The owner of the palace was very happy. He went out to give him a send-off. And just before sitting on his golden chariot, the neighboring king again said, “I appreciate your palace and the architect and I would like that you send your architect to me. I want to make a similar palace in my kingdom. I am in the same difficulties – we are in the same boat.”
The king said, “No problem. I will send the architect, and whatever help you need I am always available.”
Just at that moment, when the neighboring king was appreciating the palace, a beggar sitting on the street started laughing. His laughter was very derisive.
The owner of the palace asked the beggar, “What is the matter? Why are you laughing?”
He said, “I am laughing because the palace is perfect but only almost perfect, not absolutely perfect. I have been sitting here begging every day, and I was wondering: are you aware or not that one door is still there and that death will enter from that door? And your guards will not be able to prevent it. And you don’t have any other door in your house to escape from, either.
“My suggestion is that you go in and rather than putting guards, tell the architect to close up this door, too, and make a wall – then you will be absolutely protected; even death cannot enter.”
The king said, “You must be mad, because what kind of life will that be? I will be suffocated! And whether I live or not, it makes no difference: that will not be a palace, that will be my grave.”
The beggar said, “You are a little bit intelligent. Now look at the whole mathematics of what you have done: you have closed all the windows, all the doors, and as you went on closing the windows and the doors you were cutting off your life. Your life is now only this small door. You could have been as free as I am. The whole sky is mine.” He was a naked monk and the naked monks in India are called digambaras. And digambara means one whose only garments are the sky and the stars – otherwise he is naked.
The story is significant. A sannyasin has taken a path where he will open himself to people, to the trees, to the birds, to the ocean, to the river. He will not live in fear; fearlessness will be his flavor. Death comes; to everybody it comes and because it is so certain, there is no need to have fear about it. In life, except death, everything is uncertain. It may happen; it may not happen. But about death you can be certain.
And when it is absolutely certain – and nobody in the whole history of the world has been able to escape it – your worrying about it is absolutely unnecessary. It will come when the time is ripe; it cannot be prevented. So you can forget all about it. It is none of your business. It is part of existence to decide when to change your body and give you a new body, a new form.
Your concern is to live as totally now as possible; not being concerned with death but being totally in love with life.
Life affirmation is the essence of sannyas.