Chapter 1: The Challenge of the Buddha
Sannyas is for the young. Sannyas is for the strong. Buddha initiated a new trend into sannyas. He dropped the old Hindu concept that one should become a sannyasin in the old age.
Hindus have four stages - they are very calculating, very mathematical. Manu seems to be the greatest mathematician of life.very clever. He has divided life - twenty-five years for education, brahmacharya; then twenty-five years for living in the world, the life of a householder, grihastha; then twenty-five years for getting ready to leave the world.Looking after children who have become grownups now, who are getting married, who are coming from their universities; and then the last - sannyas, the fourth stage of life. That means after seventy-five years. The last - when everything has happened, when there is nothing else, then.then God.
This seems to be very insulting. This is very insulting to God - that you are fit for him only when you are dead. It seems you somehow relate God with death, not with life. God should be in the very center of life.
And Buddha says it is difficult to be religious when young - but that is the challenge. It is difficult to observe the way when you are strong - but that is the challenge. It is difficult to become religious when you are rich - but that is the only way to become religious.
When you are rich and strong and young, when energy is streaming, when you are ready to do something, when you are ready to go into a venture, when you have courage, when you can take risks, when danger has appeal for you, when death has not weakened you, when you are full of zest and life, that is the point - take the challenge and move into the unknown.
It is difficult to disregard life and go to certain death.
It is difficult to disregard life and go to certain death. It is very difficult to disregard life. Life is very enchanting, very hypnotizing. It is beautiful, it is a miracle, a magic world - but made of the stuff dreams are made of.
It is difficult to awake in this beautiful dream. When you are having a nice dream.maybe you are on a trip with Marilyn Monroe or something like that; or you have become the president of the United States.. When you are having a beautiful dream, nice, as you always wanted it and it is happening, and then somebody shakes you, you become aware - but the dream is lost. You feel annoyed. Is this the right moment? Could you not wait a little more? I was having such a beautiful dream.
But a dream is a dream, beautiful or not beautiful. A beautiful dream is also a dream; so futile, a wastage.