Sannyas: Entering the Stream
The first question:
BELOVED OSHO, WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A SANNYASIN?
It is very difficult to define a sannyasin, and more so if you are going to define my sannyasins.
Sannyas is basically a rebellion about all structures, hence the difficulty to define. Sannyas is a way of living life unstructuredly. Sannyas is to have a character which is characterless. By 'characterless' I mean you don't depend anymore on the past. Character means the past, the way you have lived in the past, the way you have become habituated to living - all your habits and conditionings and beliefs and your experiences - that's what your character is. A sannyasin is one who no longer lives in the past or through the past; who lives in the moment, hence, is unpredictable.
A man of character is predictable; a sannyasin is unpredictable because a sannyasin is freedom. A sannyasin is not only free, he is freedom. It is living rebellion. But still, I will try:
a few hints can be given, not exact definitions, a few indications, fingers pointing to the moon.
Don't get caught with the fingers. The fingers don't define the moon, they only indicate. The fingers have nothing to do with the moon. They may be long, they may be short, they may be artistic, they may be ugly, they may be white, they may be black, they may be healthy, they may be ill - that doesn't matter. They simply indicate. Forget the finger and look at the moon.
What I am going to give is not a definition; that is not possible in this case. And, in fact, definition is never possible about anything that is alive. Definition is possible only about something which is dead, which grows no more, which blooms no more, which has no more possibility, potentiality, which is exhausted and spent. Then definition is possible. You can define a dead man, you cannot define an alive man.
Life basically means that the new is still possible.
So these are not definitions. The old sannyasin has a definition, very clearcut; that's why he is dead. I call my sannyas 'neo-sannyas' for this particular reason: my sannyas is an opening, a journey, a dance, a love affair with the unknown, a romance with existence itself, in search of an orgasmic relationship with the whole. And everything else has failed in the world. Everything that was defined, that was clearcut, that was logical, has failed. Religions have failed, politics have failed, ideologies have failed - and they were very clearcut. They were blueprints for the future of man. They have all failed. All programs have failed.
Sannyas is not a program anymore. It is exploration, not a program. When you become a sannyasin I initiate you into freedom, and into nothing else. It is great responsibility to be free, because then you have nothing to lean upon. Except your own inner being, your own consciousness, you have nothing as a prop, as a support. I take all your props and supports away; I leave you alone, I leave you utterly alone. In that aloneness... the flower of sannyas.
That aloneness blooms on its own accord into the flower of sannyas.
Sannyas is characterlessness. It has no morality; it is not immoral, it is amoral. Or, it has a higher morality that never comes from the outside but comes from within. It does not allow any imposition from the outside, because all impositions from the outside convert you into serfs, into slaves. And my effort is to give you dignity, glory. My effort here is to give you splendor.
All other efforts have failed. It was inevitable, because the failure was built-in. They were all structure-oriented, and every kind of structure becomes heavy on the heart of man, sooner or later. Every structure becomes a prison, and one day or other you have to rebel against it.
Have you not observed it down through history? - each revolution in its own turn becomes repressive. In Russia it happened, in China it happened. After every revolution, the revolutionary becomes antirevolutionary. Once he comes into power he has his own structure to impose upon the society. And once he starts imposing his structure, slavery changes into a new kind of slavery, but never into freedom. All revolutions have failed.
This is not revolution, this is rebellion. Revolution is social, collective; rebellion is individual. We are not interested in giving any structure to the society. Enough of the structures! Let all structures go. We want individuals in the world - moving freely, moving consciously, of course. And their responsibility comes through their own consciousness. They behave rightly not because they are trying to follow certain commandments; they behave rightly, they behave accurately, because they care.
Do you know, this word accurate comes from care. The word accurate in its root means to care about. When you care about something you are accurate. If you care about somebody, you are accurate in your relationship.
A sannyasin is one who cares about himself, and naturally cares about everybody else - because you cannot be happy alone. You can only be happy in a happy world, in a happy climate. If everybody is crying and weeping and is in misery, it is very, very difficult for you to be happy. So one who cares about happiness - about his own happiness - becomes careful about everybody else's happiness, because happiness happens only in a happy climate. But this care is not because of any dogma. It is there because you love, and the first love, naturally, is the love for yourself. Then other loves follow.
Other efforts have failed because they were mind-oriented. They were based in the thinking process, they were conclusions of the mind. Sannyas is not a conclusion of the mind.
Sannyas is not thought-oriented; it has no roots in thinking. Sannyas is insightfulness; it is meditation, not mind. It is rooted in joy, not in thought. It is rooted in celebration, not in thinking. It is rooted in that awareness where thoughts are not found. It is not a choice: it is not a choice between two thoughts, it is the dropping of all thoughts. It is living out of nothingness.
THEREFORE, O SARIPUTRA, FORM IS NOTHINGNESS, NOTHINGNESS IS FORM.
Sannyas is what we were talking about the other day - svaha, alleluia! It is joy in being.
Now how can you define joy in being? It cannot be defined, because each one's joy in being is going to be different. My joy in being is going to be different from your joy in being.
The joy will be the same, the taste of it will be the same, but the flowering is going to be different. A lotus flowers, a rose flowers, a marigold flowers - they all flower, and the process of flowering is the same. But the marigold flowers in his own way, and the rose in his, and the lotus in his. Their colors are different, their expressions are different, although the spirit is the same. And when they bloom, and when they can whisper to the winds, and when they can share their fragrance with the sky, they are all joyous.
