The Invitation 24

TwentyFourth Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - The Invitation by Osho.
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How is it that going into something consciously has such a power to reveal all the threads which make up the tangle?
The reality is just the opposite. All our tangles in life are created by our unconsciousness, so the moment you become conscious those tangles disappear. It is not the power of consciousness that makes them disappear. It is the power of unconsciousness that creates them.
All the tangles of life, of love, of relationship are created by our unconsciousness. We don’t know what we are doing, and by the time we become aware it is too late. What has been done cannot be undone. Our unconsciousness is very supportive to the ego – they have a co-existence. Coming of consciousness will not only disperse all the tangles, it will also disperse you as an ego. It is a very complicated and complex phenomenon.
In your unconsciousness you do something. It is almost certain that once you have done something wrong that has created misery in you, around you, you will come to your senses. But you cannot undo it because the ego comes in between. You cannot even say, “I am sorry.” Just a simple apology may disperse the tangle but the ego won’t allow even that. And you are almost a victim; you are not doing things. Your unconsciousness, your unawareness goes on forcing you to do things.
Just last night I answered Shunyo’s question very lightly and very lovingly and very joyously. I joked about it, but she was pissed off – I could see her face. Milarepa was angry.
You don’t know what you are doing. What you are doing is almost beyond your hands; you are reacting. If Shunyo had heard what I was saying…I was simply saying, “Don’t take it seriously.” I was laughing about it, but she could not laugh. You all laughed because it was not your problem. The more you laughed the more you made her serious.
In each person’s life the time of change comes. And one of the greatest things to remember is that when you change a certain pattern of life, you have to change naturally. It is not in your hands. Biology makes you capable of sex at the age of thirteen or fourteen; it is not your doing.
At a certain age, as you are coming closer to forty or forty-two, the biology’s purpose is finished. All those hormones that have been propelling you are disappearing. To accept this change is very difficult. You suddenly start thinking as if you are no longer beautiful, that you need a face-lift.

I have heard about a woman who was saying to the plastic surgeon, “I need a face-lift.”
The surgeon looked at her and he said, “There is nothing wrong; it is just age. Don’t be worried about it. Why unnecessarily go to the trouble? But the woman was insistent, so the doctor said, “Okay, but it will cost five thousand dollars.”
The woman said, “That much money I don’t have. Can’t you suggest something cheaper?”
The doctor said, “Yes. You can purchase a veil.”

