Question: Sir, kindly explain this statement—Sex is momentary Samadhi, and Samadhi is eternal sex.
Acharya Prashant: It’s a way to point at the beyond using your language. A way to point at the one beyond experience using your experience.
Sex is momentary Samadhi—First of all, Samadhi is never momentary, it is not even spread out infinitely in time. Samadhi is a total forgetfulness of the moment. If you still remember the moment, then where is the question of Samadhi?
The word ‘Samadhi’ is so beautiful, it means ‘being exactly placed,’ or ‘being appropriately placed.’ Placed where? Placed in the truth.
When the mind is placed exactly in the truth, that is Samadhi.
A related word is ‘Samadhan’, which means dissolution. Dissolution is the mind coming close to the seat, to the center, the drop coming close to the sea, and dissolving.
What gives you the impression that you are separate? Before we talk of union, it is important to talk about separation.
AP: Thoughts. The whole functioning of our internal system. The very presence of me as the body. If I am there as the body, then there is something that is non-bodily outside of me. My very presence is a separation, a division. My existence is a compartment. My existence is a wall. Is it not? This skin is so easily the wall of a prison. And all of this – the skin, the wall, this and that, has no meaning in deep sleep.
You may have burnt skin, does the burnt skin have any meaning when you are sleeping deeply? So the boundary disappears when that internal system relaxes. When thought ceases, then the mental activity just comes to a standstill.
A very faint glimpse of something similar to that is available in the moment of orgasm. The reason being, all your energy is then physically directed towards the mating process. That is how evolution has designed the body.
The very fact that you exist as the body demands that you continue as the body. That is the only thing that evolution wants: You have a body, and this bodily thing must continue, so you must procreate. Existence, which is the so-called physicality, wants not enlightenment from you; existence has no stake in you being a Buddha, but existence has a lot of stake in you producing babies.
So that is something that your body is designed to do. Every cell is in some way a sexual cell. That is the bodies top most priority. That is why winning over that is the final frontier. Hence, when the top most priority comes into question, then the system is designed to direct all resources towards that.
Look at the ordinary man—he might be engaged in anything, but if a sexual opportunity presents itself, everything else is forgotten, and all energy, all concentration starts flowing towards sex. Sex becomes the over-riding concern. We are designed physically to be like that. It is not a matter of morality, it is just a matter of the machine being programmed to be like that.
So, in the moment of sexual union, the entire energy, the whole system goes into a standby mode, and you become just your hormones, your genitals, your reproductive instinct. Now, the brain has no opportunity to think, even the blood flow to the thinking part of the brain diminishes. Because all the blood supply is now directed towards the physical process. Evolution wants that to be important, now evolution does not want you to be a philosopher. What will you do by thinking? You better produce babies.
So, just inadvertently, the brain comes to a stand-by mode. It becomes a little dormant. This is mind on an artificial tranquilizer. It is just that the tranquilizer is not being injected from outside, rather it is being secreted from inside. Whether the chemical comes through an external syringe, or through an internal secretion from the gonads, irrespective of that it is totally chemical and hormonal, hence it can’t really be called Samadhi.
There is no understanding involved in this. It is just the equivalent of people trying LSD and other drugs in the hope of experiencing something similar to enlightenment. And a lot of that happens. In fact, most of the alcoholism is due to this reason. Alcohol takes away your capacity to think.
So the mind is now not besotted with you regular concerns. And so people take it. If sex can give you a glimpse of Samadhi, then even alcohol can, then even more precise drugs can be carefully manufactured, which will give you the ‘Buddha experience’. In fact, this has actually been tried. People have said that enlightenment is nothing but a particular configuration of the brain. That it is something totally material. Why not operate the brain to produce enlightenment? And this has been taken quite seriously.
So, this statement that Sex is momentary Samadhi, has to be taken for what it is. A blind man, being apprised of colors using his blindness. The attempt is bound to fail. And whenever you say that the sexual experience is a kind of Samadhi experience, it only leads to more ferocious, more involved, more indulgent sexual activity. If sex can give me a glimpse of Samadhi, then more sex can get me probably a trailer of Samadhi, and even more sex, can probably get me Samadhi itself, why not?
All this just leads to a certain internal degeneration, nothing else. Now the other half of the statement, which says, ‘Samadhi is eternal sex’, this is more meaningful. The mind coming to its foundation, its source, its center, is also what saints have often described as the lover meeting the beloved.
