Sacred Mountain Retreat

My Experience of Sannyas

by Amrita Khalsa August, 2013


Sannyas is renunciation of everything but the path of inner Awakening. It is renunciation of all obstructions on that path.

Therefore, when applied honestly it is motivated from a space of deep love of the One, from the deepest desire to awaken AS the One, and Serve the One.

This inner intensity is what motivates practitioners to make the strongest inner commitment. The application of Sannyasi renunciation is a sacred support that grows, deepens and protects that level of commitment.

Within our lineage, Sannyas is a continuation of the strength of the body of the KHALSA.

Sannyas is for those who understand the joy of stepping into the Fire: the blissful stripping away of everything that is keeping you from the Divine.

It is more than renunciation of outer attachments or behaviours. It is renunciation of the inner patterns behind those attachments and behaviours. The Sannyas container brings the inner seed patterns to the surface to be dealt with and cleared through.

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This is a profound blessing because those patterns of attachment are what keep your energy bound up in endless karmic experience… of surface personality, emotions, desires, preference, etc. You have to be at least a little bit fed up with these karmas in order to appreciate the relief of feeling them die.

Karmic participation is endless. Once you have had a glimpse of the Truth of spirit, there is no honesty or responsibility in continuing these karmas.

Sannyas gives the serious practitioner a container within which they are required to dissolve all karmas. And so it is the deepest blessing to one who values Truth.

The beauty of Sannyas is that it gets underneath all tendencies – it reveals resistance, attachment, bound-up preferences… and demands that all of them be surrendered. And so it leaves you with only the focus on the Inner Purity, the Inner Presence.

There is no way to attempt Sannyas but with 100% of your being. Anything else is hypocritical and therefore damaging to your soul.

Sannyas vows should only be taken with the guidance and close connection of trusted teachers who are themselves awake beyond duality. You should know beyond doubt that your teacher is inwardly absorbed in Purity and serves the Body of the One. It is a most intimate surrender, whereby your teacher is reflecting the subtlest nuances of where your soul would otherwise get caught up – and you are surrendering all of those places.


Sannyas is not for everyone. Some practitioners are already deeply surrendered on the path in the same ways as what Sannyas evokes, and they don’t need it. Others aren’t ready to enter into this kind of vow, because they don’t have a context yet for the seriousness of its implications (and so it wouldn’t even have the right effect – it would be meaningless). For still others, it would be too much too soon, and therefore damaging.

The time when you’re ripe for Sannyas is when every particle of your being is crying out for Source, for Union, for a path that will take you nowhere BUT THERE – and yet you know your attachments, emotions, desires, resistance, and patterns are overpowering your outer awareness & obstructing your ability to apply yourself fully on that path. That’s the time when Sannyas is appropriate. When it is your lifeline to Spirit, your only way forward.

In that case, Sannyas is the Blessed Vehicle that anchors you in Your stream of Awakening. It supports you to maintain your Inner Penetration – because all else has to be surrendered.

When a practitioner has the right motivation, and the necessity is there, then Sannyas becomes the start of a path that can truly go somewhere.

“The visible universe has many weathers
and variations.
But uncle, O uncle,
the universe of the creation-world,
the divine command to Be, that universe
of qualities is beyond any pointing to.”
- Rumi

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