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QUESTIONER:

THE BHAGWAD MENTIONS AN ANECDOTE FROM KRISHNA'S ADOLESCENT LIFE WHICH IS CLEARLY EROTIC.
IT IS SAID THAT WHILE A GROUP OF YOUNG WOMEN KNOWN AS GOPIS ARE BATHING NAKED IN THE RIVER YAMUNA, KRISHNA RUNS AWAY WITH THEIR CLOTHES AND THUS FORCES THEM TO COME OUT OF THE RIVER NUDE. WHEN THE GOPIS EMERGE FROM THE WATER BASHFULLY HIDING THEIR SEXUAL ORGANS WITH THEIR HANDS, KRISHNA TELLS THEM THAT SINCE THEY HAVE OFFENDED THE WATER GOD BY BATHING NAKED, THEY SHOULD ASK FOR HIS FORGIVENESS WITH THEIR HANDS RAISED IN SALUTATION TO HIM, AND THEN THEY CAN TAKE BACK THEIR CLOTHES.
IN THIS CONTEXT THE BHAGWAD SAYS THAT KRISHNA DECEITFULLY MADE THEM EXPOSE THEIR SEXUAL ORGANS TO HIM, AND THAT HE WAS VERY PLEASED TO SEE THEM IN THEIR VIRGIN STATE. AND YOU SEEM TO BE A STRONG SUPPORTER OF KRISHNA -- THE PIONEER OF NUDISM IN HUMAN SOCIETY. BUT IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR CONCEPTION OF NUDISM AND THAT OF THE CURRENT NUDIST CLUBS IN THE WESTERN COUNTRIES? IT IS SAID THAT CLOTHES REPRESENT CIVILIZATION AND SKIN REPRESENTS CULTURE.
IF WE REMOVE OUR CLOTHES WE WILL ON ONE HAND APPEAR IN OUR NATURAL STATE, BUT ON THE OTHER WE WILL ALSO LOOK LIKE BARBARIANS.
WOULD IT NOT AMOUNT TO A GOING BACK TO THE PRIMITIVE WAY OF LIFE, A RETURN TO THE JUNGLE? AND WOULD YOU CALL THIS TURNING BACK OF THE HANDS OF THE CLOCK A PROGRESSIVE STEP?


Osho:

Here is a dialogue between a dancing girl and a monk. A dancing girl said to a monk, "You have become a monk by heavily repressing your desire for dancing." The monk said to the dancing girl, "You have become a dancing girl by heavily suppressing your desire to be a monk."
First things first. Freud's concept of the libido is very significant. The correct meaning of the word libido is sex energy.
Sex energy permeates, and permeates profoundly, not only the life of man, but the life of the whole creation. The whole universe is saturated with sex energy.

The Hindu mythology known as purana, says that Brahma, the creator, being driven by sex, made the world. Without sex, creation, creativity is impossible.
The entire creation stems from sex.
Whatever there is in the universe, it is the ramification of sex. The whole of life's play, of life's manifestation, whether it is a flower blooming or a bird singing, is the play of sex energy.
We can say there is an ocean of sex energy from which arise infinite waves of creativity in infinite forms. In a deeper meaning God himself is the center of this sex energy. There is a simple, natural and innocent acceptance of sex in the life of Krishna. The spontaneous, immaculate and easy nature of man has found its full expression in his life. Nothing is denied, nothing is suppressed, nothing whatsoever is repressed.
Life as it is, is accepted and lived in its utter simplicity, naturalness. And it is lived with a sense of deep gratefulness to it, to existence.

So those who try to suppress, change and distort the events of Krishna's life only betray their own guilty minds, their repressed sex and mental sickness. Efforts are made to suggest that it is the child Krishna who steals the clothes of the gopis and plays pranks with their nude bodies.
We feel relieved to think of them as the pranks of a child, because kids of both sexes are interested in seeing one another's nudity. This curiosity of boys and girls is simply natural. As soon as a child, whether he is a boy or a girl, becomes aware of his body, he or she also becomes aware that there is someone around whose body is somewhat different from his or hers. A boy comes to notice that the body of his sister is different from his and similarly a girl comes to know that the body of her brother is different from hers.
This awareness would not be a problem if the boys and girls were allowed to live naked for a length of time.
But the elders of the family are so obsessed with sex that they force the kids to wear clothes at a very early age, which prevents the boys and girls from becoming naturally familiar with each other's bodies. So it fs suggested that there is nothing unusual about Krishna in his childhood running away with the clothes of the gopis and prying into their nudity. Every boy is anxious to see a girl in the nude. Now that civilization has deprived us of the company of trees and lakes and rivers, kids have to find new ways to pry into one another's bodies.

