False renunciation

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Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

Rūpa Gosvāmī advises that if one renounces anything which could be applied in the service of the Lord and does not use it for that purpose, that is called phalgu-vairāgya, insufficient or false renunciation.
SB 3.31.47, Purport:

While discharging devotional service in full Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one should not be miserly. He should not unnecessarily show that he has renounced this world. Actually, renunciation is not possible. If one renounces his palatial building and goes to a forest, there is actually no renunciation, for the palatial building is the property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the forest is also the property of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If he changes from one property to another, that does not mean that he renounces; he was never the proprietor of either the palace or the forest. Renunciation necessitates renouncing the false understanding that one can lord it over material nature. When one renounces this false attitude and renounces the puffed-up position that he is also God, that is real renunciation. Otherwise, there is no meaning of renunciation. Rūpa Gosvāmī advises that if one renounces anything which could be applied in the service of the Lord and does not use it for that purpose, that is called phalgu-vairāgya, insufficient or false renunciation. Everything belongs to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; therefore everything can be engaged in the service of the Lord; nothing should be used for one's sense gratification. That is real renunciation. Nor should one unnecessarily increase the necessities of the body. We should be satisfied with whatever is offered and supplied by Kṛṣṇa without much personal endeavor. We should spend our time executing devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is the solution to the problem of life and death.

SB Canto 8

The body fully engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service should not be neglected as material. One who does neglect it is false in his renunciation.
SB 8.19.40, Purport:

"One who rejects things without knowledge of their relationship to Kṛṣṇa is incomplete in his renunciation." (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.66) When the body is engaged in the service of the Lord, one should not consider the body material. Sometimes the spiritual body of the spiritual master is misunderstood. But Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī instructs, prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ. The body fully engaged in Kṛṣṇa's service should not be neglected as material. One who does neglect it is false in his renunciation. If the body is not properly maintained, it falls down and dries up like an uprooted tree, from which flowers and fruit can no longer be obtained.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Madhya-lila

The word markaṭa-vairāgya, indicating false renunciation, is very important in this verse. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, in commenting on this word, points out that monkeys make an external show of renunciation by not accepting clothing and by living naked in the forest.
CC Madhya 16.238, Purport:

The word markaṭa-vairāgya, indicating false renunciation, is very important in this verse. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, in commenting on this word, points out that monkeys make an external show of renunciation by not accepting clothing and by living naked in the forest. In this way they consider themselves renunciants, but actually they are very busy enjoying sense gratification with dozens of female monkeys. Such renunciation is called markaṭa-vairāgya—the renunciation of a monkey.

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī mourns in this connection for persons who are in the fire of false renunciation, the dry speculative habit, and who neglect devotional service.
Nectar of Devotion 34:

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī mourns in this connection for persons who are in the fire of false renunciation, the dry speculative habit, and who neglect devotional service. Persons who are attached to the ritualistic ceremonies recommended in the Vedas and to the impersonal Brahman cannot relish the transcendental pleasure of devotional service. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī advises, therefore, that devotees who have already tasted the nectar of devotion be very careful to protect devotional service from such dry speculators, formal ritualistic elevationists and impersonal salvationists. Devotees should protect their valuable jewel of spiritual love from the clutches of thieves and burglars. In other words, a pure devotee should not describe devotional service and its different analytical aspects to dry speculators and false renouncers.

Message of Godhead

If these leaders, including preachers and heads of state, do not perform this act of Vaiṣṇavism—and instead place themselves artificially in the exalted position of Viṣṇu, the supreme enjoyer—then they may indeed enjoy temporary gain, adoration, and mundane fame, and may delude their unfortunate followers from the right path by a false display of renunciation.
Message of Godhead 2:

Therefore, civic and other popular leaders should center their activities upon Viṣṇu, and by this act of transcendental work, they will themselves be benefited and shall be able to do good for their respective followers. If these leaders, including preachers and heads of state, do not perform this act of Vaiṣṇavism—and instead place themselves artificially in the exalted position of Viṣṇu, the supreme enjoyer—then they may indeed enjoy temporary gain, adoration, and mundane fame, and may delude their unfortunate followers from the right path by a false display of renunciation. But such materialistic, godless leaders will never be able to do any good for the ignorant souls who follow them like a flock of sheep to the slaughterhouse. By such leadership the leader himself is temporarily benefited, but the followers are put into the worst position. The leaders incite them toward false, illusory gain and thus engage them in various acts of sin. In temporarily benefiting themselves, such leaders sacrifice the real interest of their followers and destroy the followers.

