycle* (i.e., when the period of salvation expires)." MUNDAK UPANISHAD 2:6
"The embodied soul can never be free from pleasure or pain, but when the disembodied soul, being purged of all its impurities, lives in the All-pervading God in the state of Emancipation, pleasures or pains of this world can effect it no longer." CHHANDOGYA UPNISHAD 8: 12
*Paraant cycle = 311,040,000,000,000, years.
"Let a Sanyaasi renounce all love of fame, love of wealth and power and the enjoyments thereof, and love of his kith and kin, live on alms, and devote himself, day and night, to all those things that lead to Eternal Bliss." SHATAPATH BRAHMANA 14: 2, 1
"Let a Braahman, who has mastered the Veda, perform Prajaapati Yajna - the object of which is the realization of God - let him abandon all signs of his Class.* Let his vital forces be in place of the five fires, and let him renounce all his wealth, and possessions, and thereafter, leave his home and become a Sanyaasi." SHATAPATH BRAHMANA 6:38
"He, who grants exemption from fear to all living beings, leaves his home and become a Sanyaasi, and thereafter devotes himself to the dissemination and preaching of the divine religion of the Vedas and of other Shastraas attains to the state of Eternal Bliss called Mukti." MANU 4: 39
Q. ~ What is the Dharma - duties - of Sanyasis?
A. ~ Dharma, i.e., the practice righteousness, devotion to justice, the acceptance of truth, and the rejection of untruth, obedience to the Will of God as revealed in the Veda, and promotion of public good, is the same for all Classes and Orders, that is, for all mankind; but the following are the special duties of Sanyasis:-
*Such as a tuft of hair on the top of his head, and Yajnopavita - the sacred thread worn across one shoulder and under the opposite arm-pit. These are the two external distinctive signs of a twice-born man to show that he has been born second time through knowledge and spirituality, the first birth being the physical birth. Shoodras - the people belonging to the fourth Class are destitute of these two signs particularly the second. -Tr.
"Let a Sanyaasi keep his eyes to the ground and never look hither and thither while he walks; let him filter* his water before he drinks it; let him always speak the truth, and let him think well before he acts, and thus embrace truth and reject falsehood." MANU 6: 46.
"If in the course of a discourse or a discussion a man be angry with him, let him not in his turn be angry. Even though abused, let him say kindly what is good for him; let never falsify his speech - which pervades the seven openings in the human system, i.e.. of the mouth, the nostrils, the eyes and ears."** MANU 6: 48
"With his soul composed and centered on the supreme Spirit, let him be indifferent to pain and pleasure, abstain from meat and intoxicants, seek only spiritual happiness, and go about preaching the gospel of truth and enlightening the world with the light of knowledge." MANU : 49.
"With his hair, nails, beard and moustache clipped, carrying a suitable water-jar and a staff, wearing ochre-colored garments, let him go about with a tranquil mind, harming no living being." MANU 6: 52
"Let him restrain his senses from wicked pursuits, renounce affection and hatred, bear no malice to any living creature, and wok for Immortality (extreme bliss)." MANU6: 60.
*Literally strain it through a piece of cloth. - Tr.
** all sensuous impressions reach the sensorium through these seven gateways of knowledge, and whenever it is intended to express to to others anything about these impressions, it is done through the organ of speech. For this reason the speech is said to pervade these seven openings. _Tr.
"Whether maligned or praised, let a Sanyaasi be impartial towards all, practice virtue himself and strive to make others virtuous. He must bear in mind that the staff, the water-jar and the ochre-colored garments -signs of his Order - do not by any means constitute and effective discharge of his duty. To elevate the human race by the preaching of truth and the imparting of knowledge and wisdom is the paramount duty of a Sanyaasi." MANU 6: 66.
"Though the seeds of a clearing-nut clear muddy water when well-powdered and mixed with it, the mere pronouncing or hearing the name fo that nut can never do so." MANU 6: 67. This shows that professions without practice are useless.
"Let a Sanyaasi, therefore, practice systematically , as many praanaayaamas* as he can meditating on AUM - the highest name of God - and the vihararitis,** and the while, but let him never practice less than there praanaayaamas. This alone is his highest devotion." MANU 6: 70.
