Tantra: Love, Freedom, Yoga and You
Since finding Tantra in 2000, my life has changed in many ways. I have redefined sex, learned new ways to move energy within me and with others, realized sticking points in my life, and discovered how to be in a relationship with me. These are just a few of the thousands of things Tantra has offered me. Yet there is one wisdom that Tantra has opened in me that feels like an endless journey to be on: the stripping away of everything I knew of love and experiencing love fresh. It has been one of the hardest journeys I have taken. The depth of very unhealthy patterns that I have called “love” is staggering. This stripping away has created a new heart in me. Here is a wonderful teaching Osho has on the topic, enjoy…
Question – Beloved Osho, The ultimate search is Individual, But can you explain the integral part of the Beloved in Tantra and the search for our inner self?
Osho – A very intricate, complex thing has to be understood: If you are not in love, you are lonely. If you are in love, really in love, you become alone. Loneliness is sadness; aloneness is not sadness. Loneliness is a feeling of incompleteness. You need someone and the needed one is not available. Loneliness is darkness, with no light in it. A dark house, waiting and waiting for someone to come and kindle the light.
Aloneness is not loneliness. Aloneness means the feeling that you are complete. Nobody is needed, you are enough. And this happens in love. Lovers become alone — through love you touch your inner completeness. Love makes you complete. Lovers share each other, but that is not their need, that is their overflowing energy.
Two persons who have been feeling lonely can make a contract, can come together. They are not lovers, remember. They remain lonely. Now, because of the presence of the other, they don’t feel the loneliness — that’s all. They somehow deceive themselves. Their love is nothing but a deception to deceive oneself: I am not lonely — somebody else is there. Because two lonely persons are meeting, their loneliness basically is doubled, or even multiplied. That’s what happens ordinarily.
You feel lonely when you are alone, and when you are in relationship you feel miserable. This is an everyday observation. When people are lonely they feel lonely, and they are in a deep search for somebody to be related to. When they are related to somebody, then misery starts; then they feel it was better to be lonely — this is too much. What happens?
Two lonely persons meet — that means two gloomy, sad, miserable persons meet. The misery is multiplied. How can two uglinesses become beautiful? How can two lonelinesses coming together become completion, totality? Not possible. They exploit each other, they somehow try to deceive themselves through the other. But that deception doesn’t go far. By the time the honeymoon is finished, the marriage is also finished. It is very temporary. It is just an illusion.
Real love is not a search to go against loneliness. Real love is to transform loneliness into aloneness. To help the other — if you love the person, you help him to be alone. You don’t fill him or her. You don’t try to complete the other in some way by your presence. You help the other to be alone, to be so full out of her or his own being that you will not be a need.
When the person is totally free, then out of that freedom sharing is possible. Then he gives much, but not as a need; he gives much, but not as a bargain. He gives much because he has much. He gives because he enjoys giving. Lovers are alone, and a real lover never destroys your aloneness. He will always be totally respectful about the aloneness of the other. It is sacred. He will not interfere in it, he will not spoil that space.
But ordinarily, lovers, so-called lovers, are very much afraid of the other and the other’s aloneness, independence; they are very much afraid — because they think if the other is independent then they will not be needed, then they will be discarded. So the woman goes on trying… that the husband should remain dependent, always in need, so that she can remain valuable. And the husband goes on trying in every way so that the woman always remains in need, so that he remains valuable. This is a bargain and there is continuous conflict, struggle. The struggle is that everybody needs his freedom.
Love allows freedom; not only allows, but strengthens freedom. And anything that destroys freedom is not love. It must be something else. Love and freedom go together, they are two wings of the same bird. Whenever you see that your love is going against your freedom, then you are doing something else in the name of love.
Let this be your criterion: freedom is the criterion; love gives you freedom, makes you free, liberates you. And once you are totally yourself, you feel grateful to the person who has helped you. That gratefulness is almost religious. You feel in the other person something divine. He has made you free, or she has made you free, and love has not become a possessiveness.
When love deteriorates it becomes possessiveness, jealousy, struggle for power, politics, domination, manipulation — a thousand and one things, all ugly. When love soars high, to the purest sky, it is freedom, total freedom. It is moksha — it is absolute freedom.
