"Thought is the most potent and creative power in the world. It initially takes shape in an individual mind. When shared with others, any benevolent thought starts growing as a vibrant process encompassing more and more people. It is such collective benevolent thoughts that build up great cultural values and treasure in the society."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha


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Harih Om Tat Sat. Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

All of you have come to an Ashram. An ashram is a spiritual abode. What will and should take place in an Ashram is spiritual wisdom and austerity. Wisdom and austerity, both are to be practiced. Austerity continues to be a practice like driving. The austerity goes on purifying your inner personality and makes life better and better, providing and bestowing a number of qualities, virtues and blessings.

Wisdom also is something to be practiced but in wisdom you always have knowledge gain. One point after the other in the area of wisdom starts dawning in you, particularly you get it from the satsang you have in the Ashrams. Without gaining wisdom, I don’t think there is any purpose in going to an Ashram or be in the company of Asramites. In such a context, today I thought I will speak about renunciation meaning tyāga, abandonment, relinquishment, renunciation.

Whenever we speak about renunciation, always people pick up the idea of an ascetic, a sannyāsin. Of course, sannyāsin is a renunciate. Sannyāsa is renunciation developed into an Ashram like Brahmacharya, Gārhastya and Vānaprastha. In Brahmacharya, the Brahmachari completely and wholesomely pursues wisdom, gains wisdom and whatever is necessary to gain wisdom, he takes it up as an austerity and performs.

In Grihastāshrama also, the same individual is pursuing the gārhastya as an Ashram. What all are necessary to make a household, to keep a household, to do what is there to be done in a household, that he follows. Then there is a third level where he does not behave like a householder. He has no responsibility of looking after the children, maintaining a home, earning for the purpose, also saving; all these things are left. Just like our 'Hari Om Gautam' and his Srimati who are living our Ashram, they live. I don’t think they are bothered about their house, children, family and all that. If at all they do, they do some service in the Ashram, in the Centre.

The difference is that in household, you have a commitment and a tremendous responsibility. The children are to be brought up, the household is to be maintained, you have to go to the market, buy articles regularly, there should be food cooked etc. But in Vānaprastha life, all these botheration and preservation are not there. Then we have the fourth ashrama called Sannyāsa. In Sannyāsa, the content as well as the pursuit is renunciation and renunciation alone. It is there. But sannyāsa also is meant for pursuing renunciation. So, renunciation becomes there as an ideal, as a value and as a practice.

What is that renunciation? I think every one of you should know. Bhagavad Gita, right from the beginning speaks only about renunciation. Bhagavad Gita ends up also with renunciation. Sri Krishna is asking Arjuna to fight the war but, but (that ‘but’ is very important) incorporating tyāga and renunciation in his mind throughout. What is that renunciation which even Arjuna can practice, should practice in the battlefield? It is the renunciation of saṅga.

Saṅga means the delusional clinging to everything. We have a clinging to our body. We consider that we are the body. Actually we are not the body and the body does not belong to us. The body has got a number of parts. Take for example, lungs, they constantly bellow, bellow, bellow, and air is taken, oxygen is consumed and carbon dioxide is left out. This breathing without which nobody can live even for a moment takes place because of the lungs. And we have not made the lungs.

Similarly, we eat using hands and mouth and the food goes to the alimentary canal, undergoes digestion, assimilation, absorption and it becomes blood. Is this not a process which nature has arranged, a system and procedure with a number of instruments, organs etc.? So, in eating, digesting, in converting it into blood, in breathing and having oxygen, do you think that it is an act for which we are responsible? Is it our desire? Not at all! Only when we have lungs we can breathe and only with lungs when we have oxygen we can breathe. Neither the lungs and their function nor the oxygen and air being present around is ours.

So, where is it that you feel saṅga towards anything? What is that factor or anything whatsoever where you can say ‘it is mine’, ‘it is mine’? When I look at it, I don’t find anything in this world including my body, mind, intelligence and ego to say that ‘it is mine’. Not at all. Once you realize this fact and you do not lose it, then you are considered to be a tyāgi, tyāgi. That saṅga tyāga is tyāga. This tyāga does not stop there. It includes everything, everything, everything!

Sri Krishna says lābha and alābha, gain and loss, pāpa and puṇya, winning and losing, all these are to be renounced. This renunciation can be done only when you are living and only when you are normally interacting with the world in various ways. It is this tyāga and sannyāsa that Arjuna wants a clarification on in the eighteenth chapter of Bhagavad Gita, the concluding one. He is asking what is the truth about tyāga and sannyāsa.

So, my dear souls, the entire Bhagavad Gita which is a karma śāstra which asks you to live, act and interact properly, it tells you only about renunciation or saṅga tyāga. Find out where your saṅga is and then remove it. You will find that it is there hiding in many, many places. Try to locate them. That is why you are asked to meditate. Meditation is a concentrated effort to find out where the defects are, what they are. So, tyāga is not for the sannyāsins alone. It is meant for all. Sannyāsins are supposed to be taking up and pursuing tyāga in a wholesome, continuous manner, that’s all. They don’t have any other pursuit but pursuit of only tyāga and sannyāsa. They will look into everything that they do and find out whether there is asannyāsa in them and if so, remove it. I think the point is for every one of you to think seriously about.

I said Bhagavad Gita speaks only about tyāga and that tyāga is saṅga tyāga. Sanga is in the mind psychology and tyāga is to be done by the use, employing intelligence. This tyāga will determine how peaceful you are, how joyous you are, how poised and comfortable you are. It is atyāga, non-renunciation that brings all the trouble. If you marry, you should marry without saṅga. If you become a parent, become a parent without saṅga. Get your daughter married without saṅga. Get the son married without saṅga. Become grandparents but without saṅga. Earn money without saṅga. Spend money without saṅga. Without saṅga, without saṅga, without saṅga - this is called renunciation. I think there is enough material for you to think about.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

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