Sadhguru answers a question about sanyas, and how it is a transcendence of the "hormonal hijack" that happens at a certain stage in life. He explains that sanyas is not about suppression or denial, it is about awareness to see clearly. He also answers a question about life and death, and explains that spirituality is not about answers, it is about a method.
Questioner: My question is, is there any life after death and what’s the right age for sanyasam
Sadhguru: The word sanyas or brahmacharya means to be on the path of the divine. When is the right age? I think that should be the first thing that you do in your life. When is the right age to get married - that is subject to social situations and above all these thoughts come to you because till you were 10, 11, 12, 13 also maybe you were okay, tch, after that suddenly this chemical cocktail of hormones got into your system; now you looked, suddenly everybody looks different. (Laughter) Once it so happened, Shankaran Pillai went to a party and when he came out of the party he told his wife, “You know, alcohol makes you look so beautiful.” (Laughter) The wife said, “Well, I didn’t have a drop.” (Laughter) “No not you, me.” (Laughter) So a little bit of hormone entered your system and suddenly everything started looking different. After this hormone leaves your system then you look back at your life and see “Did I do all these things?” (Laughter) Before they came also it looked like that, after it’s gone also it looked like that. That in-between period when you are being spiked from inside (Laughs) suddenly everything looks different. Very few human beings are capable of keeping this spiking aside and look at life the way it is and then enjoy the spiking only to the extent it's needed. All others are driven by it, they shape their lives around it.
So, sanyas means just this, that you are not shaping your life around a temporary influence of chemicals on your system. It's a little bit of inebriation, you know, suddenly everything looks different. “So when should I go beyond these things?” Sanyas is not a process of suppression or denial; it's a process of transcendence. When should you transcend? -As quickly as possible. Yes? When should you suppress? -Never, because suppression is not a solution; transcendence is a solution. Transcendence is not only a solution, it is way beyond that. It is beyond the problem. So, whenever we are trapped in our limitations somewhere we start thinking this limitation is the only reality. This limitation is not the only reality. You remember a time when there was no sexuality and there was no talk about going beyond as a child. Isn't it so? Yes? So, this is an in-between phase. Nature… don’t believe all the funny things that happen within you and all the romantic thoughts that go in your head, nature just wants to reproduce. If it doesn’t drive you, you wouldn’t do it. All the pain involved in delivering a child but still we are over-populated. Hmm? That wouldn’t happen if there wasn’t enough drive from inside. Tch… You are spiked from inside, sabotaged from inside. Once your hormones hijacked your intelligence after that wherever you look you see only that. It takes a certain level of awareness and capability to look beyond that. This is not a denial but being able to see beyond that. Once you see beyond that you understand the limitations of what this is. What is limited should be handled in limited way. You don’t have to invest your whole life on it, isn't it? Yes? A small aspect of your life should only get that much attention. If that spreads through your consciousness then that’ll become a crippling life. So, sanyas is a realization of this and when you have the ability to transcend, yes. So, when should you take? I think you should consult your wife. She may say, “Immediately!” (Laughter) That’ll be bad. (Laughter)
So, now you also want to know what happens after death. I think some things you know best only by experience. (Laughter) Just like marriage; (Laughter) you know it only best by experience. Somebody else tells you a million things; it's not true, isn't it? It’s your experience. So, this has always been the vein; this has always been the line that people have been taking. If anybody appears in front of you who happens to be a Guru or claims to be one, immediately the first thing you ask is “What is life? What is death?” See what you are asking is, I want you to understand, decipher your question down a little more and see what is it that you are asking? You are asking, “What is the nature of my life?” Isn't it so? When you ask what is death – “Where will I go?” You want to know what is the nature of this; (Referring to oneself) what will happen beyond this body? So you are asking “Who am I?” I am asking, why are you asking me? (Laughter) See if you go on the street and ask somebody “Who are you” – all right. If you go on the street and ask somebody “Who am I,” I think in Singapore you get instantly arrested. (Laughter)
This happened in the Cincinnati airport; people were standing in a queue to check in at the check-in counter. One man comes, jumps the whole line and just goes straight to the lady behind the counter and… (Gestures) She says, “Sir, please go stand in the line. Everybody is in the line.” He said, “No, no, no, I am in a hurry. Please check me in.” She said, “Everybody is in a hurry. Please stand in the line.” Then he raised his voice and said, “Do you know who I am?” The lady promptly picked up the microphone and she said, “There is a man here who doesn’t know who he is. Can somebody help him? (Laughter) Can somebody help him?”
You are alive right now. If you want to know what this is, this is where you should look, not somewhere else. So, unfortunately you are with me. If you were with the right kind of spiritual people they would have immediately told you, “You are atman, you are… you are ever per… you know, all pervading, you are forever, you are this, you are God’s embodiment.” You want to hear this bull from me? (Laughter) They would have told you all these things. Now, don’t think I am confusing you because I don’t have to make such effort, you are already confused. (Laughter) Do I have to make any effort in that direction? I don’t have to make any direction (effort?); you are thoroughly confused, isn't it? But confusion is a better state than stupid conclusions. Yes? Confusion is a little better state than idiotic conclusions that you have made. Conclusion means death; confusion means still a possibility. Yes or no? Confusion means still a possibility, you are still looking. Conclusion is death, you are finished. You are a written off case. ‘I am atman’ - you are finished. (Laughter)
So what happens, death - we’ll find out in some time. (Laughter) Right now what's happening now? If you eat a banana, banana becomes a human being; something phenomenal is happening now, isn't it? Let’s find out what's happening now. There is something inside here which can make a piece of bread into a human being. Tch… We must find out what's happening now. If you understand, if you experience what's happening now beyond the physicality of who you are, even after the body is done still you know what's happening. If you are unable to know it now how will you know what's after death? So, if you are looking for spirituality for solace or for entertainment you just came to the wrong place. I am not an entertainer, (Laughs) nor am I a solace peddler. If you are seeking a solution then we can beat out a path for you to walk, not an answer. You understand? I have no answers for any damn questions you ask. If the question is true, if the question is genuine, if the pain of ignorance is tearing you apart, if the pain of not knowing is truly bothering you then I can give you a method, I can give you a way to find a solution but I have no answers because all answers are just stories which will either solace you or entertain you.