Now the question: “The ultimate search is individual, but can you explain the integral part of the beloved in Tantra and the search for our inner self?”
Tantra is purest love. Tantra is the methodology of purifying love of all its poisons. If you are in love, the love I am talking about, your very love will help the other to be integrated. Your very love will become a cementing force for the other. In your love the other will come together, because your love will give freedom; and under the shade of your love, under the protection of your love, the other will start growing.
All growth needs love — but unconditional love. If love has conditions then growth cannot be total, because those conditions will come in the way. Love unconditionally. Don’t ask anything in return. Much comes on its own — that’s another thing. Don’t be a beggar. In love be an emperor. Just give it and see what happens… a thousandfold it comes back. But one has to learn it. Otherwise one remains a miser; one gives a little and waits for much to come back, and your waiting, your expectation, destroys the whole beauty of it.
When you are waiting and expecting, the other feels that you are manipulating. He may say it or not, but he feels you are manipulating. And wherever you feel manipulation, one wants to rebel against it — because it is against the inner need of the soul, because any demand from the outside disintegrates you. Any demand from the outside divides you. Any demand from the outside is a crime against you, because your freedom is polluted. Then you are no more sacred. You are no more the end — you are being used as a means. And the greatest immoral act in the world is to use somebody as a means.
Each being is an end unto himself. Love treats you as an end unto yourself. You are not to be dragged into any expectations. Tantra is the highest form of love. Tantra is the science, the yoga of love.
So a few things to be remembered. One: love, but not as a need — as a sharing. Love, but don’t expect — give. Love, but remember your love should not become an imprisonment for the other. Love, but be very careful; you are moving on sacred ground. You are going into the highest, the purest and holiest temple. Be alert! Drop all impurities outside the temple. When you love a person, love the person as if the person is a god, not less than that. Never love a woman as a woman and never love a man as a man, because if you love a man as a man your love is going to be very, very ordinary. Your love is not going to be more than lust. If you love a woman as a woman, your love is not going to soar very high. Love a woman as a goddess, then love becomes worship.
In Tantra, the man who is going to make love to the woman has to worship her for months as a goddess. He has to visualize in the woman the mother-goddess. When the visualization has become total, when no lust arises, when seeing the woman sitting naked before him he simply feels thrilled with a divine energy, no lust arises, the very form of the woman becomes divine, and all thoughts stop and only reverence is felt — then he is allowed to make love.
It looks a little absurd and paradoxical. When there is no need to make love, then he is allowed to make love. When the woman has become a goddess, then he is allowed to make love — because now love can soar high, love can become a climax, a crescendo. Now it will not be of the earth, it will not be of this world; it will not be of two bodies, it will be of two beings. It will be a meeting of two existences. Two souls will meet, merge and mingle, and both will come out of it tremendously alone.
Aloneness means purity. Aloneness means that you are just yourself and nobody else. Aloneness means that you are pure gold; just gold and nothing else… just you. Love makes you alone. Loneliness will disappear, but aloneness will arise.
Loneliness is a state when you are ill with yourself, bored with yourself, tired of yourself, and you want to go somewhere and to forget yourself into somebody else. Aloneness is when you are thrilled just by your being. You are blissful just by being yourself. You need not go anywhere. Need has disappeared. You are enough unto yourself. But now, a new thing arises in your being. You have so much that you cannot contain it. You have to share, you have to give. And whosoever accepts your gift, you will feel grateful towards him that he accepted. He could have rejected it.
Lovers feel grateful that their love has been accepted. They feel thankful, because they were so full of energy and they needed someone to pour that energy into. When a flower blooms and releases its fragrance to the winds it feels grateful to the winds — the fragrance was growing more and more heavy on it. It was becoming almost a burden. It was just as if a woman is pregnant and nine months have passed and the child is not being born, is delaying. Now she is so much burdened; she wants to share the child with the world. That is the meaning of birth.
Up to now she has been carrying the child in herself. It was nobody else’s but her own. But now it is too much; she cannot contain it. It has to be shared; the child has to be shared with the world. The mother has to drop her miserliness. Once the child is out of the womb, it is no more only of the mother; by and by it will go away, and far away. It will become part of the great world. The same happens when a cloud comes full of rain water ready to shower, and when it showers, rains, the cloud feels unburdened and happy and grateful to the thirsty earth because it accepted.
