Question : Beloved Osho, As you were talking about indian and western sannyasins, i felt what you were saying was true — sometimes the indians are too much of the heart. It is hard to say no to them, yet you cannot say yes to their expectations and theories. They are deaf. Will you please explain why this is so?
Osho : The question has many parts. The first part, that the Indians are sometimes too much of the heart… that statement is wrong. One can never be too much of the heart; that is existentially impossible. The heart and its qualities are such that you can always have more of them. And there is no limit — not even the sky is the limit.
But I understand your problem. You are saying that you are finding it difficult in certain moments, the people of the East are much too loving; you cannot say no to them and you cannot say yes either. I am reminded of when I came to Bombay for the first time, I was invited for lunch… I was new, and the people who had invited me here were new. None of us knew each other.
The man had come to Bombay just two or three days before. He is one of the most beautiful men I have met in my life. Along with me, he had invited at least twenty more people. It was beautiful food, but the way they were forcing everybody to eat was just unimaginable. They were three brothers; two of the brothers would hold the person, and the third one would force him — “One laddu more.”
And the person would be trying to say, “I will die! Leave me!”
They would say, “Just one…” And this was something unending.
Even the women of the house were helping. People were trying to run out of the room and the women were standing in the doorway. I asked the man, “Your love is good, and your sweets are good, but there is a limit. That man is saying he will die — and you are not concerned about his death, you are concerned about forcing more food on him.”
What he said to me I have not forgotten. He said, “If we don’t do this, my father’s soul will be very unhappy.”
I said, “My God! Is your father’s soul also present here?”
He said, “No, that is not the question. This is our heritage. In my father’s day, this was the routine: unless the guest starts fighting and beating you, don’t leave him alone. Things have to come to that end.”
I said, “Listen, don’t do this thing to me — because I cannot beat you, and neither do I want to fight.”
They said, “But our father’s soul…”
I said, “You are idiots! Your father’s soul must have been born again by now. When did your father die?”
They said, “It must be twenty years.”
I said, “He must be in a college somewhere studying. Forget about him, he has nothing to do with it.”
He said, “If you say so… But we will feel very guilty.”
I said, “If you force anything on me, I am not going to come to Bombay again.”
With tears in his eyes, he took hold of my legs. He said, “That’s perfectly good. I will not force you. Just one laddu, no fight, but please continue to come. And promise me that at least whenever you come… one lunch at my house, and we will never force you. Just have one more laddu.”
I said, “But you are forcing me! This is another strategy — tears, holding my leg; it is no different from holding my neck. It is even worse, because I feel that although it will create trouble for me — you have forced so many sweets on me — looking at your tears…”
He said, “What can I do? Just thinking of my father’s soul…”
I said, “Drop your father’s soul! Do you promise me that if I take this laddu you will not ask anything?”
He said, “I absolutely promise.”
But I was not aware of the strategy. It was one brother’s promise — they were three brothers, with three wives…. I said, “My God, it seems soon my soul is going to meet your father’s soul! If you have any message, I will deliver it to him. And I will never come again.”
And they were all sitting on the floor, holding my leg — “You have to come.”
Love is one thing… this is not love. Because love would take care of me, see that I don’t fall sick. They are taking care of their father’s soul, they are not concerned with me. So I can understand your question, that sometimes their love is too much, their heart is too much. You cannot say no and you cannot say yes either.
But you have to be very clear with the people in the East. Accept their love, be grateful for their love, but when it goes against your reason, “no” is not something that cannot be said. It is not necessarily against love. You are simply protecting yourself, and you have the right to protect yourself. And if you cannot say yes, don’t say yes.
And remember: what they are doing is not love, but some formality, some tradition, some convention. This is not part of love. They are fulfilling their own traditional, conventional, orthodox views. If it were love then food would not be forced; then the guest would be served and allowed to eat whatever he feels like eating, and however much he wants to eat. Love will give that freedom.
It is not heart. The dividing line is very fine — that’s why you cannot understand how to say no. He is so loving that it seems better to suffer a little, but not to say no. But this is not his love.
Love never enforces anything on anyone.
Love never tries to dominate, to dictate.
You call this love? — two persons are holding onto the man’s hands and the third person is forcing a laddu into his mouth, and the man is saying, “I will die! What are you doing? If you had told me that this was going to happen I would have never come.”