"Just as a goldsmith, blowing strongly against a piece of impure gold, removes its impurities by oxidation, so does praanaayaama the blowing of the lungs - remove all the impurities of the body and bodily organs by oxidation." MANU 6: 71
"Let a Sanyaasni, therefore, burn away impurities of his senses, mind and soul by the practice of pranaayaama, destroy sin by Dhayaana, sensual attachments by pratyaakaara, and qualities contrary to the nature of God, as joy and sorrow, and ignorance by Dhyaana.
*Prayaahaara, Dha naa Dhayaana are stages in yoga - a system of concentration of mind and of meditation. -Tr
**Vihaaritis have been explained in the first Chapter. -Tr.
"By the practice of yoga let him then observe the workings of the Omnipresent Omniscient Spirit in all things (low and high), and also of his own soul - which are hared to be discerned by the ignorant and by those who are not yogis." MANU 6: 73.
"It is Sanyaasis alone who can attain final beatitude in this world, by abstinence from malice towards all sentient creatures, and renunciation of all sensual enjoyments, by doing righteous deeds ordained by the Vedaas, and by devotion, and none others." MANU 6: 75.
"Only when a Sanyaasi gives up all desire for earthly things, and is pure in thoughts and feelings towards all things, subjective and objective, he obtains true happiness that endures after death." MANU 6: 80
"It therefore, behoves, all - Brahmachaaris, Grihasthis, Vaanaprasthis and Sanyaasis - to follow assiduously the right conduct of life which has ten chief characteristics:-
The cultivation of firmness of mind and contentment.
The cultivation of the spirit of forgiveness under all circumstances - whether one be censured or praised, honored or dishonored, etc.
Devotion of mind to virtue and abstinence from sin and vice, that is, refraining from the entertainment of sinful thoughts even for one moment.
Honesty - The acquisition of a thing without he permission of its owner, or through fraud, hypocrisy, or breach of faith, or by teaching falsely, or in any other way that is condemned by the Vedaas, is called dishonesty or theft; the reverse of it is called honesty.
Purity or cleanliness - bodily and mental. Mental purity consists in freedom from inordinate love or hatred, from prejudice or injustice, etc. Bodily cleanliness consists in keeping the body clean with water, earth, etc.
Direction of the senses in the path of rectitude and freedom from sin.
Development of one's intellect by abstaining from intoxicants and other articles that are prejudicial to its growth, from the company of the wicked and from sloth, negligence, etc., and by using things possessing healthful properties, associating with men of noble character, and by the practice of yoga.
The acquisition of correct knowledge of all things -from earth** to God - and its proper application. In other words, to know a thing as it is, to speak of it as it is in the mind, and to act upon what is spoken, constitutes correct knowledge; and reverse of it is ignorance. <.li> Truthfulness is the harmony of thought, word and deed.
Freedom from wrath and other evil habits, and the cultivation of calmness of mind and other good qualities.
Let all follow this ten-fold right conduct of life justly and impartially. It is the duty of Sanyaasis in particular, to follow this right conduct of life as enjoined by the Vedaas, and help others to do the same through teaching and preaching." MANU 6: 92.
"Thus having freed himself, by degrees form all evil associations, the from joy and sorrow and the like, a Sanyaasi rests in the all-pervading God." MANU 6: 81
*Dry clay is a very popular disinfectant with the Indians of all classes. -Tr.
**The earth the grossest form of matter, while God is the subtlest of all; therefore, the expression from earth to God is used to include all entities material and spiritual. - Tr.
Let all Sanyaasis, therefore, enlighten minds of Grihasthis and others on all questions, remove their doubts, free them from (the fetters of) all kinds of unrighteous conduct, and help them to follow the path of rectitude. This alone is the bounden duty of Sanyasis.
What class have the right to Sanyas?
Q. ~ have Braahmans the exclusive right to entering into Sanyaasa, or can other Classes Kshatriyas and others also do the same?
A. ~ Braahmans alone have this privilege. He alone among all the four classes is called a Braahman whose knowledge is perfect, who is most virtuous, and who is bent on doing public good. To enter into Sanyaasa, without the acquisition of perfect knowledge and firm faith in Truth and God, and without the renunciation of all earthly things, cannot be productive of any good to the world.
