1. Question : Is n’t Tantra a way of Indulgence?
Osho : IT IS NOT. It is the ONLY way to get out of indulgence. It is the only way to get out of sexuality. No other way has ever been helpful for man; all other ways have made man more and more sexual. Sex has not disappeared.
The religions have made it only more poisoned. It is still there – in a poisoned form. Yes, guilt has arisen in man, but sex has not disappeared. It CANNOT disappear because it is a biological-reality. It is existential; it cannot simply disappear by repressing it.
It can disappear only when you become so alien that you can release the energy encapsulated in sexuality – not by repression is the energy released, but by understanding. And once the energy is released, out of the mud the lotus….
The lotus has to come UP out of the mud, it has to go higher, and repression takes it deeper into the mud. It goes on repressing it. What you have done up to now, the whole humanity, is repressing sex in the mud of the unconscious.
Go on repressing it, sit on top of it; don’t allow it to move; kill it by fasting, by discipline, by going to a cave in the Himalayas, by moving to a monastery where a woman is not allowed.
There are monasteries where a woman has never entered for hundreds of years; there are monasteries where only nuns have lived and a man has never entered. These are ways of repressing. AND they create more and more sexuality and more and more dreams of indulgence.
No, Tantra is not a way of indulgence. It is the only way of freedom. Tantra says: Whatsoever is has to be understood and through understanding changes occur of their own accord. So listening to me or listening to Saraha, don’t start thinking that Saraha is supporting your indulgence. You will be in bad shape if you accept that.
2. Question – Do you see shortcomings in the teachings of tantra that incline you to feel tantric methods are not suitable for us?
Osho – It is not a complete system. There is a basic fallacy that human beings fall into: they find a small truth, a part of the truth, and rather than discover the whole, the remaining part they imagine to fill up the gap. Because they have part of the truth, they can argue and they can manage to make a system, but the remaining part is simply their invention.
All the systems have done that. Rather than discovering the whole truth, it is the human tendency to say, “Why bother? We have found a small piece which is enough for the showcase, which is enough to silence any enemy who raises any question” — and the remaining is just invention.
For example, tantra is right that sexual energy is the basic energy, so this energy should be transformed into higher forms. It is a truth. But what happened is that they never went very deep into meditation; meditation remained just secondary. And man’s sexuality shows itself so powerfully that in the name of tantra it became simply sexual orgy. Without meditation that was going to happen. Meditation should have been the most primary thing because that is going to transform the energy, but that became secondary.
And many people who were sexually perverted, sexually repressed, joined the tantra school. These were the people who brought all their perversions, all their repressions. They were not interested in any transformation, they were interested only in getting rid of their repressions; their interest was basically sexual.
So although tantra has a piece of truth, it could not be used rightly. Unless that piece of truth is put in second place, and meditation moves into first place, it will always happen that in tantra, people will be doing all kinds of perversions. And with a great name, they will not feel that they are doing anything wrong; they will feel they are doing something religious, something spiritual.
Tantra failed for two reasons. One was an inner reason — that meditation was not made the central point. And second, tantra had no special methodology for the perverted and the repressed, so that first their repressions and perversions are settled and they become normal. And once they become normal, then they are introduced to meditation. Only after deep meditation should they be allowed in tantra experiments. It was a wrong arrangement, so the whole thing became, in the name of a great system, just an exploitation of sex.
That’s what many of the therapists are doing. Just the other day I saw Rajen’s advertisement for a tantra group — with an obscene picture. It will attract people because this is real pornography. Why bother to go to see just pictures printed on paper when you can see real people doing pornography? And Rajen has no understanding of meditation, has never meditated.
And these people will feel good, relieved, because the society does not allow them… In the group they will be allowed to do everything they want to do, so much repression will be thrown out, and they will feel relieved and light and they will feel thankful that they have gone through a great tantra experience. And there has been no tantra experience — it was simply a sexual orgy. And within a few days, they will again collect repressions because they cannot do it outside in the society. So they become permanent customers, chronic tantrikas.
And the so-called therapists enjoy the money that they bring. They have nothing to lose, they simply allow freedom. They start with all the great words that I have been using — “freedom,” “expression,” “no repression,” “just be yourself, and don’t be worried what others are thinking,” “do your own thing.” And those idiots start doing their own thing!
First people should be introduced to meditation, and then they should be introduced to tantra methods. This is not tantra. Tantra methods are totally different. These people who are doing tantra, they don’t know anything about tantra.
For example, Ramakrishna meditated deeply, and whenever he felt any sexual urge disturbing his meditation he would ask his wife Sharda — who was a beautiful woman — to sit on a high stool, naked, and he would sit in front of her just looking at her, meditating on her till that sexual urge subsided. Then he would touch the feet of Sharda, his own wife, and he would thank her, saying, “You have been helping me immensely; otherwise, where would I have gone? The urge needed some expression, and just watching you was enough.”
The temple of Khajuraho has beautiful statues in all sexual postures. It was a tantra school that made the temple and those statues. And the first thing the student had to do was to meditate on each statue — and they are arranged in such a way that from one corner you go around the temple in a circle. It may take six months, but you have to watch each statue until you can see it just as a statue with no sexuality in it — and it is in a sexual posture.
But just in your watching it, seeing it for months, it becomes a pure piece of art; all pornography disappears. Then you move to another. And all the perversions of human mind have been put into the statues.
And when you have circled the whole temple, only then will the master allow you inside the temple. Those six months are of immense meditation and of tremendous release, all repressions gone: you are feeling absolutely light. Then the master allows you in. And inside the temple there is no sexual statue; inside the temple there is nothing — emptiness.
Then the master teaches you how to go deeper into your meditation which has arisen in the six months, and now you can go very deep because there is no hindrance, no problem, no sexuality. And this going deep into meditation with no sexual disturbance means the sexual energy is moving with the meditation, not against it. That’s how it is transformed and takes higher forms.
All these so-called therapists know nothing about tantra, know nothing of why it failed. But they are not interested in that, they are interested in exploiting repressed people. And the repressed people are happy because after a seven or ten day tantra session, they feel relieved; they think this is some spiritual growth. But within two or three days all that spiritual growth will be gone, and they are ready for another group.
There are some people — you can call them “groupies” — that move from one group to another group to another group. Their whole life is just a movement from group to group. Just like hippies… but you can call them “groupies.”
Source: from Osho Book “The Path of the Mystic”