However, a Brahman does not require to pass through the previous stages and is allowed to enter at once into the fourth order of Dandis. The Dandis can be recognised by carrying a small 'dandi' or stick, with several projections from it, and a piece of cloth dyed with red ochre. The Brahmanical cord is supposed to be enshrined and attached to it.
A Brahman shaves his hair and beard, wears only a cloth around the loins, and lives upon food obtained from the houses of the Brahmans. The Dandi Brahmans take food once a day only, which he deposits in the small clay-pot that he always carries with him. A Brahman belonging to the Dandis should live alone and not within a city but near it. But, this rule is rarely observed and in general the Dandis are found in cities, collected like other mendicants in Maths.
The Dandis have no particular time or mode or worship. They meditate and study the works on Vedanta. Dandis worship Lord Shiva and his incarnations in preference to the other members of the Hindu Triad. Therefore they are considered among the Saivas. Dandis put on the Shiva mark upon the forehead smearing it with the Tripundra, which is a triple transverse line formed with the ashes of fire. It is made with burnt cow-dung. This mark begins between the eyebrows and goes to their extremity. This mark is made with the thumb reverted between the middle and third fingers.
The genuine Dandis are however not necessarily of the Siva or any other sect. They are usually found to adore Nirguna or Niranjana, the deity devoid of attribute or passion. The Dandis have great influence and authority among the Siva Brahmans of the Northern India. The Sanyasis or monastic portion of the Smarta sect of Brahmans in the south also got affected by the Dandis.
The Dandis worship Lord Siva in the form of 'Bhairava' or Lord of Terror. The Dandis vary from the great mass of Hindus in their treatment of the dead. They put the dead body into coffins and bury them or when possible cast them into some sacred stream. Hindus of all castes are occasionally found assuming the life and emblems of the order of Dandis. Many Brahmans take the character of the Dandis. Dasnamis is a sect of Dandis, which admit none but Brahmans into their order.