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Hindu Samnyasins in the Temple Context

Shivdasani Conference 2007
Professor T.S. Rukmani
Sunday, 21 October 2007 - 1:30pm

Session 13 of the 2007 Shivdasani Conference

The Hindu temple is a religious site and signifies some ritual activity. The general perception of a samnyasin, on the other hand, is one not associated with ritual activity as that is seen as perpetuating worldly existence or samsara. However since this polarization is not evidenced in real life this is indeed a contested issue and this paper examines how far this relationship of a renouncer with the temples as seen in the world can be justified based on the prescriptions given in ascetic (samnyasa) manuals like the Samnyasa Upanishads, the Yatidharmasamuccaya and Jivanmuktiviveka.