I Left My Wife & a Good-Paying Job to Become a Sanyasi

To read about how this story begins, with Peter Pan, in the Park after work one day, please read “I Want to Be a Sanyasi in the Himalayas“.

…And so it transpired that after I left Peter Pan in the park that evening, transporting myself to meet her master in his Never-land and learning the tricks therein, I was filled with such a joy at my return to innocence that there was really little left to do but quit my job, sell my belongings and head off to the Himalayas to meet my destiny.

And meet it I did. Donned the proverbial white robes and climbed the mountain.

But I suppose you might be interested to know what precisely, in the form of physical possession and attachment, I gave up to lighten my burden before departure?

Well, I’ll tell you.

A steady job with a take-home pay of approx. $40k/yr – not bad for a 24 yr old hippy kid in a foreign country who still hadn’t earned his degrees yet and didn’t speak the local language! A Harley Davidson – beauty of a bike, my pride and joy in those days, worth upwards of $15k – I sold it for the price of a plane ticket and a bit of mad money for my vacation. I left my friends and life behind me and ran straight, full speed ahead. I left my wife behind me, too. And she cried.

But I was committed and determined to leave off everything for the opportunity to find what Buddha found. I’d sit in the jungle like a recluse and let the light of heaven shine down on my skull, happy be damned. After all, what’s a life of everything? All these things are just the root of suffering, right?


But I didn’t know that yet and it would take me a long time before I’d come close to understanding why my Guru wouldn’t let me hang out in the hills with Him forever. Be normal! He’d often chastise, even as He guided me through the rituals of Tantra, fulfilling my dream to become one like Him.

One early winter morning, taking our tea by the fire, He told me. 

Go back to your wife. Live a life like a normal guy, happy. You have my blessing. You will have everything. Raise generations and understand the joys and sorrows of your own father.

But I couldn’t hear Himwouldn’t hear Him. Not on this. And I made every excuse why I shouldn’t do that but rather should remain empty, like Him, here in this mountain abode. I wanted to learn the magic of the mystics. I wanted to see the face of God, talk with the spirits, learn all the arts.

And He taught me. Perhaps He saw something teachable in me. I don’t know. Maybe all the talk of going back to the life of man, like a normal guy – maybe it was just some kind of test. After all, if the life of a sanyasi was good enough for Him…

Go back. A young guy should have a life, and a business. Open a good restaurant or hotel. Heal people through the food system and teach them something good – how to live a life.

How could I do that? I’d run away from everything now, burned every bridge. What did that life have for me? No. I would make my way with the yogin of the Himalaya. The Gods of pictures and myth would be my friends, mana my sustenance, fire my fuel. I would sleep in the snow with nothing but a shawl, chant the sacred words that raise God knowledge. Completely ignore the human psychology (and physiology for that matter) that says there is something to be had in the physical, too.

Too much spiritual makes imbalance, too. In the words of Pierre Chardin ‘we are spiritual beings having a physical experience’. Indeed. Why to throw that physical experience back in the face of the God who graced us with such?

Well, I was still young and needed a good talking to. I had it all figured out, knew precisely what I needed to get myself into proper balance. I was so full of myself it’s no small wonder that I was actually able to sit still and listen, to watch and comprehend the masterful machinations of the swamy who took me under His wing.

Twenty-seven years later now I write this brief glimpse into that past and somewhat blush as I contemplate pushing the submit button. But I guess it’s as good an answer as any to the question. Yeah, I left a good paying job to become a sanyasi. What a trip it’s been. And now I’m back with an even better paying job, living the life of a normal guy – a family man with a good business that adds value to people’s lives.

This writing was entirely too brief; I leave out so much. I suffered hard for my choice and rejoiced equally. Life was a mad roller coaster of self-discovery and realization, and in case you’re wondering, I’ve no regrets. It was all worth it, every bit. But if I could go back with what I know today, as the man I am today, I’d change one thing. I wouldn’t make her cry.