Renunciation is not running away from life, it is flowing with life without resistance!


Our ability to be in tune with others and Existence depends entirely upon how we conduct ourselves. It depends on the priorities we choose in life.

What if we do not choose?

What if we accept things as they happen to us?

It is time to talk about renunciation. Renunciation is not running away from life. Renunciation is flowing with life without resistance. The Sanskrit word sannyas refers to this state of trust with Existence that allows us to let go all other things in life.

There is a beautiful story from the life of Buddha:

After enlightenment, Buddha visited many places preaching his dhamma or teachings, and initiating people into spiritual life. On his way, he entered Kapilavastu, his birth place. He walked on the streets with his disciples wearing the saffron robe. Everyone watched them with great wonder.

Buddha’s wife, Yashodhara, heard the noise in the street and asked what it was. Her maids told her that it was none other than her own husband who had returned as the Buddha, the enlightened soul. She did not go to meet him. Instead, she called for her son Rahul. Rahul was born the night that Buddha left home in search of enlightenment.

She asked Rahul, ‘Do you see that radiant figure there who holds a begging bowl and yet looks like a king? He is your father. Go and ask him for your inheritance.’

The young boy ran downstairs and pushed his way through to where Buddha stood. He fell at Buddha’s feet and boldly repeated what his mother had told him.

Buddha lifted him up gently with a smile and looked at him. He simply removed the gold hemmed cloth the boy was wearing and replaced it with a saffron one.

The boy, seven years of age, was given his inheritance. He was the first and only child allowed into the monastic order of the Buddha.

Sannyas is the path for those who want to win over themselves, who want to be free from the clutches of jealousy, anger, stress and depression forever.

Someone asked me, ‘If everything in life is evolving naturally by the process of evolution like monkey into man, and bad into good, would man not ultimately evolve into god? Where then is the need for meditation, sannyas…where then is the need for inspiration?’

I replied, ‘It took five thousand years for the monkey to become man, and it would take equally long for man to become god. If you are willing to wait that long, it is alright with me!’

On the other hand, you can decide to live consciously with a clear understanding about life, the laws and structure of the universe, and meditation. You can revolutionize the process of your evolution. The right revolution leads to evolution or enlightenment. That is sannyas, the greatest revolution of an individual. It is to live like a Paramahamsa, to live like an enlightened being.

Adi Shankara, the enlightened master from India, beautifully says in his work Vivekachoodamani:

For all living creatures, a human birth is rare,
and even rarer is to have a sattvic (goodness) attitude,
and more so to have steadfastness on the path of spiritual activity

as explained in the Vedas… These words had a very powerful effect on the life of Vivekananda, an enlightened master from India who lived thousands of years after Shankara.

When Vivekananda was preparing for his law examination, these very words landed on him like a thunderbolt. He could not read further. He left his books and started running along the road. He was running to his master, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. While he was running, the truth of Shankara’s words was ringing in his very being. He thought to himself, ‘I have gained all these three: I have been born as a human being. I have gained the desire for liberation. I have got a great master….then why am I still wasting my life? Why am I still wasting my life?’ Again and again, these words were haunting him. Vivekananda went on to become enlightened and spread Ramakrishna’s mission worldwide.

Sannyas is the path for those who want to win over themselves, who want to be free from the clutches of jealousy, anger, stress and depression forever. People think sannyas is chosen by losers. No. Of course, sometimes those who don’t know what to do with their lives take up sannyas. But that is not the spirit of sannyas. Sannyas is the effort to become conscious for the first time, conscious of the mechanism that surrounds you as a human being. You are part of Existence. Existence moves with its own mechanism, with its own music. Falling in tune with it is the science of sannyas. Sannyas is a being level relationship, being in tune with the whole of Existence. That is the shortest path to success in life.

To hear the song of Existence, you need to start moving in the right space. To find that space, you need to first drop any other thing you know, and listen to the song with deep awareness. You will find it. In that space, life will flow like a river moving towards the sea. Any other path will take longer.

When life becomes a flowing river, it has to merge with the sea. There is no other way.

Sannyas is the science of flowing with the natural course of Existence and finally merging with it.

source: Living Enlightenment

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