Renunciation – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 12

Renunciation

Many people are confused about renunciation, and take it to mean that one must not act at all. Some take it to mean that they must not move a single muscle during their meditation. Others believe that renunciation requires poverty, having nothing and begging your food. Some even become couch potatoes in the name of spirituality. But our world is a place where change and movement are endless. Action is the nature of Nature — it will take place without any help from us, and without the ego attempting to cast itself as the cause of it.

“It is indeed impossible for embodied beings to abandon actions entirely.” — Verse 11

Surrender to Absolute God in meditation (Surrender Meditation) produces active meditation, as opposed to the usual static meditation that is taught in modern times. Active meditation is superior, for it is not possible for human beings not to act; those who try to master inaction are ultimately defeated.

During the practice of Surrender Meditation, one is a renunciate, and truly free. Because this is so, continued practice automatically leads one to the realization of non-doership and Liberation. Surrender to Absolute God in meditation is the highest and most efficient practice for attaining this joyous state. This is the God-practice that is being taught by Lord Krishna in this Gita.

The realization of non-doership is the highest form of enlightenment. Surrender to Absolute God in meditation is the highest form of practice.

Destinations

12
The results of the actions of non-abandoners when they die is of three kinds: desirable, undesirable and mixed. But for renouncers, there are none.

Renouncing the World
A seeker renouncing the seductions of a worldly existence.

“The results of actions of non-abandoners when they die” is a crapshoot. You cannot know what is going to happen at death or in the next life.

“But for renouncers there are none,” because the enjoined action for the renouncer is the surrender of himself to Absolute God, all actions are natural (not created by him) and therefore lead to Liberation (non-return).

The three fruits of action, “desirable, undesirable and mixed,” do not apply to one who is a renunciate, for the renunciate is situated in the knowledge that he is not the actor, the doer of actions. Indifferent to actions and their results, he is headed for Liberation and higher realms upon leaving the body at death.

How to Become a Renouncer

‘Abandonment’ is the abandonment of the results of actions. ‘Renunciation’ is the abandonment of oneself as the doer of actions. 

First, Practice Abandonment in Life

Abandon the Fruits of Action 

A renunciate's house may be a cave
This renunciate’s house is a cave.

The practice of Abandonment is to let go of attachments to desired resultsFor some, it is easier to begin with the practice of Abandonment by abandoning the fruits of action in everyday life. This is easy to practice and doesn’t demand any extra time.

Start by simply noticing those times when a certain result or outcome is important to you, and allow yourself to let go of your attachment to the results being any certain way.

One of the things you may notice as a result of this practice, is that outcomes — ‘fruits’, results — often turn out to be better than originally hoped for or expected. New vistas open up, and you will be inspired to continue this practice.

Another outcome of this practice is that you may make your own discovery that it is when you let go of an attachment to getting something you want, the desired object or objective that you were previously attached to, appears without any effort on your part.

When you give it up, you’ll get it. 

Step 1 — Notice when you are doing something for the purpose of getting a certain result.

Step 2 — Decide to let go of your attachment to the results of what you are doing.

Step 3 — Let go of your attachment to getting this result.

Then Practice Renunciation in Life

Abandon Desire-motivated Actions

Whereas Abandonment has to do with abandoning the results of actions, Renunciation has to do with action itself. 

The practice of Renunciation is to abandon self-motivated actions — acting for the purpose of getting desires fulfilled. Desire drives all actions for anyone who does not take up this simple practice, and can only lead to uncertainty in death and rebirth.

In Surrender Meditation, when actions occur without desire for certain outcomes, they are not considered to be actions. Because you have surrendered yourself to Absolute God, all actions that occur are not yours (even if it seems to you that you have acted) and therefore called ‘inaction’. Such actions are spontaneously carried out by Goddess Shakti during your meditation.

  • Shakti – female God who instigates all actions.

To experiment with this concept, follow these five steps: 

Step 1:  Notice when you are doing something for the purpose of getting a certain result.

Step 2:  Notice what this hoped-for result is, and have a good look at it.

Step 3:  Now let go of your attachment to getting this result. 

Step 4:  “Go on faith” that it is true that WHAT you really are does nothing.

Step 5:  No matter what result the action produces, or whether you like it or not, give it as an offering to Absolute God/Truth (what ever your name is for That). 

Some prefer to begin their journey to Renunciation by first practicing Abandonment, and then practicing Renunciation. Others prefer to do both by practicing Abandonment in daily life, and practicing Renunciation in the meditation room with Surrender Meditation.

Surrender Meditation is the fast track that covers both Abandonment and Renunciation. In this context, Surrender is synonymous with Renunciation and is easy to practice. The only thing that may be difficult at first is getting yourself to do it. You will need to carve out some time every day for it, even if you are profoundly busy. But if you are truly interested in advancing yourself, you will find a way.

