Shiva: The God of Meditation
Mahashivratri is a hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of the lord Shiva. There is a Shivaratri in every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night/14th day, but once a year in late winter (February/March, or Phalguna) and before the arrival of Summer, marks MahaShivaratri which means “the Great Night of Shiva”.
Osho has spoken on VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA (A talk between Shiva and Parvati) in his English discourse series “VIGYAN BHAIRAV TANTRA VOL.1 AND VOL.2”
Osho differentiates Shiva from other enlightened figures and says If you do a technique, your mind will turn from its journey into the future or the past. Suddenly you will find yourself in the present. That is why Buddha has given techniques, Lao Tzu has given techniques, Krishna has given techniques. But they always introduce their techniques with intellectual concepts. Only Shiva is different. He immediately gives techniques, and no intellectual understanding, no intellectual introduction, because he knows that the mind is tricky, the most cunning thing possible. It can turn anything into a problem. Shiva proceeds immediately with no introduction whatsoever. He immediately starts talking about techniques. Those techniques, if followed, suddenly turn your mind: it comes to the present. And when the mind comes to the present it stops, it is no more. You cannot be a mind in the present, that is impossible.
Osho further says Shiva proposes one hundred and twelve methods. These are all the methods possible. If nothing clicks and nothing gives you the feeling that this is for you, then there is no method left for you — remember this. Then forget spirituality and be happy. Then it is not for you. But these one hundred and twelve methods are for the whole humanity — for all the ages that have passed and for all the ages that have yet to come. In no time has there ever been a single man, and there will never be one, who can say, “These one hundred and twelve methods are all useless for me.” Impossible! This is impossible!
YOU TALKED OF SHIVA, WHO WAS INFATUATED SO MUCH WITH HIS WOMAN THAT WHEN SHE DIED HE CARRIED HER DEAD BODY ON HIS SHOULDER FOR TWELVE YEARS. IS IT THE SAME SHIVA WHO WAS KNOWN AS THE ENLIGHTENED ONE, WHO GAVE ONE HUNDRED AND TWELVE TECHNIQUES FOR ENLIGHTENMENT? CAN THERE BE ANY POSITIVE MEANING OF CARRYING THE DEAD BODY TOO?
Yes, there is great meaning. And it is the same
Shiva who has given one hundred and twelve methods of meditation to the world. It is very rare that a man exhausts the whole of science single-handedly. Shiva is one of those geniuses. As far as meditation is concerned, in these thousands of years nothing has been added to those one hundred and twelve methods. They are exhaustive. Shiva has taken note of every possibility. He has not left any corner, any space, any dimension in which you can discover a new method. Certainly no other genius in the whole humanity can be compared to this strange man.
But the story must be confusing you. His wife, Parvati, dies; he loved her immensely. I would like to go step by step into the story and to explain all the implications of it. They mean much to you and to humanity today.
Shiva was not celibate. And a man who was not celibate discovered all the techniques of meditation. What is the implication? The implication is that celibacy has nothing to do with meditation — that in fact the so-called celibate saints and monks have not contributed anything to human wisdom, human intelligence, to beauty, to richness, to music, to dance.
No, not in any dimension have your celibate monks and nuns been contributors. They have been a burden on the earth. The only thing they have contributed is AIDS. And it is a very natural consequence.
Life arises out of sex, life consists of sex. You can grow your sex to such a refinement that it can become love, it can become compassion. But if you block the very energy of sex by celibacy, you have destroyed all possibilities of your growth. You are now moving towards death. If sex is life, then celibacy is death.
This is a simple logic…
But your monks, your nuns, all the religions have forced death on humanity, destructiveness on humanity. And the ultimate result is AIDS. And AIDS is more dangerous than nuclear weapons, because nuclear weapons are not going to be used at all. It is absolutely clear that to use those weapons is to destroy all life on the planet. War has meaning when somebody is victorious and somebody is defeated. War has no meaning when the whole of humanity is destroyed. Nobody is victorious; nobody is defeated. I can say to you with absolute certainty, nuclear weapons cannot be used. But AIDS is spreading fast, like wildfire. It may destroy humanity.
The first implication in Shiva’s story is that he is not celibate. The second implication is that he is not a homosexual. All your monks and nuns are bound to be homosexuals, lesbians. You have forced them into such a place that there is no other way. The third implication is that
Shiva has infinite love for his beloved, so much that he carried Parvati’s dead body in search of a physician for twelve years around the country, till all the limbs, one by one, fell away. Nothing was left on his shoulder. It looks a little ridiculous, but to me it has a totally different meaning. A meditator like Shiva knows life is eternal. And if life is eternal, then there is no reason why Parvati has to take another form. She is still young, healthy, beautiful. There must be someone who can manage to make her heart beat again, her lungs function again, because behind the body is the soul, which is eternal — just something in the body is missing.