Each sannyasin will be a totally unique person. I am not interested in the society. I am not interested in the collectivity. My interest is absolutely in individuals - in you!
And meditation can succeed where mind has failed, because meditation is a radical revolution in your being - not the revolution that changes the government, not the revolution that changes the economy, but the revolution that changes your consciousness, that transforms you from the noosphere to the christosphere, that changes you from a sleepy person into an awakened soul. And when you are awakened, all that you do is good.
That's my definition of 'good' and 'virtue': the action of an awakened person is virtue, and the action of an unawakened person is sin. There is no other definition of sin and virtue. It depends on the person - his consciousness, his quality that he brings to the act. So sometimes it can happen that the same act may be virtuous and the same act may be sinful. The acts may apparently be the same, but the people behind the acts can be different.
For example, Jesus entered into the temple of Jerusalem with a whip in his hand to throw out the moneychangers. He upset their moneychanging boards. Alone, singlehandedly, he threw all the moneychangers out of the temple. It looks very violent - Jesus with a whip, throwing people out of the temple. But he was not violent. Lenin doing the same thing will be violent, and the act will be sinful. Jesus doing the same act is virtuous. He is acting out of love; he cares. He cares about these moneychangers too! It is out of his care, concern, love, awareness, that he is acting. He is acting drastically because only that will give them a shock and will create a situation in which some change is possible.
The act can be the same, but if a person is awake the quality of the act changes.
A sannyasin is a person who lives more and more in alertness. And the more there are people who exist through awareness, the better the world that will be created. Civilization has not yet happened.
It is said that somebody asked the Prince of Wales, "What do you think about civilization?" And the Prince of Wales is reported to have said, "It is a good idea. Somebody is needed to try it. It has not happened yet."
Sannyas is just a beginning, a seed of a totally different kind of world where people are free to be themselves, where people are not constrained, crippled, paralyzed, where people are not repressed, made to feel guilty, where joy is accepted, where cheerfulness is the rule, where seriousness has disappeared, where a nonserious sincerity, a playfulness has entered. These can be the indications, the fingers pointing to the moon.
First: an openness to experience. People are ordinarily closed; they are not open to experience. Before they experience anything they already have prejudices about it. They don't want to experiment, they don't want to explore. This is sheer stupidity!
A man comes and wants to meditate, and if I tell him to go and dance, he says, "What will be the outcome of dancing? How can meditation come out of dancing?" I ask him, "Have you ever danced?" He says, "No, never." Now this is a closed mind. An open mind will say, "Okay. I will go into it and see. Maybe through dancing it can happen." He will have an open mind to go into it, with no prejudice. This man who says, "How can meditation happen out of dance?" - even if he is persuaded to go into meditation, he will carry this idea in his head:
"How can meditation happen out of dance?" And it is not going to happen to him. And when it does not happen, his old prejudice will be strengthened more. And it has not happened because of the prejudice.
This is the vicious circle of the closed mind. He comes full of ideas, he comes readymade.
He is not available to new facts, and the world is continuously bombarded with new facts. The world goes on changing and the closed mind remains stuck in the past. And the world goes on changing, and every moment something new descends into the world. God goes on painting the world anew again and again and again, and you go on carrying your old, dead ideologies in your heads.
So the first quality of a sannyasin is an openness to experience. He will not decide before he has experienced. He will never decide before he has experienced. He will not have any belief systems. He will not say, "This is so because Buddha says it." He will not say, "This is so because it is written in the Vedas." He will say, "I am ready to go into it and see whether it is so or not."
Buddha's departing message to his disciples was this: "Remember"... and this he was repeating for his whole life, again and again; the last message also was this - "Remember, don't believe in anything because I have said it. Never believe anything unless you have experienced it."
A sannyasin will not carry many beliefs; in fact, none. He will carry only his own experiences. And the beauty of experience is that the experience is always open, because further exploration is possible. And belief is always closed; it comes to a full point. Belief is always finished. Experience is never finished, it remains unfinished. While you are living how can your experience be finished? Your experience is growing, it is changing, it is moving. It is continuously moving from the known into the unknown and from the unknown into the unknowable. And remember, experience has a beauty because it is unfinished. Some of the greatest songs are those which are unfinished. Some of the greatest books are those which are unfinished. Some of the greatest music is that which unfinished. The unfinished has a beauty.
I have heard a Zen parable:
A king went to a Zen master to learn gardening. The master taught him for three years, and the king had a beautiful, big garden - thousands of gardeners were employed there - and whatsoever the master would say, the king would go and experiment in his garden. After three years the garden was absolutely ready, and the king invited the master to come and see the garden. The king was very nervous too, because the master was strict: "Will he appreciate?" - this was going to be a kind of examination - "Will he say, 'Yes, you have understood me'?"
And every care was taken. The garden was so beautifully complete; nothing was missing.
Only then did the king bring the master to see. But the master was sad from the very beginning. He looked around, he moved in the garden from this side to that, he became more and more serious. The king became very frightened. He had never seen him so serious: "Why does he look so sad? Is there something so wrong?"
And again and again the master was nodding his head, and saying inside "No."
And the king asked, "What is the matter, sir? What is wrong? Why don't you tell me? You are becoming so serious and sad, and you nod your head in negation. Why? What is wrong? I don't see anything wrong? This is what you have been telling me, and I have practiced it in this garden."
