Osho on Neo-Sannyas

You will find here a compilation of excerpt from different Talks where Osho is speaking on sannyas. The excerpts are listed in the order they are spoken, with the talks from The Last Testament at the end.

“Looking at life from the standpoint of self-ignorance is sansara, the world. Looking at life from the standpoint of self-knowing is sannyas.

“Therefore, whenever someone says to me that he has taken sannyas, the whole thing seems very false to me. This ‘taking’ of sannyas creates the impression that it is an antagonistic act against the world. Can sannyas be taken? Can anyone say he has ‘taken’ knowing? And will any knowing that is taken like that be true knowing? A sannyas that is taken is not sannyas.

“You cannot put a cloak of truth around you. Truth has to be awakened within you. Sannyas is born. It comes through understanding, and in that understanding we go on being transformed. As our understanding changes, our outlook changes and our behavior is transformed without any effort. The world stays where it is, but sannyas is gradually born within us. Sannyas is the awareness that ‘I am not only the body, I am also the soul.’ With this knowing, the ignorance and attachment inside us drops away. The world was outside and it will still continue to be there, but inside us there will be the absence of attachment to it. In other words, there will be no world, no sansara inside us.”

Osho, The Perfect Way, Talk #3
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“In the past, sannyas was much handicapped by the concept of lifelong sannyas: once a sannyasin, always a sannyasin. We closed the gate of society forever once one entered sannyas. Maybe a person takes sannyas in a particular state of mind, and after some time, when he finds himself in a different state of mind, wants to return to the world – but he cannot do so because the house of sannyas has only an entrance, it has no exit at all. You can enter sannyas, but once in it you cannot leave. And this single rule has turned sannyas into a prison. Even heaven will turn into hell if there is no exit.

“You can say that sannyas has no hard and fast rule like this. That is true, but the fact that society looks down upon one who leaves sannyas is a stronger prohibition than any rule. We have an ingenious device to prevent a sannyasin from going back to the world again. When someone takes sannyas we make a big event of it, give him a farewell with great fanfare, with a band and flowers and eulogies. The poor sannyasin does not know that this is a clever way to say good-bye to him forever. He is not aware that if ever he returns to society he will be received by the same people with sticks instead of flowers.

“This is a very dangerous convention. Because of it, any number of people are prevented from participating in the great bliss that sannyas can bring them. It becomes too difficult for them to make a decision for lifelong sannyas, which is indeed a very hard decision. Besides, we don’t have the right to commit ourselves to anything for our whole lives.

“In my vision, short-term sannyas is the right way. You can leave it any time you like, because it is you who take it. It is your decision, no one else can decide for you. Sannyas is entirely a personal, individual choice, others don’t matter in any way. I am free to take sannyas today and leave it tomorrow, provided I don’t expect any reward for it from others in the form of their praise and acclamation.”

Osho, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Talk #22
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“Up to now sannyas has been tethered to a master who initiates someone into it. But sannyas is not something which anyone can give you as a gift; it has to be received directly from the divine. Who else but God can initiate you into sannyas? When someone comes and asks me to initiate him into sannyas, I tell him, “How can I initiate you into sannyas? Only God can initiate you. I can only be a witness to your being initiated. Get initiated by the divine, the supreme being, and I will bear witness that I was present when you were initiated into sannyas. My function is confined to being a witness, nothing more.” A sannyas tied to the master is bound to become sectarian. It cannot liberate you; instead it will put you in bondage.”

Osho, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Talk #22
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“I will not be their master, but only a witness to their initiation into sannyas. In fact, sannyas will be a matter of a direct relationship between them and existence. There is going to be no ritual for initiation into sannyas, so that one does not have any difficulty in leaving it when he feels like it….”

Osho, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Talk #22
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“When I said, “my sannyasin” it was not a slip of the tongue. My tongue is strange, it rarely slips. The first time one friend referred to someone as my sannyasin I asked him not to. But I said it for a reason: that a sannyasin cannot be mine or anybody else’s. But when I use the term ‘‘my sannyasin” the second time, it was certainly not a slip of my tongue. No sannyasin belongs to me, but I can belong to all sannyasins….”

Osho, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Talk #22
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Don’t you think that initiation into sannyas will lead to the formation of a sect around you?

“You think it will lead to the formation of a sect. No, it will not. To form a sect certain things are essential. To form a sect one needs a master, a scripture, a doctrine and an adjective for the sect. Besides these, one also needs a blind, dogmatic belief that one’s doctrine alone is right and everything else is utterly wrong. None of these things are here.

“The sannyasin of my vision is not going to have any adjective like the rest of the sannyasins, who are either Hindus, Christians or Buddhists. And a sect cannot be formed without such an adjective; it is extremely difficult. I call a man a sannyasin who does not have a religion, who does not belong to any religion. And you cannot organize a sect without a religion. I call a man a sannyasin who has no scripture like the Gita or the Bible, and who does not belong to a temple, church or gurudwara. And without them a sect becomes impossible.

