In our overactive and over stimulating life, it is common to place the action of worldly pursuits as inferior to the renunciation and seclusion away from it all.

The great yogi, sitting spine erect in padmasana, detached and impartial to the mess of arising emotions and awkward imperfection is a seductive image equal in inspiration and distortion.

In the Isha Upanishads, this enquiry arises in an intimate dialogue between a father and son. Responding to his son who seeks his advice on whether to pursue worldly success or to renounce everything and become focused only on the Self,

The Wise Sage Datyang Aadarvanar says:

“ In the dark night live those for whom
The world Without Alone is real; 
In night darker still, for whom
The world Within Alone is real.

The first leads to a life of action,
the second to a life of meditation.

But those who
combine action & meditation
Cross the sea of death through action
And enter into immortality
Through the practice of meditation.

So we have heard from the wise”.

(Eknath Easwaran translation)