In the land of money, power, designer drugs like “ecstasy” and enlightened insurance, many of your sannyasins are now working with a job and earning their livelihood. Laughter, a sense of humor and a deep love and gratitude towards you keep us all connected with each other somehow. With your people in the world now and physically so far away, has your work with us taken on a new significance?
It has certainly taken on a new significance, a new turn. I always wanted my people to be in the world, occasionally coming to me, being with me, refreshing themselves, then going back again to the world – because the world has to be changed. We are not the ones who renounce the world. All the religions have been teaching: renounce the world. I teach you: transform the world.
Renouncing it is sheer cowardice, and by renouncing it nothing significant happens – the world goes on living, producing new generations in the old pattern. The persons who have renounced the world, they also don’t go through a transformation – for a simple reason that they lose all opportunities where they can test whether they are growing or not. You can sit in the Himalayas for half a century and you will feel silent, but that silence is not yours; it belongs to the Himalayas. Everything is silent, eternally silent, and there is nobody to disturb you.
Just to get out of the situations where you get disturbed does not mean that you are attaining peacefulness; it simply means you are running away from situations where you are certain that your peace will be disturbed. Renouncing the world has never been my idea; it was always to change it.
Millions of people are suffering, and suffering for stupid reasons. It is absolutely inhuman to turn your back on it and move to the mountains or to the deserts to live peacefully there. That peace is very cheap, very superficial; it has almost no meaning. Just come back to the world and it will be disturbed, it will be shattered into pieces. And that will be immensely significant to awaken you, that what you have been thinking of as peace, silence, has been just a dream which is shattered by the reality, just as a mirror is shattered when hit by a rock – and it is shattered forever. That mirror you cannot put together again, and all those years that you were enjoying the idea that you have attained peace have gone down the drain.
So my idea has always been: come to me to rejoice, come to me for a holiday. Come to me for pure joy. Be filled with the fragrance, be filled with my presence, then take it back into the world. There is the real test: whether it remains with you or not. If you want to keep it, then spread it, share it, and it will grow within you. But whenever you feel stuck somewhere, not growing, come back to me, be with me – I am available. When you feel the clarity again, go back to the world.
If you start living with me, you will be a loser on two counts. One: you will by and by start taking me for granted – which is a great loss – because I will be available to you. It is dangerous, because the more I am available to you, the less you will become available to me.