The magnificent temple that Buddha built consists of three floors; his teaching has three dimensions to it, or three layers. And you will have to be very patient to understand those three layers. I say so because they have been misunderstood down the centuries.
The first floor of Buddha’s teaching is known as Hinayana; the second floor is known as Mahayana, and the third floor is known as Vajrayana. Hinayana means ‘the small vehicle’, ‘the narrow way’. Mahayana means ‘the great vehicle’, ‘the wide way’. And Vajrayana means ‘the supreme vehicle’, ‘the ultimate way’, ‘the transcendental way’. Hinayana is the beginning and Vajrayana is the climax, the crescendo.
Hinayana starts from where you are. Hinayana tries to help you to change your mechanical habits; it is just like Hatha Yoga — very body-oriented, believes in great discipline; strict, almost repressive — at least it looks repressive. It is not repressive, but the whole work of Hinayana consists in changing your centuries old habits.
Just as a tightrope-walker starts leaning to the left if he feels that he is going to fall towards the right, to balance one has to move to the opposite. By moving to the opposite, a balance arises —but that balance is temporary, momentary. Again you will start falling into the new direction, then again you will need balance and you will have to move to the opposite.
Sex is the very basic problem. And all the habits that man has created are basically sex-oriented. That’s why no society allows sex total freedom. All the cultures that have existed — sophisticated, un-sophisticated, Eastern, Western, primitive, civilized — all cultures have tried in some way to control the sexual energy of man. It seems to be the greatest power over man. It seems that if man is allowed total freedom about sex, he will simply destroy himself.
Skinner reports about a few experiments he was doing with rats. He has invented a new theory, that electrodes can be put into the human or animal brain, attached to particular centres in the brain and you just push a button and that centre will be stimulated inside you.
There is a sex centre in the brain. In fact, you are more controlled by the sex centre in the brain than the actual sex centre of your body. That’s why fantasy works so much. That’s why pornography has so much appeal. The pornography cannot appeal to the sex centre itself; it stimulates the brain centre attached to the sex centre. Immediately the sex centre, the physiological sex centre, starts being active once the mind is active.
He fixed electrodes into rats’ brains and taught them how to push the button whenever they wanted sexual stimulation and an inner orgasm. He was surprised, he was not expecting that this was going to happen: those rats completely forgot everything, food, sleep, play — everything they forgot. They continuously pushed the button! One rat did it six thousand times and died; he died pushing the button. Six thousand times! He forgot everything… then nothing else matters.
Sooner or later, some Skinner or somebody else is going to give you also a small box to keep in your pocket, and whenever you feel sexual just push a button and your brain centre will become active and will give you beautiful orgasms and nobody will ever know what is happening inside you. But you will almost follow the rat — then what is the point of doing anything else? You will kill yourself.
Sex is such a great attraction that if there were not limitations on it…. First there is a limitation that body puts on it. A man cannot have too many orgasms in a day; if you are young, three, four; if you become older, then one; when you become a little older still, then even that becomes difficult — once a week, once a month. And, by and by, your body puts so many limitations on it.
Women are more free that way. The body has no limitation. That’s why, all over the world, women have been completely repressed. She has not been allowed freedom; she has not been allowed even freedom to have orgasms in the past because she can have multiple orgasms. Within seconds she can have many orgasms — six, twelve. Then no man will be able to satisfy a woman; then no man will be able to satisfy any woman. Then only group sex will be able to satisfy. A woman will need at least twelve husbands — that will create tremendous complexities.
That’s why, down the centuries, for thousands of years, women were brought up in such a way that they have completely forgotten that they can have orgasm. Just within these fifty years women have again started learning what orgasm is. And with their learning, problems have arisen all over the world. Marriage is on the rocks. Marriage cannot exist with women having the capacity of multiple orgasm. And man only has capacity for one orgasm. There can be no compatibility between the two. Then monogamy cannot exist. It will become difficult.
This society and the pattern that it has evolved up to now is doomed. Man has released some energy that has always been kept under a certain rigid control. But the attraction has always been there, whether you repress, whether you control, discipline, that doesn’t make any difference. The attraction is there — twenty-four hours, deep down like a substratum, sexuality goes on like a river flowing. It is a continuum. You may eat, you may earn money, you may work, but you are doing everything for sex.
Somewhere, sex remains the goal… and this pattern has to be changed, otherwise your energy will go on being drained, your energy will go on being dissipated, your energy will go on moving into the earth. It will not rise towards heaven. It will not have an upward surge.
Hinayana works just exactly where you are. You are continuously obsessed with sex? — Hinayana tries to remove this obsession. It gives you a certain discipline, a very rigid discipline, how to drop out of it.