But they have a certain idea. It has been happening in their family for centuries — unless a guest starts beating you, you are not a host, not worth the name. A strange idea! You have to say no. And if they need beating, then it is better that before they force the food, you start beating them. If that is the only thing that will stop them and satisfy them and their father’s soul, then beat them before they make you sick.
Be alert, and understand clearly the idea of love. It is non-interfering. It is non-enforcing — about anything. Love is authentic only when it gives you freedom.
I am reminded of a strange Eastern story that will show you what love is. A man is in great love with a woman. The woman says, “I am ready to marry you, but there is one condition.”
If the man had been aware of a simple fact, that love never makes conditions, he would have said goodbye to the woman at that very point. But he was mad, really blindly in love. He was ready to do anything. He said, “Any condition, and I am ready to do it.”
The woman said, “My condition is difficult.”
The man said, “Whatever the condition is, don’t be worried. You just say it.”
The woman said, “Go home and kill your mother. Bring her heart on a plate and present it to me. Only on this condition will I marry you, because only this will give me proof that you really love me.”
Blind lovers can do anything. They are, not only in this story but all over the world. He went home, he killed his mother, and he put her heart on a plate… he rushed. He was in such a hurry to reach the woman that he stumbled on the road and fell. The plate broke and the heart was all over the street in small pieces.
And a voice came from those pieces: “My son, are you hurt? I am sorry, but it wasn’t my fault. Try to gather the pieces; go home and get another plate, and go to your sweetheart.”
Listening to this, it was as if he suddenly awoke from a dream. What was he doing? What had he done? And his mother has not still complained, is not even angry. On the contrary, she had inquired, “Are you hurt? — because you’ve fallen on the ground. I have always been telling you to go slowly, but you never listen to me. Now collect all the pieces and go back home.”
He collected the pieces, went home, and forgot all about that woman. The woman waited and waited. One day passed, another day passed. She said, “What happened?” She went to the man’s house, found that he had killed his mother. She said, “What happened then? Where is the heart?”
It was on a plate, in fragments. He said, “This is the heart, but something happened on the road that made me turn back. I knew for the first time what love means. I am grateful to you; otherwise I would have never understood that my mother was so much concerned about my welfare. And I cannot forgive myself, that I killed the woman with my own hands. As for you, who asked such a condition…!”
Love makes no conditions.
Love gives you freedom to be yourself, helps you to be yourself.
Even if it goes against his own interest,
still, a loving person will suffer himself rather than make the loved one suffer.
Another ancient story… A woman loved her husband, but the husband never paid any attention to her. He was in love with a prostitute, knowing perfectly well that prostitutes don’t love — because there were many other customers. He was only a customer, not a lover. And in his life he had seen that the day the customer’s money is finished, the prostitute’s door is closed for that man.
He had destroyed his health, he had destroyed his money, now he was dying. Just as he was dying, his wife asked him, “If you have any last wish so that you can die contented…”
He said, “Yes, I have a wish, but I am ashamed to say it to you.”
She said, “Don’t be ashamed. This is not the time to be ashamed. I love you as you are — there is no question of feeling ashamed.”
He said, “My only wish is to see the prostitute just once more before I die.”
The woman said, “There is no problem.”
He had lost all their money, there was no money in the house. She had to carry the dying man on her shoulders to the prostitute’s house. She knocked on the door. The prostitute opened the door and could not believe it. She said, “Am I hallucinating? Is this real? You are the wife of the man…”
The wife said, “Yes, I am the wife and also the lover of the man.”
The prostitute said, “Then why have you brought him here? He destroyed your life, he spent all your money and he was mad after me. And to me, once the money is finished, all relationship is finished. He was only a customer. This is a marketplace and he knows it. You are a strange woman!”
She said, “But this was his dying wish. He wanted to see you, and I love him so much that I could not say no. In his happiness is my happiness, and if he can die contented I will feel I have fulfilled my duty, my love.”
No complaint about the man, about his whole behavior. No jealousy against the woman. Love knows no jealousy, love knows no complaint. Love is a deep understanding. You love someone — that does not mean that the other should love you also. It is not a contract. Try to understand the meaning of love.
And you will not be able to understand the meaning of love by your so-called love affairs. Strangely enough, you will understand the meaning of love by going deep into meditation, by becoming more silent, more together, more at ease. You will start radiating a certain energy. You will become loving, and you will know the beautiful qualities of love. It knows to say yes, it also knows to say no. It is not blind.
