The Sword and the Lotus 05

Fifth Discourse from the series of 24 discourses - The Sword and the Lotus by Osho.
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Would you please explain what the real differences between men and women are?
The psychology movement is basically male chauvinist, and strangely, it has exploited women more than men.
Most of the differences between men and women are because of thousands of years of conditioning. They are not fundamental to nature, but there are a few differences which give them unique beauty, individuality. Those differences can be counted very easily.
One is that the woman is capable of producing life; man is not. In that way he is inferior, and that inferiority has played a great role in the domination of women by men. The inferiority complex works in this way: it pretends to be superior –to deceive oneself and to deceive the whole world. So man down the ages has been destroying the woman’s genius, talents, capacities, so that he can prove himself superior –to himself and to the world.
Because the woman gives birth, she remains for nine months or more absolutely vulnerable, dependent on a man. Men have exploited this in a very ugly way. And that is a physiological difference; it makes no difference at all.
The psychology of the woman is corrupted by the man telling her things which are not true, making her a slave to man, reducing her to a secondary citizen of the world. And the reason for that was that he is muscularly more powerful. But the muscular power is part of animality. If that is going to decide the superiority, then any animal is more muscular than a man.
But the real differences are certainly there, and we have to search for them behind the pile of invented differences. One difference I see is that a woman is more capable of love than a man is. A man’s love is more or less a physical necessity; a woman’s love is not. It is something greater and higher; it is a spiritual experience. That’s why the woman is monogamous and man is polygamous. The man would like to have all the world’s women and still he would not be satisfied. His discontent is infinite.
The woman can be satisfied with one love, utterly fulfilled, because she does not look at the body of the man, she looks at the innermost qualities. She does not fall in love with a man who has a beautiful muscular body, she falls in love with a man who has a charisma –something indefinable but immensely attractive –who has a mystery to be explored. She wants her man not to be just a man, but an adventure in discovering consciousness.
The man is very weak as far as sexuality is concerned –he can have only one orgasm. The woman is infinitely superior –she can have multiple orgasms. And this has been one of the most troublesome matters. The man’s orgasm is local, confined to his genitals. The woman’s orgasm is total, not confined to the genitals. Her whole body is sexual, and she can have a beautiful orgasmic experience a thousandfold bigger, deeper, more enriching, more nourishing than a man can have.
But the tragedy is that her whole body has to be aroused, and the man is not interested in it, he has never been interested in it. He has used the woman as a sex machine just to relieve his own sexual tensions. Within seconds he is finished. And by the time he is finished the woman has not even begun.
The moment a man is finished making love he turns and goes to sleep. The sexual act helps him to have a good sleep –more relaxed, with all the tensions released in the sexual activity. And every woman has cried and wept when she has seen this. She had not even started, she had not moved. She has been used, and that is the ugliest thing in life: when you are used as a thing, as a mechanism, as an object. She cannot forgive the man for using her.
To make the woman also an orgasmic partner the man has to learn foreplay, to be in no hurry to go to bed. He has to make love something of an art. They can have a place, a love temple where incense is burning, no glaring lights, just candles…and he should approach the woman when he is in a beautiful mood, joyous, so he can share. What happens ordinarily is that men and women fight before they make love. That poisons love. Love is a kind of treaty that the fight is finished –at least for tonight. It is a bribe, it is cheating.
A man should make love the way a painter paints –when he feels the urge filling his heart –or the way the poet composes poetry, or a musician plays music. The woman’s body should be taken as a musical instrument; it is. When the man is feeling joy, then sex is not just a release, a relaxation, a sleeping method. Then there is foreplay. He dances with the woman, he sings with the woman –with beautiful music vibrating the love temple, with the incense that they love. It should be something of the sacred, because there is nothing sacred in ordinary life unless you make love sacred. And that will be the beginning of opening the door to the whole phenomenon of super-consciousness.
Love never should be forced, love never should be an attempt. It should not be in the mind at all –you are playing, dancing, singing, enjoying…part of this long joy. If it happens, then it is beautiful.
When love happens it has beauty. When it is made to happen, it is ugly.
And while you are making love with the man on top of the woman…it is known as the missionary posture. The East became aware of this ugliness that the man was heavier, taller and more muscular and was crushing a delicate being.
In the East, the way has always been just the opposite: the woman on top. Crushed under the weight of the man, the woman has no mobility. Only the man moves, so he comes to orgasm within seconds and the woman is simply in tears. She has been a partner, but she was not involved in it –she has been used.
