In one of your latest letters to the therapists your secretary said that you abandoned the outer sannyas in favor of the inner sannyas. Would you please say more about it?
I have been working hard to abandon everything that is outer, so that only the inner remains for you to explode.
Otherwise the man's mind is a very immature mind. It starts clinging with outer symbols. That has happened to all the religions of the world. They all started well, but they all went astray. And the reason was that the outer was emphasized so much that people completely forgot the inner. To fulfill the outer was such life-absorbing task that there was no space left even to remember about your inward journey which is basically the meaning of religiousness.
If you watch the so-called saints, sages, mahatmas, their life, you will be surprised. They are more outworldly than you are.
Once I was traveling with a very famous Hindu monk. It was hilarious to see that his whole life, twenty-four hours, was engaged into non-essential things. For example, he will not eat anything, he will only drink the milk of a cow. And people worshiped him just for that which is not an achievement. Every child of every animal is born doing that. And the milk has not to be of any other animal except cows. The milk of the buffaloes was not acceptable. In fact, it is richer. It has more vitality.
But the Hindu tradition has never called the buffalo even auntie. And the cow has to be of absolutely white color. I was surprised that this is something strange. Any other color, particularly black, even patches of black on the white cow was not acceptable to the saint. He would rather fast than compromise, so his followers were always carrying four, five white, absolutely white cows, wherever he was going. Because it is very difficult to find a completely purely white cow. I asked him, "What is the matter? What is wrong with a brown cow, or with a black cow? Or with a cow with many patches of different colors?" He said, "Whiteness is the symbol of saintliness." I said, "My God! The cow has to be saintly for you and even the blackest cow will give the whitest milk. You should look at the milk not at the cow. Who is telling you to drink black milk?"
And he was so much suspicious about people and in this country particularly about milk you cannot be certain. You cannot be certain about anything. Even about medicines you cannot be certain on which your life depends. And the doctor may be simply giving you injections of just colored water.
Thousands of people have died because there is so much deception in everything. The label is right, but you cannot decide what is inside. And about milk everybody knows people are mixing it with water.
When I was a student, the man who used to bring the milk for the students in the hostel, everybody was asking him, "Do you mix water?"
And he said, "But I can take any oath. And his son used to carry the bucket of milk with him and he will put his hand on his son's head and say, "This is my son. And I take the oath that I have never mixed in my life water into milk."
One day I called him inside my room. I closed the room. He said, "What are you doing?"
I said, "Just a little privacy." And I asked him that "I cannot believe that the milk that I get is not mixed with water. How do you manage even to take an oath?"
He said, "It is very simple. But don't tell to anybody. I never mix water into milk. I always mix milk into water. It is a simple thing. I can take the oath, because I have never done that. I always mix the milk into water. For that nobody is asking."
This Hindu monk was so suspicious that the cow had to be milked in front of him. I said, "What kind of religious progress, what kind of consciousness you are attaining by all these stupidities? Five cows have to be carried with you. Then you have two stand there when they are being milked. As if your whole spirituality depends on this stupidity."
This was just an instance. Twenty-four hours this was his way. No woman could come closer than nine feet. His disciples were continuously measuring the distance between the woman who had come to see the saint. It has to be exactly nine feet.
I said, "What is this nonsense?"
He said, "You don't understand. A women has a magnetic force but its radius is only nine feet."
I said, "From where you got this idea?"
He said, "My master. He got this from his own master. It is given in secrecy whispered from ear to ear, from generation to generation."
I said, "Strange, can you support it by any scripture?"
He said, "No, it is a private tradition. Scriptures are public. My master cannot deceive me."
Naturally his master cannot deceive him. And nobody knows who was the idiot who started the idea. Whenever he will go any place, first he will enquire `Has there been any woman?'
He could not sit at a place where a woman was sitting until nine minutes have passed. The same radius. Nine feet it goes, in a space nine minutes it goes in time. After nine minutes he can sit, but not before that.
I said, "You are living a life of phobia. This is not saintliness. You are living in constant fear. Your whole life, day and night, is nothing but fear.
And you have become so much focused on outer things which are meaningless that I don't see you have any time for the inner." All the religions have become focused on the outer. I am trying to abandon everything that is outer. My people have no outer discipline. They have no outer obsession.
Their whole effort and energy has to be directed inwards. Life is small and time is so precious. You cannot waste it into unnecessary things. And you can see people all around wasting it in unnecessary things.
One shankaracharya was staying in Delhi and a poor man, a clerk stood up in the question hour and asked about the ultimate, what it is, how to attain it.
And the shankaracharya looked at him. He was using the ordinary desk, a full pant, a bush shirt, and he became furious. The shankaracharya said, "You have some nerve to ask about the ultimate. And you are wearing a full pant. First answer me. Have you got the yoga pavid*, the Hindu thread inside your bush shirt?. And when you urinate, do you urinate standing or sitting?"
And all the idiots who had gathered there and I don't think anybody else goes there. They laughed, the poor man said, "In a full pant it is very difficult to sit and all the urinoirs are made in the offices so that you can urinate standing."
He said, "This is against Hindu religion. Have you ever heard any seers of the Vedas, urinating standing? And what about the thread? Do you put it on your ear?"
He said, "In fact, I don't have any thread." He said, "This is too much. You are go to suffer in hell fire, because while urinating, if you don't put the thread on your ear, then you are vulnerable to all kinds of evil influences. That is the moment when devil enters into people."
This comes from a shankaracharya who is supposed to be the head of the Hindu religion. As if religion's concern is urinals, thread and protecting people from evil. And Hindus have been doing that, but I don't think that they are protected from evil in any way. They are just as human as people are anywhere else.
I want my people to understand it clearly. Neither your clothes, nor your outer disciplines nor anything that has been given to you by tradition and you have accepted it just on belief, is going to help. The only thing that can create a revolution in you is going beyond the mind into the world of consciousness. Except that, nothing is religious. But to begin with and with a world which is too much obsessed with outer things, I had to start sannyas also with outer things. Change your cloths into orange, wear a Mala, meditate, but the emphasis was only on meditation.
But I found that people can change their clothes very easily but they cannot change their minds. They can wear the Mala, but they cannot move into their consciousness. And because they are in orange cloths, wearing a Mala, having a new name, they start believing that they have become a sannyasin.
Sannyas is not so cheap. Hence it is time and you are mature enough that beginning phase is over. If you like the orange color, the red color, perfectly good – it cannot do any harm, but it is not a help either. If you love the Mala, if you love the locket with my picture on it, it is simply your ornament, but it has nothing to do with religion. So now I reduce religion to its absolute essentiality. And that is meditation. If you are meditating and if you are reaching higher and higher into your consciousness, thoughts are left far behind. You experience that your body is just outside you, your mind is just outside you and you are standing in the middle, the center of the cyclone, in utter silence, in absolute beauty, in great light, in utter fulfillment. Except the process of meditation, everything is non-essential.
I don't want my people to be lost into non-essentials. In the beginning it was necessary. Now years of listening to me, understanding me, you are in a position to be freed from all outer bondage. And you can for the first time be really a sannyasin only if you are moving inwards.
Osho, The Last Testament, Vol.6, Talk #12