Isn't Tantra a way of indulgence?
Osho: "IT IS NOT. It is the ONLY way to get out of indulgence. It is the only way to get out of sexuality. No other way has ever been helpful for man; all other ways have made man more and more sexual.
Sex has not disappeared. The religions have made it only more poisoned. It is still there – in a poisoned form. Yes, guilt has arisen in man, but sex has not disappeared. It CANNOT disappear because it is a biological-reality. It is existential; it cannot simply disappear by repressing it. It can disappear only when you become so alien that you can release the energy encapsulated in sexuality – not by repression is the energy released, but by understanding. And once the energy is released, out of the mud the lotus.... The lotus has to come UP out of the mud, it has to go higher, and repression takes it deeper into the mud. It goes on repressing it.
What you have done up to now, the whole humanity, is repressing sex in the mud of the unconscious. Go on repressing it, sit on top of it; don’t allow it to move; kill it by fasting, by discipline, by going to a cave in the Himalayas, by moving to a monastery where a woman is not allowed. There are monasteries where a woman has never entered for hundreds of years; there are monasteries where only nuns have lived and a man has never entered. These are ways of repressing. AND they create more and more sexuality and more and more dreams of indulgence.
No, Tantra is not a way of indulgence. It is the only way of freedom. Tantra says: Whatsoever is has to be understood and through understanding changes occur of their own accord. Listen to this story:
An elderly gent named Martin went to a doctor for an examination. ”I want you to tell me what’s wrong, doctor. I feel some pains here and there, and I can’t understand it. I’ve lived a very clean life – no smoking, drinking or running around. I’m in bed, alone, at nine o’clock every night. Why should I feel this way?”
”How old are you?” asked the doctor. ”I’ll be seventy-four on my next birthday,” said Martin.
The doctor answered, ”After all, you’re getting on in years, you’ve got to expect things like that. But you’ve lots of time left yet. Just take it easy, and don’t worry. I suggest you go to Hot Springs.”
So Martin went to Hot Springs. There he met another gent who looked so old and decrepit that Martin felt encouraged by the comparison. ”Brother,” says Martin, ”you sure must have taken good care of yourself, living to such a ripe old age. I’ve lived a quiet, clean life, but not like you, I’ll bet. What is your formula for obtaining a ripe old age like you have reached?”
So this shriveled old guy says, ”On the contrary, sir. When I was seventeen my father told me,’Son, you go and enjoy life. Eat, drink and be merry to your heart’s content. Live life to the fullest. Instead of marrying one woman, be a bachelor and have ten. Spend your money for fun, for yourself, instead of on a wife and kids.’ Yeah: wine, women and song, life lived to the full. That’s been my policy all my life, brother!”
”Sounds like you got something,” said Martin. ”How old are you’?”
The other answered, ”Twenty-four.”
Indulgence is suicidal – as suicidal as repression. These are the two extremes that Buddha says to avoid. One extreme is repression, the other extreme is indulgence. Just be in the middle; neither be repressive, nor be indulgent. Just be in the middle, watchful, alert, aware. It is your life! Neither does it have to be repressed, nor does it have to be wasted – it has to be understood.
It is your life – take care of it! love it! befriend it! If you can befriend your life, it will reveal many mysteries to you, it will take you to the very door of God.
But Tantra is not indulgence at all. The repressive people have always thought that Tantra is indulgence; their minds are so much obsessed. For example: a man who goes to a monastery and lives there without ever seeing a woman, how can he believe that Saraha is not indulging when he lives with a woman? Not only lives but practises strange things: sitting before the woman naked, the woman is naked, and he goes on watching the woman; or even while making love to the woman he goes on watching.
Now, you cannot watch his watching; you can see only that he is making love to a woman. And if you are repressive, your whole repressed sexuality will bubble up. You must start going mad! And you will project all that you have repressed in yourself on Saraha – and Saraha is not doing anything like that; he is moving in a totally different dimension. He is not really interested in the body: he wants to see what this sexuality is; he wants to see what this appeal of orgasm is; he wants to see what exactly orgasm is; he wants to be meditative in that peak moment, so that he can find the clue and the key... maybe there is the key to open the door of the Divine. In fact, it is there.
God has hidden the key in your sexuality. On the one hand, through your sex, life survives; that is only partial use of your sex energy. On another hand, if you move with full awareness in your sex energy, you will find that you have come across a key that can help you to enter into eternal life. One small aspect of sex is that your children will live. The other aspect, a higher aspect, is that you can live in eternity. Sex energy is life energy.
Ordinarily we don’t move further than the porch, we never go into the palace. Saraha is trying to go into the palace. Now, the people who came to the king, they must have been suppressed people as all people are suppressed.
The politician and the priest HAVE to teach suppression,. because it is only through suppression that people are driven insane. And you can rule insane people more easily than sane people. And when people are insane in their sex energy, they start moving in other directions – money they will start moving towards, or power, or prestige. They have to show their sex energy somewhere or other; it is boiling there – they have to release it in some way or other. So money-madness or power-addiction, they become their releases.
This whole society is sex-obsessed. If sex-obsession disappears from the world, people will not be money-mad. Who will bother about money? And people will not be bothered by power. Nobody will like to become a president or a prime minister – for what?! Life is so tremendously beautiful in its ordinariness, it is so superb in its ordinariness, why should one want to become somebody? By being nobody it is so delicious – nothing is missing. But if you destroy people’s sexuality and make them repressed, so much is missing that they are always hankering: somewhere there must be joy – here it is missing.
Sex is one of the activities given by nature and God in which you are thrown again and again to the present moment. Ordinarily you are never in the present – except when you are making love, and then too for a few seconds only.
Tantra says one has to understand sex, to decode sex. If sex is so vital that life comes out of it, then there must be something more to it. That something more is the key towards Divinity, towards God."
Osho, "The Tantra Vision"