Showing posts with label Renunciation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Renunciation. Show all posts

Yoga And The Path Of Renunciation

 




    THE WAY OF RENUNCIATION AND YOGA. 


    Tapas symbolizes a more mystical, shamanic spirituality. 


    Unlike Yoga, which emphasizes the attainment of meditative states and self-transcendence, tapas concentrates on the development of inner strength, visionary experiences, and magical abilities. 


    • This method relies heavily on the development of willpower. 
    • Yoga, on the other hand, represents a more sophisticated approach to development spiritual and psychospiritual orientation. 
    • For example, Samnyasa recognizes the necessity for volition transcendence, which is a manifestation of the egoic self. 


    Nonetheless, many aspects of tapas have made their way into the yogic tradition, and the common image of the yogin or yogini is that of a thaumaturgist, or ascetic who works miracles. 


    • Yoga, on the other hand, is closer in spirit to another tradition, that of worldly renunciation (samnyasa), which first emerged as a respectable goal to pursue in the Post-Vedic Age. 
    • Suddenly, or so it seems, an increasing number of residents of towns and cities departed to spend the remainder of their lives in the wilderness, generally alone but sometimes with their wives. 



    Samnyiisins, Or Practitioners Of Samnyiisa, Are The Renouncers.



    The prefixes sam (representing the concept of "unity," akin to the Greek synor the Latin com and ni denoting "down"), as well as the verbal root as, make up the term samnyasa (meaning "to cast" or "to throw"). 


    • As a result, it denotes the "throwing down" or "laying aside" of all worldly worries and attachments. 
    • Although renunciation may be defined as a way of life, it cannot be practiced in the same way that austerities or meditation can. 
    • It is, first and foremost, a way of life. 
    • As a result, the renouncing tradition may be described as anti-technological: It seeks to leave everything behind, including all ways of searching, if pursued diligently enough. 



    Joachim Friedrich Sprockhoff, a German indologist, correctly defined renunciation as "a phenomena on the edge of our life," comparing it to other edge-of-life experiences like death or old age. 


    • Renunciation is a reaction to the realization that human life, and cosmic life in general, is either morally inferior or entirely unreal. 
    • In either scenario, the renouncer aspires to achieve a higher condition of being, which is associated with Reality. 
    • Renunciation may have at least two forms, depending on whether the world is seen as illusory or just morally unacceptable (but yet based in the Divine). 



    On One Side, There Is REAL Renunciation, And On The Other, There Is Symbolic And Albeit Pretentious Renunciation.



    The former view sees renunciation as a straightforward abandoning of everyday life: the renouncer abandons everything-wife, children, property, job, social respectability, worldly aspirations, and any care for the future. 


    In metaphorical words, the latter viewpoint sees renunciation as mainly an interior act: the voluntary letting go of all attachments and, in the end, the ego itself. 


    • Throughout the long history of Indian spirituality, both systems have had their supporters. 
    • The oldest account of an effort to reconcile the two paths may be found in the Bhagavad-Gita (3.3ff.). 
    • Thus, Krishna, the God-man, taught Prince Arjuna the difference between simple abandoning and true inner renunciation, emphasizing the latter. 
    • Krishna clarified to 1 Arjuna, who was perplexed about the distinction between renunciation of deeds and renunciation in action, that he taught both ways in the past. 



    The Yoga of Wisdom (jnana-yoga), which Krishna associates with samnyosa, is one route; the Yoga of Action is another (karma-yoga). 


    Both, he stressed, led to the ultimate objective, but he thought the Yoga of Action was superior. 


    • He stated, "He who does not hate or want will be recognized as a renouncer forever." (5.3a) (5.3b) (5.3c) (5.3d) (5.3e But, 0 strong-armed [Arjuna], renunciation is impossible to achieve without Yoga. 

    The yogic sage (muni) approaches the Absolute without delay. 


    • (5.6) He whose self has become the Self of all beings, even though he is active, is not defiled. 
    • Yoked in Yoga, with the self cleansed, tamed, and the senses conquered-he whose self has become the Self of all beings, even though he is active, is not defiled. 
    • (nine) "I do nothing whatever," reflects the yoked one, the knower of Reality, "even as he sees, hears, touches, smells, eats, walks, sleeps, talks, excretes, grasps, opens and closes [his eyes], and thinks "the senses dwell in the sense objects." (5.8-9) He who acts, entrusting [all] deeds to the Absolute and abandoning attachment (sanga), is unaffected by sin (papa), just as a lotus leaf is unaffected by water. 
    • (5) 1 0 The traditional Hindu authorities, appropriately worried about the rising attitude of global surrender, supported the symbolic interpretation of renunciation. 