It is one of the Western problems. In the East no woman is worried. Things are accepted as they come. Acceptance has been the basic foundation of Eastern life. The West is continuously imposing on nature, demanding how things should be. Nobody wants to become old, so when the time of transition from one stage of life comes, a very strange phenomenon happens – and that is what is happening to Shunyo. I did not say it because I did not want to hurt her.
It is going to happen whether I say anything about it or not, just as a candle comes to the very end, has only a few seconds more before it will be gone. At the last moment the candle suddenly becomes bigger with all its power.
Nobody wants to go.
It is a well-known fact to medical science that people at the time of death suddenly become completely healthy; all their diseases disappear. This is the last effort of their life – to resist death. The people who are related to them feel very happy that suddenly all diseases have disappeared. The person has become calm and quiet, but they don’t know that it signifies death. The diseases have disappeared because their function is fulfilled: they have killed the man. Now it is the last spurt of life.
The same happens with every biological change in life. When sex is becoming irrelevant, you start thinking of sex more than ever, and suddenly a great spurt…. That is what is giving her the idea that it seems she is sexually repressed – because so much sexuality is suddenly overwhelming the mind.
The mind can only understand logically, rationally one thing: from where is this sexuality coming? – it must be coming from the repressed unconscious. That is what Sigmund Freud and their followers have been teaching to the whole world. They are right on many points; they are wrong on many points. Particularly about this point, the transition when you are no longer young and the hormones in you are going to disappear, and the interest in sex is going to die – before dying it will explode with its full force.
If you go to a psychoanalyst, he will say that you are sexually repressed. I cannot say that, because I know that this sudden overwhelming sexuality will be gone by itself, you don’t have to do anything. It is the signal that life is passing through a change. Now, life will be more calm and more quiet. You are really entering into a better state.
Sex is a little childish. As you become more and more mature, sex loses the grip over you – and it is a good sign. It is something to be happy about; it is not a problem to be solved. It is something to celebrate.
In the East no woman ever feels the trouble of the transition from youth to old age. In fact, she feels immensely happy that now that old demon is gone and life can be more peaceful. But the West has been living under many illusions. One is the illusion that there is only one life. That creates immense trouble. If there is only one life and sex is disappearing, so you are finished. Now, there is no more opportunity; there will not be any more excitement in life. Nobody is going to say, “You are beautiful and I love you and I will love you forever.”
So first, the illusion of one life creates a problem. Second, the psychoanalysts and other therapists have created another illusion that sex is almost synonymous to life. The more sexual you are, the more alive you are. So when sex starts disappearing one starts feeling like a used cartridge: now there is no point to live; life ends with sex ending. Then people try all kinds of bizarre things: face lift, plastic surgery, false breasts. It is stupid, simply stupid. People start trying wigs; they start trying dresses which are sex-provoking. Almost all Western women are starving – they call it dieting! The idea in the West is that a woman is beautiful if she is not fat. And nature has some other idea: the woman has to be a little fat because for nature the woman is a mother. A mother needs extra fat for the child, because when the child is in her womb he will need food. And when the child is in the womb, the mother starts feeling nausea; she cannot eat, she starts throwing up. She needs emergency fat in her body so she can feed the child because the child needs food; he is growing fast.
Science says that in the nine months in the mother’s womb, a child grows so fast that he will never grow so fast again in his seventy years. In nine months he passes through almost the whole evolution of man, from the fish…all the stages. His requirements have to be fulfilled by the mother – And she cannot eat…you can imagine. It is troublesome to have a child in your belly. I don’t think any man is ready to be pregnant: he will commit suicide; without any doubt he will jump from a fifty-storey building, “I am finished…pregnant…?”
Just think, the idea that you have a child in the belly, and you will go crazy. But how to get rid of it…
