Religious people almost always become masochists. Or they were already – religion becomes a rationalization and they start torturing themselves. Don’t be a self-torturer. There are two types of torturers and violent people: one, sadists who torture other – the politicians, Adolf Hitlers; and then there are self-torturers – so-called religious people, saints, mahatmas, who torture themselves – they are masochists. Both are the same: the violence is the same. Whether you torture anybody else’s body or your own makes no difference – you torture all the same.
Renunciation is not self-torture. If it is self-torture it is only politics standing on its head. It may be you are so cowardly you cannot manage to torture others, so you can torture only your own body. Ninety-nine out of one hundred so-called religious people are self-torturers, cowards. They wanted to torture others, but there was fear and danger and they couldn’t do it. So they have found a very innocent victim, vulnerable, helpless: their own body. And they torture it in millions of ways.
No, renunciation means knowledge; renunciation means awareness; renunciation means realization – realization of the fact that you are not the body. It is finished. You live in it knowing well that you are not it. Unidentified, body is beautiful. It is one of the greatest mysteries in existence. It is the very temple where the king of kings is hiding.
When you understand what renunciation is, you understand this is neti, neti. You say, “I am not this body, because I am aware of the body; the very awareness makes me separate and different.” Go deeper. Go on peeling the onion: “I am not the thoughts, because they come and go but I remain. I am not the emotions…” They come, sometimes very strong, and you forget yourself completely in them, but they go. There was a time they were not, you were; there was a time they were, and you were hidden in them. There is again a time when they have gone and you are sitting there. You cannot be them. You are separate.
Go on peeling the onion: no, body you are not; thinking you are not; feeling you are not. And if you know that you are not these three layers, your ego simply disappears without leaving a trace behind – because your ego is nothing but identification with these three layers. Then you are, but you cannot say “I.” The word loses meaning. The ego is not there; you have come home.
This is the meaning of sannyas: it is negating all that you are not but are identified with. This is the surgery. This is the destruction.
“By practicing the different steps of yoga for the destruction of impurity….” And this is impurity: thinking yourself to be that which you are not is the impurity. Don’t misunderstand me because there is always a possibility you may misunderstand that the body is impure. I am not saying that. You can have pure water in one container and pure milk in another. Mix both: now the mixture is not doubly pure. Both were pure: water was pure, was exactly from the Ganges, and the milk was pure. Now you mix two purities and one impurity is born – not that the purity is doubled. What has happened? Why do you call this mixture of water and milk impure? Impurity means the entering of the foreign element, that which does not belong to it, which is not natural to it, which is an intruder, which has trespassed its territory. It is not only that the milk is impure, the water is also impure. Two purities meet and become impure.