Osho on Sannyas – Sannyas is the ultimate game — the last, the final

Question – I wonder about colors. No beginning, No end, But emptiness. What about orange, The color of the sun, and the sannyasins?

Osho – Sannyas is the ultimate game — the last, the final. Beyond it there is no game. It had to be very colorful. The householder, the grihasth, plays a game but it is in black and white. Poor. A sannyasin is playing a game but not in black and white. It is colorful. A sannyasin has to become a rainbow because the moment you know that everything is empty everything becomes possible; because that emptiness has in it all.

To me, sannyas is not renunciation against indulgence. No. It is renunciation in indulgence. sannyas is not leaving the world; it is living in the world as if you are out of it — it is an ‘as if’ phenomenon. You live in the world but you are not in it; you move in the world, but never, never, do you take a single step in it; you remain in the world but you don’t allow the world to enter into you.

Hindus call it the phenomenon of the lotus — the lotus remains in the water but untouched. In the morning go and see the lotus. In the night dewdrops have gathered on the petals, they look so beautiful in the morning sun. Pearls. But you can look and see that they are on the petals, and they are not, because they never touch the petal anywhere. So close and so far away, touching but not touching, just a little breeze, and they drop. The petals do not cling to them they cannot cling to the petals.

A sannyasin lives like a lotus in the world. He does not cling to anything, he has no clinging. He enjoys; in fact, only he enjoys. Only he can enjoy, because without any burden of desires, without any obsessions to cling, there is no hindrance. He can celebrate, he can delight, he can dance. His rejoicing is unconditional.

That’s why I call sannyas the last game: on the periphery it may look serious, but at the center it is a deep laughter. My sannyasins are not serious people — not that they are not sincere; they are not serious. In fact, a sincere person is never serious. Seriousness is a deceptive thing, seriousness gives you a feeling of sincerity which is not there. A sincere person can laugh and remain sincere; a serious person cannot laugh because if he laughs the seriousness is broken. Sincerity is never broken, it is authentic; seriousness is just a facet, a mask.

My sannyasins are not serious. That is the whole point to be understood. All other types of sannyasins are serious, they don’t have laughter within them. They are afraid of the world; in fact, they are cowards, escapists. If the world is really an illusion, then why escape from it? If in fact you have realized that the whole world is maya then where are you going and for what? Nobody ever renounces dreams. How can you renounce something which is not? When you renounce the world you are into its reality too much. You may call it maya, illusion, but you don’t understand what you are saying. You call it an illusion just to console yourself that you have not left a reality — it was an illusion. But these consolations won’t do. You know it is real. Otherwise why have you left it?

To me sannyas is an awakening, not an escape. It is an awareness of the whole phenomenon of life — that it is a game. If it is a game, play it well, that’s all. Play it beautifully, and while it lasts, enjoy it. Don’t cling to it, because it is a game; don’t get mad about it, because it is a game. And when you understand that it is a game, why not let it be colorful?

Red is a basic color. In nature only two colors exist: red and green. They are the basic colors. Hindus have chosen red, Mohammedans have chosen green. Only two basic colors exist. All the trees are green and all the flowers are red. When I was thinking what color I was going to give to my sannyasins, green was also a competitor, green was also a candidate. But then I decided on red, because in the red the green is involved, but in the green the red is not involved.

I will have to explain it to you: a tree can be without flowers, but flowers can’t be without trees. In every flower the whole tree is involved. So behind my red there is green; behind all my teachings — even if the formulation is Hindu — the Mohammedan is hidden. So I talk about the Upanishads and I give examples from Sufis; I give you a meditation — three steps of the meditation come from the Hindu world and one step comes from the Mohammedan world. I give you the mantra ‘hoo’. ‘Hoo’ is just the last part of ‘Allah-hoo’. If you repeat ‘Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah’ continuously you will start repeating ‘Allah-hoo, Allah-hoo, Allah-hoo’. Then by and by the ‘Allah’ part drops and only the sound ‘hoo, hoo, hoo’ remains, and the whole being is filled with it.

I have chosen red because red is the culmination of the whole tree, red is the flowering, the last thing. You cannot defeat Hindus: of course they were first in the world of religion. They have chosen the best, they have not left anything behind — they have chosen the color red.

Red is the flower. Red is the blood. Red is the sun. From everywhere red surrounds you, and in red everything is implied, involved, because it is the flowering. Let your life be colorful, I don’t want you to become colorless. No. I would like you to become like rainbows, all seven colors. And when all the seven colors are there, there comes a moment when they meet and become one. That is white light. This is a miracle — white light can be divided into seven colors; and the seven colors of a rainbow if they meet together, if the alchemy happens, become white. When all the seven colors meet they become white, and when all the seven types of man meet they become white — just a white light, and nothing is left.

Play the game as beautifully as you can; but it is a game — don’t get serious about it. And even if sometimes seriousness is needed, let it be a game, nothing more. Sometimes it is needed. It gives a taste to life. Sometimes you need to be serious also. Be serious, but never become serious, let that also be a game. Let everything be a game. And sannyas is the last game. Beyond it the whole world of game disappears. Then there is reality. So this is just the last thing you are going to do. Do it as perfectly as possible — delight in it, dance in it, let it be a deep singing, a rejoicing.

Source – Osho Book “Tao: The Three Treasures, Vol2”