Osho on Intentional Sannyas

Question : Beloved Osho, The other day i heard you say that when we take sannyas we make you out a blank check of our lives. I can imagine that this statement would rock the very floorboards of the conservative element the world over. But as far as one of my best friends is concerned, after hearing that, he jumped and took sannyas the next day. Is this the wealth of courage leading towards the new man?

Osho : Satyadharma, it is true that when you take initiation into sannyas you give me a blank check for your life. And it is also true that this will rock the very foundations, floorboards of the conservative element the world over. I want it to happen. I want to destroy all those foundations and floorboards of the conservative mind that have kept humanity under slavery for centuries. They are the worst criminals and the greatest enemies of man. And this is also true, that your friend is a courageous fellow, a man who loves adventure, a man who accepts a challenge when it comes and is not too cowardly to escape and hide himself. But there is one thing that I have not told, and I would like you never to tell anybody — at least the orthodox and conservative elements in the world — that I have never used anybody’s blank check.

Certainly initiation means you have taken a step into a dangerous life. You have accepted me as your friend in the darkness and you have given your hand with great trust. But I have never used any blank check and I have never used or even interfered in anybody’s life. It is just on your part — I am absolutely out of it. It is your initiation and it is your initiative to offer your life to be transformed. But the whole action and its responsibility is yours. You can take your blank check back any moment, because it will remain blank. But unless you take a step with such courage, you are not going to grow.

Growth certainly needs one thing, and that is courage. That is the most fundamental religious quality, the only qualification that I require from my people. Everything else is ordinary and can follow, but courage is the most fundamental thing, the first thing. Yes, Satyadharma, this is the courage which will bring the New Man into existence. The past, the old man, the outgoing man was very much of a coward. He remained a sheep, while he had the potentiality of being a lion. He remained a sheep because it is very cozy to be surrounded by a big crowd; one feels secure and safe. And one feels that “Everybody cannot go wrong, and I am going with everybody.”

This is one of the greatest mysteries of life, that crowds always go wrong. They cannot go right. Have you ever heard of any crowd becoming enlightened? It is always the individual who attains to the highest peak of consciousness. The crowd remains at the lowest possible state of consciousness — just a very small, thin layer of consciousness. And the bigger the crowd, the thinner becomes the layer of consciousness.

Courage means to stand alone and to take a path without anybody to be your companion, without any guide, without any map … just finding out your way in the thick forests of life. This very effort makes you alert. This very fact creates consciousness in you, because you are surrounded with all kinds of dangers — the wild animals, the darkness of the night, and the untrodden path. Nobody knows where you are going. In such circumstances an explosion happens in you which becomes the rebirth, or the beginning of a new dawn, or the beginning of a new man.

But Satyadharma, you have to learn something from your friend. You have taken sannyas almost for granted. It is not a danger to you; perhaps it has become a shelter to you. Mind’s cunningness has no limits. It can make a dangerous situation also a shelter, a security — at least it can hallucinate. Otherwise the very act of becoming a sannyasin will be a great transformation in your being.

“My beautiful sexy lady,” whispered the suave playboy, “you are the only girl for me. I dig you, I’m crazy about you, I’m nuts about you. I can’t make it through the night.”
“Hey, wait a minute,” protested the shy girl. “I don’t want to get serious.”
“Hell, baby,” said the guy, “who’s serious?”

If you become a sannyasin because others are becoming, because some of your friends have become sannyasins — to you it is just a curiosity, not an authentic longing for search — then it will not help you in any way. It will be simply an exercise in utter futility.

Sannyas cannot be accidental; it should be intentional. You should be ready to go into any transformation, any change. And the curious man is not ready for that — only a seeker, only one who is ready to risk his life. That risking of life is the beginning of a new consciousness within you. It is the awakening of your soul.

Source – Osho Book “The New Dawn”

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