The first question:
I am not a sannyasin, and I am visiting for a short period. I appreciate the work that is done here, but there is one question that I cannot avoid asking. The theory is nice, but from the dozens of sannyasins with whom I have spoken, nobody could say, “I have found the way, I am proceeding, and I am sure one day I will be able to stand on my own feet.”
My feeling is that they develop a tremendous dependency on you and this place. As long as they are here they are fine, but when they leave they lose most of the benefits they gained some of them even get worse, because of the frustration. How do you face this reality? Do you prepare them for the day when this place won’t exist anymore? Do you prepare them for the inevitable future? The future does exist. Most of them have thirty to forty years yet to live. Will they stay in Pune for the rest of their lives? I don’t think so.
I would appreciate your comments.
Rami Gilboa, there are a few things which can only be understood by a sannyasin, because a deep participation is needed to understand them. The outsider, at the most, can think about them, but thinking is not feeling, thinking is not experiencing.
Thinking is a very poor substitute for knowing. The blind man can think about light, but he cannot know it; for knowing he will need eyes. The deaf can think, philosophize about music, but he cannot experience it, and without experiencing it, whatsoever he says is bound to be wrong.
Rami, you say: “I am not a sannyasin…” Then it will be very difficult for you to understand. I will do my best, but I don’t feel that it will be possible for you to get it.
You say: “I am visiting for a short period” This is not a place where you can just come and go. This is a space to be shared, to be loved, to be lived. If you are just an onlooker, a visitor, and that too in a hurry, you are bound to miss the whole point. And your question shows it absolutely, that you have missed it – although it will be very difficult for other outsiders and observers and the visitors to see where you have missed it.
You say: “I appreciate the work that is done here…” It is not a question of appreciation at all. Either you participate or you don’t participate. Appreciation always keeps things at a distance.