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Chapter-4 Parenting the New Child

BELOVED OSHO,
HOW DO WE, THE COMMUNE, ENSURE THAT OUR CHILDREN MAINTAIN THEIR ORIGINAL FACE?
The original face of every child is the face of God. Of course my God is not a Christian, a Hindu, a Jew. My God is not even a person but only a presence.
It is less like a flower and more like fragrance. You can feel it but you cannot catch hold of it. You can be overwhelmed by it but you cannot possess it.
My God is not something objective, there.
My God is your very subjectivity, here.
My God can never be indicated by the word “that.”
He can only be indicated by the word “this.”
The God of my vision and experience is not to be searched for in the synagogues, temples, mosques, churches, in the Himalayas, in the monasteries. He is not there because He is always here. And you go on looking for Him there.
When I say every child’s original face is the face of God, I am saying that God is synonymous with life, existence. Whatsoever is, is divine, sacred. And there is nothing else than God.
God is not to be understood as quantity, but as quality. You cannot measure it. You cannot make a statue of it, you cannot draw a picture of it. In that sense it is absolutely impersonal. And if you look at the faces of children when they arrive, fresh from the very source of life, you will see a certain presence which cannot be named — unnameable, indefinable.
The child is alive. You cannot define its aliveness, but it is there, you can feel it. It is so much there that howsoever blind you are you cannot miss it. It is fresh. You can smell the freshness around a child. That fragrance slowly, slowly disappears. And if unfortunately the child becomes successful, a celebrity — a president, a prime minister, a pope — then the same child stinks.
He had come with a tremendous fragrance, immeasurable, indefinable, unnameable. You look into the eyes of a child — you cannot find anything deeper. The eyes of a child are abysmal, there is no bottom to them. Unfortunately, the way society will destroy him, soon his eyes will be only superficial; because of layers and layers of conditioning, that depth, that immense depth will have disappeared long before. And that was his original face.
The child has no thoughts. About what can he think? Thinking needs a past, thinking needs problems. He has no past, he has only future. He has no problems yet, he is without problems. There is no possibility of thinking for him. What can he think?
The child is conscious but without thoughts.
This is the original face of the child.
Once this was your face too, and although you have forgotten it, it is still there within you, waiting someday to be rediscovered. I am saying REdiscovered because you have discovered it many times in your previous lives, and again and again you go on forgetting it.
Perhaps even in this life there have been moments when you have come very close to knowing it, to feeling it, to being it. But the world is too much with us. Its pull is great — and there are a thousand and one directions the world is pulling you. It is pulling you in so many directions that you are falling apart. It is a miracle how people go on managing to keep themselves together. Otherwise their one hand will be going to the north, another hand to the south, their head must be going towards heaven; all their parts will be flying all over the place.
It is certainly a miracle how you go on keeping yourself together. Perhaps the pressure from all sides is too much so that your hands and legs and heads cannot fly. You are pressed from everywhere.
Whenever I see … and I don’t know why people go on sending me beautiful paperweights — I don’t have any papers. What am I going to do with paperweights? Perhaps they think there are hundreds of books in my name so there must be so much paperwork around me, all over my room papers and papers. There is not a single paper.
Yes, paperweights go on coming, and whenever a paperweight comes I am immediately reminded of you. You would have been flying like papers in the strong wind, but there are so many paperweights to keep you pressed and give you an idea that you are one individual. You are not — you are many, and in the crowd of this many-ness of your existence, your original face is lost.
Even if by chance you happen to meet your original face, you will not be able to recognize it, it will be such a stranger. Perhaps you come across it once in a while, just by accident, but you don’t even say Hi! It is a stranger and perhaps deep down, a certain fear — that is always there with every stranger.
That’s why people try to become acquainted, introduced to strangers, the sooner the better. They don’t want to be left in that state of fear, that somebody is absolutely unknown to them. They don’t know what he can do, what he intends to do, what kind of person he is. Maybe he is a murderer, a thief.
I played around this theme so many times because I was continuously traveling in India, and I was always traveling in an air-conditioned coupe. So at the most two persons — that too very rarely because in India very few people can afford to travel in the air-conditioned coupe, except people like me who have nothing to lose. Just poor people like me can travel like that because we cannot be more poor than we are.
But once in a while a minister, a governor, a rich industrialist, a scientist, a vice-chancellor — people like that were my fellow travelers. And I always tried to see what happened to them if I continued to remain a stranger. And I enjoyed — it does things to people.
I was not doing anything, I was just trying be a stranger, which really I am. They would ask me, “Where are you going?” — just anything to begin with.
I would say, “Anywhere will do.”
They would say, “Anywhere will do?” — and I could see the fear arising: “Is the man mad? But no, he does not look mad.” They would then say, “Are you joking?”
Once I said, “Why should I joke with you?”
In India, it is a convention that you joke only with certain relatives. Joking is very confined, to a certain relationship. You joke only with your wife’s brother, otherwise you don’t joke; only that’s acceptable to the society. I said, “But you are not my wife’s brother, why should I joke? Or are you my wife’s brother? Perhaps you are. But I don’t remember ever seeing you before.”
The man became really more shaky and I could see the trembling arising — and he had to travel with me for at least ten hours, twelve hours, or even twenty-four hours. But still he tried: “What is your name?”
I said, “The moment you asked me, it was just on the tip of my tongue. Now I am trying hard to remember. I have a name, I certainly remember … I know it is there but you will have to give me a little time. If it comes, it comes; if it does not come what can I do? What can you do? But it doesn’t matter anyway, you can call me any name. Anyway every child is born without a name and we give him one. All names are arbitrary, so it does not matter whether you call me Ram, Rahim, Ibrahim, Moses, Jesus, Christ; anything will do.”
And I said, “You please sit down, there is no need to continue to stand. Sit down, be at ease, and I will go and close the door.”
He said, “Why are you closing the door?”
I said, “The door has to be closed. Passengers are passing by, what will they think? You are trembling, perspiring, in an air-conditioned room? No, I don’t want you to look so silly and embarrassed.” I virtually forced the person to sit down. I was forcing him to sit down, and he wanted to stand up.
He said, “Can’t I stand?”
I said, “You just first relax. Do you want to go to the bathroom or have you already done it? Anyway there is no need to worry — you just sit down.”
That man looked at me and looked all around. It was just a small cabin for two persons and he was thinking, “this type of man, he can do anything.” But he tried somehow to figure me out; anyway he wanted to be acquainted. And he said “By your face you look religious.”
I said, “Yes, when I look in the mirror I also feel that this man looks religious. But I am not religious. Never go by the appearance, appearances are not always real.”
“No,” he said, “you are still trying to befool me. You are a religious man.” Now he was trying somehow to categorize me.
I said, “If you say, and if it consoles you, helps you in some way, okay, I am a religious man.”
The man was a brahmin — I had seen his name on the door. In the air-conditioned compartment they have the passengers’ names on the door, so I had seen that he was a Bengali, a high-caste brahmin, a chattopadhyaya. So he said, “What religion?”
I said, “Religion is just religion — there is no adjective to it.”
He said, “That I cannot believe. You must be a religious Hindu sage.”
I said, “If it helps you, I am.”
And he fell at my feet, and he said, “I knew from the very beginning that you are not mad, that you are a sage. And sages and mad people look alike, behave alike. Everything that you said now makes sense.”
But I said, “One thing I have just said to console you — really I am not a Hindu, I am a Mohammedan.” And now you cannot believe what a terrible mess he fell into. He had touched the feet of a Mohammedan! A Hindu brahmin, a high-caste brahmin, is afraid even of touching the shadow of a Mohammedan. If he touches even the shadow of a Mohammedan he will have to take a bath to cleanse himself. And he had touched actual feet!
Now the situation had become much worse. The chattopadhyaya said, “But why did you lie to me?”
I said, “I was just trying to console you. I never thought that you would fall at my feet. Before I could prevent you, you had already done it. But don’t be worried, I am really a brahmin. I was just checking what happens: if some Mohammedan looks like a brahmin sage and you touch his feet, what will happen to you? I was just trying to see.”
He said, “That’s right.” And a great smile … and he relaxed in his seat and he said, “I knew from the very beginning — such a nice person could not be a Mohammedan. Those Mohammedans are all butchers.”
I said, “You are right, because I was born a Mohammedan so I know perfectly well they are all butchers.”
This way I have seen many well-educated people trying to figure out … and I told them, “Why are you bothering to figure out about me? If you take that much trouble to figure out about yourself you will become enlightened! You need not worry about me. You do your work, whatever you want to do; you simply accept me as absent, I am not here. Behave as if I am not here and do whatsoever you want to do.
“If you want me to close my eyes, I can close my eyes. If you want me to go to sleep, I will go to sleep. But please be at ease; just forget about me. But don’t try to become familiar with me — that I don’t allow. We are going to remain strangers for ten hours.”
In fact we are all strangers.
Even if we live our whole life together it makes no difference, we remain strangers; we just settle for consolations, and we start taking the other for granted. It is a make-believe that you know the other — your wife, your mother, your father, your brother, your friend — it is just a make-believe that you know them. You know nothing about the other because that is impossible — for the simple reason that you don’t know anything about yourself yet. Without knowing oneself it is impossible to know anybody else.
The trouble is you can be introduced to somebody else, but how can you be introduced to yourself? Who is going to do that?
You can be introduced to somebody else because that introduction is just arbitrary. The name, the caste, the country, the religion, the profession — these are all arbitrary and accidental.
It happened … really a great coincidence, almost inconceivable, but it happened so whether it is conceivable or not makes no difference. When I was standing at the window after my matriculation, to obtain entry into a college, there were many people who were filling in forms and I was waiting to get my form. When I was filling in my form a boy just of my age came to me, and he said, “What subjects are you taking?”
So I showed him my form and said, “These are my subjects.”
He said, “Oh, okay, I will fill in these subjects also.”
I said, “But this is strange. You have come to the college — don’t you have any idea what you want to study?”
He said, “It is all the same to me. My father wants me to study so I have come to the college. I don’t have any interest in anything, I have just come to enjoy. My father is rich. He wants me to be in college so okay, I will be in college and have fun and enjoy. Any subjects will do.”
But I said, “These subjects perhaps may be difficult for you: philosophy, logic ….”
He said, “I don’t care even what they mean. I don’t know, I have never heard this word `logic’ before.”
“Then,” I said, “It is perfectly okay.”
And he asked me, “Will you please give me your fountain pen?”
I said, “This is too much — you don’t have your own fountain pen?”
He said, “I am not a man who is interested in these things.”
He showed me a packet of cigarettes. He said, “I am interested in cigarettes, not in fountain pens; and I am not going to attend any class or anything. My father is going to send me the money and I am going to enjoy, and I am going to ask him for more and more. He has enough, and I am the only son so I am not wasting anybody else’s money. It is my own, I am going to inherit it anyway.”
I gave him my fountain pen and he filled in the form. He even had to look at my form for the spelling of the words that he was filling in. But this way we became friends. I liked the boy, he was sincere, and not a hypocrite in any way. We became friends. He needed me and I needed him, because I needed so much money for books and he had so much money that I said, “This is good.” And he was not interested in books at all.
But I was his first friend in the college. And he had everything: a car, a driver, a bungalow — I needed all these things so I said, “That’s perfectly good — you came at the right time. And whatever your need is, I will manage, you don’t be worried.” So I had to do examinations for both of us. In three hours time, half was mine and half was his. In one and a half hours I finished my paper and then I would start his paper.
But he said, “This is a great bargain.” He said, “If I can pass, my father is going to be mad with happiness. He cannot believe that I can pass, because in matric he had to give such a large bribe to push me through. And now he knows that in college it is going to be difficult.”
I said, “You don’t be worried, you will pass first class.” And he passed first class with a B.A. After the B.A. I left Jabalpur because one of the professors in Sagar University, S.S. Roy, was persistently asking me, writing me, phoning me to say, “After your B.A. you join this university for your post-graduation.”
From Jabalpur University to Sagar University there is not much distance — one hundred miles. But Sagar University was in many ways unique. It was a small university compared to Benares University or Aligarh University, which had ten thousand students, twelve thousand students. They are just like Oxford or Cambridge — big universities, big names. Sagar University had only one thousand students and almost three hundred professors, so for every three students, one professor. It was a rare place; perhaps nowhere in the world can you find another university where there is one professor for three students.
And the man who had founded the university was acquainted with all the best professors around the world. Sagar was his birthplace; Doctor Harisingh Gaud was his name. He was a world-famous authority on law, and earned so much money — and never gave a single pai to any beggar, to any institution, to any charity. He was known as the most miserly person in the whole of India.
And then he founded the university and gave his whole life’s earning. That was millions of dollars. He said to me, “That’s why I was a miser; otherwise there was no way — I was a poor man, I was born a poor man. If I were doing charity and giving to this hospital and to this beggar and to that orphan, this university would not have existed.” For this university … he had carried his whole life only one idea, that his birthplace should have one of the best universities in the world. And certainly he created one of the best universities in the world.
While he was alive he managed to bring professors from all over the world. He gave them double salaries, triple salaries, whatsoever they wanted — and no work, because there were only one thousand students, which even a small college has in India; one thousand students is not a large number. And he opened all the departments which only a university like Oxford can afford. Oxford has nearabout three hundred and fifty departments.
He opened all the departments which exist anywhere in the world. There were hundreds of departments without students but with full staff: the head of the department, the assistant professor, the professor, the lecturer. He said, “Don’t be worried. First create the university — and make it the best. Students will come, will have to come.” Then all the professors and all the deans were all in search of the best students. And somehow this professor, S.S. Roy, who was the head of the department of philosophy, got his eye on me.
I used to go every year to the university for the inter-university debating competition. And for four years I was winning the trophy and for four years he was listening to me, as a judge — he was one of the judges. The fourth year he invited me to his home, and he said, “Listen, I wait for you for one year. I know that after one year, when the next inter-university debating competition is held, you are bound to be there.
“The way you present your arguments is strange. It is sometimes so weird that it seems … how did you manage to look from this angle? I have been thinking about a few problems myself, but I never looked from that aspect. It strikes me that perhaps you go on dropping any aspect that can happen to the ordinary mind, and you only choose the aspect that is unlikely to happen to anybody.
“For four years you have been winning the shield for the simple reason that the argument is unique, and there is nobody who is ready to answer it. They have not even thought about it, so they are simply in shock.
“Your opponents — you reduce them so badly, one feels pity for them, but what can we do? And I have been giving you ninety-nine percent marks out of a hundred. I wanted to give you more than a hundred, but even ninety-nine …. It has become known to people that I am favorable to a certain student. This is too much, because nobody goes beyond fifty.
“I have called you to my home for dinner to invite you to leave Jabalpur University and come here. Now this is your fourth year, you are finished when you graduate. For post-graduation you come here. I cannot miss having you as my student; if you don’t come here then I am going to join Jabalpur University.”
And he was a well-known authority; if he wanted to come, Jabalpur University would have been immensely happy to accept him as head of the department.
I said, “No, don’t go to that much trouble. I can come here, and I love the place.” It is situated … perhaps it is the best-situated university in the world, in the hills near a tremendously vast lake. It is so silent — such huge trees, ancient trees — that just to be there is enough education.
And Doctor Harisingh Gaud must have been a tremendous lover of books. He donated all his library, and he managed to get as many books as possible from every corner of the world. A single man’s effort … it is rare; he created Oxford just single-handedly, alone. Oxford was created over one thousand years; thousands of people have worked. This man’s work is really a piece of art. Single-handedly, with his own money, he put himself at stake.
So I loved the place. I said, “You need not be worried, I will be coming — but you have seen me only in the debate competitions. You don’t know much about me; I may prove a trouble for you, a nuisance. I would like you to know everything about me before you decide.”
Professor S.S. Roy said, “I don’t want to know anything about you. The little bit that I have come to know, just by seeing you, your eyes, your way of saying things, your way of approaching reality, is enough. And don’t make me frightened about trouble and nuisance — you can do whatsoever you want.”
I said, “Remember that financially I am always broke, so I will be continuously borrowing money from you and never returning it. Things have to be made clear beforehand; otherwise later on you can say, `This you never said.’ You will have to lend me money whenever I want. I am not going to return it, although it will be said I am borrowing — but on your part you have to understand that that money is gone, because from where can I return it? I don’t have any source.
“Second, you have to make arrangements in the university for my free lodging and boarding. Thirdly, you have to ask the vice-chancellor, because I don’t know him — or you can introduce me to him — for his special scholarship. He is entitled to give one special scholarship. Other scholarships are there, which are smaller scholarships given to talented people — first class, first gold medalist, this and that; I want the special scholarship which is three times more than any other scholarship.
“It is special because the vice-chancellor is entitled to give it to anyone talented, not talented, in the good list of the university, not in the good list of the university; it does not matter. It is his personal choice — because if they start thinking about my character certificates and this and that, I cannot produce a single character certificate.
“I have been in many colleges because I have been expelled again and again. So in four years time …. People study in one college, I have studied in many, but all that I can bring from them is expulsion orders. I cannot produce a single character certificate — so you have to recommend me. You are my only character certificate.”
He said, “Don’t be worried about that.”
So I moved to Sagar. This is the coincidence that I was going to tell you about. When I was filling in the form, the same boy appeared again! He said, “What subjects?”
I said, “My God! Who told you that I had come to Sagar?”
He said, “You are asking that? For days I never see my car, my driver; in my house strangers come and live. They say they are your guests, and I have to make arrangements for them. And you think I have to know how you have come to Sagar? My driver has brought you here; he told me.
“So I said, `If he is going to Sagar what am I going to do here, because who will write my papers?’ So I ran fast and I have caught you in time. Just exactly four years ago, in the same way we met.”
I said, “That’s true. So you are going to fill in these subjects again?”
He said, “It’s perfectly okay, because I have nothing to do with the subjects. I don’t know anything that happened in these four years because I was engaged in drinking and in gambling and all kinds of things. And you managed well; two first classes by one person — you did well. Now once more you will have to do it.
“And as far as things from my side are concerned, I am ready to double them. Everything that you want you take, but just don’t try to leave me, because without you I am nobody. My father gave such a great party and all the relatives gathered, and it was such a celebration. And I was only thinking of you — that this whole celebration should be for you.
“Do you know what my father said when I came home and to. And in no way are you imposing anything; so if by understanding they feel you are right and they go on that way, they will not lose their original face.
The original face is not lost by going on a certain way. It is lost by children being forced, forced against their will.
Love and respect can sweetly help them to be more understanding about the world, can help them to be more alert, aware, careful — because life is precious, and it is a gift from existence. We should not waste it.
At the moment of death we should be able to say that we are leaving the world better, more beautiful, more graceful.
But this is possible only if we leave this world with our original face, the same face with which we have come into it.
(Excerpted from: From Darkness to Light, Chapter-6, Q-1)

