A man was about to go for his bath with a towel on his shoulder. His wife pulled at him saying that he was worthless. Despite his advancing age, he was unable to give up his old habits. She accused that he could not live a single day without her.
The wife further compared him to another man whom she believed to be a renunciate. The husband enquired about the reason as to why the man was worth all the praise. The wife replied that the man had sixteen wives and he was renouncing them one by one and added that he (the husband) will not be able to embrace renunciation. The husband replied that the man actually cannot renounce at all by giving up little by little. The wife argued that he was still better than him. The husband in turn proclaimed her silly and said that the other man was incapable of renouncing while he was capable of. Saying so he left his house once for all never to return to settle any worldly affairs.
It was intense renunciation on the part of the husband that no sooner did he attain discrimination, he turned a total renunciate.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa says that the one who is to renounce should possess a great strength of mind to do so coupled with an indomitable courage.