For a simple reason—Just as the lover is restless without meeting the beloved, the ego is restless without coming to its dissolution. That is why saints from the bhakti and the Sufi traditions have referred to God in very loving terms, very romantic terms, often even in amorous terms. The mind that keeps going closer and closer, gets a taste of that which it has always desired. And that is the end of all desires. The mind going close to the center is going close to its final desire.
It’s a curious expression: final desire.
Final desire means both, the climax and it also means the end.
So it is certainly a union. And the word union is beautiful even in the sense of the ending of separation. Separation of not only the mind from its peace but also of the various fragments of the mind from each other. The various fragments in the mind, the various divisions in the mind can never actually reconcile with each other unless the mind is reconciled in total with its source. So, that is the end of all fragmentation that we see in the world. Why talk about it so much? Why use such evocative metaphors? Why not go directly to it?
Why talk about it so much? Why use such evocative metaphors? Why not go directly to it?
L1: Because it is easier to talk about it than to do it.
L2: What about the Shaiva Tantra, where they say that the Shiva and Shakti union happens through the Yoni? And that is a tradition in the Indian system. The say that if it is misused, then it is not a good thing.
AP: You see, whenever words emerge from a Saint, from a Seer, they emerge from a particular center. So even though they may look like ordinary words in the dictionary, yet their meanings are totally different. And they have to be decoded from the same center.
If one is speaking from a particular depth of consciousness, a particular settled awareness, and if I happen to listen to it with my ordinary mind, full of expectations, full of images, then what will I do?
L3: You will mold the meaning accordingly.
AP: Obviously, the meaning in my head will not at all be what he has sought to communicate. Just as Shiva is nothing material, just as Shakti too does not exist as a particular object, similarly when they are talking of the yoni, the yoni too is not a certain material or physical part.
You see you go to a Shiva temple, you find both the Lingam and the Yoni there, and together. Now, have we gone there to worship our genitals? Or are they saying something of the beyond? But if I am obsessed with sex, what will I say? “This temple stands for reckless pursuit of sex!” Then the temple becomes a certification of one’s licentiousness.
The day before, we were talking about Kabir praising the Sati. Now when Kabir says Sati, is he referring to a particular woman, or is he referring to a particular quality of mind? Depends on who we think Kabir is. If Kabir is a man, then Kabir’s
Depends on who we think Kabir is. If Kabir is a man, then Kabir’s Sati to us, will be a woman. And why would Kabir be a man to us? Because we are severely body-identified. So when Kabir is there, we say that he too is a body, and if Kabir is a body, and he says, ‘Sati’ then the Sati has to be a woman in the body.
That is how we read the scriptures. And that is why the scriptures very clearly lay down the conditions. They say that only such and such mind is qualified to come to us. They say that unless you have let go of your expectations, desires, and your ordinary ways, do not come to us. Patrata – You have to be someone who can first of all decode us, understand us.
When an Ashtavakra speaks, he requires a Janaka to listen. And when a Krishna speaks, at least an Arjuna is required. He did not go about speaking to just anybody in general. But the scriptures fall in wrong hands. And then they are interpreted to suit one’s own personal convictions. And that is why so much of perversion happens with the alleged sanction of religion.
Would religion really sanction all that? Would the scriptures really support all that you see happening in the name of spirituality or religion? The words might be divine, alright, the words might have descended straight from heaven, alright, but who is reading those words? You. And who are you? The one who does not know how to read.
If I cannot observe simple things directly, if I distort them, if I imbue them with imaginary meanings, will I really be able to read clearly? A Gita, a Bible, a Quran, anything, even the newspaper! I am someone who can’t even read the newspaper directly, and what do I pick up to read?
AP: And what will I make out of it!
Yoni refers to the seat of all creation, so in that sense, it simply refers to the creative power inherent in nothingness. It is just an indication, nothing else. In fact, in that sense, the Lingam and the Yoni are just one. Seen with one kind of mind, you would want to represent That as the phallus, with another kind of mind you would want to represent That as the Yoni. With another kind of mind, you would want to represent That as the two in a union. It is just the same.
Are there multiple truths?
No, but there can be multiple ways of expression, images.
Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session: Acharya Prashant on Osho: Is sex momentary Samadhi, and Samadhi eternal sex?
Read more articles on this topic:
Article 1: Why do we suppress sexuality?
Article 2: The image of the so-called enlightened one makes one scared of enlightenment
Article 3: Enlightenment is not one event, it is a continuity in one empty joy
Books by Acharya Prashant are available on AMAZON: