Chapter 8: The Subtle Ego
The first question:
Why do you give sannyas to babies and children?
Sannyas can be given only to babies and children. The very idea of being an adult is a barrier. The adult mind is an adulterated mind. It is already corrupt.
The physical age is irrelevant. Somebody may be seventy years old and yet a baby, and somebody may be young and may not be innocent.
To receive sannyas it needs a very, very innocent mind - one who knows nothing. Then the contact is immediate and the contact is from being-to-being, heart-to-heart. Otherwise the contact remains from mind to mind - and from mind to mind there is no contact really, it is a deception. It only appears as if there is a contact. There is a constant conflict between two minds.
Listen to this small story:
One evening, Katz, a black cat who lived at Master Soen-sa’s ashram, died. The seven-year-old daughter of one of Soen-sa’s students was very troubled by the death. After the burial and chanting to Amida Buddha, she went to Soen-sa for an interview.
Soen-sa said, “Do you have any questions?”
She said, “Yes. What happened to Katzie? Where did he go?”
Soen-sa said, “Where do you come from?”
“From my mother’s belly.”
“Where does your mother come from?”
She was silent.
Soen-sa said, “Everything in the world comes from the same one thing. It is like in a cookie factory. Many different kinds of cookies are made - lions, tigers, elephants, houses, people. They all have different shapes and different names, but they are all made from the same dough and they all taste the same. So all the different things that you see - a cat, a person, a tree, the sun, this floor - all these things are really the same.”
“What are they?”
“People give them many different names. When you are thinking, all things have different names and different shapes. But when you are not thinking, all things are the same. There are no words for them. People make the words. A cat doesn’t say, -I am a cat.- People say, -This is a cat.- The sun doesn’t say, -My name is sun.- People say, -This is the sun.- So when someone asks you, “What is this?- how should you answer?”
“I shouldn’t use words.”