Wednesday, October 04, 2017

RENUNCIATION AND DETACHMENT

These words have much religious sanction behind them, and are the most misused, and are often euphemisms for crass insensitive and irresponsible behaviour.

Constant interchange of energies is the law of life. You may call it sacrifice, you may call it renunciation. It is a continual give and take, though in nature and the human being there are different latent periods for different energies.

If you take in air do not give out you are liable to die in a few minutes.

If you take in water and do not give out you are liable to die within a few days.

If you take in food and do not give out you are liable to die within a few weeks.

If you have the habit of grabbing all you can get from the world, and do not have the habit of giving out, you may live to the Biblical threescore and ten in the human carcass but you will be dead as person.

If you go on receiving love and cannot show it you meet the same fate.

You renounce nothing, for nothing is yours. You do not even breathe - breath goes in and goes out. You are breathed, so to say. It is a humbling, ennobling health-giving and fatigue-removing thought. You say you walked and are fatigued. You, whoever you are, take credit for the work of the body. If there is a tiger behind you, your body can run another mile. But you think you are managing everything on earth and you say you fatigued and thrust this instruction on the obedient donkey called your body.

Detachment is another word for indifference. The great detached devotee who in name of detachment is indifferent to his friend's suffering does pray to God thus, “Oh, Lord, forget me! Be detached towards me!” What is asked for is aware attachment and efficient and serviceable interaction with the situation that confronts you, with compassion and love.

Much slipshod work goes under the garb of Nishkamakarma, work done with detachment towards the result. Detachment towards the result of a work certainly does not mean indifference to the processes of the work. In a country, with a heavy joint upbringing that does install any relationship between the quality and quantity of work done and the reward commensurate with it, the concept of Nishkamakarma gets vulgarised to a farce. Bearing this in mind, Krishna strongly admonished Arjuna not to confuse the minds of ignorant average persons by propagating this doctrine of action with detachment towards results. Just as Christ's admonition not to swear by God has been publicly, and blatantly flouted in practice by the law courts of Christian nations, the devotees of Krishna have vied with one another in popularising the Gita leading to its vulgarisation into most permissive doctrine to suit the taste of all and sundry who are bone lazy about all things except about the profits to make.

The primary object of the detachment recommended is to protect the perceptual equipment of person from becoming clouded by the emotion of frustration or disappointment or anger or depression that usually ensues from the appearance of a result that is not to the liking of person. The subsequent actions of this person will be predictably more harmful and unproductive.

Seeing that in real life no result can ever predicted with mathematical certainty this inunction and its practice are to be commended. One should carefully refrain from taking statistical certainty as absolute certainty. It is as true or as certain as the Sun will rise in East tomorrow is only a statistical certainty - remembering that the same brilliant scientists tell us that the Sun appeared in skies a certain X number of years ago!

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