Chapter 9: The Cosmos Is a Dance of Opposites
More or less every primitive community is aware of the beauty and significance of the raas, of their own kind of raas. They work hard through the day, and in the night both men and women gather together under the open sky and dance with abandon for hours and hours. While dancing, they forget their family relationships and mix freely with each other as men and women, and dance madly, as if all of life is meant for dancing and celebrating. They go to sleep only when they are utterly tired, and so they enter into a sleep so deep it may cause the civilized societies envy. It is for this reason that the peace of mind and the joy of life these poor people enjoy is unknown to the most affluent people who, just by wishing, can have all the good things of life. The rich are missing some basic truths of life for certain, and somewhere they are erring very grievously.
Questioner: Legend has it that Ahilya, a woman turned into stone, had waited long enough for the coming of Rama to resurrect her, and that another ordinary woman, Kubja, persuaded Krishna to make love to her. Do these stories have some spiritual significance?
Everything in existence happens in its own time, a time for which one has to wait with tremendous patience. Everything has its season; nothing happens out of season. Time and occasion have great importance in life. And it is necessary to go into it from different angles.
I don’t believe that Ahilya had actually turned into stone; this is just a poetic way of saying that she lived a stony life, a dull and dreary life until she met Rama whose love transformed her life. It is possible a woman will come to her flowering only through a particular man like Rama, and that she will patiently wait for such a man to come into her life.
It is a poetic metaphor to say that Ahilya had turned into stone. It means to say that with the right opportunity, with real love, even stone comes alive. It also says that no one except Rama could have fulfilled her. The crux of the story is that everybody and everything has its own season, its own moment of fulfillment for which one must wait with patience. Until this moment comes, it is not going to happen. Only the touch of her lover, his warm hug can fulfill her.
Let us understand it in another way. Woman is passive; passive waiting is her way. She cannot be aggressive; she is receptive. She has not only a womb in her body, even her mind is like a womb. The English word woman, wo-man, is very meaningful; it means a man with a womb. Woman’s whole makeup is receptive, while man’s makeup is active, aggressive. And although these two qualities, receptivity and aggressivity, seem to be contradictory, in reality they are complementary to each other. And as man and woman are complementary, so are their attributes. Man has what woman lacks and woman has what man lacks. That is how both together make a complete whole.
Woman’s receptivity turns into waiting and man’s aggressivity into search, into exploration. So while Ahilya will wait for Rama like a piece of stone, Rama will not do so. Instead, Rama will search many paths. It is interesting to note that a woman never takes the initiative in proposing love to a man, she always receives proposals from the man. She does not take the first step; it is man who takes it. Not that she does not begin loving someone, but her love is always a kind of waiting. Waiting is her way of love, and she can wait long - for lives.