The Bowl of Saki Commentary

February 19
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To renounce what we cannot gain is not true renunciation; it is weakness. -- Hazrat Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan

Commentary from Hazrat Murshid Samuel L. Lewis (Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti):

We see this in the story of the fox that abandoned its quest for the grapes on the high branch that it couldn’t reach. Those who call it “surrender” or “renunciation” when they cannot obtain an object sought make the prime error of assuming that they are that limited thought of self, called nufs by the Sufis, but this concept is not really the true Self. Whatever be the true cause of failure, it is due to lack of concentration and some weakness. Of course, very often ignorance leads us to believe that we might secure some unwarranted prize, which later knowledge shows is beyond our reach. In this case it was the weakness which was the cause of ignorance.

Spiritual renunciation is of a very different character, being surrender of that which we can easily obtain, or sacrifice of something which we possess and prize, or giving away something we have earned at great cost, or abandoning the fruits of action for some higher ideal. This is the true renunciation, the real spiritual sacrifice.

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