Freud has mentioned a children's game in which a boy plays the doctor, puts the girl on the bed as a patient and examines her in her nudity.
This is a very natural curiosity and there is nothing wrong in it. Boys and girls would like to be familiar with each other's bodies; this familiarity will prepare them for deeper familiarity with each other in adulthood. It is possible that Krishna did all this when he was a child.
But it is not impossible for a grown-up Krishna too. It may be impossible for us, but not for Krishna, because Krishna accepts life as it is and lives it naturally, without any affectations, without any pretentions.
And the culture in which he was born must have been as natural and spontaneous and as life affirmative as Krishna is. Had he been born in our society we would never have mentioned these events at all, we would simply have suppressed them, deleted them from our records of him, from our literature.

But the BHAGWAD and other kindred books mention them with an innocence and naturalness that shows that they did not see them as anything wrong and improper.
These books have been in existence for thousands of years, and for these thousands of years nobody raised the question, "What kind of a man is this Krishna?" It is only now that this question has been raised; it is we who are raising it. The culture in which these episodes of Krishna's life took place accepted them as nothing unnatural.
This shows they were not exclusively Krishna's pastimes, but were common games of his times in which many other Krishnas, many other gopis participated.
The times of Krishna must have been utterly different from ours. It was a highly life-affirmative, alive, natural and understanding culture. It was great.

And I cannot accept that the gopis mentioned in the BHAGWAD were just kids.
They must have been of the age when girls begin to be aware that they are girls, a different sex altogether, when they become shy and bashful, when they know that they have something to hide from others. This is exactly the time when boys become interested in them, in knowing and seeing their bodies. The two things happen together. Those gopis, his girlfriends, must have been about the same age as Krishna.
That is why Krishna is interested in seeing them in the nude and they are trying to hide their nudity. In this context it is necessary to understand that among the many differences there are between the male mind and the female mind, one prominent difference is this: while a man is interested in seeing a woman in the nude -- he is a voyeur -- the woman is not that interested in seeing a naked man. It is amusing that a man is deeply interested in the nude body of a woman. It is for this reason that there are so many statues of nude women all over the world.

Statues of male nudes are rare, and they are available only in cultures that accept homosexuality. For instance, such nude male statues were made in Greece in the times of Socrates and Plato when homosexual relationships were in vogue. So those statues of male nudes were also made by men and for men. Women are not in the least interested in nude males. So magazines for men come out with any number of pictures of naked women, but no magazine meant for women prints pictures of naked males.
Women simply laugh at this craze of man's. You may not have noticed but in deep moments of love it is the man who wants to disrobe his beloved; it is not so with the woman. While making love a man keeps his eyes open, but the woman invariably keeps hers closed.
Even when she is being kissed by her lover, a woman usually shuts her eyes. She is not interested in seeing; she is interested in absorbing her lover, in being one with him.

But a man is deeply interested in seeing his woman, and it is this male interest which gives rise to a desire in the woman to hide herself. So women all the world over hide their bodies in many ways.
But this desire to hide their bodies, creates a problem for them, because they cease to he attractive if they hide too much. So they do two things together they hide their bodies and at the same time they hide them in a manner that they are exposed.
They hide and expose their bodies together. The same clothes are used to hide them and to expose them in a clever way. They hide because they are afraid of voyeurs in general, but they need to expose their bodies in order to attract men as well. So they are always in a conflict between hiding and exposing themselves at the same time; they have to find a balance between the two needs. So it is natural that the gopis emerged from the river hiding their sexual organs with their hands. This episode is quite natural.
And Krishna's asking them to salute the water God with folded hands is equally natural.
There is nothing odd about it. This is how the male mind behaves. And Krishna has a very simple and natural male mind; one should say he has a perfect male mind. There are no distortions, no suppressions, no affectations so far as his mind is concerned. And the people who wrote those stories were also very simple and innocent people, without any pretensions.

They wrote them exactly as they happened; they did not have any inhibitive principles, or sense of guilt about the matter. It is significant that these stories, which you call erotic, are written into the Bhagawad, which hails Krishna as the perfect incarnation of God.
The authors of the book did not think for a moment, as you do now, that these stories may make his being a god suspect. But I tell you God alone, and no man, can be as innocent, as simple, as natural, as unpretentious, and as spontaneous. No man can be as simple and spontaneous.
He is very complex he does everything according to concepts, ideas and ideals; he pre-plans everything he says and does. and I also say that Krishna did not pre-plan it; he did not have any idea how the gopis were going to behave and what he was going to do in response. Everything happened utterly spontaneously and naturally.
And those people who portrayed it exactly as it happened were great indeed. Certainly they were simple and sincere people, unsophisticated, innocent people.

They did not try to suppress and edit them as you would like them to have done. It was much later that these episodes in the life of Krishna began to embarrass us and put us into difficulty.
There are many such things from the past which eventually begin to disturb us, because of our changing ideas and ideals and new rules of morality.
And we try to apply them retrospectively and judge this according to them. And that is what lands us in difficulty. In my view, the sex energy has found its most natural and beautiful expression in the life of Krishna. He accepted sex without any reservations, without any pretentions.
And he lived a most natural life. And what is significant is that the society he lived in accepted Krishna as naturally and as unreservedly. The questioner also wants to know if I am a pioneer of nudism. In a sense, I am. Not that I am against clothes. Going against clothes would certainly amount to turning back the hands of the clock.
Clothes have their utility; they are necessary, but they certainly don't have any moral values. They are utilitarian, but they have nothing to do with morality. In winter we need clothes to protect us from the cold; in summer different kinds of clothes are required.