The master said, "It is so finished that it is dead. It is so complete - that's why I am nodding my head and I am saying no. It has to remain unfinished. Where are the dead leaves?
Where are the dry leaves? I don't see a single dry leaf!" All the dry leaves were removed - on the paths there were no dry leaves; in the trees there were no dry leaves, no old leaves which had become yellow. "Where are those leaves?"
And the king said, "I have told my gardeners to remove everything. Make it as absolute as possible."
And the master said, "That's why it looks so dull, so manmade. God's things are never finished." And the master rushed out, outside the garden. All the dry leaves were heaped: he brought a few dry leaves in a bucket, threw them to the winds, and the wind took them and started playing with the dry leaves, and they started moving on the paths. He was delighted, and he said, "Look, how alive it looks!" And sound had entered with the dry leaves - the music of the dry leaves, the wind playing with the dry leaves. Now the garden had a whisper; otherwise it was dull and dead like a cemetery. That silence was not alive.
I love this story. The master said, "It is so complete, that's why it is wrong."
Just the other night Savita was here. She was telling me that she is writing a novel, and she is very puzzled about what to do. It has come to a point where it can be finished, but the possibility is that it can be lengthened; it is not yet complete. I told her, "You finish it. Finish it while it is unfinished - then it has something mysterious around it - that unfinishedness...
And I told her, "If your main character still wants to do something, let him become a sannyasin. And then things are beyond your capacity. Then what can you do? Then it comes to a finish, and yet things go on growing."
No story can be beautiful if it is utterly finished. It will be utterly dead. Experience always remains open - that means unfinished. Belief is always complete and finished. The first quality is an openness to experience.
Mind is all your beliefs collected together. Openness means no-mind; openness means you put your mind aside and you are ready to look into life again and again in a new way, not with the old eyes. The mind gives you the old eyes, it gives you again ideas: "Look through this."
But then the thing becomes colored; then you don't look at it, then you project an idea upon it.
Then the truth becomes a screen on which you go on projecting. Look through no-mind, look through nothingness - shunyata. When you look through no-mind your perception is efficient, because then you see that which is. And truth liberates. Everything else creates a bondage, only truth liberates.
In those moments of no-mind, truth starts filtering into you like light. The more you enjoy this light, this truth, the more you become capable and courageous to drop your mind. Sooner or later a day comes when you look and you don't have any mind. You are not looking for anything, you are simply looking. Your look is pure. In that moment you become avalokita, one who looks with pure eyes. That is one of the names of Buddha - Avalokita: he looks with no ideas, he simply looks.
Once it happened that a man spat on Buddha's face. He wiped his face and asked the man, "Have you anything more to say?"
His disciples were very much shocked and angry. His chief disciple, Ananda, said to him, "This is too much! We cannot do anything because you are here; otherwise we would have killed this man. This man has spat on you, and you are asking, 'Have you anything more to say?'" Buddha said, "Yes, because this is a way of saying something - spitting. Maybe the man is so angry that words are not adequate; that's why he has spat." When words are not adequate, what do you do? You smile, you cry, tears come, you hug, you slap - you do something. If there is too much anger what will you do? You cannot find a sufficiently strong, violent word.
What will you do? - you spit.
Now this is Buddha's vision - without mind. He looks into the man: "What is the matter?
Why is he spitting on me?" He's not involved in it at all. He does not bring his past experiences or ideas that spitting is bad, that this is insulting and humiliating. No idea interferes. He simply looks into the reality of this man who is spitting on him. He's utterly concerned: "Why? This man must be in trouble, a linguistic trouble. He wants to say something but he does not have the right words to do it. Hence, awkwardly, he is spitting."
Buddha said, "That's why I'm asking if you have anything more to say?" The man himself was shocked because this was not his expectation. He had come to humiliate Buddha, but Buddha is not humiliated. Buddha's compassion is showering on the man. He could not sleep that night. Again and again he thought about it. It was so difficult for him to absorb it: "What kind of man is this? What manner of man is this? I spit, and he simply asks - and with tremendous love - 'Have you anything more to say?'" In the early morning he went back, fell at Buddha's feet and said, "Sir, excuse me, forgive me. I could not sleep the whole night."
And Buddha laughed, and he said, "You fool! Why? I slept perfectly well. Why should you get so disturbed about such a small thing? It has not hurt me. You see my face is as it was before. Why did you get so worried?"
And the man said, "I have come to become your disciple. Initiate me. I want to be with you. I have seen something unique, superhuman. But first, forgive me."
And Buddha said, "This is nonsense. How can I forgive you? - because I have not even taken any note of it. I was not angry, so how can I forgive you?" Twenty-four hours had passed, and they were sitting on the bank of the Ganges. And Buddha said, "Look at how much water has passed down the Ganges in twenty-four hours: that much life has passed in you, that much life has passed in me. It is no longer the same Ganges. I am not the same man.
In fact, you had never spat on me, it was somebody else; twenty-four hours have passed. And you are not the same man who had spat... so who can forgive whom? Let the gone be gone."
This is the vision of no-mind. It can work miracles. The sannyasin lives in openness to everything.
The second quality is existential living. He does not live out of ideas: that one should be like this, one should be like that, one should behave in this way, one should not behave in this way. He does not live out of ideas, he is responsive to existence. He responds with his total heart, whatsoever is the case. His being is here-now. Spontaneity, simplicity, naturalness - these are his qualities.
