“Let us learn to let go, to not allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by the circumstances and conditions of this world. Let us constantly remember that at the heart of ourselves, as at the heart of all human beings, there forever stands a silent and watchful guardian: the Master Within.”
Why Renunciation is Prescribed for Seekers of Truth?
by Jayaram V
Summary: This essay explores the importance of being yourself and seeing things clearly as they are
Try to speak truth for a whole day and see what happens. You will be considered a troll and shut down by many from their communication channels. You will be regarded as a trouble maker, or a dangerous person. People are comfortable with their illusions. If you try to rupture them, you will invite trouble. Therefore, for most of us truth is what is socially acceptable and justifiable rather than what is true.
Being yourself is the first step to be true to yourself. It is an important step in your self-transformation and inner purity. Not many people can practice it, for the same reason as stated before. They cannot alienate people by speaking truth or being truthful. Even the most powerful people on earth have to play to the gallery and act according to their hopes and aspirations rather than the reality of the situation.
The world loves myths, not truths. If it is not so, most people who are admired and remembered in history will not be there. Studies in human psychology show that human beings may rewrite their memories to feel comfortable with themselves and avoid unpleasant memories. Our survival instinct tells us how to get on well with the world and avoid conflicts to regulate our relationships. People know instinctively that they cannot be likable or friendly with others without wearing masks and using politically correct language. For their peace of mind and yours they know that it is better to tell you what you like to hear rather than what they need to say. They embrace your idea of truth rather than theirs because they need your love and friendship rather than your anger and vengeance. Therefore, the freedom to be themselves and truthful remains a distant ideal for many and comes to them at a great price.
Being yourself means you have to be your authentic self and speak from your heart how you feel or what you feel about yourself and the world. It is being honest in your thinking and judgment seeing things as they are, without the distortion of your mind. It is to avoid self-deception and know truthfully what you feel and think. You cannot do it unless you remove the delusions that you build in your mind to create the narrative that suits you but does not really represent you. It may address your fears or your needs, but not the truth of your being.
Knowing yourself is an important part of being yourself. Unless you truly know your feelings and emotions, how can you know who you are? To know yourself truly, you must learn to see things as they are. You must become an impartial observer so that you can see the logical fallacies and irrational beliefs that interfere with your perception and understanding. Paying attention to your own behavior and thinking gives you an opportunity to become familiar with your ego and its behavior, or how it creates an alternate reality to ensure your survival and wellbeing in a world of egos.
The world is a major distraction in your quest for truth, while the mind with which you perceive it is like a nebulous prism. Your perceptions are therefore rarely free from distortions. In your dealings with the world, you are mostly guided by your fears and concerns or your need for security, approval, and belongingness rather than truth, which is why many relationships in your life are built on weak foundation and do not stand the test of truth or trust.
The problem is not because you are inherently weak. It is because the world puts so much pressure on you to confirm to its standards and values. When you live amidst people, you cannot be true to yourself and others, without hurting them or creating enmity or misunderstanding. It is also why spiritual life is so difficult to pursue and why not many people can abide by the instructions that are mentioned in our scriptures for self-purification. People love myths and illusions rather than reality. Therefore, they will not like anyone who wants to snap those balloons of illusions with which they decorate their lives.
If you want to practice deeper awareness, objectivity, and mindful observation, you must find opportunities to spend time with yourself and develop the courage to accept truths about yourself. Spend few quite moments each day for introspection and confront your own illusions, self-deception and mental distortions, as if you are taking a mental bath to cleanse the impurities of your mind that accumulate each day through your public persona. It is the best approach when you cannot renounce the world or live in isolation.
Our scriptures prescribe renunciation and the need to live in isolation because they are aware of the corrupting influence of the world upon your thinking and behavior. They know that you cannot practice truthfulness or any of the Yamas (restraints) and Niyamas (observations) that are mentioned in our scriptures without upsetting your life or your peace of mind.
In today’s world, everyone cannot practice renunciation or go to a forest to live in isolation. Therefore, for them the best alternative is to find time to be alone, and practice detachment, mindfulness, introspection, and discernment to know themselves better and be honest with themselves. Those few moments they spend alone, reviewing their actions, will do them immense good to be self-aware, realistic, alert, and smart. If you cannot be truthful to others, at least be so to yourself, the one person who matters most in your life.
Cosmic light, everlasting good, eternal spirit, maker of all things and keeper of my life, you are all. Infinite presence within, in whom all live; joy supreme, flooding all with gladness, I adore you. Eternal peace, unditurbed and quiet, I feel your calm. Divine presence which inhabits eternity and dwells within all creation, who lives through all things and in all people, hear my prayer. I would enter your gates with joy and live at peace in your house. I would find a resting place in you, and in your presence live. Make me to do your will and from your wisdom teach me the ways of truth. Compel me to follow you and let me not pursue the paths of my own council. Eternal and blessed presence, Illumine my mind and command my will that my soul may be refreshed and that my life may be renewed. As deep cries unto deep, so my thought cries to you and you answer. I am renewed and refreshed; my whole being responds to your love, and I am complete in you. all my ways are guarded and guided, and I shall live with you eternally. Lover of my soul and keeper of my spirit, none can separate us, for we are one. So shall your wisdom guide me, your presence dwell within me, your love keep me and your life envelope me now and forever. I rest in you.