The mother goes through immense suffering, great sacrifice; hence, in the East we have not created the idea of a skinny woman. Of course, the skinny woman looks more sexually attractive, younger. The fat woman looks less sexually interesting, because she loses proportions. Her waist is no longer very small. Her body has gathered so much fat that nobody will feel attracted towards her. She does not have the necessary attraction for the human mind.
The East has accepted that a woman has to be a little more fat than a man, a little more rounded.
Just the other day somebody brought me a book of pictures taken by one famous photographer and on the front page was Sophia Loren. In the East she cannot be conceived of as very beautiful: she must be dieting – and dieting is nothing but the rich man’s idea of starvation.
The poor people starve by themselves. The rich people starve in a costly way under professional guidance. The fear that you will not be attractive, that you will no longer be looked at by people…You will pass through the street and nobody will look at you; who is going…?
It is a great need of man, and particularly women, to have attention – attention is nourishment. A woman suffers immensely when nobody pays attention to her. She has nothing else to attract people by; she has only her body. Man has not allowed her to have other dimensions where she can become a famous painter, a dancer or a singer, a learned professor. Man has cut all other dimensions from the woman’s life where she can be attractive and people will pay respect even while she becomes old.
I have to remind you of the meaning of “respect”: it means looking back. When somebody passes by: re-spect. It has nothing to do with honor; it has something to do with your being suddenly aware that a beautiful thing has passed.
Woman is left only the body by man, so she is so much concerned with the body that it creates clinging, possessiveness, fear that the person who loves her, if he leaves, perhaps will find another person. And without attention she starts feeling almost dead: What is the use of life if nobody is paying attention to you? She does not have an intrinsic life of her own.
Man has taught woman that her life depends on others’ opinions about her. You can see all over the world that beauty competitions are arranged only for women, and the woman does not even revolt against these ideas. Why not for men? Just as you choose a Mrs. or Miss Universe, choose a Mr. Universe. No, nobody bothers about the man’s body. He can grow fat; he can become a Winston Churchill. Still he attracts attention because he has power.
In the same book just beside Sophia Loren is Winston Churchill – ugly, as fat as you can conceive, the whole face sagging. He needs a face-lift – not Sophia Loren – but he will not bother; there is no need. He can have power, he can be the prime minister. He can be this and he can be that…
Man has managed over the centuries to have all the other dimensions of attracting people, and he has left to woman only one dimension: her body. He has made woman just a vegetable. And naturally, the vegetable starts being worried if there are no customers.
It is not a coincidence that in the most sexually perverted country, France, while being in love with a woman, you say, “I want to eat you.” Are these people cannibals? Is the woman a vegetable or what? “I want to eat you” shows a great respect for the woman! When nobody says to her, “I want to eat you,” she thinks, “I am now finished. Life has come to an end!”
But here with me you have to learn something. The first thing is a deep acceptability of all the changes that nature brings to you. Youth has its own beauty; old age has its own beauty too. It may not be sexual, but if a man has lived silently, peacefully, meditatively, then old age will have a grandeur of its own.
Just as the snow-covered peaks look beautiful, the white hairs of old age also have their own beauty – and not only beauty, but wisdom too, which no young man can claim, because all his behavior is stupid. He is running behind this woman, running behind that woman.
The old man has stopped all this running business. He has settled in himself. He is no longer dependent on anybody else. The old woman should follow the same way. There should be no difference between men and women.
That is why I was simply laughing and joking about Shunyo’s question because I did not want her to become serious about something which is natural. And if Milarepa feels angry, he simply proves what I have been saying, that he is crazy.
Now he is running after younger women. This shows that you are not maturing, not learning that what you call love is not love, but biological slavery. Love happens only when you are beyond biological slavery; then love has a beauty. Biological slavery and the biological relationship are so ugly that for centuries people have decided to make love in darkness without light, so they don’t see what they are doing.
Particularly the woman is very sensitive when you make love to her; she immediately closes her eyes. Just to see this nasty thing that is happening…