He does not live a readymade life. He does not carry maps - how to live, how not to live.
He allows life; wherever it leads he goes with it. A sannyasin is not a swimmer, and he does not try to go upstream. He goes with the whole, he flows with the stream. He flows so totally with the stream that by and by he is no longer separate from the stream, he becomes the stream. That's what Buddha calls srotapanna - one who has entered the stream. That is the beginning of Buddha's sannyas too - one who has entered the stream, one who has come to relax in existence. He does not carry valuations, he's not judgmental.
Existential living means each moment has to decide on its own. Life is atomic! You don't decide beforehand, you don't rehearse, you don't prepare how to live. Each moment comes, brings a situation; you are there to respond to it - you respond. Ordinarily people live a very strange kind of life. If you are going to give an interview, you prepare, you think what is going to be asked and how you are going to answer it, how you are going to sit and how you are going to stand. Everything becomes phony because it is rehearsed. And then what happens?
When you go with such a rehearsal, you are never totally there. Something is being asked and you are searching in your memory, because you are carrying a prepared answer - whether that will suit with it or not, whether this will do or not. You go on missing the point. You are not totally there; you cannot be totally there, you are involved in the memory. And then the next thing happens: when you are coming out then you start thinking you should have answered this way. This is called 'the staircase wit': when you are coming down the staircase, and you start thinking, "I should have answered this, I should have said this." You become very wise again. Before you are wise, after you are wise; in the middle you are otherwise! And in the middle is life. Existence is there.
The third quality of a sannyasin is a trust in one's own organism. People trust others, the sannyasin trusts his own organism. Body, mind, soul, all are included. If he feels like loving he flows in love. If he does not feel like loving he says "Sorry" - but he never pretends.
A non-sannyasin goes on pretending. His life is a life lived through masks. He comes home, he hugs the wife, and he does not want to hug the woman. And he says, "I love you," and those words sound so phony because they are not coming from the heart. They are coming from Dale Carnegie. He has been reading 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' and that kind of nonsense. And he is full of that nonsense, and he carries it and he practices it. His whole life becomes a false, pseudo life, a parody. And he is never satisfied, naturally; he cannot be, because satisfaction comes only out of authentic living. If you are not feeling loving you have to say so; there is no need to pretend. If you are feeling angry you have to say so. You have to be true to your organism, you have to trust your organism. And you will be surprised: the more you trust, the more the organism's wisdom becomes very, very clear to you.
Your body has its own wisdom - it carries the wisdom of the centuries in its cells. Your body is feeling hungry and you are on a fast, because your religion says that this day you have to fast - and your body is feeling hungry. You don't trust your organism, you trust a dead scripture, because in some book somebody has written that this day you have to go on a fast, so you go on a fast. Listen to your body. Yes, there are days when the body says, "Go on a fast!" - then go. But there is no need to listen to the scriptures. The man who wrote that scripture has not written it with you in his mind, not at all. He could not have conceived of you. You were not present to him, he was not writing about you. It is as if you fall ill and you go to a dead doctor's house and look into his prescriptions, and find a prescription and start following the prescription. That prescription was made for somebody else, for some other disease, in some other situation.
Remember to trust your own organism. When you feel that the body is saying don't eat, stop immediately. When the body is saying eat, then don't bother whether the scriptures say to fast or not. If your body says eat three times a day, perfectly good. If it says eat one time a day, perfectly good. Start learning how to listen to your body, because it is your body. You are in it; you have to respect it, and you have to trust it. It is your temple; it is sacrilegious to impose things on your body. For no other motive should anything be imposed! And this will not only teach you trust in your body, this will teach you, by and by, a trust in existence too - because your body is part of existence. Then your trust will grow, and you will trust the trees and the stars and the moon and the sun and the oceans: you will trust people. But the beginning of the trust has to be trust in your own organism. Trust your heart.
Now somebody has asked a question: he has decided to live with his wife because he thinks that to live with one's wife and never leave her, never separate, and never make love to another woman, is a great spiritual quality.
Maybe for some, maybe not so for others. It depends.
Now the questioner says, "I have decided this, and problems are there. I feel attracted to other women: I feel guilty. And I don't feel attracted towards my wife - then too I feel guilty. I don't want to make love to my wife because the desire does not arise. But I have to make love to my wife to satisfy her. If I make love to her, then I feel guilty about myself, that I am being untrue to myself. And it looks like a dragging affair."
When you don't want to make love, then love is the ugliest thing in the world. Only the most beautiful can be the most ugly. Love is one of the most beautiful experiences, but only when you are flowing in it, when it is spontaneous, when it is passionate, when you are full of it, overpowered by it, possessed by it, drunk with it, absorbed in it - only then. Then it takes you to the highest peak of joy. But if you are not possessed in it, and you are not even feeling any love for your wife or your husband, and you are making it... then the English expression is right: making love. Then you are making it, it is not happening. It is ugly, it is prostitution. To whom you are doing it is not the point; it is prostitution. It is criminal. And this is not going to make you in any way spiritual. You will only become sexually repressed, that's all. If you make love you will feel guilty, if you don't make love you will feel guilty.
Now this man has an idea of how a husband and wife should be. Now the wife must be suffering also. Both are hooked, both are bored with each other, both want to get rid of each other but cannot get rid of each other because they don't trust their organism. If your organisms are saying, "Be together, grow together, flow together"; if your organism is feeling happy and thrilled and excited and there is ecstasy, go with the woman one life, two lives, three lives, as many lives as you want be together, and you will be coming closer and closer to God. And your intimacy will have a quality of spirituality.
