Taking the Jump

Beloved Osho,

Why is it so difficult for me to take sannyas? Ever since I saw you in an interview on TV one year ago, I’ve never been so nervous before in my whole life. Sometimes I wish I’d never heard of you, and, on the other hand, I’m happy that there is someone like you to show me the way. But to take sannyas... I feel like such an egoist – jealous, lazy – that maybe I shall never be a good sannyasin. Can you please give me a hint to find a way out of this dilemma?

ita, sannyas is always difficult. But only the first step, because it is a transformation from one style of life to a totally different style of life. Mind always finds it difficult to adjust to new ways of life. The old way you seem to be well acquainted with; you can walk on it with closed eyes, almost asleep, like a robot. But the new way will need alertness, awareness; the new way will need learning life from scratch.

Sannyas is simply an initiation into new spaces within you, a change from the head to the heart, from logic to love, from your ordinary conditioning to a freedom which you are not even aware that you are capable of.

Sannyas is something like a bird which has remained in a cage – the cage is golden, very artistic, very valuable, but to the bird it is nothing other than an imprisonment. But the bird has lived long in the cage, although it is taking away its freedom, its whole sky, its flights across the sun, its joy; it has almost destroyed its capacity to be on the wing. Perhaps the bird has already forgotten that it has wings. But the cage has security, safety from the unknown. The bird need not be worried for the coming days – it need not worry about its food.

Even if you open the door of the cage, the bird will hesitate to get out of it. So much is involved – the security, the safety. And who knows about this vast sky, and where he will land? And he has forgotten completely that he has wings. You know something only if you use it. If a bird has never used its wings, how can it remember them?

The English word sin is very beautiful. Christians have destroyed its beauty, they have made it ugly; otherwise its original root means “forgetfulness.” There is only one sin, and that is forgetfulness.

The doors are open, the sky is inviting, the other birds are flying, it is only a question of a little courage. That’s why I say that only the first step is difficult. If the bird can gather courage and take a jump into the air, the wings that he has no awareness of suddenly open.

He is on the wing.

The whole sky is his.

Now the faraway stars can be his pilgrimage. Sannyas is initiation into freedom, making you aware about your wings, making you also aware that the whole sky, with all its stars, is yours. You need not worry about security and safety; existence is taking care of so many birds, so many trees, so many stars – it can take care of you too.

Sannyas is trust in existence. And the moment you trust, there is no fear, there is no worry, there is no difficulty. Life becomes the most enjoyable, relaxed phenomenon.

You are asking, Rita, “Why is it so difficult for me to take sannyas?” My suggestion is that you cannot deliberately take sannyas; it is something like love that happens, it is something like sleep that comes. You cannot make any effort for the sleep to come, nor can you make any effort for love to happen – these are not part of the world of doings. Your first difficulty is that you are thinking of taking sannyas. Drop that idea and sannyas will take you. Suddenly you will realize, “My God, I am a sannyasin.”

It simply comes, and it comes so silently, so gracefully. But the idea of taking sannyas is basically wrong; hence it becomes difficult. Even if you take it it will be false, it won’t be the true sannyas; you will be simply dreaming that you have taken sannyas. The authentic sannyas simply comes one moment and possesses you – it springs up from your very heart, and there is no way to avoid it. It is your very heartbeat.

So the first thing you have to drop is the idea of taking. Just be here, enjoy for a few days. Just watch other birds opening their wings in the sky. Participate in their songs, in their dances, without bothering about sannyas. And if you start feeling that it is already happening, in a moment when you are lost in singing and dancing, when you are not there... it occupies your innermost being.

It is not something that you have to do, it is something that simply grows in you. It is not a commodity that you have to purchase, it is a quality, a grace, a search which starts growing inside you – just like a seed disappears into the soil and in its place a plant starts growing. That plant was asleep in the seed; now it has awakened.

Sannyas is asleep in you, just asleep. So dance madly, sing madly, meditate, enjoy all these people, this crazy communion, and the moment will come on its own. When you are ripe you will find there is nothing more easy than sannyas.

excerpted from The Razor's Edge

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