*****

BELOVED OSHO,
HAVING HEARD YOU TALK ABOUT COMPETITION AND OUR CHILDHOOD THE OTHER MORNING, IT SET ME THINKING OF MY OWN EDUCATION. I REALIZED THAT FOR TWENTY-ONE YEARS SOLIDLY, EVERY SINGLE EVENT AT SCHOOL — FROM PLAYING IN THE GARDEN, THROUGH OFFICIAL SPORTS, TO LATIN GRAMMAR — WAS BASICALLY AN EXERCISE IN HOW TO BEAT THE NEXT PERSON. IT SEEMS AS IF IT WAS THE SINGLE MOST DAMAGING EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. I CAN’T THINK OF A MORE PERFECT SYSTEM TO DESTROY CHILDREN AND MAKE US COMPLETELY INHARMONIOUS WITH THE WORLD AROUND US. HOW CAN WE HELP CHILDREN TO GROW TO THEIR FULL POTENTIAL, WITHOUT ENCOURAGING THIS COMPETITIVE SPIRIT?
The moment you start thinking how to help children to grow without any competitive spirit you are already on the wrong track, because whatever you are going to do is going to give the children a certain program. It may be different from the one that you received, but you are conditioning the children — with all the best intentions in the world.
The trees go on growing without anybody teaching them how to grow. The animals, the birds, the whole existence, needs no programming. The very idea of programming is basically creating slavery — and man has been creating slaves for thousands of years in different names. When people become fed up with one name, another name immediately replaces it. A few modified programs, a few changes here and there in the conditioning, but the fundamental thing remains the same — that the parents, the older generation, want their children to be in a certain way. That’s why you are asking “How?”.
According to me, the function of the parents is not how to help the children grow — they will grow without you. Your function is to support, to nourish, to help what is already growing. Don’t give directions and don’t give ideals. Don’t tell them what is right and what is wrong: let them find it by their own experience.
Only one thing you can do, you can do only one thing with your children, and that is share your own life. Tell them that you have been conditioned by your parents, that you have lived within certain limits, according to certain ideals, and because of these limits and ideals you have missed life completely, and you don’t want to destroy your children’s life. You want them to be totally free — free of you, because to them you represent the whole past.
It needs guts and it needs immense love in a father, in a mother, to tell the children, “You need to be free of us. Don’t obey us — depend on your own intelligence. Even if you go astray it is far better than to remain a slave and always remain right. It is better to commit mistakes on your own and learn from them, rather than follow somebody else and not commit mistakes. But then you are never going to learn anything except following — and that is poison, pure poison.”
It is very easy if you love. Don’t ask “how”, because “how” means you are asking for a method, a methodology, a technique — and love is not a technique.
Love your children, enjoy their freedom. Let them commit mistakes, help them to see where they have committed a mistake. Tell them, “To commit mistakes is not wrong — commit as many mistakes as possible, because that is the way you will be learning more. But don’t commit the same mistake again and again, because that makes you stupid.”
So it is not going to be a simple answer from me. You will have to figure it out living with your children moment to moment, allowing them every possible freedom in small things.
For example, in my childhood… and it has been the same for centuries, the children are being taught, “Go to bed early, and get up early in the morning. That makes you wise.”
I told my father, “It seems to be strange: when I am not feeling sleepy, you force me to sleep early in the evening.” And in Jaina houses early in the evening is really early, because supper is at five o’clock, at the most six. And then there is nothing else to do — the children should go to sleep.
I said to him, “When my energy is not ready to go to sleep, you force me to go to sleep. And when, in the morning, I am feeling sleepy, you drag me out of the bed. This seems to be a strange way of making me wise! And I don’t see the connection — how am I going to become wise by being forced to sleep when I am not feeling sleepy? And for hours I lie down in the bed, in the darkness… time which would have in some way been used, would have been creative, and you force me to sleep. But sleep is not something in your hands. You cannot just close your eyes and go to sleep. Sleep comes when it comes; it does not follow your order or my order, so for hours I am wasting my time.
“And then in the morning when I am really feeling sleepy, you force me to wake up — five o’clock, early in the morning — and you drag me out for a morning walk towards the forest. I am feeling sleepy and you are dragging me. And I don’t see how all this is going to make me wise. You please explain it to me!
“And how many people have become wise through this process? You just show me a few wise people — I don’t see anybody around. And I have been talking to my grandfather, and he said that it is all nonsense. Of the whole household, that old man is the only sincere man. He does not care what others will say, but he has told me that it is all nonsense: `Wisdom does not come by going early to bed. I have been going early to bed my whole life — seventy years — and wisdom has not come yet, and I don’t think it is going to come! Now it is time for death to come, not for wisdom. So don’t be befooled by these proverbs.'”
I told my father, “You think it over, and please be authentic and true. Give me this much freedom — that I can go to sleep when I feel sleep is coming, and I can get up when I feel that it is time, and sleep is no longer there.”
He thought for one day, and the next day he said, “Okay, perhaps you are right. You do it according to yourself. Listen to your body rather than listening to me.”
This should be the principle: children should be helped to listen to their bodies, to listen to their own needs. The basic thing for parents is to guard the children from falling into a ditch. The function of their discipline is negative.
Remember the word “negative”… no positive programming but only a negative guarding — because children are children, and they can get into something which will harm them, cripple them. Then too don’t order them not to go, but explain to them. Don’t make it a point of obedience; still let them choose. You simply explain the whole situation.
Children are very receptive, and if you are respectful towards them they are ready to listen, ready to understand; then leave them with their understanding. And it is a question only of a few years in the beginning; soon they will be getting settled in their intelligence, and your guarding will not be needed at all. Soon they will be able to move on their own.
I can understand the fear of the parents that the children may go in a direction which they don’t like — but that is your problem. Your children are not born for your likings and your dislikings. They have to live their life, and you should rejoice that they are living their life — whatever it is. They may become a poor musician….
I used to know a very rich man in the town who wanted his son, after matriculation, to become a doctor. But the son was interested only in music. He was already no longer an amateur; he was well known in the area, and wherever there was any function, he was playing the sitar and was becoming more and more famous.
He wanted to go to a university which is basically devoted to music. Perhaps it is the only university in the world which is devoted completely to music, and has all the different departments — dance, different instruments — but the whole world of the university is musical.
The father was absolutely against it. He called me — because I was very close to his son — and he said, “He will be a beggar all his life,” because musicians in India cannot earn much. “At the most he can become a music teacher in a school. What will he be earning? That much we pay to many servants in our house. And he will be associating with the wrong people,” because in India, music has remained very deeply connected with the prostitutes.
The Indian prostitute is different from any prostitute in the rest of the world. The word “prostitute” does not do justice to the Indian counterpart, because the Indian prostitute is really well versed in music, in dance — and India has so much variety. If you really want to learn the deeper layers of music, of singing, of dancing, you have to be with some famous prostitute.
There are famous families — they are called gharanas. Gharana means family. It is nothing to do with the ordinary family; it is the family of the master-disciple. So there are famous gharanas which have a certain way of their own. Presenting the same instrument, the same dance, different gharanas will produce it in different ways, with subtle nuances. So, if someone really wants to get into the world of music, he has to become part of some gharana — and that is not good company. According to a rich man it is certainly not a good company.
But the son was not interested in the company. Not following his father, he went to the music university. And his father disowned him — he was so angry. And because his father disowned him, and because he had no other ways — because the university was in a very remote mountaineous area where you cannot find any job or anything — he came back and had to become exactly what his father was predicting, just a school teacher.
His father called me and told me, “Look, it is just as I have said. My other sons — somebody is an engineer, somebody is a professor, but this idiot did not listen to me. I have disowned him; he will not inherit a single cent from me. And now he will remain in just the poorest profession — a school master.”
But my friend himself was immensely happy… not worried that he had been abandoned by his family, that he was going to live a poor man’s life, that he would not be receiving any inheritance. These things did not bother him; he was happy, “It is good they have done all this — now I can become part of some gharana. I was worried about them, that they would feel humiliated. But now they have abandoned me, and I am no longer part of them, I can become part of some gharana.”
Teaching in a school, he became part of a gharana, and is now one of the best musicians in India. It is not a question of his being one of the best musicians; what is important is that he became what he felt was his potential. And whenever you follow your potential, you always become the best. Whenever you go astray from the potential, you remain mediocre.
The whole society consists of mediocre people for the simple reason that nobody is what he was destined to be — he is something else. And whatever he will do, he cannot be the best, and he cannot feel a fulfillment; he cannot rejoice.
So the work of the parents is very delicate, and it is precious, because the whole life of the child depends on it. Don’t give any positive program — help him in every possible way that he wants.
For example, I used to climb trees. Now, there are a few trees which are safe to climb; their branches are strong, their trunk is strong. You can go even to the very top, and still there is no need to be afraid that a branch will break. But there are a few trees which are very soft. Because I used to climb on the trees to get mangoes, jamuns — another beautiful fruit — my family was very much worried, and they would always send somebody to prevent me.
I told my father, “Rather than preventing me, please explain to me which trees are dangerous — so that I can avoid them — and which trees are not dangerous, so that I can climb them.
“But if you try to prevent me from climbing, there is a danger: I may climb a wrong tree, and the responsibility will be yours. Climbing I am not going to stop, I love it.” It is really one of the most beautiful experiences to be on the top of the tree in the sun with the high wind, and the whole tree is dancing — a very nourishing experience.
I said, “I am not going to stop it. Your work is to tell me exactly which trees I should not climb — because I can fall from them, can have fractures, can damage my body. But don’t give me a blank order: `Stop climbing.’ That I am not going to do.” And he had to come with me and go around the town to show me which trees are dangerous. Then I asked him the second question, “Do you know any good climber in the city who can teach me even to climb the dangerous trees?”
He said, “You are too much! Now this is going too far. You had told me, I understood it…”
I said, “I will follow it, because I have myself proposed it. But the trees that you are saying are dangerous are irresistible, because JAMUN” — an Indian fruit — “grows on them. It is really delicious, and when it is ripe I may not be able to resist the temptation. You are my father, it is your duty… you must know somebody who can help me.”
He said, “If I had known that to be a father was going to be so difficult, I would have never been a father — at least of you! Yes, I know one man” — and he introduced me to an old man who was a rare climber, the best.
He was a woodcutter, and he was so old that you could not believe that he could do woodcutting. He did only rare jobs, which nobody else was ready to do… big trees which were spreading on the houses — he would cut off the branches. He was just an expert, and he did it without damaging their roots or the houses. First he would tie the branches to other branches with ropes. Then he would cut these branches and then with the ropes pull the other branches away from the house and let them fall on the ground.
And he was so old! But whenever there was some situation like that, when no other woodcutter was ready, he was ready. So my father told him, “Teach him something, particularly about trees which are dangerous, which can break.” Branches can break… and I had fallen already two, three times — I still carry the marks on my legs.
That old man looked at me and he said, “Nobody has ever come, particularly a father bringing a boy…! It is a dangerous thing, but if he loves it, I would love to teach him.” And he was teaching me how to manage to climb trees which were dangerous. He showed me all kinds of strategies of how to protect yourself: If you want to go high up the tree and you don’t want to fall onto the ground, then first tie yourself with a rope to a point where you feel the tree is strong enough, and then go up. If you fall, you will be hanging from the rope, but you will not fall to the ground. And that really helped me; since then I have not fallen!
The function of a father or a mother is great, because they are bringing a new guest into the world — who knows nothing, but who brings some potential in him. And unless his potential grows, he will remain unhappy.
No parents like to think of their children remaining unhappy; they want them to be happy. It is just that their thinking is wrong. They think if they become doctors, if they become professors, engineers, scientists, then they will be happy. They don’t know! They can only be happy if they become what they have come to become. They can only become the seed that they are carrying within themselves.
So help in every possible way to give freedom, to give opportunities. Ordinarily, if a child asks a mother anything, without even listening to the child, to what he is asking, the mother simply says no. “No” is an authoritative word; “yes” is not. So neither father nor mother or anybody else who is in authority wants to say yes — to any ordinary thing.
The child wants to play outside the house: “No!” The child wants to go out while it is raining and wants to dance in the rain: “No! You will get a cold.” A cold is not a cancer, but a child who has been prevented from dancing in the rain, and has never been able again to dance, has missed something great, something really beautiful. A cold would have been worthwhile — and it is not that he will necessarily have a cold. In fact the more you protect him, the more he becomes vulnerable. The more you allow him, the more he becomes immune.
Parents have to learn to say yes. In ninety-nine times when they ordinarily say no, it is for no other reason than simply to show authority. Everybody cannot become the president of the country, cannot have authority over millions of people. But everybody can become a husband, can have authority over his wife; every wife can become a mother, can have authority over the child; every child can have a teddy bear, and have authority over the teddy bear… kick him from this corner to the other corner, give him good slaps, slaps that he really wanted to give to the mother or to father. And the poor teddy bear has nobody below him.
This is an authoritarian society.
What I am saying is in creating children who have freedom, who have heard “yes” and have rarely heard “no”, the authoritarian society will disappear. We will have a more human society.
So it is not only a question of the children. Those children are going to become tomorrow’s society: the child is the father of man.
(Excerpted from: Beyond Psychology, Chapter-23, Q-1)
THE SEVEN YEAR CIRCLES OF LIFE
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You will have to understand some significant growth patterns. Life has seven-year circles, it moves in seven-year circles just as the earth makes one rotation on its axis in twenty-four hours. Now nobody knows why not twenty-five, why not twenty-three. There is no way to answer it; it is simply a fact.
The earth takes three hundred and sixty-five days to make one round of the sun. Why three hundred and sixty-five? Nobody knows, nobody needs to know. And it does not make any difference. If it were taking four hundred days, what difference would it have made to you? … or three hundred days …? The question would have remained the same: Why?
So remember one thing: any question is absurd if with every answer the question still remains standing the same. In twenty-four hours the earth makes one turn on its own axis. Why? Make it twenty-five, make it twenty-six, make it thirty, sixty — as much as you want — the question still stands the same: why? Hence I call the question absurd; it will always remain the same.
So don’t ask me why life moves in seven-year circles. I don’t know. This much I know, that it moves in seven-year circles. And if you understand those seven-year circles, you will understand a great deal about human growth.
The first seven years are the most important because the foundation of life is being laid. That’s why all the religions are very much concerned about grabbing children as quickly as possible.
The Jews will circumcise the child. What nonsense! But they are stamping the child as a Jew; that is a primitive way of stamping. You still do it on the cattle around here; I have seen stamps. Every owner stamps the cattle, otherwise they can get mixed up. It is a cruel thing. Red-hot steel has to be used to stamp the cattle’s leather, skin; it burns the skin. But then it becomes your possession; it cannot be lost, it cannot be stolen.
What is circumcision? It is stamping cattle. But these cattle are Jews.
Hindus have their own ways. All religions have their own ways. But it should be known whose cattle you are, who your shepherd is — Jesus? Moses? Mohammed? You are not your own master.
Those first seven years are the years when you are conditioned, stuffed with all kinds of ideas which will go on haunting you your whole life, which will go on distracting you from your potentiality, which will corrupt you, which will never allow you to see clearly. They will always come like clouds before your eyes, they will make everything confused.
Things are clear, very clear — existence is absolutely clear — but your eyes have layers upon layers of dust.
And all that dust has been arranged in the first seven years of your life when you were so innocent, so trusting, that whatsoever was told to you you accepted as truth. And whatsoever has gone into your foundation, later on it will be very difficult for you to find: it has become almost part of your blood, bones, your very marrow. You will ask a thousand other questions but you will never ask about the basic foundations of your belief.
The first expression of love towards the child is to leave his first seven years absolutely innocent, unconditioned, to leave him for seven years completely wild, a pagan.
He should not be converted to Hinduism, to Mohammedanism, to Christianity. Anybody who is trying to convert the child is not compassionate, he is cruel: he is contaminating the very soul of a new, fresh arrival. Before the child has even asked questions he has been answered with ready-made philosophies, dogmas, ideologies. This is a very strange situation. The child has not asked about God, and you go on teaching him about God. Why so much impatience? Wait!
If the child someday shows interest in God and starts asking about God, then try to tell him not only your idea of God — because nobody has any monopoly: put before him all the ideas of God that have been presented to different people by different ages, by different religions, cultures, civilizations.
Put before him all the ideas about God, and tell him, “You can choose between these, whichever appeals to you. Or you can invent your own, if nothing suits. If everything seems to be with a flaw, and you think you can have a better idea, then invent your own. Or if you find that there is no way to invent an idea without loopholes, then drop the whole thing; there is no need. A man can live without God; there is no intrinsic necessity.
“Millions of people have lived without God. God is nothing that is inevitably needed by you. Yes, I have my idea; that too is in the combination of all these ideals in this collection. You can choose that, but I am not saying that my idea is the right idea. It appeals to me; it may not appeal to you.”
There is no inner necessity that the son should agree with the father. In fact it seems far better that he should not agree. That’s how evolution happens. If every child agrees with the father then there will be no evolution, because the father will agree with his own father, so everybody will be where God left Adam and Eve — naked, outside the gate of the garden of Eden. Everybody will be there.
Because sons have disagreed with their fathers, forefathers, with their whole tradition, man has evolved.
This whole evolution is a tremendous disagreement with the past.
The more intelligent you are, the more you are going to disagree.
But parents appreciate the child who agrees; they condemn the child who disagrees.
It was the practice in my family to produce me in front of anybody to condemn me. Any visitor to the family, any guest of the family … and I would be called. And I knew for what, but I enjoyed it. I was called to be condemned: “And this boy is in disagreement with everything.” In Hindi there is a phrase for it: ultikhopdi — it means upside-down skull. So that was the phrase used for me.
I said, “It is true, but the reality is, I look upside down to all these people because they are standing on their heads. They are doing yoga asanas, shirshasana — headstand posture. I am simply standing on my feet. I am the only one here who does not believe in any kind of nonsense. They are right, because to them it must appear that I am standing upside down. And they are in the majority — perhaps you also belong to them.
“But this is the usual procedure: they don’t answer my questions, they only condemn my disagreement. Now this is inhuman. If you answer my question, and still I disagree, then certainly I am stubborn. But have you answered a single question of mine? Have you satisfied me? Have you any right to condemn me because I disagree?”
In India, at the end of the monsoon there is a festival of lights, diwali, when the whole country becomes very festive and every house has thousands of small earthen lamps decorating all the walls, balconies. The whole town becomes a fairyland, the whole country turns into a fairyland, with firecrackers and great rejoicing. That day they worship money.
The goddess of money is Laxmi. Laxmi is the wife of the Hindu god, Narayana, and of course a god’s wife should be the goddess of wealth. In fact one of the Indian words for god, iswar, means “one who has all the wealth of the world.” His wife is the goddess of wealth. And on the night of the festival of lights they worship money.
Before paper currency came into being they used to make a pile of silver rupees and worship them. Now they put paper money and worship it. Before silver rupees there were golden rupees. The word rupee simply means gold; it comes from Sanskrit. It is an Indian word … because in the beginning the coin was gold, pure gold, so the word rupia, which became in English, rupee, was meaningful.
They used to worship gold, then came silver, then came paper currency. And they went on … the question is of worshiping money. I never participated in their worship. I simply hated the whole idea and I told them, “This is one of the ugliest things you can do. Money is something to be used, not worshipped. On the one hand your religions teach that money is nothing but dust. On the one hand it is dust, on the other hand it becomes a goddess. And you cannot see your split mind?
“On the one hand you praise a man as a sage if he renounces money; then he becomes synonymous with God because he renounced money and everything. And on the other hand you worship money. Can you in some way help me to understand? Is there not a clear-cut contradiction?
“If money is God’s wife then in the first place the person who renounces God’s wife is a criminal. In the first place why did he possess God’s wife? — that seems to be absolutely illegal. He should be caught and imprisoned. In the first place was he pretending to be God’s wife’s husband?”
My father would say, “You just keep quiet; at least let us finish our worship.”
I would say, “No, first I want my answer.”
And I had a big stool in my house — they used to use it as a ladder for taking things up or down — so wherever they would be worshiping, in the main hall of the house, I would sit on that stool. And they would say, “At least please come down. You are sitting on that stool.”
I said, “No, I want my answers. I see so much stupidity in it, because I have seen you touching people’s feet who have renounced money. Then you tell me that this man is great, a sage: he has kicked all that is thought to be valuable and that needs courage and guts. But what are you doing? If that man is right to renounce all this money, at least stop worshiping it. And you have to answer me; otherwise my disagreement continues.”
My mother would say to me, “On such days you should be out of the house because you don’t know — if the goddess Laxmi becomes angry we will all starve and be hungry and die poor.”
I said, “I have been doing this year after year, sitting on my stool. I don’t see that your goddess can do anything. If she can, I challenge her — let her, because at least that will give me some answer.” And when they were all finished with their worship I would go and kick their rupees, and spit on their rupees, and I would say, “Now this is what I wanted to do; now let us see who is rewarded.” They could not prevent me, although they tried hard.
I said, “You cannot prevent me. I will do what I want to do, unless you prove me wrong. And you call me in front of everybody saying that I am in disagreement about everything. I have to be in disagreement about everything, for the simple reason that you go on doing things that any intelligent person would see the contradiction in.”
For example, in India, if somebody has smallpox it is not thought to be a physical disease. Smallpox is called in India, mata; mata means mother goddess. And in every town there is a temple for the mother goddess, or many temples … the mother goddess is angry, that’s why poor little children are suffering from smallpox.
People like Mahatma Gandhi were against vaccination because it was unnatural. Smallpox is natural. It destroys so many beautiful children’s faces, their eyes, and it kills many. And the prophet of non-violence was against vaccination because he was against anything scientific — and moreover it was thought the disease is not a physiological disease, it is a spiritual anger.
One of my sisters died of smallpox, and I was very angry because I loved that sister more than any of my brothers or my sisters. I told them, “You have killed her. I have been telling you that she needs vaccination.
“I have suffered from smallpox, but at that time I could not say anything to you; I don’t even remember it, it happened just in my first year. And every child suffers. When this girl was born I was insisting that she should be vaccinated. But you are all followers of Mahatma Gandhi: Vaccination is against nature. And to prevent … the anger of the mother goddess will be dangerous. It will come in some other form.”
And when the girl became sick with smallpox they were doing both things: they were taking medicine from the doctor and they were continuously going to worship the mother goddess.
I said, “Then please do one thing at least; either take the medicine, or go and worship your mother. But you are being cunning; you are even deceiving the mother goddess. I am honest, I spit on your mother goddess every day” — because I used to go to the river and the temple was just on the way so there was no harm; coming and going I would spit.
And I said, “Whatsoever you do … but it is strange — I am spitting, I should suffer. Why should she suffer? And I cannot understand that the mother goddess becomes angry and small children suffer — who have not committed any crime, who have just arrived, who have not had time enough to do anything, nor are capable of doing anything. Others should suffer, but they are not suffering.
“And mother goddess you call her! You should call her a witch, because what kind of mother is she who makes small children suffer? And then you are cunning. You are also not certain; otherwise don’t take the medicine. Throw all the medicines; depend completely on your mother goddess. There too you are afraid. You are trying to ride on two horses. This is sheer stupidity. Either depend on the mother and let the girl die, or depend on the medicine, and forget about that mother.”
They would say, “We can understand that there is a contradiction, but please don’t bring it to our notice, because it hurts.”
I said, “Do you think it hurts only you, and it does not hurt me seeing my parents being stupid, silly? It does not hurt me? It hurts me more. There is still time, you can change; but on the contrary, you are trying to change me, and you call it help. You think without your help I am going to be lost. Please let me be lost. At least I will have one satisfaction, that nobody else is responsible for my being lost; it is my own doing. I will be proud of it.”
Up to seven years, if a child can be left innocent, uncorrupted by the ideas of others, then to distract him from his potential growth becomes impossible. The child’s first seven years are the most vulnerable. And they are in the hands of parents, teachers, priests ….
How to save children from parents, priests, teachers is a question of such enormous proportion that it seems almost impossible to find how to do it.
It is not a question of helping the child.
It is a question of protecting the child.
If you have a child, protect the child from yourself. Protect the child from others who can influence him: at least up to seven years, protect him.
The child is just like a small plant, weak, soft: just a strong wind can destroy it, any animal can eat it up. You put a protective wiring around it, but that is not imprisoning, you are simply protecting. When the plant is bigger, the wires will be removed.
Protect the child from every kind of influence so that he can remain himself — and it is only a question of seven years, because then the first circle will be complete. By seven years he will be well-grounded, centered, strong enough.
You don’t know how strong a seven-year-old child can be because you have not seen uncorrupted children, you have seen only corrupted children. They carry the fears, the cowardliness, of their fathers, mothers, their families. They are not their own selves.
If a child remains uncorrupted for seven years …. You will be surprised to meet such a child. He will be as sharp as a sword. His eyes will be clear, his insight will be clear. And you will see a tremendous strength in him which you cannot find even in a seventy-year-old adult, because the foundations are shaky. So in fact as the building goes on becoming higher and higher, the more and more shaky it becomes.
So you will see, the older a person becomes, the more afraid. When he is young he may be an atheist; when he becomes old he starts believing in God. Why is that?
When he is below thirty he is a hippie. He has courage to go against the society, to behave in his own way: to have long hair, to have a beard, to roam around the world, to take all kinds of risks. But by the time he is forty, all that has disappeared. You will see him in some office in a gray suit, clean shaven, well groomed. You will not even be able to recognize that he is an ex-hippie.
Where have all the hippies disappeared to? Suddenly you see them with a great force; then, just like used bullet cases, empty cartridges, impotent, defeated, depressed — trying to make something out of life, feeling that all those years of hippiedom were a wastage. Others have gone far ahead; somebody has become the president, somebody has become the governor, and “we were stupid; we were just playing the guitar and the whole world passed us by.” They repent.
It is really difficult to find an old hippie. Just one I have found; that is Bapuji, Sheela’s father. He will die a hippie. At his age — he must be near about seventy — he was living with hippies in northern New York State. Some photographer took a photograph of him; he was sitting naked on a hill … snow, ice, all around. And he was sitting naked there. Somebody took his photo, and those photos have been coming to me. People think Bapuji is me!
It is printed now, because he looks really beautiful — naked, sitting on the top. The sun is rising, and all around snow, and he is looking really beautiful. Many people who have found that photo — it is a postcard now — go on sending it to me saying, “Osho, it was a surprise to find you sitting here.”
I told Sheela, “Tell Bapuji, `don’t do such things, because nobody knows you.'” But he will die a hippie.
He brought all his children to me, which no father has done except him. It was he who brought Sheela to me … forcibly, because she was not interested. But he is not a man to listen to anybody. He said, “Once, you have to come; twice I will not ask, then it is your business. But once I have to force you because you don’t know what you are refusing. So forgive me for forcing you, but one time I have to force you.”
He brought all his children by and by, and almost all his children are now sannyasins. And once Sheela came she never left me. He asked Sheela, teased her, “Now what about going back to America?”
She said, “I am not going anywhere.”
“But,” Bapuji said, “I had brought you just to meet him, not to stay.”
Sheela said, “But I have to — this is the place I have been searching for.”
He said, “I am happy because I have brought you to the right place: now I am freed of my responsibility. Now whatsoever becomes of you, it will be right.”
If you are a parent you will need this much courage — not to interfere. Open doors of unknown directions to the child so he can explore. He does not know what he has in him, nobody knows.
He has to grope in the dark. Don’t make him afraid of darkness, don’t make him afraid of failure, don’t make him afraid of the unknown. Give him support. When he is going on an unknown journey, send him with all your support, with all your love, with all your blessings.
Don’t let him be affected by your fears.
You may have fears, but keep them to yourself. Don’t unload those fears on the child because that will be interfering.
After seven years, the next circle of seven years, from seven to fourteen, is a new addition to life: the child’s first stirring of sexual energies. But they are only a kind of rehearsal.
To be a parent is a difficult job, so unless you are ready to take that difficult job, don’t become a parent. People simply go on becoming fathers and mothers not knowing what they are doing. You are bringing a life into existence; all the care in the world will be needed.
Now when the child starts playing his sexual rehearsals, that is the time when parents interfere the most, because they have been interfered with. All that they know is what has been done to them, so they simply go on doing that to their children.
Societies don’t allow sexual rehearsal, at least have not allowed it up to this century — only within the last two, three decades, and that too only in very advanced countries. Now children are having co-education. But in a country like India, even now co-education starts only at the university level.
The seven-year-old boy and the seven-year-old girl cannot be in the same boarding school. And this is the time for them — without any risk, without the girl getting pregnant, without any problems arising for their families — this is the time when they should be allowed all playfulness.
Yes, it will have a sexual color to it, but it is rehearsal; it is not the real drama. And if you don’t allow them even the rehearsal and then suddenly one day the curtain opens, and the real drama starts …. And those people don’t know what is going on; even a prompter is not there to tell them what to do. You have messed up their life completely.
Those seven years, the second circle in life, is significant as a rehearsal. They will meet, mix, play, become acquainted. And that will help humanity to drop almost ninety percent of perversions.
If the children from seven to fourteen are allowed to be together; to swim together, to be naked before each other, ninety percent of perversions and ninety percent of pornography will simply disappear. Who will bother about it?
When a boy has known so many girls naked, what interest can a magazine like PLAYBOY have for him? When a girl has seen so many boys naked, I don’t see that there is any possibility of curiosity about the other; it will simply disappear. They will grow together naturally, not as two different species of animals.
Right now that’s how they grow: two different species of animals. They don’t belong to one mankind; they are kept separate. A thousand and one barriers are created between them so they cannot have any rehearsal of their sexual life which is going to come.
Because this rehearsal is missing, that’s why in people’s actual sex life foreplay is missing; and foreplay is so important — far more important than actual sexual contact, because actual sexual contact lasts only for seconds. It is not nourishment. It simply leaves you in a limbo. You were hoping for so much, and nothing comes out of it.
In Hindi we have a proverb: kheelapahadniklichuhia. `You dug out the whole mountain and you found one rat.’ After all the effort — going to the movies and going to the disco and going to the restaurant, and talking all kinds on nonsense which neither you want nor the other wants to do, but both are talking — digging the mountain, and in the end, just a rat! Nothing is so frustrating as sex.
Just the other day Vivek brought me one advertisement about a new car, Lagonda; in the advertisement they had a beautiful sentence that I liked. The sentence is: “It is better than sex.” I don’t care about the car — the advertisement is beautiful. Certainly if you look around you, you will find a thousand and one things better than sex. Sex is just a rat, and that too after so much huffing and puffing, so much perspiration … and in the end both feel cheated.
The reason is that you don’t know the art of sex; you know only the middle point. It is as if you see a film just in the middle for a few seconds. Naturally you can’t make any sense of it; the beginning is missing, the end is missing. Perhaps you simply saw the interval … where there was nothing.
Man feels ashamed after sex; he turns over and goes to sleep. He simply cannot face the woman. He feels ashamed, that’s why he turns to his side and goes to sleep. The woman weeps and cries because this was not what she was hoping for. This is all? Then what is this whole drama all about? But the reason is because the rehearsal part in your life has been canceled by your society. You don’t know what foreplay is.
Foreplay is really the most satisfying part in sex. Foreplay is more loving. Sex is simply a biological climax, but the climax of what? — you have missed everything that could have made it a climax. Do you think you suddenly reach to the climax, missing all the rungs of the ladder? You have to move up the ladder, rung by rung, only then can you reach the climax. Everybody wants the climax.
Now the foolish psychoanalysts and their kind have put an idea in people’s minds of orgasm. Now, orgasm is even a higher stage than climax; it needs much more than climax. People are missing climax — their sexual life is nothing but a kind of relief. Yes, for a moment you feel relieved of a burden, just like a good sneeze. How good it feels afterwards! — but for how long? How long can you feel good after a sneeze? How many seconds, how many minutes can you brag that “I had such a sneeze, it was great.” As the sneeze is gone, with it goes all the joy too.
It was simply something bothering you. You are finished with that botheration, there is a little relaxation. That’s the sexual life of most of the people in the world. Some energy was bothering you, was making you heavy; it was turning into a headache. Sex gives you a relief.
But the way children are brought up is almost butchering their whole life. Those seven years of sexual rehearsal are absolutely essential. Girls and boys should be together in schools, in hostels, in swimming pools and beds. They should rehearse for the life which is going to come; they have to get ready for it. And there is no danger, there is no problem, if a child is given total freedom about his growing sexual energy and is not condemned, repressed — which is being donenow.
A very strange world it is in which you are living. You are born of sex, you will live for sex, your children will be born out of sex — and sex is the most condemned thing, the greatesta sin.?And all the religions go on putting this crap in your mind. They have made you almost brown bags.
Only in New Jersey did I come to know what brown bags are. Strange, I don’t know whether it happens all over America or only in New Jersey because I have not seen anything else, only New Jersey. In New Jersey when I used to go to drive in the morning, everybody was coming with a brown bag full of all crap, putting it by the side of the road.
I enquired, “What is the matter? Couldn’t they have found any other color? A brown bag?” But then I thought perhaps that’s exactly right. Most of the people are simply brown bags. Never open anybody.
It happened in my childhood: India became independent but the British government had left some Indian states. India was in two separate sections; only one was under British rule. There were small pockets all over India of Indian states which were still ruled by Indian kings. They were under British government — their foreign policy was ruled by the British government, but otherwise in their internal policy they were completely free.
When the Britishers left India they left it in a mess, in a real mess. First, they divided India and Pakistan; second they left the Indian states absolutely in a limbo, without making any decision about them. The idea was to create a chaos, and they had already created a chaos because there were so many Indian states. Now the question was, were they independent nations? Were they part of India and would their foreign policy be ruled by India, or were they part of Pakistan and would their foreign policy be ruled by Pakistan?
Nothing was decided, the whole question was not decided. And the Indian states constituted almost half of India. The trouble was more complicated because in some Indian states the major population was Hindu and the king was Mohammedan; in some Indian states the major population was Mohammedan and the king was Hindu. Kashmir was ninety percent Mohammedan, but the king was Hindu. Hyderabad was ninety percent Hindu, but the king was Mohammedan.
Just close to my town, beyond the river, was a small state, Bhopal. The king was Mohammedan, the population was Hindu, so everywhere there were riots because the population wanted the state to merge with India, and the king wanted to merge it with Pakistan because he was Mohammedan. But it was in the middle of India so it was not easy to merge with Pakistan. There was a great fight between the king’s forces and the population, and we were just on the other side of the river. We could see from this side people being killed on the other side.
We caught four dead people who were killed by the forces of the king; somehow they must have fallen in the river, and they came to our side so we caught hold of them. Naturally, I had to persuade people, “This is not good. They have been fighting for the freedom of the country; they wanted the country to merge into India — you should not leave them like that.”
They wanted to throw them into the river and be finished: who could be bothered with them? But somehow I gathered a few young people, and then a few old people felt ashamed and they came.
But first, before we could do anything they had to be postmortemed, so we took them to the hospital. The postmortem place was almost two furlongs away behind the hospital, in the jungle. One can understand that they were cutting up bodies … the smell and everything, so they had made the place that far away outside the city. But we had to carry these four corpses.
That was the first time I saw a brown bag open. The doctor was the father of one of my friends so he allowed me in. He said, “You can see how man looks inside,” and he opened the bodies. It was really shocking to see how man looks inside. And this was only the body: later on I saw the postmortem of the mind also. Compared to that it is nothing, this is only the poor body. Your mind is so rich in crap ….
That day one thing happened that I have to tell you, although it is not concerned with what I was going to tell you — but it must be concerned in some way, otherwise why should I remember it?
When we were carrying out the bodies after they were postmortemed …. They put them together again and covered them. One of the leaders of my town, ShriNathBatt, had always felt as if I was his enemy, for the simple reason that I was a friend of his son and he thought I was corrupting him — and in a way he was right. By chance it happened that we were carrying a corpse together; I was ahead, holding both the poles at the front of the stretcher, and ShriNathBatt was behind me holding the end of the two poles.
The head of the man, the dead man, was at my end, and the legs at his end. I had just read somewhere that when a man dies of course he loses all control — control over the bladder also, so if you put his head upwards and his legs downwards …. I thought, “This is a good chance to see whether that idea is right or wrong,” so I just raised the poles …. And you should have seen what happened — because that corpse pissed and ShriNathBatt ran away!
And we could not persuade him to come back. He said, “I cannot. Have you ever heard of a dead man pissing? It is a ghost!”
I told him, “You are the leader.”
He said, “To hell with the leader! I don’t want to be the leader if this is the kind of work I have to do. And I’ve always known you — from the very beginning. Why did you raise those poles?”
I said, “I don’t know, it must have been the ghost. I suddenly felt like somebody was raising my hands up; I am not at all responsible.” I had to drag that body alone, for two furlongs, to the hospital.
ShriNathBatt was in the town telling everybody, “This boy is going to kill somebody someday. Today just by God’s grace I am saved. That ghost just pissed over me, on my clothes. And that boy persuaded me: `You have to come because you are the leader; otherwise what will people think? — a leader in times of need, missing. Then remember, at voting time I will not be of any help.’ So I went there, but I never thought that he would do such a thing to me.”
These people all around the world are really brown bags, full of everything rotten that you can conceive, for the simple reason that they have not been allowed to grow in the natural way. They have not been allowed to accept themselves. They all have become ghosts. They are not authentically real people, they are only shadows of someone they could have been; they are only shadows.
The second circle of seven years is immensely important because it will prepare you for the coming seven years. If you have done the homework rightly, if you have played with your sexual energy just in the spirit of a sportsman — and at that time, that is the only spirit you will have — you will not become a pervert, a homosexual.
All kinds of strange things will not come to your mind because you are moving naturally with the other sex, the other sex is moving with you; there is no hindrance, and you are not doing anything wrong against anybody. Your conscience is clear because nobody has put into your conscience ideas of what is right, what is wrong: you are simply being whatever you are.
Then from fourteen to twenty-one your sex matures. And this is significant to understand: if the rehearsal has gone well, in the seven years when your sex matures a very strange thing happens that you may not have ever thought about, because you have not been given the chance. I said to you that the second seven years, from seven to fourteen, give you a glimpse of foreplay. The third seven years give you a glimpse of afterplay. You are still together with girls or boys, but now a new phase starts in your being: you start falling in love.
It is still not a biological interest. You are not interested in producing children, you are not interested in becoming husbands and wives, no. These are the years of romantic play. You are more interested in beauty, in love, in poetry, in sculpture — which are all different phases of romanticism. And unless a man has some romantic quality he will never know what afterplay is. Sex is just in the middle.
The longer the foreplay, the better the possibility of reaching the climax; the better the possibility of reaching the climax, the better opening for afterplay. And unless a couple knows afterplay they will never know what sex in its completion is.
Now there are sexologists who are teaching foreplay. A taught foreplay is not the real thing, but they are teaching it — at least they have recognized the fact that without foreplay sex cannot reach the climax. But they are at a loss how to teach afterplay because when a person has reached the climax he is no longer interested: he is finished, the job is done. For that it needs a romantic mind, a poetic mind, a mind that knows how to be thankful, how to be grateful.
The person, the woman or the man who has brought you to such a climax, needs some gratitude — afterplay is your gratitude. And unless there is afterplay it simply means your sex is incomplete; and incomplete sex is the cause of all the troubles that man goes through.
Sex can become orgasmic only when afterplay and foreplay are completely balanced. Just in their balance the climax turns into orgasm.
And the word “orgasm” has to be understood.
It means that your whole being — body, mind, soul, everything — becomes involved, organically involved.
Then it becomes a moment of meditation.
To me, if your sex does not become finally a moment of meditation, you have not known what sex is. You have only heard about it, you have read about it; and the people who have been writing about it know nothing about it.
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(Excerpted from: From Darkness To Light, Chap-3, Q-1)

