There are various answers in Indian traditions ("sannyas" is to renounce the world).
The problem with all answers that I know of is well illustrated by the statement below, that I have just seen: "Young, unmarried men of the Hindu religion may qualify for renunciation, called sannyasa diksha, which may be conferred by any legitimate sannyasin. But the most spiritually potent initiation comes from a satguru."
On first sight, that seems clear and understandable. But it raises key questions: what are the criteria for determining a "legitimate sannyasin"? Who is qualified to set the criteria? How do we know? What if the diksha (conferment) is done by an "illegitimate sannyasin"?
Or: Why is initiation "more potent" if it comes from a satguru? What does "more potent" mean?
Or: What are the criteria for determining who is a legitimate satguru? Who is qualified to set the criteria? How do we know?
If sannyas is something "conferred" by someone, is there a right way of conferring it which would be different from wrong ways of conferring it? Presumably the "conferment" has no "potency" if "conferred" in a wrong way? Who decides? Or how could we possibly know if it is being done right or wrong?
And what is all this about "young" and "unmarried"? I thought our traditions and scriptures were quite clear that we should all become sannyasis AFTER we have been grahasthya (householders, and therefore married) and in fact reached the age of "retirement"?
All reactions, responses, criticisms and suggestions are welcome!
Several of the interviews have already taken place; others are proceeding apace...
Many thanks for any help that you can give me: a book may have only one author's name on it, but s/he needs the support of many people for that book to be any good!
Indian Philanthropy: A Portrait
Chapter 1: First Impresssions (Stories from my childhood – and those of others)
Chapter 2: Great Heights (Does one’s view of the world change from the perspective of success?)
Chapter 3 Subtle Realities (The varying motivations, personally and as families, for philanthropy)
Chapter 4: Apples and Pears (What did we give to, traditionally, and has that changed?)
Chapter 5: Means and Ends (What channels did we give through, and have those changed?)
Chapter 6: I and We (Individuals, Families, Firms, Institutions, Adventure)
Chapter 7: When One is Young (Is philanthropy changing with the generations?)
Chapter 8: Towering Ambitions (Indian philanthropy in social transformation, in government policy, and in the globalising world – and the limitations on those ambitions)
Chapter 9: Looking Forward (Some conclusions regarding philanthropy, not only in India, examining the relationship of philanthropy to culture, to law, to policy, to free markets, and to the possibility of creating minimum human conditions of life, equity and justice for everyone)
Examples of Individuals, Families and Organisations that have been or will be approached for the content of the book:
The Birla Family
Steve & Jean Case/ The Case Foundation
Center on Philanthropy
The Center for High Impact Philanthropy
Charities Aid Foundation India
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
The Doshi Family
The Foundation Center DC
Foundation Centre New York
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Global Philanthropy Forum
Global Philanthropy Group
The Godrej Family
IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland
Indian Philanthropy Forum
Institute for Philanthropy
The Jain Family
The Koticha Family
The Mittal Family
The Monitor Group
Narayana and Sudha Murthy
The Nadar Family
National Center for Family Philanthropy
The Nilekani Family
One Percent Foundation
The Premji Family
Nadathur S. Raghavan
Sampradaan Indian Centre for Philanthropy
The Social Stock Exchange
The Tata family
The Templeton Foundations
The United Nations Foundation
World Economic Foundation
ALSO: Family Offices, Wealth Management Offices of the largest Financial Institutions, Authors, Journalists, Researchers/ Consultants/ Publishers, such as Bain & Company.
Born and brought up in Delhi, but from the age of 3 to the age of 8 in Amritsar and started school on holiday in Srinagar. Leaving Amritsar, at school for a year in Solan. Otherwise in Delhi, studying at J. D. Tytler School and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, then at St Stephen's College, where I eventually taught for 3 years. Then 3 years at North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong. Political exile from India in 1976. Lived/studied/worked in Scotland for 3 years, England for 16 years and Switzerland since then.