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What is Renunciation ?


Renunciation is the most talked about topic in all the religions. And all religions often indicates renunciation as an abandonment of pursuit of material comforts, in the interests of achieving spiritual enlightenment. And there are several theories associated with it that are available in the scriptures. And the whole humanity has an image about renunciation as asceticism. So the moment this word comes up in our mind we get an image of a 'sannyasi'. And since a 'sannyasi' is not supposed to indulge himself in any of the mundane activities, his life more or less becomes the life of an absconder. He renounce all of his responsibilities and runs away to Himalayas or to some self proclaimed Guru's ashram. Because living in this world seems dangerous to him as there are plethora of activities going on in this world that allures his mind. So he thinks that lets run away to Himalayas where there will be no such points of attractions and I will become free of them. And this is the biggest fallacy. The fact is that the cause of attraction doesn't lies in the object rather in the mind itself. So whether you run away to the Jungle or to Himalayas, the mind will follow you. And mind is very cunning. Wherever you go, it will find some objects to project its lust. Now in Himalayas, he may not have attachment with his big house any more but will develop attachment with his ashram. He may not have attachment with his costly clothing anymore but will develop attachment with his sannyasi robe. He may no longer crave for the position in the society but will crave for position in the hierarchy of priests. He may no longer enjoy authority over his employees but will develop authority over his disciples.

So nothing has changed. Only the points of projection of lust have changed. Mind remains as it is. There is no transformation whatsoever. And renunciation is the consequence of transformation. It cannot be forged by action, its a result of inaction. So we first need to look into what renunciation actually is ?
Please enquire it now that ' what is renunciation' ? Or why at all we have to put efforts to renounce something? Why is it that all the things that are defined as 'wrong' arise in us without any effort. For example we don't have to put efforts to be greedy or to have anger or in being envious, they seem to occur in us naturally. But to become free of them requires a great effort. Why? Why can't we naturally be free from them all. Don't you have this query or you just accept what others are saying and say 'oh i don't have time to enquire about this all'. Well if you do have this query then finding it out requires a great deal of meditation. But we don't give our time and energy to meditation as what we give to our work or to entertainments.

Have you realised the fact that our life is being framed by thought. We are a bundle of memories. Suppose someone asks you 'Who are you?' What will be your answer? Please enquire it now. What are you? The name, the form, the way you think, your beliefs, your desires, your attachments. Do you see this as a fact yourself? Don't just believe the writer. Now if you do see this, go a bit deeper into it. Do you see how 'thought' is the building block of all of them. Hence we are what we think.
So now we have realised this fact then we can move on to understand renunciation. Is fasting on some days and then killing an innocent animal and eating it on others,a renunciation? Or just try to act good for some so called holy days and then getting back on to your regular track of violence, greed, anger, sexual desire and so on, a renunciation? Do you see the contradiction in all of them. So what is real renunciation then?

If we see this process of thought framing our life then the quintessence of all renunciation is to be free of thought. Might even seem impossible to some but its very much possible. That's where meditation comes into the picture. To be free from thought is itself meditation, not the idiotic concentration methods taught in the meditation camps. Just observe how thought makes us to follow a pattern, conformity, dogmas,rituals, how it gives birth to new desires and we are always striving to achieve them and are never contented with the present. Do you see how this chain of desires be it good job, promotion, fame, a good spouse and so on never let us remain contented in the present? We are always striving to achieve something or the other. Do you see how thought frames our attachment to people which we wrongly call as love? Its not love rather its attachment.

Well if you could observe this all with great deal of attention, then this very observation will free you from them all. The moment you will observe any of them lets say fear or anger, then first it will get magnified cause now you are looking it with a great deal of attention, but remain in that state and you will find that suddenly it vanishes. Its like first the flower blossoms and then suddenly it withers away. Do it yourself, you will find out. And that will be the greatest experience of your life. First time you would be able to see very clearly how shallow and superficial life you were living being conditioned by thought. And you will feel a great deal of vitality and a state of totally different energy free from all the hassle of the world.

Don't just read and pass by, do it. You would have to give it the same amount of energy and time that you give to your work or what you give to different kinds of entertainments, or to futile chitchats, may it be with your loved ones, but its still futile. One must find time for meditation at all costs. 

Abhilash Sharma

Abhilash Sharma

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