Hinayana says there are four steps to drop out of sex. The first is called purifying. The second is called enriching. The third is called crystallizing. The fourth is called destroying.
First you have to move your total energy against sex, so that sexual habits developed in many lives no longer interfere — that is called purifying. You change your consciousness, you shift. From sexual obsession you move to anti-sexuality.
The second step is called enriching. When you have moved to non-sexuality, then you have to enjoy non-sexuality; you have to celebrate your celibacy. Because if you don’t celebrate your celibacy, again sex will start pulling you backwards. Once you start celebrating your celibacy, then the pull of sex will be completely gone, and gone forever.
You are obsessed with sex because you don’t know any other sort of celebration. So the problem is not sex really; the problem is that you don’t know any other celebration. Nature allows you only one joy, and that is of sex. Nature allows you only one enjoyment, that is of sex. Nature allows you only one thrill, and that is of sex.
Hinayana says there is a greater thrill waiting for you — if you move towards celibacy. But the celibacy should not be violently forced. If you violently enforce it you will not be able to enjoy it. One has to be just aware of the sexual habits, and through awareness one has to shift by and by towards celibacy.
Celibacy should be brought very slowly. All that brings you again and again to sexuality has to be dropped slowly, in steps. And once you start enjoying the energy that becomes available, when you are not obsessed with sex, just that pure energy becomes a dance in you — that is called enriching. Now, your energy is not wasted. Your energy goes on showering on yourself.
Remember, there are two types of celibates. One: who has simply forced celibacy upon himself — he is a wrong type, he is doing violence to himself. The other: who has tried to understand sexuality, what it is, why it is; who has watched, observed, lived through it, and, by and by, has become aware of its futility; by and by, has become aware of a deep frustration that comes after each sexual act.
In the sexual act you have a certain thrill, a moment of forgetfulness, a moment of oblivion. You feel good, for a few seconds, only for a few seconds, you drop out of this routine world. Sex gives you a door to escape into some other world — which is non-tense; there is no worry; you are simply relaxed and melting. But have you observed? After each sexual act you feel frustrated.
Sex has promised too much, but it has not been supplied. It is difficult to find a man or a woman who does not feel a little frustrated after the sexual act, who does not feel a little guilty. I am not talking about the guilt that priests have imposed upon you. Even if nobody has imposed any guilt upon you, you will feel a little guilt — that is part, a shadow of the sexual act. You have lost energy, you feel depleted, and nothing has been gained. The gain is not very substantial. You have been befooled, you have been tricked, by a natural hypnosis — you have been tricked by the body, you have been deceived. Hence comes a frustration.
Hinayana says: Watch this frustration more deeply. Watch the sexual act and the way your energy moves into the sexual act; become aware of it and you will see there is nothing in it. And frustration. The more you become aware, the less will be the enjoyment and the more will be the frustration. Then the shift has started taking place: your consciousness is moving away, and naturally, and spontaneously. You are not forcing it.
The second step becomes available: enriching. Your own energy goes on feeding your being. You no more throw it into the other’s body; you no more throw it out. It becomes a deep accumulation inside you. You become a pool. And out of that feeling of energy you feel very cool. Sex is very hot. The enriching stage is very cool, calm, collected. There IS a celebration, but it is very silent. There IS a dance to it, but it is very graceful; there is elegance to it.
Then comes the third step: crystallizing. When this energy inside you has started an inner dance, by and by, slowly, enjoying it more and more, becoming more and more aware of it, a certain chemical crystallization happens in you. Exactly the same word was used by Gurdjieff in his work: crystallization. Your fragments fall together, you become one. A unity arises in you. In fact, for the first time you can say “I have an I.” Otherwise there were many I’s; now you have one I, a big I which controls everything. You have become your master.
And the fourth step is destroying. When you have one I, then it can be destroyed; when you have many I’s, they cannot be destroyed. When your energy has become one and is centred, it can be killed, it can be completely destroyed. When it is a crowd it is difficult to destroy it. You destroy one fragment; there are a thousand other fragments. When you rush after those other fragments, the first one grows again. It is just like the way trees grow branches: you cut one, three branches sprout out of it.
You can destroy sexuality totally only when it has become a crystallized phenomenon; When a person has accumulated too much energy and has become one, is no more fragmentary, no more split no more schizophrenic, then Buddhists have a special term for it they call it ‘Manjusri’s sword’.
It is said that when Manjusri reached to this third stage — he was a disciple of Buddha, a great disciple of Buddha — when he reached to this stage of crystallization, in one single moment he took his sword and destroyed it completely, utterly, in a single moment. It is not a gradual process then. That has become known down the centuries as ‘the sword of Manjusri’.