I have heard that when Henry Ford died he was received with a great welcome in heaven and even God thanked him: “You have done great service to humanity by creating so many cars – you are a great creator.”
Henry Ford said, “That’s okay, but you are not that great a creator. You have put man’s body in such a stupid way that the loveliest part people think about, dream about is so close to the dirtiest part. Could you not find somewhere else in the whole body?
“Why has love to be sandwiched between the ugliest parts? You don’t have any sense, no aesthetics. The exhaust pipe is so close to the most lovely part that I cannot believe that you are a great creator” – and he was right.

God has committed many mistakes. This is one of the major mistakes. The loving part could have been anywhere else: you have a six-foot-long-body, so much territory! And what kind of a stupid god…where he puts the loving parts?
Not only is it to be accepted when life is going through a biological change, but it has to be rejoiced that you have passed over all that stupidity, that now you are free from biological bondage; it is only a question of conditioning.
When you ask me questions you should remember that I never in any way want to hurt you. Even sometimes if I have to avoid the truth, I avoid it but don’t hurt you. If you get hurt about something that must be your own mind. But perhaps you are just a victim in that too – it is unconscious.
You are asking, “How is it that going into something consciously has such a power to reveal all the threads which make up the tangle?”
They have been made in your unconsciousness. They have been made in the darkness of your being. And when you bring light, naturally you see all the tangle: how you have created your misery, your suffering, your anguish, yourself. Seeing it is enough – all those tangles disappear.
A conscious man never creates any tangle; he lives more intensely than anybody else. But his life is without any tangles for the simple reason that in consciousness you cannot create tangles.

Abbie’s wife had just died and he was standing over the grave and sobbing uncontrollably. His best friend put his arm around him and said, “Abbie, time is a wonderful thing. Believe it or not some day you will want to start a new life again and be with people, maybe even get married again. Listen to me: Time heals wounds.”
Abbie looked at him and replied, “I know, I know…but what am I going to do tonight?”

Such is the unconsciousness of man. The wife died in the morning and he is worried about what he is going to do in the night – tonight! And you are talking about time: that some day wounds will be healed. What about tonight?

