First, what is a sannyasin? A
sannyasin is one who has come to understand the futility of so-called
worldly life. A sannyasin is one who has understood one thing - that
something needs to be done immediately about his own being. If he goes on
drifting in the old way, he will lose the whole opportunity of this life. A
sannyasin is one who has become alert that up to now he has lived wrongly,
has moved in wrong directions. has been too concerned with things and not
concerned with himself, has been too concerned with worldly prestige and
power and has not been concerned about who he is. A sannyasin is one who is
turning towards himself, parabvrutti. A sannyasin is a miracle - the energy
is moving back towards oneself.
Ordinarily, the energy is moving away from you - towards things, targets, in the world. The energy is moving away from you, hence you feel empty. The energy goes away, never comes back; you go on throwing away energy. By and by you feel dissipated, frustrated. Nothing comes back. By and by you start to feel empty. The energy is just oozing out every day - and then comes death. Death is nothing else but that you are exhausted and spent. The greatest miracle in life is to understand this, and to turn the energy towards home. It is a turning-in. This turning-in, parabvrutti, is sannyas.
It is not that you leave the world. You live in the world - there is no need to leave anything, or go anywhere else. You live in the world, but in a totally different way. Now you live in the world but you remain centered in yourself; your energy goes on returning to yourself.
You are no longer out-going: you have become in-going. Of course you become a pool of energy, a reservoir, and energy is delight, sheer delight. Just energy there, overflowing, and you are in delight, and you can share, and you can give in love. This is the difference. If you put your energy into greed, it never comes back; if you put your energy into love, it comes back a thousand-fold. If you put your energy into anger, it never comes back. It leaves you empty, exhausted, spent. If you use your energy in compassion, it comes back a thousand-fold.
So now I will tell you what a good sannyasin is. I don′t mean a moral or immoral sannyasin. My word ′good′ has nothing to do with morality. It is something to do with what Buddha calls Aes Dhammo Sanantano, what Buddha calls the eternal law of life.
A good man is an understanding man. A good man is alert, aware - that′s all. Awareness is the only value for me - all else is meaningless. Awareness is the only value for me. So when I say a good sannyasin, I mean a sannyasin who is aware. Of course, when you are aware, you behave according to the law, the fundamental law. When you are unaware, you go on destroying yourself - you go on being suicidal.
If you behave according to the fundamental law, you will be enriched tremendously. Your life will become richer and richer every moment. You will become a king. You may remain a beggar in the outside world, but you will become a king, a pinnacle of inner richness. What Jesus calls the kingdom of God will be within you. You will become a king of the kingdom that is within you. But more awareness is needed.
So don′t misunderstand me. When I say a good sannyasin I don′t use the word in any moralistic sense. I use it in a more fundamental sense, because to me, morality is just a by-product of awareness, and immorality is a shadow of unawareness. I am not concerned with shadows and by-products; I am concerned with the fundamental, with the essential. Be aware and you will be good; be unaware and you will be bad.
An old farmer was watching his young
son. Luke, lighting the wick of the hurricane lamp prior to departing for
′What is the lantern for?′ he asked.
Said his son casually, ′I am off courting Dad, don′t worry, I will pay for the oil.′
′Dang me!′ said the father, ′When I was a courting, I never took me no lamp along, son.′
′That figures,′ came the reply. ′Look what you got!′
If you don′t take the lamp of
awareness with you, you are going to create a hell around you. Light your
lamp wherever you go - courting, not courting, that is not the point.
Wherever you go, whatsoever you do, always do it in the inner light, with
And don′t be worried about moralities - about concepts, about what is good and what is bad. Good follows your inner light just like a shadow. You take care of the inner light. That′s what meditation is all about - to become more alert. Live the same life, just change your alertness - make it more intense. Eat the same food, walk the same path, live in the same house, be with the same woman and the children, but be totally different from your inside. Be alert! Walk the same path, but with awareness. If you become aware, suddenly the path is no more the same, because you are no more the same. If you are aware, the same food is not the same, because you are not the same, the same woman is not the same, because you are not the same. Everything changes with your inner change.
If somebody changes his within, the without changes totally. My definition of the world is this - you must be living in a deep inner darkness, hence the world. If you light your inner lamp, suddenly the world disappears, and there is only God. The world and the God are not two things but two perceptions of the same energy. If you are unaware, the energy appears to you to be as the world, the Sansara; if you are alert, the same energy appears as God. The whole thing depends on your inner awareness or unawareness. That is the only change, the only transformation, the only revolution, that has to be made.