On the other hand, many so-called saints have been teaching us to ignore our body, and let it starve, says Keerti in the Deccan Chronicle on February 19, 2018.
The divine resides in our body. But we have made this abode of the divine contaminated by feeding it with all kinds of junk. There’s no sense of balance in our eating habits. Most of the time we eat out of greed or anxiety to fill some emptiness within us. This emptiness may have some psychological reasons. We may not be getting nourishment of love as a child gets from his mother or a lover gets from his beloved. The food becomes a substitute and we start eating more than our body needs. This way our body suffers tremendously. The more we eat, the more we feel empty, as the psychological emptiness cannot be filled with anything other than love. A loveless life makes us fat. It has also been proved psychologically that without love-nourishment, people do become fat. And as soon as they fall in love they start losing weight. Love is the inner nourishment. We need to love ourselves and love each other – that’s the surest way to be healthy.
On the other hand, many so-called saints have been teaching us to ignore our body, and let it starve. This is another extreme. They teach that the more you feed it, the more it will demand. They themselves fast because they are afraid, because if they give food to their body, the body creates extra amount of energy which becomes difficult to handle. So they become scared and miserly. And they live a loveless life. They forget that they need abundance of energy, overflowing energy, to love and celebrate life in all its colours.
There’s a poem by Kabir: There is neither body nor mind: And where is the place that shall still the thirst of the soul? You shall find naught in that emptiness. Be strong, and enter into your own body…
Elaborating on the poem, Osho comments:
“Kabir is a great lover of the body – and all the great mystics have been lovers of the body – because the body is the real temple of God. And if you find somebody condemning the body, know from the very beginning that he knows nothing. If somebody is against the body, he has not known anything at all. He does not even know the ABCD of spirituality.
“He has not even begun. If he condemns the body he is still afraid of the body. If he condemns the body he is a dualist: he thinks himself separate from the body. If he condemns the body he still has great lust and greed in him. If he condemns the body, it means the body still tempts him too much and he shivers and trembles before the body. He is antagonistic to the body because he has not yet been able to understand what this beautiful phenomenon is that we call the body. The body is the temple of God. God is enshrined in it; God is embodied in it.”
Quote by Osho from
Ecstasy: The Forgotten Language, Ch 7
Chaitanya Keerti travels around the world to facilitate Osho meditation retreats. He is an editor of Osho World and author of ‘Osho Fragrance’, ‘The Alchemy of Zen’, and ‘Mindfulness: The Master Key’. More articles by the same author on Osho News