The principles and practices of Tantra are revealed by one of the greatest spiritual teachers of the twentieth century in The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within.
In this comprehensive and practical guide, the secrets of the ancient science of Tantra become available to a contemporary audience. Confined to small, hidden mystery schools for centuries, and often misunderstood and misinterpreted today. Tantra is not just a collection of techniques to enhance sexual experience. As Osho shows in these pages, it is a complete science of self-realization, based on the cumulative wisdom of centuries of exploration into the meaning of life and consciousness. Tantra―the very word means “technique”―is a set of powerful, transformative tools that can be used to bring new meaning and joy to every aspect of our daily lives.
Osho challenges readers to examine and break free of the conditioned belief systems and prejudices that limit their capacity to enjoy life in all its richness. He has been described by the Sunday Times of London as one of the “1000 Makers of the 20th Century” and by Sunday Mid-Day (India) as one of the ten people―along with Gandhi, Nehru, and Buddha―who have changed the destiny of India. Since his death in 1990, the influence of his teachings continues to expand, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world.
“These techniques will not mention any religious ritual. No temple is needed, you are quite enough of a temple yourself. You are the lab; the whole experiment is to go on within you. This is not religion, this is science. No belief is needed. Only a daringness to experiment is enough; courage to experiment is enough.
These 112 methods are for the whole of humanity-for all the ages that have passed, and for all the ages that have yet to come. I will go on describing each method from as many angles as possible. If you feel any affinity with it, play with it for three days. If you feel that it fits, that something clicks in you, continue it for three months.
Life is a miracle. If you have not known its mystery, that only shows that you do not know the technique for how to approach it.” ―Osho
Osho is one of the most provocative and inspiring spiritual teachers of the twentieth century. Known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, the influence of his teachings continues to grow, reaching seekers of all ages in virtually every country of the world. He is the author of many books, including
Love, Freedom, Aloneness; The Book of Secrets; and
Innocence, Knowledge, and Wonder.
THE WORLD OF TANTRA
Oh Shiva, what is your reality?
What is this wonder-filled universe?
What constitutes seed?
Who centers the universal wheel?
What is this life beyond form pervading forms?
How may we enter it fully, above space and time, names and descriptions?
Let my doubts be cleared!
Some introductory points. First, the world of Vigyan Bhairav Tantra is not intellectual, it is not philosophical. Doctrine is meaningless to it. It is concerned with method, with technique—not with principles at all. The word tantra means technique, the method, the path. So it is not philosophical—note this. It is not concerned with intellectual problems and inquiries. It is not concerned with the “why” of things, it is concerned with “how”; not with what is truth, but how the truth can be attained.
Tantra means technique. So this treatise is a scientific one. Science is not concerned with why, science is concerned with how. That is the basic difference between philosophy and science. Philosophy asks, “Why this existence?” Science asks, “How this existence?” The moment you ask the question, how?, method and technique become important. Theories become meaningless; experience becomes the center.
Tantra is science, Tantra is not philosophy. To understand philosophy is easy because only your intellect is required. If you can understand language, if you can understand concept, you can understand philosophy. You need not change; you require no transformation. As you are, you can understand philosophy—but not Tantra.
You will need a change … rather, a mutation. Unless you are different, Tantra cannot be understood because Tantra is not an intellectual proposition, it is an experience. Unless you are receptive, ready, vulnerable to the experience, it is not going to come to you.
Philosophy is concerned with the mind. Your head is enough; your totality is not required. Tantra needs you in your totality. It is a deeper challenge. You will have to be in it wholly. It is not fragmentary. A different approach, a different attitude, a different mind to receive it is required. Because of this, Devi is asking apparently philosophical questions. Tantra starts with Devi’s questions. All the questions can be tackled philosophically.
Really, any question can be tackled in two ways: philosophically or totally, intellectually or existentially. For example, if someone asks, “What is love?” you can tackle it intellectually, you can discuss, you can propose theories, you can argue for a particular hypothesis. You can create a system, a doctrine—and you may not have known love at all.
To create a doctrine, experience is not needed. Really, on the contrary, the less you know the better because then you can propose a system un-hesitatingly. Only a blind man can easily define what light is. When you do not know, you are bold. Ignorance is always bold; knowledge hesitates. And the more you know, the more you feel that the ground underneath is dissolving. The more you know, the more you feel how ignorant you are. And those who are really wise, they become ignorant. They become as simple as children, or as simple as idiots.
The less you know, the better. To be philosophical, to be dogmatic, to be doctrinaire—this is easy. To tackle a problem intellectually is very easy. But to tackle a problem existentially—not just to think about it, but to live it through, to go through it, to allow yourself to be transformed through it—is difficult. That is, to know love one will have to be in love. That is dangerous because you will not remain the same. The experience is going to change you. The moment you enter love, you enter a different person. And when you come out you will not be able to recognize your old face; it will not belong to you. A discontinuity will have happened. Now there is a gap, the old man is dead and the new man has come. That is what is known as rebirth—being twice-born.
