You cannot renounce the world; you can only renounce your infatuation to the world. Wherever one goes there is a world, even if it is in the Himalayas, it is a part of the world, is it not?
So renouncing the world without understanding is foolishness, for world is present everywhere. But if you renounce your attachment and infatuation to the world, only then renunciation is true.
In ancient Tibet a festival was celebrated by creating a Yantra, a mystical symbol in a temple. The whole monastery was involved. There was a complex calculation that went in to create this yantra. This would take many days. After creating the yantra and offering prayers, immediately the yantra would be wiped off.
It is created out of so much of care and wiping it off within few moments is a practice which symbolically represents that one should not be attached to anything. Everything undergoes a change, so have the attitude of letting go.
In yoga practice after performing a variety of asanas or yogic postures, one ends up with seeing the body as dead —shavasana, which is a form of relaxation.
This is also with an understanding that the body will die at the end of one’s life, thus showing the value of detachment.
The world is not unreal but the way we see it is unreal. Adi Shankara unfolds in many verses that the world is an illusion — maya. But we see the world filled with attachment, infatuation and thus have an illusion of the perceived world. Detach from such a projected world.
We suffer not from the world but from our expectation of the world. Our mind is filled with likes and dislikes, with expectations and dogmas. If the world does not fit into our map of likes and dislikes we feel disappointed and hurt.
We blame the world for our sorrows. Without understanding we renounce the world but our foolish mind continues its illusion. The world is not giving us unhappiness but our mind filled with likes and dislikes is giving us unhappiness. When you renounce such a mind you will be happy.
To be contented with ourselves as we truly are, knowing the true Self is simplicity. In a state of deep sleep, when the complication of the mind is absent, are we happy or not? Where did the happiness come from? From within, is it not? In the waking state our mind imposes a rule, a dogma. Driven by expectations our life revolves unwisely.
You need to be simple, inwardly dropping expectations. It requires a special effort to just see life as it is and allowing one’s inner Self to guide. This is true simplicity. You need to trust that there is an intuitive power within you which guides your life without desires.
Unfortunately, one’s ego comes in the way and wants to be in charge and take control. This has to be recognised.
By renouncing such a complex mind, one discovers true happiness that resides right in this moment.
To be detached means to be inwardly simple. In other words, it means living moment to moment with spontaneity and not according to one’s ego, but according to one’s inner being.