1. General features
á Action leads to rebirth and suffering
á Detachment from action, or even non-action, leads to spiritual emancipation
detachment, and therefore spiritual emancipation can be achieved through asceticism
and methods of making consciousness focused and concentrated
2. Orthodox forms of renunciation
á Alone or in small itinerant groups
á Homeless except during the monsoon, dress in ochre robe or go naked
traditions develop in the medieval
3. Ritual of renunciation: from ritual to non-ritual state, action to non-action. Takes fire into himself, gives up old clothes, offers sacred thread into the fire.
á Waistband, loincloth and ochre robe, staff, water pot and begging bowl. Some remain naked
In some rituals:
symbolic performance of own funeral.
Burning ritual implements.
At death not cremated but body placed in sacred river or buried upright
in special tomb.
4. Later orders
á Sadhus (good men) and sadhvis (good women): live life alone on edges of society, by sacred rivers, wild places such as mountainous areas or cremation grounds
á Ochre robes, naked, covered with ash, shaven heads, matted hair
á Some joint communities of renouncers in hermitages (ashrams) or monasteries
Some focused on
particular deities like Siva or Vishnu