Do Saints Need Sleep? Baiji’s Renunciation as Service

  • Meena Khandelwal
Part of the Religion/Culture/Critique book series (RCCR)


Baiji is a sannyasini who was initiated into the Saraswati Dashnami order as a young woman.1 She has a large ashram of her own in Haridwar, a smaller one higher in the Himalayas, and many lay devotees. Baiji was reputed to be a strict, rather orthodox guru, but also generous in her interactions with both lay persons and other sadhus. In person, she was soft-spoken and quick to smile; she wore ankle-length robes and covered her short hair only for warmth in the winter. On our first meeting, she not only agreed to be interviewed but also warmly offered me a room at Rishi Ashram so that I might see for myself what life there was like.2


Ritual Activity Dine Table Bread Roll Vedic Ritual Fire Sacrifice 
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Copyright information

© Meena Khandelwal, Sondra L. Hausner, and Ann Grodzins Gold 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Meena Khandelwal

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