Sannyas is pure adventure

Fri, 7 July 1977 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Far Beyond the Stars
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
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First, a few things about sannyas.... It is an initiation into the formless. It is not an initiation into some rigid form, it is not giving you a certain discipline - on the contrary it is an initiation into freedom, into a formless creative chaos.

The old concept of sannyas all over the world was to give you a rigid discipline, to give you a character, to give you a certain form, a pattern, a life style. My sannyas is not like that at all; it is a radical charge. I don't give you any character, because to me the man of character is a dead man.

I would like to take all character from you so you are left in a creative chaos... so each moment one has to respond to life, not out of a certain pattern. The pattern comes from the past, and if the pattern predominates, the past predominates, and to be guided by the past is to be guided by death.

The past is dead.

To respond in the moment without any pattern, just out of spontaneity - whatsoever the feeling of the moment decides, to act just like that - is what I call 'creative chaos'... a characterless consciousness, a present without past, a freedom unhindered by any discipline. This very process of relaxing into freedom is what brings a person to reality. The more we are, the less the reality is; the less we are, the more reality.

We are a kind of resistance: what we call the ego, the personality, is nothing but a kind of resistance to reality. It is a kind of frozenness, it is a kind of fear and greed. It is a kind of private idiocy - that you would like to live your own life. It is against the universal and the total, hence it brings misery.

Sannyas means: now I will live in the universal. I will not have any private opinion of life - I will let the whole decide; I will not pretend the part is the whole. I will no more be decisive on my own. I will allow the decision to arise in my consciousness and take possession of me.

To live that way is to live the life of a sannyasin. It is utterly beautiful, utterly blessed, but great courage is needed because you don't have a guide, you don't have a particular form; you cannot depend on the past. One has to move from the unknown to the unknown and one never knows what is going to happen next moment, where one is going to land. There is no security in it, no safety in it; it is pure adventure.

So I don't make you a hindu, I don't make you a Christian or a Mohammedan; I simply make you a non-being. And there is every possibility that the freedom can grow in you. Just a slight push, just a little courage. And you are on the brink; the jump can happen any moment. It will not need any preparation - it will need only courage.

In fact, preparation is a kind of cowardice: people prepare to avoid the fact that they are cowards.

When you are not a coward there is no need for any preparation. And all illumination is sudden, it is not gradual. It is not that slowly, slowly, you become blessed, no. Just a single moment before you were in misery and a single moment afterwards all misery has disappeared: it is a quantum leap.

This is the very revolution that this new kind of sannyas brings into life. So from this moment keep a little alert not to allow the past to interfere. Let the present moment be decisive; let it gain more power. And don't think too much of the consequences. The man who thinks of consequences becomes a coward.

This moment, whatsoever feels right, do it - whatsoever the consequences. Don't be too considerate of the consequences. We consider the consequences too much and we go on missing the opportunity. The opportunity is only for those who can take it, so don't be at all concerned about the consequences and the results; they come on their own.

If one acts totally in the present a beautiful future is automatically created. If you have been loving in this moment, the next moment is going to be of greater love, obviously, because it will grow out of this moment; it cannot come from anywhere else. You need not worry about it.

A man who becomes courageous enough to live in the present starts creating a future without even thinking about it. And a man who is not courageous and goes on thinking about consequences, pros and cons - what will happen if he does this and what will happen if he does that - goes on missing the present. And naturally he goes on missing the future too, because if you don't sow the seeds now there is not going to be any morrow.

Tomorrow again you will be thinking about another tomorrow because when tomorrow comes it comes as today. You become accustomed to the habit of thinking always of the tomorrow and the tomorrow never comes. So only this moment is, and to live in this moment as if it is absolute - no past, no future - is what sannyas is all about.

It needs tremendous courage and it is the greatest adventure there is, but it brings great ecstasies - unimagined, never even dreamt about. It brings great joy, great celebration... and unmotivated, uncaused: one simply feels joyful for no particular reason at all.

When joy is without any reason it is divine; when it has some reason it is ordinary, it is just worldly.

You have won a lottery and are feeling happy; a friend has come to see you and you are feeling happy - but your feeling happy is dependent on causes. Those causes will disappear soon and then you will become unhappy. So the same causes that create happiness will create unhappiness, and one goes on moving in this vicious circle.

The search is to find a joy which is uncaused. One simply is joyful for no reason at all... one is joyful because one is.

