Be free of both giving up and acquiring
What can you renounce?
From the very beginning, the world [samsdra] is already given up. Sound, form,
taste, smell, etc., whatever other materials are there, are already different from you. Their
existence is separate. When the world [samsd’ra] is different from you anyway, then what
can you give up? Even before you can give them up, they are already given up, as they
are different from you. Because of this, thinking or talking about giving things up is false,
a kind of empty boasting. What is the glory in slaying the slain? Will anyone shoot a dead
jungle beast and say, “I have hunted a tiger”? Someone saying, “I have given up such and
such thing” is just like that. In this world [samsa’ra] everything is already given up.
Nothing can be designated as a thing ﬁt to be given up. All things, by their own nature,
you have already given up.
What can you acquire?
There is nothing fit to be acquired in this world. What can you acquire? Whatever
things you may see, all are unreal, like the magician’s money. There is no real substance
in them. A thing can be called fit to be acquiredif it gives peace and happiness. All
objects of the world [samsdra] are transient, and all will end in separation. The sorrow
which we get when we are separated from them will be much greater than the happiness
which we get while acquiring them, and even the changes we undergo in acquiring them
give sorrow. Thus the union will ultimately end in sorrow. That is why no object here is
worth acquiring. In this world [samsdra], there is nothing at all worth acquiring.
If you look towards the essential nature, then you can see with the sentiment,
Sarvam khalvidam brahma—“This whole world is Brahman.” There is nothing other
than this essential nature. Thus, if everything is the same as your essential nature, and
there is nothing different from this, then what can really be acquired? In this fashion also,
there is nothing to gain in this world [samsdra]. Thus, however you look at it, there is
nothing fit to be gained in this world.
That is why it is said you should not desire to acquire or give up anything. Refrain
completely from giving up and acquiring. When you have no desire to acquire or give up
anything, then you will be free from your past tendencies and will become established in
your essential nature. Thus, contemplate and firmly understand in your mind that there is
nothing to be given up or gained. After establishing this thought, immerse yourself in the
bliss of your essential nature. Therein lies the fulfillment of human birth.