Voice of the Silence
Woe, then, to thee, Disciple, if there is one single vice thou hast not left behind. For then the ladder will give way and overthrow thee; its foot rests in the deep mire of thy sins and failings, and ere thou canst attempt to cross this wide abyss of matter thou hast to lave thy feet in Waters of Renunciation.
To live to benefit mankind is the first step. To practise the six glorious virtues is the second.
To don Nirmânakâya’s humble robe is to forego eternal bliss for Self, to help on man’s salvation. To reach Nirvâna’s bliss, but to renounce it, is the supreme, the final step—the highest on Renunciation’s Path.
Know, O Disciple, this is the Secret PATH, selected by the Buddhas of Perfection, who sacrificed The SELF to weaker Selves.
‘Tis from the bud of Renunciation of the Self, that springeth the sweet fruit of final Liberation.
Know that the Bôdhisattva who liberation changes for Renunciation to don the miseries of “Secret Life,” is called, “thrice Honoured,” O thou candidate for woe throughout the cycles.
The PATH is one, Disciple, yet in the end, twofold. …
The One becomes the two, the Open and the Secret. The first one leadeth to the goal, the second, to Self-Immolation.
When to the Permanent is sacrificed the Mutable, the prize is thine: the drop returneth whence it came. The Open PATH leads to the changeless change—Nirvâna, the glorious state of Absoluteness, the Bliss past human thought.
Thus, the first Path is LIBERATION.
But Path the Second is—RENUNCIATION, and therefore called the “Path of Woe.”
Unveiled stands truth and looks thee sternly in the face. She says:
“Sweet are the fruits of Rest and Liberation for the sake of Self; but sweeter still the fruits of long and bitter duty. Aye, Renunciation for the sake of others, of suffering fellow men.”
He, who becomes Pratyêka-Buddha, makes his obeisance but to his Self. The Bôdhisattva who has won the battle, who holds the prize within his palm, yet says in his divine compassion:
“For others’ sake this great reward I yield”—accomplishes the greater Renunciation.
A SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD is he.
Before thou standest on the threshold of the Path; before thou crossest the foremost Gate, thou hast to merge the two into the One and sacrifice the personal to SELF impersonal…
“At one time, O Krishna, thou praisest the renunciation of action, and yet again its right performance. Tell me with certainty which of the two is better.”
“Renunciation of action and devotion through action are both means of final emancipation, but of these two devotion through action is better than renunciation. He is considered to be an ascetic who seeks nothing and nothing rejects, being free from the influence of the ‘pairs of opposites,’ O thou of mighty arms; without trouble he is released from the bonds forged by action. Children only and not the wise speak of renunciation of action 3 and of right performance of action as being different. He who perfectly practices the one receives the fruits of both, and the place which is gained by the renouncer of action is also attained by him who is devoted in action. That man seeth with clear sight who seeth that the Sankhya and the Yoga doctrines are identical. But to attain to true renunciation of action without devotion through action is difficult, O thou of mighty arms; while the devotee who is engaged in the right practice of his duties approacheth the Supreme Spirit in no long time.
Whatever thou doest, O son of Kunti, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou sacrificest, whatever thou givest, whatever mortification thou performest, commit each unto me. Thus thou shalt be delivered from the good and evil experiences which are the bonds of action; and thy heart being joined to renunciation and to the practice of action, thou shalt come to me.
For knowledge is better than constant practice, meditation is superior to knowledge, renunciation of the fruit of action to meditation; final emancipation immediately results from such renunciation.
The bards conceive that the forsaking of actions which have a desired object is renunciation or Sannyasa, the wise call the disregard of the fruit of every action true disinterestedness in action. By some wise men it is said, ‘Every action is as much to be avoided as a crime,’ while by others it is declared, ‘Deeds of sacrifice, of mortification, and of charity should not be forsaken.’ Among these divided opinions hear my certain decision, O best of the Bharatas, upon this matter of disinterested forsaking, which is declared to be of three kinds, O chief of men. Deeds of sacrifice, of mortification, and of charity are not to be abandoned, for they are proper to be performed, and are the purifiers of the wise. But even those works are to be performed after having renounced all selfish interest in them and in their fruits; this, O son of Pritha, is my ultimate and supreme decision. … The threefold results of action — unwished for, wished for, and mixed — accrue after death to those who do not practice this renunciation, but no results follow those who perfectly renounce.
