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Chapter 11: Man: The Call of the Eternal

What he means by no man being born with a soul is that no man is born with a program, no man is born with a destiny, with a fate, with kismet. Man is born as an opening - he can be anything he decides to be. Man is born as freedom. That’s what he means when he says man is born without a soul. You have to create your soul, and each moment you are creating it, knowingly or unknowingly.

If you create your soul unknowingly it cannot be a piece of art - it cannot be, because it is like a drunkard painting. He is not even aware of what he is doing, whether he is painting on the canvas or on the wall or on his own face.

A drunkard came home late at night and fell down the steps and hurt himself in many places. He was worried that in the morning his wife would find out. When he touched his face there was blood; he was wounded. He entered the bathroom, looked in the mirror. It was difficult to hide the fact that he had been late and that he had been drunk. The fear of the wife may have brought a little sense to him, a little consciousness, so he tried to somehow hide the wounds on his face.

In the morning when the wife went into the bathroom, she shouted. She said, “So you were late again and absolutely drunk!”

He said, “What do you mean? How did you come to know?”

She said, “Come here!”

And then he knew what had happened - he had put the adhesive tape on the mirror! Obviously, wherever he saw a wound he put the adhesive tape - not on the face but on the reflection in the mirror.

But you cannot hope for more than that from a drunkard.

So, man can create himself in an unconscious, mechanical, robot-like way; that’s what millions of people are doing. Then they become Hindus and Mohammedans and Christians and Buddhists - not Buddhas, not Christs, not Krishnas, not Mohammeds. They become imitators, false, pseudo, phony. Their whole life becomes just a long tragedy. They go haphazardly, zigzag. They become pieces of driftwood, at the mercy of the winds and the waves. They are not deliberately creating their being.

That’s what sannyas is all about - a conscious decision to create your soul, a deliberate effort to give yourself a certain form, a shape, to write your own scripture. You have brought a clean slate, now you have to put your signature on it. Man is a becoming, a process, an opportunity, a ladder, a bridge.

But millions of people take their life for granted. Once they are born they think the full stop has come. That is very unfortunate. Birth is only a beginning, not the end. Birth is not life but only an opportunity to create life.

The whole thing depends on you. And except for you nobody else is responsible, so don’t shirk your responsibility, don’t try to throw the responsibility on others’ shoulders. That’s what man has been doing for thousands of years. First they used to say, “It is God. He has decided already, so we simply have to be instrumental; we cannot do anything on our own. “

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