Out of the darkness of the long night the dawn has come. I rise to meet the new day, filled with confidence and strength. I arise and go forth into the new dawn, inspired and refreshed by the living spirit within me. O dayspring, you can never die; the sun can never set upon your perfect glory. for the lamp of the soul has been re-kindled with the oil of faith, and love has cleansed the windows of life with the spirit of gladness. They can nevermore grow dim with fear, for perfect love casts out all fear. I am renewed in strength through knowing good. My light has come.
A river flows because it is not attached to the earth. Jayaram V
Liberation in its essence is true and complete detachment in all aspects of life. In a general sense it means to be able to sleep well despite problems and worries. Jayaram V
In Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism detachment (vairagya) has a great significance. Detachment means not having any physical or mental connection with the things of the world or with your own mind and body or with your achievements, qualities, fame, name, status, etc. Attachment to things interferes with your thinking and makes you blind to certain truths of life. When you are attached, you lose balance, and seek things that may harm you both physically and spiritually or impede your success and progress. Every habit that you form is an intense kind of attachment only. Whatever you like, be it a person, profession, religion, state or condition, is also an attachment. Collectively they bind you to this world and make your life a great struggle as you cannot easily let go of things and move on
Many people who are deeply drawn into worldly life do not even know that they are bound by attachments. They do not consider it a problem because it seems so natural to like or dislike the things of the world. Those who know about it vaguely may think it is something about which they do not have to worry. For many people, the idea of detachment invokes images of sadhus and sanyasis who have renounced the world and lead an ascetic life. It seldom crosses their minds that the practice of detachment can give them wings to fly freely in this trouble ridden world.
It is true that detachment is the foundation for spiritual life. You cannot progress far on the path of liberation without cultivating it. With detachment you can cultivate sameness towards both pleasant and unpleasant aspects of life and avoid unnecessary stress. You cannot fully control what happens to you, but you can control how you can respond to it. It is in using that choice that detachment can play a significant role.
Hindu ascetics take the practice of detachment to extreme so that they become fully detached mentally and physically from their minds and bodies and develop great fortitude, equanimity, will power, concentration, patience, and tolerance. However, with the practice of detachment you can greatly control your responses to external and internal events. If you believe that detachment is good for only spiritual people, you are missing a great opportunity to stay in control of your thoughts and emotions.
Whether it is in personal life or professional field, you can use detachment to manage your expectations and protect yourself from the emotional consequences of setbacks and failures. It will also help you think clearly, without worry and anxiety, and make better decisions. You can also improve your chances of success by focusing upon your performance rather than the outcomes. Most importantly, with detachment you will have an open mind, and you will learn quickly from your failures.
Therefore, if you want to have peace of mind, learn to let go of things. Do not cling to your relationships, not become excessively involved with them. It is always better to keep a little distance and give some space to others in your relationships. Do whatever is necessary for reaching your goals, without worrying what may or may not happen. Focus upon your tasks, what needs to be done, and how it can be done and give your best, leaving the result to God, the Supreme Self. Taking things lightly, not taking life too seriously, and letting go of things, these are a few very important beginner’s steps that can really help you stay in control of your emotions, life, and relationships.
“In practical living Illumination follows both Intuition and Idealism. Our intuition helps us to form a series of steps to climb. Each step in turn is an ideal; each ideal is more advanced, and more satisfying to our highest psychic self. An ideal may start with health, with personal well-being. Then it may advance to a consideration of the welfare of others, the service of society and then gradually broaden with greater understanding. The idealism prepares the consciousness for Illumination.”
There is one ultimate Thinker, yet this Thinker thinks through all of us. This is why our thoughts are creative. The Universal Mind is incarnated in everyone. Every person has access to it; every person uses It, either in ignorance or in conscious knowledge. The mind of each one of us is the Mind of God functioning at the level of our perception of life. Consciously using It, we bring into our experience today something we did not appear to have yesterday – a better ,environment, a happier circumstance, more love, more joy.
In such degree that I know that the God in you is the God that is in me, I cannot seek to do you ill. It would be unthinkable, because all that I would do would be to hurt myself. When all of the nations of the world see God incarnated in one another, then we will no longer have use of weapons. We must stop believing that God is somewhere apart from us, or somewhere apart from the person or situation that is still in bondage of some kind. We must not be disturbed by the contradiction of objective experience. Rather, we need to know that the truth of God’s ever-present activity in our life is superior to the condition that we want to have changed.
I sense the eternal Presence within me. Discarding any thoughts and attitudes that limit my inner awareness of this Presence, I accept the One Life as my life and see all around me the expansion of love, peace, and harmony. I rejoice in the wondrous gifts of an unlimited Universe.