Saraha is the founder of the Tantra vision. It is of tremendous import – and particularly for the present moment in human history, because a new man is striving to be born, a new consciousness is knocking on the doors. And the future is going to be that of Tantra, because now, dual attitudes can no longer hold man’s mind. They have tried for centuries – and they have crippled man and they have made man guilty. And they have not made man free, they have made man a prisoner. And they have not made man happy either, they have made man very miserable. They have condemned everything: from food to sex they have condemned everything, from relationship to friendship they have condemned all. Love is condemned, body is condemned, mind is condemned. They have not left a single inch for you to stand on; they have taken away all and man is hanging, just hanging. This state of man cannot be tolerated anymore.
Tantra can give you a new perspective – hence I have chosen Saraha. Saraha is one of my most-loved persons, it is my old love affair. You may not even have heard the name of Saraha, but Saraha is one of the great benefactors of humanity. If I were to count on my fingers ten benefactors of humanity Saraha would be one of those ten. If I were to count five, then too I would not be able to drop Saraha.
Before we enter into these songs of Saraha, a few things about Saraha’s life. Saraha was born in Vidarbha – Vidarbha is part of Maharashtra, very close to Poona. He was born when King Mahapala was the ruler. He was the son of a very learned brahmin who was in the court of King Mahapala; the father was in the court, so the young man was also in the court. He had four brothers; they were all great scholars, and he was the youngest and the most intelligent of them all. His fame was spreading all over the country by and by, and the king was almost enchanted by his superb intelligence. The four brothers were also very great scholars, but nothing compared with Saraha.
As they became mature, the four got married. The king was willing to give his own daughter to Saraha – but Saraha wanted to renounce all, Saraha wanted to become a sannyasin. The king was hurt; he tried to persuade Saraha – he was so beautiful and he was so intelligent and he was such a handsome young man. His fame was spreading all over the country and because of him Mahapala’s court was becoming famous. The king was very worried and he didn’t want this young man to become a sannyasin. He wanted to protect him, he wanted to give him all comfort possible; he was ready to do anything for him. But Saraha persisted and the permission had to be given: he became a sannyasin, he became a disciple of Sri Kirti.
Sri Kirti is in the direct line of Buddha – Gautam Buddha, then his son Rahul Bhadra, and then comes Sri Kirti. There are just two masters between Saraha and Buddha; he is not very far away from Buddha. The tree must have been still very, very green; the vibe must have been still very, very alive. Buddha had just left; the climate must have been full of his fragrance.
The king was shocked, because Saraha was a brahmin. If he wanted to become a sannyasin he should have become a Hindu sannyasin, but he chose a Buddhist master. Saraha’s family was also very worried; in fact they all became enemies: this was not right. And then things became even worse – we will come to know about it.
Saraha’s original name was Rahul, the name given by his father. We will come to know how he became Saraha – that is a beautiful story. When he went to Sri Kirti, the first thing Sri Kirti told him was, “Forget all your Vedas and all your learning and all that nonsense.” It was difficult for Saraha, but he was ready to stake anything. Something in the presence of Sri Kirti had attracted him; Sri Kirti was a great magnet. He dropped all his learning, he became unlearned again.