Finding Dharma - Renunciation or Responsibility?

True enlightenment? It's about serving, not escaping from responsibilities.

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Ancient wisdom in a modern light and understanding - this is the purpose of Vedadhara's short discourses. Here's a conversation between some monks and Indra. This is part of Mahabharata. This conversation sheds light on the significance of duty, and the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment. How to balance these two. Some youngsters renounced the world and took up sanyasa. In ancient days there were no organizations running ashramas for sanyasis. They used to live in real jungles instead of concrete jungles. They were not coordinators ....

Ancient wisdom in a modern light and understanding - this is the purpose of Vedadhara's short discourses.
Here's a conversation between some monks and Indra.
This is part of Mahabharata.
This conversation sheds light on the significance of duty, and the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment.
How to balance these two.

Some youngsters renounced the world and took up sanyasa.
In ancient days there were no organizations running ashramas for sanyasis.
They used to live in real jungles instead of concrete jungles.
They were not coordinators of kitchens or salesmen in the ashrama's bookshops or accountants in the ashrama's office.
These youngsters really gave up the world and started living in the forest thinking that they were doing the greatest thing with their lives.

But then Indra appeared before them.
He had felt pity for them, that's why he came.
He came in the form of golden bird and said - if greatness is what you want to achieve, then this is not the way.
Those who deliver their duties and responsibilities towards their family and society are the greatest, not the renunciates.
Luckily, the monks were humble.
They agreed to listen to the bird, they in fact wanted to hear what the bird had to say.
This is very rare to find.
You challenge the wisdom of some of these so called monks, they would want to run a vehicle over you and annihilate you.
They have spiritual arrogance.
This is what happens if you are tamasik or rajasik within and you renounce the world.
Only thing that happens is regular anger becomes spiritual anger, regular arrogance becomes spiritual arrogance, regular jealousy becomes spiritual jealousy, etc.
The bird said, it doesn't matter whether you are in the middle of the market or on a snow clad mountain peak in the Himalayas - you should be able to see the Paramatma within you.
Someone who is willing to share, distribute what he has is the greatest soul in this world.
Not the one who turns his face away from his duties and responsibilities.
The monks thought they were leading a virtuous life by renouncing their homes, but Indra's words indicated that they had in fact become impure by doing so.
Indra emphasized the importance of fulfilling one's duties in life.
Each individual has a set of responsibilities that contribute to the harmony of society.
Indra said that the family man is the greatest in the society.
He is the backbone of the society.
He is the nourisher and protector of the society not the ones who withdraw from it.
He is the one who gives himself selflessly to the world.
This is the real giving up not shunning duties and responsibilities.
It is delivering your duties that leads to spiritual upliftment not running away from it.
It's not easy.
Observing mouna is easy.
Living in the middle of the world and not telling lies, not coveting others property, be tolerant and peaceful is extremely difficult.
These are the ones who climb the ladder of the world up and up.
This was what Indra told them.
Greatness lies not in withdrawal, but in the fulfillment of duties and responsibilities towards family and society.
True greatness is in serving the world.
They understood and came back to the mainstream society.

The willingness of the monks to listen to the words of Indra signifies the importance of seeking guidance from knowledgeable sources. They were open to hearing alternative perspectives and adapting their beliefs accordingly.
This is true realization.

This was in fact a journey from renunciation back to realization.

Please understand that I am not talking ill about real Sanyasa.
Real sanyasa comes after you have completed all your real responsibilities.
This is about premature renunciation of the world.

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Mahabharatam

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