Tuesday, 7 October 2014

householder's life versus renunciate's life


Practical  steps  to spirituality- section 7 part 9

The  Gita  revisited  

householder's life versus  a renunciate's life 

                Different questions arise in the minds  of sincere seekers  of  knowledge  whether  one  could remain  in one's family  and yet  be  able  to pursue and  attain Self-knowledge  or  does  seeking  knowledge  requires  one  to renounce  the  world and   become  a full time  seeker  . So  it  looks  as  though  there  is  a  tug of war  between  a householder's  life  and  a renunciate's  life.

               The  Gita  helps  the  seeker  to  first  understand   where  he  stands  , where he  fits  in  actually  , at  which  stage  of  spiritual  growth  he  really  is  , so  that  he  takes  to  grow according  to  his  abilities  ,his  mental  frame  and  so  on  in the  pursuit  of  spiritual  knowledge. . The  Lord  says  either  of  the  two  paths , that  of  being the  householder  or  being  a  sannyasi  , can  help  prepare  our  minds  for  spiritual  knowledge  and  yet  for  the  majority  of  us  ,who  have  lots  of  likes  and  dislikes  and  worldly  desires  ,the  path  of  selfless  performance  of  action  is  better  than   the  renunciation  of  worldly  actions.  Doing  is  better  than  renouncing  actions  for  the  majority  of  us  because  of  the  fact  that  our  minds  are  filled  with  raga  and  dwesha  . Hence  we  are  advised  to  remain  in the  midst  of  our  family  , in the  midst  of  worldly  activities  and  perform  our  obligatory  duties  selflessly  and  unconditionally  so  that  the  mind  becomes  free  from  selfish  desires  and  likes  and  dislikes  and  becomes  fit  to  walk  the  path  of  knowledge  

             While  the  path  of  renunciation  of  worldly  action  (  karma  sannyasa  )  is  better  suited  for  those  who  have  very few  worldly  desires  and  have  a  strong  thirst  for  spiritual  knowledge  and  have  already  developed  dispassion  towards  worldly  life. . Whichever  path  one  chooses  to  follow  ,both  involve  ,giving  up  of  likes  and  dislikes   to  make  the  mind  pure  and  fit  to  walk the  path  of  knowledge  . Both  paths  involve  the  seeker to  remain  steadfast  in  the  path he  has  chosen  . The  most  important  qualification  for  a householder  to grow  spiritually  would  be  to  give  up all  his  attachments  towards  his  family  members, towards  worldly  objects  , name  fame  ,power  ,position  and  possessions  . In  short  he  has  to  develop  vairagya  , dispassion  for  all  temporary  and  ephemeral  things  . 

to  be  continued......  

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