Swamiji answers some questions about renunciation:
Question 1: Is Renunciation a decision or step on the path, or rather a journey on the spiritual path?
Because God is infinite, and the ways to talk about God are infinite, many terms in Sanskrit indicate the practice and the achievement, the achievement being a step closer to the goal of the Infinite, but never quite there. As soon as we have achieved the infinite, it is no longer without limits. We can never attain that which has no limits.
Yoga indicates both the practice and the goal, meditation the same; Renunciation must be the same. There is a vow of Renunciation, and the fact of Renunciation. Often they are not the same.
Question 2: Does Renunciation always have to be outward? When Renunciation is inward, how does one navigate worldly realities?
The vow of Renunciation is the outward expression of the desire to refrain from specific actions. The fact of Renunciation occurs when there no longer remains any attraction to commit such actions.
When Renunciation is inward, we navigate worldly realities without any attachment. We perform our necessary functions as efficiently as possibly, realizing the fruits of action are not mine. They are being performed on behalf of a greater Being, call it family, Guru, God; for someone else.
Question 3: You spoke about attaining ‘oneness’ or divine union or Yoga this morning, which brings about no separation (because the Ego is not present), and thereby only bringing harmony and peace.
How does one attain these states of Oneness and eliminate the ‘Vrittes’ from the spine and energy body as well as the causal body. I realise this is a very big question, but can you please do it complete justice in answering ?
All of the sadhana that we perform, the specific acts of spiritual discipline in our lives, the acts of renunciation, are designed to eliminate the ‘Vrittis’ from the spine and energy body as well as the causal body. That means they will all bring us to a greater state of Yoga, wherein there are no vrittis (Chitta vritti nirodh iti Yogah). There is no separation.
Yoga speaks of four specific disciplines which will bring us to Yoga: Dhyana, meditation; Jnanam, wisdom; Bhakti, devotion; and Karma, action. Actually these are not separate disciplines, but rather the four aspects of every discipline. Attention, knowledge, and devotion unite in every action in order to make it efficient. The union of all four bring about the state of Perfection.