Is sanyasa for woman allowed if she is unmarried at 50 without caretakers?
A woman devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krishna. I am a follower of ISKCON since 2012. Am 48 years female , single unmarried. Looking after my old parents. I read that female should be protected by either father , brother or husband . But my father is 82years and I didnt marry and I dont have brother. So am I eligible for sayasa dharma ? I find lots of interest in Krishna Conciousness matters and books which my family members laughs at but I get unknowingly attracted to teachings of ISKCON. Please guide me what should be my path.”
There is no system of sanyasa for woman as per the Varnashrama system. As you mentioned, she should be with father or brother or child. However, this will not suit for unmarried women beyond her marriage age.
(How to follow Sanyasa in Grahastha Ashram? READ HERE!)
However, the sanyasa for woman can be taken if –
(i) Her senses cooperate with her,
(ii) She does not have anyone to protect her, and
(iii) If she does not have any dependents who need her care and protection.
In your message, you have said that you are 48 now. So, you can marry an elder male even now because there are many men who are unmarried even in their fifties. You can choose one and marry and lead a spiritual life with him without getting a child in this age. Or, you can even adopt a 5-10 years old orphaned child. Both of you can remain as devotees serving Krishna and sharing your care to each other that will give a little convenience of living a devoted life.
In case you are not interested in marriage and you can remain without sense agitations, you can remain unmarried throughout your life and take sanyasa WITHIN MIND and live like a sanyasi.
Right now, you have an aged father who needs your care. So, do not desert your duties now. Wait till your father dies. After his demise, you can observe a sanyasa life within mind.
Of course, some mutts or spiritual organizations may give such sanyasa diksha for women. It is not recommended for women. However, for your satisfaction, you can take such diksha.
Sanyasa is related yto mind and body purity. If you remain pure in your mind and body without violations and serving the Lord sincerely, you are called a sanyasi.
So, you need not go for formal ceremonies to accept sanyasa. They are just like taking the admission in school or college.
(The right process of sanyasa and devotion in kaliyuga in the absence of varnashrama dharma CAN BE READ HERE!)
Living as a sanyasi is more important than taking formal diksha as sanyasi.
So, follow sanyasa within mind and with body after the demise of your father.
During your old age, live in your house itself till you can manage yourself individually. Once you reach a stage in which you are unable to clean your body yourself, you should not live alone. This is the time to go and live in a home for women run by decent people and preferably devotees. Practice devotion from there.
Save some money now itself to pay for old age homes for women as now a days the charges are more for decent homes.
Though there are some free homes, you may not be able to follow devotion conveniently there.
So, save from now for your old age life and live a life like a sanyasi within these arrangements.
Hope this helps.
(Are women Priests, Sanyasis and Gurus allowed in Sanathana Dharma? READ HERE!)