Lectures

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

It is called phalgu-vairāgya, false renunciation. The world is not false, but the so-called renunciation is false.
Lecture on SB 5.5.2 -- Hyderabad, April 11, 1975:

This is the definition given by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī. The prāpañcikatayā buddhyā... This world is material. Therefore it is false. So... But hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ. But it has got connection with Hari. Hari has created. Kṛṣṇa has created. How...? It is not without... How you can say, "without any relationship"? If I have created something, it has got..., I have got intimate relationship. Therefore the Rūpa Gosvāmī says that "Any creation of the Lord, if we think it is material," prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi, mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgaḥ... Those who are... Because these Māyāvādīs, they are after mumukṣā, so mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgaḥ, if they are giving up, then phalgu-vairāgya. It is called phalgu-vairāgya, false renunciation. The world is not false, but the so-called renunciation is false.

General Lectures

Phalgu-vairāgya means inferior renunciation, or false renunciation.
Pandal Lecture at Cross Maidan -- Bombay, March 26, 1971:

So phalgu-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. Phalgu-vairāgya means inferior renunciation, or false renunciation. And yukta-vairāgya means actual renunciation. What is that difference? Prāpañcikatayā buddhyā. The Māyāvādī philosophers, they are giving up this world as false, māyā. Prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ. Just like sometimes we are criticized because we are using the advantages offered by the material science. Just like I am using this microphone. So the people may criticize, "If this world is false, the material world is false, then why should I take advantage of this material product?" They expect that those who are spiritualists, they should go to Himalayas, giving up, giving up everything material and meditate in a solitary place, in snow-covered area.

Philosophy Discussions

Rūpa Gosvāmī says, phalgu-vairāgya, that kind of renunciation is insufficient or, phalgu means false, false renunciation. So our renunciation means renounce things for sense gratification. That's all.
Philosophy Discussion on Hegel:

Prabhupāda: This is our philosophy, Rūpa Gosvāmī's philosophy. That hari-sambandhi-vastunaḥ; everything has relation with Kṛṣṇa and those who are giving it up, "No, no it is matter, brahma satyaṁ jagan mithyā, this is false," Rūpa Gosvāmī says, phalgu-vairāgya, that kind of renunciation is insufficient or, phalgu means false, false renunciation. So our renunciation means renounce things for sense gratification. That's all. (indistinct) we renounce anything for our sense gratification, but we accept everything for Kṛṣṇa's senses. But actually everything is spiritual.

Correspondence

1970 Correspondence

The Mayavadis' renouncement with an ambition of becoming one with the Supreme is called false renunciation. They renounce the world for a greater sense gratification.
Letter to Jayagovinda -- Los Angeles 3 February, 1970:

You said that your job is maya, but you must know that maya is illusion. As soon as there is absence of Krishna Consciousness—that is maya. But you are working just to help and push Krishna's interest; therefore, it is not maya. In the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu, Rupa Goswami Prabhupada has recommended anything dovetailed in Krishna Consciousness is real renouncement. The Mayavadis' renouncement with an ambition of becoming one with the Supreme is called false renunciation. They renounce the world for a greater sense gratification. To maintain an ambition of becoming one with the Supreme is the top rank sense gratification; whereas a person in all kinds of apparently material works, but ultimately the beneficiary is Krishna, is in a greater position of renunciation than the Mayavadis. So do not forget Krishna in any circumstance of life and Krishna will save you from all pitfalls of material existence.

Facts about "False renunciation"
Compiled byLabangalatika + and Serene +
Completed sectionsALL +
Date of first entryOctober 20, 0010 JL +
Date of last entryOctober 31, 0010 JL +
Total quotes9 +
Total quotes by sectionBG: 0 +, SB: 2 +, CC: 1 +, OB: 2 +, Lec: 3 +, Conv: 0 + and Let: 1 +