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I have read hundreds of books on sexology by people who are thought to be great experts, and they are experts, but they know nothing about the innermost shrine where meditation blossoms.
Just as children are born by ordinary sex, meditation is born by extraordinary sex.
Animals can produce children; there is nothing special about it. It is only man who can produce the experience of meditation as the center of his orgasmic feeling. This is possible only if from fourteen to twenty-one young people are allowed to have romantic freedom.
From twenty-one to twenty-eight is the time when they can settle. They can choose a partner. And they are capable of choosing now; through all the experience of the past two circles they can choose the right partner. There is nobody else who can do it for you. It is something that is more like a hunch — not arithmetic, not astrology, not palmistry, not I-Ching, nothing is going to do.
It is a hunch: coming in contact with many, many people suddenly something clicks which had never clicked with anybody else. And it clicks with so much certainty and so absolutely, that you cannot even doubt it. Even if you try to doubt it, you cannot, the certainty is so tremendous. With this click you settle.
Between twenty-one and twenty-eight somewhere, if everything goes smoothly the way I am saying, without interference from others, then you settle. And the most pleasant period of life comes from twenty-eight to thirty-five — the most joyous, the most peaceful and harmonious because two persons start melting and merging into each other.
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(Excerpted from: Darkness to Light, Chap-3, Q-1)
BELOVED OSHO,
WHAT I FIND REALLY AMAZING ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD IS THAT, UNLIKE MOST OF US AS CHILDREN, YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN INTRINSIC AND UNDENIABLE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOUR PARENTS’ INTERPRETATION OF REALITY AND YOUR EXPERIENCE OF REALITY WERE OFTEN TWO DIFFERENT THINGS. YOU INSIST THAT YOU ARE NO DIFFERENT FROM US, YET THIS FACET OF YOUR CHILDHOOD ALONE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH EVIDENCE THAT YOU HOUSE THE MOST UNIQUE SORT OF INTELLIGENCE.
I WOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR COMMENT.
Every child understands that he sees the world in a different way than his parents. As far as seeing is concerned, it is absolutely certain. His values are different. He may collect sea shells on the beach and the parents will say, “Throw them away. Why are you wasting your time?” And for him they were so beautiful. He can see the difference; he can see that their values are different. The parents are running after money — he wants to collect butterflies. He can’t see why you are so interested in money; what you are going to do with it? His parents cannot see what he is going to do with these butterflies, or these flowers.
Every child comes to know this, that there are differences. The only question is: he is afraid to assert that he is right. As far as he is concerned, he should be left alone. It is a question of just a little courage, which is also not missing in children. But the whole society is managed in such a way that even a beautiful quality like courage in a child will be condemned.
I was not willing to bow down in the temple to a stone statue. And I said to them, “If you want, you can force me. You have more physical force than me. I am small; you can force me, but remember you are doing an ugly act. It will not be my prayer, and it will destroy even your prayer, because you are doing violence to a little child who cannot resist physically.”
One day while they were inside praying in the temple, I climbed on the top of the temple, which was dangerous. Only once a year a painter used to climb it, but I had seen the painter and how he had managed. He had put nails at the backside as steps. I followed him and I was sitting on the top of the temple. When they came out they saw me sitting there and they said, “What are you doing there? In the first place, do you want to commit suicide?”
I said, “No, I simply want to make you alert that if you force me, I can do anything that is within my power. This is the answer, for you to remember that you cannot force me to do anything.”
They begged me, “Be quiet. We will arrange for somebody to bring you down.”
I said, “Don’t be worried. If I can come up, I can come down.” They had no idea about those nails. I had been particularly watching the painter, how he manages, because everybody wondered — that this painter was really great. He was painting all the temples.
I came down. They said, “We will never force you about anything, but don’t do such a thing! You could have killed yourself.”
I said, “The responsibility would have been on you.”
It is not a question that intelligence is not in the children. It is that they just don’t use their assertiveness because it is condemned by everybody. Now, everybody condemned my family because I had gone up on top of the temple — that means beyond their god. That They thought it was insulting to their god. And I said, “If a painter can go… And do you know the painter is a Mohammedan? I am at least not a Mohammedan yet.”
My father said, “What do you mean, that you are not a Mohammedan yet?”
I said, “Exactly what I have said. If you torture me too much I can become a Mohammedan.”
I had even asked the malvi of the mosque nearby, “Are you willing to initiate me into Mohammedanism?”
He said, “You want to be initiated? Your parents… There will be trouble in the town.”
I said, “Don’t be worried, because you are not forcing me. I am accepting Mohammedanism. I will stand in front of the mosque and tell my parents and to the whole town that I have not been forced.”
He said, “This is dangerous. It may create a riot in the city and a few people may be killed.”
I said, “Don’t be worried, I am not going to be a Mohammedan. You just remember, if my father asks you, you say to him, `Yes, he has come, and if he wants to become a Mohammedan we cannot refuse.’ I am not going to come, but this much you have to tell him.”
And my father asked him, “Has he come to you?”
He said, “He has come, and he is very insistent.”
My father said, “It is better to leave him alone!
They had a meeting of the whole family, “Leave him alone; he is really dangerous. If he becomes a Mohammedan we will be condemned by the whole city. And he really has gone, and he is insisting, `If anything happens again to force me, then I am going to change my religion.'”
That was the last straw! After that they remained silent; they never told me to come to the temple. I never went to the temple. Slowly they learned one thing, that I am not dangerous, just they should not force me into a corner.
Each child has to be assertive, that’s the only thing. And what is there to lose? But children are so dependent, and I don’t see that they have to be so dependent. They told me many times, “We will stop giving you food.”
I said, “You do it. I can start begging — in this very city. I have to survive, I have to do something. You can stop giving me food, but you cannot stop me from begging. Begging is everybody’s birthright.”
There is not any difference of intelligence, but I see differences of assertiveness because children who are obedient are honored.
In my family, my other brothers would be called when some guests would be there; my uncles would be called, “He has come first class. He has come this, he has done this…”
And I would introduce myself, “I have done nothing, and all these people are just at a loss what to do with me. They never wanted me to be introduced to you, so I thought I should introduce myself!”
This happened… One member of parliament was visiting the house — he was a friend of my father. They were introducing everybody, and I was not called; I was simply ignored. When I came in and I introduced myself to him he said, “But this is strange. Nobody called you.”
I said, “Nothing is strange. These are all obedient people. I am disobedient — and you will have some taste of it soon.”
And my father said, “Leave him alone. Why should he have a taste?”
I said, “He is going to speak in my school” — I was in the ninth class — “he is going to address my high school, and I am going to create trouble. I am just informing him beforehand that I am going to ask questions, and he should not think that because he is a great orator and a parliamentarian that I will be impressed by these things. Nothing impresses me.”
My father told him, “You be aware of him. He will ask something, something that you cannot answer, because he is continuously harassing us. He will never ask anything that you can answer, and he has a capacity for finding… how he finds, we don’t know. He asks questions that you cannot answer, and in a public meeting where you are addressing hundreds of people he can make you look a fool.”
That man became really afraid. He asked me, “It will be good if you come with me, in the car” — just to persuade me not to create any trouble.
I said, “Nothing will help. I can come in your car that will simply shock my headmaster, my masters, and the whole school. But there is no way of giving me any bribe.”
He said, “You look to be so strong… at this age?”
I said, “I am not strong, I simply ask simple questions and I want their answers. When you come to address the school, I have every right to ask you a few things. You are continually asking in the parliament: I see your name in the newspapers everyday — questions to the prime minister, to this minister, to that minister — you should not be so much afraid of a small child. What can I ask?”
But he said, “Your father is so afraid, and we have been colleagues, we have studied together; I trust in his judgment. And you also look dangerous.”
We went to the school. He started speaking; I stood up and asked him, “Be honest and tell everybody, why have you brought me in your car? Just be sincere!”
And he said, “Your father was right. You ask questions which cannot be answered.”
I said, “This is a simple question. If you cannot answer it I can answer. You know the answer, I know the answer, I want everybody else also to know the answer.”
My principal tried to settle the matter saying, “You sit down. He is our guest, and much depends on him for grants and this…”
I said, “That is not my business. I am not the principal of this school, I am simply a student. And I am not asking a very complicated question or any question which is dangerous to the security of the country or anything. I am just asking him why he has brought me in his car. If he accepts it sincerely I will not ask another question.”
He said, “I am sorry, but it is true. What he is saying is right — it was a bribe. I thought that sitting in my car he would feel good and he would not harass me.” But he looked so embarrassed saying such small things. When I came back home, my father said, “Did you create any trouble?”
I said, “I did not create any trouble, he himself created it. He asked me to sit in his car. I was going myself, walking to the school. He created the trouble.”
Each child, if supported by the parents to be courageous, has the intelligence to make clear that his values are different, his perceptions are different. But nobody supports, everybody tries to repress the child. The only difference you can make is in that… To me anything that was repressive was a challenge. Then I was provoked to do something — and they had to learn the lesson.
So the next time I was the first to be called to be introduced, because they knew that I would come by myself and then it would become more difficult. It was better to introduce me. But they had nothing to say about me — what to say about me?
So I told them, “You can say exactly the truth: `He is disobedient; he is a problem. He is continuously creating trouble for the family, for the neighborhood, for the whole town — teachers, students. And the whole day we are tired of listening to complaints coming…’ You can simply introduce me the way I am. Why are you so afraid, when I am not afraid? These are true things.”
A situation was created that instead of my being afraid, my whole family was afraid of me. And each child can do that… just a little courage. One day my father said, “You have to be back in the house before nine o’clock in the night.”
I said, “If I don’t come — then?”
He said, “Then the doors will not be open.”
I said, “Then keep your doors closed. I will not even knock on the doors, and I am not going to come before nine. I will sit outside, and tell everybody! Whoever will be passing, they will ask, `Why are you sitting in darkness in this cold night?’ And I will tell them, `This is the situation…'”
He said, “That means you will create trouble for me.”
I said, “I am not creating it. You are giving this order. I have never thought about it, but when you say, `Nine is the deadline,’ then I cannot come before nine. It simply is against my intelligence. And I am not doing anything; I will be simply sitting outside. And if somebody asks, `Why are you sitting…?’ And anybody is going to ask. If you are sitting in the road, everybody who will be passing is going to ask, `Why are you sitting here in the cold?’ Then I will have to explain, `This is the situation…'”
He said, “Forget about that limit. You come whenever you want.”
And I said, “I am not going to knock. The doors have to remain open. Why should the doors be closed — just to harass me? There is no reason to close the doors.” In my part of India the town is awake up to twelve, because it is so hot that only after twelve it starts cooling down. So people remain awake, work continues. The day is so hot that they may rest in the day and work in the night. I said, “There is no reason to close the doors when you are sitting inside and working. Leave the doors open. Why should I knock?”
He said, “Okay, the doors will remain open. It was my fault to say to you, `Come before nine,’ because everybody comes before nine.’
I said, “I am not everybody. If it is suitable for them to come before nine they can come. If it is suitable for me, I will come. But don’t cut my freedom, don’t destroy my individuality. Just let me be myself.”
It is a simple question of asserting yourself against those who have power. But you have subtle powers that you can use against them. For example, if I said, “I will simply sit in the road,” I am also using power. If I am sitting on top of the temple, I am also using power. If they can threaten me, I can also threaten them. But children simply fall in line just to be respectable, just to be obedient, just to be on the right path. And the right path means whatsoever their parents are showing them.
You are right, I was a little different. But I don’t think it is any superiority, just a little bit of difference. And once I learned the art, then I refined it. Once I knew how to fight with people who have power — and you don’t have — then I refined it, and managed perfectly well. I always found out some way. And they were always surprised because they thought, “Now he cannot do anything against this” — because they were always thinking rationally.
I have no devotion to reason.
My devotion is basically towards freedom.
By what means it is achieved does not matter. Every means becomes good if it brings freedom to you, individuality to you, and you are not enslaved. The children just don’t have the idea. They think that their parents are doing everything good for them.
I always made it clear to them, “I don’t suspect your intentions, and I hope you don’t suspect my intentions either. But there are things on which we disagree. Do you want me to agree on everything with you? — whether you are right or wrong? Are you absolutely certain, that you are right? If you are not so absolutely certain, then give me the freedom to decide for myself. At least I will have the pleasure of going wrong on my own decision, and I will not make you feel guilty and responsible.”
One just has to be alert about one thing: whatsoever your parents say, they cannot do. They cannot harm you, they cannot kill you, they can only threaten you. Once you know they can only threaten you, their threats don’t make any difference; you can also threaten them. And you can threaten them in such a way that they will have to accept your right to choose what you want to do.
I made it absolutely clear to them, “If you can convince me that what you are saying is right, I will do it. But if you cannot convince me then please don’t dictate. Then you are teaching me to be a fascist; you are not helping me to be a liberated man, but somebody imprisoned.”
So there are differences, but nothing that is special or superior. And children can be taught; they all can do the same, because I have tried that too, even in my childhood. Students were puzzled: I harassed the teachers, I harassed the principal, and still they could not do anything against me. And they would do something wrong and immediately they were in trouble. They started asking me, “What is the secret?”
I said, “There is no secret. You have to be very clear that you are right and that you have a reason to support it. Then whoever is against you will see. Whether he is a teacher or the principal does not matter.”
One of my teachers went in great anger into the office of the principal and fined me ten rupees for my misbehavior. I just went behind him, and while he was fining me I was standing by his side. As he moved away, with the same pen I fined him twenty rupees for his misbehavior.
He said, “What are you doing? That register is for teachers to fine the students.”
I asked, “Where is it written? In this register, nowhere is it written that only teachers can fine the students. I think this register is to fine anybody who misbehaves. If there is anywhere else where it is written, I would like to see it.”
Meanwhile the principal came in. He said, “What is the matter?”
And the teacher said, “He has spoiled the register. He has fined me twenty rupees for misbehavior.”
The principal said, “That is not right.”
I said, “Do you have any written document that says that no student can fine a teacher, even if the teacher is misbehaving?”
The principal said, “This is a difficult matter. We don’t have any document, it is just a convention that teachers punish.”
I said, “It has to be changed. Punishment is perfectly right, but it should not be one sided. I will pay those ten rupees only if this man pays twenty rupees.” Because the principal could not ask him for twenty rupees, he could not ask me for those ten rupees, and the fine is still there! When after a few years I visited the school, he showed me, “Your fine is still there.”
I said, “Leave it there for other students to know.”
One just has to find ways…!
So there must be some difference, but it is not of superiority. It is just a question of using your courage, your intelligence, and risking. What is the danger? What could those people have destroyed? At the most they could have failed me in their class — of which they were afraid, because that meant I would be again in their class the next year! — so it was really favorable to me. They wanted to get rid of me as quickly as possible. That was the only power in the teacher’s hands, to fail a student.
I had made it clear to every teacher, “You can fail me, it doesn’t matter. Whether I pass a class in two years or three years does not matter. This whole life is so useless — somewhere I have to pass my life. I can pass my whole life in this school, but I will make your life hell, because once the fear of failing disappears then I can do anything.” So even the teachers who were against me were giving me more marks than needed just to help me move into another class, so I was no longer a burden to them.
If parents really love children, they will help them to be courageous — courageous even against themselves. They will help them to be courageous against teachers, against society, against anybody who is going to destroy their individuality.
And that’s what I mean: the new mind will have these different qualities. The children born under the new mind and the new man will not be treated the way they have been treated down the centuries. They will be encouraged to be themselves, to be assertive, to be self-respectful. And that will change the whole quality of life. It will become more shiny, alive, and more juicy.
(Excerpted from: Beyond Psychology, Chap-41, Q-3)
The third question:

