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True Renunciation Means Giving Up Of Desire And Not Of Action

True sannyasa means the giving up of desire and not of action.… ‘To live in the world and not be of it’ is the truest renunciation as Swami Vivekananda truly remarks. So long as a man is swayed hither and thither by his senses, so long as he is lured by earthly objects, he can never hope to free himself from the yoke of misery.

‘Arjuna, shaking off attachment and being the same in success and failure, do your work, established in yoga. Preservation of the equanimity of mind is called yoga.’ (Bhagavad Gita, 2.48)

Everything of the universe must be covered with Brahman (God); thus giving up the attachment to transitory things, live and enjoy your life, but do not covet anything of the world. — Ishavasya Upanishad.

Whereas a man who is unattached to this world, who discharges his duties, indifferent to the results, who is neither elated by success nor cast down by failure, who has centred his mind on the permanent, will ever be blissful. No storm of circumstances can ever break the serene calmness of his mind. No cloud of disaster can ever mar the sunshine of his happiness.

Such a soul has found a safe harbour to rest in this stormy ocean of samsara. The waves of sorrow may dash against it, the tempest of misfortune may blow against it, the overwhelming tide of passions may sweep over it, yet it will remain changeless, firm and immovable as the Himalayas, for it has identified itself not with the passing shadows but with the changeless and eternal Self. Happy the soul which has found its true nature. Nothing on earth can disturb its peace. Nothing can injure it.

Source – Excerpts from Prabuddha Bharata Magazine December 1903 – article titled ‘The Way To Avoid Misery’.