A man’s own natural duty, even though stained with faults, ought not to be abandoned. For all human acts are involved in faults, as the fire is wrapped in smoke. The highest perfection of freedom from action is attained through renunciation by him who in all works has an unfettered mind and subdued heart.
All actions performed other than as sacrifice unto God make the actor bound by action. Abandon, then, O son of Kunti, all selfish motives, and in action perform thy duty for him alone. … The Gods being nourished by worship with sacrifice, will grant you the enjoyment of your wishes. He who enjoyeth what hath been given unto him by them, and offereth not a portion unto them, is even as a thief. But those who eat not but what is left of the offerings shall be purified of all their transgressions. … Beings are nourished by food, food is produced by rain, rain comes from sacrifice, and sacrifice is performed by action. Know that action comes from the Supreme Spirit who is one; wherefore the all-pervading Spirit is at all times present in the sacrifice.
All the actions of such a man who is free from self-interest, who is devoted, with heart set upon spiritual knowledge, and whose acts are sacrifices for the sake of the Supreme, are dissolved and left without effect on him. The Supreme Spirit is the act of offering, the Supreme Spirit is the sacrificial butter offered in the fire which is the Supreme Spirit, and unto the Supreme Spirit goeth he who maketh the Supreme Spirit the object of his meditation in performing his actions.
Tao Te Ching
When wisdom and prudence are no longer noteworthy, the people will be happier a hundredfold.
When humanity and justice cease to be noted, the people will be once more kindly and filial.
When craft is forgotten and gain undesired, thieves and robbers will disappear.
Renounce these three, and know that seeming renunciation is not enough.
Therefore I show men what they should seek:
To show simplicity, keep purity, renounce selfishness, abandon desires.
The five colours blind the eyes of men.The five tones deafen the ears of men.
The five tastes deceive the mouths of men.
Impetuous motion, the passion of pursuit, madden the hearts of men.
The desire of possessions goads men to injurious acts.
Therefore the holy man is concerned with what is within, and not with the desire of the eyes.
Therefore he renounces what is without and cleaves to what is within.
Crest-Jewel of Wisdom
The first cause of Freedom is declared to be an utter turning back from lust after unenduring things. Thereafter Restfulness, Control, Endurance; a perfect Renouncing of all acts that cling and stain.
How should cessation of grasping after the outer not fail for him who, through the bodily self remains with mind attached to enjoyment of outward objects, and thus engages in action. It can only be effortfully accomplished by those who have renounced the sensual aims of all acts and rites, who are perfected in resting on the eternal Self, who know reality, who long for reality and bliss in the Self.
Renouncing inwardly, renouncing outwardly–this is possible only for him who is free from passion; and he who is free from passion renounces all attachment within and without, through the longing for freedom.
Cut off all hope in sensual objects which are like poison, the cause of death; abandon all fancies of birth and family and social state; put all ritual actions far away; renounce the illusion of self -dwelling in the body, center the consciousness on the Self. Thou art the seer, thou art the stainless, thou art in truth the supreme, secondless Eternal.
89. Those whose minds are well fixed upon the elements of enlightenment (sambodhi), who, without hankering after anything, glory in renunciation, whose biases are extinguished, who are full of light, they indeed have attained the bliss of nirvana in this very world.
106. Were a man month after month for a hundred years to offer sacrifices by the thousands, and were he to pay homage even for a moment to one who is self-governed, that homage is superior to the sacrifices of a hundred years.
107. Were a man for a hundred years to tend the sacrificial fire in the forest, and were he to pay homage even for a moment to one who is self-governed, that homage is superior to the fire-sacrifice of a hundred years.
108. Whatever offering or sacrifice a person, who is desirous of gaining merit, may make throughout the course of a year, that is not worth one fourth of the merit acquired by homage paid to one of upright life.
181. Those wise ones who are absorbed in meditation, who take delight in the inner calm of renunciation, such mindful and perfectly awakened ones even the devas (gods) hold dear.
302. Renunciation of the worldly life is difficult; difficult is it to be happy in the monastic life; equally difficult and painful is it to lead a householder’s life. Association with the unsympathetic is also painful. Woe befalls the wayfarer (who enters the cycle of births and deaths). Therefore be not a traveler (in samsara); fall not a victim of sorrow!
392. Even as the (orthodox) Brahman bows down to the sacrificial fire, so one should make obeisance to him who understands the Dhamma as proclaimed by the Fully Enlightened One.