Monday, November 20, 2006

Sanyaasa - The fourth and final stage of Hindu life

I am impressed by the way Wikipedia describes the Sanyaasa stage of hindu life:-

Having succeeded in overcoming all sensual affections and desires, and in acquiring perfect equanimity towards everything around him, the hermit has fitted himself for the final and most exalted order, that of devotee or religious mendicant. As such, he has no further need of either mortifications or religious observances; but with the sacrificial fires reposited in his mind, he may devote the remainder of his days to meditating on the divinity. Taking up his abode at the foot of a tree in total solitude, with no companion but his own soul (jiva), clad in a coarse garment, he should carefully avoid injuring any creature or giving offence to any human being that may happen to come near him. Once a day, in the evening, when the charcoal fire is extinguished and the smoke no longer issues from the fire-places, when the pestle is at rest, when the people have taken their meals and the dishes are removed, he should go near the habitations of men, in order to beg what little food may suffice to sustain his feeble frame. Ever pure of mind he should thus bide his time, as a servant expects his wages, wishing neither for death nor for life, until at last his soul is freed from its fetters and absorbed into the atman, the impersonal self-existent Brahman, or else returns to dwell with Brahman experienced as the personal Deity.

No comments: