Question: "Could you please tell about the sannyasa of Shree RamanujAcharya? I have heard very captivating stories, telling that Shree RamanujAcharya was initiated into sannyasa by Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja personally! Is it true? Are these stories based on Shree Ramanuja-Vaishnava-Shastras?"
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Yes, these stories are true. Shree Ramanuja-Acharya had been initiated into sannyasa by Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja personally.
Shree Andhrapurna Vatuka Nambi writes about this story in "Shree YatiRaja-Vaibhava".
पत्नीं परित्यज्य स वीतरागः श्रीदेवराजं प्रणिपत्य तस्मात् ।
तुर्याश्रमं स्वीकृतवान् ददौ स देवोऽपि तस्मै यतिराजनाम् । । ५० । ।
patnIM parityajya sa vItarAgaH shrIdevarAjaM praNipatya tasmAt |
turyAshramaM svIkRRitavAn dadau sa devo.api tasmai yatirAjanAm | | 50 | |
Translation: "Shree RamanujAcharya abandoned his wife andaсquired detachment from wordly passions instead. Afterwards Shree RamanujAcharya was initiated into turya-ashrama ("turya ashrama" = fourth ashrama = sannyasa) by Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja personally and got "YatiRaja" name from Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja".
ततस्त्रिदण्डी सशिखोपवीतकाषाययुक्तो मनुरत्नजप्ता ।
वर्णाश्रमाचारपरश्चकाशो रामानुजार्यो यतिसार्वभौमः । । ५१ । ।
tatastridaNDI sashikhopavItakAShAyayukto manuratnajaptA |
varNAshramAchAraparashchakAsho rAmAnujAryo yatisArvabhaumaH | | 51 | |
Translation: "Then Shree RamanujAcharya, the chief among the ascetics, held the triple staff, had the tuft, sacred thread and saffron-robe and muttered the best Mantra (MulaMantra). Hence Shree RamanujAcharya became well-known (shone) like the brilliant in the Vaishnava-Varnashrama".
Shree RamanujAcharya had very, very strong connection with Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja and the above-mentioned sannyasa episode is not the only episode of Shree RamanujAcharya communicating with Lord Shree VaradaRaja.
Six Rahasyas of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya were also told to Shree RamanujAcharya by Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja personally. Shree Andhrapurna Vatuka Nambi mentions the story about 6 Rahasyas in the Verses 39-41 of "Shree YatiRaja-Vaibhava".
You can find a Sanskrit-English pdf-scan of "Shree YatiRaja-Vaibhava" in my E-Library, it is very recommended in case you are interested in the official biography of Shree RamanujAcharya - http://vishnudut1926.blogspot.com/2018/01/yatiraja-vaibhava-of-andhrapurna-vatuka.html
Question: "Thank you for the reply! So, Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja and Shree RamanujAcharya set the standard of tridandi-sannyasa for Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya?".
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Yes, tridandi-sannyasa. Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya follows to the tridandi-sannyasa system, while Shree Madhwa-Sampradaya and Shankara advaitins follow to the ekadandi-sannyasa system.
Shankara-advaitins follow to the 10-folded ekadandi-sannyasa based on 10 distinctions among sannyasis (aranya, ashrama, bharati, tirtha and etc.).
Shree Madhwa-Sampradaya follows to the ekadandi-sannyasa system, which consists only of 1 degree/class - "Tirtha". So, as you can notice, all the Acharyas and sannyasis in Shree Madhwa-Sampradaya are always "Tirthas" - Shree Ananda-Tirtha (the sannyasi name of Shree MadhwAcharya), Shree NaraHari-Tirtha, Shree Vadiraja-Tirtha, Shree Raghavendra-Tirtha, Shree Akshobhya-Tirtha, Shree Vyasa-Tirtha and etc.
The ekadandi-sannyasa of Shree Madhwa-Sampradaya is based on "Sannyasa-Paddhati" by Shree Vishnu-Tirtha - it is the special compilation, comprising various rules from Agamas/Samhitas of Vaishnava-PanchaRatra, Vaidika Shastras (Apastamba, Bodhayana and etc.) and Sannyasa-Upanishads.
And, as I have mentioned above, Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya follows to the tridandi-sannyasa system".
Question: "Is tridandi-sannyasa of Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya Vaidika or PanchaRatrika one?"
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Mixed, that is Vaidika-PanchaRatrika, but primarily Vaidika, because it is based on "Satyayaniya Upanishad" from Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Apastamba Dharma from Krishna-Yajur-Veda, Vaishnava-Upanishads and Sannyasa-Upanishads.
Besides, Yadava Prakasha (upon being converted from mayavada to Vaishnavism by Shree Ramanujacharya) had compiled "Shree Yati-Dharma-Samuccaya" - the manual for tridandi-sannyasis within Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya.
