Q: You have said that your sannyasins live individual lives in freedom. Doesn’t everyone live an individual life? What is the difference that makes a person a sannyasin? Is it meditation?
There are many things that make a person a sannyasin. One is a deep frustration with life as it is available in the ordinary world, a sense of meaninglessness in whatever one is doing, a despair that one does not know even who one is, a deep anguish that “Life is slipping out of my hands. Death can happen any moment and I have not even started the journey yet.”
These are the first circle of the necessary milieu that makes one seek and search for someone who may have a different quality of life, who may have found some meaning, who may have reached the oasis. While you are in the desert, somebody may have found the sources of living waters. And if one looks around, one is always bound to find someone.
And it is not a question of any intellectual conviction. Just the meeting with such a person and there is an instant communion. One knows, one cannot give any explanation why, but one knows that this is the man. It is not of the head, otherwise reason could have been supplied. It is something of the heart, almost a love affair.
Once you have found a man of whom you can think as one who has arrived – you can give it any name: who is enlightened, awakened, simply one who has no longer any problems, no anxiety, no anguish, no boredom – one’s every breath is full of joy, one’s every moment is a rejoicing.
This synchronicity makes you ask and inquire about the way – call it meditation, the journey towards one’s own self, the search for meaning, for truth. This meeting is very significant. It ignites something in you. Something that was dormant in you suddenly becomes active. The presence of this man is enough; it is a catalytic agent, and you start flying with him into new dimensions of being.
I had started alone, and then people went on coming and my caravan began to become bigger and bigger and bigger. Now everything becomes totally different, because now you are no more zombies. The whole world is full of zombies, sleeping people, somnambulists. Now something has awakened in you and that something is enough. As a seed, it will grow. It will come to fruition, to flowering.
And when so many people gather around such a man, naturally a commune arises. All this happens without any planning. I had never thought of any commune. I have never even thought of teaching anybody anything. I was fulfilled and happy. But you cannot avoid – something like a magnetic force pulls potential people around you. And soon it is going to become a vast ocean.
Then the work becomes very easy, because all these people are at different points in the journey and they start helping each other. They become sharers of my work, they relieve me of much work. They start helping each other. The commune becomes almost many bodies and one soul. Everybody’s growth somehow helps your growth. Everybody’s enlightenment is going to help everybody else’s enlightenment. It is a kind of invisible sharing of energies.
So communes are immensely important, otherwise it is very difficult: how can I help millions of people? And now the world needs more and more communes. People can come here, have a little taste of what it is all about, go back to their own commune and spread the fragrance. So this place has already become a world capital of all the mystics, of all the seekers of truth.
It was for many reasons that I declared that it is not a religion, not an organization – because I want it to remain a very liquid, free, flowing energy; not solid, rocklike, but like a breeze. We can start these vibrations around the earth and all our communes can become both receivers and broadcasters.
If we can create a circle of conscious energy around the earth, that is the only hope for the world, for the new man. Otherwise, this century is going to see the end of all life on this earth. But we are taking the challenge, and I don’t think that death is more powerful than life, that hate is more powerful than love, that nuclear weapons are more powerful than mystic experiences. We have to prove it. And I am certain that we are capable of proving it.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol 1, Ch 19, Q 4