“It should be our great endeavor to see that no sect is born, because nothing has harmed religion as much as these sects have. Sects have done more harm to religion than irreligion itself. In fact, a genuine coin is always harmed by its counterfeits; nothing else can harm it so much. Similarly, if ever true religion is harmed, it is harmed only by pseudo religions. And a tremendous awareness is needed to avoid this danger.”

Osho, Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Talk #22
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“Sannyas means courage more than anything else, because it is a declaration of your individuality, a declaration of freedom, a declaration that you will not be any more part of the mob madness, the mob psychology. It is a declaration that you are becoming universal; you will not belong to any country, to any church, to any race, to any religion.”

Osho, Finger Pointing to the Moon, Talk #7
(This title is no longer available at Osho’s request)


“This is what I mean when I say: ‘Be a sannyasin. Just be.’

“Your ochre robes, your mala – these are rules. This is a game. This is not what I mean by real sannyas.

“But you are so accustomed to games that before I lead you to a rule-less life, in the transitory period you will need rules. Moving from this world of rules, of games, to that world without rules and games, a bridge has to be passed.

“Your orange cloths, your mala, are just for that transitory period. You cannot drop rules immediately, so I give you new rules. But be fully alert that your robes are not your sannyas, your mala is not your sannyas, your new name is not your sannyas.

“Sannyas will be there when there is no name, when you become nameless. Then there will be no rules. Then you will be so ordinary, you will not be recognized.”

Osho, A Bird on the Wing, Talk #9
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“You don’t belong anywhere – that is reality. All hankering to belong is deceptive. The very idea to belong creates organizations; the very idea to belong creates the church – because you cannot be alone, so you want to drown yourself somewhere in a crowd. A sannyasin is one who has accepted his aloneness. It is fundamental; it cannot be drowned. By becoming a sannyasin you are not becoming a part of a certain organization – this is not an organization at all. By becoming a sannyasin, you are becoming courageous enough to accept a certain fact: that man exists in aloneness. And it is so fundamental; there is no way to escape from it. It is as fundamental as death. In fact, death is nothing but bringing you the news that you were alone, and now you are alone.”

Osho, The Divine Melody, Talk #10
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A dear friend of mine sent a letter to you from the West asking for sannyas name and then came here before she received an answer and took sannyas here. The name she was given by letter was totally different kind of name from the one you gave her here. I was very disturbed when I heard about this because I have always thought of my name as my path. I have used it to direct me when I have been confused. What really is the significance of the name you give to us?

“Veera, all holy cow dung. Don’t be deceived by the names. You are always hankering to catch hold of something, to make something big out of nothings. The names I give you are just like lovers’ sweet nothings. Don’t make much fuss about them.

“In fact, once I have given you the name, never come and ask me about its meaning again because I forget. It is in that moment that I create the meaning around it. Then how am I supposed to remember? I must have given thirty thousand names or more.

“A name is just a name. You are nameless. No name confines you, no name can confine you. They are just labels to be used – utilitarian, nothing spiritual in it. But because I pay so much attention to your name and I explain it to you, you get hooked with it. That is just my way of showering my attention on you, nothing else; just my way of showing my love to you, nothing else.”

Osho, The Diamond Sutra, Talk #10
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“The moment you are born conditioning starts, from your very first breath; it cannot be avoided. The parents will condition you, the children you play with will condition you, the neighborhood will condition you, the school, the church, the state. And consciously not much conditioning is being done, but unconsciously the child goes on and on accumulating it. The child learns by imitating.

“So don’t be worried. This is the normal situation in the world: everybody is conditioned. And everybody has to come out of the conditioning. It is difficult. It is not like undressing – it is like peeling your skin. It is hard, it is arduous, because we have become identified with our conditioning. We know ourselves only as Catholics, communists, Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians. And the greatest fear of dropping the conditioning is the fear that you may fall into an identity crisis. Hence sannyas.

“Sannyas is just a device to help you so that you don’t start feeling that you are falling into an abyss, a bottomless abyss. I take away your conditionings – you will feel very empty – I have to give you something to play with for the time being.

“Sannyas is that toy to play with for the time being. But sannyas is given to you in such a way that it never becomes a conditioning; it remains fun, it remains sport – involved yet you remain a witness to it.

“It is difficult to drop the conditioning, because that is your whole past, your mind, your ego, all that you are. But if you are ready, if you are courageous, if you have guts enough to come along with me it is possible, it is not impossible.”

Osho, Be Still and Know, Talk #7
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“I would like my sannyasins to live life in its totality, but with an absolute condition, categorical condition: and that condition is awareness, meditation. Go first deep into meditation, so you can cleanse your unconscious of all poisonous seeds, so there is nothing to be corrupted and there is nothing inside you which power can bring forth. And then do whatsoever you feel like doing.”

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 6. Talk #4
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“For sure my sannyasins have a mala with a locket around their neck, but my sannyasins neither count the beads of the mala…. The work of the mala for centuries was to sit and chant Rama, Rama over it. My sannyasins, of course, do not count the beads of the mala. But I have put a mala around their neck, and with a locket – it is just a profound joke, nothing else. A satire! It is a profound joke to demolish your concept of sannyas that you have carried up to now. I have neither any interest in the mala nor in the locket. But how else to undermine the [ritual of] worship of those who have worshipped Mahavira, have worshipped Krishna, have worshipped Rama, have worshipped Buddha! How else to corrupt the mala of those who have been counting beads for centuries! 

