Initiation into sannyas is a personal affair and the
responsibility for fulfilling what is required as a sannyasin - in
one word: meditation - lies with the individual. Sannyas is your
decision, your inner move, it is not something given. In order to
emphasize this and to express this understanding more deeply here in
Pune, sannyas is celebrated in a way that eliminates the giver. The
sannyas celebration is totally for the people who have decided to be
sannyasins and "walk the path alone." Everyone else in the hall
celebrates with them, around them. The new celebrations that took
place in the commune recently have been a beautiful journey of
The celebrations were set up in the center of Buddha Hall with musicians as part of the circle and from the circle to the edges, the Hall was packed with dancing and joyous people. In the center were the eighty or so people who were taking sannyas, by collecting their name certificates and then moving towards the center of the circle.
There they could either sit in silence for a few moments or express their joy or let-go, their sense of wonder, their gratitude for this new opening in their life in any way they felt. Many people felt to dance or sing.
The new name that people take during the celebration can be chosen by them or for them. Symbolically having a new name is a way of breaking from the past and many people still choose to have a new name. There can be a great meaning in changing the name. It is symbolic.
"...The meaning of changing the name is that we break with the old identity. Now we go on a new journey with a new identity."
Many times Osho has clarified that the outward symbols of mala and red clothes do not make a sannyasin.
"...I want my people to understand it clearly. Neither your
clothes, 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 clothes 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 clothes, 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. If you like the orange color, the red color, perfectly good - it cannot do any harm, but it is not a help either. If you love the Mala, if you love the locket with my picture on it, it is simply your ornament, but it has nothing to do with religion. So now I reduce religion to its absolute essentiality. And that is meditation. If you are meditating and if you are reaching higher and higher into your consciousness, thoughts are left far behind. You experience that your body is just outside you, your mind is just outside you and you are standing in the middle, the center of the cyclone, in utter silence, in absolute beauty, in great light, in utter fulfillment. Except the process of meditation, everything is non-essential.
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."
To further emphasize that it is meditation, and only meditation, that is the absolute ingredient in sannyas, the mala has now been disassociated with it. This also gives a new freedom, as not only sannyasins but anyone who chooses to have this ornament or reminder for meditation, can get one. Here in Pune the malas will soon be available through the galleria.
Academy of Initiation