Renunciation Is Essential For Happiness

Renunciation Is Essential For Happiness
Hindustan Times

"Action is basic instinct of human nature. Action is at the root of human progress and prosperity. Action is implicit in the law of life. None can really remain inactive even for a moment. Inaction leads to decay and putrefaction. Not to speak of culmination of human evolution process, even the very survival and maintenance of human body is dependent upon some form of action. Hence, action reins supreme in the struggle for existence. While the bad karmas necessarily bind a person, the good karmas too generate ego and pride resulting in karmic bondage.

The question arises if the exigency of some form of action is undeniably true, why should it lead to sorrow and misery? Just as the actions are essential for human existence so are they the root cause of all human misery and sorrow. What is that art of performing action to which Lord Krishna says in Gita," just as the blazing fire turns the fuel to ashes, even so the fire of knowledge turn all actions to ashes?”

Vedanta preaches the gospel of action(Karma) and exhorts man to work incessantly. The performance of action is ordained by our material and spiritual needs. Majority of us undertake action for deriving sensual pleasures knowing well that the effect is only transient and such indulgence carry with it the seeds of sorrow and agony. Even the path of spiritual fulfillment is fraught with dangers if we fail to get over the ego-centric desires. The false sense of doership and attachment is at the bottom of all human malaise. Anything done with the spirit of attachment, craving for fruit and under the impulse of ego compulsorily gives rise to frustration, mental depression and moral degradation.

This does not mean that inaction is a better option. Any room for such a thought would be disastrous and catastrophic. The art of action is best explained by lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita in these words," Your right is to work only, but never to the fruit thereof. Be not instrumental in making your actions bear fruit, nor let your attachment be to inaction.”

The remedy lies in practising renunciation. Renunciation is a spirit of self-abnegation in everything. It drives away the last tinge of selfishness in oneself. Self-intrusion gets replaced by self-extrusion. What seems to be a paradoxical statement is in fact the quintessence of Vedanta. All talk of renunciation would be futile so long as one has not seen and realised one's real self which is same as the Supreme Soul. Upon this divine experience, a true inner awakening dawns that one is not this body, mind or intellect. These three are inert minus Atman which energizes them to perform their functions. In the process one sheds the pseudo idea of little self. Egoistic feelings and the spirit of self-aggrandisement is replaced by self-refinement and the spirit of resignation and dedication to the Supreme Reality.

Vedanta declares that it is Brahm-Jnana which helps one inculcate the spirit of renunciation. It is not giving up of desires or abstinence from consumption of worldly objects but one's attitude which reflects and determines the level of renunciation one has attained. Renunciation is not renouncing of normal life and retiring to the forest. Leading normal life of a householder and officegoer, one can practice it. Renunciation is the pivotal point around which the wheel of life should revolve. Knowledge of the ultimate reality and regular meditation on His eternal name will provide the necessary lubrication. All actions are sanctified when done with disinterestedness and dedication to the Lord. Such a person sees inaction in action and action in inaction and all his actions are burnt/neutralized in the fire of knowledge and no longer bear any fruit to torment him in current or future life.

One cannot learn this art of living by merely undergoing spiritual courses and listening to theoretical narration of sermons. It calls for manifestation of inherent divinity. It is revelation of the sovereign secret. It is only on initiation into brahm-vidya that the seed of renunciation will germinate in you. With constant practice, you will feel happy, peaceful and even attain state of Supreme Bliss in course of time.”

Hindustan Times

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