During their two-year Vedanta course, these rishi-putras wear white clothes only and live an austere life of purity in thought, word, and deed. The white colour symbolizes purity, and therefore the white cloth acts as a reminder as well as facilitates their studies.

Upon completion of the course, each student is given the option to dedicate his or her life to the Chinmaya Mission-the vision and work of their Gurudev, Swami Chinmayananda-or to choose their own lifestyles, regardless of whether it includes serving the Mission periodically or not.

Those students who are unsure after the course, or have familial obligations or limitations, often choose to stay in white for one or two years before deciding whether they would like to accept the yellow cloth.