If you run away from wealth, that too is not going to make any difference. The desire for wealth is going to follow you. There is no sin in wealth; the sin comes in craving wealth and where will you leave your craving? If there was any sin in wealth, then thieves deserve rewards, not punishment. What great pains the poor fellows take to relieve others of their sin! If there was any virtue in renouncing your wife, then the person who has run away with someone’s wife deserves paradise.
I have heard…
A man came running to the post office. He was perspiring profusely from the effort. The postmaster sat him down and asked what the problem was.
The man said, “Please, lodge a report in my name. My wife has run away with someone.”
The postmaster said, “I fully sympathize with you and I understand that in the panic of the situation you forgot that this is a post office, not the police station. The police station is opposite here.”
The man said, “I know that – but please, register the report.”
The post master said, “You are a strange fellow. This is not the work of a post office. This is a task for the police station. You will have to get your report lodged there.”
The man said, “I did that once before and the idiots located her and brought her back the very next day. I am not going to repeat the same mistake again.”
The postmaster was amazed. He said, “How long has she been missing?”
The man said, “It has been seven days.”
“You have come to report this after seven days?”
“I wanted to give her a chance. The farther away she can get the better,” the man said. “Blessed is that man, his paradise is certain. He has turned me into a monk without any effort on my part.”
No. Neither by renouncing wealth, nor the wife nor the husband, nor the marketplace, because… You should understand a small sutra of psychology very clearly. Whosoever you escape from, whosoever you wish to shut your eyes upon, you will find that person standing in front of your mind’s eye – it is the weak person who escapes, it is the one gripped with fear who runs away, but you will not be free of the other by doing this.
And moreover, even if you do renounce the world and run away from your wife, what difference does it make? Inside you, the desire for the woman is present. It was there even when the wife was not there. It is because of it that you had sought out a wife in the first place. That desire will compel you to seek out a wife again. It does not make any difference what their faces look like. The faces can be different: some other woman, some other man.
You can renounce the palace and live in a hut, but that is not the real issue. The palace was “mine,” now this hut will be “mine.” You would have given your life for that palace; now you will give it for this hut. The real question is about “mine.” About that there is no change.