Glory to Sannyasa
Swami Sivananda Saraswati
Every religion has a band of anchorites who lead the life of seclusion and meditation. There are bhikkus in Buddhism, fakirs in Mohammedanism, sufistic fakirs in Sufism, fathers and reverends in Christianity. It is these people who give solace to the householders when they are in trouble and distress. They are the harbingers of peace and wisdom. They heal the sick, comfort the forlorn and bring help to the hopeless, joy to the depressed, strength to the weak and knowledge to the ignorant. One true sannyasin can change the thought currents of the world for the better.
A real sannyasin is a mighty potentate of this earth. Sannyasins have done sublime work in the past; they are working wonders
at present. One real sannyasin can change the destiny of the whole world. I dance in joy when I see or hear from an aspirant who entertains genuine devotion, aspiration and inclination for the path of renunciation and tries to get out of the quagmire of samsara. Through prayers and thought currents I am in very close touch with such students and help them in the path of yoga and take care of them until they stand firm in the path.
In scriptures people took sannyasa in their old age, but from experience I find that tremendous energy is needed for purposes of contemplation, clear vision and extraordinary purity of body, mind and heart. I consider youth, with abundant energy and mental purity, as the foremost qualification for the path of renunciation. I have all admiration for those young brahmacharis who do not have any worldly bondage and entanglements. Necessary qualifications will come by themselves when they tread the path of yoga.
In my method of work for the spiritual upliftment of mankind, I permit even married people to take to the path of renunciation. There are many who have taken the order of sannyasa when they have a family and children. After some training, they go back and take care of their family with complete detachment and gloriously prosper in their sadhana.
The point of my method is that I look to the motive and inner purity of the seeker. My students can live in any place, in any dress and yet effectively follow my instructions. They all set an example to the whole world. This whole world is in need of ideal sannyasins who will serve humanity with divine consciousness and disseminate true knowledge and carry the message of the sages and saints to every door. May sannyasins, the repositories of truth, the beacon-lights of the world, the cornerstones of spiritual edifices and the central pillars of the eternal dharma, guide the nations and the world.
A sannyasin has a great ideal before him and those who want to adopt sannyasa should do so. It is a path to serve others, to treat all your neighbours as your own family instead of looking after the interests of a limited family of four or five.