When the woman is on top she has more mobility, the man has less mobility, and that will bring their orgasms closer to each other. And when both go into orgasmic experience, it is something of the other world. It is the first glimpse of samadhi; it is the first glimpse that man is not the body. He forgets the body, he forgets the world. Both the man and the woman move into a new dimension they have never explored.
The woman has the capacity for multiple orgasms, so the man has to be as slow as possible. But the reality is, he is in such a hurry in everything that he destroys the whole relationship. He should be very relaxed so that the woman can have multiple orgasms. His orgasm should come at the end when the woman’s orgasm has reached to the peak. It is a simple question of understanding.
There are natural differences –they have nothing to do with conditioning. There are other differences. For example, a woman is more centered than a man; it starts happening even in the womb of the mother. An experienced mother who has given birth to two or three children can tell you after a few months of pregnancy whether the newcomer is going to be a girl or a boy, because the boy starts making a fuss, kicking in her womb, moving –he is on the way. But the girl remains absolutely silent. So that is not a question of conditioning.
The female is more serene, more silent, more patient, is capable of waiting. Perhaps because of these qualities she has more resistance to diseases and she lives longer than a man. Because of her serenity, her delicateness, she can fulfill a man’s life immensely. She can surround man’s life in a very soothing, cozy atmosphere. But the man is afraid –he does not want to be surrounded by the woman, he does not want to let her create a cozy warmth around him. He is afraid because that way he will become dependent. So for centuries he has been keeping her at a distance. And he is afraid because he knows deep down that the woman is more than he is. She can give birth to life. Nature has chosen her to reproduce, not man.
Man’s function in reproduction is almost nil. This inferiority has created the greatest problem –man started cutting the woman’s wings. He started in every way reducing her, condemning her, so that he could at least believe that he is superior. He has treated women as cattle –even worse.
In China, for thousands of years, the woman was not thought to have a soul, so the husband could kill her and the law would not interfere –she was his possession. If he wanted to destroy his furniture it was not illegal. If he wanted to destroy his woman it was not illegal. This is the ultimate insult –that the woman has no soul.
Man has deprived woman of education, of financial independence. He has deprived her of social mobility because he is afraid. He knows she is superior, he knows she is beautiful, he knows that giving her independence will create danger. So down the centuries there has been no independence for women.
The Mohammedan woman even has to keep her face covered, so that except her husband, nobody can see the beauty of her face, the depth of her eyes.
In Hinduism, the woman has to die when the husband dies –what a great jealousy. You possessed her your whole life, and even after death you want to possess her. You are afraid. She is beautiful, and when you are gone, who knows? She may find another partner, perhaps better than you.
So the system of sati has prevailed for thousands of years –the most ugly phenomenon you can imagine.
The husband dies. Maybe the woman is still young and at the prime of her youth so she has to be forced to jump on the funeral pyre. To make it possible, a special arrangement was made. Purified butter was poured in large quantities on the funeral pyre. It creates so much smoke that you cannot see what is happening. Almost like a dark cloud it covers the whole funeral pyre. Then surrounding it –and it is so hot that the musicians had to stand far away –great trumpets, drums, and all kinds of musical instruments are used with the excuse that this is a celebration, but they are just used to drown the screaming of the living woman who is being burned.
She would like to come out, and around the funeral pyre there are priests with burning torches in their hands so that if the woman tries to run out they will push her back into the funeral pyre. Behind the musicians there are a great number of priests shouting loudly and chanting mantras from the ancient Vedas.
This whole scene is arranged just to kill a woman and so that nobody should know that she was killed against her will. And the whole crowd outside is joyous and cheering because it is a great event –a woman has proven her love to the last moment of her husband’s life.
How many millions of women have been burned this way for the simple reason that the man is jealous that after he is gone, what guarantee is there…?
It was the British government’s rule in India that stopped it, because it was simply murder and nothing else. But then Hindus prevented the widow from marrying again. They shaved her head –that beautiful hair that was part of her personality. They took away all her ornaments and said that she could not use any color in her clothes, she had to wear only white. They tried in every way to make her ugly. She cannot join in any ceremony…she is abandoned. Even in her own house she cannot enter the kitchen, but has to sit outside. And she cannot ask for what she likes. Whatever is given to her, the leftovers, she has to live on. She cannot sleep on a bed, she has to just lie down on the floor.
