Q: I read your article in "My Magazine": "Fly from the company of worldly-minded persons. Those who talk of worldly affairs will pollute you. Your mind will waver. Run, run, run quickly to solitary places like Rishikesh. You will be safe in the spiritual path". May I come to you and lead the life of a Sannyasin?
Swami Sivananda: Do not be hasty. Think well. Look before you leap. Mere emotion will not do in the spiritual line. The above instructions are for those who were already doing some kind of Sadhana. They will have to go in for seclusion for advanced practices. It will be better for beginners like you to perform Nishkama Karma Yoga for three years in the world by disinterestedly serving the sick and the aged persons.
Suppose you remain with me as a Sannyasin, have you got the real strength of heart to face your mother when she weeps bitterly before you with a broken heart? Will you stick to this line if your father comes and threatens you? Will you be unaffected in your mind if a young lady tempts you? Will you be steady if you are affected by a disease? Are you prepared to sacrifice this body and life in the cause of Truth? Have you understood the glory and importance of Sannyasa and seclusion? Have you got an idea of the difficulties that Sannyasins have to face? Are you prepared to go from door to door and live on Bhiksha? How will you spend the whole day and night when you live in seclusion? Just decide all these points before you come to me. If you are sure that you are fit for Sannyasa, you can come here. I will serve you and help you well. I will take care of your spiritual welfare. I will make you a king of kings. There is nothing so pleasant as the life of renunciation. It is best suited for quick Self-realization. Glory to all Sannyasins!
(pg. 18. May I Answer That?)