“So, this is not for re-enforcing any concept. And the day I find that these concepts have been dropped, I will ask my sannyasins to now happily wear cloths of any color – now our work is done. Now what is the need to wear a mala et cetera? Why hang a weight around the neck! Now make a bonfire of the locket et cetera, there is no need for it anymore.

“But that will take a little more time. That day will also come when I will have a bonfire made of maroon cloths, malas, and lockets. Just wait a little! Until then do not entangle yourself in unnecessary suspicions. One has to take only one step at a time. Only slowly and gradually has one to hit these centuries-old concepts. I have my own ways of hitting. This too is one of the ways. This too is merely a device. There is nowhere any big idea in it, and there is nowhere any Indian culture in it.

“… And why do you count Ashtavakra as an Indian? Because Ashtavakra is neither in support of the Vedas nor fire-ablution and fire-rituals, nor worship and adoration nor temple and idols. What do you find in Ashtavakra that you can call Indian and you will not find in Lao Tzu? So, either change the definition of India – don’t keep it geographical. Then the entire firmament of the awakened ones is India. But then why call that only India? Why not call it Japan; why not call it China; why not call it Arabia; why not call it Israel? After all, what is this attachment to calling it India!

“Why such an attachment with the word India? What is so special about this word? These are only our attachments. The attachment of the Jews is Israel. The attachment of the Mohammedans is Mecca and Medina, Arabia. These are all attachments. Neither is there anything Indian in Ashtavakra nor is there anything Indian in Krishnamurti nor is there anything Indian in me. And what is in me, what is in Krishnamurti, what is in Ashtavakra, the same is in Bahauddin, in Jalaluddin, in Pythagoras, in Zarathustra, in Jesus, in Basho, in Linchi, in Huang-Po. The element with which man recognizes life is awareness. What has awareness to do with India? Is awareness something geographical? Anyone can become awakened anywhere. One can become awakened in Tibet; one can become awakened in China; one can become awakened in India. The body is clay; one can awaken in anybody. One can awaken in white skin; one can awaken in black skin.

“… So, I cannot call Ashtavakra or Krishnamurti an Indian – nor can I call the long chain of awakened ones a series of shining lights of Indian culture. All these people have nothing to do with geography nor with history either. The truth is that it is not right to even call their tradition a tradition. The word tradition is also dangerous and misleading.”

Osho, Peevat Ramras Lagi Khumari, Talk #6, Question #2


“The teacher will look very compassionate, because he will be giving you every guideline, he will be taking all responsibility. He will be showing you the path; he will be leading you on the path, and you have just to follow.

“The master is not interested in you following him. No, just the contrary; you should not follow him, otherwise you will miss becoming yourself. Then what does he do? In fact, all his functioning is negative. He destroys your crutches, your supports. He makes you vulnerable to all kinds of fears, anxieties, challenges. This is all negative.

“As far as positivity is concerned, he does nothing. He is just a mirror.

“He allows you to come close and see your face in his mirror. He does not want you to imitate and become his face. He wants you to look into him. He has no ideas. That means all the dust from the mirror is gone. His mirror is clean. You can come close and look, and you will find your face. The mirror simply mirrors; it is not a doing, it is not an act.

“Certainly my relationship with you is unique. In the first place it is not a relationship, because what relationship can you have with a mirror? You can see your face and be thankful, be grateful – but that is not a relationship. What relationship can the mirror have with you? There is no possibility. The mirror is simply there. It does not relate in any possible way, it simply exists.

“So the relationship is unique because if you go to other religions, the master – who is not really a master in the first place, but they call him the master – the master, the so-called master, will have a thousand and one demands to be fulfilled because he is going to do a great job for you. I’m not doing anything for you, so I cannot demand anything from you. The ‘master’ will have conditions to be fulfilled. If you fail to fulfill the conditions, then the condemnation; if you fulfill the conditions, then the praise, the reward.

“I cannot condemn you, I cannot reward you – because I don’t have any conditions that you have to fulfill. To be my disciple is your decision. It has nothing to do with me. To accept me as your master is your decision, it has nothing to do with me. I am not seeking converts; I am not a Christian missionary. I am not striving so that people should be converted to my way of thinking, my way of life. No, not at all. Otherwise in these thirty-five years I would have converted millions of people, with no trouble. They were ready to be converted; I was not ready to convert.

“It is your decision. Always remember, whatsoever happens here is your decision.

“If you are a sannyasin, it is your decision.

“If you drop sannyas, it is your decision.

“If you take it again, it is your decision.

“I leave everything to you.

“So it is a unique relationship: it is absolutely one-sided; from my side there is no relationship. It has to be absolutely clear: from my side there is no relationship.”

Osho, From Unconsciousness to Consciousness, Talk #18 
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“So it was an absolute necessity; there was no other way to hook my people. Everybody is already divided. It is not an open world: somebody is a Christian, somebody is a Hindu, somebody is a Mohammedan. It is very difficult to find a person who is nobody. I had to find my people from these closed flocks, but to enter their flock I had to talk their language. Slowly, slowly, I dropped their language. Proportionately, my message became more and more clear, and their language slowly I dropped.

