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Swami Chidananda on Inner Renunciation

Inner Renunciation as explained by Swami Chidananda.

Merely shaving the head and putting on colored cloth does not make you a Sannyasin. A change of location does not make you a Sannyasin. 

Coming away into seclusion or sitting on a mountain top or inside a cave in the forest does not constitute Sannyasa, if together with this outer giving-up or renunciation, you have not simultaneously also kept up a process of a constant and a continuous inner giving up, an inner renunciation of the false ideas that “I am this body, I am a human individual, I am a physical being, I am a psychological being, I am mind, I am emotion, I am sentiment, I am thought, I am desire, I am memory, I am longing, I am imagination.

All these ideas constitute ignorance. All these falsehoods should be renounced. They should be rejected.

Truth has to be affirmed again and again and yet again. The essence of renunciation, therefore, is renunciation of this identification with the human, individual personality and all that it constitutes, its entire make-up, right from the physical up to the subtle—memory and imagination, projecting into the future and identifying with the past.

To lead the spiritual life it is not necessary to withdraw into the forest, hide oneself in a cave or go to a mountain top. What is needed is the renunciation of false ideas, of identification with the false human personality. It requires renunciation of ego, Abhimana, Ahamkara, renunciation of desire, renunciation of attachment, renunciation of Mamata and Asakti (mine-ness and attachment).

Swami Chidananda Saraswati (1916 – 2008) was the president of the Divine Life Society in Rishikesh – associated with the Swami Sivananda Ashram