THE FAMILY HAS BEEN THE BASIC SOCIAL UNIT FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, YET YOU DOUBT ITS VALIDITY IN YOUR NEW world. WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST CAN REPLACE IT?
Man has outgrown the family. The utility of the family is finished; it has lived too long. It is one of the most ancient institutions so only very perceptive people can see that it is dead already. It will take time for others to recognise the fact that the family is dead.
It has done its work. It is no longer relevant in the new context of things; it is no longer relevant for the new humanity that is just being born.
The family has been good and bad. It has been a help — man has survived through it — and it has been very harmful because it has corrupted human mind. But there was no alternative in the past, there was no way to choose anything else. It was a necessary evil. That need not be so in the future. The future can have alternative styles.
My idea is that the future is not going to be one fixed pattern; it will have many, many alternative styles. If a few people still choose to have a family, they should have the freedom to have it. It will be a very small percentage. There are families on the earth — very rare, not more than one per cent — which are really beautiful, which are really beneficial, in which growth happens; in which there is no authority, no power trip, no possessiveness; in which children are not destroyed; in which the wife is not trying to destroy the husband and the husband is not trying to destroy the wife; where love is and freedom is; where people have gathered together just out of joy — not for other motives; where there is no politics. Yes, these kinds of families have existed on earth; they are still there. For these people there is no need to change. In the future they can continue to live in families.
But for the greater majority, the family is an ugly thing. You can ask the psychoanalysts and they will say, ‘All kinds of mental diseases arise out of the family. All kinds of psychoses, neuroses, arise out of the family. The family creates a very, very ill human being. ‘
There is no need; alternative styles should be possible. For me, one alternative style is the commune — it is the best.
A commune means people living in a liquid family. Children belong to the commune, they belong to all. There is no personal property, no personal ego. A man lives with a woman because they feel like living together, because they cherish it, they enjoy it. The moment they feel that love is no longer happening, they don’t go on clinging to each other. They say good-bye with all gratitude, with all friendship. They start moving with other people. The only problem in the past was what to do with the children. In a commune, children can belong to the commune, and that will be far better. They will have more opportunities to grow with many more kinds of people. Otherwise a child grows up with the mother. For years the mother and the father are the only two images of human beings for him. Naturally he starts imitating them. Children turn out to be imitators of their fathers, and they perpetuate the same kind of illness in the world as their parents did. They become ditto copies. It is very destructive. And there is no way for the children to do something else; they don’t have any other source of information.
If a hundred people live together in a commune there will be many male members, many female members; the child need not get fixed and obsessed with one pattern of life. He can learn from his father, he can learn from his uncles, he can learn from all the men in the community. He will have a bigger soul.
Families crush people and give them very little souls. In the community the child will have a bigger soul he will have more possibilities, he will be far more enriched in his being. He will see many women; he will not have one idea of a woman. It is very destructive to have only one single idea of a woman — because throughout your whole life you will be searching and searching for your mother. Whenever you fall in love with a woman, watch! There is every possibility that you have found someone that is similar to your mother, and that may be the thing that you should have avoided.
Each child is angry with his mother. The mother has to prohibit many things, the mother has to say no — it cannot be avoided. Even a good mother sometimes has to say no, and restrict and deny. The child feels rage, anger. He hates the mother and loves the mother also because she is his survival, his source of life and energy. So he hates the mother and loves the mother together. And that becomes the pattern. You will love the woman and you will hate the same woman. And you don’t have any other kind of choice. You will always go on searching, unconsciously, for your mother. And that happens to women also, they go on searching for their father. Their whole life is a search to find dad as a husband.
Now your dad is not the only person in the world; the world is far more rich. And in fact, if you can find the dad you will not be happy. You can be happy with a beloved, with a lover, not with your daddy. If you can find your mother you will not be happy with her. You know her already, there is nothing else to explore. That is familiar already, and familiarity breeds contempt. You should search for something new, but you don’t have any image.
In a commune a child will have a richer soul. He will know many women, he will know many men; he will not be addicted to one or two persons.
The family creates an obsession in you, and the obsession is against humanity. If your father is fighting with somebody and you see he is wrong, that doesn’t matter — you have to be with the father and on his side. Just as people say, ‘Wrong or right, my country is my country!’ so they say, ‘My father is my father, wrong or right. My mother is my mother, I have to be with her.’ Otherwise it will be a betrayal.
It teaches you to be unjust. You can see your mother is wrong and she is fighting with the neighbour and the neighbour is right — but you have to be with the mother. This is the learning of an unjust life.
In a commune you will not be attached too much to one family — there will be no family to be attached to. You will be more free, less obsessed. You will be more just. And you will have love from many sources. You will feel that life is loving. The family teaches you a kind of conflict with society, with other families. The family demands monopoly. It asks you to be for it and against all. You have to be in the service of the family. You have to go on fighting for the name and the fame of the family. The family teaches you ambition, conflict, aggression. In a commune you will be less aggressive, you will be more at ease with the world because you have known so many people.
That’s what I am going to create here — a commune, where all will be friends. Even husbands and wives should not be more than friends. Their marriage should be just an agreement between the two — that they have decided to be together because they are happy together. The moment even one of them decides that unhappiness is settling, then they separate. There is no need for any divorce. Because there is no marriage, there is no divorce. One lives spontaneously.
When you live miserably, by and by you become habituated to misery. Never for a single moment should one tolerate any misery. It may have been good to live with a man in the past, and joyful, but if it is no longer joyful then you have to get out of it. And there is no need to get angry and destructive, and there is no need to carry a grudge — because nothing can be done about love. Love is like a breeze. You see… it just comes. If it is there it is there. Then it is gone. And when it is gone it is gone. Love is a mystery, you cannot manipulate it. Love should not be manipulated, love should not be legalised, love should not be forced — for no reason at all.
In a commune, people will be living together just out of the sheer joy of being together, for no other reason. And when the joy has disappeared, they part. Maybe it feels sad, but they have to part. Maybe the nostalgia of the past still lingers in the mind, but they have to part. They owe it to each other that they should not live in misery, otherwise misery becomes a habit. They part with heavy hearts, but with no grudge. They will seek other partners.
In the future there will be no marriage as it has been in the past, and no divorce as it has been in the past. Life will be more liquid, more trusting. There will be more trust in the mysteries of life than in the clarities of the law, more trust in life itself than in anything — the court, the police, the priest, the church. And the children should belong to all — they should not carry the badges of their family. They will belong to the commune; the commune will take care of them.
This will be the most revolutionary step in human history — for people to start living in communes and to start being truthful, honest, trusting, and to go on dropping the law more and more.
In a family, love disappears sooner or later. In the first place it may not have been there at all from the very beginning. It may have been an arranged marriage — for other motives, for money, power, prestige. There may not have been any love from the very beginning. Then children are born out of a wedlock which is more like a deadlock — children are born out of no love. From the very beginning they become deserts. And this no-love state in the house makes them dull, unloving. They learn their first lesson of life from their parents, and the parents are unloving and there is constant jealousy and fighting and anger. And the children go on seeing the ugly faces of their parents.
Their very hope is destroyed. They can’t believe that love is going to happen in their life if it has not happened in their parents’ life. And they see other parents also, other families also. Children are very perceptive; they go on looking all around and observing. When they see that there is no possibility of love, they start feeling that love is only in poetry, it exists only for poets, visionaries — it has no actuality in life. And once you have learned the idea that love is just poetry, then it will never happen because you have become closed to it.
To see it happen is the only way to let it happen later on in your own life. If you see your father and mother in deep love, in great love, caring for each other, with compassion for each other, with respect for each other — then you have seen love happening. Hope arises. A seed falls into your heart and starts growing. You know it is going to happen to you too.
If you have not seen it, how can you believe it is going to happen to you too? If it didn’t happen to your parents.how can it happen to YOU? In fact, you will do everything to prevent it happening to you — otherwise it will look like a betrayal to your parents. This is my observation of people: women go on saying deep in the unconscious, ‘Look, Mom, I am suffering as much as you suffered.’ Boys go on saying to themselves later on, ‘Dad, don’t be worried, my life is as miserable as yours. I have not gone beyond you, I have not betrayed you. I remain the same miserable person as you were. I carry the chain, the tradition. I am your representative, Dad, I have not betrayed you. Look, I am doing the same thing as you used to do to my mother — I am doing it to the mother of my children. And what you used to do to me, I am doing to my children. I am bringing them up in the same way you brought me up.’
Now the very idea of bringing up children is nonsense. You can help at the most, you cannot bring them up. The very idea of building up children is nonsense — not only nonsense, very harmful, immensely harmful. You cannot build…. A child is not a thing, not like a building. A child is like a tree. Yes, you can help. You can prepare soil, you can put in fertilizers, you can water, you can watch whether sun reaches the plant or not — that’s all. But it is not that you are building up the plant, it is coming up on its own. You can help, but you can not bring it up and you cannot build it up.
Children are immense mysteries. The moment you start building them up, the moment you start creating patterns and characters around them, you are imprisoning them. They will never be able to forgive you. And this is the only way they will learn. And they will do the same thing to their children, and so on, so forth. Each generation goes on giving its neurosis to the new people that come to the earth. And the society persists with all its madness, misery.
No, a different kind of thing is needed now. Man has come of age and the family is a thing of the past; it really has no future. The commune will be the thing that can replace the family, and it will be far more beneficial.
But in a commune only meditative people can be together. Only when you know how to celebrate life can you be together; only when you know that space I call meditation can you be together, can you be loving. The old nonsense of monopolising love has to be dropped, then only can you live in a commune. If you go on carrying your old ideas of monopoly — that your woman should not hold somebody else’s hand and your husband should not laugh with anybody else — if you carry these nonsensical things in your mind then you cannot become part of a commune.
If your husband is laughing with somebody else, it is good. Your husband is laughing — laughter is always good, with whom it happens it doesn’t matter. Laughter is good, laughter is a value. If your woman is holding somebody else’s hand… good. Warmth is flowing — the flow of warmth is good, it is a value. With whom it is happening is immaterial. And if it is happening to your woman with many people, it will go on happening with you too. If it has stopped happening with anybody else, then it is going to stop with you too. The whole old idea is so stupid!
It is as if the moment your husband goes out, you say to him, ‘Don’t breathe anywhere else. When you come home you can breathe as much as you want, but only when you are with me can you breathe. Outside hold your breath, become a yogi. I don’t want you to breathe anywhere else.’ Now this looks stupid. But then why should love not be like breathing. Love is breathing.
Breathing is the life of the body and love is the life of the soul. It is far more important than breathing. Now when your husband goes out, you make it a point that he should not laugh with anybody else, not at least with any other woman. He should not be loving to anybody else. So for twenty-three hours he is unloving, then for one hour when he is in bed with you, he pretends to love. You have killed his love. It is flowing no more. If for twenty-three hours he has to remain a yogi, holding his love, afraid, do you think he can relax suddenly for one hour? It is impossible You destroy the man, you destroy the woman, and then you are fed-up, bored. Then you start feeling, ‘He does not love me!’ And it is you who created the whole thing. And then he starts feeling that you don’t love him, and you are no longer as happy as you used to be before.
When people meet on a beach, when they meet in a garden, when they are on a date, nothing is settled and everything is liquid; both are very happy Why? Because they are free. The bird on the wing is one thing, and the same bird in a cage is another thing. They are happy because they are free.
ManPeople cannot be happy without freedom, and your old family structure destroyed freedom. And because it destroyed freedom it destroyed happiness, it destroyed love. It has been a kind of survival measure. Yes, it has somehow protected the body, but it has destroyed the soul. Now there is no need for it. We have to protect the soul too. That is far more essential and far more important.
There is no future for the family, not in the sense that it has been understood up to now. There is a future for love and love relationships. ‘Husband’ and ‘wife’ are going to become ugly and dirty words.
And whenever you monopolise the woman or the man, naturally you monopolise the children also. I agree totally with Thomas Gordon. He says, ‘I think all parents are potential child-abusers, because the basic way of raising children is through power and authority. I think it is destructive when many parents have the idea: “It is my kid, I can do what I want to do with my kid.” It is violent, it is destructive, to have the idea: “It is my kid and I can do whatsoever I want with it.”‘ A kid is not a thing, it is not a chair, is not a car. You cannot do whatsoever you want to ,lo with him. He comes through you but he does not belong to you. He belongs to God, to existence. You are at the most a caretaker; don’t become possessive.
But the whole family idea is one of possession — possess property, possess the woman, possess the man, possess children — and possessiveness is poison. Hence, I am against the family. But I am not saying that those who are really happy in their families — flowing, alive, loving — have to destroy it. No, there is not need. Their family is already a commune, a small commune.
And of course a bigger commune will be far better, with more possibilities, more people. Different people bring different songs, different people bring different life styles, different people bring different breathings, different breezes, different people bring different rays of light — and children should be showered with as many different life styles as possible, so they can choose, so they can have the freedom to choose.
And they should be enriched by knowing so many women that they are not obsessed by the mother’s face or the mother’s style. Then they will be able to love many more women, many more men. Life will be more of an adventure.
I have heard….
A mother visiting a department store took her son to the toy department. Spying a gigantic rocking-horse, he climbed upon it and rocked back and forth for almost an hour.
‘Come on, son,’ the mother pleaded, ‘I have to go home to get father’s dinner.’ The little lad refused to budge and all her efforts were unavailing. The department manager also tried to coax the little fellow, without meeting with any success. Eventually, in desperation, they called for the store psychiatrist.
Gently he walked over and whispered a few words in the boy’s ear, and immediately the lad jumped off and ran to his mother’s side.
‘How did you do it?’ the mother asked incredulously. ‘What did you say to him?’
The psychiatrist hesitated for a moment, then said, ‘All I said was, “If you don’t jump off that rocking-horse at once, son, I will knock the stuffing out of you!”‘

