'Be' with Swami Venkatesananda


This spirit of sannyas must become natural to us. I do not know whether it can be cultivated. And yet sannyasa or renunciation is necessary. Without renunciation, the realisation of the infinite cannot be had. Which means that as long as you cling to the finite, the infinite is unrealized. It is not that the finite compels you to cling to it, but that you are clinging to the finite. Here is the bondage, here are the chains, and unless I abandon the finite, the infinite cannot become truly real.

I will give you a very simple example. You want to go up that mountain. What do you do? You first go to the Ganges bank. As you go down, you watch how your feet behave. This is exactly what they do. You leave one step and go to the next step – the next step is not your goal. You do not want to stay in that next step; but, without it, you cannot proceed further. And when you go down to the Ganges bank, unless you leave this shore, you cannot go to the other shore. The boat tied to this shore has also to be released.

Perhaps this is the significance of the famous sannyasa ceremony. You leave your home and shave your head, throw out the other clothes and put on orange clothes. It is just getting into the boat; but the boat is not your destination. It takes you somewhere, then you jump out of it, otherwise you will be drowned. Still your destination is not reached. You go there, step after step, you keep on leaving each step behind.

That is renunciation. It is not one event in a man’s life, it is an ongoing spirit. One cannot say that on the 12th of September – I renounced – what? I did not renounce ‘I’, because I am here to say that. I renounced one form of life and jumped into another form of life. I gave up this shore and got into the boat – but the boat is not my destination. It is an ongoing endless affair.