Inner Renunciation

June 7, 2013 Comments Off on Inner Renunciation

Generally people think of recluses, sannyasins, ascetics, in
ochre robes as renunciates. We are not discussing that kind of
renunciation. We don’t mean to say that
one can have interactional excellence only when one becomes a sannyaasin. The
renunciational note is a quality, it is an embellishment, it is an
attainment. This can be acquired by
anyone who has mind, intelligence and heart. The inner renunciation is not
reserved for the sannyasins alone.
Just as everyone else, the Sannyasins are also products of
households. The majority in the society are non-sannyaasins. We are discussing
this subject particularly with reference to Bhagavadgita. And what is the Bhagavadgita? It is a dialogue between Arjuna, a
householder, and Sri Krishna, another householder. The conversation took place
in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. And for what purpose? Only to serve the
kingly purpose of fighting a war to establish a just rule.
Right from the beginning, although Sri Krishna had been
explaining the nature of the Soul or the ultimate Reality, all this was to help
Arjuna overcome his weakness and delusion, and make him fight. “Therefore,
O Arjuna, get up and fight,” was the last message. What does it mean? In
the case of Arjuna, the warrior, it was fighting – an activity that needs the
most intense involvement. For householders, it is to run the household
properly, without delusion or fear. For professionals, the message is to be
good professionals with clear and comprehensive vision. The call ultimately is
to perform your interactions properly and well.
We should never waver, never feel disgusted. We should have
sufficient enthusiasm, enough of confidence. Never be subdued by any situation.
On the other hand, we should `overwhelm’ the situation. Our mind has got the capacity. It is not mind
alone; it is the power of the infinite Soul available to us in the nature of
the mind. The power that moves is the Soul, and that is greater than space,
greater than the created universe. It is that expression of the Soul that comes
to us in the form of the mind. We are the infinite, the unconquerable.
Who were those standing before Arjuna? Bheeshma, his beloved grandfather and Drona, the adorable teacher.
Both of them were leading the opposite army! So, psychologically, emotionally,
Arjuna felt weak, indecisive and confused. Even from the military point of view
also, the opposite army was much more powerful – it was an unconquerable
army. In both ways Arjuna felt subdued.
It was such a subdued mind of Arjuna that Sri Krishna was able to elevate and
invigorate through a process of enlightenment.
What did Sri Krishna do?
He only offered enlightenment. He
activated the clouded, uncreative intelligence of Arjuna. As a result, the
intelligence started working on the mind and senses. As the conversation
progressed, Arjuna’s activated mind raised more and more doubts and questions.
Krishna deftly cleared all of them.
Sri Krishna spoke about renunciation, about sannyaasa. What
he meant was renunciation or sannyaasa as an inner orientation, as an inner
attainment. Did he ask Arjuna to shave his head and become a sannyaasin? Certainly not! Sri Krishna instituted the attitude of
renunciation in Arjuna. Arjuna understood and absorbed the message. He picked
up the Gandeeva, the famous bow that had slipped from his hand, to fight the
war with full fervour and determination.
In the same manner, unless we are able to incorporate this
renunciational note in our minds, to crown our intelligence and heart, we will
not have interactional excellence. To put it positively, by incorporating this
renunciational note, we will certainly have interactional excellence. That is
why we discuss it as a subject. – Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha [This is an extract from Poojya
Swamiji’s article published in the Dec 2001 issue of Vicharasetu]
(c) Narayanashrama Tapovanam, 2009


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