Beloved Osho, I love hearing the stories of the old masters and their disciples. It is so beautiful to feel the essence of those small oases of consciousness – which centuries of religion have since covered in the dust of dogma and deceit. But still, as I look at us sitting here, feeling the joy, the silence, the tears, the laughter, I suspect there is something present that no master may ever have evoked before. Is it, perhaps, a sense of loving tenderness, a juiciness in those around you – something that could only have emerged had feminine energy been an intrinsic part of those caravanserais of so long ago? Osho, isn’t this one of your greatest contributions to spirituality?
The realm of spirituality has remained male-dominated – not only male-dominated but male-chauvinistic. There were reasons why all spiritual traditions were against women. They were against women because they were against life, and to destroy life, the most basic thing is to separate man and woman. They were against any joy, any love, any juiciness. The simple way was to condemn the woman, and separate her from man as much as possible, particularly in the monasteries.
Women were second class human beings, not on the level of man.
Naturally it disturbed many things. It took out all playfulness, sense of humor, rejoicing, and created a very dry structure of life for man and for women too. They are part of one whole, and once you separate them, they are both continuously missing something – and that gap cannot be filled, and that gap makes people serious, sickly serious, and perverted, psychologically unbalanced. It distorts the natural harmony; it distorts the biological balance. It is such a big calamity that for centuries man has suffered under it.
Yes, it is my greatest contribution to the future of man, that the women are on the same level as men – spiritually there is no question of inequality.
You can see here laughter, tears and joy; this was impossible to see in Buddha’s commune. It was not possible in Mahavira’s communes. They had separate communes for women, but they were in every way humiliated. Even a one-day-old male sannyasin, in Jainism, has to be respected by a seventy-year-old woman sannyasin. She has been a sannyasin for seventy years, but she has to bow down to a man who has just become a sannyasin, because he is a man.
And although men were working for their enlightenment, the women were not working for enlightenment directly; they were working to attain to manhood first, because you cannot bypass manhood; first you have to be a man, and then only you can be enlightened.
So they looked like monks and nuns, but their goals were totally different. Man had already a far higher spiritual status, which the woman was trying in this life to achieve for the next – she was one life behind. And this is all bullshit. There is no question of man and woman as far as spirituality is concerned, because it is not a question of body or biology; it is not a question even of mind or psychology.
It is a question of being, and being has no sexual differences. Souls are not male or female, and the same method will lead man to his inner self, and the same method will lead the woman to her inner self. There is no question at all… because the whole thing is of witnessing. What you are witnessing is not in question – whether you are witnessing a female body or a male body, a female mind or a male mind, is just out of the question; the emphasis is on witnessing – and witnessing has no gender.
Even great people like Mahavira and Gautam Buddha remained somehow part of the male-dominated world, and they could not revolt against it. This is the first time that man and woman are together, working for the same experience, and naturally, when opposite energies are working together, there is more playfulness, more sense of humor, more laughter, more love, more friendliness – all the qualities which make us human.
The old saints were almost inhuman, dry bones. To be juicy was against their spirituality. To be juicy, to me, is the very foundation of spirituality; if a spiritual person cannot be juicy, then who can be? If the people who are in search of the ultimate truth cannot celebrate, then nobody else has the right to celebrate. But all the traditions were insisting not on celebration but on celibacy, and through celibacy they were creating such psychological disturbances in people that the question of spiritual growth did not arise.
First they have to be mentally healthy – they were mentally sick.
I want my people to be naturally, biologically, physiologically, psychologically – on every level – healthy. Only then, in these healthy steps, can they move to a healthy spirituality. And their spirituality will not be against anything; their spirituality will absorb everything that is below it. Hence it will be far richer.
To me a spirituality that makes you poorer in every dimension of your life is a slow suicide. It is not spiritual. It is not a coincidence that all old spiritual traditions are against me, because what I am trying to do is to uproot them from their very base. If I am successful then ten thousands of spiritual pasts prove to be wrong.
So my experiment is very crucial, very definitive, very decisive, and my feeling is that you can get over jealousy only where there is possibility of jealousy; you can get over sex only when there is possibility of sex; you can get over anything only if the possibility is there.
Old traditions tried to deceive people; making them separate, the very possibilities were not there, and slowly, slowly, the monks and the nuns started believing that they have transcended jealousy, that they have transcended sex. The reality was just the opposite: they have not transcended, they have repressed with all kinds of religious rituals. Women have repressed everything that needs man; man has repressed everything that needs the woman, to such depth that he himself has become unaware that it is there.
A Chinese story is: a woman served a master for years. He was living outside the town in a hut, and this woman was very rich, and she would bring the most delicious food for him, and whatsoever was needed, she provided. He was not forced to go to beg – the woman brought things herself to his hut. And he became a very great saint.