But not this kind of intimacy. A forced intimacy will make you more and more unspiritual, and your mind will start, naturally, seeking some ways: your mind will become more and more obsessed with sex. And when too much obsession is there, how can you grow in spirituality?
Listen to the organism, and be courageous enough to do that which your organism says.
And I'm not saying to separate from your wife. But if that has to come, that has to come. And it will be good for you both. At least that much you owe to your wife. If you care at all about the wife, and you don't love her anymore, then you have to say so. In deep sadness... the parting will be sad, but what can be done? You are helpless. You will not part in anger, you will not part with a grudge and complaint. You will part with immense helplessness in your heart. You wanted to be with her, but your organism is saying no. What can you do? You can force your organism, and the organism can go there, and go on continuing in the relationship, but there will be no joy. And without joy how can you be in relationship? Then the marriage is false; legal, but otherwise false.
A sannyasin is one who trusts in his own organism, and that trust helps him to relax into his being, and helps him to relax into the totality of existence. It brings a general acceptance of oneself and others. It gives a kind of rootedness, centering. And then there is great strength and power, because you are centered in your own body, in your own being. You have roots in the soil. Otherwise you see people uprooted, like trees that have been pulled up from the soil.
They are simply dying, they are not living. That's why there is not much joy in life. You don't see the quality of laughter; the celebration is missing. And even if people celebrate that too is false.
For example, it is the birthday of Krishna and people celebrate. How can you celebrate Krishna's birthday? You have not even celebrated your own birthday. And somebody who was born five thousand years ago - how are you concerned with that, and how can you celebrate it? It is all phony. How can you celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday? It is impossible. You have not celebrated the God that has come to you, that is inside you. How can you celebrate some other God who was born in a stable two thousand years ago?
In your very body, in your very being, this very moment, God is there - and you have not celebrated it. You cannot celebrate. Celebration has to happen first in your own home, at close quarters. Then it becomes a great tidal wave and spreads all over existence.
The fourth is a sense of freedom.
The sannyasin is not only free, he is freedom. He always lives in a free way. Freedom does not mean licentiousness. Licentiousness is not freedom, licentiousness is just a reaction against slavery; so you move to the other extreme. Freedom is not the other extreme, it is not reaction. Freedom is an insight: "I have to be free, if I have to be at all. There is no other way to be. If I am too possessed by the church, by Hinduism, by Christianity by Mohammedanism, then I cannot be. Then they will go on creating boundaries around me. They go on forcing me into myself like a crippled being. I have to be free. I have to take this risk of being free. I have to take this danger."
Freedom is not very convenient, is not very comfortable. It is risky. A sannyasin takes that risk. It does not mean that he goes on fighting with each and everybody. It does not mean that when the law says keep to the right or keep to the left, he goes against it, no. He does not bother about trivia. If the law says keep to the left, he keeps to the left - because it is not a slavery. But about important, essential things... If the father says, "Get married to this woman because she is rich and much money will be coming," he will say, "No. How can I marry a woman when I am not in love with her? This will be disrespectful to the woman." If the father says, "Go to the church every Sunday because you are born in a Christian home," he will say, "I will go to the church if I feel, I will not go because you say." Birth is accidental; it does not matter much. The church is very essential... "If I feel like it, I will go."
I'm not saying don't go to church, but go only when your feeling has arisen for it. Then there will be a communion. Otherwise, no need to go.
About essential things the sannyasin will always keep his freedom intact. And because he respects freedom, he will respect others' freedom too. He will never interfere with anybody's freedom, whosoever that other is. If your wife has fallen in love with somebody you feel hurt, you will cry tears of sadness, but that is your problem. You will not interfere with her. You will not say, "Stop it, because I am suffering!" You will say, "This is your freedom. If I suffer, that is my problem. I have to tackle it, I have to face it. If I feel jealous, I have to get rid of my jealousy. But you go on your own. Although it hurts me, although I would have liked that you had not gone with anybody, that is my problem. I cannot trespass your freedom."
Love respects so much that it gives freedom. And if love is not giving freedom it is not love, it is something else.
A sannyasin is immensely respectful about his own freedom, very careful about his own freedom, and so is he about other's freedom too. This sense of freedom gives him an individuality; he is not just a part of the mass mind. He has a certain uniqueness - his way of life, his style, his climate, his individuality. He exists in his own way, he loves his own song.
He has a sense of identity: he knows who he is, he goes on deepening his feeling for who he is, and he never compromises.
Independence, rebellion - remember, not revolution but rebellion - that is the quality of a sannyasin. And there is a great difference. Revolution is not very revolutionary. Revolution also goes on functioning in the same structure.
For example, in India, for centuries the untouchables, the lowest caste, have not been allowed in temples. The brahmins have never allowed them to enter into the temple: "The temple will become dirty if they come in." For centuries in India the untouchables have not gone into the temple. This is ugly. Then came Mahatma Gandhi - he tried hard, he struggled hard. He wanted the untouchables to be allowed into the temples; his whole life was a struggle for it. It is revolutionary but not rebellious. Why revolutionary? Then what is rebellion?
Somebody asked J. Krishnamurti about Gandhi's struggle for the untouchables to be permitted into the temples. And do you know what J. Krishnamurti said? He said, "But God is not in the temples." This is rebellion.
