The world and all things therein are to be avoided, save as needed for the Lord’s sake. The world may be classed under three groups:—

(1) The first group is purely worldly, and cannot serve His Cause. It consists of:

(a) Vices. Their commission in the mind or with the body does not serve His Cause.

(b) Too much of lawful enjoyments. This is the root of all failures and sins.

(2) The second group is purely divine, but may be turned to selfish use by an impure motive, e. g., meditation, prayer and asceticism, if practised with the object of gaining the respect of the people.

(3) The third group is apparently worldly but really divine, e. g., eating for the sake of the Divine Service; marriage with the object of begetting a child who shall repeat “There is no God save Allâh”; making a small fortune with the object of peacefully serving God.

In short, the world is that which gratifies the cravings of desire in the present, and is of no use after death; that which may help on the other side of death is not worldly . . . . He who appropriates the world to the limit of bare neces­sity (food, garment and a dwelling-house) breaks his bonds; whereas he who seeks luxurious living exposes himself to endless troubles. . . .

The Great Ones have remarked that the lowest stage of purity shows itself as an inner craving for well-being after death and a diminution of worldy desires, ending in a gradual estrangement from this world, and the realisation of other worlds…

The work is harder than you imagine. All worldly pleasures are sorrows and sufferings.— Letter 74.