Why do some Swamis, Gurus, Sannyasis etc. have long, untrimmed beards and hair, and yet some of their disciples tend to have a more semi-professional look. Is it just a personal preference or is there a message to be taken from it, e.g., the human body is only a medium for the soul why waste your time on appearances?

Also it says here that a true Sannyasi should not protect himself even if attacked. Does it mean when Vishwamitra attacked Vashista he should not have resisted?

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    Yes you are right. human body is only a medium. it is like a car. The car is used to take you to your destination. However if the car is not properly maintained by giving it oil, fuel at the right time, cleaning it, etc. the car becomes unsuitable and may breakdown in between. Similarly the body is only important that it takes one to their destination of Bhagavan. However as a beginner on the spiritual path, one cannot neglect the body's needs. Appearances do not matter, but proper food and physical exercise are complimentary to the spiritual path. So give it minimum necessities. Good q.
    – Sai
    Oct 29, 2015 at 14:44
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    This is similar to another question already asked. There is no 'rule' as to appearance, many follow what their lineage of teachers has done, others adapt to local environments and cultures. The only guideline is one should not spend much time in caring for the body, do not waste time on outer appearances. Oct 30, 2015 at 7:47

1 Answer 1


For your first question, to attain the highest form of meditation, The one who practices meditation must be able to separate his inner atma or celestial body from the physical body through the head to higher points and self. For the disciples, it is difficult to concentrate and elevate with all the hair. So they have less hair on their heads. And for the Swamis, Gurus, Sannyasis etc, It is easy for them to elevate but they keep their hair because it helps them to maintain that elevated state. It acts like a barrier.

For the second question, It is mentioned in that article itself that Himsa and Ahimsa are relative terms and are dependent on circumstances. When Vishwamitra attacked Vashista, Vashista was not the sannyasi who had quit everything in the world, he was more of a spiritual Guru who was working towards the well being of humanity and such. He was not alone, He had to protect his disciples and the holy calf Nandini. So it has nothing to do with "a true Sannyasi should not protect himself even if attacked."

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