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Chapter 9—Renunciation Through Utilisation
True and False renunciation
One day Shrila Sanatana Gosvami humbly asked the Lord to explain yukta-vairagya, renunciation through utilisation
Shrila Sanatana said, "According to Mayavadis, the perfectly renounced sannyasi considers the material world and matter to be crow's stool at best. I have the desire to learn the proper duties of a Vaishnava. Be merciful and instruct me on this subject, so that I may treasure these instructions and always follow them."
The Lord replied, "Renunciation is of two kinds: yukta and phalgu, true and false. I have taught this repeatedly."
Lord Chaitanya continued: When fruitive workers and empirical philosophers deviate from the Vedic instructions, the devil of false renunciation creeps into their hearts. At this juncture a transient feeling of attraction to family life overwhelms them and they frantically seek a life apart from materialism.
However, they neither find any interest in serving the Supreme Lord Krishna and the saintly Vaishnavas, nor in enjoying sense gratification. In this bizarre situation their hearts dry up and life becomes joyless. They are unable to develop a taste for chanting the Lord's holy name, or remembering His form, attributes and transcendental pastimes.
Yukta-vairagya or true renunciation
Lord Chaitanya continued, "A true renunciant is successful in all of his devotional practices, He accepts everything that is favourable for the execution of devotional service to Krishna and attains the goal. He can easily give up attachment for material things and family life, and having taken shelter of the Lord's spiritual potency, he very soon tastes the nectar of transcendental devotional service.
"Lord Krishna is very pleased with His devotees who engage in unalloyed devotional service. Thus, He promises in the Bhagavad-gita: na me bhakta pranasyati — 'My devotee never perishes'.
"When the Lord is pleased with His devotee, He showers him with unlimited mercy. He becomes a fortunate and rare soul. The super-excellent spiritual emotions of Goloka, the highest transcendental abode, manifest within his heart. He becomes an eternal resident of Goloka Vrndavana in the spiritual sky even while residing in Gokula on the earth planet where the Supreme Lord performed His transcendental pastimes. He is never again deluded by the material energy."
Root out dry and joyless renunciation
My dear brothers! Stop practicing dry, joyless renunciation and cultivate within your hearts the taste for real renunciation by utilising matter without attachment for it.
Tell me where can you live in this world without material contact? Even if you escape to the forest, you will find material entanglement, material life, and so on all around you. The stomach will accompany you to the forest to maintain your body. Just try and imagine the dilemma you have to face.
Without food and care the body will become quickly wasted, and if we give up the body prematurely, then the rare opportunity to conquer maya, the illusory potency, is lost. And if you manage to somehow live, you will still be too weak and ineffectual. An extremely debilitated physical condition obfuscates the mind. Thus, with a diminishing intellect and hazy mind, how can you realise absolute knowledge?
Remain in your house and chant the name of Lord Krishna constantly. Utilise different material objects properly but without any attachment for them. Realise the true purport of the word yatha-yogya — real or appropriate. Do not misconstrue its meaning and then lead a life of debauchery. Accept everything favourable and reject everything unfavourable for the execution of pure devotional service.
One who rejects the true meaning of the instruction and follows the misconstrued meaning becomes attracted to sense gratification, and is forced to remain on the crooked path of self-deceit. Amassing immense wealth he pampers his palate with good food, wears fine clothes, and spends days and nights in carnal pursuits in the company of ladies. At other times, the fool hunts for comfortable beds and lavish houses.
It is essential to maintain body and soul, so strive to keep this body fit. Consume food that is pure and in the mode of goodness, and do not use intoxicants. Be kind to all living entities and chant the holy name of the Lord loudly and clearly.
Do not use demigod worship and a show of religiosity as an excuse to enjoy the senses. Be detached from the material sense objects and rise above the dualities of attraction and repulsion. At all times be free from envy and deceit. Befriend every living entity and live purely. This is my advice for those who value it.
Cultivate undeviating resolve in devotional service in the quiet of seclusion. Utilise all your time in lovingly serving the Supreme Lord Krishna. Do not endeavour to build big temples or massive mansions to live in. If you have wealth, then use it properly and fulfil your spiritual wishes. In case you are poor, live purely, offer water and tulasi to the Lord and hold Him always within your heart. With feelings of genuine love implore the Lord saying, "O Lord, I am Yours! Kindly place Your lotus feet on the throne of my heart."
Be always affectionate and respectful to the Vaishnavas, taking care to serve them with offering prasadam and other personal services. Again, in case you are without any means, then satisfy them with your kindness and sweet words. Endear yourself to Lord Krishna's eternal associates, servitors and the gopi damsels that serve the Lord so well. Embrace them within your heart with deep love.
A yukta-vairagi, or real renunciant, practices constant devotional service, remembering and chanting the Lord's names and pastimes. He will show compassion to all living beings.
Lord Krishna may not provide us the association of His eternal servitors; or He may confiscate everything we possess which He Himself had kindly given, yet to us He will always remain the source of divine, unlimited bliss. his is the way of Lord Gauranga Krishna but I will never leave Him. Therefore, discard your lamentation and illusion and chant the holy names of Krishna incessantly. Jagai humbly declares that he prefers this transcendental mellow of always fighting with Lord Gauranga, than anything else.