People learn sooner or later that fear works, that authority works, that power works. And children are so helpless and they are so dependent on the parents that you can make them afraid. It becomes your technique to exploit them and oppress them, and they have nowhere to go.
In a commune they will have many places to go. They will have many uncles and many aunts and many people — they will not be so helpless. They will not be in your hands as much as they are right now. They will have more independence, less helplessness. You will not be able to coerce them so easily.
And all that they see in the home is misery. Sometimes, yes I know, sometimes the husband and wife are loving, but whenever they are loving it is always in private. Children don’t know about it. Children see only the ugly faces, the ugly side. When the mother and the father are loving, they are loving behind closed doors. They keep quiet, they never allow the children to see what love is. The children see only their conflict — nagging, fighting, hitting each other, in gross and subtle ways, insulting each other, humiliating each other. Children go on seeing what is happening.

A man is sitting in his living room reading the newspaper when his wife comes over and slaps him.
‘What was that for?’ asked the indignant husband.
‘That is for being a lousy lover.’
A little while later the husband goes over to where the wife is sitting watching TV and he gives her a resounding smack.
‘What was that for?’ she yelled at him.
To which he answered, ‘For knowing the difference.’

This goes on and on, and the children go on watching what is happening. Is this life? Is this what life is meant for? Is this all there is? They start losing hope. Before they enter into life they are already failures, they have accepted failure. If their parents who are so wise and powerful cannot succeed, what hope is there for them? It is impossible.
And they have learned the tricks — tricks of being miserable, tricks of being aggressive. Children never see love happening. In a commune there will be more possibilities. Love should come out into the open a little more. People should know that love happens. Small children should know what love is. They should see people caring for each other.
Here in this ashram, people, particularly Indians, come to me and they say, ‘Why is this SO? Sannyasins showing so much love towards each other — in public?’ It offends them. This is one of their problems, their great problems.
Just the other day a magazine came — a Marathi magazine — and a man had written an article against me. He said, ‘Everything is okay, but I can’t understand…. When Osho goes, after his discourse, there is much hugging and kissing — that is very ugly.’
That is not one man’s idea — that is a very ancient idea, an old idea. The idea is that you can fight in public but you cannot be loving in public. Fight is okay. You can murder, that is allowed. Tn fact, when two persons are fighting, a crowd will stand there to see what is happening. And everybody will enjoy it. That’s why people go on reading and enjoying murder stories, suspense stories, detective stories. Murder is allowed, love is not allowed. If you are loving in public it is thought to be obscene. Now this is absurd. Love is obscene and murder is not obscene? Lovers are not to be loving in public and generals can go on walking in public showing all their medals — these are the murderers and these medals are for murder! Those medals show how much they have murdered, how many people they have killed. That is not obscene.
That should be the obscene thing. Nobody should be allowed to fight in public. It is obscene; violence is obscene. How can love be obscene? But love is thought to be obscene. You have to hide it in darkness. You have to make love so nobody knows. You have to make it so silently, so stealthily… naturally you can t enjoy it much. And people don’t become aware of what love is. Children, particularly, have no way of knowing what love is.
In a better world, with more understanding, love will be there all over. Children will see what caring is. Children will see what joy it brings when yoU care for somebody. You can see it happening here. You can see little Siddhartha holding a girl’s hand in a great caring, in great love. If they watch, they learn. If they know it happens, their doors open.
Love should be accepted more, violence should be rejected more. Love should be available more. Two persons making love should not be worried that no one should know. They should laugh, they should sing, they should scream in joy, so that the whole neighbourhood knows that somebody is being loving to somebody — somebody is making love.
Love should be such a gift. Love should be so divine. It is sacred.
You can publish a book about a man being killed, that’s okay that is not pornography. To me, that is pornography. You cannot publish a book about a man lovingly holding a woman in deep, naked embrace — that is pornography. This world has existed against love up till now. Your family is against love, your society is against love, your state is against love. It is a miracle that love has still remained a little, it is unbelievable that love Still goes on — not as it should be, it is just a small drop not an ocean — but that it has survived so many enemies is a miracle. It as not been destroyed completely — it is a miracle.
My vision of a commune is of loving people living together with no antagonism towards each other, with no competition with each other, with love that is fluid, more available, with no jealousy and no possession. And the children will belong to all because they belong to God — everybody takes care of them. And they are such beautiful people, these children, who will not take care of them? And they have so many possibilities to see so many people loving, and each person lives in his own way, each woman loves in her own way — let the children see, play, enjoy. While their parents are making love, let them be there, let them be a part of it. Let them watch what happens to their mother when she makes love — how ecstatic her face becomes, what glow comes to her face, how her eyes close and she goes deep into herself; how their father becomes orgasmic, how he screams with joy. Let the children know!
Let the children know many people loving. They will become more rich. And I tell you that if these children exist in the world, none of them will read PLAYBOY; There will be no need. And none of them will read Vatasayana’s KAMA SUTRA, there will be no need. Nude and naked pictures will disappear. They simply show starved sex, starved love.
The world will become almost non-sexual, it will be so loving. Your priest and your policeman have created all kinds of obscenity in the world. They are the source of all that is ugly. And your family has played a great part. The family has to disappear. It has to disappear into a bigger vision of a commune, of a life not based on small identities, more floating.
In a commune, somebody will be a Buddhist, somebody will be a Hindu, somebody will be a Jaina, somebody will be a Christian, and somebody will be a Jew. If families disappear, churches will disappear automatically, because families belong to churches. In a commune, there will be all kinds of people, all kinds of religion, all kinds of philosophies floating around, and the child will have the opportunity to learn. One day he goes with one uncle to the church, another day he goes with another uncle to the temple, and he learns all that is there and he can have a choice. He can choose and decide to what religion he would like to belong. Nothing is imposed.
Life can become a paradise here and now. The barriers have to be removed. The family is one of the greatest barriers.
(Excerpted from: Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol-2, Chapter-12, Q-2)
ADVICE FOR PARENTS
[A sannyasin said that she wasI am concerned about her my six-year-old daughter. The child she said she wasis happy being here but she feltI feel that she wasn’tisn’t; she said she felt sheI just couldn’t can’t make her happy…. ]
You seem to be too much concerned — too much concern can be dangerous. The idea to make somebody happy never succeeds… never! It is against the laws. When you want to make somebody happy you make him or her unhappy. Because happiness is not something that can be given by somebody else. At the most you can create the situation where happiness may flower, may not flower; more cannot be done.
It seems that you are too worried about making her happy, and because you fail you become unhappy, and when you are unhappy, she will be unhappy. It is very easy to make somebody unhappy — it is impossible to make somebody else happy.
This has to be understood: it is very easy to make somebody unhappy. If you are unhappy that is enough to make anybody who is around you unhappy. But just by being happy you cannot make anybody happy. Happiness is something very positive — the person has to earn it himself. Unhappiness is very negative, unhappiness is very infectious — it is like a disease. If you are unhappy, all those who are connected with you, related with you, particularly children, will become very unhappy. Or, the person who loves you will become very unhappy…. And children are very sensitive, very fragile.
You may not say that you are unhappy but that doesn’t make much difference — children are very intuitive; they have not yet lost their intuition. They yet have something deeper than the intellect, which feels things immediately.
Intellect takes time and intellect always wavers; it can never be certain. Even if you are unhappy and a person thinks about you, he can never be absolutely certain whether you are unhappy or you are just pretending; maybe this is just your habit or maybe your face is like that. Intellect can never come to a conclusion which is absolute. It is always divided… it is a guesswork — at the most a good inference but there is nothing to be certain about.
But intuition is absolute, unconditional — it simply says what is the case. Children are intuitive and they are related in a very subtle, telepathic way. They don’t look at how you look — they immediately feel….
Sometimes it happens that the mother may only feel a little later on, and the child has felt it before the mother herself. The mother may be unhappy but she is not yet aware. The child will first become aware that the mother is unhappy. The mother has not said so, she has not herself even become aware of it — it is still coming to her consciousness from the unconscious — but from the unconscious to the child there is a direct passage.
To reach to your conscious it will have to pass many layers of conditioning, many layers of experiences, intellect, this and that, and it will have to pass many censors. Those censors will change the message, interpret it in different ways, colour it, and by the time it reaches your conscious it may be absolutely something else to what it was in reality. But a child has immediate access.
Now they say that when a child is in the mother’s womb, even then when the mother is sad, the child becomes sad. The mother is angry and the child becomes angry; the mother is anxious and the child becomes anxious. Everything vibrates in the child.
So up to a certain age the children remain very much rooted in you and they know what is happening. Or if somebody loves you very deeply, then again he has a telepathic approach. He need not even ask you how you are and he knows. Sometimes you even say just the opposite — that you feel you are fine, you are good, and you pretend… you may be a good actress; that doesn’t matter — but the person who loves you, knows.
My feeling is that you are trying to be too much of a jewish mother — and jewish mothers are the most dangerous in the world, because they try hard to do whatsoever is right to bring all happiness to their children. Hence they are the most crippling mothers, they destroy happiness.
Too much love becomes suffocating, and when you see that the child is suffocated, you become even more concerned, so you suffocate more! So it is a vicious circle!
Just relax a little. Let her mix with other children here, let her play, and don’t talk about happiness, unhappiness. You cannot give any happiness to anybody — forget that illusion completely. Whatsoever you can do, do, and don’t talk about it.
Rather you be happy — that will help. Seeing you happy, she will feel happy. Play with her, hug her, but don’t show much concern about happiness. Happiness is not something that we have to seek directly: it is a by-product. Children are very much puzzled when you ask ‘Are you happy?’ In fact they don’t know how to answer it — and my feeling is that they are right! When you ask a child ‘Are you happy?’ he simply shrugs his shoulders… because what do you mean?
The child is happy only when he is not aware of it, the moment he becomes aware he is not. Nobody can be happy when they are aware. Happiness is something very subtle that happens only, exists only, when you are completely lost in something else.
The child is playing and he is happy, because the child does not know about himself at all in these moments — he is lost! Lost, he is happy.
You take hold of a child and ask him ‘Are you happy?’ Now you have made him self-conscious, and self-consciousness is never happy. So maybe the child, just to make you happy, says ‘Yes, I am very happy’, but you are not convinced and the child also is telling a lie.
Happiness exists only when you are lost. When you come back, happiness disappears.
A dancer is happy when the dance is there and the dancer is lost. A singer is happy when the song is so overwhelmingly there that the singer is no more. A painter is happy when he is painting. A child is happy when he is playing — maybe a nonsense game, just collecting seashells on the seashore, meaningless, but he is completely absorbed.
Have you watched a child collecting seashells or collecting stones? Just watch the absorption… just see how deeply involved, how utterly lost. And that is the quality of ecstasy, the quality of wonder, the quality of all religious experience. All children are religious and all children are happy unless parents make them unhappy.
Just allow her to mix with people, let her dance here, and meet with children. Let her come to the music group, to the sufi dancing, and let her watch… and she will be happy!
Forget about happiness — don’t talk about it! Never ask a child ‘Are you happy?’ otherwise you will make him unhappy. Sometimes play with her, sometimes dance with her, and you will make her immensely happy!
But happiness is not to be sought directly. Do something else and happiness follows like a shadow — it is a consequence, not a result.
So don’t be worried. There is no need to send her anywhere.
(Excerpted from: What is, is; Whatain’t, Ain’t; Chap-4)

