What Is It That You Have Gained?
Bondage and liberation are within you. You bind yourself and you have to liberate yourself If you don’t want to part with something and depend on that for your happiness, then you are not independent. What is independence? Not to depend on anything, at any time.
A few centuries ago a chief minister of a country suddenly got into a spirit of renunciation and said, “I don’t want to possess anything anymore. I just want to be free.” So he renounced his job and his house and said, “The sky is my roof, the whole world is my house and God is my Father.” Then he went and sat in front of a temple. He had been a very nice, capable chief minister. When he suddenly left everything, the king became upset and sent a messenger asking the minister to come back. But the minister said, “No, I am no longer interested in that job.” Then the king decided to go see the minister himself. He found where the minister was sitting and stood in front of him, “Swami?” “Yes?” “Do you recognize me?” “Yes, I recognize you.” “Please tell me what it is that you have gained by leaving everything to sit here like this.” The minister looked at the king and said, “Until yesterday I was standing and you were sitting. Today I am sitting and you are standing. That is the first gain.”
That is the greatness of renouncing your selfish life. You will not be afraid of anyone. If you’re honest, you will be fearless. And when you’re fearless, you’re powerful. Ego will never make you powerful. You may appear to be powerful, but you are not truly powerful. The most egoistic people are the most fearful people, because they are constantly afraid of getting their egos hurt. They want to get everything they want, and if something is denied, immediately they get hurt. But a selfless person who is honest and has a clear mind, who is a righteous person, is always powerful. That kind of person doesn’t need to worry about anybody.