This is worse than death. This way she may live fifty years, has to do all the menial work of the household, and she has to keep herself hidden from people’s eyes.
Man is very egoistic. That’s why I call him male chauvinistic. Man has created this society, and in this society there is no place for the woman –and she has tremendous qualities of her own.
For example, if man has the possibility of intelligence, the woman has the possibility of love. It does not mean she cannot have intelligence; she can have intelligence, she just has to be given the chance to develop it. But love she is born with –she has more compassion, more kindness, more understanding.
Man and woman are two strings of one harp, but both are in suffering separate from each other. And because they are suffering and do not know the reason, they start taking revenge on each other.
The woman can be of immense help in creating an organic society. She is different from man, but not unequal. She is as equal to a man as any other man. She has talents of her own which are absolutely needed.
It is not enough to earn money, it is not enough to become a success in the world; more necessary is a beautiful home, and the woman has the capacity to change any house into a home. She can fill it with love; she has that sensitivity. She can rejuvenate man, help him relax.
In the Upanishads there is a very strange blessing for new couples. A new couple comes to the seer of the Upanishads and he gives his blessing. He says to the girl specifically, “I hope you will become a mother of ten children, and finally, your husband will be your eleventh child. And unless you become a mother to your husband, you have not succeeded in being a true wife.” It is very strange but has immense psychological insight in it, because this is what the modern psychology finds, that every man is looking in the woman for his mother, and every woman is looking in the man for her father.
That’s why every marriage is a failure: you cannot find your mother. The woman you have married has not come to your house to be your mother, she wants to be your wife, a lover. But the Upanishadic blessing, almost five thousand or six thousand years old, gives an insight to the modern psychology. A woman, whatsoever she is, is basically a mother. A father is an invented institution, it is not natural. And soon the father may become out of date.
Once the science of genetics develops, the more scientific, more clinical, more hygienic way will be that fathers donate sperm to the hospital, and the medical experts choose the right living sperm that can be injected into the woman. Every man should not be allowed to be a father. Because of this accidental fatherhood, the earth is full of blind people, lame people, crazy people, mad people, retarded people…It cannot be left accidental.
The sperm may have come from somebody else; you have to be generous in favor of the children so they will not be blind, will not suffer their lives as cripples. And moreover, you will be able to ask the medical expert for the kind of child that you want.
The basic sperm shows all the qualities that will manifest later on. If you want a scientist it can be seen that this person is going to become one –or a great poet, or an engineer, or a doctor, or just a vagabond. So the accidental birth can disappear and a planned birth can take its place. It will just take a little time for stupid human minds to get accustomed to the new idea.
But the mother will remain indispensable. They have tried experiments: they have given children all the facilities, medication, all the food…every perfection from different branches of science, but strangely the children go on shrinking and will die within three months. Then they discovered that the mother’s body and her warmth is an absolute necessity for life to grow. That warmth in this vast cold universe is absolutely necessary in the beginning, otherwise the child will feel abandoned. He will shrink and die.
There is no need for man to feel inferior to woman. The whole idea arises because you take man and woman as two species. They belong to one humanity, and they both have complementary qualities. They both need each other, and only when they are together are they whole.
You will be surprised to know that all the Hindu gods have their consorts. That has happened only in Hinduism, and it happened before Gautam Buddha and Mahavira.
Shiva has his wife, Parvati; Vishnu has his wife, Laxmi…all the Hindu gods have their wives, and that seems to be natural. Mahavira and Buddha created the idea of celibacy. Before them it did not exist at all in the whole literature of India, but it appealed to the male chauvinist….
Then came Christianity, five hundred years after Buddha. Jesus visited India after Buddha’s death and he saw there monks living alone in total independence. But he could not see that they were hard, that something was missing, something very valuable was missing. These people became hard, devoid of all juice; these people became unloving. It was bound to happen, but this is how the human mind is impressed. People were interested in these monks rather than Vishnu and Shiva, because they said, “They have wives just like us, so what is the difference? These monks are real ascetics. They have renounced everything including wives, children, family, money. These people are far superior.” Hinduism was going down in favor of Jainism and Buddhism. Naturally, as a reaction, all these shankaracharyas introduced celibacy into Hinduism to compete with Jainism and Buddhism.
Life should be taken with ease. Differences are not contradictions. They can help each other and immensely enhance each other. The woman who loves you can enhance your creativity, can inspire you to heights you have never dreamed of. And she asks nothing. She simply wants your love, which is her basic right.