    The Religious Establishment Would Have Had Little Reason For Concern If The Eremitic Life In Woods Or Caverns Had Only Appealed To The Elder Generation. 



    However, the concept of escaping the world drew in a large number of middle-aged people, as well as young males (and, more rarely, women). 


    • We are informed that their rejection of material life resulted in the abandonment of families, farms, and kingdoms. 
    • The sociocultural causes of this tendency are unknown; some academics have attributed it to the peninsula's hot, dry environment, although this appears oversimplified. 



    In terms of psychohistory, the ideal of literal relinquishment represents what I've referred to as the "mythical" (verticalist) version of Yoga elsewhere II. 


    In contrast, the life-positive sa m nyiisa ideal offers a more holistic approach. 


    Mythic Yoga is based on a dramatic and sudden rupture with the established order of things: 

    • Either one abstains from all mundane actions and ideas and devotes one's life to contemplation of the supramundane Reality, or one participates in regular life and reaps the uncertain benefits of an earthly existence. 



    There Can Be No In-Between State For A Mythic Yoga Practitioner. 


    He or she must choose between the transcendental and conditional selves, between God and the world, between eternal pleasure and everyday misery. 

    • The more integral world view of Tantrism, Sahajayana, and particularly Sri Aurobindo's Integral Yoga, on the other hand, holds that the limited universe is a manifestation of the Divine and therefore not just sorrowful but also a source of pleasure. 


    King Brihadratha is shown as suffering from severe existential ennui in the MaitriiyanfyaUpanishad (I. 2ff. ), a book in the legendary 'Yoga tradition from the years immediately before the Common Era.' 


    When he said, 

    "What good is the enjoyment of desires in this foul-smelling, pithless body, which is a conglomerate of bone, skin, muscle, marrow, flesh, semen, blood, mucus, tears, rheum, feces, urine, wind, bile, and phlegm-what good is the enjoyment of desires in this foul-smelling, pithless body, which is a conglomerate of bone, skin, muscle, What good is the pleasure of wants in this body, which is plagued by lust, wrath, greed, delusion, fear, despair, jealousy, separation from what is loved, union with what is unloved, hunger, thirst, senility, death, illness, sorrow, and the like? "


    We can observe that everything is perishable, such as the gnats, mosquitoes, and other insects, as well as the grass and trees that grow and decay. 


    What about these, for example? 

    There are the big ones, strong warriors, some of whom were rulers of empires like Sudyumna, Bhuridyumna... and monarchs like Maruna, Bharata, and others, who sacrificed their vast riches and went on from this world to the next in front of their whole family. 



    The Social Fabric And Established Order Were Obviously Challenged By Radical Abandonment Of Conventional Existence.


    As a result, Hindu lawgivers opposed what they saw as immature renunciation, instead proposing the alternative societal ideal of the phases of life (ashra­ ma)-studentship (brahmacarya), householder stage (garhastya), forest-dweller lifestyle ( vana­ prasthya), and ultimately complete renunciation. 


    Renunciation was completely sanctioned in this new hierarchical structure, but only after a person had fulfilled his or her tier duties as a householder (grihastha, from griha "home" and stha "to abide").


    There were two degrees of renunciation identified. 


    • The first is vana-prasthya ("forest-dwelling"), which is the stage of the hermit who performs esoteric ritualism in the seclusion of the forest. 
      • He is referred to as a "forest inhabitant" (vana-prastha). 

    • The second level, samnyasa, entails abandoning even the forest dweller's sedentary lifestyle and sacrifice ritualism in favor of a life of perpetual roaming. 


    These two lifestyles before the modern tradition of retiremeot, but the Hindu faith gave elderly people—at least in theory—a dignity that is denied to them by our own Western culture by turning the twilight of an individual's life into a holy chance. 



    The Tradition Of Renunciation, Like The Practice Of Asceticism, Has Been A Constant Element Of Indian Spirituality.


    Frequently, the two crossed paths. 


