RenunciationFrom the strict spiritual point of view, so-called earthly renunciation is not necessary for an aspirant. If renunciation means leaving one's family, not caring for society or humanity, then I wish to say that no matter what we renounce today, there will be something else to stand in our way tomorrow. Today the family is the obstacle; tomorrow it will be our friends or relatives; the day after tomorrow it will be our country and the day after that, the world. There is no end to this kind of renunciation.
Renunciation can never be applied to the world or to our dearest ones. If somebody says he is going to renounce the world in order to realise God, then I wish to say that he is mistaken. By leaving everyone, whom is the person accepting? God? No! God is in each human soul. Today he will renounce the world and tomorrow he will find that the God he is seeking is nowhere else. God is in the world itself. It is his attitude that prevents him from seeing God in the world.
The seeker has to try to see God in humanity. In order to see God in humanity, he has to remove the veil of ignorance that lies between him and the rest of the world. When the veil is rent, when the veil is, in fact, removed, there is nothing to be renounced. One sees God, one feels God, one is in God here and beyond.
Certainly we have to renounce in the spiritual life. But we are not going to renounce individuals; we are going to renounce qualities, the qualities which stand in the way of our union with the Divine. We are going to renounce doubt, imperfection, ignorance and death. When we enter into the spiritual life, we get the opportunity to renounce or, rather, to transform these things. When we speak of renouncing or transforming something, we immediately think of ignorance. Truly it is the one thing that we have to transform in our spiritual life.
But again, at times we see that we do have to sacrifice our dearest ones in order to realise God; there is no alternative. At those times we have to feel that those whom we call the dearest are not really the dearest. The really dearest is God. Then if we enter into the real Dearest, who is God, we will see that we are making no sacrifice at all. Real sacrifice comes when we feel that our ignorance is something that has to be transformed. At that time what we sacrifice is our limitation and stupidity.