The Osho Upanishad
Not to be, the greatest ecstasy
22. September 1986
I OFTEN ASK MYSELF WHAT SANNYAS REALLY MEANS TO ME. I READ YOUR BOOKS. SOMETIMES I SEE A VIDEO OR HEAR A TAPE OF YOU; AND MOSTLY IT STAYS ONLY ON THE SURFACE, IS ONLY SOMETHING WHICH TOUCHES MY MIND. BUT MY WHOLE LIFE IS CHANGING SINCE I HAVE BEEN GOING THE WAY TOWARDS YOU, AND THIS AFTERNOON
I WILL SEE YOU FOR THE FIRST TIME.
OSHO, PLEASE TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT SANNYAS AND MY NEXT STEP.
(Question from Sw. Prem Kavi, the webdesigner of the Osho Mahabodhi Meditation-Center)
The words can only reach to the mind.
Your heart is not available to the words.
And mind is superficial, very superficial; it is the circumference of your personality, skin deep. It has no depth.
But you have come here -- that much the mind can do, that is more than it can do. That is enough. Be thankful to the mind; it has brought you here.
As you come closer to me, my presence will start reaching to your heart and my emptiness will start reaching to your being.
Words will go on playing with your mind so that the mind does not disturb my presence reaching to your heart, my nothingness reaching to your being. Your mind is engaged with the words and underneath, underground, the real work is happening.
Sannyas is really coming closer to a master. The old definition of sannyas was going away from the world, renouncing the world To me, that definition has been a calamity. You can renounce the world, you can escape into the mountains -- but where are you going? Because you will be with yourself wherever you go, and you are the problem. The world is not the problem. The mountains are not the solution.
Because I have seen people living on the mountains, they have not become Gautam Buddhas And I have lived in the world, I have not renounced anything — because in fact I don't have anything. I have come without anything into the world, I will leave the world without anything Just in the interval between coming and going, I have just to remember that nothing belongs to me. There is no question of renouncing. The very idea of renouncing means you believe that you own it, that you possess it, that it is yours. We come naked, we go naked. In the interval we can use things.
If you don't possess them, there is no harm in using them. If you don't become attached to them, there is no harm in using them You come by plane or by train here -- you don't possess the tram, so when you get out of the train you don't declare to the whole railway station staff and the passengers, "I renounce this train now." You will be thought just an idiot The train never belonged to you, you have used it. This world is not to be renounced because this world is not yours.
We come naked, we go naked In the interval we can use things.
If you don't possess them, there is no harm in using them. If you don't become attached to them, there is no harm in using them You come by plane or by train here -- you don't possess the train, so when you get out of the train you don't declare to the whole railway station staff and the passengers, "I renounce this train now." You will be thought just an idiot. The train never belonged to you, you have used it. This world is not to be renounced because this world is not yours.
I have not renounced anything for the simple reason that I don't have anything I have used everything, and I will go on using everything to the last breath. And I don't see any problem in it -- one just has to remember that one is traveling in a train.
But there are fools I have seen -- they will write their name inside the bathroom in a train. Just idiots are idiots; what to do? But that does not mean that by writing your name in the bathroom the train has become yours.
I always enjoy the graffiti in the bathrooms in trains, in airplanes, in railway stations, in airports. It simply shows what kind of insane humanity we are living in, what kind of insane people, and what trouble they take. Now in an airport in the bathroom you are writing, wasting your time, wasting somebody else's time who will have to clean it and whitewash it again.
The old idea of sannyas was renouncing the world. The very idea of renouncing is wrong; it is escaping from the world. "Where are you going to escape? Nobody ever thought about the fact that wherever you go you will be in the world. You cannot escape out of the world.
It is not that old an idea -- three hundred years ago it was believed that the world is like a chappatti, so you can escape and jump out; there comes a place where it is written: The End. It is not like a chappatti, it is a globe Wherever you go you will be in the world, you cannot fall out of it. Neither have your saints gone out of the world. In fact, they are more dependent on the world than you are -because you have to supply their food, they don't produce anything. You have to supply their clothes, they don't produce anything You have to supply everything that they need They are simply sucking your blood, they are parasites. These parasites you have called saints -- and they have not gone anywhere, they are just here.