Most of the things that make men and women different are conditional. Differences should be maintained because they make men and women attractive to each other, but they should not be used as condemnation.
In the West, the women’s liberation movement is destroying women by forcing them to be equal to men. There is no question of equality or inequality. By becoming equal to men, women will lose some softness, some grace, some beauty –and I can see it happening.
In the East, you will find women in the highest strata of society such as you cannot find in the West. The Western woman is trying to become like a man. She may succeed –she is succeeding, but she will always be a second-class man. She should try to be a first-class woman.
I see the grace disappearing from the Western woman in every sphere. In their dress the grace is disappearing, in their behavior, in their language…grace is disappearing. Just to compete with men they are smoking. Now, no high-society, cultured woman in India will ever think of smoking unless she is westernized. She will not think of using clothes which men use, because it is not only the clothes –they will change your whole body. It is the mind that changes everything.
The Western woman is losing her breasts, they were something that gave her a beautiful roundness, something unique. The whole history of painting, poetry, literature, talks about the beautiful breasts of women, but the Western woman is losing them. What has happened?
It is a change in the mind. She is losing her buttocks. She is becoming a straight line with no curves. And those curves were making her body a beautiful phenomenon –they were really a tremendous art. She is losing proportion. Her face is becoming harsh, dry. Even the most beautiful woman in the West looks hard, ready to fight. That is neither going to help womanhood nor its liberation.
To become a secondhand man is not liberation. Liberation is to become a firsthand woman –and man and woman are equal because they are two halves of one whole. In the East you will be surprised to know that even though all the men have misbehaved with women, the women have managed to keep all that is beautiful.
There is an ancient story, a true story….

A man was continuously going to a prostitute. The woman knew it, but it was against her grace to raise the question, so she never mentioned it. She never asked the man, “Where have you been?”
She served the man, she took care of him. And when he was dying he asked his woman, “You are the only one, the only solace in my life. Knowing everything you have never asked me, ‘Where are you going? Why do you come so late in the night? Why do you come drunk in the night?’ And still, you continue your whole life serving me as if nothing wrong is happening. I can only ask you to please carry my body to the prostitute’s house –I want to see her one last time.”
And the wife carried the man’s body to the prostitute’s house. The prostitute could not believe it. She fell at the feet of the woman.
The woman said, “It is nothing; I love him. If he does not love me it is not within my powers –he is free. My love is not a bondage. He asked me to bring his body to your house, so I have brought it; let him die peacefully. The man was beautiful, he never harassed me. I have loved him and you have loved him, so we are sisters. We both love the same man. You are fortunate that he loves you; I am unfortunate that he does not love me, but he respects me.”
This is grace….
There is another story I am reminded of. You have heard of the great war of Mahabharata….

It was a family war. Two brothers each had sons, and it was a question of who was going to succeed. One of the brothers was blind; he had one hundred sons, he had many queens. But the queen, that he had married first, had never opened her eyes. She always wore an eye-cover, twenty-four hours, her whole life.
Her husband persuaded, her friends persuaded: “What kind of thing is this?”
She said, “If my husband cannot see, then I will not see. What is the use of seeing a sunset, what is the use of seeing beautiful flowers when my husband cannot see them?”
Her whole life she remained almost blind.
This is tremendous grace. Nobody has demanded it, and it brings a beauty of its own kind.

There are so many strong historical facts that prove the beauty, the grandeur, the spirituality, the height of the love of a woman. Man has failed, but the woman has not failed.
I would like both to become an organic whole, remaining at the same time absolutely free because love never creates bondage, it gives freedom. Then we can create a better world. Half of the world has been denied its contribution and that half, the women, had an immense capacity to contribute to the world. It would have made it a beautiful paradise.
So I don’t ask that they should be equal, that they should wear the same clothes, that they should behave like men, or use vulgar language because the man uses it.
The woman should search into her own soul for her own potential and develop it, and she will have a beautiful future.
Man and woman are neither equal nor unequal, they are unique. And the meeting of two unique beings brings something miraculous into existence.

Why have you always emphasized that women are better than men in ruling and administration, taking care? Is that what you experience in your commune or is it only a theory?
I don’t deal in theories.
Whatever I say is a practical experience, and unless I have a practical observation I don’t make a theoretical statement about it. The theory comes later, the reality comes first.
