When he retired from his post office he became a Jaina monk. I knew in his post office account he had exactly three hundred and sixty rupees; he had never married, had never known anything you can call comfortable – luxury was a faraway star; could not even afford a servant – he used to cook his own food.
After his renunciation, he passed seven or eight years in different monasteries with different Jaina monks. And then in Calcutta, just by accident, we met again. And the people who introduced him to me said that he had renounced everything he had.
I said, “I know. He lived in a rented house, he cooked his own food, and he had three hundred and sixty rupees in his post office account – which are still in the post office account in his name. He has not renounced anything, not even that post office account.”
He was very angry, and when we were left alone he said, “This is not good of you. People think I have renounced everything, and you told them that I have not renounced anything. This is true, that those three hundred and sixty rupees I have kept in my name in case of sickness, in old age. But you are destroying my reputation. They all had great respect for me.”
A poor man can become respectable by becoming a beggar in the name of religion, but he will never become enlightened. Hence my emphasis is: before you enter into the inner world, be finished with the outer. Live it so totally – your life torch should burn from both the ends together. The more totally you live, the quicker you will understand that there is not much. It is only the unlived part of life that seems to be attractive. If you have lived totally then nothing seems to be attractive. And only in that state can you move inwards without hesitation and without any split.
I am not saying renounce the outside. There is no need. Renunciation is out of fear. And naturally, twenty-five centuries have passed since Gautam Buddha…. In these twenty-five centuries not only scientific technology has progressed; spiritual consciousness and the methods that can lead you to enlightenment have also been refined. Gautam Buddha is, after all, a bullock-cart Gautam Buddha. He knows nothing about Rolls Royces.
I would like my people to live at ease, with all that is available on the outside. Don’t be in a hurry, because anything left unlived will pull you back again. Finish it. And then there is no need to escape from your house or from your bank account, because they are no longer a burden on you. They don’t mean anything. Perhaps they have a certain utility, but nothing is wrong with them.
Even a Gautam Buddha needs food, but somebody else earns it. He needs clothes, and somebody else earns them for him. You earn your own food. It is better to earn your own clothes, your own shelter. What is the point to be understood? – there is nothing in them that binds you.
What binds you is the lust for the unlived life.
So live life totally and let this lust disappear.