Showing posts with label Dandi Sanyasi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dandi Sanyasi. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Are The Dandi Sanyasi?


The Dandi Sanyasis are the most renowned of the three broad ascetic varieties among the Dashanami Sanyasis, or ascetic worshippers (bhakta) of the deity Shiva. 

The other two are the Paramahamsa and Naga Sanyasis. 

The staff (danda) that they are given at their ascetic initiation and that they wear for the rest of their lives as a symbol of ascetic restraint gives Dandi Sanyasis their name. 

To retain its purity, the danda is constantly kept above the ground. 

The Dandi Sanyasis emphasize the necessity of mastering Sanskrit (the holy language) and defend the traditional social and cultural values it promotes. 

Dandis tend to belong to the Dashanami divisions that solely initiate brahmins, such as the Saraswati, Ashrama, and Tirtha divisions, as well as certain portions of the Bharati division. 

In many situations, Dandi Sanyasis are initiated as ascetics only after they have finished the other three phases of life (ashramas), demonstrating that they have followed the idealized pattern in the dharma literature, or religious teachings. 

Thus, their ascetic identity is based on more than just their severe ascetic adherence, for which they are well-known. 

It also demonstrates their commitment to conventional idealized cultural norms and the continued impact of their prior "worldly" position, which was purportedly left behind following ascetic initiation. 

The philosopher Shankaracharya, who is credited with founding the Dashanami order, was said to be a Dandi Sanyasi. 

This system of leadership continues today, with Dandi Sanyasis being selected as Shankaracharyas, the religious leaders who preside over the four monastic centers (maths). 

These institutes are said to have been founded by the philosopher Shankaracharya, and many of the current leaders have been lifelong ascetics, much like Shankaracharya. 

Dana Sawyer, "Monastic Structure of Banarsi Dandi Sadhus," in Bradley R. Hertel and Cynthia Ann Humes (eds. ), Living Banaras, 1993, for further details. 

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