Chapter 17: You Just Need a Little Courage
I used to have another corporation just like Rajneesh Foundation International: Neo-Sannyas International. Sheela dropped it. I came to know only when I came out of silence, that now Neo-Sannyas International does not exist - and that has been my whole life’s work!
I am going to revive Neo-Sannyas International. That is a movement; anybody can join it, and I have made it wider, I have given it a wide base. There are millions of people who love me, who love my insights, but cannot become sannyasins because they have to change their clothes - that creates trouble in their family, in their job, with their friends, in the society. I have withdrawn it.
I have withdrawn the mala. It has significance in India, because in India the red clothes and mala have been used for thousands of years by all the religions as symbolic of a sannyasin. I wanted to destroy that traditional idea of sannyas, because the sannyasin has to be celibate, the sannyasin has not to touch a woman, not to talk to a woman. The sannyasin cannot stay in a household, he has to stay in a temple. He has to eat only once a day, he has to fast continuously again and again. He has to torture himself. This is sick.
I wanted to destroy this image, that’s why I had chosen the red color. And I had almost three hundred thousand sannyasins in India. My sannyasins created tremendous trouble amongst the traditional sannyasins, because there was no way to know who is who. My sannyasins would be walking on the road and people would touch their feet, not knowing that these are not celibates; they have their girlfriends. They eat two times a day, they eat everything that is the best - whether it is Italian or Chinese or Japanese, it does not matter. These people belong to the twenty-first century, and old sannyasins were very angry because I have destroyed their image.
With our coming to the West, now red clothes and the mala are no longer needed, because in the West they have never been symbolic of religion. They have done their work in India. They have made their point, that a sannyasin can be with a wife, with children; that he need not be a parasite on the society, he can work, he can create, he can earn; that he need not be worshipped.
But in the West there is no need. I was going to withdraw the mala and the color anyway, but Sheela made it more urgent; you have to be grateful to her. All her crimes made it absolutely necessary that now sannyasins should be absolutely normal human beings, so you can live in the society without creating any kind of hostility or embarrassment for yourself, for your family, or difficulties in your job.
And, more specifically, you are now completely devoid of all outer symbols. All that is left is the essential core of religiousness, the inward journey, which only you can do. I cannot do it for you, nobody can do it for you.
So now there is left only the essential quality, the most fundamental quality of religiousness.
That is meditation.