Chapter 10: Towards Nothingness

Question 2



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The second question:

Question 2


THE FIRST THING: I have never yet given sannyas to anybody who was awake -- all are sleeping babies! Some are younger, some are older; that is immaterial. What does it matter -- a baby of seven months, or an old man of seventy years? Sleep is the same.

Yes, I was also puzzled in the beginning when some mother would come with a sleeping baby. Then I pondered over it: why should I say no? because that would be unjust to the sleeping baby when I go on giving sannyas to so many sleeping people. So I decided to give sannyas to babies.

Another thing: they may be asleep, but they are more innocent. And innocence can receive sannyas in a deeper way than cunningness, cleverness. You are also asleep; the only difference is that you are more cunning. The children are more innocent.

You are asleep but you pretend that you are awake.

It happened: A friend came to see Albert Einstein; he had not seen him for two, three years. A baby had been born to the friend's wife and they brought the baby also. Just seeing Einstein. the baby started crying and became very much afraid and wanted to escape from there.

The father and the mother felt a little embarrassed, but Einstein said, "Don't be disturbed by it. In fact, he is the first person who has told his views about me so clearly. Others come; they may not like me but they smile -- they are untrue. They talk against me outside, in my absence; and yet here they praise me. Your child is the first person I have met who has simply said whatsoever his opinion is. I am happy to meet such a true person. Don't be worried about it."

Children are simple, innocent. And sannyas is something which can be received only in deep innocence.

The more you grow in experience, the more cunning you become. Then even when you take sannyas, it is not a jump -- it is a calculated step. You think about it. You ponder about it. You think for and against, pro and con. And then you think that it seems beneficial; or you think that it doesn't seem beneficial. Then you decide. Your sannyas is a conclusion.

A conclusion is always of the mind. There have only been a few people who have taken sannyas without thinking. I say to everybody, when people come to me I say to them: "Would you like to think about it? or are you ready?" A few people say they are ready; they don't want to think about it. Then it is reaching to a deeper level of your being.

When Maneesha came first, I asked her would she like to think about it. She said, "What -- think? I am fed up with thinking! If you can accept me, I am ready." This is innocence. She is again behaving like a child. The sannyas will have a totally different meaning to her.

I have heard:

A backwoods preacher was exhorting his followers about sin and morality. Finally he demanded, "I want every virgin in this congregation to stand up!"

Nobody moved.

Again he shouted, "Every virgin in this congregation, rise!"

Finally a woman with an infant in her arms got up. "Didn't you hear me, woman?" yelled the preacher. "I said the virgins!" Replied the woman, "How do you expect a three-month old baby to get up by herself?"

Now that baby was the only virgin in the whole church -- but, of course, a baby cannot get up by herself.

When somebody brings a child to me for sannyas, many times I say no. I say wait a little. Unless I feel that the child is ready -- of course, the child cannot come by himself -- unless I feel the child has moved in his past lives closer and closer and closer in his search, and he is ready... otherwise, I say wait, let the child grow a little.

Not only to sleeping babies -- sometimes I have given sannyas to babies in the womb. If I feel... and to feel a child is very simple. It is very difficult to feel you, because you are broadcasting such confusing statements about yourself -- from your left side something else, from your right side something else, from your back something else, from your front something else. You are contradictory! You go on broadcasting contradictory vibes. It is very difficult to make certain of where you are, what you want. And the complexity is even doubled, because one moment you are one thing, another moment you are another thing. Like a chameleon you go on changing your colors.

A baby is simple, has one taste, has one color. If I feel, if the vibes show me, that it will fit with his life pattern in the future, only then do I give sannyas.

And one thing more has to be understood: my sannyas is not in any way imposing something on you. It is simply conferring freedom on you. By giving you sannyas I am not giving you an ideology -- I am just giving you courage to get free of all ideologies. By giving sannyas to you I am not giving you a certain religion -- Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian -- I am simply giving you courage to be an individual, to be a unique individual.

My sannyas is not a character that will confine you. My sannyas is an awareness that will give you more and more freedom. And if one day you feel that my sannyas is making a prison for you, then drop out of it -- that will be the true sannyas spirit. But never allow it to become an imprisonment.

The child will grow. One day, if he feels that it is not for him, he is free. There is no legal bondage in it. He can simply drop out of it! If he feels in tune with it, he can go deeper into it.

I have no ideology to teach to you. I am not a teacher at all. That's the difference between a teacher and a master. A teacher has an ideology; he tries to condition your mind; he wants to give you certain concepts. A master simply wants to uncondition your mind; he does not want to give you any concepts; he wants to give you clarity of vision.

So if you are thinking that by becoming a sannyasin you have attained to all the answers of life, you are completely missing me. I have not given a single answer to you. I may have provoked many questions in you, but I have not provided any answer. I may have filled you with deep wonder about life; I may have awakened you towards the grandeur of reality -- but I have not given you a philosophy.

I have not given you, in fact, anything. I may have taken many things away from you. I am not giving you new clothes: I am giving you nudity. I would like you to move towards truth naked -- naked of all theories, concepts, philosophies. A naked human being with an innocent heart, with a deep courage. Looking at life as it is. Not projecting any idea of one's own.

So my sannyas is not like a baptism where you become a Christian, or the thread-ceremony where you become a Hindu. You don't become part of any organization -- I have none. By becoming a sannyasin, you simply come in tune with me, you simply start moving with me. You simply allow me to take you to the truth that I have seen. You simply allow me to take you to the open sky where I found something which satisfies utterly.

And a child is more capable of that than an old man.


Next: Chapter 10: Towards Nothingness, Question 3


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