Older sannyasins

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This article derives for now from Maneesha's observations in A Rose Is a Rose Is a Rose. It may expand to include observations from others on this theme, which refers to people who became sannyasins at a relatively advanced age, not those who took sannyas BEFORE other sannyasins. A significant focus here is on Osho's father, Sw Devateerth Bharti. Maneesha wrote, in Jun 1976:

While the majority of seekers and sannyasins are around the early twenties to mid-forties, older people in their sixties and seventies, some of whom are parents of sannyasins, are also drawn to Bhagwan.
Each seems to be something of a speciality, because being older they tend, or one expects that they tend, to have rather more invested in their old identity, in their way of life up to now. For a twenty-year-old to concede that he is lost, unsure of himself, has lived in unconsciousness, is one thing, but it takes a rare and humble being to admit that sixty years of life have left him still discontent deep down, still unfulfilled -- worldly success and recognition notwithstanding.
Bhagwan has said many times that religion requires a rebirth in consciousness, hence the significance of Jesus saying that unless one becomes childlike, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. One characteristic of the older sannyasins is a certain simplicity, a naivete to which maturity and integrity lend depth and dignity. It is a combination of experience and wisdom born of joy and of suffering, and an ability to wonder with no obsession to understand ... to delight in small things without asking for the extraordinary. It seems particularly incredible that people can have survived the West, and remain unspoiled and uncorrupted by our more and more complex way of life and increasingly sophisticated forms of pleasure.
Bhagwan once described Paritosh -- the sixty-seven year old ex-jungian analyst resident in the ashram -- as having more qualities of a child, of innocence and trust, than four-year-old Siddhartha, another sannyasin. Shefali, a sixty-four-year-old dutch sannyasin who has been meditating for some time, discovered here, through a group, the childhood she had never experienced when younger. Bespectacled, greying and stooped, Shefali has the disarming openness and vulnerability of a young child.
Karuna, who has been an active seeker for many years and until recently a mountain climber, met Bhagwan and took sannyas last year, and intends to return this year to take up permanent residence in the ashram. She effervesces with a joie-de-vivre, her blue eyes retaining a lustre and sparkle that has not been clouded by her sixty-four years of life, nor by the responsibility of caring for her now deceased husband and aged mother.
Just two months ago the seventy-one-year-old Marquis of Bath, Siddhanta, visited Bhagwan for the first time, having taken sannyas in England. He was a liaison officer in the war and is now occupied with the care of his stately home which is open to the public and reputedly one of the largest and most beautiful homes in the world. Siddhanta, visiting Poona with his family, described darshan as "one of the biggest experiences of my life".
Osho's father in darshan
Bhagwan's own parents -- both in their sixties -- are currently living in Francis House in the grounds of the ashram. Bhagwan's father is engaged in checking the transcription of hindi lectures, while his wife helps in the preparation of food when she is not meditating. Bhagwan's mother had taken sannyas two years ago and in October of last year, Bhagwan's father suddenly felt moved to become a sannyasin too. He described it not as a decision that he made, but something that happened through the strength of some meditative force.
He is grey-haired and walks with the assistance of a stick, but like his wife seems sprightly and energetic, thriving in the company of friends and, whenever kirtan happens, dancing and singing as wholeheartedly as the rest. On Guru Poornima day, when Bhagwan's father came forward he danced and turned about, arms raised -- to the applause and laughter of everyone present -- then bent down gently to touch Bhagwan's feet. He was followed by Bhagwan's mother who, dancing as gracefully as a young girl, stretched her arms out to her son, her guru, her head tilted to one side, an expression of indescribable tenderness setting her whole body aglow with something not of this world....
Bhagwan spoke of his father soon after he had taken sannyas, in reply to a question in a lecture as to why prasad [food blessed by Bhagwan] had been distributed on the occasion of his father's sannyas....
My father is rare -- not because he's my father; he's simply rare. As human nature goes, there is every possibility that a father cannot come and bow down to his own son. It is almost humanly impossible. He has done that. You will not find a parallel in the whole history of man -- and it may not happen again. Just think of bowing down to your own son, coming to the feet of your own son, being initiated. A tremendous humbleness, a tremendous innocence is needed.
That is one of the most difficult things in human relationships. It is not accidental that Jesus' father never came to him. It is simple: to believe in the son to whom you gave birth, whom you have seen from the very first day -- how can you believe that he has become enlightened? Your own son? -- impossible. Your own blood and bone? -- impossible. How can you think that he has become something, someone from whom you have to learn? I again repeat: my father is rare -- not because he's my father; he's simply rare".

Maneesha has taken some small liberties editing these words from Osho, but not to distort, just to make them more concise and relevant to her theme. From Come Follow to You, Vol 1, ch 10.