Giridhar giridhar at CHEMENG.IISC.ERNET.IN
Mon Aug 3 03:45:33 CDT 1998

> If one has renounced,
>one doesn't have any attachment. If one doesn't have attachment, there is no
>question of accumulation and exclusive treatment. In short, is one
prepared to
>wake up tomorrow morning and be perfectly allright if the family,
property, job,
>name everything is gone leaving him/her a nobody?

My hats off to Srinivas Sista for a lucid illustration.

I would like to quote a small story about Yagnyavalkya and Janaka.
Ramana Maharshi often used to quote this story to indicate
that realized souls can live among us. He also emphasized on
how these people live..i.e., they would be willing to leave
everything they have at a moment's notice. Remember, also
the incident between Janaka and Ashtavakra. When Astavakra
says that Janaka's kingdom is burning, Janaka is not worried
and stays at the feet of Astavakra.

Read the incident below and we can judge for ourselves whether
we are Janakas...

One day Y comes to Janaka's court is very respectfully
and warmly received by Janaka. Janaka is a  maharaja, and
Y is a  poor ascetic brahmin, both were however co-students
of  same guru.

Y scolds Janaka for forgetting what all their guru taught,
and leading a life of pleasures. Janaka expresses
his helplessness blaming it on his circumstances, and Y argues
it is a pretext to enjoy. Janaka says he willing to do anything
Y advises, and Y asks him to leave the kingdom and come with him
into deep forests to lead an ascetic life. JANAKA FOLLOWS

Y is rather surprised at the sincerity of Janaka. Througout
their long walk through rough terrain, agricultural fields,
thorns etc, he notices that Janaka is suffering, and bleeding
but is coming with him, without complaining. After some walk,
Y feels sympathy for Janaka and asks him to take rest under a
tree, while he goes out for fetching water from a nearby lake.

Meanwhile, a provincial king  (a king of a neighbouring kingdom
who recognises Janaka as emperor)  happens to come over that way
with all his paraphernalia.  Another neighbour was planning to
wage a war  against this small king, and he was coming to janaka
to ask for assurance of his support in any eventuality of war.

He was pleasantly surprised to  see Janaka under the tree,even before
reaching his kingdom! His entourage makes a temporary but elaborate
tent and Janaka is offered the main seat, and the king sits down
near him, explaining the situation.

Y comes back with water, and to his amazement he finds all
military activities etc, but Janaka is not to be seen under the tree.
He enquires about janaka, and comes to know he is in the tent.
but  Y is not allowed by the gatekeeper to go in. a messenger
informs Janaka, and Janaka comes out and receives Y.

Then, Janaka explains this:" See: you were under the impression that
only unhappiness is what haunts the beings. and somehow you
interpreted our guru's teachings as asking us of leading a
hard life but the fact is that even pleasures haunt us. we can not run
away anywhere. even in forest, see how i am trapped in this
condition!  even though i  wanted to leave every thing including
family behind to come to lead a different life.
What our guru taught is that we should be "unattached" to the
worldy affairs, not that we should somehow *suffer* . We can
continue our functions as beings, but inside, we should be
untouched like a lotus leaf remains untouched by falling water
drops. "

Are we capable of doing what Janaka did ? If so, then you
are mentally renounced and I bow to you.

As Rama says, physical renunciation is easier than mental renunciation.
There are indeed very very few swamis who can do even what Janaka did.

AUM shaantiH

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