Just Friendliness is enough



Prem Pragyan,

one of the most significant things in man’s life has been the love affair. Birth is not in your hands, death is not in your hands; and these are the only three great things in life: birth, love, and death. Only love is in your hands, only love gives you the freedom and dignity of being a human being; otherwise, birth and death happen just like any other animal, or any tree. Love should be kept as pure and unpolluted as possible.

You are asking, “Is the concept of soulmates more useful than marriage?” Concepts don’t matter. What matters is your understanding. You can change the word `marriage’ to the word `soulmates’, but you are the same. You will make the same hell out of soulmates as you have been making out of marriage — nothing has changed, only the word, the label. Don’t believe in labels too much. Why has marriage failed? In the first place, we raised it to unnatural standards. We tried to make it something permanent, something sacred, without knowing even the ABC of sacredness, without knowing anything about the eternal. Our intentions were good but our understanding was very small, almost negligible. So instead of marriage becoming something of a heaven, it has become a hell. Instead of becoming sacred, it has fallen even below profanity. And this has been man’s stupidity — a very ancient one: whenever he gets into difficulty, he changes the word. Change the word `marriage’ into `soulmates’, but don’t change yourself. And you are the problem, not the word; any word will do. A rose is a rose is a rose … you can call it by any name. You are asking to change the concept, you are not asking to change yourself.

Marriage has failed because you could not rise to the standard that you were expecting of marriage, of the concept of marriage. You were brutal, you were barbarous, you were full of jealousies, you were full of lust; you had never known really what love is. In the name of love, you tried everything which is just the opposite of love: possessiveness, domination, power.

Marriage has become a battlefield where two persons are fighting for supremacy. Of course, the man has his own way: rough and more primitive. The woman has her own way: feminine, softer, a little more civilized, more subdued. But the situation is the same. Now psychologists are talking about marriage as an intimate enmity. And that’s what it has proved to be. Two enemies are living together pretending to be in love, expecting the other to give love; and the same is being expected by the other. Nobody is ready to give — nobody has it. How can you give love if you don’t have it?

And when you feel that love is not coming towards you … and both feel the same: a great frustration and an idea, a suspicion that perhaps the other has deceived you. Before the marriage both were using beautiful words, sweet nothings; both were bringing their best to attract the other, to catch hold of the other. And once they are married, and the law has entered in, and society has granted you freedom to live together, soon the honeymoon is over. Even before coming back from the honeymoon it is over … all is finished because you have come to know the other in their total wholeness, which is ugly. The facade, the mask that they were wearing before the marriage has slipped. You cannot hold it for twenty-four hours. When you live with someone, you have to come down from your hypocrisies and be whatever you are — and you know that you are not the person you pretend to be. The same is true about the other. And then it becomes a struggle to possess the woman, to possess the man.

The only significant symptom of love is, it never possesses; on the contrary, it gives freedom. It is happy in the happiness of the other. It does not beg; it is not a beggar. It is an emperor. It gives, and it gives unconditionally. But in actual life, what we have been doing for centuries is asking the other to give; and the other is also asking you to give. And both are beggars, their bowls are empty; they don’t have anything to give. It becomes a struggle, a warfare. You can change the concept from marriage to soulmates, but what about you? What about the people who will become soulmates? If they are the same people who were becoming a couple in a marriage, nothing will change. My suggestion is, neither marriage is needed nor soulmates are needed — just friendliness is enough.

You don’t know anything about soul, how can you become a soulmate? If you can become just friendly with each other, that is more than can be expected from the present man. If you can be understanding of each other’s frailties, weaknesses, that is more than can be expected.

If you can drop the old superstitions, that once a woman or a man loves you, they have to love you forever … Love is very fragile. It is just like a flower: beautiful, but very delicate. In the morning it blossoms; by the evening it is gone, its petals are scattered.

That was a beauty in the morning; by the evening it has become a grave. Life is a changing, continuously changing phenomenon. When I say a great understanding is needed, the old idea of permanent relationship under any concept has to be dropped. You have to live moment to moment, you have to live each moment as if it is the last moment. So don’t waste it in quarreling, in nagging or in fighting. Perhaps you will not find the next moment even for an apology…The very idea of having a permanent, lifelong relationship helps you to postpone that which is essential and go on doing things which are absolutely nonessential; not only nonessential but idiotic.

People are fighting about such small things that they themselves, in their saner moments, laugh about it. I have heard about a couple who were getting married in the government registrar’s office. The man signed — the woman had signed before him. As she saw the man’s signature, she immediately told the registrar, “I want a divorce.” The registrar said, “What has happened? You are getting married, you have just signed the marriage papers.”

She said, “Yes, I have signed but things have gone sour already. Just look at the paper. I have signed in small letters and he has signed in such big letters, to show me who he is. This is the beginning of trouble — I don’t want to get into it.” The bigger letters already declare the supremacy, superiority of the man.

You can change words — I would like to change your consciousness. The idea of permanent relationship was wrong, but it has been imposed on you by poets, by priests, by everybody. And I am not saying that two persons cannot live in deep friendship for their whole life. They can, but it should not be a conditioning, but just a flowering of friendship, open.

Any day one partner can say, “I am grateful for all the beautiful moments you have given to me, but now our paths separate. In sadness … but I will remember you always. I don’t want life with you to create a hell. Then all that was beautiful will be destroyed, even the memory of it will be destroyed. Just a friendliness is enough.”…

So one thing: the old superstition that love is monogamous has to be dropped — it is not. There is every evidence against it. Secondly, the old superstition that love has to be permanent, only then is it true, is absolutely wrong. If a rose flower is not permanent, do you think it is not real? And if you are so much interested in permanency, then you can have only plastic flowers, not real roses. Those plastic flowers don’t die because they don’t have any life, they are already dead. Love is a very living phenomenon. In fact, life comes to its highest peak in love. Hence, there is every possibility that what has been today a great blessing, tomorrow may not be there. It is a breeze that comes and goes. We have to accept nature as it is. To create something unnatural is going to create perversions.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: The New Dawn

Chapter #20

Chapter title: Friendliness is enough

28 June 1987 am in Chuang Tzu Auditorium


Osho has spoken on love, friendliness, freedom, consciousnessin many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Beyond Enlightenment
  2. The Messiah, Vol 1, 2
  3. Satyam Shivam Sundram
  4. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1, 2, 3, 8
  5. Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing
  6. The Golden Future
  7. From Death to Deathlessness
  8. Sermons in Stones
  9. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
  10. Zarathustra: A God That Can Dance
  11. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 2
  12. The Hidden Splendor
  13. Sat Chit Anand
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