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Real Renunciation

True renunciation, Short story
There lived two sadhus in a holy place. One of them happened to be a rich man before embracing Sannyasa. His children extended their care by taking care of his physical needs even after becoming a Sannyasi. Hence he was amidst all comforts and conveniences. The other man on the other hand had befitted the description of a apt Sadhu with absolutely no belongings except for his water pot, deerskin and the clothes that he wore. He led an austere life living on alms.

The poor sadhu always compared himself with the other and felt proud of himself for adhering to the rules of a true renunciate while he thought that the other squabbled amidst comforts. He even resorted to discussing about the rich sadhu's luxurious lifestyle with other renunciates. The seed of pride within him in due course became a deep rooted tree that one day he asked the other, “You have no doubt given up wealth and family, but when are you going to give up this luxurious lifestyle?"

The rich sadhu at once said “Right now. Come lets go to Uttarkashi, now"

The poor sadhu was taken aback by the rich sadhu's readiness and volunteered to go along in order to prove to the world that the rich sadhu's words were false. He did not in the least expect that the rich sadhu would actually jump into action. After the two had reached the outskirts of the place, the poor sadhu suddenly remembered that he had not carried his water pot and his deerskin. He said, “Sir, please wait, I would have to go get my water pot and deerskin that I have forgotten"

The rich sadhu just smiled suggestively.

Renunciation in the true sense is the giving up of 'I' and 'mine' utterly says Swami Sivananda. Mere external detachment to objects would only mean giving them up superficially. It is one's detachment to oneself that one believes to be, that can actually be termed as real renunciation.

Story first published: Friday, October 23, 2009, 17:31 [IST]
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