From purely PanchaRatrika point of view any Shree Vaishnava does not need sannyasa at all, because Shreemati MahaLakshmi-Devi says in "Shree Lakshmi-Tantra", 17.75: निक्षेपापरपर्यायो न्यासः पञ्चाङ्गसंयुतः संन्यासस्त्याग इत्युक्तः शरणागतिरित्यपि - nikShepAparaparyAyo nyAsaH pa~nchA~NgasaMyutaH saMnyAsastyAga ityuktaH sharaNAgatirityapi
Still, the tridandi-sannyasa system exists even in Kali-Yuga, because Shreemati MahaLakshmi-Devi says in "Shree Lakshmi-Tantra", 15.19: संन्यासस्तत्र कार्यो विपश्चिता - saMnyAsastatra kAryo vipashchitA
The point is that all kinds of sannyasa cause the Anugraha of Shreemati MahaLakshmi-Devi, see "Shree Lakshmi-Tantra", 15.16-23 for better understanding of this Siddhanta".
Question: "Got you! I have heard from smarta-brahmins, mayavadis, advaitins and etc., that only ekadandi-sannyasa is the highest system, while tridandi-sannyasa belongs to an inferior type, it is for lower types of sannyasis and etc. Could you please comment?"
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Shree Maitreya-Upanishad", 1.13 (one of the Sannyasa-Upanishads) says वर्णाश्रमाचारयुता विमूढाः कर्मानुसारेण फलं लभन्ते - varNAshramAchArayutA vimUDhAH karmAnusAreNa phala.n labhante
"Sannyasi should not be fooled and deluded by Varnashrama and its distinctions (including the distinctions between orders of sannyasis)".
"Shree Narada-Parivrajaka-Upanishad", 3.14 (a Sannyasa-Upanishad too) says तुरीयः परमो हंसः साक्षान्नारायणो यतिः एकरात्रं वसेद्ग्रामे नगरे पञ्चरात्रकम् - turIyaH paramo ha.nsaH sAkShAnnArAyaNo yatiH ekarAtra.n vasedgrAme nagare pa~ncharAtrakam.h
"Every Shree Vaishnava (Narayana-prapanna) is actually ParamaHamsa (that is the highest type of sannyasi)".
In "Shree Bhagavata-Purana", 11.20.36 Shree Krishna-Avatara of Bhagavan Shree Narayana says न मय्य् एकान्त-भक्तानां गुण-दोषोद्भवा गुणाः साधूनां सम-चित्तानां बुद्धेः परम् उपेयुषाम् - na mayy ekAnta-bhaktAnAM guNa-doShodbhavA guNAH sAdhUnAM sama-chittAnAM buddheH param upeyuShAm
"Don't seek doshas in My ekanta-bhaktas, because all of them are sadhus".
In "Shree Vishnu-Purana", 3.7.23 Yama says स्फटिकगिरिशिलामलः क्व विष्णुर् मनसि नृणां क्व च मत्सरादिदोषः - sphaTikagirishilAmalaH kva viShNur manasi nRRiNAM kva cha matsarAdidoShaH
"All Vaishnavas are pure like sphatika (crystal), because Bhagavan Shree Vishnu refuses to live in hearts contaminated by malice and various doshas".
Shree Ramanuja-Acharya says in His commentary to "Shree Bhagavad-Gita", 6.31 - प्राकृतभेदपरित्यागेन - prAkRRitabhedaparityAgena
"All judgments, based on prakritika designations, must be abandoned - this is the true Jnana and the genuine Yoga".
What smartas, mayavadis and etc. say about the inferiority of tridandi-sannyasa is actually a typical asuric mentality. At first they declare tridandi-sannyasa inferior, then Vaishnavas inferior too, then Bhagavan Shree Vishnu of, excuse me, inferior quality too.
These offensive rants of smartas/mayavadis contradict to their own Sannyasa-Upanishads and Jnana-Upanishads, because all these Upanishads proclaim sama-darshana and sama-drishti, that is equal vision in everything.
तुल्यातुल्यविहीनोऽस्मि नित्यः शुद्धः सदाशिवः - tulyAtulyavihIno.asmi nityaH shuddhaH sadAshivaH - "I don't compare, nothing is inferior for me and nothing is superior, because I am Shuddha SadaShiva" as "Shree Maitreya-Upanishad", 3.6 says.
"Shree ParamaHamsa-Upanishad", 3 says:
सर्वान्कामान्परित्यज्य अद्वैते परमस्थितिः ।
ज्ञानदण्डो धृतो येन एकदण्डो स उच्यते ॥
sarvAnkAmAnparityajya advaite paramasthitiH |
j~nAnadaNDo dhRRito yena ekadaNDo sa uchyate ||
"Ekadanda-sannyasa, based on external, prakritik designations and comparisons just leads to hells. External ekadanda-sannyasa must be abandoned for the sake of Jnana-Danda-Sannyasa and true Advaita vision".
