Is there a way that you can help the public understand what it is to be a sannyasin? Most people are familiar with Christianity and Christians; they believe that Christ is the savior, the messiah. Christians try to live their lives according to a certain set of standards. Can you give me something brief like that for how sannyasins live?
I hope you’re not waiting for an answer, I really don’t know. I’m supposed to ask the questions! If you say that you are not their leader, what do you do for them? Do you just set an example? What do you offer them?
I don’t offer them anything except myself, I am available to them. I have no secrets, I am completely open. All the prophets and the messiahs had secrets, esoteric philosophies, I have none.
But I say to them that being nothing, nobody, brings you all the blessings of the world. And just being close to me, slowly they start feeling also that they are nobodies, nobody is special. And the moment one feels he is nobody, the whole existence starts pouring immense blissfulness, it showers on him like flowers.
Once you have known the secret, how you can commune with existence… With your ego you cannot commune with existence; you are separating yourself. With no ego there is communion, and that communion is enlightenment, that is real godliness. I don’t have any God to offer them, but certainly I can show them the way to godliness. And remember, godliness is nothing special; it is our birthright, we just have to claim it.
It has been said for centuries, again and again, that you have to earn virtue. It will take many times, many lives for you to reach the kingdom of God. They have made it very far away, it is always beyond death. I say to my people that this is sheer stupidity. They were exploiting people’s gullibility, they were exploiting people’s hope.
I am saying to them that there is nothing beyond this moment – don’t wait for any Godot. Live this moment in its totality and squeeze the whole juice out of it, and if the next moment comes, do the same to it. Go on squeezing each moment and you will be surprised that unawares you have entered into paradise. In this very life, here and now, existence knows only one tense: the present. It knows no past, it knows no future.
So I simply help them to be here and now, getting more rooted in the present, and then everything becomes possible. And it is not a question of deserving God: we are part of existence already, it is not a question of earning. No virtue is needed, because it is not a bargain, not a business. We have just to be a little quiet, silent, so we can hear the still small voice within. We can also hear the silent music that surrounds the whole existence – and that I call godliness. There is no God, but there is certainly a quality of tremendous beauty, grace, love.