Renounce to Rejoice

There are four types of people – bhogi, yogi, sannyasi and jnani . The bhogi is the extroverted person who chases the world for happiness. Those who look within understand that happiness is not a commodity available in the supermarkets of the world.


Among these the yogi is the spiritual apprentice. He still entertains desires for the world but is convinced that true fulfillment lies in self-discovery.The sannyasi is well established in the spiritual path. He is detached from the world and has reduced his desires substantially. He is left with only a few desires. To pursue the spiritual path to the end. To meditate and realize the Self. The jnani has reached the state of Enlightenment. He is totally released from the shackles of the world. He has gone beyond the limitations of the world and enjoys total freedom.


A fisherman casts his net to four kinds of fish. One never gets ensnared in the net and is ever free. A few struggle to escape and manage to swim away. Others constantly strive to get out but are still imprisoned. The majority, however, bites the net and relaxes. They are not even aware that they are in a life-threatening situation. They do not feel the danger. Yet a few moments later they are dead.


Most people belong to the fourth category. They are caught in the net of maya, delusion, but are oblivious of the inherent dangers. They, the bhogis, are quite content in the bondage of worldly life. There are some who have awakened to a higher dimension and are aware of its pitfalls and make a sincere attempt to free themselves. They are the yogis. A few among them succeed and escape. They are the sannyasis. Rare is the person who even while living in the world remains out of it. Ever free. That person is the jnani.


Bhagavad-Gita Chapter V describes the three types of spiritual aspirants and shows a way out of bondage to liberation while transacting with the world and enjoying its offerings.




The Bhagavad-Gita expounds the glory of renunciation. Contrary to its perception as being something that requires the giving up of worldly objects, renunciation is not life denying. It is an exhilarating confidence in the higher aspects of life. It is the turning away from a trivial ‘now' for a momentous ‘then'. The sacrifice of an easy ‘this' to a beckoning ‘yet-to-be'. A sportsperson who turns his back on every indulgence for the trophy gets the trophy and enjoys the celebration.


Renunciation is not giving up action. It is acting in a spirit of renunciation. Giving up impeding forces that slow down action. Renunciation is giving up the chaff for the grain. It is preventing the clutter of inconsequential things from interfering with the important things of life. It is intelligent waste disposal. Renunciation is not giving up things that are dear to you. It is growth to appreciate far more fulfilling avenues of enjoyment. Thus your own erstwhile preoccupations seem petty. Like the child who outgrows toys when he learns the thrill of computer games. Renunciation is not keeping away from the world and living a life of denial. It is weeding out that which prevents you from truly enjoying the world.


In the end renunciation opens the doors to Realization. A life in which you are not hampered by the limitations of the body, mind and intellect. You sail aloft, unaffected by the finitude of the world and enjoy the realm beyond.