And you need clothes when you are in public, because you have no right to offend the sensibilities of those who don't want to see you in the nude.
That would be a kind of trespass. But this does not mean that because of them we are not even free to bare our bodies in our homes.
No, clothes should be used as we use shoes; we are not in our shoes when we are in our homes. Reaching home we leave our shoes on the porch and walk barefoot from one room to another. And nobody asks us why our feet are naked, although our feet are really naked.
We should accept clothes naturally; there should be no harshness about it. And it is possible only if we accept nudity as naturally.
Without accepting nudity as natural, you cannot accept clothes naturally. If you deny and condemn nudity, then clothes take on a moral value they don't have. In fact, man has now been wearing too many clothes, so much so that he has to find ways and means to expose himself through the same clothes.
And this gives rise to immorality.
I think we should accept nudity as a natural g. We are born naked and we remain naked even behind our clothes.

God makes us all naked; he does not send us here in clothes. Nudity is simple and natural; there is an aura of innocence about it, but it does not mean that we should go naked. We do make changes in the way God makes us. To protect ourselves from the hot sun, which is of God's making, we use umbrellas, and it does not mean any defiance of God.
An umbrella shields us against the hot sun, and this is as much a part of the divine love as the hot sun is. There is no contradiction between light and shade, we are free to choose either for our convenience and enjoyment. But if some day sitting in the shade is made into a virtue, and walking in sunshine a sin, then sitting in the shade will turn into a kind of punishment. And then people will begin to enjoy sunshine secretly and stealthily; such a simple and natural thing like enjoying sunshine will turn into a crime. This is how we give rise to lots of immorality and guilt and crime, utterly uncalled for and stupid. Much of the load of guilt that we have to carry and suffer is the outcome of our own stupid thinking. I believe that nudity is a fact of life, and we should accept it simply as a natural phenomenon.

There is no need whatsoever to run away from it. But we have made it a taboo, and because of it we are having to take recourse in any number of devious devices to circumvent this taboo. Nudist posters, porno and night clubs are the byproducts of this prohibition. They will disappear the day we accept nudity as a natural part of our life. I don't advocate a blanket ban on clothes -- that would certainly be turning back the hands of the clock -- but it would be good if sometimes members of a family would sit together without clothes.
It would be wholesome if, on a winter's mom, ing, we sat nude in the sun, and sometimes in summer bathed naked in the river. It would be good for our health, both our physical and mental health.
If we accept clothes and nudity together as ways of life, we will have the benefits of clothes, which the naked primitive people were deprived of, and at the same time we will escape the inconvenience, and incongruities that come with being too obsessed with clothes.

And it is, therefore, a progressive proposition that I am making; it is a step forward for both the nudists and the people obsessed with clothes. The nudist clubs are a kind of revolt, a reaction against those who have imposed too many clothes on society. I am not in support of the nudist clubs, nor am I in support of those who are obsessed with clothes.
I offer you an alternative: do away with your obsession with clothes and the nudist clubs will disappear. The nudist clubs are supposed to be a step in the direction of remedying the ills of our obsession with clothes, but I say, do away with the illness and the remedies will disappear. Let the whole society be disease-free and healthy.
I tell you, if a father and his young son, a mother and her young son bathe together naked in their house, this son will never indulge in teasing girls and brushing against them in the marketplace; it will cease to have any meaning for him. If the distance existing between man and woman is considerably reduced, much of what are called youthful misdemeanors will be gone. When a young man brushes against a young woman he is really trying to reduce that distance. Because he has no way to touch her gently he does it the harsh way, the angry way.

If I can take the hand of a woman I like in my hand and say "How lovely," and the society I live in is natural enough to accept it gracefully, then misbehavior with women will become rare. But such a society is yet a far cry off.
When we come across a beautiful blossom, we stop near it for a brief moment, take a look at it and then go our way. One never feels like brushing against the flower and hurting it. But if one day the flowers make a law and engage policemen to prevent people from looking at them, people will soon begin to commit excesses with flowers too. Then immorality will come into being.

In fact, too much morality creates immorality. If you become too moralistic you are bound to become immoral before long. So if a society is obsessed with clothes, it will soon give rise to nudist clubs. I am not in support of nudist clubs, because I am not in support of obsessions with clothes. I am in support of a life that is easy, natural and spontaneous. I am for accepting life as it is, without any distortions. And Krishna is a unique symbol of this acceptance, a natural acceptance of all that is natural.

OshO
Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy Chapter #6 Chapter title: Nudity and Clothing Should go Together



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