sharaNagati and advaita-vedanta

elmec elmec at GIASBG01.VSNL.NET.IN
Sun Mar 19 13:06:11 CST 2000

Ravisankar Mayavaram wrote:

> Another important point is if one does a true sharaNaagati to lord, he
> should/will become a sannyaasi. What is the point in maintaining a job,
> and having a family etc, when one has realized that God is the only goal
> and refuge. If one does not do that it is like not believing God's words
> "yoga kShemam vahamyaham".

Usually when a person who is engaged in achieving only the purusharthas of
'artha' and 'kaama' prays god sincerely to give him material wellbeing, God
definitely answers his prayers and bestows upon him whatever he asks for -
this is the 'yoga'. But the responsibility of maintaining that 'yoga' or
material benefits lies upon the person itself. Whereas, if the person prays
God with 'ananya bhava' without asking anything in return, then God will not
only bestow all the prosperity (yoga) upon the devotee, but also takes upon
Himself  the responsibility of maintaining it too. This is what is called
'yoga' and 'kshema' too.

But this does not absolve the person of his duties of looking after his
family. God has nowhere in scriptures said that He would do the duties also on
behalf of the devotee !  If the person when he is still in Brahmacharya ashram
decides not to enter the Grihasthashram, but to pursue the goal of God
-realisation, then he is free to take up the sanyaas. But if  a late
realisation of  his true goal in life  dawns upon him when he is already a
Grihastha, he can not all of a sudden abandon his family and go off to
Himalayas to do tapas ! He would then become a 'karthavya brashta' and fall
from the grace of the Lord. He has to fulfil all his duties and when the time
ripens he can take up sanyaas. One can still do 'tapas' amidst all the duties.
Afterall, what is 'tapas' ? - it is the 'taapa' or a deep yearning that one
has for something. We can always be thinking of God even when we are doing our
household duties. The sanyaasa can be 'maanasik' too. You need not wear an
orange robe to proclaim to the world that you are a sanyaasi. A true sanyaasi
is  one who does not think that he has left behind his family and come away,
but one who thinks that he has no family at all to leave behind !!!

Hari Om,
Latha Vidyaranya
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