When a person reaches to the third state, he can just raise a sword and destroy it completely in one single attack. Because now the enemy is there, now the enemy is no longer elusive, now there are no longer many enemies — just one enemy confronting you. And the sword is just the sword of perfect awareness, mindfulness, self-remembering. It is a very sharp sword.
When Buddha destroyed his own sexuality, it is said he roared like a lion — because for the first time the whole absurdity of it became clear. And so many lives wasted! so many lives of sheer stupidity — gone forever. He was so happy he roared like a lion.
These are the four steps, and today’s sutras are concerned with these four steps. Before we enter into the sutras, a few more things have to be understood.
The second vehicle is Mahayana. When your sexual energy is no longer obsessed with the other’s body, when you are completely free of the other’s body, when your energy has a freedom to it, then Mahayana becomes possible — the second floor of Buddha’s temple.
Mahayana makes it possible for you to be loving. Ordinarily we think sex makes people loving —sex can never make people loving. In fact, it is sexuality that prevents love from growing, because it is the same energy that has to become love. It is being destroyed in sex. To become love, the same energy has to move to the heart centre. Mahayana belongs to the heart centre.
Hinayana works at the sex centre — Muladhar. Mahayana works at the heart centre — it says love, prayer, have to be developed now. Energy is there, now you can love. Energy is there, now you can pray.
Mahayana is loving-effort. One has to love unconditionally — the trees and the rocks and the sun and the moon and the people —but now love has no sexuality in it. It is very cool, it is very tranquil.
If you come near a person whose energy is moving in his heart centre, you will suddenly feel you are moving under a deep cool shade, no hot energy. You will feel suddenly a breeze surrounding you. The person of love, the person who lives at the heart centre, is to a traveller like a shady tree, or cool running water, or a breeze fragrant with many blossoms.
Mahayana is not afraid of sex. Hinayana is afraid of sex. Hinayana is afraid of sex because you are too much obsessed with sex. You have to move to the opposite. Mahayana is not afraid of sex — it has attained to the balance; there is no fear of the opposites. Mahayana is when the tightrope-walker is balanced; he neither leans to the left nor to the right.
Then the third and the final stage, the third floor of Buddha’s temple, is Vajrayana. ‘Vajra’ means diamond — it is the most precious teaching; certainly very difficult to understand. Vajrayana is Buddhist Tantra.
Vajrayana is called ‘vajra’, the diamond, because the diamond cuts everything. The diamond vehicle, the way of the diamond, Vajrayana, cuts everything completely, through and through, all materiality, all desire, all attachment. Even the desire to be born in heaven, the desire to be in a peaceful state, the desire to become a Buddha, the desire to have Nirvana, enlightenment — even these beautiful desires are cut completely.
Vajrayana knows no difference between the world and Nirvana, knows no difference between ignorance and knowledge, knows no difference, no distinctions — all distinctions are dropped —knows no distinction between man and woman.
Now let me explain it to you.
On the stage of Hinayana, man is man, woman is woman. And man is attracted towards woman, and the woman is attracted towards man — they are out-going; their attraction is somewhere outside them. Of course, they will be slaves. When your attraction is somewhere outside you, you cannot be independent of it.
That’s why lovers never forgive each other, they cannot. They are annoyed. You love a person and you are irritated by the person at the same time. There is a reason for it. There is constant fight between lovers. The reason is: you cannot forgive the lover, because you know you are dependent on him or on her. How can you forgive your slavery? You know your woman makes you happy, but if she decides not to make you happy, then?… then suddenly you are unhappy. Your happiness is in her hands. Her happiness is in your hands. Whenever somebody else controls your happiness, you cannot forgive the other.
Jean-Paul Sartre says: “The other is hell” — and he is right. He has a great insight into it. The other is hell because you have to depend on the other. Sex can NOT make you free; somehow it takes you away from yourself; it takes you farther and farther away from yourself. The goal is the other.
Gurdjieff used to say sex is one-arrowed — the arrow is moving towards the other. Exactly the same metaphor has been used by Vajrayana: sex is one-arrowed — it goes towards the other. Love is double-arrowed — it goes to the other and to you also. In love there is balance.
One arrow going towards the other, then you have to work with Hinayana. Two-arrowed: one arrow going towards the other, one arrow coming towards you — you have attained to balance; that lopsidedness is no more there.
A man of love is never angry with the other, because he is not really dependent on the other. He can be happy alone too; his arrow is double-arrowed — he can be happy alone too. Of course, he still shares his happiness with the other, but he is no longer dependent on the other. Now it is no longer a relationship of dependence: it is a relationship of interdependence. It is a mutual friendship. They share energies, but nobody is anybody’s slave.
In Vajrayana the arrow completely disappears. There is no you and no other; I and thou, both are dropped. The mechanism has to be understood.
When you are looking for a woman or for a man, you don’t know one very important factor: that your woman is within you and your man too. Each man is both man and woman, and each woman is both woman and man. It has to be so!… because you are born out of two parents. One was man, one was woman; they have contributed to your being fifty percent each. You have something of your father and you have something of your mother. Half of you belongs to the male energy; half of you belongs to the female energy — you are both.
In Hinayana you have to work hard to bring your energy to the inner woman or the inner man; that is its whole work.
Just recently, in this century, Carl Gustav Jung became aware of this fact, of this fact of bisexuality, that no man is pure man and no woman is pure woman. In each man a woman exists, and in fact every man is searching for that woman somewhere outside. That’s why suddenly one day you come across a woman and you feel, “Yes, this is the right woman for me.” How do you feel it? What is the criterion? How do you judge? — It is not rational, you don’t reason it out. It happens so suddenly, like a flash. You were not thinking about it, you have not reasoned it out. Suddenly if somebody asks you, “Why have you fallen in love with this woman?” you will shrug your shoulders. You will say, “I don’t know but I have fallen in love. Something has happened.”
What has happened? Jung says you have an image of woman inside you; that image somehow fits with this woman. This woman seems to be similar to that image in some way or other. Of course, no woman can be absolutely similar to the inner woman, that’s why no lover can ever be absolutely satisfied. A little similar, maybe: the way she walks; maybe her sound, her voice; maybe the way she looks, maybe her blue eyes; maybe her nose, maybe the colour of her hair.
You have an image inside you that has come from your mother, from your mother’s mother, from your mother’s mother’s mother — ALL the women that have preceded you, they have contributed to that image. It is not exactly like your mother, otherwise things would have been simple. Your mother is involved in it; your mother’s mother is also involved and so on and so forth. They all have contributed little bits.
And it is the same with your man: your father has contributed, your father’s father, and so on and so forth. From your father to Adam, and from your mother to Eve, the whole continuum has contributed to it. Nobody exactly knows, there is no way really to know, whom you are seeking. A man is searching for a woman, a woman is searching for a man — the search is very vague. There is no clear-cut image, but somewhere in your heart you carry it; in the dark corner of your soul you keep it, it is there.
So many times many women and many men will appear to fulfil something of it, but only something. So each lover will give you a little satisfaction and much dissatisfaction. A part that fits will satisfy, and all other parts which don’t fit will never satisfy.
Have you watched it? Whenever you fall in love with a man or a woman, you immediately start changing the man and the woman according to something that you also don’t know what…. Wives go on changing their husbands their whole lives: “Don’t do this! Be like this, behave like this!”
Just the other day, Mulla Nasrudin’s wife was saying to me, “Finally, Osho, I succeeded.”
I asked, “About what?”
She said, “I have stopped Mulla Nasrudin biting his nails.”
I said, “Biting his nails? Fifty years you have been married together — Mulla is seventy — now you have been able after fifty years?”
She said, “Yes!”
I asked, “But how did you succeed, tell me?”
She said, “Now I simply hide his teeth so he cannot bite.”
People go on trying to change. Nobody ever changes — I have never seen, I have never come across it. People even pretend that “Yes, we have changed,” but nobody can change. Everybody remains himself. The whole effort is futile, but the urge to change is there. Why is the urge to change there?
The urge to change is for a real necessity: the woman is trying to make her husband fit with some vague image inside her. Then she will be happy that he does not drink, that he does not smoke, that he does not go after other women… and a thousand and one things… that he always goes to the temple, that he listens to the saints. She has a certain image: she wants her husband to be a hero, a saint, a great man. The ordinary human being does not satisfy her.
And the husband is also trying in a thousand and one ways: brings beautiful clothes, diamonds, rubies and pearls, and goes on decorating his wife. He is trying to find a Cleopatra. Somewhere he has some image of a beautiful woman, the most beautiful woman. Now he tries — even from his very childhood.
I have heard:
The old man asked his precocious six-year-old how he liked the new little girl next door.
“W-e-l-l,” said the kid, “she’s no Elizabeth Taylor, but she’s nice.”
Now even small children think about Hema Malini and think about Elizabeth Taylor. And he says, “She’s no Elizabeth Taylor, but she’s nice.” And this conflict continues. The reason is that we are always looking for someone who is not outside.
Hinayana turns you from looking outside. It says: Close your eyes to the outside. Mahayana makes you more alert and aware, fills your inner chamber with more light, so that you can see the inner woman. And Vajrayana makes it possible for you so that you can have an inner orgasm with your man inside or your woman inside. That inner orgasm will satisfy you, nothing else.
These three steps are of tremendous meaning.
From The Buddha Said, Chapter Fifteen
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation
Also published in The Discipline of Transcendence, V.3, Chapter Seven