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Chapter 10: Sannyas: Entering the Stream

The first question:

Osho,
What are the qualities of a sannyasin?

It is very difficult to define a sannyasin, and more so if you are going to define my sannyasins.

Sannyas is basically a rebellion about all structures, hence the difficulty to define. Sannyas is a way of living life unstructuredly. Sannyas is to have a character which is characterless. By characterless I mean you don’t depend anymore on the past. Character means the past, the way you have lived in the past, the way you have become habituated to living - all your habits and conditionings and beliefs and your experiences - that’s what your character is. A sannyasin is one who no longer lives in the past or through the past; who lives in the moment, hence, is unpredictable.

A man of character is predictable; a sannyasin is unpredictable because a sannyasin is freedom. A sannyasin is not only free, he is freedom. It is living rebellion. But still, I will try: a few hints can be given, not exact definitions, a few indications, fingers pointing to the moon. Don’t get caught with the fingers. The fingers don’t define the moon, they only indicate. The fingers have nothing to do with the moon. They may be long, they may be short, they may be artistic, they may be ugly, they may be white, they may be black, they may be healthy, they may be ill - that doesn’t matter. They simply indicate. Forget the finger and look at the moon.

What I am going to give is not a definition; that is not possible in this case. And, in fact, definition is never possible about anything that is alive. Definition is possible only about something which is dead, which grows no more, which blooms no more, which has no more possibility, potentiality, which is exhausted and spent. Then definition is possible. You can define a dead man, you cannot de-fine an alive man.

Life basically means that the new is still possible.

So these are not definitions. The old sannyasin has a definition, very clear-cut; that’s why he is dead. I call my sannyas “neo-sannyas” for this particular reason: my sannyas is an opening, a journey, a dance, a love affair with the unknown, a romance with existence itself, in search of an orgasmic relationship with the whole. And everything else has failed in the world. Everything that was defined, that was clear-cut, that was logical, has failed. Religions have failed, politics have failed, ideologies have failed - and they were very clear-cut. They were blueprints for the future of man. They have all failed. All programs have failed.

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