I was going through the below lines from a very famous गुरूचरित्र (Guru Charitra)

श्रीगुरु म्हणती शिष्यांसी । तुम्ही आश्रमी संन्यासी । राहूं नये पांच दिवशीं । एके ठायीं वास करीत ॥१६॥

In above lines, there is clear advice that those who are Sanyasi(तुम्ही आश्रमी संन्यासी) they should not stay at one place (एके ठायीं वास करीत) for more than 5 days (राहूं नये पांच दिवशीं)

What could be the reason behind such advice? Do any other Hindu scriptures mentions similar advice?

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    I think this may not be true (not sure though). I read book Living with Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama and he narrates many incidents in that book about various Rishis of Himalayas where they stayed at the same place for more than 5 days.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 17:56
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    Good question. I think a sanyasi shouldn't stay at same place for long is because they may feel attachment with that place and because of it there quality of detachment/Vairagya may be disturbed. Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 18:41
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    There is an old saying - "The river is pure that flows, the monk is pure who goes." There is a minor Upanishad mostly for sannyasins that recommends how long for a sannyasin to stay in one place. It varies depending upon the stage of the sannyasin and the size of the village/town/city. Some orders follow it literally, others stay in one place. Many maths will allow visiting wandering sadhus to stay for only three days. In truth, the only rule for sannyasins is - there are no rules other than the rules of brahmacharya and non-ownership of property. Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 8:20
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    Interesting Q. As a theorist, I would not relate this saying with physical activity of staying, because many have spent years in mountains & forests, still being perfect sannyAsi. So I would interpret, "stay" as "attached" and "place" as "state [of mind]". So that boils down to "A sannyAsi should not be 'attached' to any 'state' for too long." A true sannyAsi renounces fruits of action, rather than the action itself. Now remaining in any "state" [of mind] for longer duration may cause indulgence into that. This over-indulgence may deviate that sannyAsi, resulting in yoga-bhrashta.
    – iammilind
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 11:44
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    To keep himself not attached to any place.
    – Steve Hora
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 7:10

2 Answers 2


According to Hinduism, man has been advised to retire from material world after completion of the three ashram or phases of life. i.e. Brahmacharya (student) ब्रह्मचर्य आश्रम , Grihastha (householder) गृहस्थ आश्रम , Vanaprastha (retired) वानप्रस्थाश्रम , Sannyasa (hermit ) संन्यास आश्रम.


विनेषु च विहृत्‍यैवं तृतीयं भागमायुष: ।      चतुर्थमायुषो भागं त्‍यक्‍त्‍वा सङ्‌गान्‍परिव्रजेत्‌ ।। – मनुस्‍मृति ६.३३

Meaning: After the third phase of life ( retired ) one has to leave material world in the next phase and renounce. [Manusmruti 6.33]

Their are some rules laid out for sannyasis सन्यासि (who choose this path as hermatic life).

One of the rule is , a sannyasi must not stay in one place for certain number of days or months. I think the reason is ,when we stay at some place for some time , we get attached to it , its surroundings and people etc. But if you choose sannyasi life it is not proper to be again getting attracted towards material life. So considering this situation , to prevent a sannyasi from attaching to material world , this rule is described.

  • do you know any other hindu scripture that also mentions this advise of not staying too long at a place? I guess your answer makes sense because when someone stays at a place, usually that increases the attraction to it, and hence the advise. Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 3:55
  • @WhisperingMonk I will try to find them , I think the rules may change according to sanyasi guilds or diff. types , groups., seasons, weather, environmental condiation , age etc. I dont know much about it. Google might give you precise answer . :) Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 6:10

Do any other Hindu scriptures mentions similar advice?

Yes there are scriptures that ask them to do so.

"Outside the rains let him spend one night in a village and five nights in a town. During the rainy season, however, let him live in one place for four months [ArU 8, n. n]. "A mendicant should not spend two nights in the same village. Doing so will give rise to passion and the like, as a result of which he will go to hell. "In deserted areas on the outskirts of villages let him roam the earth like a worm, homeless and controlled. During the rains let him stay in one place.

From the Narada Parivrajaka Upanishad's Chapter 4

Only during the 4 months of the rainy season a Sannyasi is allowed to stay in a fixed abode. But during the other months he should be constantly on the move.

Some more examples are given below:

A wandering ascetic should wander forth according to the rule, abandoning his relatives and free of possessions. 17 Going into the wilderness, 18 he has his head shaven except for the topknot; 19 wears a loin cloth; 20 resides in one place during the rainy season 21 and wears ochre clothes.

Badarayana Dharma Sutras 2.11.26

Now then the duties of the highest class of itinerant monks – the Paramahamsa Parivrajakas (are as follows): They must sit and lie down on the ground. Those having already taken the vow of chastity etc., should use an earthen bowl or one made of gourd, or a wooden bowl; they should give up lust anger, avarice, infatuation, ostentation, haughtiness, jealousy, attachment to objects, egotism, falsehood and the like. The Sannyasin should stay at one place during the four months of the rainy season and during the remaining eight months wander alone, or with a single companion, aye, a single companion.

Aruni Upanishad Chapter 1

As regards your other question viz- "Why is he required to do so?" - the following passage, which are words of Lord Brahma, gives some reasons:

The Grandfather, after eulogizing Narada who asked about the observance of ascetics, replied thus : The ascetic that has attained indifference (to objects), should stay in one and the same place in the rainy season (for four months), and then for (the remaining) eight months should wander alone. Then also the ascetic should not stay in one and the same place for more than a day. Like a deer that does not stay in one place on account of fear, he should not stay in one place. He should not create an attraction (in his mind) that may serve as an obstacle to his going about. He should not cross a stream (by swimming) with his hand, nor ascend a tree, nor witness the festival of a God,

Narada Parivrajaka Upanishad's Chapter 7

So, what i have understood, is that by staying in one place for more days, attraction, attachment, passion etc may rise in him and also a sense of rest, and all these are considered as obstacles to his spirituality.

So, that's why he should always be on the move.

NOTE: 1. The Narada Parivrajaka Upanishad is linked to the Atharva Veda and Aruni to the Sama Veda.

2. There are other Upanishads as well, that have similar instructions.

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