At the Heart of Renunciation
From the book Spirit Matters, a compilation of articles written by Mukunda Goswami.
Here’s one, an excerpt from, “Love Lies at the Heart of Renunciation,” about two monks:
“One summer I was stuck for an hour on a train at a station between Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata. With little to do besides gaze out my window I saw two bearded holy men facing each other, each sitting on a torn gumchaand dressed only in a loincloth. They were engaged in a hearty exchange, but I couldn’t hear a word. They looked so happy and content that I grew a little envious.
Each carried over his shoulder a stick with a cloth bound to it. Facing one another, they soon opened their cloths, ate some dried chapattis, and then tied their cloths back up. They smiled broadly, shook hands, and then each walked his separate way.
Now, that’s real happiness, I thought, and real renunciation. But what about the rest of us? Who’s prepared, let alone able, to live the life of a mendicant, no matter how happy it may appear?
Well, I’ve read there are two kinds of renouncers, those who detest and avoid the material world and those who live within it but are quite detached from it. Those men I watched certainly looked like the real thing.
But I know that great philanthropists and many great spiritual leaders often live in the world with apparently affluent lifestyles. Yet they are renounced… Maybe the sadhus on that train platform weren’t the real thing after all.
Renunciation dwells in the heart, and if there is a greater loving dimension elsewhere, I’ll spend my life searching for it.”
May the Source be with you!