Renunciation

 

 

Renunciation

1.    General features

      Action leads to rebirth and suffering

      Detachment from action, or even non-action, leads to spiritual emancipation

      Complete detachment, and therefore spiritual emancipation can be achieved through asceticism and methods of making consciousness focused and concentrated

2.    Orthodox forms of renunciation

      Alone or in small itinerant groups

      Homeless except during the monsoon, dress in ochre robe or go naked

      Monastic 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.

      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

      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

      Ochre robes, naked, covered with ash, shaven heads, matted hair

      Some joint communities of renouncers in hermitages (ashrams) or monasteries

      Some focused on particular deities like Siva or Vishnu