A Book on Monks
I am thoroughly enjoying reading Yadunandana Swami’s book, Sannyasis in Modernity. Yadunandana is a monk from Spain and has done a scholarly look at the history of monastics in the Hare Krishna society. In Chapter One he opens with the foundational elements of his research.
“A prominent characteristic of the early twenty-first century is the rapid worldwide growth of secularization. Many accept humanistic values and material development as top priorities in life. Although many people identify with a religious community or denomination, tendencies toward spirituality and religious practices are decreasing in favour of more ‘tangible’ goals like economic development and worldly pleasures. Then again, practitioners and communities of religious and spiritual traditions are endeavouring to maintain and promote their core values by expressing them in ways adapted to the present socio-cultural context…
“In this study I examine how ISKCON members live the ancient practice of sannyasa in a social environment that promotes values opposing this practice. The etymological meaning of sannyasa is ‘complete renunciation.’ Sannyasa is the last of four life stages followed by practitioners of Hinduism. It was traditionally practiced by mature elderly men with a lifelong monastic inclination…
“There are two types of ISKCON monks, brahmacaris (celibate students) and sannyasis (mature renouncers).”
Published by SANKIRTANA BOOKS. It’s a good read.
May the Source be with you!