Chapter 15: Sannyas: Getting Free from the Past
Sannyas means a breakthrough. Looking at the past, understanding that it is useless because it is no more, understanding that it is useless, a burden, you put it aside. Then you are here and now this very moment, in the present, in the plenitude of the present.
Sannyas means living without time: not being influenced by the past, and not being carried by the future - no burden of the past, and no desire in the future. Sannyas is a goalless, purposeless life.
If somebody says that sannyas is a means to achieve God, he is talking nonsense. Sannyas is not to achieve anything. Sannyas is to live in such a way, as if you have achieved everything. It is not a desire, because it makes no difference whether you desire wealth, power, prestige, or you desire God, moksha - it makes no difference. The basic mechanism remains the same - you desire. And whenever you desire, the future comes in. Whenever the future is there, it is nothing but a projection of the past. Whenever the future is, it is nothing but the modified known. It is never the unknown. How can you desire the unknown? That which you don’t know, how can you desire it?
God cannot be desired. If you desire, it is something else. God is the unknown, how can you desire it? God is the unexperienced, how can you desire it? You can desire sex, you can desire power, you can desire the ego, because you have known them. You have known them for many, many lives. But how can you desire God? How can you desire love? How can you desire ecstasy? You have never known them; desire is impossible. That’s why all the scriptures and all the buddhas say that God happens to you when you are desireless. Moksha comes to you, you never go to moksha. You cannot go because you don’t know. Nirvana happens to you when you are desireless.
Sannyas is desirelessness, and desirelessness means living in the now. And remember, now is not part of time; now is beyond time. Time comes in only when you think in terms of the past, in terms of the future. This very moment is not part of time. This very moment is not recorded on your watch, because the watch is always moving in the future. It is always moving in the future, never here and now. It is coming from the past and moving into the future.
The watch is representative of your mind; it is never here. The moment you say it is here, it has moved. The moment you see where it is, it has become past. From past to future it is jumping. If you look minutely at your watch, you will see that it is not moving, it is jumping. The minute hand looks as if it is moving because the jump is very slow, but the hand that records seconds, you can see it is jumping. It jumps from the past to the future; it is never here and now. And this is the way of the mind.
Now is beyond time, it is timeless - or you can call it eternal. You never leave it, it is always there. You never go into it, you never come out of it - it is there. If you can live in such a way that your whole life is surrounded by the now, you are a sannyasin, you are desireless - you don’t even desire God.