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Life Is A Great and Sublime Yajna

Dispassion and renunciation comprise the key to inner peace. This peace alone makes happiness possible. Without peace there is no happiness. Thus it is clear, that anyone who wants peace and happiness must cultivate vairagya and tyaga. Attachment and selfishness constitute terrible bondage. Vairagya eradicates attachment. Tyaga cuts at the root of selfishness. They make you free and bring you peace and joy.

Life is a great and sublime yajna. Yajna means self-offering, a noble giving of oneself for the good and the benefit of others. Paropakara is the overall governing principle of man’s life. You can engage yourself in doing good to others, in bringing happiness into the lives of others, only when you shed your selfishness. This is real renunciation. The secret of renunciation is the renunciation of selfishness, egoism and personal desires. Renounce personal selfishness and live in the world, enjoying what providence brings to you as your due. This is an admonition of the Seer of the Isopanisad.

We now see that renunciation is a virtue and a noble quality to be cultivated by every individual in human society. By this alone will the principles of yajna and paropakara be fulfilled. Tyaga is not the monopoly or the exclusive duty of the sannyasins. It is a virtue that is to permeate and penetrate into every moment of your daily life. Then alone will our life flower forth into a thing of countless blessings unto your neighbour and the society.

The loving mother is a true tyagi. She renounces personal comfort, conveniences and happiness for the sake of her children and their welfare. The father of a family denies himself and renounces personal pleasure and profit to serve his family. The devout wife renounces all personal considerations to care for her family. The faithful servant renounces personal happiness and comfort to serve his master and carry out his behests in loyalty and devotion. The doctors and nurses renounce sleep and rest and even forego food at times to look after the sick and the suffering. A brave patriot and soldier stands ready even to renounce his life for the sake of his country’s safety and welfare. A true social worker and leader renounces everything and dedicates his life for his people’s welfare. A true teacher renounces his personal ambitions and desires and brings the light of learning, knowledge and wisdom to the young people who pass under his care. A saint renounces the whole world and everything in it to worship God and to serve mankind. It is this quality alone that ennobles human nature and makes it beautiful. Renunciation in the individual renders sweet all relationships he has with the rest of mankind. Yes, renunciation is to be understood as a pervasive virtue which rises vyavahar to pure heights and adds to the joy, welfare and unity amongst mankind.

Renunciation alone enables you to become selfless. Selflessness is the soul of life. Selfishness is the bane of mankind and the root of all conflicts, problems and unhappiness. By renunciation, rout out selfishness and become a blessing unto others. Diligently cultivate renunciation in your everyday life.

Swami Chidananda Saraswati of Divine Life Society (24 September 1916 - 28 August 2008)