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Chapter 4: You Are the Question

Sannyas is rebellion against all slavery; it is living life in absolute freedom. To live life in absolute freedom, without traditions, without conventions, without religions, without philosophies, without ideologies - political, social, and others - to live unburdened is sannyas. But it will look crazy to the whole world. Freedom looks crazy because everybody is living an imprisoned life. To prisoners, the person who escapes from the prison looks crazy, because for them prison is comfortable, convenient, secure, safe.

A Hungarian secret police colonel was inspecting a strip of the border.

“Too many people have been slipping across at this point,” he informed the guards. “I have been ordered to test your security precautions.”

After deploying the guards at strategic points, the colonel began creeping on all fours toward the barbed wire.

“Can you see me now?” he called out. When they cried back “Yes,” he started again. On the third attempt he slipped under the fence.

“Can you see me now?” he called back.

“No, Comrade Colonel,” was the answer.

“Then you will never see me again!” the officer shouted as he hastened on his way to freedom.

Sannyas is an escape from the prison - Catholic or communist, it does not matter; it is an escape into the open. To live moment to moment is a crazy way, a poetic way, the way of the lover. People are living lives of prose - clear-cut but mundane, superficial. Anything which is very clear-cut is bound to be superficial. Life is mystery, and the only way to commune with it is through poetry, not prose.

The prose style of life is the ordinary lifestyle.

The poetic style of life is sannyas.

It is bound to be a little bit crazy - all poets are crazy, all painters are crazy, all dancers are crazy, all musicians are crazy. All that is great on this earth has something of madness in it.

Zorba the Greek says to his boss, “Boss, everything is right in you, only one thing is missing - a little bit of madness!”

And I agree with Zorba. Sannyas gives you a little bit of madness, but that little bit of madness brings rainbows to your life. Multidimensional is that little bit of madness. It opens many doors which have remained closed for thousands of years. It allows the sun and the rain and the wind to come in. It gives you a chance to whisper with the clouds and the stars. It is a way of falling in love with existence. To live without falling in love with this tremendously beautiful existence is very stupid, ridiculous. That is missing the whole opportunity of being, of being alive, of being intensely alive, passionately alive.

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