Gandhi's approach is revolutionary, but he also believes that God is in the temples as much as the brahmins do. The structure is the same. He believes it is very, very important for people to go into temples; if they don't go into the temples they will miss God. That is the idea of the brahmin, that is the idea of the society that has repressed the untouchables from entering, prohibited them from entering. The idea is the same: that God lives in the temples, and those who are going to get into the temples will come close to God, of course. And those who are not allowed, they will miss. Gandhi is revolutionary, but revolution believes in the same structure. It is a reaction.
J. Krishnamurti is rebellious. He says, "But God is not in the temples, so why bother?
Neither are brahmins getting it there, nor will the untouchables get it. Why bother? It is stupid." All revolutions are reactionary, reactions to a certain pattern. Whenever you react it is not much of a revolution because you believe in the same pattern. Of course you go against it, but you believe. The deep down substratum is the same.
Gandhi is thinking that brahmins are enjoying very much; they are getting God too much.
And the untouchables? - they are deprived. But he has not looked at the brahmins: down the centuries they have been worshipping in the temples and they have got nothing. Now this is foolish! Those who are inside the temple have got nothing, so why bother? And why bring people in who are not inside? It makes no sense.
A sannyasin is rebellious. By rebellion I mean his vision is utterly different. He does not function in the same logic, in the same structure, in the same pattern. He is not against the pattern - because if you are against a certain pattern you will have to create another pattern to fight with it. And patterns are all alike. A sannyasin is one who has simply slipped out. He's not against the pattern, he has understood the stupidity of all patterns. He has looked into the foolishness of all patterns and he has slipped out. He is rebellious.
The fifth is creativity. The old sannyas was very uncreative. It was thought that somebody becomes a sannyasin and goes to a Himalayan cave and sits there, and that was perfectly alright. Nothing more was needed. You can go and see the Jaina monks: they are sitting in their temples, doing nothing - absolutely uncreative, dull and stupid looking, with no flame of intelligence at all. And people are worshipping and touching their feet. Ask, "Why are you touching the feet?" and they say, "This man has renounced the world" - as if renouncing the world is in itself a value. "What has he done?" and they will say, "He has fasted. He fasts for months together" - as if not eating is a value in itself.
But ask what he has painted, what beauty he has created in the world, what poem he has composed, what song he has brought into existence, what music, what dance, what invention - what is his creation? - and they will say, "What are you talking about? He is a sannyasin!"
He simply sits in the temple and allows people to touch his feet, that's all. And there are so many people sitting like this in India.
My conception of a sannyasin is that his energy will be creative, that he will bring a little more beauty into the world, that he will bring a little more joy into the world, that he will find new ways to get into dance, singing, music, that he will bring some beautiful poems. He will create something, he will not be uncreative. The days of uncreative sannyas are over. The new sannyasin can exist only if he is creative.
He should contribute something. Remaining uncreative is almost a sin, because you exist and you don't contribute. You eat, you occupy space, and you don't contribute anything. My sannyasins have to be creators. And when you are in deep creativity you are close to God.
That's what prayer really is, that's what meditation is. God is the creator, and if you are not creators you will be far away from God. God knows only one language, the language of creativity. That's why when you compose music, when you are utterly lost in it, something of the divine starts filtering out of your being. That is the joy of creativity, that's the ecstasy - svaha!
The sixth is a sense of humor, laughter, playfulness, nonserious sincerity. The old sannyas was unlaughing, dead, dull. The new sannyasin has to bring more and more laughter to his being. He has to be a laughing sannyasin, because your laughter is your relaxation, and your laughter can create situations for others also to relax. The temple should be full of joy and laughter and dance. It should not be like a Christian church. The church looks so cemetery-like. And with the cross there it seems to be almost a worship of death... a little morbid. You cannot laugh in a church. A belly-laughter would not be allowed; people will think you are crazy or something. When people enter into a church they become serious, stiff... long faces.
To me, laughter is a religious quality, very essential. It has to be part of the inner world of a sannyasin: a sense of humor.
The seventh is meditativeness, aloneness, mystical peak experiences that happen when you are alone, when you are absolutely alone inside yourself.
Sannyas makes you alone; not lonely, but alone; not solitary, but it gives you a solitude.
You can be happy alone, you are no longer dependent on others. You can sit alone in your room and you can be utterly happy. There is no need to go to a club, there is no need to always have friends around you, there is no need to go to a movie. You can close your eyes and you can fall into inner blissfulness: that's what meditativeness is all about.
And the eighth is love, relatedness, relationship. Remember, you can relate only when you have learned how to be alone, never before it. Only two individuals can relate. Only two freedoms can come close and embrace each other. Only two nothingnesses can penetrate into each other and melt into each other. If you are not capable of being alone, your relationship is false. It is just a trick to avoid your loneliness, nothing else.
And that's what millions of people are doing. Their love is nothing but their incapacity to be alone. So they move with somebody, they hold hands, they pretend that they love, but deep down the only problem is that they cannot be alone. So they need somebody to hang around, they need somebody to hold onto, they need somebody to lean upon. And the other is also using them in the same way, because the other can also not be alone, is incapable. He or she also finds you instrumental as a help to escape from himself.
So two persons that you say are in love are more or less in hate with themselves. And because of that hate, they are escaping. The other helps them to escape, so they become dependent on the other, they become addicted to the other. You cannot live without your wife, you cannot live without your husband because you are addicted. But a sannyasin is one...
