Auda abu Tayi: [to Lawrence] I carry twenty-three great wounds, all got in battle. Seventy-five men have I killed with my own hands in battle. I scatter, I burn my enemies' tents. I take away their flocks and herds. The Turks pay me a golden treasure, yet I am poor! Because I am a river to my people!
—Lawrence of Arabia
As trees do not eat their fruits but offer them to be eaten by others in an attitude of detachment; as rivers, without drinking the waters they carry, quench the thirst and cool the heat from which others suffer; as cows offer their milk, produced primarily for their calves, in a spirit of generosity born of Tyaga (renunciation), to be shared by others; so too you should offer yourself to others prompted by the motive of service and without consideration of selfish interests.It reminded me of that ultimate condensation by the Master:
Visit to VidyasagarWhen i had just got the Gospel in 1992, i recall GL Pramod flipping it open at random, reading this quote, and being totally zapped by it!
"What is the significance of the Gita? It is what you find by repeating the word ten times. It is then reversed into 'tagi', which means a person who has renounced everything for God. And the lesson of the Gita is: 'O man, renounce everything and seek God alone.' Whether a man is a monk or a householder, he has to shake off all attachment from his mind."
The Holy Mother used to feel that, more than the Master preaching the harmony of religions, the crown jewel of His Being was His renunciation. In Holy Mother, we read: (page 232, bottom)
Holy Mother emphasized renunciation as the unique feature of Sri Ramakrishna's life. One day a disciple asked her about the special message of Sri Ramakrishna. Was it not the harmony of religions that he experienced and taught? The Mother replied: 'My child, what you say about the harmony of religions is true. But it never occurred to me that he had practiced the disciplines of different faiths with the definite idea of preaching this harmony. Day and night the Master remained overwhelmed with divine rapture. He enjoyed God's sport by following the paths of the Vaishnavas, Christians, Mussalmans, and the rest. But it seems to me, my child, that the chief characteristic of the Master's sadhana was his renunciation. Has anyone ever seen such natural renunciation? Renunciation is his great ornament.'