Chapter 10: Sannyas: Dying to the Past
To me, sannyas is not something very serious. Life itself is not very serious, and one who is serious is always dead. Life is just an overflowing energy without any purpose, so to me, sannyas is to lead life purposelessly. Live life as a play and not as a work. If you can take this whole life just as a play, you are a sannyasin; then you have renounced. Renunciation is not leaving the world, but changing the attitude.
That is why I can initiate anyone into sannyas. To me, initiation itself is a play. And I will not ask for any qualifications - whether you are qualified or not - because qualifications are asked when something serious is done. Just by existing everyone is qualified enough to play, and even if he is unqualified to be a sannyasin it makes no difference, because the whole thing is just a play.
So I will not ask for any qualifications. And my sannyas does not involve any obligation either. The moment you are a sannyasin, or a sannyasini, you are totally at freedom. It means that you have taken a decision, and this is the last decision: to live in indecision, to live in freedom.
The moment you are initiated into sannyas, you are initiated into an uncharted, unplanned future. Now you are not tethered by the past; you are free to live. So a sannyasin, to me, is a person who decides to live to the utmost, to the optimum, to the maximum. Moment to moment you live; moment to moment you act. Each moment is complete in itself. You do not decide how to act; the moment comes to you, and you act. There is no predetermination; there is no preplan.
Sannyas means living moment to moment, with no commitments to the past. If I give you a mala and if I give you new clothes, this is only for your remembrance: to remind you that now you do not have to make any decisions, now you are no longer the old. When this awareness becomes so deep that you do not need to remember it, then throw the robe, then throw the mala. But not until the awareness becomes so deep that now, even in sleep, you know that you are a sannyasin. So a new name, a new robe, a mala - these are just devices to help you; to help you toward freedom, to help you toward total being, to help you toward total action.
Sannyas means that you have come to realize that you are a seed, a potentiality. Now you have taken the decision to grow; and this is the last decision. To decide to grow is a great renunciation - renunciation of the security of the seed, renunciation of the “wholeness” of the seed. But this security is at a very great cost. The seed is dead; it is only potentially living. Unless it becomes a tree, unless it grows, it is dead - only potentially living. And as far as I know, human beings, unless they decide to grow, unless they take a jump into the unknown, are like seeds: dead, closed.