Man and his Privilege
Osho on Baul mystic Chandidas
Chandidas, who flourished in the 15th century Bengal, was a poet whose love songs addressed to the washerwoman Rami were popular in the medieval period and were a source of inspiration to the Vaishnava Sahajiya religious movement that explored parallels between human and divine love. The popularity of Chandidas’s songs inspired much imitation, making it difficult to establish firmly the identity of the poet. Furthermore, the details of his life have been overlaid with legend. The poems themselves relate that the author was a Brahman and a village priest who broke with tradition by openly declaring his love for the low-caste Rami. The lovers viewed their relationship as sacred, the closest possible analogy to the spiritual union of the divine lovers Radha and Krishna. Chandidas refused to relinquish either his temple duties or his love for Rami, much to the chagrin of his family.
The poetry of Chandidas had a strong influence on later Bengali art, literature, and religious thought. In the Vaishnava-Sahajiya movement, the love of a man for the wife of another or for a woman of unsuitably low caste was praised above others for its intensity in the face of social disapproval.
Osho talks about Chandidas and says, “I love to quote a Baul mystic, Chandidas, because that man, in a simple statement, has condensed my whole religion: Sabar upar manus satya; tahar upar nahin. ‘Above all is the truth of man, and above that there is nothing’. This man, Chandidas, must have been an authentically religious man. He is denying God, he is denying anything above human flowering: Sabar upar ‘above all, above everything’; Manus satya ‘the truth of man’; Tahar upar nahin ‘and beyond that I have traveled long — there is nothing’. Once you have reached to your human potential in its total flowering, you have arrived home.”
YOU ARE A TOTAL STRANGER TO ME, YET A FRIEND AND LOVER. HOW CAN THIS BE?
This is the only way it can be. We are all strangers to each other. The closer we come in friendship and love, the more we see the strangeness of the other, the uniqueness of the other, the unpredictability of the other. When we are not friends and lovers, then just acquaintance is enough. You know the name of the person, you know his profession, you know his address. Do you think this is knowing the individual? You may know that he is a doctor, or a shoemaker, but those are functions; they don’t have anything to do with the reality of the being. The doctor can become a carpenter, can become a gardener. And one day, he will be retired from the hospital. You may not know why retired people become so irritable, so angry; any excuse is enough for them to explode. Why are old and retired people in such agony, anguish? The reason is, they have lost their identity. When they were doctors, professors, they had a certain identity. Others believed them to be doctors — to be professors, to be engineers, to be scientists — and they also believed they were doctors. Now that mask has slipped. Now they don’t know who they are. It is a chaos in their mind, they cannot figure it out. And they are angry against the whole world which kept them in darkness about themselves for their whole life. And still there is no way made available by the society so they can find their real original face.
When you are acquainted with a person there is no need to bother about his anxieties, his future, his past. Your acquaintance is professional. You may meet him in the marketplace: he is a teacher, you are a student; things are quite defined. You are a patient, he is a doctor; things are quite defined. But behind the patient there is a human being, behind the doctor there is a human being — they remain unknown to each other. But when you love somebody the difficulty arises. When you are really a friend to somebody, a great question haunts you, because now your friendship, your love, cannot be satisfied by knowing that he is a doctor or a professor. You know those are his professional functions, but he is not exhausted by them: Who is he? The closer you come, the more you become strangers to each other, because all false labels, identity cards, passports, nationalities, religions, start disappearing. You are facing a naked human being, and you are also a naked human being — just the way you were born. Even the name is just a label given by others.
Love reveals the stranger in the other. This is one of the most significant questions in the human relationship, because you are afraid of the stranger — and the stranger is in your bed! And you don’t know this man, you don’t know this woman; it is risky.
If you don’t know this man, this woman, you cannot predict what he is going to do in the night. Perhaps he may steal everything and escape, or may kill you.
So people start finding new, phony labels — husband and wife. Again you are going away from each other. You were not capable of remaining strangers and yet lovers. I would like my people to know that it is a tremendous joy to discover the stranger in your friend, because this is the only reality. Don’t camouflage it, don’t cover it up. Don’t go to a church to get married. Let him remain unpredictable; this is his independence and his birthright. And the same is true for you; this is your independence and your birthright. In fact, nature does not allow anybody to enter into the privacy of any individual. Nature is immensely compassionate: you cannot trespass. I can know myself, nobody else can know me. You can know yourself, nobody else can know you. This is a blessing.
Only machines can be known by others.
This is man and his privilege, that his privacy is absolutely guaranteed. Only he can enter into his center — experience, feel, understand, see.
This is possible only if friends and lovers allow each other to remain strangers. All your efforts to cover up the strangeness of the other are the causes of all the conflicts in every home. Husband and wife, mother and children, father and children, children and parents — they are all trying desperately to reduce you to a thing. They are trying to mold you in such a way that you become predictable, so that there is no fear about you. But all these strategies create conflict. Instead of two persons, there are four persons in a bed. Two are the real — which are strangers, which have to hide behind a mask. Two are the masks, which are making love, kissing each other. Masks are kissing each other, promising each other that they will remain in love forever. But masks…? And the stranger behind it already knows that this is false, what you are saying is untrue. You are simply saying it to make things convenient. You are creating a situation of consolation. But nobody wants to be encaged in a mask. He hates the person who has forced him to be someone he is not.
