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Sep 12, 2017

Action And Renunciation Go Together

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Renunciation has been misunderstood as giving up the good things of life to adopt a life of deprivation and misery. Hence, people shun spirituality and do not benefit from the power of renunciation.  Renunciation is not giving up things you enjoy. It is moving up to far more fulfilling avenues. Renunciation is not dispossession. It is all possession. Renunciation is not giving up action. It is performing dynamic action in a spirit of renunciation. Action and renunciation go together. They are not mutually exclusive.
Renunciation is shedding weakness for strength. It is asserting oneness and rising above differences. Exuding warmth and shunning bitterness. Creating goodwill and giving up ill will. Renunciation is giving up the residue of grudges, prejudices and hatred to live a life of freedom and happiness. Renunciation is growth. When a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, its erstwhile life of darkness and limitation vanishes. Similarly, you experience freedom, joy and cheer and live a life of effortless excellence with renunciation.
Sri Ramakrishna spoke of four types of fish that a fisherman encounters. The wise fish never gets caught. It sees the net coming and swims away. The second gets trapped but manages to break free. The third is ensnared but struggles to get out of the net. The fourth, oblivious to the life-threatening situation, bites the net and feels all is well! The fifth chapter of the Gita speaks of four types of people – the bhogi, yogi, sanyasi and jnani.
The jnani is ever free, never bound by the world. The sanyasi understands the danger of worldly entanglement and manages to steer clear. The yogi is bound but endeavours to escape. The bhogi is blissfully ignorant of the risks of worldly involvement and is content with instant pleasures that his life affords.
The bhogi looks outward for happiness and gets only sorrow and disappointment. He is full of desire for objects of the world. The yogi has understood that happiness is a commodity not available in the world and begins the journey inward. He tries to reduce and refine his desires. A sanyasi is an evolved soul knocking at the doors of enlightenment. The jnani has reached the destination of infinite bliss. As you move up you become more successful, experience greater happiness and gain more power. A jnani has the option of operating with the body, mind and intellect when needed. And retreat into the world of infinity when not required. The other three are stuck in the world.
As soon as you embark on the spiritual journey you become free from agitation and sorrow. Then you get released from the baggage of the past. You develop equality of vision towards all beings. You remain unaffected by fluctuations in the world.
As long as you look outward for happiness you remain unhappy. The moment you turn inward you experience peace. When you get to Atman you gain infinite bliss. Pleasures that arise from sense contact are wombs of sorrow. They yield continuing misery. They are transient. The wise do not revel in them. Endure the force born of desire with the intellect. Reduce the number of desires, improve the quality of desires and change their direction. Then you are ready for meditation.
 

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