That's why I say the seventh quality is aloneness, and the eighth quality is love-relationship.
And these are the two possibilities: you can be happy alone and you can be happy together too. These are two kinds of ecstasies possible for humanity. You can move into samadhi when alone and you can move into samadhi when together with somebody, in deep love. And there are two kinds of people: the extroverts will find it easier to have their peak through the other, and the introverts will find it easier to have their greatest peak while alone. But the other is not antagonistic; they can both move together. One will be bigger, and that will be the decisive factor in whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. The path of Buddha is the path of the introvert; it talks only about meditation. The path of Christ is extrovert; it talks about love.
My sannyasin has to be a synthesis of both. An emphasis will be there: somebody will be emphatically more in tune with himself than with others, and somebody will be just the opposite - more in tune with somebody else. But there is no need to get hooked into one kind of experience. Both experiences can remain available.
And the ninth is transcendence, Tao, no ego, no-mind, nobodiness, nothingness, in tune with the whole.
That is the whole message of Prajnaparamita Sutra, the Heart Sutra: gate gate paragate - gone, gone, gone beyond - parasamgate bodhi svaha - gone altogether beyond. What ecstasy!
Transcendence is the last and the highest quality of a sannyasin.
But these are only indications, these are not definitions. Take them in a very liquid way.
Don't start taking what I have said in a rigid way... very liquid, in a vague kind of vision, in a twilight vision - not like when there is a full sun in the sky. Then things are very defined. In a twilight, when the sun has gone down and the night has not yet descended, it is both, just in the middle, the interval. Take whatsoever I have said to you in that kind of way. Remain liquid, flowing. Never create any rigidity around you. Never become definable.
The second question:
IF YOU WERE A CAB-DRIVER, WOULD I REALLY NOT RECOGNIZE YOU?
FIRSTLY, INSTEAD OF TAKING ME STRAIGHT DOWN TO MG ROAD, YOU WOULD DRIVE ME NUTS FOR ONE AND A HALF HOURS. SECONDLY, YOU WOULD REFUSE TO ACCEPT THE FARE AND INSTEAD DEMAND MY LIFE. THIRDLY, WHILE LEAVING ME IN TOTAL DISTRESS, YOU WOULD DRIVE OFF WITH A HEAVENLY SMILE AND LIGHT YOUR SIGN: 'ENOUGH FOR TODAY.' COULD I STILL MISS THIS CAB-DRIVER? THEN I HAD BETTER GO BY FOOT.
The question is from Swami Anand Adi. Adi is so crazy that I cannot be very certain whether he would be able to recognize me or not. He may! Crazy people are crazy people.
About crazy people you cannot be so certain. Yes Adi, it is possible: you may recognize me even as a cab-driver.
And you say, "Firstly, instead of taking me straight down to MG Road, you would drive me nuts for one and a half hours." That's true.
Help me to drive you nuts - because your sanity is not of worth. Your sanity is just like a rock on your heart. Let me remove it from you. It is a kind of surgery: it hurts, it pains. You would like to cling to the rock. You would like to go straight to MG Road. But my whole approach is that there is nowhere to go, no MG Road. There is no goal in life; life is a journey without destination. So I have to take you zigzag, on and on and on, till you are really tired and you say, "Enough! Enough for today!"
"Secondly, you would refuse to accept the fare and instead demand my life." That too is right, Adi. Less than that won't do. Less than that is worthless. That's my whole teaching: that you have nothing to lose except everything!
"Thirdly, while leaving me in total distress, you would drive off with a heavenly smile, and light your sign: 'Enough for today'!"
That depends on you. You can participate with me in my 'heavenly smile'. Courage is needed. You have invested so much in your distress that you go on keeping it. But remember, the more you keep it, the more the investment goes on becoming bigger and bigger every day.
Drop it! Today it is easier: tomorrow it will be more difficult, because you will have invested twenty-four hours more into it. Drop it as quickly as possible. Don't postpone, because all postponement is dangerous. While you go on postponing your distress goes on becoming stronger and goes on spreading its roots into your being.
I know why you are clinging to your distress - because your idea is that, "Something is better than nothing." And my whole approach is: Nothing is God. You go on holding your distress because it gives you a feeling that you have something, at least something - maybe it is distress, anxiety, misery, but something, at least something: "I am not empty." You are so afraid of emptiness, and it is only emptiness that God comes through.
Let me help you to become nothingnesses. And then there comes that heavenly smile - it comes out of nothingness. When inside you is nothingness, you will have a smile all over you.
It is not only on the lips, it is all over you. It is the smile of nothingness.
See that you are carrying a great load of distress, and see that you are carrying it. And see that you are responsible for carrying or for not carrying: you can drop it this very moment.
And dropping it is what sannyas is all about.
I will have to say about Anand Adi: I'm afraid he would recognize me even if I were a cab-driver. Maybe he would recognize me far better than he recognizes me now. He is just crazy.
There are many more people who will recognize me anyway, anywhere. Only those are the people who are with me - who will recognize me anywhere.
Jesus died. His body was kept in a cave after crucifixion. Mary Magdalene went to see him on the third day, and the body was not there. So she looked around to inquire, and she saw a gardener working outside. So she went to the gardener and asked, "Have you seen where Jesus' body has been removed?"
