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Chapter 9: God Is Dead: Godliness Is

And the fifth - which is not really the fifth but a combination of all these four, a symphony, an orchestra - I call it sannyas. It combines all that is beautiful in all the four, it is multidimensional. All these four are one-dimensional, sannyas is multidimensional. It teaches you how to be born and yet never to be born. It teaches you how to die and yet to live immensely. It teaches you how to fall in love and yet go on rising up. It teaches you how to disappear in love and yet remain aloof, unpossessed, nonpossessive. It teaches you how to be with the other and yet remain free and let the other be free. It teaches you how to meditate and be alone and yet not let your aloneness become an escape, to be alone and yet be in the world. It teaches you how to be a lotus leaf in the lake, in the water, and yet untouched by it. Sannyas is the synthesis of all these four dimensions; it is the very crescendo, the cream of them all.

Many religions have concentrated on the first, particularly the Indian religions; their emphasis is on how not to be born. Hence in India all the religious people go on praying, “God, help us not to be born again. We don’t want to get back into this wheel of life and death.” All Indian religions are basically rooted in one concept: how to be free from this vicious circle of birth and death, how to go beyond birth and death, how not to be born, how to enter into eternity and never come back into the turmoil of time.

The Christian, the Mohammedan, the Jew - their emphasis is on the second: to die as soon as possible, to surrender to God. Prayer is their way. Prayer means dying, dying and disappearing as a person, becoming part of the universal, a surrender, a trust in God. The whole emphasis is on how to surrender your ego, sacrifice your ego, at the altar of the divine.

The third, to love as a method of dying, has been chosen by all the devotees of the world. The Vaishnavas in India and the Sufis of Islam and the Hasidic mystics of Judaism have all chosen the third: love, love intensely, love totally, love withholding nothing back and you will attain, because love kills the ego.

The fourth, to be aware, to be meditative, has been chosen by Buddhism, Jainism, Zen, Taoism.

My effort here, Miguel, is to create a symphony of all the religions. Here, Sufis and Hasids and the people of Zen and Taoism are meeting and merging. I am creating an ocean in which rivers from different mountains, bringing different flavors, bringing different fragrances, are meeting and merging and creating something absolutely new that has never happened before - a universal religiousness. I don’t give it any name.

Miguel, if you listen to my suggestion, become a sannyasin. And the only way to know what it is is to be a participant.

Miguel is a journalist from South America. It will be very difficult for him to participate; the whole training of a journalist is to observe, to be a spectator, to watch with a critical eye, and to find out whatsoever he can find which is negative. If he cannot find the negative, then invent, project, because only the negative becomes news. The positive has no news value, only the negative, only something sensational. People are interested only in the wrong.

If you murder somebody it is news, but if you help somebody you can go on helping your whole life; it will never become news. If you love it is not news, but if you hate and you destroy, it becomes news. Buddhas are really not counted in your history books.

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