But it has to come out of your meditation — only then does love have eyes; otherwise love is blind. And unless love has eyes, it is worthless. It is going to create more and more trouble for you — because two blind persons with blind expectations are not only going to double the troubles of life, they are going to multiply the troubles of life.
So be silent and be alert. Be loving. And you can say no with great love. No does not mean that you are unloving; yes does not mean that you are loving. Sometimes yes may mean that you are simply afraid, it is out of fear. So it is not necessarily that love means yes and you cannot say no. Love with eyes knows when to say no, when to say yes.
Love neither interferes in anybody’s life nor allows anybody else to interfere into one’s own life. Love gives individuality to others, but does not lose its own individuality. And it is not a question of Western or Eastern — what I am saying is applicable to all. Just because you have asked the question as if the problem is because you come from the West…
It has to be understood well: it is not a question of your coming from the West; it is a problem because reason and heart are always in conflict. And the West is more rationalist, but the West has spread all over the world through its empires and through its educational systems. Now it is very difficult to find a purely Eastern man. The West has poisoned everybody. Reason has become supreme.
So try to understand it in terms of reason and heart, not in terms of West and East. Because even in the East, for the people who are living in their reason — and all people who are cultured, educated, are living in their reason — the problem is the same.
The heart has its own language, reason has its own language, and they are not necessarily always in agreement. Most probably they are in disagreement, because reason thinks in a different dimension. I am reminded of Albert Einstein and his wife, Frau Einstein.
His wife was a poet. And he was just the wrong person to be married to — a mathematician, a physicist. In mathematics, one plus one is always two. In love, one plus one is always one. Languages are so different. And Frau Einstein was a talented woman; naturally she wanted to show a few of her poems to Albert Einstein, and would have enjoyed being appreciated by the world’s most famous mathematician, physicist, scientist.
But she could not see any emotion moving on Albert Einstein’s face, or any changes in his eyes. He listened to her poems as if he were a stone statue. She had written a beautiful piece, talking about the beloved and comparing the face of the beloved with the moon. At that point, Einstein said, “Enough! Stop! This is too much. You don’t understand anything about the moon. Do you know its proportions? If a moon were put on a man’s body as a head, your beloved would not be found again, he would be crushed to pieces. And who told you that the moon is beautiful? It is a dead rock, with no water, no greenery, no flowers, no trees, no birds. Who told you that the moon is beautiful? What do you mean by beauty?”
The wife was shocked, she could not believe that such a great scientist would talk in such a way. But he was not joking — that’s how reason thinks. Reason cannot understand poetry; it is not its way. It is very prose.
Frau Einstein has written in her memoirs, “That was the first and the last time I ever mentioned poetry to him. It would be better to talk to a rock; perhaps the rock might respond better than this man.”
The question is not of East and West. The question is between the heart and the reason.
In the East, the heart has been predominant, but it has created a problem which nobody has discussed. I have been looking through ancient scriptures, literature, commentaries — has anybody ever thought about this problem or not? — because it is so significant it cannot be ignored.
Because the East is leaning too much towards the heart, it has not developed rationality to its fullest — but still it goes on talking about theories, reincarnation, heaven and hell. If you were to say that these are mythological, there would be no problem, but people insist that these are rational hypotheses. And your question is relevant: it becomes so difficult to talk with the Eastern person because he goes on talking about theories which look absurd, stupid, illogical. But to him they seem absolutely valid because he has never been trained in reason. His validity is of the heart.
I will give you few examples so you can understand. Jainas say that once a snake bit Mahavira on his foot, and instead of blood coming out, milk came out. Now, if you say it is a myth, a parable, a poetry, there is no problem….
The first time I spoke in Bombay, one Jaina monk, Chitrabhanu, had spoken ahead of me. And he mentioned this fact, and gave the reason why milk came out: because Mahavira is so full of love that even when a snake bites him, it is because of his love and compassion that milk comes out — just a little breakfast for the snake. No anger, no violence…
And for twenty-five centuries Jainas have been writing in their books that this is factual. I was to speak after Chitrabhanu, and I said, “If it is factual then many things have to be explained: it means that Mahavira’s body was filled with milk instead of blood. And the snakebite happened when he was nearabout fifty, so for fifty years… all the milk would have certainly turned into curd. And he used to walk naked, on foot… in fifty years’ time, the curd would have turned into butter! And in such heat, in such a hot country, butter is going to become GHEE.”
