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Tyaga is True Heroism

by Swami Sivananda

Here, you see Nachiketas the hero of heroes, a boy of 10 or 12 years, who had inexhaustible spiritual strength born of wisdom of the Self. The world is in dire need of such heroes and leaders who can help and lead people in the right path and show them the way to eternal bliss and Immortality!

Then, again, when the sage Yajnavalkya offered all his temporal property and estate to his Maitreyi, what did she say? My venerable Lord! Even if I have the wealth of the whole world, can I attain Immortality ? Give me that inexhaustible spiritual wealth which can ever make me rich and full at heart, that wealth of wisdom and immortality of the Soul. I am longing for that wealth and that wealth alone.

Here is the heroin of heroins which India produced, who still lives in our hearts. The world is in great need of such heroins.

Those leaders who are afraid of renunciation, who have not understood the glory of Sannyasa, renunciation and Nivritti Marga, who cannot lead the life of Nivritti Marga, who spend their lives in the world till the end of their life, who are afraid of wearing the orange-coloured robe, who say, We are mental Sannyasins; we have given colouring to our hearts, are all timid men only, however much worldly work of deluding glory they might have done in this world. They can never reach the level of persons like Sri Sankara, Yajnavalkya or Dattatreya, the great spiritual lions.

One need never despair. People will ask: How can the world go on, if all the people of the world retire to forests and lead the life of renunciation? Even if all leaders are taken out of the world now, the world will run on smoothly, probably more smoothly. Even if all the people retire into the forest, the world will go on. The omnipotent Lord will create leaders to lead the world and continue its normal existence. Poor worldlings! One would think that they have taken a contract with Brahma that they will procreate children in this world and take care of it!

Man wants happiness. He shuns pain. He makes various sorts of efforts (Pravritti) to get happiness from objects and get himself entangled in the meshes or snares of Maya. As these objects are perishable, finite and conditioned in time, space and causation, he fails to get the desired happiness from the objects. This world is Apurna (imperfect) and there is uncertainty of life. A barrister talks at the telephone, ascends the staircase upstairs to take his meals and dies on the staircase.

There is not an iota of happiness in objects as they are Jada (insentient). Even the sensual plea sure is a reflection of Atmic Bliss only. Just as a dog, which sucks a dry bone in the streets, imagines foolishly that the blood comes from the dry bone, whereas in reality it oozes from its own lacerated palate, so also worldly-minded persons foolishly imagine that the happiness they enjoy comes from the objects.

There is a mental uneasiness, dissatisfaction, discontentment and restlessness even in multimillionaires and kings. Some kind of sorrow, misery, or pain is always present even when you are in the height of enjoyment of worldly pleasures. When the marriage of your second son is celebrated, the remembrance of your first son who passed away torments your mind. The mind is so constituted that the rhythm of pleasure and pain is kept up like the rhythm of the systole and diastole (contraction and dilation) of the heart. You entertain the ideas that the happiness will pass away soon. This apprehension adds a dust of pain even when you are in the maximum enjoyment of sensual pleasures.


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