Sannyas: Trust in Existence
Osho Neo Sannyas Day
September 26 is celebrated as Neo-Sannyas Day. On this day, at the momentous camp in Manali India in 1970, Osho initiated His first group of disciples into his vision of sannyas. Osho turned the obsolete life-denying conception of Sannyas on its head! Osho says I want to destroy the whole traditional attitude. Life should be religious and religion should not have any life. There should be no distinction between the marketplace and the monastery. The monastery should be in the marketplace; the divine dimension should become part of everyday life.
A sannyas that withdraws from life turns into a bondage; a prison. And ultimate freedom is the very soul of sannyas. For me, sannyas does not accept any limitations, inhibitions, regimentation or discipline. For me, sannyas is the flowering of man′s ultimate freedom, rooted in his intelligence, his wisdom.
Osho explains why He calls His sannyas – ‘neo-sannyas’: my sannyas is an opening, a journey… in search of an orgasmic relationship with the whole. Sannyas is not a program or ideology; it is exploration. When you become a sannyasin, I initiate you into freedom and nothing else. It is great responsibility to be free, because then you have nothing to lean upon except your own inner being, your own consciousness. I take away your props and leave you utterly alone. That aloneness blooms on its own accord into the flower of sannyas.
Osho says a sannyasin is one who has trusted me, who says – I am coming with you. Then something starts transpiring between me and you. It is not only changing your clothes, your name. It is simply dropping your whole past and starting anew, as if you are born again. The day of your initiation into sannyas becomes your real birthday.
WHAT IS THE MEANING OF SANNYAS IN THE WORLD TODAY?
The word ’sannyas’ is one of the most significant in the human language. In the past it was given a wrong meaning. That wrong meaning destroyed its beauty, its joy, its laughter. The wrong meaning was renunciation. Renunciation of what? Renunciation of the body. Renunciation of all the pleasures of the body, the mind, the heart. Renunciation of the world, of the people, of those you love, of those you are grateful to. Renunciation of your parents who have given birth to you, who have sacrificed everything for you. Renunciation of your wives and your husbands who live for you and who die for you. Renunciation of small children who without you will not have a shelter in the world, without you will be orphans, beggars.
That was the old meaning of the word ’sannyas’. It has destroyed humanity from its very roots.
On the one hand all the old religions say that God created the world, God created you, God created everything. And at the same time; they say renounce what God has created. It seems your priests are wiser than God. It seems that what God creates, your priests are against.
Let me summarize it in a single statement: all the religions and their priests are against God. If God is the creator of the world, then to renounce it or to teach renunciation is an act of sabotage. It cannot be called religious; it is not spiritual. My sannyas gives it the right meaning it deserves. My sannyas does not mean renunciation, it means rejoicing — rejoicing in this beautiful world, rejoicing with totality, intensity, awareness, compassion, love, of all that existence has provided for you without any guilt, without any sin. All ideas about guilt and sin are created to exploit you…
Your old sannyas has in every way destroyed your life. It has made everything condemned. Your love is sin, your being comfortable is sin, your being rich is sin… Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor, for they shall inherit the kingdom of God.” Can anybody who has a little sense, agree with Jesus that “blessed are the poor”? If the poor are blessed, then why is everybody trying to remove the poverty from the world? Then let the poverty grow because it is a blessing! The more poor you are, the more blessed you are. Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. You are blessed according to Jesus. You should be happy. You will enter into the kingdom of God before any American.
In fact, the American cannot enter at all, because another statement of Jesus is: “A camel can pass through the eye of a needle, but the rich man cannot pass through the gates of paradise.”
These people have helped you to be poor. And I don’t see that poverty has any spirituality in it. I don’t see that you cannot meditate living in a comfortable house — that you have to meditate only when you are uncomfortable, that you have to stand on your head, that only then can you reach paradise. It is very strange, because I have seen thousands of descriptions of God, but I have not come across a single description in which he is standing on his head. If God is not doing shirshasana, then why should you be bothered? Why should you torture your body? I have not come across a single description where God goes on fasts. Then why should you fast?
But the whole old idea of sannyas was that to attain to paradise you have to live in misery, you have to go through suffering. I don’t see that there is any need. I say to you: you can go singing, you can go dancing, you can go rejoicing. And this is my absolute trust — that God, or existence, cannot be against laughter, cannot be against rejoicing, cannot be against joy. I don’t think that in suffering, poverty, torturing yourself, torturing others because of your renunciation, you are becoming beloved of existence. You are going farther away from the source of life; you are coming closer to death, and death is not the goal of religion. The goal of religion is eternal life, and life includes rejoicing.
Hence I teach a Sannyas which is just the opposite of the old sannyas — diametrically opposite. I want my people to go to heaven, to paradise — all the way dancing, singing songs of joy. And I think they will be the first to enter into the kingdom of God, not the people who are basically sick. I would like you to remember what the old religions have been teaching to people. They have been making them schizophrenic. They have been creating a split in their personality. They are making them divided against themselves. There have been saints, whose only quality and contribution is that they were very efficient in torturing themselves. You know perfectly well they will lie down on a bed of thorns. This is tapascharya, this is austerity. But do you think existence wants you to lie down on a bed of thorns? Is existence a sadist that it wants you to be tortured?…
I want the beautiful word `sannyas’ to be taken away from all its old associations, and I want to give it a new meaning, a new fragrance, a new health, a new wholeness. I want you to remember a simple fact: that what is natural is divine, and what is unnatural is evil. Celibacy is evil because it is unnatural. To follow the course of nature, to remain in a deep contact with all that is natural, not fighting it but in a deep friendship, in a let-go — that is my definition of Sannyas.
You can swim against the river, against the current — that was the old sannyas. I don’t say to you even to swim. I want you to float and go with the river in a deep let-go, in a deep trust, wherever it leads. Existence cannot deceive you. We are born of it, we are its children. How can it deceive us? It does not deceive the rosebushes; it brings them beautiful roses. It does not deceive the lotuses. It does not deceive the birds. It does not deceive the sun, the moon, the stars. Why should it deceive its greatest creation, human consciousness — its highest peak? No, it is impossible. Existence is with you. You just have to learn how to be with it. And to be with it totally, without any conditions, is what I mean by sannyas.
Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.
Discourse Series: The Sword and the Lotus Chapter #4
Chapter title: The only secret there is
22 January 1986 pm in
Osho has spoken on ‘Sannyas, Rejoicing, Life, Existence, Let-go, Celebration’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language
- I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
- Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- Philosophia Perennis
- YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose
- Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1
- The Last Testament, Vol 2
- Sat Chit Anand