I have heard an ancient story, Arabic, that a man’s father died and all the old people of the neighborhood came and said, “Don’t be worried, son. If you have lost your father, we are here. Don’t think for a single moment that you are fatherless. We are all your fathers. You can come always to us in any difficulty, any problem.”
He was very much consoled, seeing the concern of his neighborhood people. He had never thought that they would be so considerate.
And then his mother died and all the old women came and said, “Don’t be worried. We are still alive. You can look at us as your mother and whatever your mother was doing for you, we can do. There is no problem about it.”
He was very much consoled. And then his wife died, and not a single wife from the neighborhood came to say don’t be worried we are here. Whatever your wife was doing, we will do…!
The man was very angry. He stood in front of his house, watching if anybody would come or not – and nobody came. Finally, he started shouting, “You nasty people. When my father died all the old people came. When my mother died all the old women came. And now my wife has died and no young woman is coming – what kind of neighborhood is this?
“…absurd, illogical! I am waiting from the morning for somebody to turn up, but nobody has come.”

One has to accept life. But your unconsciousness does not allow you to accept life as it is. You wanted something else.
It is perfectly good when sex disappears. You will be more capable of meditating. You will be more capable of being alone. You will be more capable of being blissful, without any misery because the whole game of sex is nothing but a long misery – fighting, hate, jealousy, envy. It is not a peaceful life.
It is peace, silence, blissfulness, aloneness, freedom which give you the real taste of what life is.

Two women are talking in a tearoom at four o’clock over two large, gooey ice cream sundaes and little sugary cakes. They have not seen each other since high school days and one is bragging about her very advantageous marriage.
“My husband buys me whole new sets of diamonds when the ones I have get dirty,” she says, “and I have never even bothered to clean them.”
“Fantastic,” said the other woman.
“Yes,” says the first, “we get a new car every two months.”
“Fantastic,” says the other.
“And our house…” pursues the first woman, “Well, what is the use of talking about it, it is just…”
“Fantastic,” finishes the other.
“Yes, and tell me, what are you doing nowadays?” asked the first woman.
“I go to the charm school,” says the other.
“Charm school! Why, how quaint. What do you learn there?”
“Well, we learn to say, fantastic, instead of bullshit.”

In your unconsciousness everything is bullshit. And when you become conscious, it is really fantastic: all tangles disappear, all problems disappear. But you need not go to a charm school to learn it, because in a charm school deep down the woman is saying, “Bullshit.”
And she is just repeating like a parrot, “Fantastic,” but she means bullshit. Not in a charm school, but in a school where your unconsciousness slowly, slowly disappears leaving a luminous being within you – then there is no tangle in life.
I have lived a very strange life. Anybody else would have found so many tangles in it, so many troubles. I have also passed through all kinds of tangles, troubles, problems, but I have remained unscratched; I have enjoyed the journey. Whatever life brought to me, I have enjoyed it. I have tried to make the best out of it, whatever it is.
There is no point in crying and weeping over spilled milk. Any situation can be made a learning, a step towards maturity, can be turned into a beneficial opportunity. That is what I call intelligence; otherwise, what is the difference between intelligent people and unintelligent people.
It is true consciousness has tremendous power, but it is not used in revealing and dispersing the tangles of your life; they simply disappear as you become conscious.
Gautam Buddha used to say that when the lights are on and from the windows people can see that the master is awake, thieves don’t come close. When the lights are put off, only then do thieves come close to the house to see whether the master has gone to sleep and it is the right time to enter. He was saying this about consciousness. He used to call sex, greed, lust for power, position, respectability all thieves. They come to you only when they see that there is no light in the man; inside it is all dark.
Once you are radiating consciousness and light, those thieves don’t come close to you. But consciousness has its own power. It is simply in the presence of consciousness that tangles disappear. The power is not used for dispersing the tangles and problems; the power is to bring blissfulness. The power is to bring peace, silence, at-homeness, at-easeness and a tremendous ecstasy, a divine drunkenness.
Life becomes for the first time self-oriented; you don’t have to beg from others for anything. Nobody can give you blissfulness; nobody can give you ecstasy. Nobody can give you the sense of immortality and the dance that comes with it. Nobody can give you the silence, which becomes a song in your heart.
What can people give to you? In fact, the power of consciousness gives you so much that you become capable of sharing with people. For the first time, you can give to people. They are living in darkness; they haven’t seen any light. They don’t have any idea what a conscious being is. They don’t have any conception, comprehension of the power of consciousness, how many flowers shower, how much fragrance becomes natural to you.
You can give, and you can give them a taste and you can give them a direction, so they can also find the same power which is dormant in them.
A conscious man awakened can help millions of people to move towards the source of joy, real and authentic life, to pure love which knows nothing of hate, which knows nothing of jealousy, which has nothing to do with body and biology – which is just a spiritual communion, a feeling of deep compassion for your innermost being.
Yes, the power of consciousness gives you many things. The treasure is inexhaustible, but your problems and tangles that have been created by unconsciousness – for them no power is needed, just the presence of consciousness is enough.

