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Sanyasi (also spelled Sannyasi) or Sannyasin: renunciate; ascetic who has forsaken the world for the contemplative life. According to The Encyclopedia of Eastern Philosophy and Religion, “The Sannyasin’s lack of possessions consists not only in total material poverty but also in what Christian mysticism calls the ‘poverty of spirit,’ that is, freedom from such dualistic notions as good and bad, desire and repulsion, fear and greed.”

Today the term is also used generally, especially in the West, to refer to a devotee or one who follows a guru.


Pearls of Wisdom, vol. 37, no. 11, March 13, 1994.