Osho on Sannyas

Osho : Sannyas is not negative. The very word denotes negativity, but it is not a pure negativity. It means to leave something, but it is only leaving something because you have gained something else. Something has to be left. It is not that leaving anything is meaningful in itself, but that it creates a space for something new to come in. Negativity is just creating a space – and if you are to grow, you need space.

As we are, we have no space within; we are so filled with unnecessary things and thoughts. Sannyas, in its negative aspect, means just creating a space – throwing aside the trivial, the useless, the meaningless, so you can grow inside. Growth is decay, but growth is positive also. And I say emphatically that sannyas is positive. Negativity is just the clearing: it is just clearing the ground for the growth to come in.

Negativity is only something without, something outside, and the growth is inside. The positivity is at the center, and the negativity is at the periphery. And, really, nothing can exist that is simply negative or simply positive. That is impossible, because these are two polarities. Existence exists in between: these are the two banks between which existence flows. No river can exist with one bank, and neither can existence.

When emphasis is given to only one side or to one bank or to one pole, it becomes fallacious. But when you accept the total, then there is no emphasis on anything. You just accept the two polarities, and then you grow within; and you use both of them as a dialectic within which to move. Sannyas is understood as being negative. Its connotation has become negative because you have to begin with the negative, you have to begin from the periphery.

This must be understood because sannyas is inner: something is to grow on the inside, so why must you begin from the outside? When you have to grow inside, why not begin from the inside? But you cannot begin from the inside, because as you are you are on the periphery, on the outside. You have to begin from the point where you are; you cannot begin from somewhere where you are not.

For example, health is something inner; it grows. But you are diseased and ill, so we have to begin with your disease, not with your health; we have to negate the disease. By negating disease we are only creating space for the health to grow in; but the beginning is negative.
Medical science has no definition of health. They cannot have it; all that they can have is a definition of what disease is and a science of how to negate it.

Health remains indefinable, and disease is negatively defined because you have to begin with disease; you cannot begin with health. When there is health you need not begin at all. So if you have the inner space you do not need sannyas. Sannyas is to negate the samsara, the
world – the disease. When I say samsara, I do not mean that the world is diseased; rather, I mean the world that you have created around you.

Everyone is living in a world of his own making. I do not deny the world that exists outside. It cannot be denied; it is there. But you have a fantasy world, a dream world around you, and that dream world has become you. The periphery has become your center and you have forgotten the center completely. So when one begins, one has to deny this dreaming world, since this denial is the beginning.

This becomes negative, and sannyas then appears to be negative. We give it a negative connotation because it means to negate this dream world. So sannyas is really medicinal: it is just a medicine to deny the disease. When the disease is negated, the possibility arises for the inner to grow. So sannyas is just to create a situation.

You must understand clearly that when I say ”to deny the world,” I do not mean the world that exists, but rather the world that every individual creates around him. Because of this dream world we cannot know the world that really exists; this constant dreaming becomes a barrier. It becomes a double barrier: you cannot go inside – there is something existential there; you cannot go outside – there is something existential there also.

You are stuck to your dreaming mind and you cannot proceed either way. A miracle happens when this dreaming barrier is annihilated. There is no longer any disease. You begin to exist in two worlds simultaneously, only now they are no longer two because the barrier was the thing that divided them. You become existential inside, and you become existential outside. So this is why a negative approach is chosen.

How does this – the taking of sannyas – affect your behavior? There are two possibilities: one is to change your behavior consciously, and the other is to change your consciousness consciously. Behavior is nothing but consciousness expressed, but if you start with behavior, you may continue with the old consciousness. You can adjust any new behavior to the old consciousness, and then behavior changes outwardly, but nothing really changes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *