See, there are three things: Thinking the Truth, Speaking the Truth, Living the Truth.
The first two are easy to follow. But the third, living the Truth all the time, is difficult. It is very rare. Sannyas is the courage to live what we think is the Truth. We give importance to speaking the Truth. But living the Truth is most important. If you start living your Truth, your respect for yourself will increase. That is the beauty of it.
When you come to me with a problem, I sometimes give you consolation and tell you that it is alright. You see, the very fact that you are coming to me with the problem shows you don’t have the integrity to live with it and solve it! So, I have to console you. Anything can be lost, but not integrity. With integrity, your own evaluation of yourself goes up. When your own unconscious mind starts to believe you it is the most auspicious thing that can happen in your life. The gates of heaven are then open!
When you fight with your own fragments and win, you are a dheera, a courageous one! It is easy to fight with others and win.
When you integrate, you drop hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is pretending to be what you are not. Hypocrisy is hiding in many places so people can’t see who you really are. The fragments in you dominate over each other and make you hypocritical. When you fight with your own fragments and win, you are a dheera, a courageous one! It is easy to fight with others and win. When you fight with others and win, you are a veera, a warrior. But fighting with yourself requires more courage. You don’t fight unless you are tired of yourself. Only when you are tired, you accept that you need to start the fight.
Once you integrate, for the first time, you know who you really are. All the masks drop. You are ready to expose yourself in relationships. You become more authentic. You suddenly realize that you were missing things because of you! Sannyas is all about becoming more authentic. When I say authentic, I mean that you will radiate your individuality instead of your personality. With fragments, you are a personality. With integrity, you are individuality. Individuality is seeing your authenticity through your own eyes. Personality is a built up image in the eyes of society. The master’s work is to create a space in you where you don’t have to guard your personality, where you can be free, where just understanding can cause transformation.
Buddha used to tell his disciples, ‘Count your life only after you have taken sannyas.’
Someone asked me if taking the vow of brahmacharya or sannyas will lead to enlightenment. Whether taking the vow leads to enlightenment or not is secondary. But if you observe the vows strictly for one month, successfully, the respect you have for yourself will tremendously increase. That is enough! It is called asaadhya sadhana – doing the seemingly impossible task successfully. It is making you do whatever your mind says you cannot do! Techniques like fire walking are in this category. Ordinarily, the mind will say that you cannot walk on a fire bed. Once you do it, the respect you have for yourself will increase! Then you will come into integrity.
Integrity needs to be understood in two ways.
The first part is integrating the fighting parts of the mind into one. See, the very life gets wasted in the oscillation of the mind. If you can follow any one path, you will attain it. For example, let us suppose there are two paths to reach Bangalore. One path is 30 kilometers while the other is 30,000 kilometers. You are oscillating between which path to choose. If you choose any one path and proceed, you will reach Bangalore. But if you keep oscillating, if you go on one path for half hour, and then change your mind and go on the other path for the next half hour, what will happen? You will never reach Bangalore! At least if you decide and take the 30,000 kilometer path, you will reach Bangalore, even if it takes you one year! But if you keep oscillating between these two paths, even if it takes thirty years, you will not reach Bangalore.
Even if the chosen path is wrong, the one who moves with integrity automatically comes to the correct path. He achieves what needs to be achieved. Understand clearly: there are only two types of people on planet earth, those who live with integrity and those who live without integrity, that’s all! The scale to measure a person is not the path on which he went but whether he lived with integrity or not.
Integrity is the strength to live your belief, come what may.
Second, not getting diluted by external influences, is also integrity. It is the ability to not alter our integrity or dilute ourselves due to inner confusions or outer influences. The person who lives with integrity, even if he dies on the train platform, will die with the satisfaction that he lived completely. The person who lives without integrity, even if he dies in the best hospital, will die with dissatisfaction. The scale to measure the quality of a person’s life is to see how much he lived in tune with what he felt was life. For example, if he is an atheist, if he lived as a strong atheist and died as a strong atheist, there is nothing wrong. He will attain! That very strength, when it goes deeper and deeper in him and searches, will show him the truth!
source: Living Enlightenment