Quotes by Swami B.G. Narasingha Maharaja on the topic of Sannyāsa. These are quotes and excerpts that have been extracted from articles, lectures and letters by Swami B.G. Narasingha.



f you are interested in joining the fight against māyā and engaging yourself wholeheartedly in the service of your Gurudeva without duplicity or weakness of heart. then you should be interested in taking sannyāsa or assisting a sannyāsī in his preaching work. As an anonymous monk once said, ‘Take sannyāsa or assist the preaching, but whatever you do, don’t give up the fight!’


Tridaṇḍi-sannyāsīs are the preachers, bābājīs do bhajana in seclusion. The tridaṇḍis take some pratiṣṭhā, or prestige because they represent the mission – he has to go out in public, preach, accept disciples, accept service. The bābājī-sannyāsī lives a quiet life and concentrates on his chanting, study of śāstra. He’s not a preacher. One is called a goṣṭḥyānandī and the other is called a bhajanānandī. Ānandī means happiness – one finds happiness in preaching, the other is happy living alone and doing japa, kīrtana, reading etc.


S annyāsīs aren’t just supposed to have big smiles on their face and bless babies and just say, “haribol!” with their arms in the air. This is nonsense! Sannyāsīs are meant for fighting against ignorance, and misconception, and wrongdoing. They are to speak out – not just be quiet.”


E very Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sannyāsī receives a tridaṇḍa (staff) at the time of initiation and at the top of that tridaṇḍa is a ‘K’ shaped symbol called the paraśu-mūdra meaning the axe. This is not just any axe, but it is a battle-axe to cut the head of illusion and ignorance. Śrīdhara Mahārāja once said, It is the emblem of cutting the anarthas of those we preach to, as well as those of the disciple.


Now you are becoming old and life is short as you say! So now is the time for you to abandon everything and take sannyāsa as has been ordered by Śrīla Prabhupada — pañcasordhvam vanaṁ vrajet. But even if you have the gonads to take sannyāsa, it is highly unlikely that you could do so within the next ten years, or even before your death, because you will have to go thru the rigors of a bureaucratic society that ignores Śrīla Prabhupāda’s order for you to take sannyāsa after age fifty.


It is also the direct order of Śrīla Prabhupāda that after fifty years of age a householder man should get out of household life, but who is doing that? Śrīla Prabhupāda said that they will stay in household life until cruel death comes. Unfortunate! How old are you Prabhu?


Sannyāsa itself is the life of pure devotion, a life of service to guru and Kṛṣṇa, twenty-four hours a day, aṣṭa-kāliya-līlā. Yet we see in these unfortunate times that a man gives up his vows of sannyāsa, then enjoys the shackles of marital life for some years, criticizes pure devotees and their followers, and then reappears on the scene after a decade or two – but this time as a rāgānuga-bhakta. Shame, shame, shame! We are not impressed.