Tyag, tapasya and seva

Baba says, ‘renunciation, tapasya and the intent to serve lead to success‘. We think renunciation is a radical idea, even harsh. It’s really not.

Renunciation is the step before surrender and it means, let go. But what? Baba doesn’t want us to renounce our homes, our relationships, our jobs or money. He does want us to renounce our attachment to these things, our identification with these things. We have become so dependent on material things that without them we don’t even know how to live.

Souls believe that when someone is sad and crying, it is almost wrong not to cry along with them. Anything short means that ‘I don’t care’. Well, does it help to cry when another is crying? or does it help to stay strong, stay stable and lift the other from their grief? It’s a shift from attachment to love and compassion.

Let go of the things that bring you sorrow, He says. Let go of those things that take you away from you, from your destiny.

Is it easy to let go? The key is understanding and determination.

Once I understand that something is bad for me, then I make the determined thought that I no longer want useless things. It’s a decision. I then use that power of determination to break away from the old world with its old ways and beliefs and embrace the new world. I let go of the vices that come with being body conscious and regain my self-respect with soul consciousness. Holding on to that power of determination in the face of storms, despite old habits pulling me in the other direction….that is tapasya (penance).

When I renounce the vices with the power of tapasya, I become pure. The alloy of the vices has melted away and what is revealed is a real gold. It may not appear that I am gold today….I might look at myself and think, I am anything but. That…is body consciousness, that is bhakti where I constantly look down on myself as not good enough.

Instead, let me accept Baba’s vision of me, He is telling me who I am, let me trust Him and step into that vision through renunciation and tapasya. He says, ‘only a jeweler can truly tell the difference between a real and artificial diamond. I am The Jeweler’. If The Jeweler is telling me I am a diamond, it must be true.

When I accept and embody that vision, I automatically become an instrument to serve through my being, My every thought, word and action….my vision, face and behavior…they all radiate peace and love. When I serve, the primary beneficiary of that service that occurs is always me. Isn’t that what success looks like?

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