on Marriage and Friendship
Question : Why is it so difficult
for men and women to be Friends? It Seems so ordinary, and turns
out to be almost Impossible. Either there is an ugly
compromise -- like man and wife -- Or else Passion that
eventually turns into Hate. Why is There always ugliness between
men and women?
Osho : It is very simple to
understand. Marriage is the ugliest institution invented by man.
It is not natural; it has been invented so that you can
monopolize a woman. You have been treating women as if they were
a piece of land, or some currency notes. You have reduced the
woman to a thing. Remember that if you reduce any human being to
a thing -- unaware, unconscious -- you are also being reduced to
the same status; otherwise, you will not be able to communicate.
If you can talk with a chair, you must be a chair.
Marriage is against nature. You can be certain only of this
moment that is in your hands. All promises for tomorrow are lies
-- and marriage is a promise for your whole life, that you will
remain together, that you will love each other, that you will
respect each other till your last breath. And these priests, who
are the inventors of many ugly things, say to you that marriages
are made in heaven. Nothing is made in heaven; there is no
heaven. If you listen to nature, your problems, your questions
will simply evaporate.
The problem is: biologically man is
attracted to woman, women are attracted to men, but that
attraction cannot remain the same forever. You are attracted to
something which is a challenge to get. You see a beautiful man,
a beautiful woman; you are attracted. Nothing is wrong in it.
You feel your heart beating faster. You would like to be with
this woman or man, and the attraction is so tremendous that in
that moment you think you would like to live with this woman
Lovers don't deceive each other, they are saying the truth --
but that truth belongs to the moment. When lovers say to each
other, "I cannot live without you," it is not that he is
deceiving or she is deceiving, they mean it. But they don't know
the nature of life. Tomorrow this same woman will not look so
beautiful. As days pass, the man and the woman both will feel
that they are imprisoned. They have know each other's geography
completely. First it was an unknown territory to be discovered,
now there is nothing to be discovered.
And to go on repeating the same words and the same acts looks
mechanical, ugly. That's why passion turns into hate. The woman
hates you, because you are going to do the same thing again. To
prevent you, the moment the husband enters the house she goes to
bed, she has a headache. She wants somehow not to get into the
same rut. And the man is flirting with his secretary in the
office; now she is an unknown territory. To me, it is all
nature. What is unnatural is binding people in the name of
religion, in the name of God, for their whole life.
In a better, more intelligent world, people will love, but will
not make any contracts. It is not a business! They will
understand each other, and they will understand the changing
flux of life. They will be true to each other. The moment the
man feels that now his beloved holds no joy for him, he will say
that the time has come to part. There is no need for marriage,
there is no need for divorce. Then friendship will be possible.
You ask me why friendship is not possible between men and
women.... Friendship is not possible between the jailer and the
Friendship is possible between equal human beings, totally free
from all bondage of society, culture, civilization, only living
true to their authentic nature. It is not an insult to the woman
to say, "Honey, the honeymoon is over." It is not an insult to
the man if the woman says, "Now things cannot be beautiful. The
wind that has blown is no longer there. The season has changed,
it is no longer spring between us; no flowers blossom, no
fragrance arises. It is time to part." And because there is no
legal bondage of marriage, there is no question of any divorce.
It is ugly that the court and the law and the state interfere in
your private life -- you have to ask their permission. Who are
they? It is a question between two individuals, their private
affair. There will be only friends -- no husbands, no wives. Of
course, if there is only friendship, passion will never turn
into hate. The moment you feel passion disappearing, you will
say good-bye, and it will be understood. Even if it hurts,
nothing can be done about it -- it is the way of life.
But man has created societies, cultures, civilizations, rules,
regulations, and made the whole humanity unnatural. That's why
men and women cannot be friends. And men and women either become
husbands and wives -- which is something absolutely ugly; they
start owning each other.... People are not things, you cannot
have ownership. If I feel your wife is beautiful, and approach
her, you are angry, you are ready to fight because I am
property. No wife is anybody's property, no husband is anybody's
What kind of world have you created? People are reduced to
properties; then there is jealousy, hatred. You yourself know
that you are attracted to the neighbor's wife; naturally, you
can guess about your wife too.
Your wife knows perfectly well she is attracted to somebody
else, but she cannot approach that person because of the
husband: he is standing there with a gun! Love is bound to turn
into hate, and for the whole life the hate goes on accumulating.
And out of this hatred do you think beautiful children are going
to be born?
They are not born out of love, but out of duty. It is the wife's
duty to allow you to use her. To tell the truth, there is no
difference between wives and prostitutes. The difference is just
like the difference between having your own car or going in a
taxi. A prostitute is purchased only for a few hours; wives are
a long-term affair, it is economical. Royal families are not
allowed to marry outside royal blood: status, money, power....
Nobody can love anybody in such circumstances, where the
relationship is financial.
The woman is dependent on you because you earn. And for
centuries men have not allowed women to be educated, to be in
business, to have jobs, for the simple reason that if the woman
has her own financial status, her own bank account, you cannot
reduce her to a thing. She has to be dependent on you. And do
you think anybody who has to be dependent on you will love you?
Every woman wants to kill the husband. It is another matter that
she does not kill him -- because if she kills him, what will she
She is not educated, she has no experience of the society, she
has no way of earning. The husband -- every husband, I don't
make any exceptions -- wants to get rid of the woman. But he
cannot get rid of her. There are
children, and he himself has promised the woman thousands of
times that he loves her. When he goes to his job he kisses the
woman; there is no love in it, just skeletons touching each
other. Nobody is present. Man has created a society in which
friendship between man and woman is impossible.
remember, friendship is so valuable that
whatsoever the consequence, remain friends even with your wife,
even with your husband, and allow absolute and total freedom to
each other. I don't see any problem. If I love a woman,
and one day she says that she has fallen in love with somebody
else and feels very happy, I will be happy.
