We are inviting the community to share your stories, experiences, and insights about your sannyas name. Osho gave many reasons why He chose to give us new names, and when He gave sannyas in person, He gave each new sannyasin a unique meaning for the name. When Osho was ill for many years, the names were chosen by volunteers in the “front office,” and sent out under a printed Osho signature. After Osho left the body, center and group leaders around the world have chosen names for new people if they want them. However they came to us, the names seemed to have an impact.
The experience of taking a new name can be powerful, funny, playful, or serious. We’d like to hear about yours. What is in a name, after all?
These are very short pieces, so you’ll need to choose one aspect or issue to share. Here are some possible questions:
· Did you take a completely new name or choose to keep part of the old? Why?
· How did you feel about the experience of the name change?
· Did you use the sannyas name in your workplace, with your family, etc.? What was the reaction/response?
· Do you still use it? In what circumstances?
· Did the name have any impact on your life?
· Did you get a personal message from Osho about the meaning of your name, or did you get a message about that on a different level?
· Did the meaning of your name change for you over time?
· Did you want a different name that was e.g. more exotic, less common, you didn’t want Prem or Deva...
· Did you believe that prefixes had set meanings, like Prems are unloving or Devas are crazy? If so, how did that affect you?
· Were you ever embarrassed about using your sannyas name?
· Do you have an entertaining story about your sannyas name or your experience with it?
We’ve provided a few quotes from Osho about sannyas names at the end of the invitation for your inspiration, but there are many more. This is an open invitation, so feel free to pass it on.
Firm copy deadline:
Please let Avinasho know by September 1 if you are planning to participate in this Special Section: email@example.com
Not more than 450 words, though less is fine.
Other submission info:
Electronic submissions in Microsoft Word are best to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please send a photo of yourself (deadline November 10) to go along with your article. It’s best to send it electronically to email@example.com. Please be sure it is high-resolution, 300 dpi jpeg or TIF. You can also mail us a printed photo at Viha Meditation Center, PO Box 352, Mill Valley, CA 94942.
A note about the writing process:
We recommend that you read through this invitation with care before you start to write, and also refer to it during the writing process. We ask you to stick to the subject as outlined in this invitation, as the Special Section is designed to be a look at a particular subject from a variety of viewpoints.
Love from the Editorial Board of the Viha Connection
A DEAR FRIEND OF MINE SENT A LETTER TO YOU FROM THE WEST ASKING FOR A SANNYAS NAME AND THEN CAME HERE BEFORE SHE RECEIVED AN ANSWER AND TOOK SANNYAS HERE. THE NAME SHE WAS GIVEN BY LETTER WAS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT KIND OF NAME FROM THE ONE YOU GAVE HER HERE. I WAS VERY DISTURBED WHEN I HEARD ABOUT THIS BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT OF MY NAME AS MY PATH. I HAVE USED IT TO DIRECT ME WHEN I HAVE BEEN CONFUSED. WHAT REALLY IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NAME YOU GIVE TO US?
Veera, all holy cow dung. Don't be deceived by the names. You are always hankering to catch hold of something, to make something big out of nothings. The names I give you are just like lovers' sweet nothings. Don't make much fuss about them.
In fact, once I have given you the name, never come and ask me about its meaning again because I forget. It is in that moment that I create the meaning around it. Then how am I supposed to remember? I must have given thirty thousand names or more.
A name is just a name. You are nameless. No name confines you, no name can confine you. They are just labels to be used -- utilitarian, nothing spiritual in it. But because I pay so much attention to your name and I explain it to you, you get hooked with it. That is just my way of showering my attention on you, nothing else; just my way of showing my love to you, nothing else.
The Diamond Sutra, Chapter 10
This uniqueness is a gift of god, and this uniqueness can only be known in deep love because only in love do you relax, only in love do you put your armor aside. Only in love do you allow yourself to be indefensible. Only in love can you trust that the other will not harm you, so you can allow the other into the deepest and the most delicate part of your being.
And the relationship between a disciple and a master is a love relationship. That's why I give you a new name, that's why to every sannyasin I give a new name. That's my perception of you, that's my vision of you, that's my penetration into your uniqueness.
Zorba The Buddha, Chapter 4
Sannyas is a disidentification with the past... a new beginning, a new being, a fresh breeze, a rebirth. All that is implied in giving you a new name. [...]
God will also need a name so that He can call you, so He can provoke you, so that whenever He wants to say something it can be addressed to you. The sannyas name is simply a new address -- a new address fundamentally meant for God, for the whole existence. So this is a turning point.
The Shadow of the Whip, Chapter 2
I give you a new name only to make you feel that names are not important. Your old name can simply disappear because it was only a label, it can be changed. You are not the name. To insist this fact, to emphasize this fact upon your consciousness, that the name is not your reality... [...]
But ordinarily you grow with your name; in fact, you become conscious only later on. Your name is deeper than your consciousness, hence there arises an identity with the name. You start feeling, "This is my name; this is me."
When you become a sannyasin I want to destroy that identity, because this is the beginning of destruction of all identities. First I destroy the identity with the name, then I will destroy the identity with the body, then the identity with the mind, then the identity with the heart. When all these identities have been destroyed you will be able to know who you are: the unidentified, the nameless, the formless, the indefinable. And that is only a pure witness in you; nothing can be said about it, no word is adequate to explain it.
I Am That, Chapter 6