In this discourse, Swamiji takes up a very significant portion of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad--the conversation between Sage Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi.
Swamiji introduces us to the couple who are about to have the most erudite and profound discussion. Yajnavalkya wants to renounce household life and take up sannyasa and pursue the higher goal of life. Towards this end, he decides to divide his property between his two wives and informs his wives about his decision.
Hearing his decision, Maitreyi (a seeker of truth) raises a pertinent question. She asks whether his property will bestow on her the merits of immortality, for which he has decided to leave? In answer to her query, Yajnavalkya says that no amount of wealth can ever bring fulfillment to mankind.
In this context, Swamiji explains the importance and significance of sannyasa, the highest order in human life. Swamiji assures the listeners that inner renunciation is also possible for householders. Coursing through all involvements, getting rid of raga- dvesha and getting completely purified, a man can become fit for sannyasa. When such internal transformations happen, he may take up different ways of life, dress etc.
Swamiji emphasizes the point that remaining in the household one can have Self -knowledge. But to have complete fulfilment, Sannyasa is a must.
Verses discussed: (2.4.1 and 2.4.2)
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.