So if ghee had come out of his foot instead of blood, there would be some rationality to it — but milk? And this is so stupid, that a man is full of curd… he would stink of curd! Fifty years filled with curd and butter and ghee — just think of that poor man. In the hot season, he wouldn’t perspire, he would start flowing with ghee!
So I said, “This is nonsense. The only possibility is: milk comes out of a woman’s body, and she has a certain mechanism in her breast to transform the blood into milk. A rational mind could accept it, that Mahavira had the same mechanism in his feet. His feet were nothing but breasts. And strangely… was he expecting that the snake was going to bite him on the foot? Most probably he had breasts all over, so that wherever the snake bit, milk would come out.”
And even a woman’s breast will not give milk unless she has given birth to a child. So I said, “This goes on and on into difficulties. It is better to simply accept that this is poetry. Don’t make it history. Don’t try to theorize it, don’t try to make it scientific. Simply say that it is a poetic way of saying that he was so loving… how to say it in poetry? So we have expressed it by saying that milk came out, just as the milk comes out of the mother’s breast, in love.”
Milk has a certain association with love, because the child receives the milk and love from the same breast — that is his first experience in the world. And that’s why humanity is so obsessed with the breast. Painters go on painting breasts and breasts, sculptors go on making breasts and breasts.
Poets, novelists, all kinds of creative people are obsessed only with one object, and that is the woman’s breast. The reason is clear: it is the child’s first experience of love, of warmth, of the human body, of the other, of the world. It contains so much. So just to give expression to a feeling of love and warmth, milk has been used as a symbol.
But no Jaina is going to agree with me, because then the miracle is lost. Poetry is not a miracle. The miracle is in the historicity of the fact. So you are right in questioning how to deal with these people. They are so loving, they are so full of heart, but they go on talking about such nonsense… esoteric, occult. And everybody in the East knows so much that it seems that all are realized souls! Where to stop these people, and where to say no to these people?
You have to be very clear, very loving, but without any compromise. The moment you see that these people are going into fictions and creating stupid theories — and their scriptures are full of them — you have to stop them.
That is one of the misfortunes of the East, that people have forgotten completely that poetry is not history, that poetry is far more significant than history. Then theorizations, rationalizations are meaningless, and the effort to prove them as if they are scientific truths makes the whole East a laughingstock.
My own approach is very simple: You have to be alert not to allow the heart to start overpowering your reason, just as you have to be alert that your reason does not overpower your heart. Their functions are separate. Reason should function in the world of objects, and the heart should function in the world of human consciousness. And the moment they overlap, there is going to be a certain kind of mess. And whenever you feel it, that the man is so loving, how to say no to him? don’t be worried. It has been my whole life’s difficulty — because everybody in India is so full of knowledge, and all that knowledge is simply holy cow dung, there is nothing in it.
But these people are good, this is the problem. The people are good: very generous, very loving, very helpful. Only their hearts have overrun their heads, so whatsoever they are saying… you have to be a little alert.
And when you say no to them, they feel hurt; they think their love is rejected. So you have to be very careful and very articulate. It is a difficult task — it was for me, because with my family, my teachers, my professors… everywhere I was in difficulty. Because I could not see how a well-educated professor could be talking such nonsense, without even being aware at all that what he is saying is nonsense. And he is a good man, there is no doubt about his sincerity. It is simply that his reason is retarded. Only the heart has grown, and it has its beauty. But the heart is leading the reason, so they are talking all kinds of nonsense.
I had to stop them — “Wait a minute. You cannot say this rationally. Either accept it as a poetry or withdraw it.”
But the result was that I was expelled from this college, from that university — and they had no reason. The vice-chancellor said to me, that “We don’t have any reason to expel you, you have not done anything that demands such punishment as to expel you. But you should understand our difficulty: you are creating such trouble to so many professors that they are threatening to resign if you don’t leave this university. And we cannot afford it, those are our very respected professors.”
And I said, “First you should call them and ask them what the problem is, why they are so angry with me.”
And the professors said, “It is not a question of being angry with you. You simply raise questions which make us feel embarrassed before the whole class. And people laugh, and we cannot answer. You are destroying the respectability we have established over thirty years, forty years — you, within half an hour, destroy the whole of it. People lose all respect for us.”
And I said, “Have I ever shown any disrespect to you?”
They said, “You never show any disrespect. That is not the question, the question is that we cannot change now. Our whole lives we have lived with certain theories. And we have believed them to be scientific, we have never suspected them. Suddenly you come here, and on each point you create a question and we are at a loss.”
One of the professors was a celibate, and he was continually preaching celibacy, that the only spirituality is to be celibate.
I asked him, “I have been in your home, and I see Rama there with Sita, the Hindu god Rama standing with his wife, Sita. What kind of celibacy is this fellow following? And out of this celibacy two children are born — you should throw this fellow out of your house! But you worship him, and in the university you talk about celibacy. Do you see the contradiction or not? All your Vedic seers were married people, all your Upanishadic seers were married people. You read SHRIMAD BHAGAVADGITA every day, and this fellow Shri Krishna had sixteen thousand wives — what kind of celibacy is this?”
Now this man took my hand and told me, “Come with me to the vice-chancellor. This is too much — now either you are going to remain in the university or I am going to remain in the university.”
But I said, “I have simply asked a question. You can satisfy me by giving a satisfying answer. Or, you can say that you are greater than all these people because you are celibate and they were not. But why are you worshipping them? They should worship you.”
On the way, he asked me, “Should we go to the vice-chancellor or not?”
I said, “It is up to you. Because the whole question will be discussed, and I will insist that the vice-chancellor have a look in your house. You have made a temple where Rama is standing with Sita and Krishna is standing with Rukmani — which is absolute hypocrisy; he was married to this woman Rukmani but he never lived with her. How could he manage it? Sixteen thousand wives stolen from other people’s houses… he was married to only one woman; the remaining ones were all stolen, forcibly taken. Whenever he saw a beautiful woman, his soldiers would take her — no consideration of the husband or the children or the old parents, no consideration at all. And still, the hypocrisy is that you are putting poor Rukmani next to Krishna. I will take the vice-chancellor to have a look in your house and things can be decided then and there.”
I said, “There is no need for you to resign. You simply don’t be celibate, get married! The problem will be solved — neither I will have to be expelled from the university nor will you have to resign. And if you feel shy, I will find a good wife for you.”
He said, “You stop! Don’t talk like this, you are almost persuading me. This is seduction!”
I said, “Then come on and see the vice-chancellor.”
And we went, and the vice-chancellor listened, and he told me, “You are not wrong, but what can we do? As far as Indian logic is concerned, this man is the best in the whole of India. We cannot….”
I said, “You just think — this man is absolutely illogical. How can he be an expert in Indian logic? His behavior is so illogical… a celibate worshipping married people.”
But the vice-chancellor said, “You had better choose some other university. I will recommend you. I will not expel you, I will recommend you as highly as possible.” But no university was ready to accept me, because my fame had reached ahead of me already — that that fellow is coming to be admitted to the university or the college.
In India it is a problem — people are not rational. Even those who pretend to be rational, their behavior is very irrational. They will be very loving, but don’t allow them to destroy your reason. The heart has to grow, reason has to become sharp — because both have to fulfill their functions in the totality of your growth.
A man with a great heart and a great intelligence, without any conflict between them, is truly a genius. And everybody has the possibility, but everybody is either dominated by logic or dominated by the heart. Everybody is living a lopsided life.
Have you seen any advertisements for circuses? When a circus comes to a town — I have seen it in many towns — they have bicycles, with one wheel small and one wheel big. And the big wheel’s center is not in the center, it is off-center. So the man riding on the bicycle comes up, goes down, comes up, goes down — naturally he attracts everybody’s attention — “What is happening?” A man suddenly comes up and goes down… and he is a joker, wearing the joker’s dress… and the name of the circus, and the timings and the tickets and everything… A single man will attract everybody — a simple device. But seeing that kind of advertisement, I saw that this is the situation of almost every man. You have two wheels, the reason and the heart.
Somebody’s heart is big and their reason is small — then he goes up and down.
Somebody’s reason is big and his heart is small — then he goes up and down.
Everybody is going up and down — and for whom are you advertising?
And it is not easy to sit on that bicycle, I have tried it. It is a very difficult job.
But people are living this way — unbalanced.
You need a balanced life in which reason and heart move in harmony, supporting each other, helping each other. So whenever you see that anybody — either from the East or from the West — is disturbing your harmony, stop him.
Stop him lovingly, there is no need to be rude. But don’t be silent, because to be silent is to be rude. You have allowed that man to move in a wrong way, you were not compassionate enough.
Source – Osho Book “Beyond Enlightenment”