What Are the Holy Orders of Sannyasa?


Lesson of the Day
From The Master Course by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Sloka 120 from Dancing with Siva
What Are the Holy Orders of Sannyasa?

The holy orders of sannyasa are lifetime vows of poverty, obedience and chastity, never to be relinquished or rescinded. The sannyasins are the religious leaders, the bedrock of the Sanatana Dharma. Aum Namah Sivaya.
Bhashya

The sannyasin’s first sacred vow is renunciation, the surrendering of the limited identity of the ego that the soul may soar to the depths of impersonal Being. It is a repudiation of worldly dharma and involvement, and thus includes poverty and simplicity. The sannyasin owns nothing, not even the robes he is given to wear. The second vow is obedience–a pledge to follow the traditional ways of the sannyasa dharma and the specific directions of his satguru. It embraces obedience to his own conscience, to scripture, to God and the Gods and to his illustrious guru parampara. The third vow is purity–a pledge to remain pure in thought, word and deed, to be continent throughout life, to protect the mind from all lower instincts: deceit, hatred, fear, jealousy, anger, pride, lust, covetousness and so forth. It includes the observance of ahimsa, noninjuriousness, and adherence to a vegetarian diet. Some orders also give vows of humility and confidentiality. The Vedas elucidate, “Henceforth being pure, clean, void, tranquil, breathless, selfless, endless, undecaying, steadfast, eternal, unborn, independent, he abides in his own greatness.” Aum Namah Sivaya.
Lesson 275 from Living with Siva
Peace and Righteous War

In Gandhian philosophy ahimsa means nonviolent action which leads to passive resistance in order to put a point across. Basically, he taught, don’t hit your opponent over the head. If he tells you to do something, stall and don’t obey and don’t do it and frustrate him into submission. And yet, on the other hand, when a gang of tribals came in and raped the women in a village, Gandhi said there should not have been a man left alive in the village. They should have stood up for the village and protected it with their lives.

So, to me, that means if an intruder breaks into your house to rape the women or steal things, you have the right, even the duty, to defend your own, but you don’t have the right to torture him. Ahimsa needs to be properly understood, in moderation. Ahimsa in the Jain religion has been taken to extremes. To explain nonviolence, you have to explain what violence is, as opposed to protecting yourself. Is it violent to own a dog who would put his teeth to the throat of a vicious intruder? I don’t think it is. If nonviolence is to be something that the world is going to respect, we have to define it clearly and make it meaningful. …Please click here to read more

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