We'll continue our exploration of Sacred Texts with an examination of a recurrent theme, that of Renunciation and Sacrifice.

To aid in our exploration we've put together a sampler of quotations relating to this theme, drawn from a handful of Sacred Texts. Please have a look:

Selections: Renunciation and Sacrifice

By looking through multiple texts, we'll begin to see recurring idea of what it means to sacrifice and what it is that need be renounced.

Our opening question, to get us started is this:

In your opinion, what is the essence of Renunciation/Sacrifice?

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You could look to the idea of making something sacred as being one of the core concepts of sacrifice.  But what does it mean to make something sacred?  Maybe everything is already sacred and it takes higher awareness to perceive it as such.

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So is sacrifice akin to the preference for the sacred over the mundane? Or perhaps a method by which the mundane is made sacred?

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Yes this is an interesting question.   What makes something mundane and what sacred?  It seems we have to define and clarify what these are before we can act upon them.

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Does sacrifice involve giving up something valuable?

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Thank you for putting the sampler together, as I have not read most of those books yet. It seems to me while reading through the quotes that being selfless is the essence, in my limited view.

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Excellent point.  Sacrifice entails giving up any desire for a reward, as Sharisse says "selfless".

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I agree with the essence of renunciation being about how one chooses and focuses upon aligning oneself with one's truer Self and therefore acting for the transcendent good (the Higher Self), thereby detaching from solely personal desires (aka selfishness). I think the individual would consider it a sacrifice of the material/mental for the spiritual.

One of my favorite Gita passages is Chapter 6 from the WQ Judge recension, which is a little different from the text provided here  (for the same passage): “He should raise the self by the Self; let him not suffer the Self to be lowered; for Self is the friend of self, and, in like manner, self is its own enemy.”  (It uses capitalization to distinguish between higher and lower selfhood.)  

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Gandhi used to point to Upanishadic expression "Renounce and then enjoy."   What is meant by this?

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There is a freedom of the spirit that can be enjoyed, to my thinking.  The harmony within, in recognizing one's truer Self, can be focused on and give one a sense of moving forward and contentment.

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Thank you Di. That thought sheds light for me.

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I think renunciation or sacrifice stem from having the faith that as I give up that which is precious or desirous to 'me', a space will be created which wasn't there before which has now the capacity to be infused with something not of my desire. 

 

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Subjugation of the desire mind.

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Permalink Reply by Ryan Hauck on November 22, 2013 at 8:06am
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I think there is a great wisdom in renunciation and sacrifice. Its as if the elders and wisemen of old knew that most beings will be faced with countless distractions and materialist desires, that only through renouncing will be capable of remaining pure.