I seem to have become very muddleheaded and scatter-brained lately. But unfortunately there has been no corresponding upsurge of intelligence. Is this just a temporary lapse or do I have a leak somewhere?
Anando, you are a rare intelligence but it often happens that the people who are intelligent don’t have a good memory. And people who are intelligent, if they are not a little eccentric, are very flat and boring. You are not flat and boring. You are a born cuckoo. And you can hear from the very morning…the cuckoo is going sane. I have been listening for almost half an hour.
A man who has intelligence is bound to be thought by many to be a little bit off the track. And in fact he is. Certainly he is not one of the crowd. To the crowd he is an outsider, a stranger. He dreams dreams which are not common, he hopes against hope, which looks absurd to commonsense people. He perceives faraway things, imagines utopias. He is the very salt of the earth.
And particularly being a woman you are even more rare, because man has not allowed women to be intelligent. Man has always kept them in an inferior position. Even the greatest men who are known to be compassionate have completely forgotten their compassion as far as woman is concerned. Perhaps there was a certain fear going against their whole manhood or perhaps they are not even aware what man has been doing to woman.
Even a man like Jesus treats women as if they are not human beings. For twenty years continuously Gautam Buddha did not allow any woman to be initiated into sannyas, because he was worried about the future of his religion. To be frank, the worry was not about religion, the worry was about the monks who had repressed sexual energy. To bring the woman in was dangerous. Perhaps Buddha could have managed while he was alive, but how long he could be alive? After him things would take their natural course.
Mahavira was afraid…He is thought to be one of the most courageous men that have walked on the earth; hence the name Mahavira. It is not the name given by his parents, it is an appreciation by the people; his name was Vardhamana. Mahavira means the courageous one. But even this courageous one was not courageous enough to declare that a woman is as capable of becoming enlightened as a man.
To me, these things hurt deeply. I appreciate these people – Jesus, Buddha, Mahavira – but I cannot totally appreciate them. Something is missing, and that something is about women. Mahavira was absolutely adamant that no woman can enter into enlightenment through the body of a woman. And these are the statements of a man who is saying every day that “You are not the body, you are not the mind, you are pure consciousness.” And he is unable to see the contradiction: If consciousness is not the body, then it does not matter whether consciousness is in the body of a woman or in the body of a man. Consciousness itself is neither male nor female.