Try to understand this. You will not be able to know many things about
yourself if you do not meet people. If you do not meet anyone who abuses
you, then how can you know whether there is anger in you or not? If nobody
insults you, then you will think that you are without anger. You will know
the anger within you only when someone abuses you. So in a way, the person
who abused you has helped you to understand yourself; he has helped you to
realize that there is anger within you which was kept suppressed. That dark
corner came into light by his abuse.
But the sannyasin who runs away to the jungle does not get these opportunities of understanding his inner characteristics because he is alone there - because there there is no one to abuse him, no one to give him respect, no one to entice him with money. No one gives him any opportunity - he is alone there. Self-observation becomes difficult.
This world is the place where you can observe and understand yourself. Otherwise God would have made innumerable jungles and would have kept one person in one jungle. But you will have to admit that the divine is more intelligent than you. Listen to him and be careful of these so-called saints who are pretending to be more intelligent than even God. They are trying to be very clever. They say that they will do sadhana, spiritual practice, in the jungle.
But sadhana cannot be done in the jungle, it has to be in this world. You will only vegetate in a jungle. But here in this world, thorns will prick you the moment you walk on them. When you walk on these thorns and they are not able to prick you, that means that now you have become capable of going to the jungle - now if you want to, you can go. Then I will not stop you. But then you yourself will say that there is no need to go to the jungle; for me there is a jungle in the midst of this very crowd. Wisdom will be born when you become mature.
How is wisdom born? it is born out of conflict, it is born by accepting the challenges of life - by getting defeated, by falling down and by rising again.
When you are abused a thousand times and you get angry a thousand times, a moment comes when you will not become angry on being abused. The experience of a thousand times will make you understand that there is no point in burning with anger - somebody else is abusing, so why should I punish myself for that? Then surely one day you will not react when somebody abuses you, you will not get angry. That very day the thorn in you will become a flower and you will be a changed person. The peace which you will experience that day cannot be given to you by any jungle.
The peace of a jungle is a dead peace. If you become peaceful amidst these abuses, then your peace is real peace. The peace of a jungle is like the peace of a graveyard: the place is quiet and deserted, there is no one. It is negative. If you become peaceful in this world, then it is positive. The peace of the jungle is like death, and the peace of the world is very lively.
I am telling you that if you want to attain the divine, then do not run away. There can be no relationship of the divine with cowards or with escapists. The only path is the path of courage. There is a possibility of falling down in courage. There is no other alternative.
Have you ever noticed that the children of rich families are not very sharp or very intelligent? They cannot be, because there is no challenge for them. The intelligent children always belong to the families where they have to struggle to attain even small things. The children of millionaires are usually mediocre.
Certainly it was very intelligent of him, very clever of him to make his
sons work like this. Usually the children of rich people are lifeless,
absolute idiots - because there is no struggle and no challenge in their
lives. And if there is no struggle and there is too much security, they
become spineless. The spine becomes strong with struggle. The more the
struggle, the stronger the spine becomes.
So I do not ask you to run away from the world, I ask you to wake up from this world. Sannyas is not an escape from the world, sannyas is a great struggle and an awakening. And never avoid challenge; always face the challenge till the work is completed. If you do not run away, then you will wake up soon - because the energy which is spent in running away is turned towards awakening. I am not asking you for the peace of the graveyard, I am asking for the peace which one gets by one′s labor, by one′s effort. I am for the positive peace which is attained by living to the maximum.