sada at ANVIL.NRL.NAVY.MIL
Thu Jan 8 13:26:03 CST 1998
>Let me paint you a picture! I have lot of debts, I have a daughter to be
>educated and married and I have a son who needs guidance. If I leave all
>these reponsibities and devote 100% to brahman, people would say I am
>irresponsible, a coward.
>I have two alternatives.
>1. Ignore the world, forget responsibilities and GO
>2. Stay and discharge responsibilities.
>What would one do under these circumastances?
Since Nagy called me and asked me to respond, here is my response to his
Since you say you have a daughter to educate and son to take care off -
that is where your responsibility lies.
Your option 1 - Ignore the world, forget responsibilities and GO - Go
where? Go after Brahman? - Brahman is not some object that we can go
after. It includes your son, your daughter and the whole nine yards.
Renunciation is first mental. Otherwise wherever you go, you may end with
another daughter, son etc.
Remember it is you who asked for a son and daughter etc. You are placed in
the best situation for you to overcome your vasanas. Renunciation is not
escapism from responsibilities. What you are renouncing is your
attachments:I and mine.
True sadhana involves to recognize His presence everywhere, including in
your son, daughter etc. and work with the attitude of prayer to the Lord.
That purifies the mind. Your devotion to the Lord should express as a
devoted father to your daughter and to your son. No father shuns his
responsibilities including the Father in Heaven!
Your responsibility ends when you have adequately provided or insured that
your daughter, son, wife etc., can manage themselves without your Physical
You should have a third option:
Stay and discharge responsibilities as you go after Brahman! Since going
after Brahman is not anti to staying and discharging responsibilities.
You do not volunteer to take new responsibilities, take whatever that is
trust upon you as His tasks. Do His work as a prayer to the Lord. Fulfill
the debts you have and make no more.
My suggestion is also do not judge what others have done or doing. It does
not matter what Ramadas did or Ramanujam did or some xyz did. What you do
is what counts. There is Swami Chinmaya's saying: What you have is His
gift to you and what you do with what you have is your gift to Him. So
return back His gift, packaging more beautifully than what He did?
You seem to be more concerned about what people would say? What you think
is more important that what others think. It is you who has to settle
accounts with your mind. What they do or think is their problem not yours.
You mentioned about some swamis come here only for money.. Remember Nagy
many of them are involved in selfless work which you and I cannot do. They
are not stealing your money or my money. Give only if you think the cause
is appropriate otherwise do not. You came to this world penniless and
leave this world penniless. Everything ultimately is only His.
Have the attitude: twadeeyam vastu Govinda tubhyameva samarpaye. Oh Lord
It is yours and I am offering that to you back. What we are giving up in
the process is our notion that that is ours. That false ownership. All
these are important means to go after Brahman. As a trustee, use whatever
is given to you intelligently and judiciously, responsibly.
Life is action. Running away from action is not what is implied by
renunciation. The most important action is to contemplate on the Lord or
the Self. That you can only do effectively only if your mind is free from
all other responsibilities. The whole Bhagavad Geeta teaching is centered
Nagy You may not like my advice. But that is what I will give it to my self!
Naval Research Laboratory
Washington D.C. 20375
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