Prem means love, madhu has two meanings - one meaning is honey, sweetness, another meaning is wine - and love has both the qualities: it is sweet and it is intoxicating. It is as sweet as honey; in fact there is no other sweetness in life except love. It is only love that makes you sweet, it is only love that gives grace and dignity. It is only love that takes away all bitterness of life: through it all thorns simply disappear and one starts blooming into a thousand and one lotuses.

It is the only honey and it is a wine too. It makes you intoxicated with life - and to be intoxicated with life is to become religious, because to me life is god and to be utterly intoxicated with it is to be in god.

Deva means divine, pushava means celebration. And religion to me is not a fast but a feast. It is not serious, it is festive. So don't think about religion or about your sannyas in a serious way. Take it easy... in a playful mood.

It looks profane to think of god as fun but god is fun. And once we start thinking of god as fun, we can relax; the tension disappears and the guilt too. Otherwise god becomes such a serious affair that people become very sad about it. When they cannot find a way they become more and more repressed, depressed. and more and more they start feeling that they are unworthy and a great guilt arises. They start feeling that they are condemned, foredoomed. And the whole nonsense happens because from the very beginning they have been taught or they have been thinking that god is a serious affair - god is not!

This whole existence is a very non-serious play, it is leela.

So that is the meaning of your name and that meaning has to be brought to your consciousness more and more. Mm? you have to absorb it. So dance, sing, celebrate - let that be your approach towards god.

[A sannyasin says: Osho, for a long time I've been feeling relatively negative.... Just lately I've been having positive feelings... but I find that I'm being more selfish, more arrogant... How can I destroy my ego and yet retain my competence?]

Nobody can destroy the ego because the very effort to destroy it will create a new ego. One can only understand the ego, and through understanding it disappears. It cannot be destroyed, it simply disappears.

It cannot be destroyed because in the first place it is not an entity, it is like a shadow. You cannot fight with the shadow: you cannot have a sword and kill the shadow, you cannot burn the shadow.

The fire will be impotent, the sword will be meaningless. The shadow cannot be killed that way and if you fight the shadow with a sword you will finally come to the conclusion that the shadow is very strong, more strong than the sword.

If you try to destroy the shadow by fire you will naturally conclude that the fire is impotent, the shadow is so strong it cannot be burned, but the reality is that the shadow is not, that's why it cannot be burned and cannot be cut by a sword. One has simply to understand: the ego is not an entity, it is not something that you can destroy. You cannot shatter it on the floor. It is nothing, just a shadow, so you have to look into it, that's all.

So don't be in any hurry - just go on looking. When it arises, just watch where it is, what it is, and watch very very carefully, patiently. The more alert you become about it, the more you start recognising it and its subtleties - because it is very subtle. It comes in a very round-about way, it comes very indirectly. It never confronts you from the front, it comes from the back door.

So just watch it, become more and more watchful. The more you watch, the less it will be: one day when watchfulness has become perfect, it is not there. And you will laugh then, you will say 'It was never there, I was just not alert!'

To me the ego is absence of alertness - just as darkness is absence of light: you bring light and darkness disappears. Don't fight with darkness otherwise it will never disappear. Just bring light, burn a candle, and that will do!

So become more and more alert about it - one thing, mm?

And negativity always comes to everybody. It is only after negativity that the positivity arises. To some people positivity comes first, then they become negative; to some people negativity comes first and then they become positive. But everybody who is around here has to pass through both the phases; they are like day and night.

So don't be worried about that either, it is natural: the mind changes its climate. Sometimes you will be negative, and when you are negative you will be very very negative, mm? because you are an extremist - that I can see. When you are negative, you will be very very negative; when you are positive, you will be very very positive - you will never be lukewarm... but perfectly good!

Enjoy while you are positive and enjoy while you are negative. Enjoy the no when you are negative and enjoy the yes when you are positive... and both are beautiful! Nothing is wrong in the no, no is as beautiful as yes.

Enjoy both and remain watchful. By and by for a few times you will move in the wheel - positive/negative, positive/negative - then you will see the whole pointlessness of it. When you see the pointlessness of it a totally different quality comes to your mind which is neither positive nor negative; only that day do you become my sannyasin!

By being positive you don't become my sannyasin - don't carry that idea in your head. Many people think that when they are positive they are really with me. They are not, because the positive will be superseded sooner or later by the negative: the day will end in night.

