There is another way to listen, and that is from the heart. Listen through the heart. Listen as if you were not listening to an argument, but to a song. Listen as if you were not listening to a philosophy, but to a poem. Listen as you listen to music. Watch me as you watch a dancer. Feel me as you feel a lover. Then the letter will be there; it will be used as a vehicle, but it will not be the real thing. The vehicle will be forgotten, and the meaning will enter into your heart and will remain there. And it will change your being, it will change your vision of life.
The second question:
How did Tantra grow out of Buddhism, which as far as I know views sex as a hindrance to meditation?
It is related to the first question.
What Buddha said must have been misunderstood. Yes, he said that to go into meditation one has to go beyond sex. Now the people who heard him thought he was against sex – naturally so: he said you have to go beyond sex. They started thinking that sex must be a hindrance then, otherwise why do you have to go beyond sex? They started fighting with sex rather than going beyond it; their whole emphasis changed. They started fighting with sex, and Buddhism became one of the most ascetic religions of the world.
Can’t you observe his tremendous grace in the statue of Buddha or in his pictures – can it come out of ascetism? Is it possible that this beautiful being, this graceful face, this love, this compassion can come out of ascetism? Ascetics are people who torture themselves, and when a person tortures himself he starts torturing others too, with a vengeance. When a person is in misery himself, he cannot see anybody else being happy; he starts destroying others’ happiness too. That’s what your so-called mahatmas go on doing: they can’t see you happy, so whenever you are happy, they immediately come and say, “There must be something wrong, a happy person means a sinner.”
You can observe it in yourself also, because down the centuries your so-called mahatmas and saints have conditioned you to feel guilt whenever you feel happy. Whenever you are miserable, everything is okay. But if you are feeling great joy, you start feeling a little uneasiness – somehow it doesn’t seem to be right. Have you not watched it in yourself? From where does it come? Happiness…and not right? And misery is okay. Something very antagonistic to life – very life-negative, very life-denying – has entered into the bloodstream of humanity. And it has come through those so-called ascetics. These ascetics are neurotic people: they are masochists, they torture themselves. Their only joy is in creating more and more misery.