Osho on Mother
TO BE A MOTHER IS SWEET,
AND A FATHER.
IT IS SWEET TO LIVE ARDUOUSLY,
AND TO MASTER YOURSELF.
TO BE A MOTHER IS SWEET…. Why? Just giving birth to a child is not to be a mother, remember. Otherwise there are millions of mothers on the earth — and there seems to be no sweetness. In fact, if you ask the psychologists they will say just the opposite. They will say the only problem to be solved is the mother. The only pathology that millions of people are suffering from is the mother. And what they are saying they are saying after fifty, sixty years of constant analysis of thousands of people. Everybody’s illness basically comes to one point: that it has been given to you, transmitted to you by your mother.
There are people who are afraid of women; and if you are afraid of women you can’t love them. How can love arise out of fear? And why are you afraid of women? — because your childhood was lived in fear of your mother. She was constantly after you, she was constantly hammering you. She was constantly telling you to do this and not to do that — of course, for your own good. She has crippled you, she has destroyed many things in you. She has made you phony because she has told you what is right to do. Whether you like it or not, whether it is spontaneously arising in you or not, you have to follow the order. And you were so helpless… your survival depended on the mother so you had to listen to her. She conditioned you. And it is because of the fear of your mother that you are afraid of women.
Millions of husbands are henpecked for the simple reason that their mothers were too strong. It has nothing to do with the wife; they are simply projecting the mother on the wife. The wife is only a new edition of the mother. They are expecting everything from the wife that they expected from the mother. On the one hand it cripples them; on the other hand they start expecting things which are not possible from the wife’s side — because she is not your mother. So you feel frustrated. And how can you make love to your wife? A boy who has really been dominated by the mother, who has been reduced into absolute obedience, will not be able to make love to a woman, because as he will come close to the woman psychologically he will go impotent. How can you make love to your mother? It is impossible.
Hence many people become impotent with their wives, but only with their wives. With the prostitutes they are not impotent. It is strange: why are they not impotent with the prostitute? — for the simple reason that they can’t think of their mother as a prostitute; that is impossible. Their mother, and a prostitute? The prostitute is a world apart. But they can think of their wife as a mother, they can project the mother. The wife becomes simply a screen. They want the wife to take care of them like a small child, and if she is not taking care they feel offended.
Thousands of neurotic people and psychotic people are there in the world because of the mother. And Buddha says: TO BE A MOTHER IS SWEET. He must mean something else. He can’t mean a Jewish mother! He means not just giving birth to a child; that does not make one a mother.
To be motherly is a totally different phenomenon. It is something absolutely human; it transcends animality. It has nothing to do with biology. It is love, pure love, unconditional love.
When a mother loves unconditionally — and only a mother can love unconditionally — the child learns the joy of unconditional love. The child becomes capable of loving unconditionally. And to be able to love unconditionally is to be religious. And it is the easiest thing for a woman to do. It is easy for her because naturally she is ready for it. She is just on the verge of transcending biology through being a mother. You can be motherly without giving birth to a child. You can be motherly to anybody. You can be motherly to an animal, to a tree. You can be motherly to anything. It is something inside you. Being motherly means being capable of unconditional love, loving the person for the sheer joy of loving, helping the person to grow for the sheer joy of seeing somebody grow.
A real therapist is a mother. If he is not, he is not a real therapist. He is only a professional exploiting people, exploiting them because of their misery. But a real therapist is a mother. He becomes a womb for the patient. He gives the patient a new birth. He starts the life of the patient again from ABC. He gives him a clean sheet to write his life again. That’s what I mean when I say “the psychology of the Buddhas”; that is real therapy.
A master is a real therapist; his very presence is therapeutic. He surrounds you like a mother. He is a cloud who surrounds you from everywhere, from all the sides, in all the dimensions, like a mother.
TO BE A MOTHER IS SWEET, AND A FATHER. To be a father is a little more difficult. To be a mother is easier because each woman is born intrinsically to be a mother. But fatherhood is an institution invented by man; hence it is very difficult to come across a real father. But when you come across a real father it is a miracle. A real father is also a mother. He is called a father because he is a man, but his whole approach is of unconditional love. In ordinary life lovers are exploiting each other; it is a mutual exploitation. Unconditional love means no exploitation. The other is not being used as a means but is respected as an end unto himself or herself.
Give your children your love, but don’t give your ideologies. Don’t make them Catholics and communists; that is poisoning them. Don’t make them Hindus and Jainas and Buddhists; that is very destructive. Give your love, give your loving nourishment, and give them strength enough to inquire who they are, what this reality is all about. Give them every support so they can go on in life with an adventurous spirit. Then you are helping them; then you are really educating them.
Ordinarily, whatsoever exists in the name of education is nothing but mis-education.
Real education is helping the person to be himself. It is possible only if you love the person for his own sake, for no other motive. If there is a motive, your love is contaminated. Then you are not a real father or a real mother.
IT IS SWEET TO LIVE ARDUOUSLY, AND TO MASTER YOURSELF.
Life is basically insecure. Only death is secure. Life insurance is a contradiction in terms; there can be only death insurance. Life is an adventure, unpredictable. Hence one has to live it arduously. Life is dangerous; only death is safe. So the people who want to live safely die before their death, and the people who want to live without any danger don’t live at all.
Life means danger, life means risk. Life means going always from the known to the unknown, from one peak to another peak, always climbing peaks which have not been climbed before, always moving into the uncharted sea with no maps, with no guidelines. Only then you live ecstatically, and only then you know what life is. Through living dangerously one becomes integrated. Through living a life of insecurity one passes through fire and becomes pure gold.
The only way to become a master of oneself is to go into the unknown, unafraid or in spite of all the fears. Buddha invites you for an arduous life. That’s what Sannyas is all about.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 9
Chapter title: How sweet it is
17 February 1980 am in Buddha Hall
Osho has spoken on ‘mother, love, master, therapist’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Discipline of Transcendence
- From Bondage to Freedom
- The Golden Future
- The Last Testament
- The Messiah
- The Razor’s Edge
- Sermons in Stones
- The Wisdom of the Sands
- Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-Mind
- The Osho Upanishad
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- Tao: The Pathless Path