Even without specifically practicing Abandonment in life, Surrender Meditation will bring it on anyway, spontaneously, and advance you quickly. It is known as the ‘spiritual jet’ for a reason. 

In either case — Abandonment or Renunciation — through the practice of one, one ultimately comes to both. So it doesn’t really matter where you start, for in either case, you will ultimately be lead to the realization of non-doership, Self realization and Liberation. 

Knowledge is useless if you don’t understand what you know.
Knowledge can only be understood by putting it into action and keeping watch.

Be willing to be right.
Be willing to be wrong.
Be willing to take different points of view about anything.

Make Surrender Meditation your lab and personally experience what you think you know and understand, and then it will be proved to you … one way or another.

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

Abandonment & Renunciation and the Difference Between Them – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 18, Vs 1-2

Abandonment & Renunciation

I am treating this chapter of the Bhagavad Gita based on the ancient, original God-practice, which I call Shaktipat Kundalini Yoga, or Surrender Meditation (I doubt it originally had a name that long ago — over 40 thousand years!). This does not mean that I see other translations as invalid or wrong, but we already have many editions from this perspective, and we have none that represent this branch of original Yoga.

There are two original branches of Yoga: One that was understood by means of seeing it practiced, and one that was understood by means of the oral teachings of the one who was seen practicing it.

From the branch relying on observation, techniques were born. From the branch relying on the experience of the one who was seen, the surrender of oneself to God/Truth was employed exclusively. It is this surrender to Absolute God/Truth in meditation that has been virtually unknown and kept hidden from the masses for millennia. This Surrender Yoga is my own path, so I will be addressing these verses from this perspective. 

1
Arjuna spoke:
I wish to know the truth about renunciation, O Mighty Armed One, and of abandonment, Master of the Senses, and the difference between the two, Vanquisher of Demons.

Abandonment - Give it to God
Give Yourself to God

Here we have three epitaphs for Lord Krishna: Master of the Senses, which is associated with abandonment, Mighty Armed One, which is associated with renunciation, and Vanquisher of Demons, which is associated with victory over that-which-is-other-than-Divine, by means of abandonment and renunciation.

We learned about good and evil in chapter sixteen, and followed it up with Faith in chapter seventeen. Now we are in a chapter about renunciation, and Arjuna want’s to know how this is different from abandonment — he wants to get it right so that his knowledge is true and divine knowledge.

Interestingly, Arjuna’s use of these epitaphs reminds us of his innate ability to see the Truth (chapter one) without even realizing what he is seeing. Through his Guru’s grace however, his inner Knowing is brought forth. Like you, Arjuna already knows the Truth and only has to awaken to it. 

You already know everything. You have but to learn what you know.

2
The Blessed Lord spoke:
According to the wise, the abandonment of desire-motivated actions is renunciation, and the abandonment of the fruits of actions, is abandonment.

Surrender
Leave everything to God in meditation.
  • According to the wise (vichakṣhaṇa) – clear-sighted and wise through learning and experience.
  • Abandonment (tyaga) – the abandonment of the results of action.
  • Renunciation (sanyasa) – the abandonment of desire-motivated action.

Everything we do is motivated by desire. Renunciation then, boils down to non-doing. But how can we actually accomplish this? 

Spontaneous Action in Surrender Meditation
Spontaneous Action

We can start with Abandonment — we surrender all the things our actions produce to God/Truth. This is the abandonment of the fruits of action, which is something we can easily practice anytime, anywhere. Then, through meditation practiced correctly, we can let God take over and not take the credit or blame for anything that happens in our meditation. Now our meditation is a period of Renunciation.

The only reason this is not easy to do is because the mind, with the ego at its core, will always try to take the lead role and convince you that you were the one doing all those actions. Then, even though you know better, because you feel like you were the doer of these actions, you may believe there must be something wrong with you. These tricks of the ego are best ignored.

Everything we do is motivated by desire.

Spontaneous Action in Surrender Meditation
Spontaneous Action

But we learned in previous chapters that this is the ‘demon’ ego tricking you into thinking that you are the one doing the action. But the real doer of action is always Nature. So this is the thing to remember.

We start all this simply by surrendering the ‘fruits’, or results, of our desire-motivated actions to God/Truth in meditation. 

Now we have two practices: One that can be practiced outside of meditation (abandonment) in our daily lives, and one that takes place in meditation (renunciation).

If we are willing to take a chance on God and surrender ourselves to God in meditation, we can easily accept whatever God brings. We have let go of desires and expectations for certain results (abandonment) and now we are truly free for the duration of our meditation. Thus begins the God-practice we have been taught over and over, again and again, in this Gita. Through your experience with it, you will come to see that the Real You is never the doer of action. 