“And after my sannyas, I gave this three year’s period, a gap, that anybody who wants to leave me, can leave – because I don’t want to interfere into anybody’s life. If I can enhance your life, good. If I cannot enhance you and your being, then it is better you move away from me.”

Osho, From Personality to Individuality, Talk #14
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“From now onwards, anybody who wants initiation into sannyas will not be given a mala and will not be told to change to red cloths….”

Osho, From Bondage to Freedom, Talk #12
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“I have not stopped the sannyas movement; I have stopped it becoming a religion. A movement is a flux; that’s the meaning of movement – it is moving, it is growing.

“But a religion is dead – it has stopped moving, it has stopped growing. It is dead. The only place for it is in the crematorium….

“Every priest or priestess wants a dead religion, because it is predictable. Everything is just a catechism. There is no opinion, no evolution, no growth. Just look at Christianity: two thousand years have passed – have they gone even an inch farther than Jesus Christ? Twenty-five centuries have passed since Buddha – have Buddhists gone a single step ahead? This is destroying growth, destroying evolution.

“Now I want my people to remain open, alive, growing, always fresh and new. It remains a new kind of phenomenon, religiousness: no label attached to it, because every label is a full stop. And I don’t like full stops, I don’t like even semi-colons: Life is always ongoing….

“I have withdrawn the mala. It has significance in India, because in India the red cloths and mala have been used for thousands of years by all the religions as symbolic of a sannyasin. I wanted to destroy that traditional idea of sannyas, because the sannyasin has to be celibate, the sannyasin has not to touch a woman, not to talk to a woman. The sannyasin cannot stay in a household, he has to stay in a temple. He has to eat only once a day, he has to fast continuously again and again. He has to torture himself. This is sick.

“I wanted to destroy this image, that’s why I had chosen the red color. And I had almost three hundred thousand sannyasins in India. My sannyasins created tremendous trouble amongst the traditional sannyasins, because there was no way to know who is who. My sannyasins would be walking on the road and people would touch their feet, not knowing that these are not celibates; they have their girlfriends. They eat two times a day, they eat everything that is the best – whether it is Italian or Chinese or Japanese, it does not matter. These people belong to the twenty-first century, and old sannyasins were very angry because I have destroyed their image.

“With our coming to the West, now red cloths and the mala are no longer needed, because in the West they have never been symbolic of religion. They have done their work in India. They have made their point, that a sannyasin can be with a wife, with children; that he need not be a parasite on the society, he can work, he can create, he can earn; that he need not be worshipped.…

“And, more specifically, you are now completely devoid of all outer symbols. All that is left is the essential core of religiousness, the inward journey, which only you can do. I cannot do it for you, nobody can do it for you.

“So now there is left only the essential quality, the most fundamental quality of religiousness: that is meditation.…

“So now that you no longer have any outer symbols, it is good, if you want to be a sannyasin, for you to remember only one thing: how to go into the discipline of witnessing; otherwise there is a possibility that wearing red cloths and the mala you are completely satisfied that you are a sannyasin. You are not. Cloths don’t make anybody change, neither does the mala make anybody go through a transformation. But you can deceive yourself.

“Now I am taking all that away from you, and leaving only one simple thing. You cannot deceive: either you do it or you don’t do it. Without doing it, you are not a sannyasin. So the movement has come to its purest state, the most essential stage; it has not been dropped.”

Osho, From Bondage to Freedom, Talk #17
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“You say you are not a sannyasin. That is wrong – you are. There are sannyasins who are not sannyasins; there are non-sannyasins who are sannyasins. Sannyas is not something outward, it is something inner. If you could enjoy these three weeks, you are already initiated. These three weeks are going to change your whole life.

“So drop that idea that you are a non-sannyasin. Anybody who is so open, so available, so unprejudiced that, just being a visitor here, he fell in tune with the commune, its sincerity, its love – the initiation has happened. The outer initiation may follow in its own time, there is no hurry. And even if it doesn’t follow, it doesn’t matter. What matters has happened!”

Osho, From Bondage to Freedom, Talk #26
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“The question is not of being my sannyasin, the question is of being a sannyasin.

“To be my sannyasin certainly needs a certain commitment, a certain surrender. And I do not want you to be surrendered to me, or to be committed to me. I want you to be surrendered to nature, committed to existence. You need not be my sannyasin, you have just to be a sannyasin – and that’s the only way of being my sannyasin.”

Osho, Beyond Psychology, Talk #15
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“Now sannyas will be a totally different movement: it will be for more authentic seekers.

“It will not be just for anybody who wants to change the society because he is fed up with the society. He wants an alternative society so he joins a sannyas commune as an alternative society – but he has no desire and no longing for truth.

“Just because in this society people are wearing red cloths – and he does not want to look awkward, odd, strange – he starts using red cloths, becomes a sannyasin.

“But his reality is that he is escaping only from the big world, where he was utterly bored and had no other place to go. The commune became a shelter for all kinds of people.

