India is a country which is considered as the earliest of the civilizations, a country which not only gave different perspectives on science like Dwaita, Adwaita, Vaisheshka, Yoga etc but also music (raga), medicine (ayurveda), mathematics etc.
In his commentary on India and women, Rajneesh Osho opines that Indian culture is insane and schizophrenic, that India thinks that the highest has already happened, that Manu and the scriptures condemns and condescend upon the women and sex has always been a taboo in India.
O Arjuna, I am the strength of the strong devoid of attachment and passion and the energy of procreation in all beings which is not contrary to righteousness. (Gita 7.11)
Bhagvad Gita clearly outlines the difference between needs and wants, duties and attachment, controlled and uncontrolled mind.
A few verses from Manusmriti,
3.55. A father, brother, husband or brother-in-law should keep their daughter, sister, wife or sister-in-law happy and pleased through gentle words, respectful behavior, gifts etc. Those who desire prosperity should ensure that women in their family are always happy and do not face miseries.
3.57. A family where women remain unhappy due to misdeeds of their men is bound to be destroyed. And a family where women are always happy is bound to prosper forever.
3.58. A family- where women feel insulted or discriminated against and curse their menfolk- is destroyed in same manner as poison kills all those who eat it.
Parents should gift their daughter intellectuality and power of knowledge when she leaves for husband’s home. They should give her a dowry of knowledge. (Atharva 14.1.6)
Oh woman! You know everything. Please provide us strength of prosperity and wealth (Atharva 7.47.2)
The Indian science divides time in Yuga cycles, where it sees time like a tide which merges back into the ocean, rises, hits the shore and repeats a similar wave. It is like the sun, that the life on earth witnesses, which rises from the east, set to the west and repeats. The age of Satyuga is defined as the age when dharma was at its peak, when women and elders were honoured, people had superior memory, intellect (which could transcend the limitations of the mind) and physical strength. During this time (Kaliyug), many people can’t even remember what they did yesterday and body which cannot even endure the heat of the sun. It doesn’t mean that the people of India think that the perfect had already happened. Had Osho read the Indian scriptures, he would have known that the Indian thought treats time as cyclic and that the people, irrelevant of time cycle, can still achieve perfection. Moreover, if one still follows his comprehension, then also it doesn’t mean that “the perfect has already happened” as the next Satyug will arise from this Kaliyug.
Osho says, “From Manu up to today the woman has been condemned for the simple reason that all these so called saints and mahatmas were living with repressed sexuality, and when you live with repressed sexuality the woman becomes immensely important. Then your whole mind is full of fantasies about women, and naturally one starts feeling that the woman is the cause of all these fantasies. You cannot get them out of your mind because those fantasies are very alluring, fascinating, but the reason is not the woman at all. Repress your desire for food and your mind will be full of food. Repress any desire and the repressed desire will take revenge; it is bound to happen so. It will assert itself in a thousand and one ways. If you prevent it at the front door it will start coming in through the back door.”
One can easily understand how presumptuous Osho was about the saints and Mahatmas that he even generalised that they were living with repressed sexuality. He further continues treating as if every person thinks the same way to be saying “then your whole mind is full of fantasies…. Repress any desire and the repressed desire will take revenge”.
The Indian thought is not about sense objects, diverting attention from the sense objects or or giving up from the world, but a practice of mind control while continuing on the daily life fulfilling one’s duties, to transcend the limitations and dualities of the mind and achieve a higher order of dharma and knowledge which follows from the supra-mind which a person can experience in the advanced states of meditation. It is a practice of rising beyond the limitations created due to the bodily desires and the three gunas, the field of Prakriti, to achieve Purusha ( the supreme consciousness ). Contrary to Osho’s comprehension, the goal is not “repression” but self-realization which can only be achieved when the chains created due to attachment clouding the mind and obstructing our understanding are destroyed. Unfortunately, Osho could not understand the higher goal but only ended up dissecting the highest spiritual practice from his own limited frame of analysis which views repression in negative terms. Even from his own level of understanding, does it mean that the rapist should let loose of his desires to rape, a thief to steal, or a serial murderer to kill?
Thus the wise living entity’s pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire. The senses, the mind and the intelligence are the sitting places of this lust. Through them lust covers the real knowledge of the living entity and bewilders him.Therefore, O Arjuna, best of the Bhāratas, in the very beginning curb this great symbol of sin [lust] by regulating the senses, and slay this destroyer of knowledge and self-realization. (Gita 3.39-41)
Osho speaks about Sita’s exile, generalising on brahmin’s adharma and women denied of reading the Veda, women being considered impure, sati pratha etc. Perhaps, Mr.Osho never knew that the Uttar Ramanayan is not a part of the original Valmiki Ramayan and how many distortions have risen in the society simply because of rumours, lack of direct awareness of the scriptures, lack of questioning and belief in secondary opinions. Moreover, how can a dharmic icon like Ram who fought the king of the demons, i.e Ravan, for Sita can simply exile her on the basis of a few rumours? Would he exile his brothers and mother, if similar rumour spread about them? Let alone laughing at the stupidity of the distortions and rumours, but Osho with his grand analysis never even thought of it. Moreover, it seems he was unaware that many rishnis contributed to the Veda let alone reading them and many aspects of the divine were personified in female forms like Laxmi (wealth), Saraswati (knowledge), Shakti (power & energy) by the Vedic poets.
There is a difference between what the scriptures say and what a person understands, what they teach and how the society acts. Buddha was against animal killing, but many Chinese and Japanese (who respect Buddha or called as Buddhists) are strong non-vegetarians. Judging by the acts of Chinese and Japanese can we say that Buddhism promotes non-vegetarianism?
Better is one’s own law of works, swadharma, though in itself faulty than an alien law well wrought out; death in one’s own law of being is better, perilous is it to follow an alien law ( BG 3.35)
This Self is not won by exegesis, nor by brain-power, nor by much learning of Scripture. Only by him whom It chooses can It be won; to him this Self unveils its own body. (manduka Upanishad 3.2.3, Page 145)
When thy intelligence shall cross beyond the whirl of delusion, then shalt thou become indifferent to Scripture heard or that which thou hast yet to hear. When thy intelligence which is bewildered by the Sruti, shall stand unmoving and stable in Samadhi, then shalt thou attain to Yoga. (BG 2.52-53)
It is declared the sense are superior but more than the senses the mind is superior but more than the mind the intelligence is superior and more than the intelligence that which is superior is the individual consciousness. ( BG 3.42)
Indian scriptures promote the supremacy of knowledge and questioning. But many Indians today are superstitious and blindly believe. Judging by their acts can we say that the scriptures promote blind belief?
On one hand Osho says, “So every Indian mind is full of bullshit… or you can call it ’holy cowdung’!” and on other he says, “Indians are so much against me for the simple reason that what Mahavira has not done, Buddha has not done, I am trying to do. Naturally they are offended, and they have found great arguments – rationalizations I will call them, not really arguments… They say a soul is born as a woman because of past sins.”
One cannot superimpose the acts of the humans on the scriptures or the secondary analysis on the original statement, but one can indeed read the scriptures on what they teach. Clearly, Osho did not have a direct awareness of the scriptures, let alone a proper understanding of them. It seems that he simply assumed and judged from what he heard about them with a level of analysis that might give even the criminals a clean chit.
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