Every husband hates his wife, every wife hates her husband. Children hate their parents, parents hate their children. The whole world is full of hate, and the reason is that we have been denying reality. Drop all the masks, and declare that you are a stranger. Say the truth, that “I cannot promise you that I will be loving you tomorrow too. Only tomorrow knows.” Be truthful and authentic and sincere. It may look a little harsh in the beginning, but soon you will see its beauty, its glory, its joy. Yes, your question I can understand. You say, “I love you, you are my friend. But the more I love you the more I feel you are a stranger.” I am. You are too. Everybody is a stranger. And it is good, tremendously good that everybody is a stranger, so that you can explore, inquire, and always remain excited. What is the woman going to turn into tomorrow? What is the man going to do tomorrow? No expectations — with strangers, you don’t have expectations — no disappointments. Whatever happens has to be accepted without any complaint. Of course, a stranger is a stranger, and he will behave in his strange way. But life becomes really an excitement, every moment an ecstasy.
And when you know that perhaps tomorrow the woman may not be in your hands, then only today is yours. In fact,
only this moment is yours. Squeeze the whole juice out of this moment. The next moment is uncertain.
If we accept the truth of the strangeness of everybody, people will start living in the present. Right now, people are only miserable in the present, they don’t live in the present. They live in their hopes: tomorrow everything will be good. And that tomorrow never comes. What comes is more misery, more trouble, more problems. And life becomes just a tragedy. I would like your life to remain a beautiful comedy, an ongoing carnival. And if your wife and you are strangers — and there is no way to change this situation, this is existential — if your children and you are strangers, how much joy there will be, because each time you meet your wife, you meet a new woman… a new husband… each time a new child, a new parent…
Drop all your falsities which give you identity and just be yourself, which will make you a stranger, but which will also make your life a constant song, a dance, a rejoicing — at least with me.
I am just myself, I don’t have any mask; so naturally if you love me and you come closer to me, you will find me more and more a stranger. Don’t freak out! Come even closer. I will help you also to become a stranger. If the whole humanity becomes real, everybody will be a stranger, and all hate, all repression, all dreaming, all psychoanalysis will disappear of its own accord. I don’t dream, for the simple reason that whatsoever I am, I am — the whole day. I don’t repress anything, so there is no content in me which can become a dream. If I see a beautiful woman, I don’t take my eyes away because this is not good. Psychologists have found that to look at any woman more than three seconds is not mannerly; she will be offended. That is her problem. But if I like a woman, I will look at her to my heart’s content. If I can look at a beautiful rose flower more than three seconds, and I can look at a bird on the wing, and I can look at the stars…. Of course, human beauty is closer to me. I am sensitive to beauty. And once I am satisfied, that woman cannot disturb my sleep.
There was one Egyptian king — a little bit of a crazy type — he declared to his kingdom, “A few people go on coming into my dreams, and that I don’t like! So if anybody comes into my dream, he will be beheaded. So be aware!” Now, people were very much afraid. Nobody was coming into his dreams, they were his dreams; but many people were beheaded. It was his repression; but other people suffered. I don’t have any repression about anything. My sleep is simple and silent. The more you come close to me, the more you will find a vast opening into a strange world. And this will happen to you with anybody; just the masks have to be dropped. And if you love through the mask, it is ugly. Then why not love through the servants? I can send my servant to my girlfriend and tell him, “Give her a good kiss, make love to her on my behalf; but remember, you are only a servant.” Perhaps in the future, when people are very rich and they don’t want to take the trouble of making love, they will hire people, because it is such a gymnastics; and fear of AIDS…. It is good that servants do it all. But the servants will be doing it on their own behalf, so they will enjoy it. But this is actually happening! Your mask is kissing your woman — and not really the woman, but the mask of the woman. Two masks kissing each other, and two fools standing behind! The beds are made for two people, not for four, but in every bed there are four people. Hence, every bed is a bed of thorns, not of roses.
Remember one basic truth, that there is no way possible that you can know your friend. You can know only yourself. Socrates says, “Know thyself.” Knowing yourself, you will have a glimpse of others too, but there is no way to know the other. Allow him to know himself or herself. Wisdom comes in freedom. And love allows the space in which wisdom can descend. This commune is a love commune. I have taken away the false God; now I have to point out to you the real God. It is love. Love is the greatest transformation you can have, but be ready for a great pilgrimage in an unknown territory. Don’t be afraid, there is nothing to fear. The territory may be unknown, but it is full of treasures. On each step you will find new treasures opening their doors. Don’t stop until you have found yourself, because that is the treasure of all treasures. Nothing is beyond it. Sabar upar manus satya, tahar upar nahin. One of the mystics, Chandidas, says, “The truth of man is the highest truth, and there is nothing beyond it.” And you are that truth.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Rajneesh Mandir in Rajneeshpuram.
Discourse Series: From Bondage to Freedom
Chapter title: Now meditation is needed even more
29 September 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir
Osho has spoken on Mystics like Dadu, Farid, Gurdjieff, J. Krishnamurti, Kabir, Nanak, Meher Baba, Patanjali, Swami Ram Teerth, Rumi, Sahajo, Sai Baba, Saraha, Socrates, Tilopa, Zarathustra, Omar Khayyam, Kahlil Gibran and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Sermons in Stones
- Come Come Yet Again Come
- The Hidden Splendour
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The New Dawn
- The Sword and The Lotus
- The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty
- Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 1
- The Path of Love
- The Book of Wisdom