Can you say something about virtue?
Fantastic! Here, we are not concerned about virtue at all. Virtue is for people who are unconscious; it is a training for them to say, “Don’t say bullshit, say fantastic!”
Virtue is a training a discipline imposed on unconscious people. All the religions talk about virtue as being against sin. They have made fixed categories. Some things are condemned as sin and some things are praised as virtues. The virtuous man will have immense reward after death, and the sinner will be condemned to hellfire for eternity.
This is the strategy of fear and greed, because man can be easily manipulated by these two things – fear and greed. Heaven is nothing but greed exaggerated; so hell is fear exaggerated, and human beings are afraid of eternal hellfire. Out of fear they somehow try to avoid whatever is sin. And the trouble is anything that gives you joy, anything that gives you pleasure is sin.
Out of fear they lose all contact with life, they become dry and dead before their death. There is only one consolation: that they are declared saints, they are worshipped. Just their ego is satisfied greatly; otherwise they are suffering deep down immensely.
That is why your saints cannot laugh: laughter needs a little juice. There is no juice in them; everything is dry. They are deserts where nothing grows green. So on the one hand the pressure of fear…
I have seen pictures of the Middle Ages: there were Christian preachers who made so much fuss about hell and its tortures that just to be in the church listening to their sermons many ladies used to faint. Just the idea that they were going into such detail…what would be done to you? The people thought the preachers were great according to how much they could infect people’s psychologies. The greatest preacher was one in whose congregation almost everybody fainted.
A deep fear psychology, a deep guilt psychology on the one hand, and on the other hand greed to be fulfilled as a reward. You will be getting everything in paradise: all those things which are sins here on the earth, they will also be available to you.
Mohammedans are against alcohol, but in their paradise there are rivers of alcohol. You don’t have to go to a small pub, you can drink, you can drown, you can swim. All the rivers, they don’t consist of water – pure wine. Here it is condemned: you should not fall in the trap of love. A woman is condemned and in the heaven – in every religion’s idea of heaven – women are freely supplied. Of course, according to your virtue you will get. If your virtue is great perhaps, Sophia Loren – it all depends on your virtue.
A strange game has been played with the human mind. Thousands of girls…I say girls, because they don’t grow in age. They don’t have to feel like Shunyo; they are fixed for eternity at the age sixteen. In fact, they are prostitutes, eternal prostitutes, but they are thought to be rewards for saints. How many other saints have used those rewards, because since the beginning the same staff has been working, not even a shift change. I have never come across anything about a shift change or any staff change in the holy scriptures – the same young women.
They remain always young. They don’t perspire; they do not need deodorants. They must be certainly made of plastic, because only plastic does not perspire. A real skin is bound to perspire if it is alive, because through every pore of the skin you are breathing in. And perspiration is a natural way of keeping you at the same body temperature.
If it is too cold you start shivering. You may not be aware why you are shivering. You think it is because of the cold; it is to keep your body temperature continuously the same. Shivering gives you inner heat. In the hot season you perspire. You perspire so that your water, perspiration is taken away by the heat; it evaporates so the heat does not affect your temperature. It simply evaporates your perspiration. It leaves you without increasing your temperature; otherwise, if there was no perspiration, your life span would not be very big.
The life span can be measured in many ways: in years, seventy years, but as body temperature from ninety-eight to one hundred and ten – just twelve degrees is your span of life. If there was no perspiration, your temperature would be as high as the heat is around you. The moment you pass one hundred and five, you would start getting dizzy. The moment you pass one hundred and seven, you would be falling into a coma. The moment you pass one hundred and ten, you would have passed away.
It is perspiration that saves you; it is your life savior. But those poor plastic girls…and eternal promise for all joys!
The Hindu heaven has certain trees, which they call kalpavriksha, wish-fulfillment trees. You don’t have to order a cup of tea or a woman or a car; you don’t have to order anybody; you don’t have to call any bearer or give a call to some agency. You just sit under the wish-fulfilling tree – and they are all over heaven, everywhere – you just sit underneath and you say whatever you want, and immediately, instantly, it will be provided.
There is a beautiful story of a man, who by some accident stumbled into heaven. He had no idea where he had reached. He was sitting under a kalpavriksha. He was feeling very hungry. He had been traveling a lot and that is how he had stumbled somehow by accident into heaven.
He said, “I am feeling hungry but I don’t see any hotel anywhere, any restaurant, nothing. I don’t see even a single man. But I am feeling very hungry, if I could get some good food…” Immediately beautiful women appeared from nowhere with all kinds of sweets and delicious foods. He was so hungry that he did not pay attention to where all these things were coming from.
He started eating, feeling perfectly well. He was tired. He went to sleep. Before going to sleep, he thought that sleeping on the ground, uneven with stones, if someone could arrange just a mattress, and suddenly – he could not believe – again beautiful women appeared with a beautiful bed and they put him on the bed. But he was so tired that he still did not think what was going on.
When refreshed, he awoke. He thought, my God, there is nobody here who has brought the food, and I have not said to anybody; I just thought about it! And he looked at the beautiful bed, “Who has brought this? I had simply thought about lying down on the ground. It seems there must be ghosts around.” That was the natural conclusion, because he was not aware that he was in heaven, under a kalpavriksha.
“There must be ghosts all around, my God” – and immediately ghosts appeared, because whatever you would say…The moment he saw the skeletons of ghosts dancing all around, he said, “My god, they are going to kill me” – and they killed him. The man never came back.
Religions have used fear to prevent you from living, and greed to help you so that you can be patient and hope that great things are ahead. Just the small things you are leaving, and for eternity you will enjoy all the pleasures that you want – and you don’t have to pay for them.
Virtue is the currency of heaven.
The more virtuous you are, the bigger a bank balance you have in heaven. I don’t teach you virtue because your virtue is false, because deep down there is greed.
I teach you only awareness.
Out of awareness whatever you do is virtue according to me. And out of unawareness whatever you do is sin according to me. And according to me, your sins are not going to take you to hell. Your sins immediately give you hell – here, just now. And your virtues are not going to give you an eternity of paradise. Your virtues give you joy, blissfulness, the moment you act with full awareness.
The punishment and the reward is immediate: the reward follows your action. But it depends where your action will lead you. It can be unconscious action, then hell herenow. It has nothing to do with geography; it is something to do with your psychology.
Acting consciously, you are in paradise wherever you are. Once you have learned, you will not ask, “What is virtue?” You will ask, “What is awareness? What is consciousness?” You will ask, “What is meditation?” – because that is going to make you conscious and make you alert.
What brings misery is sin.
Whatever brings joy is virtue.
Alfred North Whitehead has made a beautiful statement: It requires a very unusual mind to make an analysis of the obvious.
To me, it is absolutely obvious that virtue or sin, heaven or hell are secondary. The primary is your alertness, your awareness, but people won’t ask the obvious. These are by-products, and by getting entangled with by-products you will be in trouble.
There is a tale concerning Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson on board a train…