Unfortunately, it is often impossible to sober up mayavadis, because their root problem lies not only in their inability to understand their own Jnana-Sannyasa-Shastras, but in their asuric hostility to Bhagavan Shree Vishnu and Vaishnavas".
Question: "So, a "haters gonna hate" and "to hell with them" approach must be resorted to?"
Answer by Vishnudut1926: "Not always and not in all cases. In Kali-Yuga people sometimes fall preys to various mayavada Shastras, because all mayavadika Shastras are of mohana, deluding character.
If you feel, that a person is not an aggressive trollface or an explicit asura, you can try to turn him/her to the simplified Vaishnava Siddhanta with the help of ABCs Pramanas for the beginners, "back to basics", so to say.
Hindu ABC-Shastra for spiritual schoolboys is "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" and the 18th Chapter of "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" is all about "sannyasa" and "tyaga".
So, you can recommend to any mayavadika person to study this Chapter, emphasizing the fact, that Shree Krishna-Avatara speaks about sannyasa and tyaga in the very first verses in order to refute tyaga/sannyasa ideas with Bhakti/Sharanagati ideas in the concluding verses (भक्त्या मामभिजानाति - bhaktyA mAmabhijAnAti as Shree Krishna-Avatara says in 18.55 and further verses).
Please also keep in mind, that you should not preach Rahasya Ramanuja-Siddhanta (Prapatti and etc.) to common people, but you can preach simplified Bhakti-Yoga - it won't make harm.
So, you can try to "repair" any mayavadik person with simple Bhakti-Pramanas from "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" and simplified ABC-type Bhakti-Siddhanta for the beginners: भक्तियोगेन सेवते - bhaktiyogena sevate - 14.26; एकभक्तिर्विशिष्यते - ekabhaktirvishiShyate - 7.17; भक्त्या युक्तो योगबलेन - bhaktyA yukto yogabalena - 8.10 and etc.
If this approach does not work, then, yes - "over and out" and "no talking to a brick wall/trollface" attitude, because "haters gonna hate". A brilliant Subhashita in Sanskrit exist, it sounds like this:
उपकारोऽपि नीचानां उपकाराय वर्तते ।
पयः पानं भुजङ्गस्य केवलं विषवर्धनम् । ।
upakAro.api nIchAnAM upakArAya vartate |
payaH pAnaM bhuja~Ngasya kevalaM viShavardhanam | |
"When you try to feed a snake with milk, you actually just feed its ugly body and its poisoned fangs. The same applies to the wicked people: they just transform good things into swelling poison and ugliness".
So, never try to nurture a viper in your bosom and never try to transform Kali-Yuga people - most of Shree Ramanuja-Vaishnava-Siddhanta must be kept secret as Rahasya, especially in Kali-Yuga!
Now let's sum up:
1. Shree RamanujAcharya was initiated into tridandi-sannyasa by Bhagavan Shree VaradaRaja personally - thus Shree Andhrapurna Vatuka Nambi writes in "Shree YatiRaja-Vaibhava".
2. Shree Ramanuja-Sampradaya follows to the tridandi-sannyasa system, it is Vaidika-PanchaRatrika, but its foundation is primarily Vaidika one: "Shree Satyayaniya Upanishad" from Shukla-Yajur-Veda, Apastamba Dharma from Krishna-Yajur-Veda, Vaishnava-Upanishads, "Yati-Dharma-Samuccaya" by Yadava Prakasha and Sannyasa-Upanishads.
3. Tridandi-sannyasa is NOT of inferior type, because:
A) It is offensive to judge Vaishnavas by prakritik designations,
B) Jnana and Sannyasa-Upanishads tell about sama-drishti and
C) Bhagavan Shree Narayana considers all Shree Vaishnavas to be sadhus and paramahamsas - Shree Yamaraja dwells on this Siddhanta in "Shree Vishnu-Purana", Amsha 03, Avyaya 07.
As usually I strongly recommend to study "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" with the commentaries of Shree RamanujAcharya, especially the 18th Chapter, because in the 18th Chapter Shree RamanujAcharya explains such notions as "tyaga/ "sannyasa" and "Bhakti/Sharanagati" with the help of Upanishadic Pramanas.
You can find the excellent pdf-scan of Shree RamanujAcharya's "Shree Bhagavad-Gita" in my E-Library - http://vishnudut1926.blogspot.com/2018/02/sri-ramanuja-gita-bhasya-devanagari-and.html
Answers, translations of the Pramanas from Sanskrit/Hindi
by Vishnudut1926, Moscow, November 2018