Chapter 10: Toward Nothingness
Another thing: they may be asleep, but they are more innocent. And innocence can receive sannyas in a deeper way than cunningness, cleverness. You are also asleep; the only difference is that you are more cunning. The children are more innocent.
You are asleep, but you pretend that you are awake.
A friend came to see Albert Einstein; he had not seen him for two, three years. A baby had been born to the friend’s wife and they brought the baby also. Just seeing Einstein, the baby started crying and became very much afraid and wanted to escape from there.
The father and the mother felt a little embarrassed, but Einstein said, “Don’t be disturbed by it. In fact, he is the first person who has expressed his views about me so clearly. Others come; they may not like me but they smile - they are untrue. They talk against me outside, in my absence, and yet here they praise me. Your child is the first person I have met who has simply said whatsoever his opinion is. I am happy to meet such a true person. Don’t be worried about it.”
Children are simple, innocent. And sannyas is something which can be received only in deep innocence.
The more you grow in experience, the more cunning you become. Then even when you take sannyas, it is not a jump - it is a calculated step. You think about it. You ponder about it. You think for and against, pro and con. And then you think, “It seems beneficial.” Or you think, “It doesn’t seem beneficial.” Then you decide. Your sannyas is a conclusion.
A conclusion is always of the mind. There have only been a few people who have taken sannyas without thinking. I say to everybody, when people come to me I say to them: “Would you like to think about it, or are you ready?” A few people say they are ready, they don’t want to think about it. Then it is reaching to a deeper level of your being.
When Maneesha first came, I asked her would she like to think about it. She said, “What? Think? I am fed up with thinking! If you can accept me, I am ready.” This is innocence. She is again behaving like a child. The sannyas will have a totally different meaning to her.
I have heard:
A backwoods preacher was exhorting his followers about sin and morality. Finally he demanded, “I want every virgin in this congregation to stand up!”
Again he shouted, “Every virgin in this congregation, rise!”
Finally a woman with an infant in her arms got up.
“Didn’t you hear me, woman?” yelled the preacher. “I said the virgins!” The woman replied, “How do you expect a three-month old baby to get up by herself?”