Hence it is that it is common saying that a Braahman alone enjoys the privilege of entering into Sanyaasa and not others, here is the testimony of the sage Manu on this point. Says he, "O Rishis (sages)! This fourfold duty* of a Braahman has been made known to you. It leads to true happiness in this life and to eternal bliss in the next. Next hear from me the duties of Kshatriyaas - the governing class," MANU 6: 97. It is clear then that to enter in Sanyaasa is the chief privilege of Braahmanas, whilst entering into Brahmacharya and other Orders that of Kshatriya and other Classes as well.
Where is the necessity of Sanyaasa?
A. ~ As the head is necessary for the body, so is Sanyasa for other Orders, since without it there can be no advancement in knowledge and righteousness. Persons belonging to other Orders, being engaged in house-hold work and in devotional practices cannot have much leisure.
Besides it is very difficult for people belonging to other Orders to be altogether impartial in their dealing, nor can they equal a Sanyaasi, he being free from all worldly ties, in doing public good. Men of other Orders cannot get so much time as a Sanyaasi who possesses a true knowledge of all things to elevate the people by enlightening them on all subjects. But the amount of good that those who enter into Sanyaasa directly
*That is of Bramhacharya, Grihasth, Vanaprasht and Sanyasa.
from Brahmachary can do by the teaching and preaching of truth can never be done by those who enter into it from Grihasth or Vaanaprasth.
Is not Sanyaas against he design of God
Q. ~ Is not Sanyaas against he design of God, because He intended men to multiply? Sanyaasa being the Chief Order were all men to enter into it, the whole human race would become extinct.
A. ~ Well, do you not see many people childless even though married? Are not children lost through death? This would also be against the intention of God. But if you say 'A man is not to blame if he does not achieve his end even after trying his best,' we answer that many young men in Grihasth fight with each other and get killed. What a heavy loss is this to the community? The perversion of intellect is the cause of many a quarrel.
When a Sanyaasni, by the preaching of the right conduct of life as enjoined by the Vedas, will create harmony and love among people and nations bostile to one another, he will be the savior of hundreds and thousands of lives, and thus will, like thousands, of Grihasthis, be the cause of the increase of population. Besides, al men can never enter into Sanyaassa, because al can never be free from sensual desires. The people, converted by a Sanyaasi from wickedness into living righteous lives, may justly be considered his children.
Sanyasis say that they have no duties to perform
Q. ~ Sanyasis say that they have no duties to perform. They accept necessaries of life as food, clothes, etc., from house-holders and enjoy the pleasures of the world. Why should they 'bother their heads' with this world of ignorance? They believe themselves to be Brahma (God) and are contented. If another person ask a question on the subject, the tell him the same thing, i.e., that he also is God, that sin and virtue cannot influence the soul, because, the perception of heat and cold is the function of the body, hunger and thirst that of the nervauric forces, and pleasure or pain that of the mind. The world is but an illusion and so are the affairs of the world. Therefore it i not wise to be entangled in them. Virtue and vice are the functions of the senses and mind, not of the soul. They teach these and similar other things, whilst you have taught differently on the duties of Sanyaasis. Which of these shall we believe to be true and which is false?
A. ~ Is it not their duty to do even good deeds: Mare! What Manu says. "By doing virtuous deeds, ordained by the Veda, Sanyasis enjoy Eternal (extreme) Bliss." It is clear then that according to Manu, the Vedic deeds - the practice of righteous conduct - are indispensable even by Sanyasis. Can they do without and clothing ( and such other necessaries of life?) If they cannot, why is it not a degrading and sinful act on their part to leave off the practice of virtuous deeds?
They accept food and dress and other necessaries of life from house-holders, while they do them no good in return. Are they not the greatest sinners them? Just as it is useless to have eyes and ears, if you cannot see or hear with them, likewise those Sanyaasis who do not preach the truth, nor study nor teach the Vedaas and other Shaastras are a mere burden to the community. Those who say and write, that they cannot be troubled with this world of ignorance, are themselves mendacious and ignorant.
