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Occult Science in India, by Louis Jacoilliot, [1919], at

p. 71



It is not until he has spent a further period of twenty years in the study of the occult sciences and manifestations that the Sannyassi becomes a Sannyassi-Nirvany or Naked Cenobite, so called because he was not to wear any garments whatever, thus indicating that he had broken the last tie that bound him to the earth. We are limited to such means of information as are obtainable by the uninitiated. The book of the Pitris, or spirits, which is our guide in this inquiry, contains no explanation with regard to the mysterious occupations in which the Sannyassis-Nirvanys, who have been initiated in the third degree, engage. The chapter devoted to this subject merely gives the following magical words, of which the Brahmins would furnish us no explanation whatever, which were inscribed in two triangles. They were:





We can only study the subject of the highest initiation in its philosophical teachings regarding God and man. The phenomena performed by the Nirvanys are not described in the book of Pitris.

We have not been able to glean much from private conversations with Pourohitas, with regard to the actions of their superiors. It seems that they live in a constant state of ecstatic contemplation, depriving themselves of sleep as far as possible, and taking food only once a week, after sunset.

p. 72

They are never visible either in the grounds or inside the temples, except on the occasion of the grand festival of fire, which occurs every five years. On that day they appear at midnight upon a stand erected in the centre of the sacred tank. They appear like spectres, and the surrounding atmosphere is illumined by them by means of their incantations. They seem to be in the midst of a column of light rising from earth to heaven.

The air is filled with strange sounds, and the five or six hundred thousand Hindus who have come from all parts of India to see these demi-gods, as they are esteemed, prostrate themselves flat in the dust, calling upon the souls of their ancestors.

Next: Chapter IX. The Grand Council