Difference between revisions of "Paramahansa"

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==Classification of Sanyāsins==
 
==Classification of Sanyāsins==
Some of the purāṇas as also the dharmaśāstras categorize the sanyāsins<ref>Sanyāsins means monks.</ref> into four groups:  
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Some of the [[purāṇas]] as also the dharmaśāstras categorize the sanyāsins<ref>Sanyāsins means monks.</ref> into four groups:  
# The kuṭicakas - A kuṭīcaka<ref>Kuṭīcaka means the ‘one who lives in a hut’.</ref> is the one who lives in an āśrama,<ref>Āśrama means monastery.</ref> eats only eight morsels of food per day and performs yogic practices.
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# The kuṭicakas - A kuṭī[[caka]]<ref>Kuṭīcaka means the ‘one who lives in a hut’.</ref> is the one who lives in an āś[[rama]],<ref>Āśrama means monastery.</ref> eats only eight morsels of food per day and performs yogic practices.
# The bahudakas - A bahudaka<ref>Bahudaka means the ‘one who drinks water from many sources’.</ref> wears the ochre-colored cloth<ref>It is an insignia of a monk.</ref> and carries a kamaṇḍalu<ref>Kamaṇḍalu means the water-pot prepared out of the bitter gourd.</ref> and also a tridaṇḍa.</ref>Tridaṇḍa means staff made of three bamboo sticks tied together.</ref> He lives by begging from not more than seven houses.
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# The bahudakas - A bahudaka<ref>Bahudaka means the ‘one who drinks water from many sources’.</ref> wears the ochre-colored cloth<ref>It is an insignia of a monk.</ref> and carries a [[kamaṇḍalu]]<ref>[[Kamaṇḍalu]] means the water-pot prepared out of the bitter gourd.</ref> and also a tridaṇḍa.</ref>Tridaṇḍa means staff made of three bamboo sticks tied together.</ref> He lives by begging from not more than seven houses.
 
# The hansas - The hansa<ref>Hansa means ‘the swan’.</ref> is an ekadaṇḍi<ref>Ekadaṇḍi has one staff only, signifying the control of the mind.</ref> lives under trees or in mountain caves and such other solitary places, going into the village once a day for begging his food.
 
# The hansas - The hansa<ref>Hansa means ‘the swan’.</ref> is an ekadaṇḍi<ref>Ekadaṇḍi has one staff only, signifying the control of the mind.</ref> lives under trees or in mountain caves and such other solitary places, going into the village once a day for begging his food.
# The paramahansas - The paramahansa<ref>Paramahansa means ‘the great swan’.</ref> is the best of these four sanyāsins. He is said to live in deserted places, cremation grounds or dilapidated structures and is completely indifferent to physical comforts and is perfectly equanimous under all the circumstances of life.
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# The paramahansas - The paramahansa<ref>Paramahansa means ‘the great swan’.</ref> is the best of these four sanyāsins. He is said to live in deserted places, [[cremation]] grounds or dilapidated structures and is completely indifferent to physical comforts and is perfectly equanimous under all the circumstances of life.
  
 
==Qualities of Paramahansa==  
 
==Qualities of Paramahansa==  
The word ‘paramahansa’ perhaps means a person possessing supreme discrimination like a hansa or a swan which can leave off water and drink only milk from the diluted mixture of the two which ultimately results in the knowledge of Brahman. It may also mean a person of the highest spiritual experience, who is constantly aware that he is one with Brahman.<ref>Ham means aham which means I.</ref><ref>Sah means he, God or Brahman.</ref>
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The word ‘paramahansa’ perhaps means a person possessing supreme discrimination like a hansa or a swan which can leave off water and drink only milk from the diluted mixture of the two which ultimately results in the knowledge of [[Brahman]]. It may also mean a person of the highest spiritual experience, who is constantly aware that he is one with [[Brahman]].<ref>Ham means aham which means I.</ref><ref>Sah means he, God or Brahman.</ref>
  
 
==Literature on Sanyāsins==
 
==Literature on Sanyāsins==
Works like the Vaikhānasa Sutras,<ref>Vaikhānasa Sutras 8.9</ref> Laghuviṣṇupurāṇa,<ref>Laghuviṣṇupurāṇa 4.14.23</ref> Bhikṣukopaniṣad and Sutasamhitā<ref>Mānayoga- khanda 6</ref> give a description of these four types of sanyāsins.
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Works like the Vaikhānasa Sutras,<ref>Vaikhānasa Sutras 8.9</ref> Laghuviṣṇupurāṇa,<ref>Laghuviṣṇupurāṇa 4.14.23</ref> [[Bhikṣukopaniṣad]] and [[Sutasamhitā]]<ref>Mānayoga- khanda 6</ref> give a description of these four types of sanyāsins.
  
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
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* The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram [[Krishna]] Math, Bangalore
  
 
[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]
 
[[Category:Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism]]

Latest revision as of 20:58, 17 December 2016

By Swami Harshananda

Paramahansa literally means ‘the great swan’.

Classification of Sanyāsins

Some of the purāṇas as also the dharmaśāstras categorize the sanyāsins[1] into four groups:

  1. The kuṭicakas - A kuṭīcaka[2] is the one who lives in an āśrama,[3] eats only eight morsels of food per day and performs yogic practices.
  2. The bahudakas - A bahudaka[4] wears the ochre-colored cloth[5] and carries a kamaṇḍalu[6] and also a tridaṇḍa.</ref>Tridaṇḍa means staff made of three bamboo sticks tied together.</ref> He lives by begging from not more than seven houses.
  3. The hansas - The hansa[7] is an ekadaṇḍi[8] lives under trees or in mountain caves and such other solitary places, going into the village once a day for begging his food.
  4. The paramahansas - The paramahansa[9] is the best of these four sanyāsins. He is said to live in deserted places, cremation grounds or dilapidated structures and is completely indifferent to physical comforts and is perfectly equanimous under all the circumstances of life.

Qualities of Paramahansa

The word ‘paramahansa’ perhaps means a person possessing supreme discrimination like a hansa or a swan which can leave off water and drink only milk from the diluted mixture of the two which ultimately results in the knowledge of Brahman. It may also mean a person of the highest spiritual experience, who is constantly aware that he is one with Brahman.[10][11]

Literature on Sanyāsins

Works like the Vaikhānasa Sutras,[12] Laghuviṣṇupurāṇa,[13] Bhikṣukopaniṣad and Sutasamhitā[14] give a description of these four types of sanyāsins.


References

  1. Sanyāsins means monks.
  2. Kuṭīcaka means the ‘one who lives in a hut’.
  3. Āśrama means monastery.
  4. Bahudaka means the ‘one who drinks water from many sources’.
  5. It is an insignia of a monk.
  6. Kamaṇḍalu means the water-pot prepared out of the bitter gourd.
  7. Hansa means ‘the swan’.
  8. Ekadaṇḍi has one staff only, signifying the control of the mind.
  9. Paramahansa means ‘the great swan’.
  10. Ham means aham which means I.
  11. Sah means he, God or Brahman.
  12. Vaikhānasa Sutras 8.9
  13. Laghuviṣṇupurāṇa 4.14.23
  14. Mānayoga- khanda 6
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore