Question – Bhagwan, What do you think about the attitude of the Buddha, Messiahs, Avataras, Tirthankaras, towards women?
Osho – Just disgusting! All these people have insulted woman-kind down the ages as much as it is possible. None of them can be forgiven. None of them can be forgotten.
Christians have a trinity of God, the holy ghost, and the son, Jesus Christ. But in the trinity there is not a woman. A very strange family. The father is there, the son is there, but where is the mother? And what purpose has this holy ghost? Why keep this idiot there? A woman would have been perfectly human and understandable. But in the highest trinity of Christianity they cannot accept a woman.
Jesus was teaching in the village of his birth, and a crowd was listening to him. His mother, Mary, came running because her son has come to the village; and she was waiting long, for years he had not been there. She is standing outside the crowd and somebody shouts to Jesus, “Your mother is standing outside the crowd.”
And do you know what Jesus says? He says, “Tell that woman” — he does not use the word mother — he says, “Tell that woman that I don’t have any mother. I have only my father who is above in heaven.”
And these people you have worshipped. You have never asked about their behavior. He had twelve apostles, his chief disciples. But amongst them there was not a single woman, although there were women far more devoted than those apostles.
One of the most beautiful women of Judea, Mary Magdalene, was a prostitute, but listening to Jesus she went through a transformation. She dropped her profession and devoted her whole life to Jesus, but she was not accepted as one of the apostles. You will be surprised to know that when Jesus was crucified all those twelve male apostles escaped, afraid that they may be caught with the same result. What happened to Jesus may happen to them. They were afraid of crucifixion, they had seen the misery, the anguish of Jesus. They all escaped.
But three women — Jesus’ mother, about whom he said, “Tell that woman she is not my mother,” was still there, unafraid. Everybody knew she was the mother of Jesus. Nobody knew those apostles.
Mary Magdalene, a prostitute, had more courage and more guts than those so-called holy men. And another woman of the same name, Mary was also there. These three women brought Jesus’ body from the cross. Not a single man was there. But the Christian church has not accepted those three women as saints. Those twelve cowards who escaped, they are great saints. The woman has been condemned by all the religions.
Mahavira says that no woman can go to the ultimate liberation directly from the woman’s body. Strange, because the same person continuously teaches people that you are not the body, you are the soul. If you are the soul, then the question arises, is the soul of a woman also feminine? Is the soul of man also masculine? The soul cannot be feminine and cannot be masculine.
Consciousness is simply consciousness, it has no sexuality, it has no genitals. But he forgets when it comes to woman. He says, “A woman has to do austerities, practice virtue; all that will help her to be born as a man in the next life. And then she can make efforts for ultimate enlightenment. Only man can become enlightened. No woman can become enlightened.”
You will be surprised to know that in spite of all these teachings, one courageous woman became enlightened. Her name was Mallibai. She lived a few hundred years earlier than Mahavir. The woman had really attained to all the qualities of the enlightened person. She has the tranquillity, the silence, the unconditional love, fearlessness, absolute freedom. They had to accept her, but they played a trick.
In my childhood I used to go to a Jaina temple which was just near my house. There are twenty-four statues of the Jaina tirthankaras. They are all alike. I never discovered that there is one woman, for the simple reason that the Jainas have changed her name. From Mallibai they have changed her name to Mallinath. Do you see the disgusting, ugly, male chauvinist mind? Mallinath one thinks naturally must have been a man. The name is of a man, but she was a woman.
It took years for me to discover that Mallinath was not Mallinath; it was a woman. But why did they change the name? Because they were feeling embarrassed. It goes against their whole teaching and their whole philosophy. No person can become enlightened from a woman’s body. What is wrong in a woman’s body? It is more beautiful than a man’s body; it is more strong than a man’s body. Perhaps you will be surprised when I say that, because you have been carrying the idea that man is stronger, but only muscularly he is stronger. But that is not the only strength in the world, there are far more superior strengths.
For example, the woman has more resistance to diseases than man. That is her real strength. More men fall sick than women. To keep the balance nature has to produce ten boys more if it produces one hundred girls, it has to produce one hundred ten boys. Because by the time they become mature enough to get married, ten boys would have gone down the drain. But those hundred girls will be still around. They have a far stronger grip on life.
Women live five years longer than men all over the world. If man’s age is seventy, then woman’s age is seventy five. Women talk about committing suicide, but they don’t commit. And whenever you find that a woman has committed suicide, be very careful; in most of the cases it will be a murder.
Either the husband has murdered her, or the mother-in-law has murdered her, it is not a suicide. Women simply talk, it is the man who commits murder, commits suicide. Twice as many men go mad as women. One thinks this is strange, because women act crazier. They throw things, they break plates, they hit with pillows, and they are always ready to throw a tantrum, weeping, screaming. They know the whole paraphernalia of how to torture the husband. But they don’t go mad. Perhaps they don’t go mad because every day they have a release, they don’t accumulate.
