An unshakable awareness of God at all times is devotion; vairagya is the conviction that all this assemblage of things and people around one is not one’s own. To believe that everything belongs to Rama is tantamount to dedicating all to Him. What is the real obstruction to paramartha? Not wife, nor son, nor wealth, but the attachment one feels for them. To be devoid of attachment to anything is vairagya, not the absence or abandonment of a thing. If a man is unmarried or his wife is dead, he cannot be called unattached; nor can he be said to be attached merely because he does have a wife. What matters is passion and attachment. To live in contentment in existing circumstances, with the conviction that everything belongs to Him and has come because He has willed it, is vairagya. One should live in this spirit, and without passion for the senses.
One should live worldly life with an awareness of its impermanence. Life cannot be renounced, but to live it with detachment is virtual renunciation. To perform good acts without expectation of return is devotion, while vairagya is setting aside everything that hinders performance of duty without regard to physical comfort, to discard all desire.
After all, does experience show that worldly things are obtained as and when desired? It is, in fact, not in our hands to acquire or discard them as we wish. So where is the sense in wishing for or against them? We should, rather, leave everything to Rama’s will. To ask for worldly things is tantamount to admitting that we have a greater yearning for them than for Rama Himself. It is not the things themselves but our craving for them, our attachment for them, that is to be abandoned. Where is the sense in propitiating God for the sake of some non-lasting thing? Let our faith in God be as staunch as that of Prahlad. He took to nama with faith and in .order to cleanse his mind of all desire. It would be senseless on our part to use nama to acquire some paltry, mundane thing.
Once we resolve to live only for God, we shall be able to see His presence in everything. This is not an empty fancy, you will realize it yourself. All that we have to do is always to live in nama-smarana.
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