Renunciation is an act of self sacrifice acquiring freedom from cravings, lust and desires through positive thoughts and actions.
It is voluntary process of relinquishing or rejecting many rights, titles or ambitions.
However, it does not involve a wish to abandon our family, home, friends, job etc. to live as beggar. It is a specific thought to avoid attachment to worldly pleasure so as to secure liberation from undesired rebirth. We must try to learn and seek spiritual motivation to stop attachment through the habitual conduct of renouncement.
The concepts of ‘Renunciation’ also convey the process of abandonment, repudiation, renouncement, abdication, self sacrifice, surrender, abjuration, rejection, denial, etc. The word renunciation is linked with a word of Latin language ‘Renunciatio or Renuntiare’ that conveys its meaning as renouncement.
Another instance of renunciation is related to stock exchange, which involves surrender to others of the truth, to buy new shares in aright issue.
Progress on Spiritual Path
In religion, it generally affirms abandonment, occupation of material satisfaction, in the interest of attaining spiritual enlightenment. According to the sacred concept, the renounced status of life is ‘Sannyasa’, that also suggests ‘giving up worldly interest and leading a holy life’. No one can make advancement on spiritual path if tightly bound by the chain of fast attachments.
Process of raising Renunciation
Human life is a great opportunity for us to adopt renunciation through compassion. The practice of renunciation can be performed:
- During any stage of life but generally in old age, being possible in males or females.
- The concerned person needs to lose interest in the events of worldly pleasure by conceiving that these are deceptive and cannot provide real satisfaction or contentment.
- True inner renunciation is a matter related to heart and mind that pertains to the world of desires and aversions within.
- Make strong determination to abandon attachment and attain permanent liberation from contaminated rebirth (achieve salvation).
- Acquire state of calmness, pre-requisite of love and knowledge, purify intellect and do not reveal the truth hidden in every being.
- Adopt truthfulness and liberality (kindness and gentleness).
- Follow abstention from injustice, illegal sex, injuring anyone, appropriating the properties of others and wicked actions.
Regulation of Desires
The desire comprises a strong feeling of ‘craving or wishing’ to need certain materials or achieve certain mental objectives (happenings). The sense of hope gets increased to procure enjoyment, seek progress and achieve the necessary goals. Desires arise from bodily structure and functions, for instance, food, home, wealth etc. On the other hand emotions come through mental state. A creative person is motivated by desires to achieve and not by the desires to beat others.
Dedicate to the goods you deserve and desire for yourself as these give you peace of mind and happiness. Sometimes, desire is point of all achievements, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything for those who do not adopt renunciation.
Strength of contentment
Mental satisfaction is the noble quality of a person with a feeling of intellectual and emotional situation of internal satisfaction. The contented person leads a simple life with regulated longings and curtailed needs. The quality of contentment conveys===
- Never develop the eager desire for acquiring wealth and power. It is a humane quality and not a weakness.
- Submit your desires under the mighty hands of God. Cast off your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.
- Contentment is the treasure of satisfaction (Satosh-dhan or Sabar-naama).
- The self centered persons are lovers of money and crazy about the desires for wealth, proud, arrogance and contemptuous boasting.
- Simmering discontent can lead to outbreak of violence, jealousy, worries, misery, distress and mental agitation. Such persons promote uncontrolled desires, greed, anger, worldly attachment, negativity and illusion but they drift away from God.
Concept of Asceticism
An ascetic person dedicates his or her life to a pursuit of contemplative ideals and practices extreme self denial or mortification for religious reasons. Such person leads simple life, abstains from normal pleasures and desires self mental satisfaction. Adoption of frugal life style involves freedom from material possession and physical pleasure.
The very objective lies in pursuing spiritual goal through regular prayers and meditation. The natural asceticism pertains to life style where the aspect of living is reduced to weakness or a minimum pattern, like eating simple minimal amount of food, simple clothing, sleeping on floor or cave. It may also include the habits of simple begging, fasting, ethical practices as humility, compassion, patience and prayers.
The unnatural asceticism is the practice that involves body mortification or self infliction of pain, such as sleeping on a bed of nails (punishing one’s flesh). The monks and Priests are ascetics (Saniyasi) with the virtuous qualities of bachelorhood, disarmament, poverty, self restrain, kindness to all creatures, non-acceptance of gifts, insight of conduct and purity of body, speech and mind.
However, materialistic asceticism refers to people who tend to lead simple life but do not withdraw from the world. Wealth is bad ethically only in so far as it is temptation to idleness and sinful enjoyment of life.
Divine Bliss on Renunciation
The realization of renunciation is a gateway through which we enter the spiritual path of supreme happiness leading to eternal liberation or ‘Nirvana’. It is a journey towards spiritual transformation where simplicity is sufficient, bliss is within and sparing is plenty. The most important and sublime objective of human being should be to acquire direct link with God, through meditation, for blessed approach to eternal abode.
According to Patrick Olivelle
“The person with the quality of renunciation has sky in his belief, knowledge is his absolute, union is initiation, compassion alone is his past time, bliss is his garland, the cave of solitude is his fellowship and his effort is gain of spiritual knowledge”.
The excellence of renunciation bestows ease, peace, fulfillment, complacency, sufficiency, pleasure, ecstasy, serenity, mental and spiritual elevation, and sacred benevolence. Continue to express heartfelt gratitude to God for what you have and you will end up having more due to His kind grace.
Dr. TRILOKI NATH CHUGH INSAN, DSS, SIRSA