Chapter 10: Seriousness: The Disease of the Ego
Immediately he came to me and he said, “This is too much! Sannyasins playing cards?”
I said, “What is wrong in it? Cards are beautiful. And they are not doing anybody any harm - just enjoying playing cards.”
This man was a politician, and he is playing cards in politics, and gambling, but that he cannot understand. People playing cards is just simple - just celebrating the moment. And this man in his whole life was playing cards, very dangerous cards, violent, stepping on people’s heads, doing everything that a politician has to do. But he was thinking himself religious. And poor sannyasins, just playing cards, they were condemned. He said, “I never expected.” I told him that to me there is nothing wrong in it.
There is nothing wrong when you are not harming anybody. When you harm somebody, then it is wrong. Sometimes things which have been thought to be wrong are not so wrong. For example: you are talking nonsense to a person and throwing rubbish into his head - and you can throw only rubbish, you don’t have anything else - that’s okay. But a person sitting in the corner and smoking a cigarette - that is wrong? He is at least not throwing rubbish on anybody’s head or into anybody’s head. He has found a substitute for the lips: he doesn’t talk, he smokes. He may be harming himself, but he is not harming anybody else. He may be a fool, but he is not a sinner.
Always try to think on the lines that if you are harming somebody, only then is something wrong. If you are not harming anybody and if you are a little aware - in the “anybody” you will also be included - if you are not harming anybody, you included, everything is beautiful. Then you can do your thing.
Sannyas to me is not a serious thing. In fact, it is just the opposite: it is a jump into non-seriousness. You have lived seriously for many lives. What have you gained? The whole world teaches you to be serious, to do your duty, to be moral, to be this and that. I teach you fun; I teach you being festive. I teach you nothing but celebration. Just remember one thing: your celebration should not be harmful to anybody else, that’s all.
But the ego is the problem. If you take life as fun and you celebrate it like a feast, then your ego will disappear. The ego can exist only when you are serious. Childlike, then the ego disappears. So you have a haughty look, you walk uptight; you are doing something very serious nobody else is doing: you are trying to help the whole world and reform. You take on your shoulders the burden of the whole world. Everybody is immoral; only you are moral. And everybody is committing sin; only you are virtuous. Then the ego feels very good.