[A sannyasin, weeping, says: Something that came up during primal was that even though I see what my parents did to me I’m still doing the same thing to my kid. So many times my own needs get in the way of what she needs. I can’t seem to give her any help. And I think I’m doing her harm.]
One thing to be understood — that ordinarily what-soever has been done by your parents becomes an engrained pattern; that is the only way you know what is to be done with the child. Whatsoever your mother did to you, that is the only way you know how to be with your child. So it is natural — nothing to be worried about — but now that you have become conscious that something has gone wrong in it…. It is good that you have become conscious, but now don’t become worried about it so much, other-wise you will not be able to do anything. You are conscious that something that your mother did to you, you would not like to do to your child — so become conscious; that’s all that you can do! Whatsoever you are doing, become conscious.
And don’t try to overcompensate — that’s what I think you are trying to do. Now you think you are not enough — you are not giving enough love, enough care — but whatsoever you can give, you can give! How can you give more? Do your utmost, and if you cannot do more, don’t get depressed about it, otherwise your depression will harm the child.
By and by you will start feeling that because of this child you are feeling inadequate, and you will take revenge. Because of this child you are suffering… this child is creating guilt in you. So whom are you going to take revenge with? — with the child.
One thing — you have become aware that you are not to do the same things; good. Now become aware, that’s all. And when you start doing some old pattern, relax — don’t do it! And this over-compensation — that you have to love much, and you have to become the greatest mother in the world — this nonsense has to be dropped, otherwise you will feel so false, and that you are falling short of your ideals. You must be having some ideal now. Your mother has not done that idealistic thing; now you have the ideal and you have to do it with the child… and all idealism is dangerous.
So be realistic. Don’t create a fiction. You must be living in a fiction. Never live with a should. Live with the is — that’s all there is. Whatever is, is.
If you can give this much love, this much love you have. How can you do more? From where will you bring more? And if you become worried too much about more, you will not be able to even give that much which you could have easily, because from this worry, depression, anxiety, guilt will arise and you will start feeling in a very bad space — and because of this child! If there were no child, there would be no problem. So the child will become a problem. Drop all this nonsense!
Simply be yourself. Whatsoever you do, do. More is not possible. Accept yourself! These shoulds are all condemnatory. This is how people move from one extreme to another.
The older generation used to think, the mothers used to think, that they were making great sacrifices for their children. They were always exhibiting that they were doing this and that. That was harmful, because love should not be a duty, and it should not be talked about. You love because you feel happy. You are not doing anything to the child; you are doing something because you love to do it. The child is not obliged to you, he is not to pay you back. You love to be a mother, and you should be grateful to the child.
But the older generation was not grateful to the child. They were always hoping that the child would be very very grateful, and when they found that the child was not grateful, they were very much frustrated.
Now you have moved to the other extreme. This is what can happen through primal and other things. Now you think that you are doing harm to the child. Your mother was thinking she is doing good, and then she did harm. Now you are thinking you are doing harm to the child. Just think — even thinking she was doing good, harm happened through your mother, and now you are thinking that you are doing harm to the child. What is going to happen?
Just be natural — these extremist points are not good. In the old times children use to be afraid of the parents, now the parents are afraid of the children — but fear remains! The wheel has moved, but it is the same fear; whether from this side or from that side. Fear has not disappeared; and a relationship can exist only when there is no fear. Love is possible only when there is no fear.
If the child is afraid of the parent, love is not possible. If the parent is afraid of the child, love is not possible. How can you love in fear? Now you are afraid of the child — that some harm may happen, that you may do something wrong. You will become so self-conscious about it — so much so that you will do harm, because you will lose all naturalness and all spontaneity.
Just try to be a human being. Don’t try to be an idealist and don’t try to be a perfectionist. All perfectionistic people are neurotic. A sane person is never a perfectionist. Whatsoever he can do, he does, and then it is finished. So simply be yourself.
And one thing for you and for every body else here: the relationship between the child and the mother is such that it can never be perfect — it is impossible. Some problem will always be there. You change one problem, another will arise, because the very relationship is such.
The child is helpless, the child has no individuality yet. The mother has an individuality. She is not dependent on the child, and the child is dependent on the mother. Both are not equal… cannot be. The mother has power and the child has no power. Now this is natural… you are not responsible for it. If somebody is responsible, maybe it is god.
If you give too much freedom to the child, he will die from freedom. If you discipline him too much, you will kill him from discipline. And there is no way to know where the demarcation line is. So whatsoever you do is going to be wrong. If you give too much freedom, the child will be spoiled. If you don’t give enough freedom, the child will be spoiled.
And down the ages people have tried all alternatives. Sometimes they have tried to discipline the child absolutely. Then whatsoever comes out is an adolfhitler, nazism, fascism; that’s what happened in germany. For a hundred years they had been trying to bring up the child according to the perfectionist ideal — obedience, order, discipline — so the soul was destroyed. A very very powerful german race was created, but there was no soul. Now that failed.
The pendulum has moved in America. Seeing that it failed… it created Japan — Japan is a very very disciplined country — and Germany… seeing that they created such havoc in the world, such hell, the world mind moved. Intellectuals started saying, ‘No more order, no more discipline — freedom!’ So the freedom has created the new generation — the flower children, the hippies, theyippies. Now if they win, the society will be destroyed completely, because no technology can exist with hippies; no clean, hygienic society can exist with the hippies. No sort of family can exist; everything will be simply topsy-turvy.
They will create another ugly world, and again seeing what hippies have done, people will start moving. Then by that time they will have forgotten nazi Germany, and Hitler; they will again start thinking about how to discipline the children. This is how it has been happening down the ages again and again. But whatsoever you do goes wrong.
So my feeling is: please don’t try to do anything. Simply love the child, and leave everything else to godexistence. Love the child, and whatsoever you can do, do. But that doing should not become such a deliberate act as you are trying to do. Simply love! You are a human being with all the flaws and limitations of a human being, and now what can you do?
The child has chosen you to be her mother — it is not just your responsibility. The child is also responsible. She must have some karmas to be born to you, otherwise why? She could have chosen…. There are so many women always ready to receive. She has particularly chosen you, so not only are you responsible — she is also responsible.
Now just be natural and be happy! Whatsoever happens out of happiness is good. And whatsoever creates misery in you, drop all that nonsense. Now you have become so miserable. Rather than being happy that you are a mother and a child is there, you are becoming miserable. Your misery will certainly be reflected in the child. The child by and by will become aware that her mother is miserable because of her. Your guilt will be reflected, and you will create a complex in the child.
Forget about it! Dance with the child, love the child, hug the child… and be natural! Don’t listen to the pundits and the experts — just be natural! Don’t you see all the animals? Nobody teaches them how to be a good parent; there exists nothing like transactional analysis — and they are good parents. Who bothers? Only man is very difficult.
There have been societies where the child has not to be hugged, because that destroys the child. Too much hugging makes him sissy and limp, spineless. He should be strong from the very beginning, he should be forced to stand on his own feet. And there are societies which say to hug the child, otherwise he will miss the human warmth and he will never be able to love anybody.
Now what to do? In the morning, hug, and in the evening, discipline? What to do? How to divide? One hour hugging, one hour discipline? But then the child will be confused. And he will become very suspicious of the mother — that she seems to be schizophrenic: one hour she is just sweet, another hour she becomes such a great disciplinarian. The child will become very worried — she will not know what to do with the mother.
Whatsoever you are, that you have to share with the child. And whatsoever happens to the child, the child has to take her own responsibility too!
Now, in the american mind, this is such an absurd notion — you go to the psychoanalyst and he will say that something is wrong between you and your mother, so your mother is responsible. Now he has taken responsibility away from you… it feels very good. Even grown-up people are so foolish, mm? — lying down in a foolish way on a psychoanalyst’s couch, saying silly things, and the psychoanalyst says, ‘You are perfectly right — it is just because of your mother and your relationship with the mother, so your mother is responsible.’
And who is responsible for the mother? — her mother! And who is responsible for her mother? so on and so forth. Finally you find eve! Nobody seems to be responsible then.
I don’t say that they are absolutely wrong — nobody is ever absolutely wrong — but people are only extremists, and extremism is wrong. Yes, your mother is a little responsible because she was your mother. Your father is a little responsible, but finally, you are responsible!
Whatsoever you have made yourself, others have helped, but in the ultimate analysis you are responsible.
This is one of the basic things religion teaches: you are responsible. Once you feel that you are responsible, you become free; you have a freedom to choose. And then you are no more worried about the past because how can you undo the past? The mother has happened, the birth has happened — now what to do with it? It is gone!
If you are aware, in this moment of intense awareness, the whole past can be burned out. There is no need for any primal therapy. It is only for mediocre minds that you have to go into such things. If you are really intelligent, just a single moment of awareness — it is finished! The past is no more there! You can cut yourself away from it in a single stroke. There is no need to go inch by inch.
In a single stroke of understanding, you can cut yourself away from the past — that’s what I mean by sannyas.
So just be natural, loving and don’t carry any ideals. Don’t listen to experts; these are the most mischievious people in the world — the experts. Just listen to your heart. If you feel like hugging, hug. Sometimes you feel like hitting the child, hit. And don’t be worried that some great psychoalanyst says not to hit the child. Who is he to dominate you? From where does he get the authority?
Sometimes it is good to be angry. The child has to learn that his or her mother is a human being and that she can be angry too. And if you are angry, the child feels also free to be angry. If you are never angry, the child feels guilty. How to be angry with a mother who is always so sweet?
Mothers have tried to be so sweet that their whole taste is lost — they become like saccharine… they create an artificial diabetes. Don’t be just sweet — sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet as the mood arises. And let the child know that the mother has her own moods and climates — she is a human being just as hethe child is. And the child will see that if the mother can be angry, he can also be angry. And it is good. Yes, sometimes not to be okay is good. So drop this, mm?
(Excerpted from: Blessed Are the Ignorant, Chap-8)

[A sannyasin says she has I have often been very angry with myher nine year-old son, since her my daughter was born. SheI doesn’t love him so much. Osho elicits more details and checks her energy.]

Do one thing: whenever you feel angry with him, go into the room and instead of being angry at him, throw the anger on a pillow — beat the pillow, bite the pillow. Try it for a few times and you will be surprised: it will change your relationship with the child.
It is not really a question of loving or not loving. If you don’t love him then it is even more essential not to be angry. If you love him, then anger can be tolerated because you compensate with love, but if you don’t love him then your anger is just unforgivable. You follow me?
If one loves then, yes, anger also can be accepted, because you will compensate for it: you will love him more after anger and there will be no problem and the child will understand. But if you don’t love the child and then you are angry, it is really unforgivable.
All that you need is expression of anger. It accumulates in you, and he has become just an excuse: you don’t find anybody else there to throw it on so you just throw on him. Children generally become scapegoats because they are helpless. You may have been angry with your husband but he was not helpless. You may have been angry with your father but he was not helpless. All that anger has accumulated; now it is channelized towards this helpless child, because he cannot do anything. You can be angry, you can afford to be angry. And you are feeling guilty because of it, because this is irrational. But simply stopping won’t help, because you gather anger in you and it has to be thrown out.
So make it a point for one month: whenever you feel angry with him just leave him there, go into the room, beat the pillow, throw the pillow, bite the pillow. Within five minutes you will feel that the anger has gone and you will feel after that anger much Compassion coming for the child. So just for one month try and then it will be so simple. For one month it will be an effort, mm? because that habit will say, “Be angry at the child,” and the mind will say, “This is foolish, mad, to be angry at the pillow.” Just for one month…. Once you have seen the beauty of it — that nobody is hurt, anger is released, and on the contrary you feel compassion for the child, and love will arise….
And your understanding is not accurate when you say you don’t love the child. If you don’t love him you will not be so angry either; they go together. So once this anger is expressed — not on the child but somewhere else, in a vacuum — your love energy will surface and you will start loving the child. First it will be compassion, then it will be love.
Anger is nothing but love upside-down, love gone sour, that’s all. It has to be put right-side-up and it becomes love. You can’t be angry with a person you don’t love at all. Impossible. There is no point in being angry. So anger and hate are not really opposites of love. The real opposite of love is apathy, indifference. If you don’t love the child you will be indifferent — who cares? Anger means care. You would like the child to be like this and he is not and you become angry. You would like him to do this and he is not doing it and you become angry. If you don’t care, then let him do whatever and go wherever he wants, and whatsoever happens to him doesn’t matter to you. Mm, deep down there is love but something has gone wrong.
And my feeling is that it has nothing to do with the child; it has something to do with your husband, with your father, with your mother… but all that accumulated anger. For example, think of this child: he is suffering your anger for no reason at all. He cannot afford to be angry with you right now because he knows he will be defeated, he will suffer more. You can make him suffer. He will go on suppressing the anger and this anger some day or other is going to be thrown on somebody. If he can find a woman he will torture her. But if the woman is powerful, as women always are, then he will not be able to torture the wife; he will torture the son. He will have to look somewhere for some excuse, and he will have to throw it. If he cannot throw it on the child, on the wife, then on the servants or in the office — if he is a boss he will torture somebody who is just below him. And that will be unjustified, because really he wanted to torture you but that he could not do. This is how things go.
There is a famous story about an Indian king who had a joker in his court, as in the ancient days every king used to have — a fool in the court to bring balance. They used to have wise people in the court and to bring the balance a fool too. That was part of great wisdom, because sometimes the wise man might not say the thing that was needed. He might think about whether to say it or not, about how it is going to affect him, his future. But the fool would not bother and he would simply say it; and sometimes fools have saved great situations.
The king was standing in the court talking to his courtierS and the fool was standing by his side. He did something or said something and the king was very angry, so he hit him on the head. Now, the fool wanted to hit the king back. Although he was a fool and he could have done it he was not that much of a fool. So he hit the person who was standing by his side — it was the Grand Vizier — and the Grand Vizier said, “But why are you hitting me?” The fool said, “I cannot hit the king and I have to hit somebody. If you are too disturbed you can pass it on to somebody else.” That’s how it happens in the world: you pass it onl “The king gave it to me, I have given it to you, you pass it on.”
This is how from generation to generation anger passes, hatred passes, jealousy passes; all kinds of poisons go on accumulating and one generation gives it as a heritage to another generation. That’s why humanity becomes more and more burdened every day. Don’t do it to the child because you will spoil his whole life, and he has not done anything wrong to you. Somebody must have done wrong to you but that is not his fault.
Just try for one month and you will be surprised: this one month will change the whole pattern.
(Excerpted from: God’s got a thing about you, Chap-5)
[A sannyasin says she I and hermy husband are in conflict bringing up theirourson. He wants to be stricter and she I wants to be more loving.]
So let him do his thing and you go on doing your thing; there is no problem. The child needs both, because this is how life is: if a child only gets love he will suffer; if he only gets hardness, then he will suffer. He needs both. That’s the function of the mother and the father: the mother should go on giving love so the child knows that love is possible and the father remains hard so the child knows life is not so easy. It is how life is!
There are thorns and there are roses and the child has to be prepared for both. The world is not going to be a mother; the world is going to be a hard struggle. So if you just go on giving him love he will not have any bone. When life is there in reality he will simply collapse, because he will wait for the mother and [she] is not there; life does not bother about him. Then he will be grateful to [his father] because life will put him out the door many times, will shout at him, and then he will know that he can tackle that too; he has been prepared for that too.
A child has to be prepared for both softness and hardness, yin and yang both, and that’s the function of the father and mother. The feminine and the masculine both have to be given so the child is ready: whatsoever the situation he will be able to respond. If life is hard, he can he hard too; if life is loving, he can be loving too; he will not have any fixation.
Now if [his father] alone is training him he will be fixed. He will be a hard person, he will be a perfect German, but he will never be able to love and he will never be able to accept love because he does not know what love is. He will be a soldier, he will be ready to fight, to kill or be killed. That will be his only logic, he will not know anything else. That too is dangerous. That’s what happened to the german nation, that’s what helped Adolf Hitler. Two world wars have proved that german mothers have not been as loving as they should be and german fathers have been too disciplinarian. That’s why the whole world has suffered because of Germany.
So if the child is left alone to him (his father), the child will become a victim of any Adolf Hitler any day; that is dangerous. If the child is left to you, the child will become too indian, so wherever there is any fight he will simply escape, he will surrender; before even fighting he will surrender! He will be a slave.
Both ways he will get fixed, and a really alive person has no fixation. He is liquid: he can move and be hard when the circumstances are such that he needs to be hard like steel, and when circumstances are such that he needs to be like a rose flower, soft and vulnerable, he can soften.
This whole expanse should be available to the child’s consciousness so that he can move easily. So both are good.
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(Excerpted from: The Zero experience, Chap-15)

[A sannyasin about his What are my responsibilities as a father?as he would I will be separating from hismy wife. His wife and he had and we have arranged that the three boys would live with him me, while the girl would live with her mother.]
Much will have to be done, because when the mother is not there, your responsibilities become greater, bigger. You will have to be both father and mother. But in a way it can be a great challenge and a growth for you.
When you are just a father, your innermost core is not involved in it… just the periphery. The father is a peripheral thing. It is institutional; it is not natural. Fathers exist only in human societies — society has created it. It has no natural instinct; it is just a conditioning. So when you are a father, nothing much is involved in it. When a woman becomes a mother, something tremendously meaningful has happened to her. But nothing much happens to a man who becomes a father.
For a woman it is almost a new birth. Not only the child is born; the mother is also born. The mother gives birth to the child, the child gives birth to the mother. Just before it, the woman was just a woman. Now she is a mother. It is something which is very difficult for a man to understand unless you are creative.
If you have given birth to a painting or poetry or something, then just a little glimpse can happen to you. When a poet has given birth to a poem, he feels tremendously happy. Nobody else can understand what has happened just by composing a poem. But it is not just a poem. Much was in turmoil within him, and the poem has settled many things.
The poem is only the outermost expression of something. Some deep harmony has happened in him. The poem is just an indication that something has fallen in line within his being. The poem brings news to the world that a man has become a poet. It is just a very small fragment of the fragrance that has happened inside the poet. He is no more the same person. He is no ordinary mortal human being. He has competed with the gods. He has given birth to something . . . he has created.
But it is nothing compared to a woman when she becomes a mother — nothing. A poem is a poem. The moment it is born it is already dead. When it is inside the poet it has life. The moment it is expressed it is a dead piece of furniture. You can hang it on the wall. You can throw it on the rubbish heap, or whatsoever you want, but it is no more alive.
When a woman gives birth to a child, it is life. When she looks into the eyes of the child, she looks into her own being. When the child starts growing, she grows with the child.
So up to now you have been just a father. It was a duty, but nothing much was involved. Now you will be both. You will have to be both — mother also. And if you can be a mother to your children, then don’t be bothered about responsibilities — they will be fulfilled. Just start thinking in terms of being a mother. Become more feminine, more receptive…. You will have to become less and less a father, and more and more a mother. This is going to be a great challenge and a great transformation for you.
If you can use the opportunity, you can almost achieve to a great satori through it, a great samadhi. Through it your inside will come to a reconciliation. The reconciliation will be within you — the man and the woman within you, the yin and the yang within you will come to a meeting, a crystallisation. And by and by you will lose the notion of who you are — man or woman — because you will be more motherly, and yet you will be a father. This can become a very alchemical situation.
And my whole effort is always to give you an insight, in whatsoever situation you are in, that can become a point of growth. So just try to look at your children as if you are a mother. If you cannot do it for twenty-four hours, then at least for a few hours. And then catch hold of the man. Because it is totally different.
When you are a father you would like to dominate the children. You would like to make them like you. You will become dictatorial. When you are a mother you would like to give them freedom to be themselves. You will not impose yourself upon them. You will be a help in need, but your deepest desire and your prayer will be that they should become themselves. You will not be ambitious through them — a father is always. a mother, never.
She loves the child just for the being he or she is. There is no expectation. She is not going to fulfill any ambition through the child. In fact women are not ambitious at all. That is male aggression, male violence — doing something, proving oneself.
But you can divide your time. You can have a certain programme in your mind — that when the sun sets you will be a mother; up to sunrise. The whole day you can be a father, the whole night you be a mother. The woman is more like the night. She surrounds you… engulfs you… drowns you, and without huffing you, without even touching you. When darkness surrounds you, you cannot even touch it. It is there, but it is almost as if it is not. Its very presence is through absence.
So when you are a mother become as absent as possible. Don’t try to prove anything. Just be a help — and that too, very indirectly. Don’t think in terms of responsibility. Think in terms of inner growth. Once you think in terms of responsibility, duty, you are already moving into anxiety. You are already losing a great opportunity. You have taken a wrong step.
Responsibility — one feels burdened. Duty — one feels one has to do it. Duty is a dirty word, a four-letter word. Love, not duty. You enjoy and you love.
And enjoy the whole situation that has happened. Then someday you may feel grateful to your wife that she left and allowed you to become a mother; otherwise it would have been impossible. And not only in this case — in every situation in life, always try to find a way how to use it for growth, how to become more yourself through it.
A man is half and a woman is half. When both become one, the perfect man is born. And the whole is beautiful because it has grace. The whole is beautiful because it is at home. The whole is beautiful because it lacks nothing. The whole is beautiful because all the opposites have come to an inner reconciliation, a synthesis, a harmony. Then man is not a crowd but a crystallised being. Then all the noises inside have fallen into an orchestra.
And once you know how, you can slip from man into woman, because the inner soul is neither — or both.
So drop the word duty, and forget all about responsibility. Love is enough.
And meditate deeply — that will make you strong enough to face this situation and to grow out offromit, mm?
(Excerpted from: Get Out of Your Own Way, Chap-3)

[To a sannyasin about her relationship]
My husband and I want to separate but we are worried about our daughter.

