O slave of desire, float upon the steam. Little spider, stick to your web, or else abandon your sorrows for the way.
People find it very difficult to abandon their sorrows. It looks, on the surface, somehow not right. Why should people hesitate to abandon sorrows for the way?
But it is the most difficult thing to abandon your sorrows because you have lived with them for so long, you are so friendly with them, and to live with the familiar sorrows feels so cozy, so warm—old friends, and to abandon them… And suddenly all your walls will disappear and you will be under the open sky because your walls consist of nothing but your sorrows. Your prison will disappear!—and you have lived in the prison for so long, for so many lives that it has become your home.
Many prisoners, whenever they are released from prison, will be back within three or four months; they will do something and they will be back in the prison. I used to visit prisons and I asked a few people who were returning again and again to prison, “What is the matter?”
They said, “When we leave the prison it feels as if we are leaving our home! We have lived in here so long and all our friends are here.” One man said, “Not only my friends but my whole family is here! Outside I am just a stranger and I start feeling homesick, so I have to do something and come back.”
Once a person is imprisoned it is very rare that he will not come back again. He will come back again because the prison gives some security, some safety. You need not bother, you need not worry about tomorrow. At the right time the food will be provided, at the right time you will go to bed, at the right time you will be awakened in the morning. Life is so disciplined—like a monastery!
In fact, monasteries and prisons are not very different, just the names are different. Monasteries are a little harder, that’s all! Prisons are a little more human. And modern prisons, particularly in the developed countries, are really worth living in, with color television and everything!
Man has been improving continuously for centuries—he has improved his prisons very well! He has become very sophisticated, cultured, civilized, and this is nothing but just painting the prison walls, making them beautiful. And now suddenly a Buddha comes and says to you, “Come out in the open. Abandon your miseries, your sorrows”? You cannot abandon your miseries and sorrows so easily.
That’s why people who leave the world, renounce the world, create new miseries of their own. If there is nobody else to create misery for them—if you don’t have a wife to create it, if you don’t have a husband to crate it, if there is nobody to support you in your misery—you will create it yourself. People are sleeping on beds to thorns… now, no wife prepares it, they themselves work hard on it! People are fasting, almost killing themselves. Now, nobody is doing it to them, that is their own idea.
The ascetics are self-destructive, they are suicidal people, masochistic, prevented, but they are worshipped. They are worshipped because they create their own misery! You worship people as saints, as mahatmas, if they create their own misery. They should be entered into mental asylums, they should be treated! They need medical care. They are not mahatmas, they are simply masochists. They have renounced the world, but they cannot renounce misery so they start creating their own misery. And when a person creates misery for himself, you all respect him. You have been told that this is something great; he is sacrificing his life for God.
God is not a sadist. He does not enjoy your miseries and your sorrows. Don’t be foolish, don’t be stupid! But the reason is that people cannot abandon their miseries. They can renounce the gold and the palaces and the money and the power, they can renounce everything, but when it comes to renouncing the miseries, this becomes the most difficult thing they encounter, because miseries have been with you so long that you don’t know any other style of living. The only style that you have become accustomed to is sorrow.