The poverty of one who has renounced
May 19, 2013 Comments Off on The poverty of one who has renounced
The poverty of one who has renounced is real riches compared with the riches of one who holds them fast.
Bowl of Saki, May 16, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:
The saints and sages and prophets all had to go through this test and trial, and in proportion to the greatness of their renunciation, so great have these souls become. Renunciation is the sign of heroes, it is the merit of saints, it is the character of the masters, and it is the virtue of the prophets. … It is as Fariduddin Attar, the great Persian poet, says, ‘Renounce the good of the world, renounce the good of heaven, renounce your highest ideal, and then renounce your renunciation.’
He who wants anything becomes smaller than the thing he wants; he who gives away anything is greater than the thing he gives. Therefore, to a mystic each act of renunciation becomes a step towards perfection.
Forced renunciation, whether forced by morality, religion, law, convention, or formality, is not necessarily renunciation. The real spirit of renunciation is willingness; and willing renunciation comes when one has risen above the thing one renounces. The value of each thing in life – wealth, power, position, possession – is according to the evolution of man. There is a time in his life when toys are his treasures, and there is a time when he puts them aside; there is a time in his life when copper coins are everything to him, and there is another time when he can give away gold coins; there is a time in his life when he values a cottage, and there is a time when he gives up a palace. …
Every step towards progress and ascent is a step of renunciation. The poverty of the one who has renounced is real riches compared with the riches of the one who holds them fast. One could be rich in wealth and poverty-stricken in reality; and one can be penniless and yet richer than the rich of the world… The final victory in the battle of life for every soul is when he has abandoned, which means when he has risen above, what once he valued most… Such is the case with all things of the world; they seem important or precious when we need them or when we do not understand them; as soon as the veil which keeps man from understanding is lifted, then they are nothing.