“Now sannyas will be a school, a mystery school. Only those who want to grow and change will be joining it. And there are millions of people who want some more consciousness in their being, who feel that they are sleepy and unconscious.

“So don’t be worried if a few other, old sannyasins disappear; new ones, fresh blood, will be coming in.”

Osho, The Path of the Mystic, Talk #37
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Have you stopped initiating people into sannyas and creating disciples? Am I to be deprived of becoming your disciple?

“A disciple is not made, one has to become one. When you love someone, do you first ask the person? Do you first take the permission of the person? Love just happens. Love neither obeys any order nor takes any permission, nor does it believe in any modes or methods.

“What is discipleship?

“It is the highest, the deepest name of love. If you want to love me, how can I stop you? If you shed tears in love for me, how can I stop you? And if you dive into what I call meditation, how can I stop you? Whosoever wants to be a disciple, no one can stop him. And that is why I have dropped all the formalities that were there for making someone a disciple, because now I want only those who are coming toward me of their own accord – not via some other route. Now, the whole responsibility is yours.

“For instance, we teach students in the first grade: a is for apple, g is for Ganesh. In fact, previously g used to be for Ganesh, now it is for gadha, the donkey. It is a secular state. Here it is not appropriate that the word Ganesh appears in a textbook. But neither does Ganesh have anything to do with g or gadha. It is just a way to teach a small child. The child finds gadha or Ganesh more interesting. He doesn’t find any interest in the letter g. But slowly, slowly gadha will be forgotten, Ganesh will be forgotten, only g will remain, and only g will be used.

“If you keep having to read a for apple, g for Ganesh, by the time you enter the university, there will be no opportunity to study. Even to read one complete sentence will be impossible. And after reading it, it will become difficult to understand what the meaning is, because who knows how many donkeys and Ganeshas and mangoes will be in the sentence?

“There are pictures in small children’s textbooks: colored pictures, big pictures, and a few letters. And with every move to a higher class the pictures go on becoming smaller and the letters become more and more. Slowly, the pictures disappear altogether and only the letters remain. In university classes, there are no pictures, only letters, the akshar.

“Our word akshar is also very lovely. It means that which will never be destroyed. So, Ganesha can be destroyed, gadhas can be destroyed, but the akshar will always remain. It never ceases.

“So when I started, I had to initiate people into sannyas, to make people disciples. But how long can one play the joke of gadhas and Ganeshas; apples and pineapples? Now, sannyas has matured. Now, formalities no longer have an important place.

“Now, if you are in love, become a disciple. It is not something even to be talked about. Now, no need even to let anyone know: if it is your feeling, be a sannyasin. Now, the whole responsibility is yours. This is the sign of being mature. How long can I walk along with you, holding your hand? Before my hands are removed, I have to let go of your hands by myself, so that you can stand on your own feet – relying on your own hands, your own responsibility – and walk.

“No, there is no need for you to stop from becoming a disciple. Nor can anyone prevent you from becoming a sannyasin. But now it is your decision alone, according to the thirst and the call of your own interiority.

“I am with you, my blessings are with you, but now I will not explain to you about becoming a sannyasin or ask you to meditate. Now, I will only explain this much: what meditation is. If only this much can trigger a thirst in you, then meditate. Now, I will not tell you to love. Now, I will only describe love and everything else to you. If no song arises in your heart – even upon hearing the unique and mysterious description of love – then nothing will come out of commanding it from you either. And if a song arises, then it is not a matter of giving and taking: you can be a disciple, you can meditate, you can become a sannyasin, you can attain to enlightenment, you can achieve the ultimate treasure of this life that we have called moksha, the ultimate liberation.

“But now you have to do all this. Gone are the days of someone giving you a push from behind. Now, you are completely free. Your own wish, your own joy, your own ecstasy are the deciding factors.

Osho, The Diamond Sword, Talk #8
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I am familiar with the master-disciple relationship after years of being around you.
Could you please comment on the disciple-disciple relationship?

“There is no such thing.

“Disciples in the past have created organizations. That was their relationship, that ‘we are Christians,’ that ‘we are Mohammedans,’ that ‘we belong to one religion, to one faith and because we belong to one faith, we are brothers and sisters. We will live for the faith and we will die for the faith.’

“All organizations have arisen out of the relationships between disciples.

“In fact, two disciples are not connected with each other at all.

“Each disciple is connected with the master in his individual capacity.

“A master can be connected with millions of disciples, but the connection is personal, not organizational.

“Disciples don’t have any relationship. Yes, they have a certain friendliness, a certain lovingness.

“I am avoiding the word relationship because that is binding.

“I am not calling it ‘friendship’ even, but ‘friendliness’ – because they are all fellow travelers walking on the same path, in love with the same master, but they are related to each other through the master.

“They are not related to each other directly.

“That has been the most unfortunate thing in the past: that disciples became organized, related amongst themselves, and they were all ignorant.

“And ignorant people can only create more nuisance in the world than anything else. All the religions have done exactly that.

“My people are related to me individually. And because they are on the same path, certainly they become acquainted with each other. A friendliness arises, a loving atmosphere, but I don’t want to call it any kind of relationship.

