Some people behave deceitfully, and justify it as a pragmatic necessity. Such unprincipled behaviour cannot be accepted as proper, nor will it give ultimate satisfaction. It will not contribute to spiritual advancement. Renouncing pracical life and becoming a recluse with the object of repudiating liabilities cannot be treated as spiritually prompted renunciation. The shackles of attachment are not forcibly severed but should genuinely and naturally drop off.
Suppose a person disgusted with the trials and travails of family life retires to the forest. Even there, he builds a hut for shelter from the elements; collects faggots to build a fire against cold; clears the land to keep out reptiles, etc. And on top of this, he worries about all these when he goes to beg alms. What is all this but a variant of the house and family life that he sought to escape from? The real trouble is not with the kind of things or life but with the attachment we bear for them. They cease to be harmful or painful the moment we stop feeling concern for them. Unconcern takes off the sting.
It is incorrect and unwise to defer paramartha to old age and the period of retirement. It is to be pursued while one is still active in the bustle of life. In the tumult, we have to be vigilantly aware of the ultimate goal of human life, namely, the attainment of God. Keep the mind fixed on the goal even as you go through life’s turmoils. When sensuous pleasures and subjects distract you from thoughts of God, be alert and bring the mind back to Him. Surrender yourself to Him with the fervour of one yielding to a sensuous attraction. Disabuse the mind of prepossessions and prejudices, and judge impartially the degree of your surrender to sensuous pleasures and thoughts. Do we not bow to the orders, even the whims, of the employer or the superior? What we do to earn livelihood, should we hesitate to do to attain the divine, the overlord of the universe? It is easier by far, for it costs no money, needs no article or thing; we can mentally submit to Him the moment we feel like doing so. One who thinks ‘I belong to Rama,’ ‘Everything that happens is by Rama’s will,’ will find himself always and automatically vigilant about allegiance to God and of worldly temptations.
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