Sannyas: Don’t Postpone it

Osho on Sannyas

Whenever the real God is faced, you disappear. There is a Jewish saying: Nobody can see the living God. True, absolutely true. Nobody has ever seen the living God, because before you open your eyes, you are gone. It is fire. It burns you utterly and there is no coming back. It is the point of no return. Remember that whenever Jesus talks about God, he talks about this fire.

So, the God can be approached in two ways. In suffering, in old age, on the death-bed, you can take SANNYAS, as it has been done in India for centuries. When you are dying, the life is slipping out of your hands and you cannot cling anymore; in that impotence you say – ‘I renounce’. Just look at the absurdity of it: when life is renouncing you, you go on playing the ego game; you say – I renounce. Wait a minute more; life is renouncing you itself. You are already being carried towards the rubbish heap!

It is said that one day Diogenes and Alexander went out of the town for a morning walk. They came across a cemetery and Diogenes started looking at the skulls and the bones, and there was a big heap. Alexander was disgusted and he said, ‘What are you doing?’

Diogenes said, ‘I am looking for your father’s skull. He was such a great emperor, your father. Come please, because I cannot recognize which one is your father’s skull. You may be able to recognize it because he was your father. And don’t feel so disgusted, because sooner or later we will be on this heap also, and nobody will be able to recognize! Remember Alexander, nobody will even be able to recognize who was who.’

When you are on your death-bed, just being carried towards the grave, then you start thinking of God. You have missed the opportunity. When you were young, you had something to offer to Him. Now you have nothing; you are a wasted opportunity. You are already empty, hollow. Now there is nothing to give to Him. How can you offer yourself to Him? — you have nothing to offer. The song that you could have sung, you never sang; the dance that could have been your life, you missed; the flower that could have been offered to Him, you never helped it to open. In fact, you did all that was just the contrary, just the opposite of it. And then you think of renouncing, and then you think of God, and then you think of prayer. When the heart is already dead, you think of prayer….

 Remember this: while you are flowing and young, that is the moment of Sannyas, that is the moment of offering yourself to God. Don’t postpone it. All postponement is dangerous, because with the very idea of postponing there is no end to it. You will go on postponing.

The God of Jesus is the God of youth. He died very young. He offered himself very young; he was fresh, he was young. He was at the very peak, only thirty-three when he offered himself; and he offered himself totally. That is the meaning of crucifixion, that is the meaning of Sannyas. He was a Sannyasin. He offered himself totally When you offer totally, it means death.

While you still have life, offer it to God. It will look like death, but it will become a resurrection. If you give yourself totally, God will give Himself totally to you. You will lose nothing; you will gain much. For nothing, you will gain the Whole.

There are a few lines from T. S. Eliot. You must have heard them. They are of the most beautiful poems of this century:

Between the idea and the reality,

between the notion and the act

falls the shadow.

Between the conception and the creation,

between the emotion and the response

falls the shadow.

Between the desire and the spasm,

between the potency and the existence,

between the essence and the descent

falls the shadow.

That shadow is the ego. Nothing is hindering you except your idea of ‘I am’. The more you feel you are, the farther you are from God. The more you dissolve your ‘I am-ness’, the closer and closer you come to Him. Jesus crucified is nothing but a symbol of the ego crucified, the ego dissolved. Then the shadow disappears, and that shadow is hiding the reality.

‘Between the idea and the reality, between the notion and the act falls the shadow’ — and that shadow is yours. The bigger you think you are, the bigger is the shadow. The smaller you think you are, the smaller is the shadow. And if you think that you are not, the shadow disappears. Once the shadow disappears, you know what reality is.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse series: Come Follow to You, Vol 4 Chapter #1

Chapter title: This in remembrance of me

21 December 1975 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘Sannyas’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

    1. The Book of Wisdom
    2. Come, Come, Yet Again Come
    3. The Discipline of Transcendence
    4. The Wisdom of the Sands Vol.1-2
    5. The Guest
    6. The Secret
    7. Philosophia Perennis, Vol 1
    8. Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind

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