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Theosophical Encyclopedia


(Sannyāsin) A Sanskrit word (also written “samnyasin,” from sam-ny-as, throw down, abandon, etc.) applied to one who has renounced all wordly possessions and ties. It is of two kinds: vividisa-samnyasa (lit. “renunciation with an intense desire to know”), which is renunciation preceded by a sense of worldly detachment but with an unwavering effort at attaining Self-realization, and vidvat-samnyasa (lit. “renunciation with knowledge”), which is total and unconditional renunciation accompanied by Self-knowledge (atma-vidya or atma-jñana). In the former, certain rules have to be observed, but in the latter there is absolute freedom because there is no attachment to the result of action.


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