Serving others, supporting life in every way without expecting a reward, is akin to the sun shining selflessly on the world. Some say this is the reason for the customary orange/saffron clothes of a swami. Others say the orange clothes are a reminder of the fire, the fire of knowledge that burns away wrong knowledge, the fire of the hardship that burns away desire and attachment.
…. A swami’s life and work, which is timeless and independent of all religion, is beneficial in the present Western societies. The reference point is the wisdom scriptures of the world; therefore one studies the scriptures (swadhya), lives a life of self-discipline (tapasya) and surrenders oneself to (knows oneself embedded in) the Divine (Ishvara pranidhana).
With that comes humility, universal love and devotion and never taking things for granted! If this is his/her inner practice, it expresses in the outside world as a guiding light to others. As Swami Shivananda joked: A swami wears orange clothes so that those that seek his teachings can find him easily, those that don’t can turn away.
– Swami Nityamuktananda