There are two types of love. One: love when you are feeling lonely — as a need, you go to the other. Then love when are not feeling lonely, but alone. In the first case you go to get something; in the second case you go to give something. A giver is an emperor.
Remember, Tantra is not ordinary love. It has nothing to do with lust. It is the greatest transformation of lust into love. The ultimate search is individual — but love makes you individual. If it doesn’t make you individual, if it tries to make you a slave, then it is not love — it is hate pretending love. Pretending to be love, it is hidden hatred just managing somehow; managing somehow and pretending that it is love.
Love of this type kills, destroys the individuality. It makes you less of an individual. It pulls you down. You are not enhanced, you don’t become graceful. You are being pulled into the mud. And everybody starts feeling that he is settling with something dirty. Love should give you freedom — never settle for less. Love should make you a white cloud, completely free, a wanderer in the sky of freedom, with no roots attached anywhere. Love is not an attachment; lust is.
Meditation and love are the two ways to attain to that individuality I am talking about. Both are very, very deeply related together. In fact they are both aspects of the same coin: love and meditation.
If you meditate, sooner or later you will come upon love. If you meditate deeply, sooner or later you will start feeling a tremendous love arising in you that you have never known before — a new quality to your being, a new door opening. You have become a new flame and you want to share now.
If you love deeply, by and by you will become aware that your love is becoming more and more meditative. A subtle quality of silence is entering in you. Thoughts are disappearing, gaps appearing — silences. You are touching your own depth.
Love makes you meditative if it is on the right lines.
Meditation makes you loving if it is on the right lines.
And there are only two types of people in the world, basically: those who will find their meditation through love, and those who will find their love through meditation.
For those who will find their meditation through love, it is Tantra; that is their science. For those who will find love through their meditation, for them it is Yoga; that is their science.
Tantra and Yoga, these are the only two ways — basically, very foundational. But both can go wrong if you don’t understand well. And the criterion is — listen — if you meditate and it doesn’t become love, know well you have gone wrong somewhere. And you will find ninety-nine yogis out of a hundred have gone wrong. The more they enter into their meditation, the more they become against love. They become, in fact, afraid of love. They start thinking of love as a distraction. Then their meditation is not real meditation. A meditation out of which love does not arise is not meditation at all. It is an escape, not a growth. It is as if a seed has become afraid of becoming a plant and blossoming in flowers, and has become afraid of releasing its fragrance to the winds — a seed has become a miser.
You will find this type of yogi all over India. Their meditation has not come to bloom. Their meditation got constipated somewhere on the way. They are stuck. You will not find grace on their faces, and you will not find intelligence in their eyes. You will see around them a certain climate of dullness and stupidity. You will not find them alert, aware, alive. A certain deadness… because if you are alive you have to become loving. To avoid love they avoid life.
And these people will always be escaping towards the Himalayas, anywhere where they can remain without others. Their aloneness will not be aloneness, it will be a loneliness — you can read it on their faces. They are not happy being alone. On their faces you will see a certain type of martyrdom — which is foolishness! — as if they have been sacrificing. Ego you will find there; humbleness, no — because whenever humbleness comes, love comes. If the ego becomes too strong, then love can be destroyed completely. Ego is the opposite of love.
Yoga is in the hands of the wrong people. And the same happened with Tantra. In the name of Tantra, people started just fulfilling their lust and sex and their perversions. It never became meditative. It became a subtle rationalization of lust, sex and passion. It became a trick; you can hide behind it. For all sorts of perversions, Tantra became a blanket to hide behind.
So remember this. Man is very cunning. He has destroyed Yoga, he has destroyed Tantra. Remain alert! Both are good, both are tremendously beneficial, but the criterion to remember is that if you are doing one rightly, the other is to follow as a shadow. If the other is not following, then you are wrong somewhere.
Move back, start again. Go into your mind, analyze your mind. Somewhere you have tricked yourself. And it is not difficult — because you can deceive others, but you cannot deceive yourself. That is impossible. If you just go within and watch, you will come to know where you have been deceiving. Nobody can deceive himself; it is impossible. How can you deceive yourself?
Source – Osho Book “The Search”