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I HAVE HEARD THAT YOUR SANNYASINS CELEBRATE DEATH.
Paul, y You have heard rightly! My sannyasins celebrate everything. Celebration is the foundation of my sannyas – -- not renunciation but rejoicing; rejoicing in all the beauties, all the joys, all that life offers, because this whole life is a gift of God.
The old religions have taught you to renounce life. They are all life negative; their whole approach is pessimistic. They are all against life and its joys. To me, life and God are synonymous. In fact, life is a far better word than God itself, because God is only a philosophical term, while life is real, existential. The word " ‘God’" exists only in scriptures; it is a word, a mere word. Life is within you and without you – -- in the trees, in the clouds, in the stars. This whole existence is a dance of life.
I teach love for life.
I teach the art of living your life totally, of being drunk with the divine THROUGH through life. I am not an escapist. All your old religions have been teaching you escapism – -- they were all in a certain sense hip. The word " ‘hippie’" has to be understood. It simply means one who escapes from the battle of life , – who shows his hips...! All your old religions are hippie! They have shown their hips. They could not accept the challenge of life, they could not confront and encounter life. They were cowards; they escaped to the mountains, to the monasteries.
But even if you escape to the mountains and to the monasteries, how can you leave yourself behind? You are part of life. Life pulsates in your blood, life breathes in you, life is your very being! Where can you escape? And all those efforts to escape, considered correctly, are suicidal. Your monks, your nuns, your mahatmas, your so-called saints, were all suicidal people; they were trying gradual suicide. Not only were they suicidal, they were cowards too – -- cowards because they could not even commit suicide in a single blow. They were committing suicide gradually, in installments; by and by, slowly they were dying. And we have respected these unhealthy people, these unwholesome people, these insane people. They were against God because they were against life.
I am in tremendous love with life, hence I teach celebration. Everything has to be celebrated, everything has to be lived, loved. To me nothing is mundane and nothing is sacred. To me all is sacred, from the lowest rung of the ladder to the highest rung. It is the same ladder: from the body to the soul, from the physical to the spiritual, from sex to SAMADHI samadhi – -- everything is divine!
An old neo-sannyasin sannyasi told an actor playing Hamlet that he himself had once played the part.
" ‘What was your interpretation of the role?’" asked the actor. " ‘Did Hamlet really make love to Ophelia?’"
" ‘I don’'t know if Hamlet did,’" replied the sannyasin, sannyasi," ‘but I certainly did!’"
Celebration has to be total, only then can you be multidimensionally rich. And to be multidimensionally rich is the only thing we can offer to God.
If there is a God, and someday you have to face him, he will ask you only one question: " ‘Have you lived your life totally or not?’" – -- because this opportunity is given to you to live, not to renounce.
Paul, m My sannyasins sannyasis celebrate death too, because to me death is not the end of life but the very crescendo of life, the very climax. It is the ultimate of life. If you have lived rightly, if you have lived moment to moment totally, if you have squeezed out the whole juice of life, your death will be the ultimate orgasm.
–From Come,Come, Yet Again Come, Discourse 2