Service of the Lord is impossible without renunciation of the world. When thy body works for the world and thy heart longs for it, how canst thou serve Him? The heart is one; it cannot attend to two things at the same time. The world and the Lord are wide apart as east and west. The more you approach the one, the farther you recede from the other . . . .

Renunciation is twofold:—

(1) Human renunciation, i. e. the renunciation which can be achieved by a man. It consists of three stages:

(a) Ceasing to seek for the worldly objects one has not.

(b) Casting off the worldly objects one has.

(c) Ceasing to entertain worldly desires in the mind.

(2) Superhuman renunciation, which consists in complete indifference to the world. It can be accomplished, with the help of the Divine Grace, by one who has achieved success in all the three stages of Human renunciation. The second is the true renunciation with many Sages.

The expulsion of worldly desires from the mind is a most difficult task. You will find many cases of apparent renunciation, with an inner longing for the world. But when you cease to seek for what you have not, and cast off what you have, the Divine Grace will enable you to drive out worldly desires from your mind. Relinquishment of the world will not give real renunciation, so long as the heart still craves for the world. The Prophets were master-ascetics. One of Them was Solomon, who possessed the sovereignty of all the worlds, and was certainly an ascetic.

Conclusion: The separation of the heart from worldly cravings, in spite of the possession of worldly objects, is superior to the separation of the body from worldly objects, in spite of the worldly cravings that remain in the heart.

Renunciation is the basis of all virtue and progress, and, as such, is the first condition of disciple­ship. Ahmad Hambal (Peace on Him!) says that renunciation is threefold:—

(a) Abstinence from what is forbidden by the Scriptures. This is the lower renuncia­tion.

(b) Abstinence from over-indulgence in law­ful pleasures. This is the higher renun­ciation.

(c) Renunciation of that which separates man from God. This is the highest renuncia­tion. —Letter 75.