But anyway, if he wants to move with some other woman — whatsoever the excuse is, that is not the point — if he wants to move, he wants to. There is no point in suffering unnecessarily. What can be done? He cannot be forced. If he is forced, and he is with you because he is forced, it is pointless; he will take revenge on you.
And my feeling is that it is very good: let him be free and you also be free. Whenever freedom comes, welcome it! Freedom is always good. I have never seen that freedom can harm anybody in any way. It never harms — it always proves a blessing. But in the beginning it all hurts a little, mm? because your security, safety, entanglements, investment…. And whenever a person leaves, you don’t think ‘What is coming?’ — you only start thinking of the past, of what is going. That’s where you miss.
Always look to the future, because the future is to come. Don’t be bothered by the past. All this misery is because now you are thinking of the past — all the good moments that you had with him. But they are gone and they cannot be repeated. And even if they can be repeated, it will be pointless because it will be a repetition and you will not enjoy them. In fact, they will only create boredom in you.
Always look to what is going to happen. Look forward; one cannot go backward. But that’s how people are: they have eyes at the back. They move ahead and they move back. Just think: what would happen on the roads if cars had lights at the back and there were only rearview mirrors available for the driver and he could not see ahead? If he had to look at the rearview mirror and lights were falling on the road which he has already passed. There would only be accidents and accidents. If somebody were to come home alive that would be an accident then! And how could you survive?
This is what is happening in human life: you move ahead and you look back. Welcome freedom; it is perfectly good.
And why make him guilty? — because your misery will make you miserable and will make him guilty. That is not right at all. Why waste time in being miserable? Time is precious. The same time you can enjoy and celebrate. And there are so many beautiful people. Why get so tethered and chained to one person? Have a little bigger heart! Be a little available to more people. And you will not feel that it is a curse. Within a week you will see that it has been a blessing and you will thank him. Then he will not feel guilty either and both will be enriched by the experience.
This much we owe to each other, that when a certain relationship disappears we should not make each other feel guilty. And this is part of the feminine mind: to become very clinging and to create guilt in the other and to create the feeling that he has sinned or he has done something wrong; not actually saying it but creating the whole thing in such a way that the other becomes miserable.
So let him enjoy! If he is happy with some other woman, perfectly good. You always wanted him to be happy and he is! And that’s what love is: you want the other to be happy. Give it to him as a gift. Tell him ‘Veetraga, don’t feel guilty. You be happy, and I will try on my own; I will seek and search.’
It will be good if you are both free; and if out of freedom you meet again one day, perfectly good. But this way you will create barriers. If you make him feel guilty then the possibility of meeting again is finished. But if he can see that Prarthana is feeling happy because he is happy, he will see the point of your love, he will feel your heart, and he may come back! I am not saying that he has to come back or he will come back… he may come back. But don’t cry and weep and don’t waste time.
The ego feels hurt. It is not love that feels hurt, it is the ego. It is the ego that starts thinking and comparing with the other woman: ‘So what is he seeing in the other woman? So he has found a better woman than me?’ Deep down these are the real wounds. It is not a question of better: people get tired of each other. It is nothing personal about you. People get tired of each other because life becomes a routine, monotonous phenomenon.
Simply drop it right now, forget about it, and start looking for a friend.
[She asks about her daughter Kiran understanding this.]
She will understand, because for Kiran, Veetraga [her father] will remain available; there is no problem about it. So many children…. And children are very understanding. Kiran will feel very miserable if you are miserable: she will feel miserable. But if she sees that Prarthana her mother is happy, within two, three days she will see that the whole thing is perfectly beautiful, nothing is wrong. You think you are miserable because of her and she will remain miserable because of you, because the child remains in a very sympathetic relationship with the mother. If she sees that you are happy, she will forget all about it. It is not her love affair, and she has not chosen another child, adopted another child.
There is no problem — the problem is with you. Deep down you would like to see her miserable so that you can create more misery for Veetraga: ‘Look what you have done to the child. You have done this to me and you have done this to the child, and you are feeling very joyful and are enjoying. We will poison your joy.’
Never poison anybody’s joy, because by poisoning anybody’s joy you are poisoning your own well-being, because whatsoever you do to others will be done to you.
Just try my recipe: drop the whole thing and go dancing and say to Kiranyour daughter ‘This is so good — he is free, I am free and it is perfectly beautiful.’
And my understanding of children is this: that they are so understanding. They become unnecessarily involved in the parents’ fight, they are pulled in. The mother wants to pull, the father wants to pull, and the child’s life becomes a misery. He becomes a politician by and by: he will say one thing to the father and something else to the mother. With the mother he will be with the mother, with the father he will be with the father. He has to become that political because he is in between these two persons. So don’t create that thing. It is nothing. She will understand; children forget very soon.
The question is yours, and the sooner you drop it, the better. There is no need to wallow in this misery. And you will be surprised: if you start feeling happy, if tomorrow Veetraga looks at you and sees that you are happy, he may start feeling miserable: ‘What is happening? Has she found somebody better than me?’ (laughter) Just let him feel it, and let him come crying and weeping! These are the games that people go on playing. He will feel very good if you are miserable. Deep down he will say ‘Look, now you know what I mean to you. You never recognized it before, but now it is too late.’
Just be a little more courageous — this much has to be learned here. And these things are going to happen again and again. I am here to make you more and more strong to go through all these things. Drop it! By the morning be completely out of it. And you will be out of it only if you start finding somebody; otherwise, alone, you will remain in it. So find a lover!
(Excerpted from: Hallelujah!, Chap-15)
[She said she hadI have problems with hermytwo-year-old child because he is very attached to herme.]
No, no, don’t push him away right now, otherwise he will be negative just like you for the whole of his life. Your mother must have pushed you away — and you are suffering. Never push the child away.
Love him as much as you can. A moment will come when he himself will start moving away from you. Then don’t cling. These are natural things… just as when the fruit is ripe it falls from the tree automatically. When the pregnancy is nine months old, the child comes out of the womb automatically. And it is the same — whenever he grows up, he will start moving with other children. Then one day he will find a wife and will completely forget you.
So don’t be worried ! Just love him. And if you can love him, he will not only one day be able to forget you, he will even be able to forgive you. Right now let him cling to you. He needs your warmth, your love. Don’t push him, otherwise he will stop growing. If pushed by the mother, the child feels rejected. Never reject, just allow him. It is perfectly natural. He is so helpless, that’s why he clings. There is nothing like attachment. When he will be mature, strong enough, he will start moving. Then don’t try to force him not to move. Just allow him.
(Excerpted from: A Rose is Rose is a Rose, Chap-19)
[Osho gives a three-year-old girl sannyas. The mother says her daughter wants to ask Osho about dying. She wants Osho to tell her where everything goes when it dies.]
My daughter asks about dying. She wants to know where everything goes when it dies.
That’s very good…. All children are interested in death; it is one of the natural curiosities. But rather than answering them — because all answers will be false…
So never answer — just say that you don’t know, that we will die and we will see. And let that be a very very tacit understanding about all those things for which you don’t know the answers.
When a child asks anything that you don’t know accept your ignorance. Never feel that acceptance of ignorance can be harmful; it never is. Parents always think that to accept that we don’t know will be harmful, our images will fall down before the child, but in fact just the opposite is the case. Sooner or later the child is going to find that you never knew and still you answered and you answered as if you knew. And the day it is recognised, the child will feel that you have been cheating, and then all respect disappears. Sooner or later the child is bound to find that the parents are as ignorant as anybody else, as powerless as anybody else, as groping in the dark as anybody else… but they pretended — and that pretension is very destructive. So whenever there is something you don’t know, say ‘I don’t know; I’m searching and seeking.’
And death is one of those things about which nothing can be said except one thing — that we go back home, we go to the same place from where we have come. We don’t know either. We come from some unknown source and we go back to that unknown source. Death is the completion of the circle, but both ends, the beginning and the end, are hidden in mystery.
It is just as if a bird enters into a room from one window, flutters there for a few seconds and escapes from another window outside. We know only when the bird is inside the room. We don’t know from where it comes; we don’t know where it has gone. All that we know is that small time, that interval, when the bird was inside the room. We had seen the bird entering from one window and escaping from another window; we don’t know from where or to where.
And this is the state of the whole of life. We see a child is born; the bird has entered — from where nobody knows. And then one day a person is dead; the bird has flown. And life is just between birth and death… a small passage.
Make the child aware of the mystery. Rather than giving the answer it is better to make the child aware of the mysterious that’s all around, so the child starts feeling more awe, more wonder. Rather than giving a flat answer, it is better to create an enquiry. Help the child to be more curious, help the child to be more enquiring. Rather than giving the answer, make the child ask more questions. If the child’s heart becomes enquiring, that’s enough; that’s all parents can do for the child. Then the child will seek his or her own answers in his or her own way. Never give answers. That has been one of the most dangerous things that man has practised down the ages, the greatest calamity — that we are very arrogant when we give answers; we lose all humbleness. We forget that life remains unknown — something ‘x’. We live it and yet it remains unknown; we are in it and yet it remains unknown. Its unknowability is something that seems to be fundamental. We have known many things but the unknowability remains the same — untouched. Man has progressed in knowledge much, much is known every day; thousands of research papers go on being added to human knowledge, thousands of books go on being added. But still the fundamental remains the same. Before the fundamental we are humble and helpless.
So help her to feel the mystery more and more.
(Excerpted from: The No Book, Chap-26)
[Mother and six-year-old son are at darshan. The mother says: I worry about himmy six year old son. and since he’s been at the ashram He’s doing the sorts of things I don’t like, things be didn’t do before like fighting and begging and lying… ]
Don’t worry, — he will not need any Encounter groups later on! It is perfectly good. This is the time when they should fight and scream and say things and be true; that will create the authenticity. These things will disappear; if they are repressed they remain. They only remain because they are repressed, otherwise when their season is past they will go.
Everybody looks childish because the childhood has not been allowed. So even a man of forty or fifty or even seventy can go into a tantrum. Just a small thing upsets him and he can become very very juvenile. Just a small shock, some sadness, and he is not capable of bearing it. He has not been allowed to live his childhood; that unlived childhood goes on lingering.
Remember always, as a basic rule: we are finished with that which is lived; that which remains unlived goes on persisting, it wants to be lived. There are things which are good in childhood. The same things will be very very dangerous when the childhood is gone. For example, if he screams it can be understood, if he shouts it can be understood, but when he is forty or fifty and he shouts and screams it becomes difficult to understand; then he himself feels embarrassed.
That’s why so many groups are growing in the world. They are needed, particularly because of Christianity. Christianity has been teaching repression, two thousand years of repression and ideas of Christian dignity. So nobody is allowed… Those things remain deep inside you, they wait: if some opportunity arises they will explode and if no opportunity arises, the person goes on seeking some opportunity. He may become drunk and then he will do things. He is forgiven; people say he is drunk. He can also say ‘I was drunk, sorry.’
People go to war, people go to see murder films. What is the joy in seeing a murder film? What is the joy in reading a detective story? It is a vicarious joy: that which you cannot do, you are doing through others, vicariously. Mm?you become identified with the murderer or the murdered, and you are thrilled. Why should people go to see a bullfight? Why should people be fighting with animals and go hunting? That seems to be so cruel and unnecessary. But there is a need; something wants to be expressed, some way has to be found.
Have you not seen a football match? — how a fight breaks out, there is a riot. The two parties and the friends of both the parties start fighting. Somebody is murdered, killed, and there is chaos. Just in a football match! It is so stupid… but it goes on. See a football match and people are so excited; that is their childhood unlived.
Allow him, don’t be afraid…. Your fear comes from your repression; it is not because of him. Your fear comes from your repression. You have been repressed; you have never been allowed these things and he is being allowed. You must be feeling a little jealous deep down and the fear is, if you have not been allowed, how can you allow him? something may go wrong. You have been taught that these things are wrong.
Just allow him. with this he will grow and he will grow beyond childhood. When he become mature, he will be really mature. He will never need anything like Encounter, Gestalt, Psychodrama. He has lived all that himself, and when you can really live then it goes very deep. A group is a created, artificial situation; it is only a substitute, a poor substitute.
Don’t be worried — let him enjoy. Good!
(Excerpted from: The Open Door, Chap-26)
My Child has some characteristics that I don’t like.
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If you sometimes find something in your child which you don’t like, look within yourself, you will find it there; it is reflected in the child. The child is only a sensitive response. The child is simply there imbibing you, repeating you, imitating you. So if something wrong appears in the child, rather than putting it right there, put it right in yourself, and you will be surprised: the chi!d drops it automatically. The child does not only depend on the mother for physical food, he depends on her in every way — for spiritual food also. So if you become silent, the child will follow it, he will learn it unknowingly; if you become meditative, he will become meditative.
Whenever parents come to me and they complain about their children, they are not aware of what they are doing, because my own observation is that if something is wrong with the child, it must have come from the parents. It is almost always so: ninety-nine percent of it comes from the parents; the smaller the child, the more is the percentage. When the child becomes a little bigger and starts moving in society, then of course he learns from others too, but in the ultimate account, almost ninety percent always comes from the parents. So whatsoever you want the child to become, be. Be silent, be compassionate, be loving, be joyous, and you will be surprised that just by your being that, the child starts imbibing those qualities. And this will be the greatest thing for him, if he can imbibe silence.
(Excerpted from: Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing, Chapter #14)
[A sannyasin, present with his five-year-old son says: I would like to talk about the relationship with my son. He <My son is a very beautiful and rich child, but I feel he demands too much energy from me and needs much attention. I am in a struggle between feeling guilty and sacrificing myself. Is it possible to have a balance?]
Yes, it is possible. Just one thing has to be understood. If you allow children, they can become very dictatorial; they can really exploit you. That is harmful to you and it is not good for them either, because once you allow yourself to be exploited and you have to give attention and love beyond your limits and you start feeling that this is too much, then somehow you will be taking revenge. Later on the child will grow into a world which is not going to bother about him, and he will always expect the same from everybody else. His expectations will be too much, and they will create frustrations. He will condemn you then — and it is logical too — and say, ‘My father destroyed me.’
Give love, but don’t allow yourself to be dominated. The distinction is subtle but has to be understood. Give love when you feel like giving. When you don’t feel like giving, then don’t be bothered, because you are not here just to fulfill your son’s desires. And you are giving him a wrong example — he will do the same to his children.
And always remember — sacrifice is not good, because you cannot forgive and you cannot forget once you sacrifice. You will never be able to forgive the son.
But he cannot be made responsible. He is not alert, he is not so conscious. You are more conscious. Your responsibility is the greater. Give your love but don’t be dominated. Make it clear…. And children are very perceptive. Once they know, once it becomes clear that you cannot be coerced, they become practical. I have never seen children very philosophical. They are always very down to earth. They know what is possible — and only then do they do it. If it is impossible, they won’t do it.
Once I was staying with a friend, and the couple went out and told me that their small son is there, so I have to look after him. I said, ‘Let him play.’ He fell from the stairs and was hurt.
He looked at me, and I sat there like a buddha (much laughter). So he looked at me, watched closely, and then thought, ‘It is useless; to cry or to weep is meaningless, because this man seems to be almost like a statue.’ He started playing….
Half an hour later when the parents came back, he started crying. So I said to him, ‘This is illogical because now there is no problem. If there was Pain or some hurt, half an hour has Passed — you should have cried before.’ He said, ‘What was the point? I knew well that you were not going to be bothered. I had to wait!’ Children are very very practical.
So you have to be alert. You are doing something wrong. And once they know that you can be coerced easily, they will coerce you. So just give your love as much as you want, but not under coercion. It should be voluntary. For a few days it will be a little difficult because you must have made a habit, but the sooner you mend it, the better — better for you, better for him.
So from this moment become a little alert about it. For ten days, don’t allow him to force you, and then tell me how things are going. He will understand tomorrow. Children are never foolish, never stupid. Stupidity comes only later. Up to the age of seven, children are very intelligent. In fact stupid children are not born — only intelligent children. Then by and by stupidity is learned; it is not a natural thing.
He will understand tomorrow. Just make it dear. Just as two plus two is four, make it clear to him. He will try the old tricks but he will see that they are not working and he will drop them, mm?
(Excerpted from: Dance Your Way to God, Chap-22)

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[A sannyasin mother says: I’ve had a really hard time with the children here… If I want to go to meditate, they don’t want me to go and then I feel very torn.]
Children can be very very manipulative. And one has to be very alert not to be a victim of one’s own children, because that way you don’t help them; that way you destroy their future. They learn wrong strategies and then they will repeat those strategies for their whole life: with their wife, with their husband, with their children. Once they have learned that there are tricks which can be played upon people and that people can be forced to do things that they don’t want to do, they have become politicians. It is for their sake that you should not yield.
I’m not saying to be hard on them, be very loving to them, but make it clear to them that these strategies won’t help. If they cry and weep, nothing is wrong in it. Soon they will understand. And children are very sensitive — they know, they know when to stop, they know how far to go; they have immense common sense. Later on they will lose that common sense but when they are children they have immense common sense. Trust their common sense.
Once you allow them to manipulate you, next time they will do even more. They know that you are under their power. And everybody wants to enjoy power, everybody wants to be the boss.
You should have told me before.
They can weep, they can cry. Let them cry, they have to be left alone. And they will learn something out of it: the respect for others’ freedom.
A mother is also a woman, an individual. The motherhood is not all, it is only a part of you. That’s why many women in the world, particularly in the west, have become very afraid of being mothers. It seems almost like a slaughter. A woman is killed the moment she becomes a mother; she is no more herself. She has no more freedom. She is finished once she becomes a mother, entangled, and so burdened by the problems of the children that she cannot have any space of her own. And children want to possess; possessiveness is very inborn. That disease we bring from the very birth, to possess and grab and to hold and to cling.
Many women are afraid of becoming mothers. This is ugly, but the reason is there. This is not the way to solve the problem. The way to solve it is to see that motherhood is part of you. It is not synonymous with you; you remain an individual. So is your being a wife just a part of you. It is not synonymous with you; you remain an individual. And the individuality should not be sacrificed for anything, whatever it is — motherhood, wifehood, husbandhood, fatherhood; the individuality should not be sacrificed, because there are great implications in it.
Once you sacrifice, you will take revenge with the children later on because you will always be angry; you will never be able to forgive. You will know that these are the people who murdered you, and now you are old, you cannot live. Now you are free — the children have gone to the university, you are free and you can live — but life is gone. While you were alive and young and wanted to meditate, paint, dance and sing, the children were there and they wouldn’t allow it. Now they are gone, and with them your life is gone. You don’t have long life, it is a very short life, and by the time they are strong enough to stand on their own, you are finished. But then you will never be able to forgive them; you will remain angry. And they will not be able to forgive you either, because they will know your anger, they will feel your frustration, and deep down they will feel guilty too. These are the implications.
It is better to be very clear-cut from the very beginning. Make it clear to them: ‘I am going, this is what I want to do. Now it is up to you — if you want to cry, you can cry but I am not going to change my decision.’ And my understanding of children is this, that once they know that it is going to happen, they simply start playing; then there is no point. Their common sense should be trusted; they should be respected. You don’t respect them when you yield to them. You think, ‘They are children.’ You don’t respect them as grown-ups. They are far more sensitive than the grown-ups.
My understanding is that they are very very alert about things that are happening around them and they are practical people, very practical, because they are primitive. They are not speculative; they don’t go into the head. They simply see what works; whatsoever works they grab. Don’t allow them to learn any strategy that will be harmful to them in the future.
Next time you come, or at home, make it a point that when you are meditating you are simply meditating. Then you don’t have any children, you are no more a mother. Motherhood is not a twenty-four hour job. Tell the children ‘When I am mothering, I am mothering, and when I am meditating, I am meditating. And I don’t want these things to overlap.’ You will help them to become strong and to see ‘the point. And in their life, when they are grown-up, they will feel grateful to you and you will never feel angry. That was something wrong that you did; you should have told me. But start working on those lines slowly, slowly. Children are fragile but very very strong too. And they will insist, they will not easily give way, because they know you — you have been surrendering to them, so they will not easily give way. But within two, three weeks they will understand that this woman has changed; this woman is no more the same. Make it clear to them.
(Excerpted from: The Sun Behind The Sun Behind the Sun, Chap-16)