    Although the term samnyasa appears for the first time in the Mundaka-Upanishad (3.2.6), which is generally dated to the third or second century B.C.E. but may be older, the concept and ideal are far older. 


    • Thus, the Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad (4.4.22), considered the oldest work of the Upanishadic genre, talks of the pravrajin, a person who has "gone out" (pra + vraj "to wander"), that is, who has abandoned his or her home and is solely focused on Self-realization. 
    • The great old man of Upanishadic knowledge, Yajnavalkya, teaches a student in a famous passage: That which is above hunger and thirst, sorrow and illusion, old age and death [is the transcendental Reality]: The brahmins who know That as the actual Self conquer their desires for offspring, riches, and the worlds, and live as mendicants. 


    The want for sons is the desire for money, and wealth is the desire for the worlds; therefore, both are simply wishes. 


    As a result, a brahmin should be dissatisfied with scholarship and want to dwell [in purity] as a kid. 

    • When he has lost both his scholarship and his childlikeness, he becomes a wise man (muni). 
    • He becomes a [genuine] brahmin when he despairs of both sage-hood (mauna) and non-sage-hood (amauna). 
    • (3.5 liters) As a result, Yajnavalkya defined renunciation as the transcendence of attachment to any and all desires, including the desire for renunciation. 
    • He is also noted for voicing his concerns about the utility of asceticism elsewhere in the same scrip­ ture (3.8. 1 0). (tapas). 



    Even A Century Of Austerity,  Will Be In Vain Unless The Absolute Is First Realized. 



    This phrase encapsulates a persistent spiritual paradox: 

    • We only seek what we have already discovered in some way. 


    The parivrajaka (wandering renouncers) are divided into the following groups: 


    1. Kuticakas: 


    The term alludes to the fact that they wear a tuft, but it also has additional connotations. 

    • As a result, the word kuti may indicate "house" or "home" as well as "sexual intercourse," whereas the stem caka signifies "to shake." As a result, the kuticaka is someone who trembles while thinking of the life of a householder, particularly the allure of sexual attachment, and therefore maintains chastity. 
    • He wears a loincloth and carries a renouncer's stick and a water vessel as he travels from place to place. 
    • He meditates by chanting or reciting holy words (mantra). 


    2. Bahfidakas: 


    Their way of life is similar to the Kuticakas'. 


    • They eat eight morsels a day, which they collect "like a bee" from various locations. 
    • The name literally means "abundant water" (bahu "much," udaka "water") and alludes to the fact that these renouncers visit holy sites near rivers. 


    3. Hamsas: 


    These nomadic ascetics are called for the swans who dwell among them. 

    (Strictly speaking, hamsa refers to the male of India's wild geese species.) 

    • They do not even beg for food, instead subsisting on cow products such as pee and dung. 


    4. Paramahamsas: 


    These "supreme swans" have a more spartan manner of living. 


    • As a symbol of their complete abandonment of normal existence, they are said to spread ashes all over their bodies. 
    • Various religions prescribe various rites for them, like wearing a single loin garment and carrying a bamboo stick. 
    • The essential thing to remember about the parama-hamsas is that they are completely Self-realized creatures. 
    • The parama­ hamsas, according to certain scriptures, such as the Vaikhanasa-Smarta-Sutra, roam about naked and visit graveyards. 



    The Turiyatitas And Avadhutas Are Added To The Preceding Schema By The Narada-Parivrajaka Upanishad (about 1200 C.E.). 


    Both are adepts who have attained Self-realization. 


    • The former, whose name means "transcending the Fourth," subsist on the little amounts of food shoved into their mouths—a technique known as "cow-face" (go-mukha). 
    • The latter are equally reliant on the generosity of others. 
    • The avadhutas are distinguished by the fact that they go about nude, showing their blissful obliviousness to all differences: There is just One Reality, which is sexless. 

    Everything else has been "cast aside," as the term avadhuta implies. 


    • As can be seen, the term "renunciation" encompasses a wide range of lifestyles, ranging from the householder who simply makes an inner or symbolic renunciation to the forest dweller who continues to observe certain ritual obligations, to the naked wanderer whose way of life can be described as a form of sacred anarchy. 
    • Some of these renouncers performed one kind of Yoga or another, while others just pondered the wonder of the Self without the use of any external assistance. 
    • All of these various kinds have contributed to the rich fabric of Indian spirituality throughout millennia.