What’s in a Name?


A sannyasin says he is trying to live up to his new name: Now I feel very happy and hope I am strong enough to do it in Germany.

Good! Sometimes small changes can bring great changes. Just a small pebble in the lake can create millions of ripples. Life is so interconnected that they say if you destroy a small leaf of grass even the faraway stars are affected. Life is like a spider’s web: you touch one thread anywhere and the whole web starts shaking.

And a name, although it is a small thing, is not so small as it appears on the surface – because it is our whole identity, it is our whole past. It is not just a symbol there, it has become very solid. We have made it solid, we have been feeding it for our whole life. The name is not just a name, it becomes a reality. And when you drop the old name it is a death, it is dying to the old. And it is a rebirth, it is beginning anew – with a new vision, a new perspective, a new look at life.

Darshan Name

It is one of the ancient traditions to change the name of the initiate, to change his dress, to change small things which logically don’t matter much. Whether you wear orange or white logically does not matter. But life is not logical, life is far more than logic can contain; it is supralogical. Just by changing the dress something inside you changes.

The policeman in his uniform and the same policemen in ordinary dress are two persons. The general with all his medals… and the same general in his nightgown are not the same people – totally different personalities because different identities start functioning.

And man is multidimensional; you have many faces. At a certain moment, in a certain con-text, one face shows up and other faces disappear. In another context, in another situation, another face surfaces; others disappear. Slowly slowly you have to find that no face is yours; they are all borrowed.

You are the one who moves from one face to another. You are not any face in particular. You are the faceless one, you are the nameless one, you are the formless one. But by changing from one face to another there comes a small interval, a gap, where you can have a glimpse of your no-face.

The Zen people call no-face, the original face; it is another name for the same thing. And if you ask them “What is the original face?” they say “The face that you had before you were born and the face that you will have again when you are dead.”

There is a faceless, nameless, formless reality inside you which expresses itself in many ways but which is inexhaustible and is never expressed in its totality. Only a part of it is always manifested and it is always only a part. We become identified with the part and we think that this is the whole. This is the whole misery.

Not to become identified with any part and to remain a witness to all that comes and goes, all the changes, is sannyas. Slowly slowly one knows that “No face is mine.” And when there is no face that you can call yours who are you? The “I” also starts disappearing.

Then only a certain kind of “amness” remains, a very silent amness, a pure feeling of being. That is God, that pure feeling, and we can all attain to it.

I am happy – it has been a good experience for you. Continue groping in the same direction. Much more is going to happen!

Osho, Just Around the Corner, Ch 21

Comments are closed.