They passed a flock of sheep and Watson said, “A sizable flock, Holmes.”
“Ah, exactly seven hundred and eighty-four in number, my dear Watson,” said Holmes sleepily.
“Good heavens, Holmes,” said Watson. “Surely you can’t have counted them.”
They are in a train; the train has passed the sheep. The flock is left far behind and it must have taken a single moment to pass.
“Not directly,” said Holmes. “I made use of a simple trick any school child knows. I merely counted the legs and divided by four.”
Just don’t get into nonsense; otherwise, you will always feel what Leonardo da Vinci has confessed in his letters: I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have. Now, Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest geniuses, and whatever he has done is incomparable. There is nobody else who even comes close to him. But even such a great man feels a little guilt, “I have not reached the quality it should have.”

This is the atmosphere that religions have created in the world. They don’t allow anybody to be at ease, even the greatest genius. They go on telling you that you are still not doing right; you are still far away from the goal. You are still unworthy; you are always unworthy. They will not leave you at peace so that you can enjoy life and love life and be grateful to God, and be grateful to the universe – which both mean the same to me.
God is not a person. It is this whole universe – these trees, these clouds, the sun, the stars, you and everybody, whether asleep or awake, whether committing sins or virtues, you are part of one organic universe.
If you commit a sin…The word sin has been contaminated by the religions; otherwise it simply means in its roots, forgetfulness, unawareness. It means exactly what I am saying to you. Sin is your unawareness. Any action done in unconsciousness is sin. But religions have completely destroyed the original meaning of the word. Whatever you are doing consciously is virtue and there is no ready-made list of what are virtues, because in a different situation, the same thing may become sin. The thing that was virtue in one condition, in one context, may not be virtue in another context; it all depends. But how are you going to know whether in this context it is virtue or sin.
Those dead categories that have been given to you like the ten commandments, fixed forever, they don’t take account of the fact that life is continuously changing and you are moving every moment into a new situation – and a new situation needs a new response. So I don’t give you, I can’t give you any ready-made list to avoid these things, that these are sins and avoid them because they will lead you to hell. I cannot exploit you and your fears and I cannot say to you that these are the commandments, if you follow them yours is the kingdom of God, because in life things go on changing.
It happened…

I had a friend; he was a professor in the university – a very learned professor of Sanskrit. He wanted to go to Tibet because many scriptures in Sanskrit on Buddhism had been burned by the Hindus in India. But their translations exist in Tibetan still, so he wanted to translate them back into Sanskrit.
It was a great idea and he was well versed in Sanskrit. He had been learning Tibetan for years and now he was ready. But he was a brahmin by caste, a very orthodox brahmin.
In India it is perfectly good to get up at five o’clock, early in the morning and have a good bath in the nearby lake or in the nearby river, and then do your prayer, meditate. Only after that can you enter into the mundane world of your profession, your life, your family.
In Tibet, the Tibetan holy book says that only one bath a year is allowed; Tibetan monks are the dirtiest people to find. I have been harassed by Tibetan monks.
When the Dalai Lama came for the first time – escaped from Tibet with thousands of Lamas – I was taking a camp in Bodhgaya and all the Lamas first came to pay respect to the place where Gautam Buddha had become enlightened. I was taking a camp just there in the compound of the memorial temple for Buddha. I had never come across Tibetan Lamas. But such are habits, they die very hard. They use, I think three or four layers of clothes, one on top of another. Their clothes are greasy, dusty and they will not take any bath because their holy scripture says once in a year is compulsory.
When my friend reached Tibet, he continued to follow his pattern of life in India. He could not manage to be there more than three days, because he had to take a bath early in the morning, five o’clock, according to the brahmin religion. Without taking a bath you cannot eat; that is a sin – and in India it is certainly right. But in Tibet the whole context is different. To take a bath in ice-cold water, five o’clock in the early morning is to freeze yourself to death. Food is not a problem. You will not be able to eat food. In three days he got so tortured by this morning bath.
One day he tried; it was too much. The whole day he was feeling as if his blood was frozen. And for another two days he could not eat because he could not take the bath. So he had taken only one bath in Tibet and one day he had eaten and two days he remained without food. But he thought, How long will it be because I cannot survive without food, neither can I survive with the bath. It is better to go home, forget all about those scriptures; it is none of my business.
He came back. I was surprised when I saw him back, “…so quick you managed to translate.”
He said, “Forget all about translations. Congratulate me that I am alive.” And when he told me I said that this is stupidity.

