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Chapter 10: Sannyas: Dying to the Past

For example, health is something inner; it grows. But you are diseased and ill, so we have to begin with your disease, not with your health; we have to negate the disease. By negating disease we are only creating space for the health to grow in; but the beginning is negative.

Medical science has no definition of health. They cannot have it; all that they can have is a definition of what disease is and a science of how to negate it. Health remains indefinable, and disease is negatively defined because you have to begin with disease; you cannot begin with health. When there is health you need not begin at all.

So if you have the inner space you do not need sannyas. Sannyas is to negate the samsara, the world - the disease. When I say samsara, I do not mean that the world is diseased; rather, I mean the world that you have created around you. Everyone is living in a world of his own making.

I do not deny the world that exists outside. It cannot be denied; it is there. But you have a fantasy world, a dream world around you, and that dream world has become you. The periphery has become your center and you have forgotten the center completely. So when one begins, one has to deny this dreaming world, since this denial is the beginning. This becomes negative, and sannyas then appears to be negative. We give it a negative connotation because it means to negate this dream world. So sannyas is really medicinal: it is just a medicine to deny the disease. When the disease is negated, the possibility arises for the inner to grow. So sannyas is just to create a situation.

You must understand clearly that when I say “to deny the world,” I do not mean the world that exists, but rather the world that every individual creates around him. Because of this dream world we cannot know the world that really exists; this constant dreaming becomes a barrier. It becomes a double barrier: you cannot go inside - there is something existential there; you cannot go outside - there is something existential there also. You are stuck to your dreaming mind and you cannot proceed either way.

A miracle happens when this dreaming barrier is annihilated. There is no longer any disease. You begin to exist in two worlds simultaneously, only now they are no longer two because the barrier was the thing that divided them. You become existential inside, and you become existential outside. So this is why a negative approach is chosen.

How does this - the taking of sannyas - affect your behavior? There are two possibilities: one is to change your behavior consciously, and the other is to change your consciousness consciously. Behavior is nothing but consciousness expressed, but if you start with behavior, you may continue with the old consciousness. You can adjust any new behavior to the old consciousness, and then behavior changes outwardly, but nothing really changes.

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