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Chapter 34: To Relate with Non-Sannyasins Is Bound to Be Difficult

But they forced him; they said, “We don’t think you are mad, and if you are mad then there is no way to cure you. You simply get out.” Outside he could not manage and simply committed suicide. He wrote a letter to his brother in which he says, “What is the point of living in a world where nobody understands you? And there is no hope that anybody will ever understand me - at least not in my life. It is better to withdraw.”

So this is not only with sannyasins, it is an old story. People of immense qualities, but with a different perspective and different sensitivity than the ordinary mind has, have been tortured, and there has been no way to communicate.

All that the sannyasins can do, rather than arguing with those people, is accept whatever condemnation they have and still ask them, “Do you see that we are happier than you? Do you see that we love more than you? Can you see that we are more silent, more integrated than you? We may be brainwashed, hypnotized - all your condemnations we accept.” Just raise the question, “Are you more contented than we are? - although we have nothing. Are you less worried than we are? - although we don’t have anything that makes us not worry, and we have everything that would make you commit suicide.”

Don’t argue - simply make it clear to them, “We are homeless, we don’t have any money, we don’t belong to any society, we have abandoned all the nations, all the religions. Still, we are happy. We don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, but today is enough. When tomorrow comes it will take care of itself.”

Rather than intellectual arguments, existential comparison perhaps may help them. Perhaps they may start thinking about it, that there is some truth in it. And that is the only possible way to bring them closer. And once they are closer and open and ready to listen, then there is every possibility of communion.

First, you have to melt the ice - and that is the biggest problem. Once the ice is melted, then things become easier.

So first, accept all their condemnation rather than retaliating, arguing against it. That will not help. What is going to help is to just accept what they are saying, then make an existential comparison and tell them, “You can think about it, and if you feel that we have got something that you have not got, we are ready to share it with you.”

And those people are in misery. They may be pretending they are not, but they are in misery, they are in suffering. If you can just make a question arise in their mind, so that they can look at their fake masks and can see their reality for a moment, they will be ready to listen to you.

There is no other way. You cannot force, you cannot argue, because on that ground the conflict cannot be resolved. It can be resolved only on existential grounds. And that’s where many sannyasins miss the point.

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