All action occurs in Nature, and you are not Nature. You are You. Period. 

Having gained experience through this meditation, you will ultimately reach this realization on your own. You are a renunciate now, already established in abandonment, and you are headed for Divine Union and Liberation. 

Namaste (I bow to the divine one that you really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com

The Power of Devotion – Bhagavad Gita, Ch 9, Vs 26-28

“One who offers in devotion to Me, a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I enjoy that pure-hearted devotee’s offering. Therefore whatever you do, eat, sacrifice or give, and whatever tapas you perform, do that as an offering to Me. In this way, you will be liberated from the bondage of action and its good and evil effects. Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.” — Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 9, Verses 26- 28 

In these verses, Lord Krishna defines Sannyasa Yoga—Union (yoga) through renunciation (sannyasa)—as Devotion to God. It is the power of devotion that sets the true seeker on the path to liberation and union with God. For this reason, he seeks a guru with whom he can practice devotion while learning how to practice yoga correctly.

The offering of a leaf, a flower, a fruit or water, is a devotional practice. When the state of the one making the offering is one of pure devotion, the offering is enjoyed.

The Sanskrit word for ‘enjoy’ also means ‘pervade’. The devotee whose offering is given with devotion, is pervaded by God. This is the source of the custom of pranama (bowing down) and placing gifts at the guru‘s feet. This custom is based on the recognition that God, Guru and the real Self are the same.

We have been getting directions for the yoga practice of surrendering ourselves to Absolute God in meditation. This was referred to as ‘sacrifice’. Now our attention moves to the sacrificial offering as a very powerful practice that we can do outside of the meditation room: Whatever we do, we offer to God with loving devotion. This simple form of surrender to God is another form of ‘renunciation’.

“Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.”
When you renounce not only the fruits of your action, but the actions themselves, this is ‘renunciation’. It is easily achieved through devotion.

If you cannot or will not renounce your sense of doership of actions, you renounce their results, their fruits. Persons traveling both the path of the will and the path of surrender will benefit from the surrender of the fruits of their actions to God. But for those on the willful path, here is a little known secret: Success in this will take you straight to surrender yoga, for this is what real devotion and renunciation truly are—surrender to God.

It is the Power of Devotion that makes full and complete surrender to God, possible, and it is this that brings about your liberation and ultimate union with God.

NOTE to practitioners of Experiential Surrender Meditation: This practice done during your daily life, will save you from accumulating karma and slowing your progress. Even though you have acted, the renunciation of your actions and/or their fruits with loving devotion, will nip the accumulation of karma in the bud. You may even find that you directly experience God’s pleasure in your offering, a blissful experience you will never forget. 

The specific spheres of action in which this instruction is aimed are “whatever you eat, sacrifice, give in charity, and whatever tapas you perform.” These specific actions are mentioned because they give the best results. All these actions done as acts of your own volition, you offer to God.  

“Whatever you eat” refers to anything you consume, or ingest. This is most obviously food, but applies to anything you intentionally take in—the enjoyment of the music, the fragrance of a flower, the pleasure of a good massage, a day at the gallery. We take in many things in a day, but it is those things we take in of our own volition that are the most effective offerings to God, your chosen ideal or Guru. 

“Whatever you sacrifice” refers to what you offer to God. For instance, you may surrender the food you are about to eat, some difficulty you are having in life, a pleasure you enjoy, a decision you have to make, a desire you want to be rid of.

“Whatever you give” refers to gifts and services to others: to Guru, your church, a charity, persons in need, etc. When you give, give it as if you were giving it to God, because you are.

The chosen tapas (austerity) of this sadhu is to live only on what comes his way and to own nothing, including clothes. His body is smeared with ashes.
The chosen tapas (austerity) of this sadhu is to live only on what comes his way and to own nothing, including clothes.

“Whatever tapas you perform” refers to your efforts toward spiritual progress: meditation, selfless service, mantra, prayer, etc. Tapas (‘austerity’) means ‘to burn’ and refers to purification, a direct effect of this renunciation (surrender).

Living your life this way you not only up the ante on your progress, but your attention will always be on God, so it’s money in the bank. 

28
In this way, you will be liberated from the bondage of action (karma) and its good and evil effects. Thus engaging yourself in Sannyasa Yoga, you will be set free and come to Me.

Sannyasa Yoga
Union (yoga) is achieved through renunciation (sannyasa).

  • Renunciation – To commit to, to entrust, lay down, abandon, surrender
  • Yoga – Union with God

The Purpose of Sannyasa Yoga
Committing yourself (devotion) to abandoning self-doing by entrusting all actions and their results to God in order to achieve union with God.

Namaste (I bow to the Divine One that You really are),
Durga Ma
durgama.com


Shaktipat Intensive

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