Brahmacharin - when you read the news paper
Grihastin - when you drive that car on the road
Vanaprastin - when you remove your shoes
Sanyasin - when you slept off finally
s a n y a s a
Sanyas happens on the daily basis to you. Most certainly during the sleep. You have renounced the whole world and just remain a silent witness without any active participation. You dont relate to anyone or even know anyone, you may not even who you are. Without any question or doubt or emotions, you just sleep. Sanyasi is supposed to be like that while living in this world.
Disciple : But I see so many sanyasis are busy in
building ashrams and actively particpating in
public life, how is that to be understood ?
Master : Thats why a sanysin cannot remain a sanyasin but he
also become a brahmacharin or a grahastin or a vanaprastin. The
four ashramas are inseperabale and blended well with each other !
A sanysasin contains all the four ashramas and can visit any of them at will. When you become aware of the four ashramas well and witness them happening in your and others lives, then you have entered the sanyasa ashrama fully. But if the phases are understood to be divided and compartmentalized, strictly based on age, then it will lead to a lot of confusion in life.
Disciple : But you said during the sleeping
time everyone is a sanyasi ?
Master : Thats true. The sense of - I - is not
so strongly present then. So it is like some
kind of renunciation phase called sanyasa !
Disciple : If sleeping is the criteria then
I am a sanyasin most of the times in a day !
Master : It is heartening to hear that !
All phases are equally important in their own ways. No phase is superior than the other. If someone thought to be great because he has finally reached the phase of sanyasin, then he has been making a fool of himself all along to conisder that he lived a less evolved state till then. The evolution of man is a combination of all these phases and not from the first phase to fourth phase.
Disciple : I understand well that the phases are interconnected
and is happening all the time in my life, is there anything more
I should know about the various phases of my life ?
Master : Yes, to be aware of the phases as they take place will
eventually get you out of the phases and go beyond them !
When you are not aware of the four phases, you are bound by them and when you become aware of them, you transcend them. But even after transcending you would still have the four phases playing in your life, but you will not be influenced by the outcome of those phases anymore. Unifluenced by the phases but dealing with them in total awareness enables the seeker to rise above the bondage and taste the nectar of bliss in the form of freedom.