According to the answers given here, a SannyAsi can perform Vedic rituals even after taking SannyAsa.

Now, the first purificatory rite that precedes all Vedic rituals is the act of sipping water called Achamana.

And, according to the following verses from scriptures, Achamana successfully purifies the performer only when it is performed with the Upavita on and with the SikhA tied.

A twice-born, who stands without washing his feet, or who performs the Achamanam without binding the tuft of his hair on the crown or without putting on his sacred thread, is impure. (15)

Samvarta Smriti's Chapter 1.

One must always put on the sacred thread and bind the tuft of hair on the crown : what one does without having the sacred thread on or without binding the tuft of hair on the crown, is equal to an act not done.

Katyayana Smriti's Chapter 1.

But, a SannyAsi does neither have a Upavita nor a SikhA. Then without them how is he able to perform the first purificatory act?

Now, there is some Upanishad which says that the Self is the Sacred thread for the SannyAsi. Ok, but what about the SikhA?

Question- If Self is the substitute for the Sacred thread, what substitutes for the SikhA for a SannyAsi given that he does not sport one and also given the fact that he is allowed to do Vedic rituals?

  • they denounce all karmas. Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 4:58

1 Answer 1


Para-Brahma Upanishad is one of the 108 Upanishads which deals with Sanyasin. It is said to be included in Atharva Veda. According to Parabrahma Upanishad, Pranava is the substitute of Shikha for the Sanyasin.

Disregarding the external phenomenal world, tuft and sacred thread he shall hold on to the tuft and sacred thread in the form of the sacred syllable (Pranava) and Brahman (Hamsa) and thus equip himself for liberation. Thus declared the revered sage Saunaka. Thus (ends) the Upanishad.

  • 1
    Thanks but i am not convinced with this. Two mantras (OM and Hamsa ) are the substitutes? Now on one hand its said that without tuft and thread one should not chant Veda mantras and here its said to do away with those two one should chant mantras, one of which is a Veda mantra and Hamsa of course is the famous mantra from the Agamas( it represents Shiva+Shakti). Is not this contradictory? Anyways i have upvoted for ur effort.
    – Rickross
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 16:01
  • @Rickross Yes, it looks contradictory. The source I have added is said to be of 15th century. Though I have only answered with this because it was addressing your question to some extent. Btw thanks for upvote. Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 16:15

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