In the Orient, the culture of Hinduism has seeped into each household over generations. However in the Occident where the philosophy of spirituality is a new concept, in the process of trying to imbibe it into life wholly they often tend to transform their external appearance. A lot of them choose earthy appearance, and a few others resort to many unnatural body piercings. They start using very unnatural low tone of voice. In India we have all types of living styles from the very rich who live in mansions and very poor souls who live in substandard conditions. We all have some level of connection to Hinduism at different understanding of the concept of the philosophy. Just because Hinduism speaks about renunciation not everyone gives up their riches, and house and lives as a hermit. Even the self-realized souls of India maintain their voice with gusto.
Yogananda once said make your heart your hermitage, not your physical surroundings. Changing the environment to pretend to be simple and humble surroundings does not necessarily indicate renunciation. The physical riches and relationships that God has bestowed us, which we have earned earnestly, has to be accepted graciously. However know that these can be taken away by him at any time. When he takes them away, accept that graciously too. Renunciation is the act of non-attachment to the physical, mortal realm of life. When we build a simple hermitage in the heart leaving behind all the negative thoughts the result is true renunciation regardless of the physical surroundings we live in.
The goal for renunciation is to make our hearts our hermitages keep it clean and pure, our body our shrines do not abuse it with substance, physical pain, or sex, our house is our temples entertain only spiritual souls. Know that every soul we encounter has a purpose for us to meet and connect. However know the limitations of each connection that comes our way. God intends for some souls to have longer and deeper connection than others. When we egotistically try to make connections with souls based on our delusional relationships, we are bound to plough through dirt and grime. Certain relationships even if they are seemingly close are not meant to last. Only when we retire to our pure hermits daily we have the ability to understand and spiritually make connections with souls intended by God.
Renunciation in short is enjoy all the God-given blessings including power, reputation, riches, character, relationships. Accept it as God’s will when they are no longer yours to keep. Know the limitations of connections of each soul that comes your way, don’t be egotistically attached by virtue of the societal relationships. Don’t be mislead egotistically, know the will of God, and everything will be alright sooner than later.
Adi Sankara explains Renunciation……….
JATILO MUNDI LUNCHITA KESHAH
PASYANNAPI CHA NA PASYATI MOODHO
The ascetic with matted locks, the man with the shaven head or one with hair pulled out, or the man parading in the ochre robes — they all have eyes but yet do not see. All these are but deceptions for cheating the world, for filling their bellies. (Renunciation does not lie in external appearance, but in inward thought, attitude and feeling).
KASTWAM KOHAM KUTA AAYAATAH
KAA ME JANANEE KO ME TAATAH
ITI PARIBHAVAYA SARVAMASAARAM
VISWAM TYAKTWAA SWAPNAVICHAARAM
Who are you ? Who am I ? From Where did I come? Who is my mother, who is my father? — enquire thus and you will then realise that the entire world of experience, all the worries and problems are but a dream, a mere hallucination, born of imagination and delusion. With such a realisation, you will be freed from the delusions of the world.