Chapter 6: The New Sannyasin
So there is only one way to save it, and that is that a sannyasin does not renounce and run away from life but becomes a sannyasin in the marketplace. He should sit in the shop, do laborer’s work, work in the office. He must not escape; his livelihood should not depend on the society. Wherever he is, whatever he is, he should become a sannyasin there. So these twenty people have been initiated in this direction. They will work in their offices, they will work in their schools, they will run their shops, and also live the life of a sannyasin.
The result will be twofold. The first result will be that a sannyasin will not seem to be an exploiter; it will not look as if he is dependent on anyone. It will also be advantageous to the sannyasin, because the old tradition of sannyas - which depends on the society - makes the sannyasin a slave whether this is apparent or not. The sannyasin starts living in slavery to the society. Those to whom we are giving bread, we are also buying their souls. The sannyasin should actually be a rebel - but he cannot be, because he has to spend time in slavery to the people from whom he gets his food. He goes on saying only those things which will please you, because you are giving him his bread.
Sannyas is a revolutionary event. For that it is essential that financially and psychologically a person should be self-reliant. First of all, I would like to make sannyas reach into each and every home.
The other profound benefit of this new kind of sannyas will be that the sannyasin will not be renouncing his home and running away, and the benefits of sannyas that should come to the world will not be lost. When good people renounce the world, the world falls into the hands of bad people. This has been a loss to the world. In my understanding, if the flower of goodness has blossomed in someone’s life, he should be sitting right in the middle of the marketplace, so that his fragrance begins to spread in the market. Otherwise, if he runs away, others who only spread a foul smell will be sitting there.
So there should be a sannyasin in each and every house. He may change his garb, he may put all his energies towards godliness, but he should not leave and run away. He should still go on doing the housework that he was doing, but seeing himself as a vehicle of existence. He should leave neither his wife nor his home nor his children. He should silently go on doing his work, seeing it as the work of existence - but not as a doer anymore, now as a witness.
With this new type of sannyas, I think thousands of people will become interested. The bliss of sannyas will enter the lives of even those who would never think of leaving their homes, and these lives will also gain some cheerfulness. If we start coming across sannyasins in the streets, in the markets, in offices, in the home, their self-remembrance, their very air, their behavior, their dress, will all affect the whole life of the society.
From this perspective, those of you who have been asking again and again.. If you are interested, you can talk to me separately about it today between three and four - whosoever has thought that sannyas can be a possibility in their lives.