Chapter 22: Sannyas: A Journey to Joy and Bliss
Conduct an experiment sometime. Decide that for twenty-four hours you are going to do every, thing as acting. If someone insults you, you will not really be angry, you will only act as if you are angry, and likewise, if someone praises you, you will not really be flattered, you will only act as though you are flattered. An experiment like this, just for twenty-four hours, will bring astonishing results for you; it will open new doors to life and living for you. You will then realize to your surprise that you have gone through any amount of unnecessary pain and misery in life by being a doer; they could have easily been avoided if you had been an actor instead. When you go to bed after this experiment in play-acting, you will have a deep sleep such as you have never known. Once you cease to be a doer, all your tensions and anxieties will disappear. Your miseries will just evaporate, because all your miseries and agonies come from your being a doer in life.
I want to take sannyas to every hamlet and every home. Only then can sannyas survive. We need millions of sannyasins; just a handful won’t do. And millions can take sannyas only if sannyas is positive and life affirmative. We cannot have many sannyasins if you cut sannyas off from the world. Who will feed them? Who will provide them with clothes and shelter? Sannyas of the old kind, which was a haven for idlers and recluses, cannot produce the millions of sannyasins that we need. Those days are gone when society bore the brunt of a vast army of recluses. Moreover, sannyasins of the old kind have to be dependent on society, and as a result they became extremely poor physically and spiritually. Consequently, they cannot be as effective and influential as they should be. Sannyas on a massive scale is not possible if we cling to its old ways.
If sannyas has to be effective on a large scale throughout the world - which is so very necessary - and if sannyas has to be meaningful and blissful, then there is no choice but to allow a sannyas that will not be required to break away from society and grow in isolation. Now a sannyasin should remain wherever he is, acting his role in society and being a witness to it.
So I want to unite sannyas with the family, with the workshop and with the market. It will be a unique and beautiful world, if we can make one where a shopkeeper will be a sannyasin. Naturally, such a shopkeeper will find it difficult to resort to dishonest means in business. A shopkeeper who is just acting his role as shopkeeper, and who is also a witness to it, cannot afford to be dishonest. We will change the world radically if we have sannyasins as doctors, lawyers, clerks and office assistants.
A sannyasin living segregated from society is a poor sannyasin, and the society is poorer for him too, because he is one of its best products. When such a person leaves the society to become a sannyasin the society becomes lusterless.
A worldwide campaign for positive sannyas has therefore become urgent. It is very necessary to have sannyasins in every home, in every field and factory across the earth. A sannyasin should be a father or a mother, a wife or a husband; he will remain where be is as a sannyasin. Only his outlook on life will change; now life for him will be no more than a drama, a play. Life for him will be a celebration and not a task, a duty, a drag. And with celebration everything will change.