“We have suffered too much because of disciples getting directly related to each other, creating religions, sects, cults, and then fighting. They cannot do anything else.

“At least with me, remember it: you are not related to each other in any way at all.

“Just a liquid friendliness, not a solid friendship, is enough – and far more beautiful, and without any possibility of harming humanity in the future.”

Osho, Beyond Enlightenment, Talk #2
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“Certainly initiation means you have taken a step into a dangerous life. You have accepted me as your friend in the darkness and you have given your hand with great trust. But I have never used any blank check and I have never used or even interfered in anybody’s life. It is just on your part – I am absolutely out of it. It is your initiation and it is your initiative to offer your life to be transformed. But the whole action and its responsibility are yours.”

Osho, The New Dawn, Talk #30
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“Aloneness should be your only search.

“And it does not mean that you have to go to the mountains, you can be alone in the marketplace. It is simply a question of being aware, alert, watchful, remembering that you are only your watchfulness. Then you are alone wherever you are. You may be in the crowd, you may be in the mountains; it makes no difference, you are just the same watchfulness. In the crowd you watch the crowd; in the mountains you watch the mountains. With open eyes you watch existence; with closed eyes you watch yourself.

“You are only one thing: the watcher.

“And this watcher is the greatest realization. This is your buddha nature; this is your nature of enlightenment, of your awakening. This should be your only discipline. Only this makes you a disciple: this discipline of knowing your aloneness. Otherwise, what makes you a disciple? You have been deceived on every point in life. You have been told that to believe in a master makes you a disciple. That is absolutely wrong; otherwise, everybody in the world is a disciple.

“Somebody believes in Jesus, somebody believes in Buddha, somebody believes in Krishna, somebody believes in Mahavira; everybody believes in somebody but nobody is a disciple, because to be a disciple does not mean to believe in a master. To be a disciple means to learn the discipline of being your self, of being your true self.”

Osho, The Invitation, Talk #23
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“It does not matter that you have become a sannyasin; it won’t change anything unless your sannyas triggers a meditativeness in you.…

“Without meditation there is no sannyas.

“It is only your pure consciousness rising upwards – slowly, slowly moving beyond the gravitation of lower things – that will make you a sannyasin.”

Osho, The Great Pilgrimage, Talk #11
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“I want you to drop all games – worldly games, spiritual games, games that the whole of humanity has played up to now. These games keep you retarded. These games hinder you from growing into consciousness, into your own ultimate flowering. I want to cut away all this rubbish that prevents you.

“I want to leave you alone, absolutely alone, so that you cannot take anybody’s help, so you cannot cling to any prophet, so that you cannot think that Gautam Buddha is going to save you. Left alone – utterly alone – you are bound to find your innermost center.

“There is no way, nowhere to go, no advisor, no teacher, no master. It seems hard, it seems harsh, but I am doing it because I love you, and the people who have not done it have not loved you at all. They loved themselves and they loved to have a big crowd around themselves – the bigger the crowd, the more they feel nourished in their egos.

“That’s why I called even enlightenment the last game. The sooner you drop it, the better. Why not just simply be? Why unnecessarily hurry here and there? You are what existence wants you to be. Just relax.” 

Osho, Om Mani Padme Hum, Talk #9
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“A sannyasin need not be officially one. Any seeker, anyone in search of truth is a sannyasin. And a sannyasin need not be mine. A sannyasin is not a follower, but at the most a fellow traveler. If you are seeking and searching for the truth, the meaning and significance of life, it is enough.”

Osho, Hari Om Tat Sat, Talk #17
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“The day you take the initiation into sannyas is not necessarily the beginning of sannyas. It is simply your indication that, ‘I am willing to wait for sannyas to happen to me.’ Initiation is only your saying yes to existence, and opening all your doors and windows for the fresh breeze and the sun to enter and cleanse you and make you part of the whole.

“Some day sannyas will begin. It can begin in the moment of initiation, if your intensity, integrity, your trust and your love are total, but it is rarely so. It is always sixty percent, forty percent; seventy percent, thirty percent…There are people who may have ninety-nine percent trust, but that one percent doubt is enough to prevent…years, even lives. Unless you are one hundred percent open, unless the very word no has dropped from your vocabulary, the great revolution of sannyas will not happen to you.…

“Sannyas needs a total yes and then it can happen this very moment. But your small doubt – it may be just very small – is just like a small piece of sand in your eyes, and you cannot open your eyes. Just a small piece of sand can deprive you of seeing this whole beautiful world. Doubt is just like a small piece of sand in your inner eye. It can prevent you from seeing the splendor and the glory of life, your own potential and your own flowers which have been waiting for lives to grow and blossom, but you have not given the chance.”

Osho, Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Talk #26
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What are the prerequisites for being a disciple?

“None at all.

“An open heart, a loving heart, a deep trust in oneself and nothing else is needed. You don’t have to surrender to some master, you don’t have to worship some God, and you don’t have to do some prayer to some hypothetical deity. You don’t have to go to man-made temples and churches to find that which is hidden within you.

“A disciple is the seed of a master. The disciple is also a lotus flower, it is just that you are looking somewhere else and not within yourself.”

