Indiscriminate Renunciation Today, a very common misconception about being, religious or spiritual is that such a person has to give up his or her worldly duties and has to lead a life of deprivation. Perhaps, such misconception has always been there but it is more so in the present when science has made us more rational and we want a logical explanation of any religious or spiritual message. As a result, most of those who have been imparted modern education keep themselves away from religion or spirituality. The very mention of these words draws before them a sketch of a person in saffron clothes doing nothing with this world. In my childhood I also carried this impression and kept myself away from any religious rituals. Moreover, I had noticed many so-called religious persons indulging in irreligious activities, which always created a doubt in my mind about the correct definition of religion. However, a time came in my life when I developed a keen desire to know the correct definition of religion and more than that why should one be religious in the true sense. Since the desire was keen and honest, I got ample opportunity to interact with the right persons, the right organisations and the right books. All this removed my doubts and I arrived at a conclusion that there is no conflict between being religious and being a successful worldly person. In fact, I feel they reinforce each other and give us the best of life. When we understand religion in this perspective, it becomes spirituality and all our misconceptions about religion or spirituality drop very naturally.
To establish this point, I would like to mention an extract from a book, which I read many years back. The title of the book is ‘Play of Consciousness’ written by Swami Muktananda. In this book, Swamiji has described the journey of his spiritual life and in the process has given many pearls of wisdom. At one place, he gives a very interesting definition of ‘bondage’ and ‘freedom’. When asked about the difference between the two, he says that ‘indiscriminate renunciation’ is bondage, while ‘discriminate indulgence’ is freedom. It means that in order to achieve freedom one has to be a wise person.
Those who think that freedom is achieved only through renunciation or indulgence are wrong and are always led towards bondage. The secret of freedom lies in between. When we renunciate indiscriminately, in all probability it leads to bondage instead of liberation. Thus, all of us are expected to perform our worldly duties sincerely but detachedly in order to get freedom. Such type of indulgence is discriminate indulgence and leads to happiness or freedom. If we understand this fact correctly, we enjoy both the worlds – the secular as well as the spiritual.