From the book ‘Living with the Himalayan Masters’ By Swami Rama.
One evening I asked Uria Baba, a sage from Vrindavan, “Is renouncing the world superior to living in the world? Which is the right path?”
The baba told me, “It is not necessary for all human beings to renounce the world, for the path of renunciation is very difficult to tread. Actually it is not necessary to renounce the objects of the world, because a human being does not actually own or posses anything. Therefore it is not necessary to renounce anything – but the sense of possessiveness should be renounced.”
“Whether you live in the world or outside, it does not make much difference. Attachment to the objects of the world is the cause of misery. One who practices non-attachment faithfully and sincerely obtains freedom from the bondage of karma. In the path of action, duties are not renounced, but are performed skillfully and selflessly.”
“To attain the purpose of life, it is necessary to do one’s duties, whether one lives in the world or outside it. The path of renunciation and the path of action, though two diverse ways, are equally helpful for attaining self-emancipation. One is the path of sacrifice, the other the path of conquest.”
Again the baba spoke: “The law of karma is applicable to all equally. Our past samskaras are deeply rooted in the unconscious. These latent samskaras, or impressions, creates various bubbles of thoughts and express themselves through our speech and actions. It is possible for the aspirant to get freedom from these samskaras. These memories have a stronghold in the bed of our samskaras. Those who can burn these samskaras in the fire of non-attachment or knowledge are free from the bondage created by them. It is like a burnt rope, which loses its binding power though it still looks like a rope. When the latent impressions, though still in the unconscious, are burned by the fire of knowledge and lose the power of germination, they never grow. There are two varieties of diverse qualities of samskaras. One quality of samskara is helpful in the path of spirituality, and the other is an obstacle.”
“Non-attachment is like a fire that burns the binding power of past samskaras. The benefits which are derived by the renunciate by renounciating the world are derived by the householder by the practice of non-attachment. The renunciate attains enlightenment outside the world, and the householder in the world. “
“Non-attachment does not mean indifference or non-loving. Non-attachment and love are one and the same. Non-attachment and renunciation expand the consciousness. When a potter has completed making his pots, the wheel of the potter still rotates for some time, but is unable to manufacture pots. For a liberated soul the wheel of life remains in motion, but his karma does not create any bondage for him. His actions are called ‘actionless action’”
“There are three levels of healing: physical, mental, and spiritual. One who has spiritual power can heal others on all levels, but if he tries to make healing his profession, his mind and will-force will again start running toward worldly grooves. A dissipated and worldly mind is not fit enough to heal anyone.”
“Every human being has potentials for healing. The healing energy is flowing without any interruption in every human heart. By the right use of dynamic will, these channels of healing energy can be directed to the suffering part of the body and mind.”
I came back with the conclusion that the art of living and being, whether in the world or outside it, lies in awareness toward the purpose of life and non-attachment.