The gardener started laughing, and he said, "Can't you recognize me?" He was Jesus himself, resurrected. When Jesus spoke, then, only then, did Magdalene recognize him. But she was a woman. She did well - not perfectly well, because first she thought that he was a gardener. But still, immediately, the moment he uttered a single word and she looked into his eyes, she recognized him.
But then Jesus went in search of his other disciples. He met two disciples on the way - they were going to another town, and they were talking continuously of what had happened to their master: he had been crucified, and what the repercussions of it were going to be, and no miracle had happened, and they were waiting for the miracle... And Jesus walked with them, and they were talking to Jesus also, thinking that he was a stranger. For four miles they walked together and they could not recognize Jesus: and he talked and they could not recognize him. They never looked at him. Then they sat in a restaurant to eat, and the moment Jesus broke his bread, then they recognized - because the way he used to break his bread was simply his, unique. That gesture was his; nobody could have imitated it: with such respect, reverence, with such prayer, as if bread was God. Then they recognized him, but it took a long time. For four miles they walked, for four miles they talked, and they could not recognize him.
Many are here who will recognize me in any form. But many are here also who have not even recognized me in this form. It depends on you. If you are carrying certain conceptions then it is very difficult.
Somebody has written to me that he is a follower of Sri Aurobindo; he is puzzled, and he wants to choose. And he cannot choose whether he should remain with Aurobindo or with me.
And he asks me, "You decide."
How can I decide this? And if I decide it will be wrong. You will have to look into it. And I'm not saying to choose, I'm saying look into it. If you have really loved Sri Aurobindo, then what is the point of coming here? If it has happened through him, it has happened; there is no need to come here. If it has not happened and you have come to me, then say goodbye to him.
But people are very clever: they want to ride both horses. You will be in trouble.
This is happening every day. People come to me and they are hooked somewhere else. If they are hooked somewhere, then their eyes are not ready to see me. Now this man says, "If you can say that Sri Aurobindo himself has sent me to you, it will be very easy for me to accept you" - through Aurobindo. Now, I have to tell this lie. Why should Aurobindo send you to me? And why do I have to tell you this? - so that somehow you can make a compromise, so you can say, "Good, so it is Aurobindo's will. So I am not going against Aurobindo." How cowardly you are! How afraid to lose hold of anything! If something has happened, I'm not saying lose hold of it - you go, this is not the place for you. If nothing has happened then forget all about Sri Aurobindo; only then can you be with me. And for this, choice is not needed, but insight. Just see inside!
And the last question:
WHEN I CAME YESTERDAY EVENING TO MY HOTEL ROOM, THERE WAS A LITTLE LIZARD ON MY PILLOW.
Ma Anand Suneeta - you are fortunate that it was not a beautiful frog, because beautiful frogs have the tendency to turn in the night into ugly princes. A lizard is very innocent; don't be worried.
And the really, really last one:
I AM NOW SIXTY-FIVE YEARS OLD AND I CONTINUOUSLY THINK ABOUT SEX. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?
Nothing is wrong that you are still alive, that you are still young! Only one thing seems to be wrong - that you think something is wrong with sex. Nothing is wrong with the sex itself.
But you must have been repressing, otherwise you would have gone beyond it. Now don't wait anymore - finish it. Go into it! Otherwise in your grave you will turn and toss and think about sex.
You are still alive; something can be done. And don't feel guilty. There is nothing in it to feel guilty about; it is a beautiful energy. It can become the passage, the vehicle to God. Yes, it has been condemned down the ages, but there is no need to believe in those condemnations. It has been a conditioning in you that it is wrong, but you can drop the conditioning. You can again become fresh, and you can start moving into it. And don't be worried that you are sixty-five years old...
A rabbi, a priest, and a minister - three elderly clerics - were having tea together one afternoon, and the conversation turned to their most embarrassing moments. When it came to the rabbi's turn he explained how his mother had caught him looking through a crack in the bathroom door while the maid was taking a bath.
The other two chuckled. "Yes," said the priest, "we certainly got up to some tricks in our youth."
"What are you talking about?" said the rabbi. "This was yesterday!"
Don't be too worried. You have repressed enough. Now go into it. Accept it as a gift of God, otherwise repression leads to perversions.
This small story... meditate over it.
There is this old Italian, see, who runs a pasta factory, and his three daughters work for him. One day they are all sitting around making the pasta, and he says to the eldest, "Agnesa, eef-a you were not here making the ravioli and the spaghetti, who-a in all-a the world-a you would like-a to be-a?"
"Oh Papa, I would like-a to be-a Sophia Loren-a. She ees so beautiful! All-a the men are after her."
"Very good-a," says the father. "And you, Maria, tell-a your Papa, eef you were not-a here, een steenking old Napoli, making the spaghetti, who-a in all-a the world-a you would like-a to be?"
"I would like-a to be-a Gina Lollobrigida. She ees so beautiful! All-a the men are after her.
She has-a the Alfa Romeo and-a the Cadillac!"
"Very good-a," says the father. Then he says, turning to the youngest, "Lucia! Bella!
Well-a, tell-a your Papa, eef-a you were not-a here-a up to your elbows een the raviolis, who-a in all-a the world-a you would like-a to be-a?"
"I would like to be... Veectoria Pepeleena!"
"What?!" cries the father. "Who een the hell-a ees Veectoria Pepeleena?"
She pulls a newspaper cutting out of her bra and shows it to him: Victoria Pipeline to be Laid by 400 Men in Two Weeks.
Enough for today.