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Asceticism For Women

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by jayasala42, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    ‘சிறு கோடுதான்
    நீ தேடியதும்
    நான் வரைந்ததும்
    அடையாளம் தெரியவில்லை
    அவ்வளவுதான்...’
    This is a small kavitha in Tamil meaning'
    A small line, I drew.which you were searching for. But you cannot recognize the same'
    This is stated to have been told by a woman whose husband deserted her and became a sanyasi.All along women have been drawing such lines to extend the branches of 'love' and'affection' which man is unable to understand.

    Man can easily cut off and leave.
    A small story to narrate.A five year old small boy is converted into a buddha bikshu.But in his youth he is dominated by desires and is sent back.He renounces the sanyasihood, gets
    married, entangled in family life. Gets connected to extra marital relationship with another girl.Begets children.Suddenly there is realisation.He leaves the family and gets back to sanyasa.
    The girl asks him" do you remember the name Yasodhara?Siddhartha who left his wife and son in the midst of night to attain Gnana is praised by one and all as Buddha. Had Yasodhara deserted her husband and child and vanished in search of 'Gnana', would the society accept her?
    The word'Gnana' has different connotations for men and women.For 'men' it may mean deserting the family. But for women it means creating a bondage.
    It is just a formality for a man to desert his family and just escape.A coward can do this.
    A woman may not mind losing her man to death but may not forgive a coward.
    A girl need not get out of the house in search of 'Gnaana.

    Sanyasa is a form of asceticism, is marked by renunciation of material desires and prejudices, represented by a state of disinterest and detachment from material life, and has the purpose of spending one's life in peaceful, love-inspired, simple spiritual life
    But a girl never leaves the husband and children in search of gnana.Sanyasam for a woman is just to sacrifice the food and dress she likes,sacrificing her sleep and on many occasions renunciating her career for the sake of husband and children

    If obstacles confront women that abide in the Self, do the sastras sanction their renouncing the home and becoming ascetics?

    Bhagavan Ramana, the great Sage, Knower of the import of all the Scriptures, has said
    Since there is no such prohibition in the sastras, there is nothing wrong in women abiding in the Self and fully ripe becoming ascetics.

    While we have been talking about sannyas and sannyasins, many people may not be totally aware that sannyasins means collectively, both men and women. Although once, women were excluded initiation and sannyas life they are now very much accepted. Sannyas is open to everyone - there are no exceptions or limitations- only those that are self imposed.

    Throughout the ages there have been many female saints and sages although not a great deal has been heard about them. Women like Ananda Mai Ma, the Holy Mother Sarada Devi, Saint Teresa and Mirabai are well known, but there have been many others from the Moghal period, the Christian, Buddhist and Sufi traditions as well as the unsung saintly woman from the village nearby, who heals and inspires, and is revered as an incarnation of the divine mother.

    There have also been many female gurus. In fact, in the tantric tradition, it is said that initiation from a female guru is very powerful and very auspicious. Nowadays women seem to be more inclined towards a spiritual life than men, and they have many valuable qualities to offer in the upliftment of humanity. There are many women who feel they have a more universal contribution to make to the world beyond bearing children. The institution of marriage and the raising of a family can be a great limitation to such women.

    On a grand scale a female sannyasin can be the mother of many, preparing beings for spiritual life as she would her own children for a material, worldly life. But of course a female sannyasin does not have to possess motherly qualities. She can also be strong, ambitious, aggressive and fiery. The guru gives positive direction to all tendencies.
    When a guru accepts a sannyasin, he makes of him or her a complete and independent being, awakening the inner shakti in a male and the inner shiva in a female. In the course of training, all sannyasins are placed in situations that will enable them to break away from their predetermined masculine or feminine roles to discover the true underlying self, and the many potentials that may have been suppressed all throughout life.

    Theoretically, much seems to be easier.But in the practical world of advanced scientific developments, is it pragmatic to have self imposed sanyas for women ,when so much is expected of them as wives, mothers,daughters, teachers, doctors, scientists and the like-- notwithstanding the spiritual significance attached to Sanyas?

    Jayasala 42
     
    Sunburst, Viswamitra, kkrish and 5 others like this.
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  2. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    Very informative @Jayasala ma'am.
     
  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Smt. Jayasala:

    "Kooramal sanyasam kole" is the proverb used in Tamil meaning leave the life of Grahastha without telling the spouse. I always felt this statement is ridiculous and disrespectful to the wedding ceremony vows a man took in life. No scripture is telling a man to desert the family to pursue spiritual disciplines. Hand in the society and head in the forest is taught by many Gurus. Swami Rama wrote a book, "Himalayan Masters" where he described how many Gurus have advised their disciples to go and experience Grahastha life to test how much knowledge they have assimilated.

    Renouncing nice outfits and luxurious lifestyle is only symbolic if one doesn't renounce bad qualities, desires and attachments. Leading a simple life despite all wealth one possesses and love for the fellow beings with an attitude of a trustee is also renouncing desires and attachments. This reminds of me of a story where someone spent his entire life time conducting Yagnas and adopting austerities to lead a simple life when a prostitute right across the street spend her life satisfying the needs of men. When this man with austerity had a long life and went to heaven eventually and noticed the prostitute was already in heaven for many years. He got irritated and decided to confront God by asking, "What is the point in me adopting austerity for the entire life, if I was going to find a person who lead an inauspicious life was already in heaven?" The God responded, "You were practicing all those austerity thinking what was happening in her house when she spent her entire life thinking how nice it would be to be indulged in austerity and good values". Eventually, transformation in life is the key to one's salvation.

    My Guru taught me that men and women in that form are merely created for procreation and when they combine it with their consciousness is when they become complete. They both are negatives in form and when connected with consciousness (positive) they get charged.

    Frankly, the focus is on men in the society to practice Sanyasa or austerity because it comes naturally to women in daily life. It is harder for men to transform when compared to women. By nature, men are impulsive and quick to decide while women are more analytical and thorough. By nature, women accept interconnected world than men.

    In my personal view, the chances of success when women practice austerity is much higher when compared to men.

    Viswa
     
  4. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @jayasala42

    Women who opt for sanyas mostly follow the strict rules, whereas men in the garb of sanyas take advantage of it and indulge in many misdeeds.
    There are true men sanyasis also as well as fake ones.
    PS
     
  5. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Kkrish
     
  6. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Pushpa, Thank you.While in earlier days there was some respect for sanyasis, in today's world, all saffron robbed ones are seen with an eye of suspicion as there are more fake ones and many sanyasis have amassed wealth to an unimaginable extent.

    jayasala 42
     
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  7. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa, Excellent response, as expected from a scholar.
    Unlike sankara mutts, many of the vaishnava mutts have their jeeyars who have been gruhasthas, begot children and later had taken to sanyasa Ashrama. Now adays, the word 'sanyasi' connotes men who have built a fort of wealth around them.the saffron robe has lost its sanctity. a few years back there was a special bulletin about all the so called swamijis inclusive of Mutt heads, sathya sai Group, H. H. Ravi Sankar, jaggi vasaudev and many others.There were many derogatory remarks too .

    Jayasala 42
     
  8. MaruthiRao

    MaruthiRao Silver IL'ite

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    Saffron represents perfect celibacy, this is related to the swadishtana chakra, this is the one important to control the deep desires, cravings, obsessions, this colour represents the creativity, out of box thinking, the progeny, Hence the wear of the gowns made of this color commonly worn by so called sanyasi's. It is important to note that, one should respect the representation of this color, if one cannot follow a path strictly, refraining from it is a better way to live life than disregarding its essence!!
     

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