The Satadhusani is a work by the Sri Vaishnava Acharya Vedanta Desikan consisting of 100 refutations of Adi Shankaracharya's philosophy of Advaita. One chapter of the work is devoted to refuting the Advaita view that those who have attained Brahmajnana do not have to follow the rules of Varnashrama Dharma. Among other things, Vedanta Desikan responds to the Advaita argument that walking with staffs is for Sanyasis who haven't attained Brahmajnana yet, not Sanyasis who have attained it:

As to the assertion: "The taking of a staff pertains to the non-enlightened", that too is just rash talk, because the staff is enjoined specifically with reference to the enlightened. How can you, a man of supereminent wisdom, conclude that great seers such as Kapila, Panchashikha, and Durvasa, who are stated in the Itihasas and Puranas to have worn ochre robes and topknots and to have carried staffs, as well as Shankara and other founders of your doctrine, and men such as Lord Nathamuni, Bhaskara, and Yadavaprakasha, are all unenlightened? Now that is the cry of a non-Vedic doctrine, and so it pleases nobody.

I discuss Nathamuni, Bhaskaracharya, and Yadavaprakasha in my question here. But I'm interested in the part in bold. My question is, what scriptures describe Kapila, Panchashikha, and Durvasa carrying Sanyasi staffs?

Kapila is the name of the founder of the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, and the name of an incarnation of Vishnu born to Kardama and Devahuti, who may or may not be the same person as I discuss here. Panchashikha was a Samkhya philosopher who was Kapila's shishya's shishya. And Durvasa is a Rishi who is the son of Atri and an incarnation of Shiva. But where in the Itihasas and Puranas are their Sanyasi staffs mentioned?

  • Rishi Durvasa was carrying his sanyasi staff when he arrived to the Kuntibhoja and asked for his hospitality. This story is related to birth of karna , where durvasa gave sacred mantra to kunti. In this section the name of durvasa is not directly mentioned but just said that "Brahmana of fierce energy and tall stature, bearing a beard and matted locks, and carrying a staff in his hand." the brahmana was rishi durvasa itself and some accounts even support that. In the gita press mahabharata the title of that chapter is Coming of rishi durvasa to kuntibhoja. If you want i will write answer... – SwiftPushkar Feb 6 '19 at 9:57
  • supporting the view that the certain Brahmana mentioned in that chapter is Rishi durvasa.- sacred-texts.com/hin/m03/m03301.htm – SwiftPushkar Feb 6 '19 at 9:58
  • Satadushani, despite the name, consists of about 66 criticisms of advaita, not 100. – user16581 Feb 6 '19 at 10:15
  • @SwiftPushkar whats the word used for sannyasi ? – Rakesh Joshi Feb 6 '19 at 13:09
  • 1
    @RakeshJoshi Ekadanda OR Tridanda. – SwiftPushkar Feb 6 '19 at 17:26

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