Discourses — 15 September 2017

Osho speaks on the ‘ghotul’, the youth house of an ancient aboriginal community in India.

Osho under a tree

In one aboriginal community of India in the very primitive parts of Madhya Pradesh, in Bastar, there lives a tribe – aboriginals, very old people, primitive, almost three or four thousand years old. They are not contemporaries at all but something can be learned from them. One thing has happened in that community that has never happened before anywhere else, and that is: once a man marries a woman there is never any divorce. Divorce is allowed, but never has divorce happened. And once a man marries a woman, he remains truly with her, and the woman remains truly with him. He never becomes again interested in any other woman in any other way, and the woman never becomes interested in any other man. How have they managed this miracle? They have managed very psychologically.

The structure of their society is such that every boy and every girl is allowed to meet and mix with every other boy and girl. So every boy comes to know each girl of the community, and each girl comes to know each boy of the community. In fact, by the time boys and girls are getting interested in the other sex, they don’t stay in their homes in the night. They have a small temple-like thing just in the middle of the village; they call it ghotul – a youth house.

Once a boy becomes interested in girls he has to go to stay in the ghotul; once a girl starts becoming interested in the boys, she has to go to live in the ghotul. In the ghotul they live, all the boys of the village and all the girls of the village, and they make love to each other. Only one thing is insisted upon: the superintendent of the ghotul insists that no boy and girl should remain with each other more than three days. They should change, so that before their marriage time comes they have known everybody; then they can decide.

When you know all the women of your community and decide, that decision is totally different than the decision that is taken in civilized societies. You don’t know other women; a better woman, a better man is always possible. Then what will you do? A more interesting personality can always be there; then there will be disruption, there will be distraction, there will be problems.

These are small village communities: not many people – two hundred, three hundred people, at the most, in one community. Every boy is allowed to know each girl. When he has known all the girls and all the girls have known all the boys, and then one girl and one boy decide to get married, before marriage happens they are given one more year to be together, to finally decide – because to decide before knowing each other well is dangerous. The decision may be only because they want to know each other well. But once they have known each other well, then what will happen to their decision? So they have to know each other well for one year, two years; whatsoever time they need, they can be together. There is no interference on them by the society.

But once they decide to get married, of course that decision is very, very solid, absolute, unconditional – because all conquering is gone, hunting is gone, chasing is gone. The honeymoon is before marriage in that community, and that seems to be more logical, psychological, more true to the human mind. The honeymoon is before the marriage. Marriage has to happen only when the honeymoon is over. When two persons, knowing each other well, decide to be together, now it is not a question of conquering. It is not a question of novelty. It is not that they decide for marriage because they want to know each other; they decide for marriage because they know each other. This is totally different.

But that ghotul and the system of those communities is disappearing. They are being civilized by us, forced, because this seems to be immoral. At least for Christians, Hindus, Jains, it seems immoral. Their community is being destroyed; their ghotul is thought to be like a house of prostitution. So they are being taught against their experience: they are being taught to destroy ghotuls and to stop this ‘immoral’ situation.

But man seems to be absolutely foolish. They are not immoral people; they are very moral people, very natural people. But Christians are there working and trying to convert them into Christians. They have converted many of those poor people into Christians. Now ghotuls are disappearing, and there, one of the most solid systems is being destroyed. In fact, we should learn something from them.

Osho, The Beloved, Vol 1, Ch 2, Q 2 (excerpt)