Among sanyasins we see difference in rules and regulation in sampradayas.

But in brahmacharya or grihastha we dont see much of difference.

What is the reason that different traditions have different sanyasa?

for example in Sri Vaishnava tradition they do not give up the sacred thread tuft but in Dashanami tradition most of them have to give up these.

What are the rules for these? Are there any texts which explicitly list out the rules to be followed by sanyasins ?

What is the reason that different sects have different rules?

  • archaryas of different traditions perhaps had some habit. It then became part of the tradition for all of his followers. Apr 23, 2017 at 10:08
  • 1
    @SwamiVishwananda, no it's not just some 'habit' they picked up. Rules for ekadanda, tridanda sanyasis , uncha vrithi, aja gara vrithi, even how many times to clean oneself after shoucham etc. are all laid down in shastras
    – ram
    Apr 23, 2017 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


I am only providing an answer of your below question.

What are the rules for these? Are there any texts which explicitly list out the rules to be followed by sanyasins ?

There are various Sanyasi Upanishads which talk about rules and regulations about sanyasi life.

They are

1) Avadhutaka Upanishad

2) Jabala Upanishad

3) Turiyatitavadhuta Upanishad

4) Parabrahma Upanishad.

There is also Bhiksukopanisad which deals with the subject.

Here is excerpt from Jabala Upanishad.

VI-1. There are sages called Paramahamsas (as in the days of yore, the sages) Samvartaka, Aruni, Svetaketu, Durvasas, Ribhu, Nidagha, Jadabharata, Dattatreya, Raivataka and others, wearing no distinguishing marks, with conduct beyond the ken (of worldly people) and who behaved as though bereft of their senses though (perfectly) sane.

Discarding all these, namely the threefold staff (of bamboo), the water pot, the sling (to carry personal effects), the (alms-)bowl, the cloth for purifying water (tied to the staff), tuft of hair and sacred thread in water (i.e. a reservoir) by reciting Bhuh Svaha, the Paramahamsa shall seek the Atman.

V-3. Then (in the case of those entitled to renunciation) the mendicant monk wearing (ochre) coloured garment, with shaven head, accepting nothing (excepting food for bare sustenance), being pure, injuring none (in thought, word and deed), (austerity) living on alms, becomes fit for realizing Brahman. If sorely afflicted (by disease, etc.,) he may renounce the world by mental resolve, or by spoken words uttering mantras. This way (of renunciation) has been prescribed by Brahma (the creator, in the Vedanta); the ascetic (the Sannyasin who has renounced the world) following this path realizes Brahman. Thus indeed it is, O, revered Yajnavalkya (appreciated Janaka).

Yati Panchakamis a work by Adi Shankaracharya which speaks about as to how a Yati or a person who has realized the ultimate reality of Brahman and is completely detached to the world would behave in the world.

Yati panchakam or Kaupina Panchakam –

मूलं तरोः केवलमाश्रयन्तः| पाणिद्वयं भोक्तुममन्त्रयन्तः ।
कन्थामिव श्रीमपि कुत्सयन्तः |कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ॥ २॥

Sitting at the foot of a tree for shelter, Eating from his hands his meagre portion, Spurning wealth like a patched-up garment, Blest indeed is the wearer of the loin-cloth .

वेदान्तवाक्येषु सदा रमन्तो भिक्षान्नमात्रेण च तुष्टिमन्तः ।
विशोकमन्तःकरणे चरन्तः कौपीनवन्तः खलु भाग्यवन्तः ॥ १॥

Roaming ever in the grove of Vedanta, Ever pleased with his beggar's morsel, Wandering onward, his heart free from sorrow, Blessed indeed is the wearer of the loin-cloth

Shreemad Bhagvat purana also discusses the rules for Yati’s or Sanyasis. There is separate chapter about Rules to be followed by Sanyasis. SB 7.13

Here are some Rules and Regulations mentioned- :

बिभृयद् यदयसौ वास: कौपीनाच्छादनं परम् |
त्यक्तं न दण्डलिग्डादेरन्यत किच्त्रिदनापदि ||२||

bibhṛyād yady asau vāsaḥ kaupīnācchādanaṁ param
tyaktaṁ na liṅgād daṇḍāder anyat kiñcid anāpadi

A person in the renounced order of life may try to avoid even a dress to cover himself. If he wears anything at all, it should be only a loincloth, and when there is no necessity, a sannyāsī should not even accept a daṇḍa. A sannyāsī should avoid carrying anything but a daṇḍa and kamaṇḍalu. SB 7.13.2

एक एव चरेद् भिक्षुरात्मारामोsनपाश्रय: |
सर्वभूतसुहृछ्चान्तो नारायणपरायणा ||३||

eka eva cared bhikṣurātmārāmo ’napāśrayaḥ

The sannyāsī, completely satisfied in the self, should live on alms begged from door to door. Not being dependent on any person or any place, he should always be a friendly well-wisher to all living beings and be a peaceful, unalloyed devotee of Nārāyaṇa. In this way he should move from one place to another.SB 7.13.3

नासच्छास्त्रेषु सज्जेत नोपजीवेत जीविकाम |
वादवादांस्तजेत तर्कान्प्क्षं कं न संश्रयेत ||७||

nāsac-chāstreṣu sajjeta nopajīveta jīvikām
vāda-vādāṁs tyajet tarkān pakṣaṁ kaṁca na saṁśrayet

Literature that is a useless waste of time — in other words, literature without spiritual benefit — should be rejected. One should not become a professional teacher as a means of earning one’s livelihood, nor should one indulge in arguments and counterarguments. Nor should one take shelter of any cause or faction.SB 7.13.7

नशिष्याननुबन्धित ग्रन्थान्नैवाभ्यसेद् बहुन् |
नव्याख्यामुपयुञ्जीत नारंभानारभेत् क्वचित् ||८||

na śiṣyān anubadhnīta granthān naivābhyased bahūn
na vyākhyām upayuñjīta nārambhān ārabhet kvacit

A sannyāsī must not present allurements of material benefits to gather many disciples, nor should he unnecessarily read many books or give discourses as a means of livelihood. He must never attempt to increase material opulences unnecessarily.SB 7.13.8

So it seems that there are various texts which are available on the subject you enquired , but I will also try search a exclusive book on Rules of sanyasis.

  • please also answer . hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/17797/… Apr 23, 2017 at 10:45
  • There is no 'book of rules' for sannyasins. To have a book of rules would mean that sannyas was a varna and sannyas is to be beyond the varnas. Read Sankara's introduction to the Aitareya Upanishad. The only rule is renunciation. Apr 27, 2017 at 11:26
  • Ok ,I will surely read the recommended book.Thanks. Apr 28, 2017 at 10:01

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