Renunciation This word puzzled me and attracted me from my childhood. When I read Ramakrishna-Vivekananda literature, Sri Ramakrishna mentions that without renunciation, one can’t attain the supreme bliss. What does this word really mean? A simple and literal meaning can be “non-attachment to worldly things”. If it is so, do we realise how painful it is to renunciate the attachments which we have now? I was thinking, why and what makes us to attach to various things in this world. Right from childhood, we attach ourselves to one or the other things. What we liked so much at one point looses its place and another one takes its place. But we give a name “maturity” to this quality of us. Is it so? When I thought deeply, I realized that when our attraction for the one in hand finishes, our mind requires another one for that time. Another way to look at this is, when we get better thing one than the one which exist in our hand, we renounce the existing one. But both the above two processes are painless. But if someone gives me a big lecture, scriptural clarifications to make me renounce my beautiful toy, it will be painful or impossible. So the following two things are clearly visible by me in case of renunciation: 1. Renunciation has to happen naturally, so that it will not be painful. 2. When we get more valuable and worthy than what we have in hand and if our intellect accepts its value, then the renunciation is joyful. If that is the case, my thinking was how and when as a child we know that the toy car or Barbie doll in my hand is less valuable and useful than the other things which I had chosen? • • • • •
Is it because of peer pressure and social interactions? Is it because of “maturity”? Is it because of boredom with the old toy and curiosity with the new toy? When this shift happens in me? If I am unable to get the new toy which my friend plays, I still play with the old toy, but not with the same enthusiasm. But I don’t serve the attachment with the toy. Because I know I don’t have the other one to replace this one.
When I applied the above thinking with renunciation, it made sense to me. Renunciation is a process and it has to happen naturally. So it has to fulfil certain conditions to make it joyful. • I have to have higher and valuable ideal than this world • My intellect has to accept that truth, ie Atma sugam is higher and valuable than this world. • My heart has to follow it. But in this case, There is small problem in this case; the whole world around us puts pressure in opposite side. Our mind will be pulled and attracted with various things in the name
of “duty”, “karma” and “achievements”, etc., Since the higher life is not tangible to our mind, how it will get convinced? So still this word puzzles me a lot…