Osho – Sannyas is not prayer with sadness, seriousness. It is not prayer as a ritual, as a formality. It is prayer as playfulness. It is prayer as cheerfulness. The birds in the morning singing — that is prayer. They are not Christians, they are not Hindus, they are not Mohammedans; they don’t know anything about the church and the temple and the mosque, and they have never heard that there are scriptures — but their singing is prayer. The wind passing through the pine trees is prayer; although it knows nothing of prayer it is prayerful.
The prayer is all over the space. The stars are prayerful, the trees are prayerful, the oceans are prayerful. Except for man the whole existence is always in a state of prayer; only man needs to move towards it consciously — for a certain reason: man is the only conscious animal. Hence man has a choice: he can fall out of the natural flow of existence or he can become part of it. No other animal has that freedom. The birds in the morning are not singing out of their own choice, they are simply singing instinctively. The trees are prayerful and the mountains are prayerful, but that prayer is just a natural phenomenon.
Man’s dignity is that he can choose to be prayerful — but that can also become his fall because he can also choose not to be prayerful. Man is always at the crossroads: each step and there is a choice, each step and you can go wrong or right. When sadness and cheerfulness confront you, always choose cheerfulness. When seriousness and playfulness confront you, always choose playfulness. And remember: we become whatsoever we choose. It is simply a question of choice.
A Sufi mystic was dying. His disciples gathered and they said “One thing we always wanted to ask but we could never gather enough courage to ask … If we don’t ask now we will never be able to ask because you will be leaving the body. So now whatsoever you think of us … you can think of us as fools, but we have to ask the question. How did you manage your whole life? — because we have never seen you serious, sad, unhappy; you have always been blissful. How did you manage? — because it is impossible to be so blissful day in, day out.”
The old man laughed and he said “Early in my life I discovered that it is a question of choice. So this has become my daily routine: every morning — this morning too — the first thing in the morning, before I open my eyes, I think ‘Now a new day is going to be there — what do you want, old man? Do you want to be happy or unhappy?’ And I always choose happiness.”
If you know that it is a question of choice you are bound to choose happiness always. People think that we are victims; that is wrong, we are not victims. It is not that situations go on dragging us into unhappiness and sometimes into happiness, that we are just at the mercy of blind forces — no, not at all, a thousand times no. Every moment we are choosing. Maybe our choie is unconscious, we may not ve consciously choosing, but choice is there.
From this moment start becoming aware of it and you will be surprised: sometimes in the middle of your sadness suddenly the clouds disperse and it is sunny, because suddenly you see the point — that you have chosen to be sad and there is no need to be sad! Life is such a beautiful gift that one should not waste a single moment in sadness, in anger, in jealousy, in possessinveness. One should dance one’s way to God. One should laugh one’s way to God!
So I am giving a totally new concept to sannyas. The old sannyas was sad and serious; Hindu, Christian, Mohammedan, Buddhist — all old approaches of sannyas were of renunciation. My approach is that of rejoicing. Rejoice and rejoice and rejoice again and again! The moment you decide to be blissful misery starts escaping from you, but the decision has to be total. It is worth getting involved in being blissful. There can’t be anything more valuable.
So drop all sadness, all seriousness. And don’t ask how to drop them. That is a strategy of the mind to go on keeping them, it is a way of postponement. “How” is a way of post-ponement. Simply drop misery. Don’t linger on, don’t post-pone it. Say goodbye and don’t look back. And you will be surprised that it is so simple. It is so natural to be blissful. It is unnatural to be miserable. It is really a very difficult job to be miserable, but people are so skillful, so intelligent at being miserable. They have become great artists of misery. If there is nothing to be miserable about they will invent something.
I have heard that a psychiatrist advised his patient to go to the mountains for three or four weeks for a rest. The third day he received a telegram from the patient: “I am feeling wonderful — why? ”
People cannot accept bliss easily; misery is okay. Remember that it is only a question of your decision; in a single blow one can cut the Gordian knot, and one can be free on a single quantum leap. Sannyas is not practicing bliss, it is simply renouncing misery. Bliss takes a lion’s heart.
Source – Osho Book “Scriptures in Silence and Sermons in Stones”