Osho, Live Zen, Talk #7
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“I don’t want anybody to be a monk, I want you to be in the world. Meditation need not to be done twenty-four hours; meditation is just a small glimpse – and then carry out your work. Slowly, slowly that glimpse will start radiating in your actions, in your silences, in your songs, in your dances.

”There is no need to waste twenty-four hours and become a parasite. And when you become a parasite on the society, you cannot rebel against the society. You cannot say a single thing against any superstition.

”My people can be sannyasins and yet absolutely rebellious, because they are not dependent on anyone. Their meditation is their own personal affair.”

Osho, The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart, Talk #6 
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“I teach you to be sannyasins – and not my sannyasins. It is your sannyas, it is your investigation into truth.”

Osho, Christianity: the Deadliest Poison and
Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons, Talk  #6
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“Sannyas does not need to be an outward thing, just the longing for it is enough.”

Osho, Christianity: the Deadliest Poison and
Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons, Talk  #7
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On his arrival, Seigen asked, “Did they entrust something to you?”

Sekito said, “They did not entrust anything to me.”

Seigen said “But there must have been a reply.”

Sekito said, “If they don’t entrust anything, there is no reply.” Then he said, “When I was leaving here, you added that I should come back soon to receive the big hatchet under the chair. Now I have come back, please give me the big hatchet.”

Seigen was silent. Sekito bowed down and retired.

“The silence of Seigen was his acceptance of Sekito, his courage. He knew that the letter had not been delivered, that there had not been any reply, although Sekito had not mentioned the letter. Sekito simply said, ‘They did not entrust anything to me, so how can there be any reply?’

“Seigen saw the man, that he has the quality and deserves to be enlightened. His silence was his hatchet. He was saying, ‘When you come I am going to cut your head with a hatchet.’

“And now he reminded him, ‘Now I have come back, please give me the big hatchet’. Cut my head. Do whatsoever you want to do, I am ready.

“Seigen was silent. In that deep silence is the transfer, the transmission of the lamp. It is not a question of language, it is a question of a transfer of energy. Just simply in that silence the flame jumped from Seigen to Sekito.

“And because he received the flame, the fire, he immediately bowed down and retired. Now there is no need to disturb the master. He has been accepted, not only accepted; the last step for which he had come has been delivered.

“Eno was dead before Sekito became enlightened. In fact, the moment Sekito left Eno, before he reached to Seigen, Eno died.

“He was absolutely aware that death was coming close, and Seigen is the right person to whom Sekito should be handed over. He was absolutely correct in his judgment; it was Seigen who finally managed Sekito’s enlightenment.

“But enlightenment happens in silence. That’s why my whole effort here is to make you as silent as possible. Then you don’t need even a Seigen. Sitting anywhere – in your room, under a tree, in the garden, by the side of the river, anywhere – if your silence deepens, existence itself gives you the initiation into buddhahood. And when it comes directly from existence itself, it has a far greater beauty than when it comes through a master.

“I teach you immediate, sudden enlightenment. The meditation that you are practicing is just preparing you for that great silence in which existence will become a flame inside you.”

Osho, God Is Dead, Now Zen Is the Only Living Truth, Talk #2
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“And you go on saying great things: ‘…but why should I change my name?’Why not? It will help you to forget that you are a German; that’s why. The changing of the name simply means you are dropping the whole old personality that was indicated by the old name, that you are beginning afresh with a new name. It is symbolic. You were not born with a name. The name was given by your father, by your mother, by your people. Now you have dropped all conditionings, why not drop the name those conditionings gave to you?

“You can choose your name yourself; anything will do. It is not necessary for a name to mean something, it is only symbolic so that you can be recognized in the crowd and called. You can make up your name yourself, but change you must! Your insistence on not changing shows your inner idea: ‘On the surface, play the game that I have dropped all conditionings.’ And you are not even ready to drop a bogus name.

“I have no interest in changing your name. It is just out of compassion that I am saying, ‘Start a new life with a new symbol, so that you can be discontinuous with your past.’

“And then, ‘…why should I change my name, be a sannyasin…’ Do you understand the meaning of sannyasin? It simply means a seeker of truth.

“You don’t want to be a seeker of truth?

“Then what the hell are you doing here?

“And further, ‘…why should I change my name, be a sannyasin and accept a master who says that there is no need for any authority?’

“Two things: first, the master accepts the disciple, not the other way around. So you need not be worried about that. The disciple has to wait for that blissful moment when he can be accepted. Who has given you this idea that it is in your hands to accept a master or not?”

“…The seeker of truth has to show his credentials, his ability to wait, his capacity to be patient, because the journey is long and the path is very narrow. A master accepts a disciple only when he can see the sincerity of the heart, the risk, the danger of going into aloneness…when the master is convinced that the person is capable of all these, he is accepted as a disciple.

“You don’t have to be worried: it is not so easy to be accepted by a master. And if you don’t want to be a sannyasin…perhaps you thought that sannyasins are also a kind of religion; perhaps this is also a new movement, enrolling people. It is not. If you are searching truth, whether you know it or not you are a sannyasin. If you are ready to drop all your conditioning, you are a sannyasin. If you meditate and raise your consciousness to its highest potential, you are a sannyasin. It does not matter whether you know the meaning of the word ‘sannyasin’ or not.

