Yoga and Meditation

The Ancient Tradition of Rishis in Relation to Modern Man

The Ancient Tradition of Rishis in Relation to Modern Man

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

If the doors of paradise were open only for the holy people, then I think it would be God’s greatest disappointment. He would have to wait and wait. There would be very few entries into paradise because man’s evolution is incomplete, and he is suffering from infirmity of willpower. He is not perfect. If the doors of hell were open for every sinner, there would surely be a population problem there. This is not a joke. This is a very serious matter which has always been in my mind. I have never believed in sin and I do not think that man is a sinner. We meet obstacles, we falter and we fall, that is all. Every time we fall, we make a fresh attempt to evolve.

It is very important for everybody to know that spiritual light is for everyone, and it is also important for everybody to understand that samadhi and spiritual evolution can be had by all. This is the purpose for which we are born. I cannot see any other reason for my incarnation. I cannot believe that I have come in this physical body with any other purpose.

Often we become self-complacent and we do not want to improve the quality of our existence. In fact many times, when we follow a religious path, we become very careless. A Hindu, when he follows Hindu rituals, becomes complacent. The same thing applies to everybody. We think that with the acceptance of a religion, the objective is attained. Membership to a religious institution is not the ultimate purpose of man’s life. We have to understand the whole affair in context with our day-to-day life. Why are we born? Why do we grow up? Why do we marry? Why do we procreate and so on?

Walking the middle way

In India there was a very ancient tradition which was followed by the saints and sages who lived with their wives and families, deep in the forests and jungles, practising sadhana and meditation. This system was known as the tradition of rishis. The tradition of rishis is meant to give a reorientation to the lifestyle of every householder, because many times householders forget the purpose of life. It is not wrong to enjoy life, to have desires and to fulfil them. It is not wrong to display-passions. But when we forget the purpose and the destination of life, then everything that we are doing has no meaning. It was for this reason that the tradition of rishis was organised thousands of years ago. The tradition of rishis is the tradition of tantric sannyasa.

Now the concept of sannyasa needs redefinition. For most people, a sannyasin is equated with a monk or a nun but this is not correct, as this type of sannyasa does not in any way help the evolution of society. Sannyasa is not, and should not, be considered as an exclusive way of life. A sannyasin, living in seclusion, hating life, detesting everything, is more or less living the life of an idiot. There is no dynamism in his personality, no philosophy or system for balancing the passions. There is no flexibility to adjust to the frivolities of life. How can we say that such a life is complete?

There are then two extreme ways of life: one is the life of a careless householder; another is the life of a monk or sannyasin. One is a rightist and the other is a leftist; there is no middle path. That is why most of the householders today are living a life of guilt and repentance. They are not proud of their own existence, while the sannyasins have become too proud. On one side you have the arrogance of the sannyasin, and on the other, the guilt and repentance of the householder.

This is not how one can develop spiritual awareness. Therefore, what man requires is another concept of sannyasa, not according to the orthodox style, but according to the tantric style.

In India there was a very ancient tradition which was followed by the saints and sages who lived with their wives and families, deep in the forests and jungles, practising sadhana and meditation. This system was known as the tradition of rishis. The tradition of rishis is meant to give a reorientation to the lifestyle of every householder, because many times householders forget the purpose of life. It is not wrong to enjoy life, to have desires and to fulfil them. It is not wrong to display-passions. But when we forget the purpose and the destination of life, then everything that we are doing has no meaning. It was for this reason that the tradition of rishis was organised thousands of years ago. The tradition of rishis is the tradition of tantric sannyasa.

In India there was a very ancient tradition which was followed by the saints and sages who lived with their wives and families, deep in the forests and jungles, practising sadhana and meditation. This system was known as the tradition of rishis. The tradition of rishis is meant to give a reorientation to the lifestyle of every householder, because many times householders forget the purpose of life. It is not wrong to enjoy life, to have desires and to fulfil them. It is not wrong to display-passions. But when we forget the purpose and the destination of life, then everything that we are doing has no meaning. It was for this reason that the tradition of rishis was organised thousands of years ago. The tradition of rishis is the tradition of tantric sannyasa.

In India there was a very ancient tradition which was followed by the saints and sages who lived with their wives and families, deep in the forests and jungles, practising sadhana and meditation. This system was known as the tradition of rishis. The tradition of rishis is meant to give a reorientation to the lifestyle of every householder, because many times householders forget the purpose of life. It is not wrong to enjoy life, to have desires and to fulfil them. It is not wrong to display-passions. But when we forget the purpose and the destination of life, then everything that we are doing has no meaning. It was for this reason that the tradition of rishis was organised thousands of years ago. The tradition of rishis is the tradition of tantric sannyasa.

Related posts

Leave a Comment