In that way, Shiva proves to be the first pioneer in human engineering. He is searching for a physician to change any part that is preventing the soul of his wife from entering this beautiful body.
Now scientists say that the human body has the capacity of rejuvenating itself as long as you want. Why do people almost always die at the age of seventy, on average? The reason is not physical, the reason is psychological. We have become accustomed to the idea that life is only for seventy years. This conditioning in the mind for a life of seventy years is the cause of your body stopping; otherwise there is no reason. There are places in Kashmir, a small part which is now occupied by Pakistan, where there are people who are one hundred and forty years old, one hundred and fifty years old — and still young. I have been to see those people. They live in the hills, and somehow they have not got the idea that man’s life is only for seventy years. In the Caucasus, in Russia, there are people who have reached one hundred and eighty years, thousands of people, who are still working in the fields like young men. They are robust…Now the people who are working on human engineering say that man can easily live for three hundred years, without any difficulty and without any old age. Just his psychology has to be changed, his conditioning has to be changed. And there are more daring scientists who say that if we can change the program in the basic human cells — which can be done, now we are capable of doing it — then we can make man live as long as he wants…
Shiva’s story has beautiful implications. In carrying his dead wife, he is saying that perhaps there may be someone who can change some small part which has gone out of function. He is the first scientist of human engineering. Third, his love — don’t call it infatuation –
His love for his wife simply shows that meditativeness is not against love. A man who created all the methods of meditation, who was perhaps history’s greatest meditator, was still human and had no difficulty in being in love.
All the religions have been teaching just the opposite. They are teaching that you renounce your wife, you renounce your children, you renounce the world, you renounce comforts, you renounce everything that makes your life a joy. Then only can you be saved. They are teaching you suicide; it is not religion. But they have turned millions of people into a gang of suicidal people. The moment your love dies, many other things also die in you. A man whose love is dead is incapable of seeing beauty in a painting. If he cannot see beauty in a human face, in the face of Cleopatra; if he cannot see beauty in the ultimate expression of existence, what can he see on a canvas? Just a few colors. He cannot see beauty in it. He whose love is dead cannot compose poetry, because without love his poetry will be simply juiceless. It won’t have life in it. It will be a simple gymnastics of words without any spirit behind it. It will be a corpse of poetry, but not poetry.
A man who cannot love cannot be creative in any sense. Why should he make a beautiful statue of a woman or a man? Why should he make beautiful statues of women in Khajuraho in India?
I am aware of all the best sculptures around the world: nothing is comparable to Khajuraho. Thousands of beautiful women in one temple… and there are thirty temples still in perfect shape. There used to be one hundred temples. Seventy temples are in ruins, but in those ruins also you can find beautiful pieces. In one temple, thousands of women, men, loving each other, hugging each other…. You can see that the stones have become alive, you can see that the stones can speak. You can see that nature has not been able to create such beautiful women as those unknown artists have done. But if stone can be made so beautiful, so alive that it seems the woman is just going to come out, that she is just going to start breathing again, then why can’t we improve on humanity? There is no need for ugly people. It is our fault and our responsibility…
I had one gardener…. I have lived in many cities, but wherever I have lived, I have lived surrounded with trees. My gardens are almost jungles. This old gardener was really a genius. He was winning the first prize in the state every year for producing the biggest flowers, and he wanted to do it in my garden.
I asked, “What is your secret? How do you manage to create the biggest rose in the whole state?”
He said, “The secret is simple. I don’t allow many flowers to grow on one rosebush. I cut all the buds and keep only one bud. Naturally, all the juice of the tree moves into one bud. Instead of creating hundreds of roseflowers, it creates one roseflower, but then nobody can compete with it.”…
Shiva’s story makes it clear that a man of meditation will be a man of immense love. He will not be inhuman…
There is a question… a man has said, “It is very strange that when I make love to a woman, the next day I understand you better. My meditation goes deeper.” He is feeling strange. There is nothing strange in it, it is how it should be. Making love to a woman relaxes you, takes your tensions away, makes you more childlike. Naturally you understand me better, naturally you meditate deeper. Man and woman can help each other tremendously towards meditation and towards the ultimate transformation of their being.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
From Bondage to Freedom
Chapter title: The dewdrop has disappeared into the ocean
25 September 1985 am in Rajneeshmandir
Osho has spoken on ‘Krishna, Jesus, Buddha, Shiva, Lao Tzu and many other enlightened Masters’ in many of His discourses. More on them can be referred to in the following books/discourse titles:
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- Tao: The Three Treasures
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
- The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus
- The Path of Love
- Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
- When the Shoe Fits
- Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho’s Haikus
- Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega
- Sermons in Stones
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Divine Melody