Verse 3

 

 

3. Who is a sannyasi? Not one who wears ochre robes, lives in an ashram, hermitage, or has retired to the Himalayas. A sannyasi is one who has risen above hatred and desire and is unaffected by the pairs of opposites in the world.

You are born with distinct likes and dislikes. While growing you cultivate more loves and hates. Now, as an adult, this bundle of likes and dislikes determines your life. You do things driven by like and you avoid the things you dislike. Through childhood, adolescence and adulthood you merely pick up different sets of likes and dislikes, new toys. There is only lateral movement. No vertical growth. Then you hate what you dislike and desire what you like.

This creates problems because what you like may not necessarily be what is good for you and vice versa. Besides, you become hopelessly dependent on the world. You can be happy only when the world presents you with what you like. But the world is a mix of pairs of opposites. It can never give you what you like always.

Rise above likes and dislikes. Identify your svadharma, core interest. Zero in on your passion, talent, predominant interest. Let the intellect fix an ideal in the area of your svadharma beyond your selfish concerns. Work dedicatedly towards this goal. Then you will be free from desire and hatred, like and dislike. The pairs of opposites of the world will no longer affect you. You will become a sannyasi!

Bondage is a result of desire. The more the desires the greater is the bondage. A sannyasi has very few desires – for Realisation, to serve the guru, and to do good to the world. Hence he is free from bondage and relatively liberated.

 

 

Verse 4

 

 

4. Sankhya, the path of knowledge, and Yoga, the path of action, are two stages in the spiritual path. Children, ignorant people, see differences. The wise see unity. Yogis with many desires need to use organs of action to act out their predominant desires. Sankhyans with very few desires need to use organs of perception or subtler forms of worship to get to the state of Enlightenment. The goal of both is Realisation which is the eradication of all desires. Only then do you really gain peace.

The three transactions of life are receipt of stimuli from the world, reaction at the mind-intellect level and response through the organs of action. A bhogi uses all three to increase desires or vasanas by acting on likes and dislikes. A yogi uses them to reduce vasanas through the practice of Karma Yoga, the path of action. A sannyasi receives stimuli and reacts to very few of them as he has only a few vasanas. He is in a contemplative state, absorbed in the thought of Atman. He practices Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge. A Jnani, enlightened Soul, merely perceives. He has no desires so there is neither reaction nor response to the world. This does not mean that a sannyasi or jnani is inactive. They act. They do not react to the stimuli from the world.

Most of us belong to the bhogi category. How do we move to the yogi state? First examine your desires with the intellect. Follow the sound advice of the intellect. Act on desire only if the intellect allows it. Then move to the practices of Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Jnana Yoga.