Genuine Renunciation - Part 2

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev.

This is in continuation of the previous offering sharing some points from the class by HG Devakinandan Prabhuji on Srimad Bhagavatam verse 1.15.39 in Rajkot. We saw the following meanings of genuine renunciation.

1. Knowing when to stop ruling and when to stop being a leader.
2. Discontinuing when there is no loss to continue.

Here we see the other points.

3. Not Neglecting one's Supreme Task: If we do not leave at the proper time, the moment we cross over certain time, there is attachment. Where there is attachment, there is material affection. Where there is material affection, there is more attachment to the fruitive activities and we do not want to give up the fruits. If today the fruit does not taste good, we have the dream that tomorrow it will taste better. That is how we live and that is what keeps us going. We see that Srila Prabhupada and all the acharyas have followed the footsteps of Yudhishtira Maharaj. Srila Prabhupada could have continued to be a vanaprastha and he would still be pure devotee. But he writes in the purport to the verse SB 1.15.39

"Yudhishtira Maharaja, as an ideal king, voluntarily retired from active administrative life to prepare himself for the next life. Everyone's life must be so arranged that the last stage of life, say at least the last fifteen to twenty years prior to death, can be absolutely devoted to the devotional service of the Lord to attain the highest perfection of life. It is really foolishness to engage oneself all the days of one's life in material enjoyment and fruitive activities, because as long as the mind remains absorbed in fruitive work for material enjoyment, there is no chance of getting out from conditioned life, or material bondage. No one should follow the suicidal policy of neglecting one's supreme task of attaining the highest perfection of life, namely going back home, back to Godhead."

4. Being satisfied in spirit: The whole world is searching for happiness and happiness means satisfaction. One who is satisfied is happy. One who is happy, may not be satisfied. The happiness in the material world is fleeting. Those who are satisfied in spirit, they are happy everywhere. No matter how hard we work, we can never satisfy the people around us fully. There is always some point which is lacking. There is no end to it. But foolishly we are working like asses trying to satisfy them. In doing so, our Bhagavatam time is gone, chanting is gone, sadhana is absent, all in the name of satisfying them first and thinking that after that I will have time for devotional service. That day will never come. It is a dream. Whenever we are suffering in the material world and getting the slaps, foolishly we do not realize that the way to stop the slaps is to increase the devotional service. Not to spend less time in devotional service. But the foolish man spends more time trying to solve the problems of life, thinking that he can solve it. But in solving, instead of being renounced, he becomes more attached to the problems. It is a very funny world we live in. We are happy to be attached to the problems thinking that we will solve them, but unnecessarily we get attached. This is the problem we always fail to understand. Anyone who comes with a problem, there is only one standard answer from Srimad Bhagavatam-your devotional service is lacking. Please increase the quality and intensity of devotional service. There is no other reason.

5. Our motivation should be to please Krishna: Yudhishtira Maharaj understood that his supreme task was to attain love of Godhead, to serve Krishna and the devotees. That is why, whatever station of life he was in, he did not renounce for name and fame, but to remember Krishna. Maharaj cautioned us that any station of life we may take, we should never forget what our first business is and that is to become devotee. We should render devotional service in all the four stations of life in a way we are not motivated by any attachment but the motivation must be to please Krishna. There is no other reason for us to perform devotional service. We do not perform Kirtan to become a great Kirtaniya, we do not cook to become a great cook but we do all that to please Krishna.

6. Our aim must be to purify our existence: Srila Prabhupada says that the aim of the varna and ashrama system is to purify our existence and not to contaminate us. So at any stage of life, our aim is to always purify our existence. Every ashram has rules and these rules bring us to Krishna. Krishna is broad hearted enough to understand that a man cannot become sannyasi immediately. Those who artificially renounce, in the end, they become overly attached. But those who gradually renounce, frankly speaking, they become very genuine in their renunciation and it becomes glorious.

Prabhuji went on to explain how important it is to become detached, before we renounce, and the same shall be offered in the next mail, Krishna willing.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev,
Vaijayantimala devi dasi
Abu Dhabi.