A monastery is a place where many people are trying to live a life of aloneness. This is the way of the monk, the other-worldly. And he has also failed in the same way; he is bound to fail. He has chosen the other half, but now he will miss something. He will learn how to be alone – he will learn the way of bliss, he will be blissful, but his bliss will miss something: it will miss sharing. And a bliss that cannot be shared starts dying, becomes sour, goes bitter. Even nectar can turn into poison if it stops its flow.
The monk is really far more blissful than the worldly people, but his bliss is not a river. It is not going to, not reaching the other. He becomes just a pool, not a river; a pond – in a certain bondage, afraid of the other.
Just see the point: the worldly person is afraid of his aloneness; hence he tries to reach the other, in the darkness he shouts for the other. And the monk is afraid of the other because the other may disturb his solitude, he may start interfering with his space, he may start encroaching upon his space, his territory, which he has found with such difficulty. He lives in fear; he lives in a dark, walled, self-imposed imprisonment. He makes walls between himself and others, he avoids all possibilities where love can grow. Then his bliss slowly slowly becomes a dead pool with no flow, and he also starts missing. He starts getting fed up with himself. Rather than being alone he starts feeling lonely.
And if a monk is intelligent, now a higher kind of intelligence is needed. The ordinary intelligence will again take him to the other pole. Now Catholic monks are revolting against the church and getting married. For what?
For hundreds of years they have tried to live alone – nuns have lived separately, monks have lived separately. There are Christian monasteries like Athos where for one thousand years no woman has ever entered. For one thousand years continuously the doors of the monastery have remained closed to women. Not even nuns, not even a small, six year-old girl or six-month-old child is allowed in. Such fear! One wonders whether monks are living inside or monsters! If you are afraid even of a six-month-old baby girl, what kind of people are living there? There is fear, great fear, trembling. The monks don’t come out of the monastery. Once you enter Athos you enter forever; the world is finished.
There have been thousands of Hindu monks living in the Himalayan caves, never coming back to the world. But these people lose something, something very essential: sharing. Life is sharing, and only in sharing do you become fulfilled.
Just think of a sun which keeps itself enclosed, with no rays going out. Or think of a lotus which keeps its petals closed so no fragrance can reach to anybody. Think of a bird which is afraid of singing – somebody may hear it. Then this whole existence will be dead.
That is what these monks have become: dead people, living in their graves – whatsoever they call those graves – caves, monasteries. Whatsoever they call them does not matter, but they are graves and they are living an almost dead life.
Premananda, I have given you this name, prem and ananda – love and bliss both. That is the message for all my sannyasins: that you have to learn both. You have to be fluid, you have to be flowing. You have to know how to be alone and you have to know how to be together. You have to be meditative and loving both, simultaneously; then only will you be whole. And to me, to be whole is to be holy.