And Mahatma Gandhi was very much impressed by Vinoba Bhave’s interpretation – this was a great revelation! Laxmana was following the rule of celibacy, he was following brahmacharya.
When I read about this whole incident, I said that if Laxmana was so much afraid even to look at Sita’s face, then one thing is certain: that he was not a celibate. The elder brother’s wife is almost like a mother – and he could not look at her face, could not look at her whole figure? What kind of fear is there, what kind of paranoia? Is this something healthy? Does this show a man of understanding, of awareness, or only a man fast asleep? And if he was forcing himself to look only at her feet, can he avoid the desire to look up at her face? You may not look, but can you avoid the desire? In fact, the curiosity will become more and more, bigger and bigger. You may become obsessed with it: “How does she look? The feet are so beautiful, so impressive – how must her whole figure be?”
Then she will start entering into your dreams. Then more fear will arise. The fear can be so much that there are stories in India that there have been saints like Surdas who destroyed his eyes because he saw a beautiful woman and became allured, fascinated. Obviously he concluded, according to the Hindu tradition, that these eyes are leading him astray, so he destroyed his eyes, became blind. But can you see the stupidity of it? Do you think the blind person has no sexual desire? Do you think just by becoming blind you can avoid sexual desire? But Surdas is respected for this act, tremendously respected: “What sacrifice and what a great character! What great morality, what purity!”
I don’t see any purity in it and any greatness in it. I see simply something idiotic, something utterly silly. You can destroy your eyes or you can close your eyes, but your mind will still continue. In fact, the woman is never as beautiful when you look at her as she is when you avoid her. When you forcibly distract yourself from her she becomes more beautiful. And the same is true about the man, because nobody is in fact as beautiful as your fancy can make him appear.
That is why psychoanalysts try to penetrate into your dreams, for the simple reason…. It is a condemnation of humanity. Nobody has thought that way, that the psychologist, the psychoanalyst, is trying to know about your dreams, not about you while you are awake. Strange – he should ask questions to you while you are awake. He never bothers with what you do while you are awake; he wants to know what you do when you are asleep. Why? – because he has come to know one thing absolutely and certainly, categorically: that man is false when he is awake. Centuries of outer imposition have made his so-called awakened state absolutely false and pseudo. If you want to know the real, authentic man you have to know about his dreams; only in his dreams will you find him.