anāśritaḥ karmaphalaṃ kāryaṃ karma karoti yaḥ

sa saṃnyāsī ca yogī ca na niragnirna cākriyaḥ


Bhagwan Shri Krishna says: He who performs his bounden duty without seeking the fruits-of-actions — he is a SANNYASI and a YOGI, and not merely the one (who has renounced) without fire and action.


The Shloka has been taken from the 6th Chapter of the Shrimad Bhagawad Gita.


Who is a Sannyasi- A renunciate? 


When a person is given Sannyas by his/her Guru, they are given a rule that they cannot light the fire for themselves; The only time they are allowed to do so is when they have to cook for their Gurudev but not otherwise. It's a regulation running for eons and comes directly from Guru-Shishaya Parampara. So how do they fend for themselves? Through 'Bhiksha'- Happily accepting whatever food the host provides while also carrying the steadfast resilience to go hungry without any qualms, if the situation demands so. Easier said than done; Unquestionably not an easy ask to live the whole life by.


However, Bhagwan Shri Krishna is giving an altogether different and rather comprehensive definition of who can be called a Sannyasi in the Shloka above. The one who selflessly performs actions without the desire for any fruit- be it in the form of accolades, or return favours- is worthy of being called a Sannyasi in its truest sense. When we come across such an explanation, it might seem pretty clear, however, the prerequisites run far deeper than what we can imagine. For instance, while performing the pious karmas like Sewa and Sadhna, if a renunciate brings in a somewhat innate wish that may all these acts lead to Antahkaran purification and make him deserving of Brahman Gyana- even such a person is straying from the exact requirements and cannot be called a Sannyasi. In short, everything should drop! And that’s not all.


Shri Bhagwan further states that a renunciate must indulge in acts that are worth committing- even when they don't wish to perform them otherwise. What does it mean? Here, Shri Krishna is making it categorically clear that a Sannyasi should have a razor-sharper discriminating wisdom to gauge if the action in question comes in the periphery of doable acts- which our Vedic Shastras approve of. The karmas that might lead to violence or cause distress to anyone, etc., are right away forbidden. However, if that is not the case, one must perform a permittable action with a sense of disassociation.


Sannyas | A Journey Towards Self


yam sannyasam iti prahur yogam tam viddhi pandava

na hy asannyasta-sankalpo yogi bhavati kascana


Fondly addressing Arjuna as the Partha, Bhagwan Shri Krishna says, "Know that the traits I have given of a Sannyasi are none other than that of a person who has given up also sorts of Sankalpas."


Undesiring of anything, and even having dropped this thought of 'not desiring anything'- Such a person who has transgressed beyond all delusionary states is a Yogi- And this Yogi is no different from a Sannyasi, for his Chitta Vrittis have ceased to be. Be it profit or loss; happiness or grief; adulation or insult; or heaven or hell; Such a person perpetually remains unscathed, unmoved.  He is a-sannyasta-saṅkalpaḥ- the one whose all acts are devoid of desire and delusion, and he performs all actions with Nishakama Bhava. By virtue of the power of his contemplation on true ātman-nature, he has come to realise the illusion of the samsara.


Shri Bhagwan states, "The moment one touches the state when there remains no maze of sankalpas or thoughts- You are a Sannyasi in that kala (time)!" Haven't we all, at one point or another in our lives, been blessed by this bliss where all thoughts vanished, and the mind went into total stillness and silence? The only thing required is to spread this thoughtlessness to entirety- even while we are in vyavahar- working through our worldly responsibilities.


Ironically, no action can be performed without Sankalpa; however, a state is possible where the very attachment at the root that drives the Sankalpa is uprooted. Now, you'll be totally in whatever you do but sans any desire, selfishness, or passion. Then you'll also be a true Sannyasi, thus, checking on all the traits benevolently given to us by the Bhagwan Shri Krishna himself!