A Hindu is offended if you say to him that to be a Hindu is to be in a prison. A Mohammedan is angry if you say to him that to be a Mohammedan means to be a slave. The same is true about the Christians and the Jains and the Buddhists.
But to be proud simply means you are thinking yourself separate from existence. Secondly: you are thinking of yourself as special.
To be a sannyasin means to be just natural. You are not higher than anybody and you are not lower than anybody. You are simply part of the same existence. How can one be lower or higher? It is not only a question of being on equal terms with human beings; you are on equal terms with the trees, with the rocks, with the stars. Simply there is nobody inside you who feels separate. This is true equality, and the true equality is always rooted in equanimity, equilibrium.
To feel higher in any way is simply a proof that deep down you are suffering from an inferiority complex. it is just a compensation. The politician feels higher than others because he has power, political power. The wealthy feels higher than others because he has power, economic power. And the so-called spiritual person also feels higher than others because he has again the same kind of thing: power – spiritual power, purity, morality. virtue. But these are nothing but properties.
In my vision a sannyasin is utterly ordinary. and in that very ordinariness the extraordinary explodes.
The second question:
The other day in darshan you were talking about women and transforming their energy. You said that in the past masters such as Jesus Mahavira, and even Gautam the Buddha were not able to understand and transform women’s energy and allow it to come to a peak. You said that this time here with you it will be possible for women as well as for men to flower and come to a peak. Somehow I was touched by this very deeply. Can you say something more about this difference between man and woman and how you work with us in different ways?
The difference between man and woman is not much; the difference is simple. It is like a man by your side is standing on his head: what is the difference between you who is standing on his legs and the man who is doing a headstand, a sirshasana? In fact, none. You are both the same – but in a way there is a difference. The difference is that the man who is standing on his head is upside-down. That’s the only difference between man and a woman.
What is conscious in man is unconscious in women, and what is unconscious in women is conscious in men. Man is man only in his consciousness; in his unconsciousness he is woman, feminine. That’s why whenever you feel a man in any way moving closer to his unconscious he becomes softer, feminine, loving, tender.