Since all dealings in one’s daily life have a bearing on one’s karma, there is a viewpoint that believes in giving up of all actions as a means of salvation. This approach advocates that one turn away from the world and adopt the life of a hermit in solitude that conduces to meditation.

But if the mind continues with mundane thoughts, entanglement with worldly affairs also remains.

So, Krishna emphasises that avoiding worldly life becomes meaningful only when the mind insulates itself from all kinds of desires. The spirit of renunciation is the state of chita suddhi, purity of mind, and Sastras reiterate that this inner attitude is the prime qualification for salvation, pointed out Srimati Rukmini Ramamurthy in a lecture. Ideally, a person takes up sanyasa by relinquishing all action only after reaching the state of chita suddhi. The exemplary and most difficult state for a man is to remain pure in mind.

An aspirant for this goal soon realises that just turning away from the world will not necessarily purify the powerful mind. Sastras speak of four kinds of karma incumbent on the individual — deeds that are prohibited (Nishidha karma), acts done with a specific desires (Kamya karma), daily functions (Nithya karma) and lifestyle duties (Naimithika karma).

These provide guidelines for a disciplined life to the householder as well as the hermit. The Gita asserts that those in worldly life also can attain chita suddhi by not distancing from the ordained duties, but by renouncing the fruits of the actions. This means a person functions with a selfless attitude in his thought, word and deed.

There is no yielding to the power of like and dislike governing all beings and binding them to samsara. Once freed from this pull, one is released from bondage easily, say the Sastras. What matters is a mind free from attachment and thoughts of worldly gain.

True renunciation is the giving up of desires and thereby the fruits of one’s actions. Spiritual sadana is the continuous effort to keep away the polluting thoughts, ensuring the purity of mind.

Keywords: Gita

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