What is renunciation? To most of us it is the formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action.
Vedant says otherwise. In Vedanta it doesn’t mean controlling the desire for an object, but erasing the very desire for that object. It doesn’t mean consuming less sugar. It means getting freedom from the desire for having sugar.
Renunciation is a negative process. Here one is restraining a sense by compelling the mind to leave something. This is not a permanent solution. A child who is denied playing with a toy will just wait for the first opportunity when he is alone to do so.
Vedanta asks us to ponder over, whether the object of our desire is an absolute necessity or something we could do without. Desire for bread, water, shelter and clothes is justified, and must be provided for. Some may suggest that butter is also required. That may be true to some extent as fats are necessary for the human body but purely as a taste enhancer, its use leads to ill health. Mind should be allowed to reach decisions on its own without wrestling with the desire.
When our mind analyses the demands of our senses based on pure intellect and reaches a conclusion that it is not needed, it accepts that decision as its own. There is no cause to rebel. This is how one by one the desire for luxuries or the ‘butter’ in our life can be removed from the root. When the root is destroyed there can be no growth of sensory demands.
In the beginning there will be many items in the ‘absolutely required’ list and very few in the ‘luxury’ list. With relentless contemplation of our desires most of the items in the absolutely required list will migrate to the luxury list. Desires spring forth from accepting the three dimensional world as real and uniting the senses with the object of desire. Union with Illusion creates delusion.
Mechanics of creation of delusion
The tongue – the organ of taste unites with sugar to send a sensation to the brain that says sweet; give me more! Our tongue is a Karmendriya because it performs the task of tasting. We call sugar the Tanmatra as it is the object that unites with tongue to produce a sweet sensation. We call the mind the Gyanendriya or intelligence as it senses the taste.
Karmendriyas known as organs of action unite with Tanmatra or the object of desire and send an electric signal to the brain. The brain is the Gyanendriya which tells us whether the object is worth having or not. This impulse is stored in our mind which is a repository of all positive and negative sensations.
The pleasure giving objects are categorized as desirable while the pain causing sensations are filed as pain. These pleasure versus pain categorizations can be extremely misleading at times. For example use of drugs like Heroine create a very pleasant sensation which in the long run cause extreme havoc to the body. Human mind unless trained is like an infant who crawls to the edge of a precipice and falls to its death.
Left to its own devices our mind is always involved with the five senses of touch, taste, hearing, smelling and seeing. It does not allow itself any time to use the sixth sense that we call intuition. For the intuition to develop it is very important to keep the brain free from the constant onslaught of sensory inputs. Vedanta weeds out all superfluous data and allows the brain to develop intuition.
This intuition is the GPS that tells us what lies ahead and charts the best route to reach our destination. It also redirects us when we take a wrong turn.
So what is our final destination? It is to enable the mind to focus on the soul within and become one with it. Soul is nothing but a tiny spark of omnipresent universal intelligence – some people call it God. In Vedic philosophy we call it Parambramh.
Once the mind becomes one with Parambramh, it becomes satiated with supreme bliss and gains the true knowledge of the creation. At this stage a human being becomes a superhuman being.
In India we call him Siddha Purush or Mahatma and revere him.
Do you think Vedanta relevant is for you? Would you like to simplify your life and make it happier? Please leave your comments.
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This article is copyrighted 2016. It cannot be used in part or as a whole without the written permission of the author Rajiv Sethi.