/sun yah"see/, n.
Hinduism. a wandering beggar and ascetic.
[1605-15; < Hindi: one who casts away]

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In Hinduism, one who renounces all ties with family and society and pursues spiritual liberation.

Sannyasis are a class of sadhu that do not live in communities, instead leading a mendicant, itinerant life. Those recognized as having achieved full self-knowledge are considered free of all worldly rules and duties, including those pertaining to caste, and are not required to carry out image worship or offerings. After death, their bodies, rather than being cremated, are buried in a seated, meditative posture.

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Sanskrit“abandoning,” or “throwing down” also spelled  sannyasin 

      in Hinduism, religious ascetic who has renounced the world by performing his or her own funeral and abandoning all claims to social or family standing. Sannyasis, like other sadhus, or holy men, are not cremated but are generally buried in a seated posture of meditation.

      Since the 5th century CE, major texts have associated this achievement with the fourth ashram, or stage, of life, but initially it was not so, and it is uncertain what proportion of sadhus have ever actually exemplified this ideal. According to his standard biography, even the philosopher Shankara (Śaṅkara) did not, although he is often regarded as the archetypal sannyasi. The name sannyasi also designates an ascetic who pays particular allegiance to the god Shiva, especially one who belongs to the dashanami (daśnāmī sannyāsin) order said to have been established in the 8th century CE by Shankara.

      Among dashanami sannyasis, the highest stage of achievement is recognized by the title paramahamsa (“great swan”). This honorific is usually given only after a probation of at least 12 years as an ascetic and only to those who have achieved full self-knowledge. They are then regarded as free of all worldly rules and duties, including formal religious obligations, and are often expected to worship internally only. Although his own practices were both Shakta (a mixture of Shaivism and folk mother-goddess cults) and deeply devotional, the 19th-century saint Ramakrishna is sometimes regarded as the greatest paramahamsa of modern times, in part because his behaviour transcended any fixed expectation.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sannyasi — [sun′yä′sinsun yä′sē] n. [Hindi sannyāsī < Sans saṁnyāsin, casting away < saṃ, together (see SAME) + ni, down (for IE base see NETHER) + asayati, (he) casts] 1. a Hindu holy man who is a homeless mendicant 2. a disciple of any of certain… …   English World dictionary

  • Sannyasi — Sannyasi, so v.w. Sanjasi …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • sannyasi — (f. sannyasini)    A sannyasi is a male renunciant who has “thrown everything down.” (Rarely, there will be female sannyasinis.) Many sects in India have sannyasis, men who are seen as no longer a part of the every day world (only a very few… …   Encyclopedia of Hinduism

  • sannyasi — or sannyasin noun Etymology: Hindi sannyāsī, from Sanskrit sannyāsin Date: 1613 a Hindu mendicant ascetic …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sannyasi — Dieser Artikel erläutert traditionelle indische Sannyasins. Auch die Schüler des spirituellen Lehrers Bhagwan / Osho (Indien/Poona) werden als „Sannyasins“ bezeichnet, siehe Osho. Sannyasin Sannyasin (auch Samnyasin, Sannyasi) kommt aus dem… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sannyasi — Sann|ya|si: ↑Sanyasi. San|ya|si, Sannyasi, der; [s], n [zu sanskr. Samnyasa = Entsagung]: Hindu, der der Welt im Streben nach spiritueller Erkenntnis entsagt; Anhänger des Bhagwans Rajneesh …   Universal-Lexikon

  • sannyasi — n. (also sanyasi) (pl. same) a Hindu religious mendicant. Etymology: Hindi & Urdu sannyasi f. Skr. samnyasin laying aside f. sam together, ni down, as throw …   Useful english dictionary

  • sannyasi — Synonyms and related words: Albigensian, Brahman, Catharist, Franciscan, Ramwat, Sabbatarian, Trappist, Waldensian, abstainer, anchorite, ascetic, bairagi, bashara, bhikhari, bhikshu, dervish, fakir, flagellant, guru, hermit, mendicant, pujari,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • Sannyasi — Sann|ya|si vgl. ↑Sanyasi …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • sannyasi — n. (Hinduism) Hindu monk; wandering Hindu religious beggar …   English contemporary dictionary

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