Osho story on Kamasutra

Shankara’s Defeat

Shankara went around the country
arguing. He came to a place called Mandala — I have been to Mandala many times.
It is just a two-hour drive from Jabalpur, situated in a very beautiful place.
Narmada, one of the holy rivers of the Hindus, falls in one thousand streams.
The mountain is such that the river is divided into one thousand, exactly one
thousand, streams. It is a beautiful scene. The story is that there was one
monster who had one thousand hands. Narmada is the only river in India which is
virgin, other rivers are married. This Sahasrabahu — one thousand arms…. That
is the meaning of the name: Sahasra means one thousand, bahu means arms —
sahasrabahu means a one-thousand-armed man. He said, “I am going to marry this
girl. She cannot escape me. I have got one thousand hands; where is she going
to escape?”
So he tried to catch hold of the
river with his one thousand hands. But to destroy the virginity of a woman,
according to Hindus, is the greatest sin possible. Christians would have
rewarded him, given him some place in their trinity: another holy ghost. But
Hindus have punished him — at least in the story it is so; he turned into a
stone. And really the whole mountain does look as if the Narmada is falling
through one thousand hands.
So Mandala has been an ancient place
of pilgrimage and has always been a seat of great Hindu scholars. One Hindu
scholar had in his youth moved around just like Shankara; Mandan Mishra was his
name. Mandala was called after his name, Mandan, because he lived there. He was
so famous that the name of the place was changed and called after him.
When he was young he had moved all
around the country and defeated all the scholars and philosophers. He was old
when Shankara was young, just thirty years of age — he died when Shankara was
thirty-three. After defeating everybody Shankara was a little reluctant to go
and challenge Mandan Mishra because Mandan was so old. But without defeating
Mandan he could not declare that he had conquered the whole country and
convinced everybody that what he was saying was true. Reluctantly he went.
Outside the town, at the we]l, a few
women were drawing water. Shankara asked them, “can you tell me where the house
of Mandan Mishra is?”
And all those women giggled and
laughed, and they said, “You need not ask. You just go into the town and you
will find it, because even the parrots in front of his house recite the VEDAS.
You need not ask anybody, you just go. The very atmosphere around his house
will tell you that you have come close to Mandan Mishra.”
Shankara was a little afraid — he
had never heard of parrots reciting the whole of the VEDAS. And in the end he
went and he saw with his own eyes a row of parrots in the mango trees reciting
the VEDAS in perfect Sanskrit. He thought, “this man seems to be difficult. But
there is no way to avoid it.” He went in, touched the feet of the old man with
respect, and challenged him.
Mandan said, “I am too old, but if
you feel that it is necessary, then I am ready. But I feel a little reluctant
myself arguing with a young man. You are too young, and I am too old, too
experienced and I have won all over the country. You should think twice. Right
now you have not been defeated by anybody, but those are the people I defeated
in my youth, myself; so think twice.”
Shankara said, “I never think twice.
I first take the jump and then think. Are you ready or not? If you are not
ready then you will have to become my follower.’
Mandan said, “There is no problem for
me; I enjoy a dialogue, I enjoy discussing — and with a man like you it is
really joyful. Even to be defeated is a great blessing. To have found someone
who has more intelligence than you is not a disgrace. But,” Mandan said, “one
thing has to be decided. You will have to find somebody who can preside;
otherwise the decision will be very difficult.”
Shankara had heard that Mandan’s
wife was as great an intellectual as Mandan himself In fact, in Mandan’s youth
they had a six-month-long discussion, and only then was Mandan able to defeat
the woman. But the woman had, from the very beginning, put this condition: “If
I am defeated then you will have to marry me. If you are defeated then
certainly I am going to marry you because….” Mandan saw that he was in a dilemma
in every way; he was caught. And he could not refuse a woman, that would be too
unmannerly; you cannot refuse a woman. So he fought.
And the woman was really a giant; it
