It is not simply the body which gets old. The body will get old, but your consciousness need not get old. If it gets old, it means that you have gathered knowledge. Then the weight of knowledge makes you old. Otherwise your eyes will remain innocent, virgin. You will be open, and that openness is virginity. You will be seeking and searching. You will be inquiring and meditating and contemplating. You will be always ready for the new to happen because it is happening every moment. God is never old. If God is old then some day he will have to die because oldness leads to death.
The Brahman is always young, evergreen. Oldness is not known there, that is why there is no death to it. Existence is always green, alive, pulsating. With knowledge you become old. The moment you say, “I have known,” you have stopped knowing. You think that you have experienced and the experiencing stops. From that moment on you are not growing. You are a dead seed.
The Upanishads believe in knowing, not in knowledge. What is this knowing? And what is the process of knowing? With knowledge you gather the past. In knowing you disperse it – you go on dispersing it. Whatsoever is known must be thrown away so that you are open again to know anew. You must die to the past; only then can you be alive to the present.
We all live in the past – that which is no more, that which has gone, that which is dead. We live in that past; that is why we are so dead. Life is always in the present and mind is always in the past; that is why mind cannot know life. There can be no meeting ground. There is no common ground where mind can meet life. Hence, the Upanishads are against mind.
Mind is always the memory – that which you have lived, that which is past, that which is no more. Mind is just the past dust gathered upon you. Throw it away. Wash it away so that you are fresh, young, and you can meet the present, the ever young – the ever-young Brahman.
In knowing, the past has to be constantly renounced. This is the basic renunciation. Die to the past so that you can be alive in the present. You cannot do both. If you are alive in the past, then you will be dead in the present. If you want to be alive in the present, be dead to the past. Each moment go on throwing the past dust. Do not allow it to gather. Go on renouncing it, go on throwing it. It is of no use. You have already used it, now it is just a dead shell. The bird has flown away from it. Do not go on collecting dead shells. They will become the imprisonment; they will hamper you. They will become so weighty that they will not allow you to move.
To me, a sannyasin, one who has renounced, means not that he has re-nounced wealth, not that he has renounced his house, not that he has renounced family, but one who has renounced the past – because that is the basic wealth. That is your family; you go on living with the dead.
I have heard once it happened that Jesus was passing. It was just morning and the sun was about to rise, and he saw a fisherman throwing his net on the lake. So he spoke to that fisherman. He came near him and told him, “Why are you wasting your life just catching fishes? Follow me and I will show you how to catch the kingdom of God in your net.”