From Manu up to today, woman has been condemned, for the simple reason that all the so-called saints and mahatmas were living with repressed sexuality – and when you live with repressed sexuality the woman becomes immensely important. Then your whole mind is full of fantasies about women, and naturally one starts feeling that the woman is the cause of all these fantasies. You cannot get them out of your mind because those fantasies are very alluring, fascinating, but the reason is not the woman at all.
Repress your desire for food and your mind will be full of food. Repress any desire and the repressed desire will take revenge; it is bound to happen so. It will assert itself in a thousand and one ways. If you prevent it at the front door it will start coming in through the back door.
India has lived with a repressive morality. Its morality is not authentic, not true, not sincere. It is not centered in a self-realized consciousness. It is just cultivated, painted on the outside. It is a painted face! And you know it – everybody who lives with a mask knows it – that the real face is the total opposite of the mask. The real face is repressed and the unreal one is praised, decorated, worshipped. This creates a deep split, this creates schizophrenia.
Indian culture is schizophrenic, it is insane – but beautifully rationalized, beautifully covered. And the greatest problem, the greatest taboo in India has been sex. Just as in the West today the taboo is death, in India it has been sex. These two things have to be understood because they are the two fundamental taboos. Either a society creates a taboo around sex or it moves to the other extreme and creates a taboo around death. They are deeply related – two extremes of the same phenomenon.
Sex is birth, sex is the beginning, and death is the end. A few people are trying to hide the fact of birth, and a few other people are trying to hide the fact of death. The culture which makes sex a taboo will accept death, and vice versa; the culture that creates a taboo about death will accept sex. Humanity needs freedom from all taboos, freedom from all extremist ideologies, because to be an extremist is to be insane. The sane person is balanced, he is exactly in the middle, he follows the golden mean. And to be in the middle is to transcend duality, is to transcend the extreme polarity.
Man needs a new kind of understanding which accepts both birth and death as part of life, with no fear. The moment you accept both, the moment you can celebrate both, you go beyond both.
If you create a taboo around the energy called sex then the woman is condemned. The condemnation of the woman, the slavery of the woman, is simply condemnation of sex. Reduced to its scientific roots you can easily see that unless sex is respected, the woman will remain a means either to be exploited, manipulated, possessed like a thing – or renounced, again like a thing. Either you possess the woman – then she is property – or you renounce the woman, but again it is the same thing – she is property. And a woman considered as property cannot have freedom.
India considers the woman as property. The worldly use her and the other-worldly, the so-called mahatmas, renounce her, but both agree on one point, that she is property. She has no soul, so where is the question of giving her freedom?