Having had a deep hole burned into my heart by the poverty and obscurity in which I was born and bred I was determined to attain the highest state of Nirvana that can possibly be achieved regardless of my upbringing. This was after having gone so far through life looking for a considerable share of felicity and the conducing means through which I could attain enlightenment regardless of my background and conditioning. It may be equally agreeable to you that such circumstances are not unique to my life alone but also to many others who get insight to see the urgent need to start a quest for self Realization.
In my opinion, the art of renunciation is the most misunderstood aspects of any spiritual journey. And as a result spirituality is also misunderstood and misperceived even by those who seem to be well versed and well practiced in these ways.
Almost everyone imagines renunciation to be related to in relation to property and other belongings. Strictly, renunciation of material wishes and wealth is supposed to be just a physical (but not compulsory) symbol of an inner renunciation. I guess this shall be a central theme to all my future teaching career.
Lack of this deeper understanding is the main barrier to many people from all kinds of backgrounds. By the lack of proper understanding of this simple precept, they get closer to their attainment but get ruthlessly thrown back into samsara with an eventual little hope for further attainment.
Being too given to material ways, many are usually unable to imagine or figure a certain invisible center inside of themselves whose spiritual fulfilment should serve to compliment their outer way of life. Ignorance leads many to think the external practices supersede the inner commitments and resolves that they make to live for the highest of themselves and that of others.
There are many instances of men of inflexible courage throughout the remote past who gave up material achievements in order to serve a higher good. But we are all on Earth for different purposes which, in the end, connect to a bigger picture of wellbeing and bliss (either in the Earthly or other planes).
Thus expressed, its important to understand that renunciation is not a masochist endeavor. Though there may be many false (like the modern Buddhist or Hinduist) students of wisdom who take this path, they just do this a way to satisfy their egos and curioties which are not in any ways aids for enlightenment. Proper renunciation is an inner phenomenon whose flowering is the attainment of the Ultimate Reality.