A new renunciate order

You will sometimes see the photo of Fire Ceremonyword “Nayaswami” next to some of our instructors’ names. They have taken vows in a new renunciate order that Swami Kriyananda founded in 2009. (“naya” means “new” in Sanskrit). You will often recognize a nayaswami by the rich blue color they wear. “Blue suggests calmness, kindness, and an expansive consciousness,” writes Swami in A Renunciate Order for the New Age.

Photo right: a sacred fire ceremony is part of taking nayaswami vows.

This new renunciate order is very much like the ancient swami order in spirit, but is a new expression for our age of higher consciousness. Its emphasis is on “positive” renunciation—a joyful expansion to Infinity.
Vows of the new renunciate order

Why a new order?

Though many people consider themselves deeply spiritual, many convents and monasteries stand empty. Renunciation in the traditional sense no longer has the respect it once had in society.

At the same time, true renunciation remains the heart and soul of the spiritual life. The problem is not with the principle itself, but the way it has been practiced.

For millenia, renunciation has been defined by what you give up, or by what God takes away.

But as we have moved into a higher age of awareness, people have begun to see that suppressing the ego is not the same as transcending it. 

Anyone may join this new order. It is open to spiritual book cover photoseekers of any faith, and not limited to those who are part of Ananda. Swami Kriyananda’s A Renunciate Order for the New Age describes the new order in detail.

If, after reading this book and the vows, you feel inspired to take this step, or to talk about what it means, please contact us. The nature of this renunciation is that you must step forward and ask to be accepted. Usually at Ananda, one waits to be invited, but in this case, one must declare for oneself that this is your intention.

Here at Ananda Palo Alto, nayaswamis include Asha, Chidambar, Anandaprem, Rani, Nishkama, Ramani, Kamala, Anika, Rambhakta, Biraj, Lahari, and Sharmila. In person, the formal greeting is a simple “Swami Asha” or “Swami Chidambar,“ but you are also very welcome also to use first names only. The Nayaswami Vow is not the only vow in the new monastic order. Others are: Pilgrim, Brahmacharya, and Tyagi.

Below: 2012 initiation: Lahari and Biraj taking Nayaswami vows

2012 initiation

 

The four vows of the new renunciate order

The Pilgrim’s Vow of Intention

I understand, and intend from now on to live by my understanding, that life is a pilgrimage, of which the final goal is to find and merge back into God.

I will endeavor resolutely, therefore, to direct all my thoughts and actions toward that end.

I will offer up all material desires for purification in the fire of divine bliss.

I will offer up all attachments for purification in that cosmic fire.

I will search my heart daily for any lingering desires and attachments, and will offer them to Thee, my Cosmic Beloved.

I will strive to be an example to others of a pure, discriminating, and noble life.

I will offer the fruit of all my actions and labors to Thee alone.

Bless me, and direct my footsteps ever to the summit of Thy holy mountain.

 

Renunciate Vow of Brahmacharya

I understand, and fully accept, that the true purpose of life for all human beings is to seek God.

In pursuit of that goal, I offer my own life unreservedly to seeking my Divine Source.

I will retain no ego-gratifying goal in my life, but will strive always, and above all, to please God.

I will look upon life as God’s dream-drama, and also dream-entertainment. I will accept as His gift whatever comes to me in life.

I renounce attachment to things, people, places, and all self-definitions—except one: I will define myself always as a child of God, and will obey whatever guidance He gives me.

I offer to Thee, Lord, my life, my desires, my attachments, and the fruit of all my labors.

Bless me, and strengthen me, that I become ever more perfect in this, my holy vow.

 

Renunciate Vow of Tyaga

I understand, and fully accept, that the true purpose of life for all human beings is to seek God.

In pursuit of that goal, I offer my own life unreservedly to seeking my own Divine Source

I will retain no ego-gratifying goal in my life, but will strive always, and above all, to please God.

I will view my partner as a channel of God’s blessing, guidance, and strength, and will strive always to be a similar channel in return.

I will endeavor always, through the love and respect I feel for my partner, to reach out in love and service to all humanity.

I will try never to see anything in this world as mine, but will view everything as a manifestation of God.

I will look upon life as God’s dream-drama, and also dream-entertainment. I will accept as His gift whatever comes to me in life.

I offer to Thee, Lord, my life, my desires, my attachments, and the fruit of all my labors.

Bless me, and strengthen me, that I become ever more perfect in this, my holy vow.

 

Vow of Complete Renunciation
(Nayaswami Vow)

From now on, I embrace as the only purpose of my life the search for God.

I will never take a partner, or, if I am married, I will look upon my partner as belonging only to Thee, Lord. In any case, I am complete in myself, and in myself will merge all the opposites of duality.

I no longer exist as a separate entity, but offer my life unreservedly into Thy great Ocean of Awareness.

I accept nothing as mine, no one as mine, no talent, no success, no achievement as my own, but everything as Thine alone.

I will feel that not only the fruit of my labor, but the labor itself, is only Thine. Act through me always, Lord, to accomplish Thy design.

I am free in Thy joy, and will rejoice forever in Thy blissful presence.

Help me in my efforts to achieve perfection in this, my holy vow. For I have no goal in life but to know Thee, and to serve as Thy channel of blessing to all mankind.

 

From A New Renunciate Order

What I propose to do here is open the path of renunciation to all those, whether married or single, who deeply yearn to know God.

What, then, are the marks of those who would be worthy of being accepted as true renunciates? They would be those who have achieved noteworthy progress toward the attainment of the following virtues:

1. They have no, or very few, attachments or desires.

2. They are without anger. (Anger appears in the heart when one’s desires are thwarted.)

3. They accept without prejudice whatever life gives them, and live by the principle, “What comes of itself, let it come.”

4. They never seek to justify or defend themselves, but accept all judgment by others dispassionately, as experiences given them by God for their higher good.

5. They keep in their hearts primarily the company of God.

6. They are indifferent to others’ opinions of them.

7. They work without personal motive, to please God alone.

8. They are impersonal in the sense of wanting nothing for themselves, but never in the sense of being indifferent to the needs of others.

9. They see all beings as striving toward the attainment of Satchidananda: ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss, no matter how presently misguided the efforts of some people may be. Thus, they feel kinship with everyone, and with all life.

10. They accept nothing as their own, but only as being “on loan” to them, for the benefit of others.

11. They view pleasure and pain equally, as opposite (or dual) expressions of eternal, divine bliss.

12. They have meditated daily for years.

13. Because they are always happy in themselves, they are impervious to insults, outer suffering, failure, defeat, or disaster. They strive to live the ideal that Paramhansa Yogananda voiced when he said, “You should be able to stand unshaken amidst the crash of breaking worlds!”

14. They strive to love God unceasingly, and ever more deeply, in a spirit of utter openness to be guided by His will.

 

Read Swami Kriyananda’s A Renunciate Order for the New Age