[A sannyasin has brought her son because she is I am worried about the way he my son doesn’t eat, which may be causing bronchitis, and how he relates with other children.]
What is the way? I think the problem is more with you than with him!
He seems to be perfectly okay! You seem to be too worried about him. Sometimes even that can create tension in his mind — if you are too worried. Take every care, but worry is not care. Certainly you love him and you have to take care, but worry is not the way to care. Worry is very destructive. It is destructive to you, it is destructive to him, because if he finds that you are too worried about him he will start feeling guilty — that it is because of him that you are so worried. That may cause bronchitis, that may cause asthma. He may start eating less; he may start punishing himself.
That’s what my feeling is right now — that you are too much concerned. No concern is bad but too much concern is also bad. Extremes are always bad; it is good to be in the middle. You are over-protecting him too much. You are too much of a jewish mother. You can make him almost feel suffocated; that’s what bronchitis and asthma is. Asthma can start if the person feels he is being suffocated… and that’s what you are creating. And you are not against him — you are for him; it is for his own good.
So your intention is not bad — I don’t suspect your intention — but what you are doing is not good. Your intention is perfectly valid but the way you are doing it will be suicidal for you both, mm? Because the more you will be concerned, the more he will feel suffocated, and then you will become more concerned.
Just Leave him on his own. Love him but leave him. He has his own life. Just give him more freedom and the asthma will disappear. Allow him his own way of life; don’t try to guide him too much. All that we can do is we can love and give freedom, and love gives freedom — only then is it love.
So withdraw your concern, withdraw your worries. That may be some way of avoiding yourself. Mm?you become concerned about him so you can avoid your own worries. That becomes a good excuse, that becomes a rationalisation. You can escape from your own inner chaos — you can become concerned about him. That’s what millions of people are doing. Children become scapegoats.
You can put all your problems on him and you can feel very good because you are concerned about your child — which is natural, and nobody can say that you are doing something wrong. People will tell that you are a great mother, you are so caring — and all that you are doing is avoiding certain problems in your own life. And if you are left alone, if there is nobody to worry about then you will have to encounter those problems. Encounter those problems; they have to be transcended. And don’t make a problem out of it, otherwise he will become a problem!
And if you in a deep way have some investment in his being ill, in his being troubled… This is an investment, because if he is perfectly healthy then what will you do? You will be thrown back to yourself. So deep down somewhere in the unconscious you would like him to remain the way he is. And he will feel it; children arc very intuitive. He will feel it and he will fulfill your desire. What else can he do? He will fulfill your unconscious desire and he will keep you engaged, but his life will be spoiled. And you will miss an opportunity of encountering yourself.
My feeling is that you have some deep problem to solve — that’s your love. So rather than pouring everything on him, find a lover, a friend.
It happens many times that a mother can hang around the child. She can say, ‘What can I do? I have no time to move into any relationship — I can’t afford it.’ No, you have to move into your own life so that you can leave him a little alone. Give him his own space. I think he is perfectly okay; don’t be worried at all. The worry is not going to help; it can harm.
And once he feels that you are giving freedom you will see him flowering. What you really desire will happen but you have chosen a wrong way of having it. And nothing v. illbe lost in australia, but start giving him more freedom. Respect him as a grown-up.
Each child has to be respected as being on the same plane. You should not try to patronise a child. Help, but don’t patronise him. Support, but don’t guide; give all that you can give, but that’s all. Don’t make any conditions on him — that he has to return or he has to repay you in some way. Don’t make him feel obliged and don’t do anything that can create guilt in him — so he starts feeling that it is because of him that his mum is so worried. Otherwise he will start thinking it will be better to die; the mother will be happy.
Not exactly in these words, but existentially this happens to many children. They simply start shrinking because they see that because of them there is so much trouble and so much problem, so what is the point of being here? They start shrinking. They can die slowly, slowly….
So first: give him freedom. Don’t suffocate him. That’s what his asthma is saying to you; it is a message. And don’t enforce food on him otherwise he will reject. There is no need! A child knows when he is hungry. When he is hungry he will eat. If he is not hungry there is no need to eat. And it is such a natural thing that no child is going to remain hungry. Just stop worrying about it.
If some day he misses one meal, don’t be worried; that’s perfectly okay. Once in a while a holiday is good. Let him miss the meal. When his real hunger comes he will come running! Don’t force. Many mothers force food on the child and destroy many things in doing that.
Once they destroy the natural appetite of the child, by and by he becomes completely oblivious; when he is hungry, when he is not hungry, he knows not. No animal starves. When the animal is hungry he will eat; when he is not hungry he will not eat. And no mother is taking care of him; nobody is guiding him. And children are animals, pure animals.
Just leave him! If he is not eating, that is good for him; if he is eating, that is good for him. Just watch — you need not be worried about it. And within a month he will start eating in his own way. Whatsoever he likes, let him eat. Keep your plans and your knowledge of how a child has to be brought up to yourself and if you have any guidebooks, burn them! Because in the west people have guidebooks. They are reading books and trying to follow what the knowledgeable people, experts, say should be done. There is no need at all — nature is enough! And give him freedom: let him move, let him do things in his own way. Within three months your problems will disappear… but you have to tackle your problems!
When a mother becomes too much concerned about the child it means she is trying to find in the child, the child and the husband both. That’s dangerous! You should start looking for a friend. That will divert your mind from him and it will save him!
Always remember that the greatest discovery of this century is that almost ninety-nine percent of people who suffer from neurosis, psychosis or some kind of mind disease, suffer from mothers. This is one of the greatest discoveries of this century — that deep down it is always the mother. So don’t do that to your child. It has been done to millions of people, it is being done everywhere.
You can go to any psychoanalyst and ask, ‘What is the root cause of psychological disease?’ and he will say ‘The mother.’ The beauty and the paradox of it is that no mother wants to harm the child. Every mother wants to help, every mother wants to sacrifice her whole life for the child. Every mother is a martyr, and still this is the result. So something is going wrong. Intentions are good but the methods used are wrong.
(Excerpted from: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit there, Chapter-23)

[A sannyasin and her young son are present. She says: It’s very difficult for me — I feel hemy young son is very strong and I don’t feel strong at all. I don’t know what to do in certain situations.]
Let him be strong! Why should you be worried about his strength? It is good. He has to be strong and the mother has to be soft. He has to be strong; only then can he grow into an individual. If he is soft and the mother is strong, he will be killed. That’s what happens to many people: the mother is too strong and they are soft, or the mother would not allow them to be strong. Then they go on hanging around the mother for their whole life. Even if they are old and the mother is dead and gone they are still holding on to her apron strings; deep down they still psychologically depend on her. That becomes pathology. Then the man may start looking at his wife as if she is his mother. He cannot live without a mother; he needs somebody to mother him.
Because of this tendency, breasts have become so important. Artists go on painting breasts, sculptors go on sculpting breasts, poets go on writing about breasts; it seems to be really a great obsession. Basically it is just an indication that these people are still hankering for the mother; the breast represents the mother. If children are free of the mother, the breast will disappear from poetry and films and painting. They will take the right proportion, they will be natural parts of the body. Right now it seems that it is not the woman who has breasts but the breasts who have the woman; the woman seems to be secondary. This is a very pathological state.
Children have to be very strong, so help him to be strong. It will be difficult for you to manage because the stronger he is, the more trouble he will create for you; if he is weak, there is no trouble. But one has to be strong in life: life creates trouble, life is risky, it is challenging. If he is dull and stale and just dead, he will sit in a corner and will not give you any inconvenience but then he is not alive! If he is alive he will create many many problems for you. You have to face them. That’s what it means to be a mother: to face those problems. And by facing them you will also grow, by giving him freedom and strength you will also grow. Mother and child grow together.
Remember always, the day the child is born the mother is also born. Before that you were just a woman, not a mother. Once the child is born you are a separate phenomenon, a mother; something has bloomed in you. And now the growth of the child will be the growth of the mother too. If one day you can help the child to be completely free of you, you will also attain to your inner freedom. So help him to be strong.
(Excerpted from: Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing, Chapter #14)

[The new sannyasin says she isI am concerned about screaming at her sonmy daughter. Osho asks her to give an example, and she replies: He comes up to his sister and he pinches her and she shrieks. ItShe sometimesmakes me nervous and so I scream at himher to stop it.]
No, don’t be worried about screaming — not at all. It is natural. Just one thing you have to remember — balance it by loving.
There are moments when one wants to scream — and the children understand that, because they themselves scream. That is really their language. If you are feeling boiling within and you don’t scream, the child feels disturbed very much at what is happening, because it is beyond him to understand. He can feel…. Your very vibe is screaming and you are not screaming; you are even smiling, controlling. The child is disturbed very much by that because he feels the mother is cheating — and they never forgive cheating.
They are always ready to accept truth. Children are very very empirical, very earth4, down to earth. They can accept your screaming because they also scream when they feel like that. They will feel a bridge between you and them if you scream. The only thing to be done is, don’t feel guilty about it, otherwise your guilt will be disturbing. Your guilt will create problems for them. They will start feeling that they are the cause of your guilt; they are making you feel guilty. That will create guilt in them. Guilt creates guilt.
So scream when you feel like it. The only thing to remember is to balance it by love. Then love also madly. When you are screaming at them, you have to love them also, just the same mad way. Hug them, dance with them. They will understand that their mother is wild, and they know that she loves them so she has the right to scream also. If you only scream and don’t love them with intensity and passion, then there is a problem. So the problem does not arise out of screaming. It arises if you don’t balance it by love.
So just go on balancing, that’s all. And be true. If you feel like screaming, you feel like screaming. What can you do? All that you can do is going to be a sort of repression. You can repress it, you can hold it in, but it will come out in indirect ways. And children cannot understand those indirect ways — they are not yet civilised. They don’t know the language of repression. When they have done something wrong, they can understand that they are being beaten, but they cannot understand when they are doing something wrong and they have been caught and you smile. This simply puzles them. It is so unnatural; they cannot believe it. The mother must be faking it, because they cannot do it, so how can you? And of course they are closer to nature than you and they understand nature more than you.
When a child comes and he has done something wrong, he comes ready to be beaten, slapped. If you don’t slap him, his expectations are not fulfilled, he will be frustrated. If you hit him hard, nothing is wrong, only it should be warm. That hit should be warm, not cold — and there is a great difference between the two. A cold hit or a cold slapping comes only if you repress.
For example a child has done something and you have repressed your anger. This was the warm moment. If you had hit him, screamed at him, everything would have been warm and alive, but you repressed it. Later when the child is not doing anything — six hours have passed and he has forgotten completely — you cannot forget; you have repressed it. Now the whole thing has gone cold. Now you find some excuse: ‘You have not done your homework! Where is your homework!’ Now this is cold and you are taking revenge — and you will take revenge otherwise it will hang around you. You have to do something otherwise you will not be able to get rid of it.
You find some rational excuse. Screaming was very irrational, but natural. You will find some unnatural but rational excuse — that he has not done his homework or his clothes are dirty or he has not taken a shower today. Now you are angry but your anger is cold. You may get rid of it; that too will be ugly. It is just like eating cold food — it takes long to digest; it becomes heavy on the stomach.
The child cannot understand; it is almost impossible. He has not done anything. He was not expecting this and he has completely forgotten what happened six hours ago. He never carries any memory that long. Then a distrust arises because he thinks the mother is somehow totally different from him. When he has done something wrong, she smiles. And when he has not done anything wrong, she is ready to slap him or scream. And a cold scream is heartless.
So be warm. They are your children, you are their mother. You have to be in a natural, flowing relationship. Don’t listen to what psychologists go on talking about — fifty percent of it is almost rubbish. They have destroyed many beautiful things in the world. Now mothers and fathers are reading their manuals on how to behave with their children. What foolishness! One simply knows… by being a mother you know how to behave. No need to learn from anybody. Just be natural.
These manuals are all to be burned. Listen to nature. You are a mother so you know. No cat goes and consults any manual on how to catch rats. She simply jumps and catches. She is a cat — that’s enough! No certificate is needed, no counsellors are needed. You are a mother — finished! Your mother nature will take care. Just be natural, and always balance. If you are natural it will balance itself. And I am saying it only so you don’t forget it. Otherwise there is a possibility that you can scream and be natural and you may not love them.
And love is not something only in the mind — that you think you love them. Do something — just as you scream. A scream is a physical thing. Sometimes sing and dance also because you have such a beautiful child. Then there is no problem. Sometimes hug him, take him close… Let him feel your body and feel his body. He is part of your body. He needs your warmth. Sometimes take his hand and run around the house… go swimming. Sometimes take him in the shower and stand naked, both stand naked, under the shower, and then he’ll understand perfectly well that his mother is natural; whatsoever she does is right. I don’t see that there is any problem. Good.
(Excerpted from: Dance Your Way to God, Chap-23)
[An sannyasin says her My children have become unruly, unmanageable, even beating her up.What should I do?]
Just leave them to themselves!…
Simply leave them to themselves, just don’t be too concerned, mm? You are too concerned, that’s why they look anarchic and they look disorderly….
There is no need to stop, let them have their own way. Simply don’t come in their way. And they will cool down. If you try to stop them they will react. Now it will not be possible and you will become very tense….
You will not like to hit them, you will not like to punish them. If you punish them you will feel hurt; if you don’t punish them, you feel as if they will be destroyed. Nothing is going to be destroyed. This world has been going perfectly well and all kinds of children are absorbed in it. No problem.
Simply relax. And once they see that you have relaxed utterly, and you are not worried at all what they are doing, they will become very very cool and understanding themselves. The best way to control children is… If you can become a little chaotic, they will become controlled. Jump and dance and sing and they will start thinking ‘What has happened to our mother? (laughter) Is she crazy or something?’ And they will start thinking ‘If neighbours come to know, what will they think?’ They will start controlling you and trying to hush you up!
The best way to control them is this: you do whatsoever you want to do and let them do whatsoever they want to do. And you will be surprised. Even small children — this always happens — if they see that nobody is looking after them and that they even have to look after their mother, they become very very silent and disciplined. They start playing the role of the parents. Somebody has to do it; there is a kind of continuous balancing in life. If you try to discipline them, they will react against it. Teach them to be anarchic and, when guests come, to do whatsoever nuisance they can do. And just watch for four weeks. It will be difficult for you for four weeks but you will be surprised — slowly you will see that they are becoming suspicious of you. Let them come to me to say ‘It is becoming very difficult, how to control our mother?’ Don’t be worried!…
Everything as it is is perfectly good. They are just hippies and nothing else… and India needs a good quantity of hippies!
(excerpted from: Let Go!, Chap-7)

[Osho gives sannyas to a five-year-old girl and she skips back to her seat. Osho speaks to her parents:]

How can our child remain non-serious?

Anand means bliss, joy, and hasya means laughter. Teach her to laugh more and more. And when you play with her, keep the atmosphere of laughter around her. If you can avoid seriousness, you will be fulfilling your duty. Children are crushed under seriousness. Certainly older people are more serious and children are laughter-like, but by and by they start imitating; they start feeling as if laughter is something wrong. And older people create an impression in their minds that to be serious, to keep quiet, to be silent, is something good, virtuous. That is wrong, because once the child loses contact with laughter it is very difficult to gel back the contact. So many therapies are needed, and even then it is difficult to get your childhood back. So many religions are needed. In fact there is no need for any religion in the world.
If children are allowed to be natural, laughing, allowed fun, spontaneity, no religion is needed, no church is needed. People will be religious without any religion, and people will be religious without any church. They may not know the name of God, they may not go somewhere to worship, but their whole life will be worship, because laughter is a prayer.
The moment the child loses fun, death has settled in, and near the age of three, a child starts dying. That’s why even in old age people remember that there was paradise in childhood — childhood was heaven. That feeling that something has been lost continues — the garden of Eden has been lost… Adam has been expelled.
In fact, it is beautiful — the story that he ate the fruit of knowledge is beautiful — he ate knowledge. He must have become serious, because the moment you become knowledgeable you lose laughter, you lose fun. His laughter must have stopped. And he was hiding from God. The moment you stop playing, you start hiding from God. He was expelled because of his knowledge, his seriousness. He had become a saint — he was no more a child. That’s why Jesus goes on insisting that unless you become a child again, you will not enter the kingdom of God.
So whenever you have a child, you have a garden of Eden around you. So don’t force him to become serious. No child should be forced to become serious. Rather you should lose seriousness when you are with her. Laugh and become a child. If you can help that much, she will grow into a beautiful sannyasinperson.Mm? Good!
(Excerpted from: The Shadow of the Whip, Chap-9)

OSHO, SHOULD CHILDREN BE TOLD ALL THE FACTS OF LIFE, IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR AGE?
Govinddas,

IT HAS always been a problem down the ages — what to tell children and what not to tell. Parents have been very much concerned. In the past the strategy was not to tell about the facts of life, to avoid it as far as possible, because people were very much afraid about the facts of life.
The very phrase ‘facts of life’ is a euphemism; it simply hides a simple thing. Not to say anything about sex, even to avoid the word ‘sex’ they have made this metaphor, ‘facts of life’. What facts of life? — it is just not to say anything about sex.
The whole past of humanity has lived with that deception, but the children discover sooner or later. And in fact they discover sooner than later, and they discover in a very wrong way. Because no right person is ready to tell them, they have to do their work on their own. They collect, they become peeping Toms — and you are responsible for reducing them to peeping Toms. They collect from all wrong sources, from ugly people. They will carry those wrong notions their whole lives, and you are the cause of it. Their whole sex life may be affected by that wrong information that they have gathered.
Now there is as much wrong information prevalent in the world about sex as is possible. Even in this twentieth century people are living with immense ignorance about sex, even people who you would think should know better. Even your doctor does not really know what sex is, does not know its complexity. He should know, but even doctors live very superstitiously; they also know things from the marketplace. In no medical college is sex taught as a separate subject — such an immense, powerful subject and yet nothing is taught about it. Yes, the physiology of sex is known by the physician, but the physiology is not all; there are deeper layers: there is psychology, there is spirituality. There is a psychology to sex and there is a spirituality to sex; the physiology is only the surface. Much research has been done there, and in this century we know more than ever before, but the knowledge is not becoming prevalent.
People are afraid, because their parents were afraid and that fear has become infectious. And you are afraid, Govinddas, and you don’t want to tell your children about it.
You have to tell your children about it, you owe it to them. And you have to be truthful. Don’t shirk from truth — in the long run truth always pays — and don’t lie.
“Mom, do we get our food from God?”
“Yes, we do, Barbara.”
“And at Christmas time does Santa bring all our presents?”
“That’s right.”
“And on my birthday the good fairy brings presents?”
“Hmm… ”
“And did the stork bring little brother?”
“True.”
“Then what the heck does Pop hang around here for?”
It is better to be truthful! But I am not saying to jump upon your children and start being truthful whether they want it or not. Now that is happening — the other extreme — particularly in the West, because the psychologists go on saying that the truth has to be told. People go on telling the truth whether the children are enquiring about it or not. That too is wrong. Wait! If the child enquires, be truthful; if he does not enquire there is no need, he is not interested yet.
At the dinner table the old man almost choked when his little eight-year-old boy asked, “Daddy, where do I come from?”
Reddening, Pop said, “Well, I guess the time has come for you and I to have a man-to-man talk. After dinner I will tell you about the birds and the bees.”

The kid said, “What birds and bees? Little Frankie down the block told me he came from Chicago. All I want to know is where I come from!”
So wait a little. They themselves will ask, you are not to be in such a hurry. And remember, whatsoever is the case, be truthful, howsoever hard it seems to you. It will be hard for you because truth was not told to you by your parents; for centuries it has not been told. Everybody gathers it from rumors, nobody ever tells it to his own children. People feel embarrassed, afraid that the children may discover.

Drop all these fears, and don’t try in any way to deceive the children. It can be dangerous.
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(Excerpted from: The Guest, Chap-5, Q-8)

 

 

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