Chapter 10: Sannyas: Entering the Stream
The act can be the same, but if a person is awake the quality of the act changes.
A sannyasin is a person who lives more and more in alertness. And the more there are people who exist through awareness, the better the world that will be created. Civilization has not yet happened.
It is said that somebody asked the Prince of Wales, “What do you think about civilization?” And the Prince of Wales is reported to have said, “It is a good idea. Somebody is needed to try it. It has not happened yet.”
Sannyas is just a beginning, a seed of a totally different kind of world where people are free to be themselves, where people are not constrained, crippled, paralyzed, where people are not repressed, made to feel guilty, where joy is accepted, where cheerfulness is the rule, where seriousness has disappeared, where a nonserious sincerity, a playfulness has entered. These can be the indications, the fingers pointing to the moon.
First: an openness to experience. People are ordinarily closed; they are not open to experience. Before they experience anything they already have prejudices about it. They don’t want to experiment, they don’t want to explore. This is sheer stupidity!
A man comes and wants to meditate, and if I tell him to go and dance, he says, “What will be the outcome of dancing? How can meditation come out of dancing?” I ask him, “Have you ever danced?” He says, “No, never.” Now this is a closed mind. An open mind will say, “Okay. I will go into it and see. Maybe through dancing it can happen.” He will have an open mind to go into it, with no prejudice. This man who says, “How can meditation happen out of dance?” - even if he is persuaded to go into meditation, he will carry this idea in his head: “How can meditation happen out of dance?” And it is not going to happen to him. And when it does not happen, his old prejudice will be strengthened more. And it has not happened because of the prejudice.
This is the vicious circle of the closed mind. He comes full of ideas, he comes readymade. He is not available to new facts, and the world is continuously bombarded with new facts. The world goes on changing and the closed mind remains stuck in the past. And the world goes on changing, and every moment something new descends into the world. God goes on painting the world anew again and again and again, and you go on carrying your old, dead ideologies in your heads.
So the first quality of a sannyasin is an openness to experience. He will not decide before he has experienced. He will never decide before he has experienced. He will not have any belief systems. He will not say, “This is so because Buddha says it.” He will not say, “This is so because it is written in the Vedas.” He will say, “I am ready to go into it and see whether it is so or not.”