In Tibet you should look at the context, not at your Hindu idea of virtue and sin – that is stupidity. Mohammedans have been allowed by their founder, Mohammed, four wives, and it is perfectly virtuous to have four wives.
Mohammed himself married nine wives. Obviously he was a prophet, no ordinary man, but, it was perfectly right in those times because the Arabs were continuously fighting and killing. But only men were killed; it was against their culture to kill any woman. The women were raped, but not killed.
So there was a strange situation; there were four times more women than men. If he had insisted that monogamy was virtue, as is being insisted all over the world – polygamy or even bigamy is a crime, is a sin – he would not have been right. Because if monogamy had been virtuous, what would have happened to the three women who are left without men? They would corrupt the whole of society. They will become prostitutes and the whole society would become an ugly scene. So Mohammed is perfectly right; I support him.
But not now in India, where women and men are equal as they are everywhere, nature keeps a balance, an exact balance. To keep the balance nature has to take care: it gives birth to one hundred and fifteen boys when it gives birth to one hundred girls, because fifteen boys will pop off before the time of marriage – boys are weak and fragile.
The ordinary idea that women are weak and fragile is just male chauvinistic imposition. Nature knows better: fifteen boys per hundred are going to die. Girls don’t die; they have a greater resistance against diseases. They are not so often sick and they live longer than men, five years longer all over the world.
So by the time the marriageable age comes, there are a hundred boys and a hundred girls. Monogamy seems to be absolutely right in this context, but Mohammedans go on insisting that it is part of their religion…So even in India they are allowed to have four wives. It is such an ugly situation because it means three men will remain without wives. So the Mohammedans abduct women from other religions.
Hindus particularly are very touchy people. If a woman has been forcibly taken by the Mohammedans to their homes, even if they have not touched her she will not be accepted back in the Hindu fold, she has to go to the Mohammedans. She has fallen below the dignity of a Hindu.
So Mohammedans have been continually stealing women from other societies. They have to, because what to do with the three men that are without women? Those three men will start relationships with others’ wives and that will create a mess. And the Indian constitution, which, in the name of religion, doesn’t want to interfere in any religion, cannot do anything to prevent Mohammedans from this polygamy. And those four women that they marry, they use as economic, financial help; they work and the husband rests. This is great!
The Mohammedan priests go on insisting on no interference, because a man with four women can create four children per year, very easily, but a woman with four men cannot create four children; she will create only one child. The population of Mohammedans goes on increasing as nobody else can increase the population the way they can. So you will not be surprised that India has been divided; Mohammedans have taken Pakistan and made it separate. The country has been cut into three parts: one side is Pakistan, given to Mohammedans; another side is Bangladesh, given to Mohammedans. And still, within forty years, in India Mohammedans are again number two to Hindus.
Again they can ask for another country. And you will also be surprised that India is a Hindu country but the number of Mohammedans in India is more than in any Mohammedan country in the world – not even Arabia, or Egypt, or Iran, or Libya, or Palestine…No Mohammedan country has so many Mohammedans as India has.
India is the greatest Mohammedan country in the world if you take the number of the Mohammedans. And the number goes on growing four times more. Hindus are simply puzzled what to do because soon they will be outnumbering Hindus. They have taken Pakistan, they have taken Bangladesh, and it is not far away when they will be the majority and Hindus will become the minority in their own country.
Situations, contexts should be taken into account and that is possible only if you are living a very alert and conscious life; otherwise you will follow dead, ready-made things which may have been relevant at some time. Those times have changed and they have become irrelevant, but the list continues to be the same.
So I don’t give you any list. I have been asked by priests, Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians, that I should make a clear-cut statement: what are sins, what are virtues and what are my fundamental principles of religion?
I said, “My first fundamental and the last fundamental is that religion cannot be a fixed thing. It has to be spontaneous. It has to come out of your awareness. Nobody can decide it. No catechism can be given according to me.
I can only teach you awareness and then you find out with your awareness, with your own light where to go, what to do.
Anything done with awareness is virtue.
Anything done with unawareness is sin.

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