And those who are negative feel very much disturbed that they are not with me. They feel so far away and so against and they start feeling guilt. Nothing to be worried about! The night is going to end in day soon; every night ends in morning.

But whether you are in the positive or in the negative, both ways you are not yet with me: you are in your mind. Listening to it, seeing it, going into it many times, you will become capable of coming out of both. That's what transcendence is: when you come out of both. And then you are with me - nobody can take you away from me; all barriers have disappeared. Then there is no yes and no no.

There is pure love... without any conditions. That's going to happen - don't be worried!

[The leader of the chanting group says that someone has told her that the sanskrit words used in the mantras are being mispronounced. She's been having difficulty in being both spontaneous and correct.]

Don't bother too much about sanskrit and grammar and language; that will destroy the whole joy of it. You will become too much concerned with the rules of the language and the pronunciation and this and that, and that is not the real thing.

So last time (when the group came to darshan) it was not as it could have been. Invent! The english language is as divine as any sanskrit: any sound which feels aesthetic and beautiful, any sound which creates a thrill and joy in the heart, will do.

Even if it doesn't belong to any language - that is not the point at all - you can find just pure sounds that are more deep-going. Because when you use a certain word it has certain meanings; those meanings create a limitation. When you use a pure sound it has no limitations: it is infinite.

For example, if you say 'ram' it has a limitation: the hindu idea of god and everything is there. If you say 'allah' it has a limitation: the mohammedan concept is there to define it. If you say 'aum' the whole indian mind is behind it. For centuries they have repeated the word, they have put much energy into it, they have put much meaning into it. All that meaning is put in.

But you can find any sound which has no meaning, which belongs to no tradition; you can be inventive, and then there are no rules and no limitations, and no problems. and you can go more deeply into it. The whole thing is how to be lost in it, how to become the sound. When you are thinking about the grammar you cannot become the sound. Mm? the mind goes on keeping watch - something may go wrong. You cannot go very deep.

So forget all grammar, forget all language; use any words and any sounds that you feel like. the whole point to remember is that the people who are chanting should be completely lost in it; they should become drunk.

So the best was your 'allah', mm? that day - that was the best - because people were really getting into it, and the reason was that no Mohammedan has been teaching you! Otherwise there are flaws, and then if a Mohammedan comes and he feels that this is wrong and you should not say it this way, then you will be disturbed.

[The Indian] disturbed you because she told you that sanskrit language has to be pronounced this way and that - she disturbed... no need! It is good for her because for her it is not a problem but for you it will become a problem and it will not lead you where I want you to go. And for everybody it will become a problem.

And the second thing: when you come next time you should not do too many, mm? because when you do too many you don't get into it. Two are enough; fifteen minutes each will do. And when you are doing it there (in Radha Hall where the groups practise) do four - fifteen minutes will do, or even sometimes thirty minutes... because the longer you go the deeper you go. In fact near around forty minutes one enters the unconscious depth.

So there is no need to change, because we are not worried about how many mantras you chanted; that is not the point. One mantra will do, but if you get into it then let it be there and go on and on and on and on so you completely lose yourself in it.

So when you do it here, you can do either one mantra or two at the most.

[She then asks if they can use percussion instruments.]

You will become like the music group...

Mm, then it will lose its distinctiveness....

It is better to keep to sound, only sound, because that again is a different thing. Then you become more interested in the music and the music affects you - not your own sound. And chanting should be free of all instruments so a person can do it anywhere. If he is sitting in the forest or on the river bank or in his bedroom, he can do it. It should not be attached to anything that is needed; it should not have any requirement, just his own sound is enough.

Don't do that, mm? Just sound is good.

The whole point is: don't be too much worried about the letter... just the spirit. You can use words, I'm not saying not to. You can use hindu words, you can use christian words, you can use mohammedan words; that is not the problem. Just don't be too much worried about the letter. And if somebody comes, tell them that Osho is not insistent upon that, his insistence is to go into it and forget about yourself - so we are not worried about the grammar.

Many people will come, particularly these people. There are always stupid people who look for the non-essential. If they see that you are doing a mantra and that you are not pronouncing it rightly they become too concerned - as if something is going very very wrong or some sin is being committed.

Don't be bothered by these, just tell them that you are not concerned. That's what I am saying, that if you invent some words, some sounds, that will be perfectly good. Then nobody can come and say 'What are you doing?' You are always right, mm?

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