Tantra is non-philosophical and existential. So of course Devi asks questions which appear to be philosophical, but Shiva is not going to answer them that way. So it is better to understand it in the beginning, otherwise you will be puzzled, because Shiva is not going to answer a single question. All the questions that Devi is asking, Shiva is not going to answer at all. And still he answers! And really, only he has answered them and no one else—but on a different plane.
Devi asks, “What is your reality, my lord?” He is not going to answer it. On the contrary, he will give a technique. And if Devi goes through this technique, she will know. So the answer is roundabout; it is not direct. He is not going to answer “Who am I?” He will give a technique—do it and you will know.
For Tantra, doing is knowing, and there is no other knowing. Unless you do something, unless you change, unless you have a different perspective to look at, to look with, unless you move in an altogether different dimension than the intellect, there is no answer. Answers can be given—they are all lies. All philosophies are lies. You ask a question and the philosophy gives you an answer. It satisfies you or doesn’t satisfy you. If it satisfies you, you become a convert to the philosophy, but you remain the same. If it doesn’t satisfy you, you go on searching for some other philosophy to be converted to. But you remain the same; you are not touched at all, you are not changed.
So whether you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian or a Jaina, it makes no difference. The real person behind the facade of a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian is the same. Only words differ, or clothes. The man who is going to the church or to the temple or to the mosque is the same man. Only faces differ, and they are faces which are false; they are masks. Behind the masks you will find the same man—the same anger, the same aggression, the same violence, the same greed, the same lust—everything the same. Is Mohammedan sexuality different from Hindu sexuality? Is Christian violence different from Hindu violence? It is the same! The reality remains the same; only clothes differ.
Tantra is not concerned with your clothes, Tantra is concerned with you. If you ask a question it shows where you are. It shows also that wherever you are you cannot see; that is why there is the question. A blind man asks, “What is light?” and philosophy will start answering what is light. Tantra will know only this: if a man is asking “What is light?” it shows only that he is blind. Tantra will start operating on the man, changing the man, so that he can see. Tantra will not say what is light. Tantra will tell how to attain insight, how to attain seeing, how to attain vision. When the vision is there, the answer will be there. Tantra will not give you the answer; Tantra will give you the technique to attain the answer.
Now, this answer is not going to be intellectual. If you say something about light to a blind man, this is intellectual. If the blind man himself becomes capable of seeing, this is existential. This is what I mean when I say that Tantra is existential. So Shiva is not going to answer Devi’s questions, still, he will answer—the first thing.
The second thing: this is a different type of language. You must know something about it before we enter into it. All the Tantra treatises are dialogues between Shiva and Devi. Devi questions and Shiva answers. All the Tantra treatises start that way. Why? Why this method? It is very significant. It is not a dialogue between a teacher and a disciple, it is a dialogue between two lovers. And Tantra signifies through it a very meaningful thing: that the deeper teachings cannot be given unless there is love between the two—the disciple and the master. The disciple and master must become deep lovers. Only then can the higher, the beyond, be expressed.
So it is a language of love; the disciple must be in an attitude of love. But not only this, because friends can be lovers. Tantra says a disciple moves as receptivity, so the disciple must be in a feminine receptivity; only then is something possible. You need not be a woman to be a disciple, but you need to be in a feminine attitude of receptivity. When Devi asks, it means the feminine attitude asks. Why this emphasis on the feminine attitude?
Man and woman are not only physically different, they are psychologically different. Sex is not only a difference in the body; it is a difference in psychologies also. A feminine mind means receptivity—total receptivity, surrender, love. A disciple needs a feminine psychology; otherwise he will not be able to learn. You can ask, but if you are not open then you cannot be answered. You can ask a question and still remain closed. Then the answer cannot penetrate you. Your doors are closed; you are dead. You are not open.
A feminine receptivity means a womb-like receptivity in the inner depth, so that you can receive. And not only that—much more is implied. A woman is not only receiving something, the moment she receives it, it becomes a part of her body. A child is received. A woman conceives; the moment there is conception, the child has become part of the feminine body. It is not alien, it is not foreign. It has been absorbed. Now the child will live not as something added to the mother, but just as a part, just as the mother. And the child is not only received: the feminine body becomes creative; the child begins to grow.
A disciple needs a womb-like receptivity. Whatsoever is received is not to be gathered as dead knowledge. It must grow in you; it must become blood and bones in you. It must become a part, now. It must grow! This growth will change you, will transform you—the receiver. That is why Tantra uses this device. Every treatise starts with Devi asking a question and Shiva replying to it. Devi is Shiva’s consort, his feminine part.
One thing more. … Now modern psychology, ...