Recently, I have been studying a frequently misunderstood Dharma concept, that of renouncement, (Sanskrit; Sannyasa). It is not, as some seem to think, a mandate at any stage of life, although as people age it seems to come naturally. Actually, material renouncement is not exactly the same as sannyasa but it is the first step. Most of us could use a bit of renouncement at any age, as was brought to my attention by my daughter as she explained to me after a rigorous “material cleansing” of what seemed to me to be most of her worldly goods.
“I am getting better”, she said, “slowly becoming more minimalist. It feels great to be content with what you have, and grateful!”
A father knows about the birth and life of his son, because he witnesses it. But the birth and childhood of his father are beyond the ken of the son, because they occurred before he was born. Likewise, the devatās (celestial gods) and the ṛiṣhis (sages) cannot comprehend the real nature of the origin of God, who existed before they were even born.
And so, the Rig Veda states: “Who in the world can know clearly? Who can proclaim from where this universe was born? Who can state where this creation has come from? The devatās came after creation. Therefore, who knows from where the universe arose?”
Again, the Īśhopaniṣhad states: (Īśhopaniṣhad 4)[v2]