They are the cause of the increase of sin and are, therefore, the greatest sinners. Whatever act is done by the body and the bodily organs, is prompted by the soul which alone, therefore, suffers or enjoys the fruits thereof. Those, who declare that the human soul is one with God, are sleeping the heavy sleep of ignorance, because the human soul is finite, and possesses limited knowledge, whilst God is Infinite, Omnipresent and Omniscient. Again God is Eternal, Holy, All-intelligent and Free by Nature, whilst the human soul is sometimes free, at other times not. God, being the Omnipresent and Omniscient, cannot be subject to doubt or ignorance, whilst the human souls is sometimes ignorant, at other times wise. God, again, does not suffer from birth and death, whilst the human soul does. Their teachings are, therefore, false.
Should they accept expensive gifts?
Q. ~ Sanyaasis are those who have renounced all deeds, they are never to touch fire and precious metals. Is this true or not?
A. ~ No. He, who is in communion with God and possesses that holy nature by which all wicked deeds are renounced is called aSanyaasi, in other words, he who practices good deeds and eradicates sin and vice is a Sanyaasi.
Q. ~ Teaching and preaching are done by house-holders, where then is the necessity for Sanyaasi.
A. ~ let all men and women in all Orders or stages of life teach and preach as much as they can, but house-holders cannot
get as much time nor be as impartial as Sanyaasis. It is true that it is the duty of Braahmans to teach and preach - men to teach men, and women to teach women. It is simply impossible for a Grihasthi to get the time a Sanyaasi can, to ravel about. Besides it is Sanyaasi who restrain Braahmans from deviating from the path of rectitude as declared by the Vedas. Sanyaasis, therefore, are a necessity.
Q. ~ A Sanyaasi should not stay more than one night at one place. Is this true?
A. ~ It is true in one sense; because by staying altogether in one place. A Sanyaasi cannot do much public good. He is liable to get attached to a place and begin to love and hate (things and persons therein). But if a Sanyaasi can do more good by staying at one place, let him do so, as in the past, such Sanyaasi as Panchshikha stopped with the king Janak for even four months, and others for years. As about this rule of not staying long in one place, it has also been framed by hypocritical sectarians, for (they are afraid that). If a Sanyaasi would stay long at one place, he would expose their fraud, and thus put a stop to its further increase.
Q. ~ "Whosoever gives gold to a Sanyaasi shall go to hell." Now what do you say to this?
A. ~ This again is the invention of extremely selfish, orthodox, sectarians - the enemies of Classes and Orders. They know that were a Sanyaasi to get money, it would greatly help him to expose their fraud. They would thus suffer and consequently no longer be able to keep him under their jurisdiction. Should charity remain under their control, Sanyaasi would naturally fear them. When it is considered good to give gifts to the ignorant and selfish people, how can there be any harm in giving them to the learned altruistic Sanyasis? Says Manu, "let a man give Sanyaasis present of precious stones and gold." MANU 2: 6. Besides, the verse quoted above by you is absurd, because, if by giving gifts of gold to a Sanyaasi the donor goes to hell, by giving silver, diamonds and precious stones, he may go to heaven.
Q. ~ The aforesaid verse was wrongly quoted by mistake, it runs like this that ' by putting gifts in the hands of a Sanyaasi, the donor goes to hell.
A. ~ This is again the invention of an ignorant mind. "If a man goes to hell by placing gifts in the hands of a Sanyasi, should he put them on his feet or offer in a bag; he may go to heaven. Let no man, therefore, believe in such fabrications. It is true though that if a Sanyasi keeps more money that he needs he will be troubled by the fear of thieves and be liable to get greedy and so on.
But whosoever is learned and wise would do nothing objectionable, nor would he get engrossed in worldly possessions, because, whilst in married life or in student life, he has enjoyed all these pleasures or has observed them, and found them of no substantial good. If he has become a Sanyaasi directly from student life and is free from all worldly desires, he would never allow himself to be infatuated by these things.
Q. ~ It is said that if a Sanyaasi be invited to a shraadha,* the spirits of the forefathers of the host run away from the place and fall into hell. Is this true?
