Chapter 6: The New Sannyasin
I have added a few more things to this sannyas. First, I have called this sannyas a “periodical sannyas.” My understanding is that no one should make decisions for a whole lifetime. Today you make a decision; maybe after six months you feel that it was a mistake, then there should be a way for you to return. Otherwise even sannyas can become a burden. Normally, when we give sannyas to someone we expect that he should remain a sannyasin for his whole life. Maybe after a year he feels that he has made a mistake; then he should have every right to return without condemnation. Hence, what I have called sannyas is open-ended. Any day you want to, you can quietly return. It will not be binding on you.
This kind of experiment is in practice in Thailand and Burma, and it has resulted in a difference in the life there., Every man takes sannyas, at least once, for a while. If someone has free time for two months in a year, he takes sannyas for those two months, and after living as a sannyasin for that period he comes back to the world of his family life. The man is transformed. After living as a sannyasin for two months he cannot remain the same as he was. Inside himself, he is completely transformed. After a year or two, when it is convenient for him, he can again take sannyas for a couple of months.
That is why I have also added another dimension to sannyas - that those who want to take sannyas for some limited period can do this and experiment with it. If their bliss goes on growing, they can lengthen the period, and if they feel that it is not for them, they can quietly return. It has a twofold advantage. Sannyas will not become a bondage. Sannyas is freedom, hence it should never become a bondage. As it now exists, our traditional sannyasin becomes a prisoner in chains.
The first thing is that sannyas will not become a bondage, and the second thing is that sannyas will become available for everyone - even if only a short period. If a man becomes a sannyasin five times for two months each time during his life of seventy years, he will be a different man at the time of his death. He cannot be the same man. The maximum number of people will get the opportunity to become sannyasins; the maximum number of people will be able to experience the bliss and have a taste of sannyas. And it is my understanding that one who goes for sannyas even once will not return. But this not-returning should not be a rule - it should come out of the bliss of sannyas, and the freedom to return should always be there.
It is not good to talk a lot on this subject right now. Any friends who may have a longing for sannyas can see me in the afternoon between three and four.
Perhaps some new friends may be here, so briefly I will repeat the meditation process again. Then we will sit down for the experiment.
This meditation is an experiment in totality. You will get results according to how total you are. If you hold yourself back even a little, then there will be no results. You have to jump into it totally; it cannot work if you spare yourself. And the process is such that you can jump into it totally; it is not difficult.