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Chapter 22: Sannyas: A Journey to Joy and Bliss

You ask: It is okay if a sannyasin play-acts as a businessman, but can he play-act in the same way as a black marketeer?

If he does, it would not be that harmful. He would have indulged in black marketing if he were not a sannyasin, so it would not be that harmful if he also play-acts as a black marketeer. But I think that a person who has the courage to take sannyas, and who is going to make a great experiment in his life, and who is ready to play act as a businessman, will not play-act as a black marketeer. Because to indulge in black marketing one will have to be a doer; play-acting is not enough. The more evil you want to indulge in, the more of a doer you have to be, because evil is painful. To go into it, you will need to be involved in it, to be deeply committed to it. You cannot play act stabbing a man with a knife, because another man’s life will be at stake, and play-acting at real stabbing is meaningless.

If you understand the idea of play-acting you will know that even if a sannyasin indulges in black marketing he will not be harming anybody, because if he remains a black marketeer as a sannyasin, it means that he has been a black marketeer and would have remained one if he had not taken sannyas. Therefore you need not be unnecessarily concerned about it. The greater possibility is that one who is inspired with the thought of sannyas will not play-act as a black marketeer; he cannot. The wisdom of sannyas, its awareness, will guide him and his actions. He will play-act only at that which is worth doing, which is his responsibility and which he cannot shirk without putting those he is responsible for in great difficulty. He will not do more than that. Play-acting will be confined to that which is utterly necessary and which he must do. Unnecessary things will drop by themselves.

You also want to know why I don’t wear ochre clothes. I don’t use ochre knowingly. Firstly, it is so because in my case sannyas happened long before I knew the ochre robe was necessary for sannyas to happen. And it became meaningless after sannyas had already happened; there was no reason for me to use ochre clothes then. Secondly, if I wear ochre clothes and then I ask you to do so, that would mean I am anxious to impose my kind of clothes on you. I have, however, no wish to impose myself on anybody in any manner. I don’t want you to imitate the way I live, the way I function. If I wear ochre clothes and then commend them to you, it would perhaps mean I am attached to them and therefore I admire them. But because I don’t use them, it is obvious that I don’t have any attachment to them and commend them purely for objective and scientific reasons. Since I don’t use them I can be objective and impartial about them.