Women have not been in power for millennia. Man has always been in power, and his power has only created wars and destruction. It has not caused humanity to evolve, it has been in the service of death.
I would like women to take power. For the time being there will be difficulties because so much is repressed in a woman that it will explode. She may move to the other extreme. It is just like a man who has been fasting for ten days and then you place delicious food before him. He is bound to eat more than is needed. He may fall sick. What fasting has not been able to do, the delicious food may be able to do –he may even die.
There is an interim period which we will have to accept because of millions of years of repressed power. But this will subside; it will take some time but it will disappear. When the woman is certain of her power she will not be revengeful, she will not hate men. This is only for a time until the whole past is erased from the consciousness of woman.
The woman is a better ruler for the simple reason that she has a more loving heart, is more human –she is more kind and more compassionate.
Then finally, there is no question of who rules. Whoever has the merit, man or woman, rules. And the basic quality of the ruler is that he should be the servant of the people, that his power to rule is not the power to torture.
So finally, it will be a mixed phenomenon. In every sphere – in the offices, in the home, in the government, in the fields – everywhere, man and woman should not be understood as separate species.
But we have to repent for the past and we have to compensate women for the past. The past has done so much harm to them –who is going to erase all that whole history from their consciousness?
In the beginning they will be suspicious. In the beginning they may burst out with all kinds of revengefulness, but that will settle soon. You cannot be revengeful to people who are compensating for the dead who have tortured you. We have not tortured them; they cannot be antagonistic to us.
It takes a little time to settle, perhaps a few years. Let men and women mix at every stage of life. From the kindergarten to the university they should be mixed, and they should be clear that they are complementary parts to each other. But they should not become similar, they should retain their individuality. They should search and find what makes them women, what makes them men, and where they are different –not in conditioning but by understanding.
We have to create a world where there is no question that somebody is superior and somebody is inferior, and that will be a far more natural world.
You can enter any house and you can immediately see whether any woman lives there or not. She has an aesthetic sense, she has a certain clarity about beauty. Man is crude; he has no aesthetic sense. He can go on living in a house without bothering how the house looks and he will be perfectly happy. Just that sensitivity is missing.

I was at the university studying –and I am a lazy man. I had my bed just beside the door so I could leave my shoes outside the door and jump into the bed. So I didn’t have to worry about the whole room. I never entered the other part of the room because so much dust was gathering there.
In my class there were two girls. One was very much interested in me. She used to come every Sunday to clean my room. I told her, “You are unnecessarily wasting your time because I never enter inside the room. You can see my bed is just by the door. I simply jump into the bed, close the door and go to sleep. Why should I bother about the whole room and cleaning? I cannot do such things!”
But she said that she thought for the whole week about my room that it should not look like this.
I could see the difference when she would come and clean the room, fix the pictures on the walls, clean my books, put them in the right place. I knew that there was a great difference. It was beautiful. But I told her, “You cannot teach me. I appreciate what you do. I love it but I cannot do it.”
For two years continuously she went on coming every Sunday to clean. And she was the daughter of the collector of the city so it became a great scandal in the university because she had so many servants in her house. The collector was the highest officer in the district. She was hoping that some day I would learn, but I told her it was too late. And in the night when it is dark everywhere, who bothers whether the books are dusted or not, whether the room is full of dust or not?

The woman has a sense of cleanliness, of beauty, of the right arrangement of things. In Japan the women have developed many arts. Flower arrangement…even drinking tea is a ceremony and is done in such a way as if you are meditating.
The woman can contribute immensely to making human society more delicate, more beautiful. And if women are part of society everywhere I don’t think we will go to war, because whenever man goes to war it is the woman who suffers. Either a mother suffers because her son has died, or a wife will live her whole life waiting for the husband who is never going to return.
Man fights; the woman suffers. And whenever there is an invasion of one country by another, it is strange…the invading soldiers rape women as if the real purpose was not to conquer the country but to rape the women.
The woman is the loser. Either the father dies, or the husband or the son…but it is always the woman who suffers, and then she is raped, brutally raped. Those soldiers cannot make love, they can only rape.
So my idea is for the woman to keep her uniqueness. We don’t want secondhand men; it is insulting.
The man also should keep himself unique. Men and women should melt and merge into each other, not as contradictories but as complementaries. That will change all the qualities that they had separately. The woman will become more strong, the man will become more sensitive, because now they will be functioning together as one unit.

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