A. ~ In the first place, the coming of the spirits of the dead to a Shraaadha or receiving the foods and drinks that are offered to the priests, is an impossibility, being opposed to the teachings of the Vedaas, as well as to reason. Who will run away then when they do not come to the Shraadha? How can the coming back of the manes be possible when all souls after death are reborn according to the nature of their deeds and the laws of God? This false doctrine again is the invention of selfish orthodox priests and Vairaagees.** It is true though that wherever Sanyaasi will go, this fraud of the Shraadha of the dead, which is opposed to the Veda, will immediately disappear.
Can a Brahmacharya enter into Sanyas?
Q.~ He who enters Sanyaas directly from Brahmacharya will never be able to control himself as it is a very difficult thing to keep the sensual desires under restraint. Therefore, it is best to enter the Order of Sanyaasa in old age when a man has passed through the Order of householders and of Vaanaprastha.
*It is a feast given annually to the priests who claim that the spirits of the forefathers fo the host partake of what is offered to them through their media -Tr.
**A sect of religious mendicants. -Tr.
A. ~ Let him not, who cannot control his passions, enter into Sanyaas from Brahmacharya. But why should not he who can restrain them? He, who has thoroughly realized the evils of sensual gratification and the advantage of the preservation of the reproductive element, can never be lascivious. His reproductive element serves as fuel to the fire of thought.
In other words, it is used up in carrying on intellectual processes. As the healthy can dispense with doctors and drugs, so should a man or woman, who9se one object in life is to disseminate knowledge, advance true religion and do good to the world at large, dispense with married life like Panchshikha and Gaargi of yore.
Therefore, those alone are entitled to become Sanyaasis who are fit for this high office, and no others. If an unfit person were to enter Sanyaasa, he would sink himself and drag others down with him.
As a Saamraat Raja is a universal sovereign, so is a Sanyaasi Pariviraat, i.e, a universal teacher or the teacher of humanity. But a sovereign is only respected in his own country and amongst his won kinsmen, while a Sanyaasi is honored everywhere. Says Bridh Chanik, "There can be no comparison between a king and a man of learning, since the one is respected in his own country, whilst the other is respected everywhere."
THE FOUR ORDERS
To recapitulate briefly the duties of the four Orders:-
Brahmacharya (or the 1st stage of life) is meant for perfecting one's body and acquiring knowledge and culture.
Grihastha (or the 2nd stage of life) is for the pursuit of useful occupation and professions, marriage, etc.
Vaanaprasth (or the 3rd stage of life) for meditation, concentration of mind on abstruse subjects, perfection of character and acquisition of divine knowledge.
Sanyaasa (for the 4th stage of life) is meant of disseminating knowledge of the Veda and the Shaastras practicing virtue and renouncing vice, preaching the gospel of truth and dispelling doubts and ignorance of the people. but all those who do not discharge the most important duties of
Sanyaasa, such as the preaching of truth and righteousness, are the most degraded wretches, and will go to hell. Therefore, it behoves Sanyaasis to devote themselves assiduously to the preaching of truth and enlightening the minds of the people who are in doubt, to the studies of the Vedas and the Shastras and the propagation of the Vedic religion, thereby promote the good (physical, social, mental and spiritual) of the whole world.
Q. ~ Should mendicants other than Sanyaasi such as Vairagees, Khakees, etc. be ranked as Sanyaasi or not?
A. ~ No, they do not possess even one characteristic of a Sanyaasi. They follow anti-Vedic creeds, respect the words of the exponents of their sects more than the Vedas, sing the praises of their own creed, are involved in false practices, further their selfish ends, and ensnare others in to their perspective creeds and cults. Let alone doing any good to the world, they, instead, mislead people and bring about their fall and accomplish their own selfish ends. They have, therefore, no right to ranked in the Order of Sanyaasa but on the other hand, their Order can justly be entitled the Order of selfish creatures. This admits of no doubt.
Those a deserve to be called Sanyasis and great souls who walk in the path of rectitude and help others to do the same, promote their own happiness as well as that of the whole world here and hereafter.
Thus we have briefly discoursed on the Order of Sanyas. In the next chapter we shall treat of the Science of Government.
END OF CHAPTER 5
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