Reality 88: Renunciation uparati
The 3rd of the 6 Essentials is known as Renunciation. Though this may or may not be carried out in a formal way with spiritual symbolism or vows, the spirit, or true practice, of Renunciation is an essential support of the Self-Inquiry to know the Self .
This Renunciation on the path of Nondual Knowledge is also known as the cessation of action & the withdrawal of the senses from the external. Sankara has defined it as the non–dependence of the Mind on anything external.
For those who practice this Non-Dual Self-Inquiry, there is no set of specific actions essential for this spiritual path. No particular action can be proclaimed to be universally applicable to all seekers, let alone at all times, yet the aspirant’s actions must be guided by the spirit of Renunciation. Moreover, Liberation from the imagined bondage is a matter of Knowledge & is not a matter of performing certain actions. No action can produce Realization. Knowledge alone yields Realization, &, indeed, Knowledge is itself Realization. It is a path of Knowledge that yields the state of Supreme Knowledge. This understanding is the cessation of action, that is, the cessation of dualistic action-orientation in one’s practice. The mere reduction of bodily activities is not what is meant & such would be unrelated to Self-Inquiry & Self-Realization. Nevertheless, one might very well renounce Worldly activities, useless activities, & unnecessary activities to provide more time for Meditation & the receiving of spiritual instruction, & this would yield tremendous spiritual benefits.
The cessation of action, as above described, in this Renunciation naturally leads to the Knowledge that one is not the Body. Dis–identification from the Body implies the corollary understanding that one is not the performer of action. The Body alone is active, & the Self is free of movement, change, or action. This is Renunciation of Doer–ship.
Renunciation is part of every aspirant’s practice. Detachment must become total for complete spiritual freedom. Renunciation is its expression or reflection. How that expression manifests varies among those who are detached, but there is always some expressed Renunciation. It is not reasonable to say that as one liberates oneself from attachment & ignorance that one will still maintain every habit, cling to every object & relationship, & continue to harbor the same delusive notion of possession as previous to such spiritual development. When a person joyfully & wisely relinquishes old habits, objects, & such for the purpose of spiritual advancement, such is known as Renunciation.
Renunciation is born of contemplation upon the source of Peace & Happiness. It is born of observation of the facts of Life & Death. It is born of recognition of the futility of Worldly gain, be it objects, wealth, fame, or anything similar. It is born of Meditation upon the dreamlike nature of the experience of the World. It is born of Meditation upon the transitory nature of all things. It is born of the intense yearning to know & be the Truth at any cost. It is born of the comprehension that clinging is worrisome bondage & detachment is blissful freedom. It is born of the Knowledge of the immediacy of the Truth of the Self
Non–dependence of the Mind on anything external means to no longer have one’s state of Mind determined by outer circumstances, such as how many or few one’s possessions, whether or not one’s desires are fulfilled, or whether or not situations are to one’s liking. Even more so, it is the abandonment of seeking Happiness externally based upon the clear Discernment (Discrimination) of the real source of Happiness. It is the means for the Equanimity called Peacefulness. Further, it means the cessation of the projection of the sense of Happiness, Reality, & Identity upon things extraneous to the Self, which is the abode of Happiness, one’s true Identity, & the one Reality. It is the abandonment of superimposition of the attributes of unreal things upon the Self When the Mind turns inward in search of true Knowledge, regarding outer so-called knowledge as just so much ignorance, the delusive collection of opinions & insubstantial concepts, such is Renunciation in Knowledge. Ultimately, this non–dependence or Renunciation, as it is known in practice, is of the very nature of the Space-like, Formless Self as realized in Self-Knowledge.
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“There is no Creation, no Destruction, no Bondage, no longing to be freed from Bondage, no striving for Liberation, nor anyone who has attained Liberation. Know that this to be Ultimate Truth.”
– the “no creation” school of Gaudapada, Shankara, Ramana, Nome – Ajata Vada
for very succinct summary of the teaching & practice, see: www.ajatavada.com/