In Jainism, one of the religions in India, Mahavira was asked this question: "Your sannyasins will become a burden to the world because you don't allow them to do anything, because every action in some way involves some kind of violence.. "
You will be surprised that Mahavira is not against sex in the same way as other religions are. He is against it because sex kills millions of living sperm It is a question of violence, not of sex. If you look at his reasoning, it is not sex that he is against He is against making love because you are going to kill millions of sperm.
Once the sperm is out of the male, its life span is only two hours. In a single ejaculation millions of sperm are released., and only once in a while will one of the sperm reach the mother's egg The passage seems to be very small to you, but not to the sperm. Sexologists have measured: if a sperm were the size of an average man, and the passage to the mother's womb were enlarged in the same proportion, it would be two miles. So each sperm has to travel two miles -- a long journey for a little, small soul.
And Mahavira is very compassionate: "Don't kill these poor people" -- although he is not aware that they will be killed anyway.
He was against any action, even cultivation. That's why Jains don't cultivate -- because if you cultivate you will have to cut the trees, the plants, and that will be violence.
You cannot be warriors, you cannot be soldiers. And brahmins won't allow you to be brahmins A brahmin is only born a brahmin. You cannot be a brahmin, no matter how learned you are.
Naturally, all the Jainas became businessmen. There was nothing else left, that seemed to be the least violent way In fact it is not so Because they became the richest people in the country -- that means they sucked more blood than anybody else, they exploited people more than anybody else. It seems that because their violence was not allowed in any other way, their whole violence was focused on the poor customer.
Mahavira was asked again and again, "Your sannyasins will be a burden... "
So he said, "My sannyasins should not stay for more than three days in one place "
In Bombay, the Jaina monks., once they enter Bombay they never leave I was puzzled when I came for the first time in 1960. I inquired, ""What is the matter? These people should leave in three days."
They said, "They leave, they go from one suburb to another suburb, from Dadar to Matunga, from Matunga to Marine Drive. Their whole life they go on changing places in Bombay But they don't leave Bombay, because no other place is so comfortable." Man's mind is such... it will find a loophole in anything.
So Mahavira thought that he had managed so that his sannyasins would not be a burden. He was wrong -- he can come to Bombay and see In fact, if he comes to Bombay he will never go anywhere else again. He will start moving on the same route.
These people never left the world, so the idea that they escaped from the world is absolutely nonsense They lived in the world, it is just that they became parasites
My definition of sannyas is coming closer to a master, coming closer to a light. Your candle is unlit. You bring your candle closer to a candle that is burning bright.
Come closer., there is a certain moment when, from the burning candle, the flame jumps to the unlit candle and suddenly you are enlightened. And the beauty is, the burning candle loses nothing and the unlit candle gains everything -- the whole universe.
Sannyas is a journey from darkness towards light, from death towards immortality, from ignorance towards an explosion of knowing.
The books or any other medium are just a net thrown into the sea with the hope that somebody will be caught in it People are caught, and as they come closer to the master, their life starts changing. They may not understand what is happening, they may not be able to explain what is happening, but their life goes through a thousand and one transformations.
It has to be remembered that words -- either through books or radio or television or video -- are significant only if the master is alive; otherwise they will be simply burdening your mind with more knowledge.
So if you are fortunate enough to be caught in the net of a master in the right time, then don't hesitate, come closer.
There is fear in coming closer because you have lived in darkness for so many lives that now to be in light, your eyes feel uncomfortable. You have lived in death again and again, so that the very idea of immortality has become inconceivable to you. Your whole life is surrounded by lies — to come close to a master means dropping all those lies because they are the barriers between you and the master Before you can realize the truth the lies have to be dropped, however valuable you think they are, and however ancient you think they are. Hence, I always say: This is the way of the gambler.
Now you are here. Don't be a businessman. Remember you have come here to lose yourself, not to gain something. If that remembrance continues in you, you may find the very shortcut and be aflame with a new light, a new life, with a new joy.