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Chapter 7: It Will Devour You Too

Those who renounce have not understood. Those who have understood, they don’t renounce - there is nothing to renounce! Simply, the desire is no more relevant. It slips out of your hands - not that you renounce it. It simply becomes utterly meaningless. In that very understanding you are free of it.

The whole work of sannyas is to understand the nature of desire. What is the nature of desire?

First thing: it always hankers for that which is not. Now, look into it, meditate over it. This is the very nature of desire: asking for that which is not. How can it be fulfilled? When you have it, your desire will have moved away.

You see a beautiful house, and you desire it and you long for it end you dream about it, and you work hard for years. And then one day the house is yours. But you are surprised, a revelation: the moment the house is yours, the desire is no more there for it. It has already moved. It is never in the present. It can only be in the future. Future is its space, its soil; it grows there. Present is not its soil. In the present it dies - immediately dies. So when the house is yours, and you have moved into the house, suddenly you are surprised: where are those beautiful dreams that you have been dreaming about the house? House is yours, but where are those dreams? They have flown away.

The English poet, Byron, was in love with a woman. He was in love with many women, it is said near about sixty women - and he didn’t live long. And to each woman he was saying, “Without you I cannot live.” And he was deceiving. And the deception may not have been conscious, because he was a good man. It may have been unconscious. He may not have been doing it on purpose, but it was happening. Whenever he became interested in a woman, the whole world would disappear. That woman would be his target.

And he was a beautiful man, talented, a genius. And women are always interested in people who have some kind of talent, some kind of genius. Women are always interested not in the physical beauty as much as in something inner. And Byron had it! that magic touch, that magnetism. So it was very easy for any woman to fall in love with him. But the love would not last for a few days, at the most for a few weeks, and Byron would move to somebody else.

When he fell in love with one woman, she was very insistent: “Unless you get married to me I am not interested. You say you are ready to die for me - I don’t want you to die for me. I simply want you to get married to me.”

Now, that was a bigger demand. It is very easy to die - it is so poetic, so romantic - but to live with a woman and to get married is so unpoetic, so unromantic, so utterly meaningless. Byron tried to avoid and avoid, but the woman was also very clever. She had learnt many stories about Byron, that this was happening: “Within weeks, within days, his interest simply disappears. He starts looking at the woman as if he has not known her at all, as if she does not exist.”

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