Marriage v. Sannyasa

Haribol dear servants of Radha Krishna. All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my humble obeisances.Over the past few months I have gotten thinking about my future. I'm currently in college and over the next few years, after I graduate, I figure my parents will want me to settle down. To be honest, when I was a kid, and for that matter, until a few months ago, I have always dreamed of following a specific plan: get married, have kids, raise kids in KC, and around 60 take sannyas because I have always wanted to take sannyas.Recently, I have been thinking of revising that plan and just take sannyas much earlier and not get married. It's the path I really want to take. What confuses me is just my duty. As the only son, it's kinda my responsibility to take care of my parents, furthermore we have a family business which I know my dad wants to pass on to me. We even have these Radha Krishna deities that I have grown very attached too. And taking the path of a sannyasi obviously means to leave them all behind. No service is better than serving Krishna, and I know that if I do end up settling or even not becoming a sannyasi I will still be serving Krishna and the devotees, but it doesn't have that unique feeling to it that the idea of taking sannyas has.I have asked Krishna multiple times to guide me, but he has always given me mixed messages with some supporting marriage, or some supporting sannyas (most of these messages are through devotees who mention something along these lines in their lectures), which makes me even more confused.I guess, I don't really have a question, I just wanted to share this and know people's opinions and thoughts.

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  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna,

    Nice to see your enthusiasm for serving Krishna and the eagerness to take up sannyasa life pr.

    Prabhupada many times would insist the disciples to know the purpose behind taking sannyasa. The purpose behind taking up sannyasa is not to get some material name, fame and people bowing down to you. Rather it is to fully surrender our lives to service of Krishna.

    It is very nice to see that you have been brought up in a Krishna conscious family. Being the only son, it is also your duty to take care of parents. 

    Even if you are getting married, it is not a loss for you in Krishna consciousness because you are already serving the deities and you can use your business to collect laxmi for building temples and temple activities etc.

    as you have only said -- "I know that if I do end up settling or even not becoming a sannyasi I will still be serving Krishna and the devotees".

    and in the next line you are saying -- "but it doesn't have that unique feeling to it that the idea of taking sannyas has."

    could you please elaborate on what that "unique feeling" is? because it is very important first to understand what is the purpose that we are taking to sannyas asram.

    In ISKCON sannyas is given after a devotee shows his sincerity and dedication towards the mission and he is monitored by the guru for many years, so that the sannyasi will be stable and will be able to guide the whole society in a KC way.

    Thank you,


    • Volunteer

      Hare Krishna, 

      Thanks Gopal Das for the wonderful links, will definitely check them out soon!

      @ Deepak:

      Thanks for your reply too. It's a bit difficult to describe the "unique" feeling, and i bet it's probably not the best of words, but let me see if I can elaborate more:

      When I think of being a sannyasi, I don't really care for all the fame, name  and whatever, I just want to to travel and share and sing and dance and just become ecstatic in Krishna Bhakti. When I see sannyasis come to the temple or are giving lectures, I just start thinking how amazing their life is, they can fully dedicate their lives to studying Prabhupada's books, lead kirtans, and just share Krishna bhakti with everyone. It's something I've always wanted to do, and only starting this recently in the mildest of levels. (I'm quite the shy person to be honest, but I've started a KC org. at my college hoping to get rid of this shyness). It's something I've always wanted to do ever since I was a child...

      Furthermore, going back ot the marriage side, I also don't feel comfortable about just "leaving" my wife. The old plan was to wait till the kids have grown up and settled, etc. then I take the beginning steps to get ready for sannyas, but it just doesn't have the same "feeling" taking sannyas at an early age does. Again, it's hard to describe that feeling, but it's sort of an attraction. I really want to take sannyas, but I'm just so confused with responsibilities, etc. 

      • Volunteer

        Thank you for the clarification of the "unique" feeling.

        In ISKCON early sannyasa was given by Prabhupada because there was a need for sannyasis at that time.

        But nowadays ISKCON has made the rules strict and sannyasa is given to a devotee who has spent more than about 20-25 years and has done outstanding services for ISKCON. they even have waiting list for that.

        For more info you may look into : http://www.iskcon.net.au/sannyasaministry/

        If you would like to completely dedicate your life and  just want to to travel and share and sing and dance and just become ecstatic in Krishna Bhakti, then you can join the brahmachari asram where you will be systematically trained in the temple.

        If you enter married life, you can also take sannyasa later in the life after the responsibilities of the family life. 

        Brahmachari life is (Hear -- understand -- realize)

        Grhastha life is (Hear -- experience -- understand -- realize)

        It all depends on the dedication and sincerity.

        Thank you,


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