The woman was older. Before she was dying, just a day or two days before, she was very sick and felt that her time has come. She called the prostitute of the town – a very beautiful woman – and said to her, “Whatever is your price I will give you but I want just one simple thing. In the middle of the night you go to the monk I have worshipped for my whole life. He thinks that he has transcended sex; I also believe it, but there has been no opportunity to check on it.
“In the middle of the night you go – he meditates at that time – you knock on the door, go inside. Just drop your clothes, be naked, and remember everything that he says or does, and then come back to me. And whatever your price, that I will give you.”
The prostitute said, “There is no problem in it.” She went, she knocked on the door; the monk opened the door. She immediately dropped her robe – she was only wearing one robe – and stood naked before the monk.
The monk shouted, “What are you doing!” and was trembling, and before the woman could say anything, he escaped out of the door. She came back to the old woman and told her, “Nothing much happened. He opened the door, I dropped my robe; he started trembling, shouted, `What are you doing? Why have you come here?’ and through the open door he escaped towards the forest.”
The woman said, “I wasted my years in serving that idiot. You take your price, and do one thing more; for that also I will give you whatever you want – go and set fire to the hut!”
These monks and nuns are forced by their religions to live separately, and sometimes if you look into their scriptures, it is hilarious. A Jaina monk first enquires before he sits in any place, “Has there been any woman sitting here before?” At least nine minutes have to pass. I don’t know how they manage nine minutes! Only then he will brush the place with his small broom made of soft wool, so no small insect or ant is killed, and then he will spread his bamboo mattress and sit on it.
I asked these people, “Why nine minutes?”
They said, “After a woman has been sitting in a place, for nine minutes her vibrations continue, and a monk can be disturbed by it.”
I said, “What kind of monks you have? Ordinary men are not disturbed. Monks are disturbed? It simply shows that they are continuously thinking of sex and nothing else.”
It has been found that ordinary men think of women at least once in nine minutes. Perhaps for thousands of years these people have figured it out in some way – that there is danger for nine minutes, but the danger is not in the vibrations, the danger is in man’s mind. Every man, the whole day, every nine minutes, at least once thinks of women. Women are a little spiritual: they think of man once only in eighteen minutes – twice as spiritual.
The basic reason for separating man and woman was that by a single stroke you are destroying many things; otherwise you will need many strokes, and still you will not be able to destroy them from the roots. The seriousness in the religious people has nothing to do with spirituality; it has something to do with the way they are living, separated from their hearts.
Just now in Germany we have won the case in a court against the German government, and the German government was trying to prove that I am not a religious person, because I have said in a press conference that I am not a serious man. Their argument was that a religious man is bound to be serious. They go together, you cannot separate them – if a man says that he is not serious, how he can be religious?
Looking at the past, what the government attorney was saying was right. All religious people have been serious.
But the judge seems to be reading my books, because in his statement he says that because it was in a press conference, we do not know in what context I have said that I am not a serious man. “You have to prove it from his written books, and even if he says he is not serious, that does not matter, because what he is teaching is religion. He is teaching that man is not body, that man is not mind, that man is a transcendental, spiritual being.” and he quoted from my books – and insisted on the words “transcendental spiritual being.”
He said, “That’s enough for him to be religious, and for his people to be religious. What he has said in a press conference is irrelevant.” He gave the verdict in our favor, but the government attorney was trying to prove that a non-serious man cannot be religious.
If I had been in the place of the judge, I would not have brought any quotations, I would have fought on the same point, that seriousness and religiousness in fact cannot go together, because seriousness is sickness – sickness of the soul, and when the soul is sick, one cannot be religious.
A religious person has to be rejoicing, full of humor, laughter, love.
It is certainly one of the most important contributions we are trying to make. It will be opposed by all the traditions and all the religions – by the whole world, because we are proving that for ten thousand years they have been wrong – and it hurts their egos. They would like to destroy us rather than accept the fact that spirituality should be full of laughter, full of a sense of humor, full of playfulness; because now there is no anxiety, no problem, no anguish, and the person has relaxed into a deep let-go with existence.
Why should he be serious?
But it is going against the whole past. It is not only on this point that I am going against the whole past; on so many points I am going against the whole past, for the simple reason that the past was male-dominated, so only men have created rules, without having any consideration for the female.
The female has not been taken into account at all; but the tragedy is that if the man does not take any account of the female, he is cutting himself into half, and the moment he denies the female outside, he has also denied the female inside – and you have created a schizophrenic, not a spiritual being. He needs psychological treatment, not worship.
Osho, The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch 24, Q 1