Man cannot cry, it is unmanly. He cannot throw things, it doesn’t suit him. He cannot break plates or scream. He accumulates, and one day he explodes, wholesale.
What is wrong with a woman’s body? Why she cannot become enlightened? I have been working with millions of people, men and women. I don’t see any difference as far as enlightenment is concerned. But even a man like Buddha, who is the best of his kind, was afraid to initiate women into his commune. For fourteen years continuously he refused women, he would not initiate them.
What is the problem? Perhaps it is not the woman that is the problem, it is repression that is the problem. All those monks are repressed people, their sexuality is boiling within. To allow women into the commune is dangerous, because these people who are carrying a repressed sexuality, finding women close enough, may not be able to control themselves. But this is something wrong with your methodology, your discipline. For your wrong discipline, why you should insult women?
In my commune, women and men have lived together with no question of fear, because basically I am against repression. In fact, you will be surprised to know that my swamis, the male sannyasins, were afraid of women. They were trying to escape from women, not vice versa, because while making love man loses some energy. The woman does not lose anything. Seeing the fact, the man becomes aware that, “I am being stupid. This is not a bargain, I am simply losing, and the woman is enjoying. I am being befooled.”
It was continuously reported to me by women sannyasins, “What has happened to your sannyasins? They find excuses to escape.”
I said, “Nothing has happened. I have allowed you both total freedom, and freedom brings understanding. They have seen that in sexual relationship they are the losers, they are the fools. Next day, they have the hang-over. Naturally, everybody wants to protect himself, and everybody has the right to protect himself.”
But Buddha was afraid, because he would not allow a man even to see women. He would not allow a man to touch a woman, he will not allow a man to talk with a woman. Now if this is the situation, then naturally women have to be kept out of the sangha, of the initiated commune. But finally he reluctantly agreed, he had to agree. His mother died when he was born, and he was brought up by his mother’s sister from the very first day. She was the woman he had known as his mother. He knew she was not his mother, his mother had died, but she had given him more than any mother. She did not get married, just because of him, because if she got married perhaps she would have her own children and she may not be so careful of Gautam Buddha. She loved the boy, and the boy had as much potential that it looked like he was going to become a milestone in the history of man. She sacrificed her whole life.
And when this woman came to her own son and asked to be initiated, Buddha could not refuse. Reluctantly he initiated her; but then the door was opened. If you initiate one woman, you cannot refuse another woman. And what he said at that moment is worth remembering. He said, “My religion was going to last for twenty-five centuries. Now it will last only five centuries, because the women will corrupt everything.”
This is strange. Why should women corrupt? It can happen only if your male sannyasins are corruptible, if they are ready to be corrupted. And if they are ready to be corrupted, I don’t think his religion was going to last for twenty- five centuries. People who want to be corrupted have thousands of ways to be corrupted. Woman is not an absolute necessity. They can become homosexuals, in all the monasteries they have become homosexuals.
But all these prophets have misbehaved with woman. It is time that the woman should assert her individuality, should assert her spirituality, and should condemn all those people who have been against women, who have reduced her into a sub- human species. A totally new quality of religious consciousness is needed, which accepts men and women equally.
There is nothing to be afraid of. And if spiritual beings are so much afraid, then who will be fearless? I am reminded of a small story. Two Buddhist monks are coming from the village back to their monastery. Before the monastery they have to cross a small, mountainous river. The current is very strong.
The old monk is ahead, and he finds a beautiful young woman standing on the bank of the river, and she says, “Reverend, night is coming. I am alone, my house is on the other side, and I am afraid to enter this mountainous river. The current is so strong. I am afraid, I may be taken by the current and drowned. Won’t you help me?”
The old man remembered Buddha’s sayings, “Don’t talk to a woman.” He didn’t say anything, he simply lowered his eyes because he had seen her. She was beautiful. Already his heart was beating faster, she had already affected him. It was dangerous. He simply jumped into the river to get back to the monastery as quickly as possible.
When he reached the other side he remembered that his young sannyasin, a young bhikku is also coming just behind him. And he is too young. If my heart started beating faster, if I started thinking of things which cannot be said, what about the young man? At that time he saw the young man carrying the girl on his shoulders. The old man was furious, and also jealous.
The young man put the girl back on the ground. The girl thanked him. But the old man did not speak to him. He was really angry, he was not in a state to talk. But before they were entering the monastery, on the steps before the door, he stopped and said to the young man, “I am going to report it to the master. You have committed a grave sin.”
The young man said, “What sin, what are you talking about?”
The old man said, “Ah ha. Are you trying to befool me? What about that beautiful girl that you were carrying on your shoulders?”
The young man simply said, “I have left her on the bank of the river, but it seems you are still carrying her.”
Man and woman are part of one humanity. They should not be thought of as separate. Religion is for both, and together they can grow better than in separation. We just have to drop all kinds of sexual obsession, repression, which are ugly inheritance from ignorant, primitive days. We are living in a more sophisticated, more intelligent century. We should behave according to the contemporary times.
Source – Osho Book “The Last Testament, Vol 5”