Detachment and Renunciation

Detachment and renunciation are entirely distinct and independent of each other. One who is on the path of spirituality need not practise renunciation, but spirituality is not possible without detachment. Renunciation is connected with one’s own fate Karmas. Raja Janak, Guru Gobind Singh Sahib and many other highly evolved souls are examples of perfect detachment without renunciation. It is written in the Mahabharata that one who has renounced everything and retired into jungles is liable to the effects of his environment.

When one meets a Perfect Master, then alone will he be to understand fully the implication and the meaning of true detachment. Then he need not try to run away from the world and leave his household in oder to lead a life of detachment.

Oh my mind! If you meet a True Master you need not run out to achieve detachment, because He is the bestower of all gifts and is the treasure of all comforts, and is the foundation of Elixir, running at all times to take devotees into life Everlasting.

Adi Granth

In the company of a Master, the soul of a disciple imbibes the qualities of God and all other tastes in the world become insipid. The devotee is engaged in worldly pursuits, but within himself he is above their ties because of detachment. He lives in the world but he is not a man of the world. He realizes that God is the highest goal, and he forgets his world in remembrance of Him. So even while living in the world, he can not forget Him.

The truly detached person knows that one day his own body, his house, his palace and all his worldly property – all attachment – have to be left behind, and nobody knows when this will happen. Therefor, he lives in this world in name only and gives more attention to the purification of his soul, for he does not wish to barter his soul for the sake of this world.

For what is the man profited, if he shell gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

St. Matthew 16:26
St. Mark 8:36

Kabir says:

You have lost your soul in order to love the world, but this world will not accompany you! You have therefore cut your own feet with an axe, like a thoughtless man.

Adi Granth

A Master fully imparts the true method of spiritual practice and also teaches the disciple how to live in this world without attachment. Thus the devotee earns his own living and carries on his household live within proper discipline and under set principles. The devotee also listens to the Sound Current and becomes worthy of attaining salvation.

One is able to get the secret of Naam from no one but a True Master, and thereafter all his desires vanish, his mind remains fixed in God and he becomes detached from live (in this world). Oh Nanak! when we meet a true Master all our desires are fullfilled, because we gain salvation even while experiencing the comforts of life.

Adi Granth

What would happen if one were to leave his hearth and home? The mind would create new ties in a jungle, not only with the surroundings but also with abstract desires. If one cannot be detached there, where else can it be possible? Actually, detachment is not the renunciation of the objects of the world, but is the renouncing of the strong desires by wich one is attached to this world.

Even if a man should leave his house, his wife, his children, etc., the evil desires already fixed in his mind would not leave him. The mind will create conditions to ensnare him in worldly ties. As a householder, he had the ties of his house, his wife and his children; and, in the jungle, the different sects, disciples, masters and other social and institucional connections will take hold of him. In his home he was busy as a householder, but in the jungle he has the additional headache of living on alms. The whole trouble is with the mind. When it is pure and controlled, then only one really becomes detached.