“The ancient meaning of the word was, one who leaves the world in search of truth. My own meaning is, one who lives in the world and yet goes on searching for truth. Because where can you go? Everywhere is the world.

“I cannot understand where those people were going, leaving the world. To theHimalayas? It is also part of the world, part of our geography. Where are those people going to find a place outside the world?

“There is nothing outside the world. Everything is inside the world, and there is no way to get out of it. The only way is to go into yourself, and you are out of it. If the world is not inside you – no desire, no longing, no will to power – if all this nonsense has disappeared from your inner world and it is utterly pure emptiness, you are out of the world. That is the only place which is not in the world.

“But as far as your body is concerned it will be in the world. I have always wondered where those people used to go. Wherever they go, they will find some kind of world.”

“…The old sannyasin, the old concept of a sannyasin, is basically wrong. I don’t teach you to leave the world, I teach you to live in the world but don’t let the world live in you. Be a lotus leaf in the water – but the water cannot touch it. That’s the only possibility, if we want the whole world to taste something of meditation; otherwise… the old sannyas cannot survive. And it is meaningless, because it makes you dependent on people. You were independent, you had your own time; you worked for a few hours and then you had your own time. But these poor people who have left the world, their whole time is wasted in asking for small things, being rejected, being insulted, being told, ‘Go away, go somewhere else.’ These people were in search of dignity, and what they have found is utter indignity.”

Osho, Om Mani Padme Hum, Talk #29
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Well, what will it mean to be a sannyasin in the future, from this day forward?

“From this date forward a sannyasin will simply mean that he is initiated into the meditation techniques here, and he makes a commitment to himself that he will follow the path.

“But it is going to be individual, alone. He will be responsible himself. It is not going to be a collectivity, a congregation.”

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #9
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“Sannyas simply means they have accepted a way of meditation and a life of joy and rejoicing. It is accepting to create your life into a blissfulness. So sannyas is a totally different thing. Sannyasins will continue. I have dropped all outer symbols of sannyasins. If they want to keep them, it is up to them. From my side I have dropped. They don’t need any mala. They don’t need red cloths. All that I would like… My advice to them, that if you are a sannyasin, that meditation is the only essential thing that you should carry.”

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #13
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“I have taken from the sannyasins everything that makes them distinct. I have told them, ‘Now it is not necessary to wear red cloths. All colors are ours. There is no need to wear a mala of my photo because I am not your savior or prophet or a messenger.’

“I don’t have any God to offer you. I can only offer you the science of knowing thyself. So you just have to understand that I am only a friend, not more than that. I am one amongst you, so no need of any adoration and no need of thinking yourself as part of a collectivity. You are all individuals.”

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 3, Talk #14
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“I have been working hard to abandon everything that is outer, so that only the inner remains for you to explore.

“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.

“I want my people to understand it clearly. Neither your cloths, 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.

“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
(Will be published in the library very soon)


“Sannyas movement is not mine. It is not yours.

“It was here when I was not here. It will be here when I will not be here.

“Sannyas movement simply means the movement of the seekers of truth.

“They have always been here.

“There have always been a line of seekers of truth. I call it sannyas. It is eternal. It is sanatan. It has nothing to do with me. Millions of people have contributed to it. I have also contributed my own share.

“It will go on becoming richer and richer.

“When I am gone there will be more and more people coming and making it richer.

“I will be gone. That does not mean that the sannyas movement will be gone. It does not belong to anybody.…

“I cannot give you the truth, but I can show you the moon… please don’t get attached to my finger which is indicating the moon. This finger will disappear. The moon will remain and the search will continue. As long as there is a single human being on the earth the flowers of sannyas will go on blossoming.…

“First, I am the only man in the whole history who gives you individuality. The so-called gurus were doing just the opposite: they were taking away your individuality. Their whole effort was that you should surrender to them. That your function was just to touch their feet and receive their blessings. My effort is totally different. You cannot receive any blessing by touching anybody’s feet. On the contrary, you are making that man more egoistic and sick.

“Ego is the cancer of his soul. Don’t make anybody sick. Be compassionate. Never touch anybody’s feet.…

“My effort is to take away all traditions, orthodoxies, superstitions, beliefs, from your mind so that you can attain a state of no-mind… the ultimate state of silence, where not even a thought moves. Not even a ripple in the lake of your consciousness.

“And the whole thing has to be done by you. I am not saying that ‘Just follow me. I am the savior. I will save you.’ All that is crap. Nobody can save you, except yourself. And the spiritual independence is the only independence worth calling independence.”

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol. 6, Talk #14
(Will be published in the library very soon)


The Final Message to the Academy of Initiation on Malas, 1989.

Osho sends a message to the Academy of Initiation that there is no need to wear malas any more. Sannyas is about going inwards and nothing to do with the outer.
Some people are upset, so it is taken in to Osho again and his response, passed on again to the Academy is: “If you must wear your mala, then at home in meditation only.”

To read more visit: www.osho.com/library