took six months, and I suspect she got defeated by her own doing. And I have reasons
to suspect it, because anyway she was going to marry him. It would look ugly to
be victorious and then to marry a man who has been defeated — that would not be
nice — and to have a defeated husband…. So my feeling has always been that
Bharti — her name was Bharti — must have arranged it. Six months was enough to
prove her mettle. All over the country, for even six days nobody had been able
to withstand Mandan. If she could withstand six months, she must have turned
the whole of Mandan’s blood to perspiration.
And she must have got herself
defeated. Why I suspect it is because of this second debate between Shankara
and Mandan. Shankara said, “I would like your wife to preside.”
Bharti said, “I have no problem, if
you choose me knowing perfectly well that I am the wife of Mandan Mishra.”
Shankara said, “That I know, but I
know also that you are a great intellectual, that you were the only one who
almost defeated Mandan. And I cannot conceive of you — being Mandan’s wife, and
yourself an independent intellectual in your own right — as being unfair I
accept you. Whatsoever you decide will be, without complaint, accepted.”
The debate again lasted six months.
Finally Mandan was defeated. Shankara asked Bharti’s opinion.
Bharti said, “Mandan is defeated but
you are not victorious yet.” This was the climate of intelligence. She said,
“Mandan is defeated but you are not victorious yet because 1, being his wife,
according to Hindu scriptures am half of his being. So you have only done with
one half of Mandan Mishra. The other half is still here. Now you will have to
discuss with me.”
Shankara was tired enough. Six
months with Mandan had been such a difficult job that many times he had thought
that he was going to lose. And then immediately to begin another debate…. And
he knew the woman had kept this Mandan in debate for six months; now what was
going to happen? But that woman was really intelligent. She said, “I am not
interested in theology — I am a woman — so forget all about your BRAHMASUTRAS
of Badarayana; SHRIMAD BHAGAVADGITA, VEDAS; I am not interested in them, my
interest is in Vatsyayana’s KAMASUTRAS” — the first book on sexology in the
whole world.
Now, Shankara was a bachelor, thirty
years old. He said, “Vatsyayana? — but I have not even read him.”
Bharti said, “You can ask for time
to study.”
But he said, “Just study won’t help,
because I don’t have any practical knowledge.”
Bharti said, “I can give you as much
time as you want. You can get married, you can have practical knowledge. But
till you defeat me in sexology, on matters concerning sex and its subtleties,
you have no right to declare yourself victorious. Mandan is defeated, Mandan
has to be your follower; he can help you.
 He is old, he is my husband and he
knows everything about sex. He can help you now he is your follower. But half
of his being still has to be conquered.”
Now, Shankara’s disciples must have
invented the rest of the story because it seems contrived. Up to then it was
perfectly right, historical. Shankara asked for six months’ leave, and in those
six months he entered the body of a king who had just died — because he could
not have experience of sex through his own body, he was a celibate monk. And
the woman had put him in such a spot — either he had to accept defeat and
become a follower of Bharti…. That would be stupid: Mandan, his follower, and
he himself, Bharti’s follower.
I don’t think it is true — Shankara
must have experienced sex through his own body. Now let Hindus and their
religious feelings be hurt; what can I do? I cannot believe any nonsense that
he entered a just — dead king and used the king’s body and left his own body in
a cave — I have been to the cave also — with his disciples. They had to protect
the body till he returned, so continuously, twenty-four hours a day, they were
guarding the body, taking care of the body. And for six months he lived in the
king’s body having all kinds of sexual experiences with his many queens.
And after six months he entered his
own body; the king died. Shankara went back to Mandan for the debate — and
Bharti simply laughed. She said, “I was just joking. When my husband is
defeated, I am defeated. His life is my life, his death is my death, his
pleasure is my pleasure, and his pain is my pain. His defeat is my defeat — you
need not argue.”
Shankara said, “My God! Then why did
you put me to such trouble?”

Osho – “From Personality to

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