I love her, and I would like her to be happy -- where is the
problem? I will help her in every way so that she can be more
happy. If she can be more happy with somebody else, what hurts
It is your ego that hurts: she has found somebody else who is
better than you. It is not a question of better, it may be just
your chauffeur -- it is just a question of a little change. And
if you give full freedom to each other, perhaps you can remain
together for your whole life, or for the whole eternity, because
there is no need to get rid of each other. Marriage creates the
need to get rid of each other, because it means freedom is taken
away -- and freedom is the highest value in human life.
Make all the couples free, and you will be surprised, this very
world becomes paradise. here are other problems. You have
children -- what to do with children? My answer is that children
should not belong to their parents, they should belong to the
commune. Then there is no problem. The parents can meet the
children, they can invite the children, they can be friends with
their children; and yet the children are not dependent on them,
they belong to the commune. And it will destroy many
If a boy knows only his mother, the mother's personality becomes
an imprint on him. Now, his whole life he will be trying to find
a woman who is like his mother -- and he will never find such a
woman. A girl will never find another man who is exactly a copy
of her father. Then you cannot be satisfied with any woman, any
man. But if the children belong to the commune, they will come
in contact with so many uncles and so many aunts -- they will
not carry a single picture in their minds.
They will have a vague idea of womanhood or manhood, and
to that idea, many people of the commune will have contributed;
it will be multidimensional. There is a possibility of finding
somebody, because you only have a vague idea. You can find
somebody, and that person will make your vague idea solid, a
reality. Right now you have a solid idea within you, and you
meet a vague person. Sooner or later there is disappointment.
And children belonging to the commune will learn much, will be
more friendly, will be more available to all kinds of
They will be richer. A child being brought up by a couple is
very poor. He does not know that there are millions of people
with different minds, different kinds of beauty. If a child
moves in the commune, naturally he will be far richer. And he
will have known so much before he decides to be with someone
that there is a possibility of a long friendship. What happens
now? You see a girl on the beach and you fall in love. You know
nothing about the girl, you know only her make-up.
Tomorrow morning when you get up and the make-up is gone, you
will say, "My God! What have I done? This is not the woman I
married, this is someone else!" But you cannot go against your
word either. And if you do, then the government is there, the
courts are there to put you back into your right place. This is
a very ugly situation, sick.
People should be given freedom to know each other, to know as
many people as possible, because each person is so unique, there
is no question of comparison. Let the child drink from many
sources, and he will have some insight into who is going to be
the right person to live with.
Nobody will fall in love; everybody will decide consciously that
"This is the one." He has known so many people, he understands
that this is the one who has those characteristics, those
qualities that he has loved. And then too it is only going to be
a friendship. There is no fear; if tomorrow things change there
is no harm. The society should not live in a routine way, in a
fixed way -- static, dormant -- it should be a moving flux. One
woman can give you a certain kind of joy, another woman can give
you another kind of joy.
A third woman will be a surprise. So why remain poor"? -- just
because Jesus has said, "Blessed are the poor"?
Be richer in every dimension, and keep yourself open and
available. And whoever you are with, let the other person
understand clearly that "It is freedom between us, not a
marriage license. Out of freedom we meet, with no promises for
the future -- because who knows the future?"
When I was a student in the university in my final master's
course, one girl was very much interested in me. She was a
beautiful girl, but my interest was not in women at that time. I
was crazy in search of God! After the examinations, when she was
leaving the university.... She had waited -- I knew it -- she
had waited and waited for me to approach her. That is the usual
way, that the man approaches the woman; it is graceful for the
woman not to approach the man.
Strange idea... I don't understand. Whoever approaches, it is
graceful. If fact, whoever initiates is courageous.
When we were leaving the university she said, "Now there is no
chance." She took me aside and said, "For two years continuously
I have been waiting. Can't we be together for our whole lives? I
I said, "If you love me, then please leave me alone. I also love
you, that's why I am leaving you alone -- because I know what
has been happening in the name of love.
People are becoming imprisoned, chained; they lose all their
joy, life becomes a drag. So this is my parting advice to you,"
I said, "Never try to cling to a person for your whole life." If
two persons are willingly together today, it is more than
enough. If tomorrow again they feel like being together, good.
If they don't, it is their personal affair; nobody has to
interfere. Up to now, the problem of the children has always
been raised. My answer is that
children should belong to the commune.
They can go to their parents, whether their parents are together
or separate. And they should learn from their parents that love
is no slavery, it is freedom. And they should move in the
commune, tasting, enjoying different
qualities of different people. So by the time they decide, their
decision will be not just a foolish type of "falling in
love"; it will be a very considered, contemplated, meditated
phenomenon. There is a possibility they may remain together for
their whole lives. In fact, if there is freedom, there is more
possibility; more people will remain together.
If marriage disappears, divorce disappears automatically.
is a by-product of marriage. Nobody takes note of the simple
fact: why for centuries have there been prostitutes? Who created
them? Who is responsible for these poor women? It is the
institution of marriage. You are bored with your wife; just for
a change you go to a woman who is not going to be a bondage --
because one is enough, two will be too much. It is just a
hours' meeting. You can keep yourself lovely for a few hours,
loving for a few hours.
She can keep herself lovely and loving for a few hours. And
moreover, she has been paid for it. Around the world millions of
women are reduced to selling their bodies. Who has done it? Your
political leaders, your religious leaders. I consider these
people criminals. And not ordinary criminals, because for
centuries the whole humanity has been suffering because of these
few idiots. But you have to start with yourself, there is no
other way. If you love somebody, then freedom should be the
connecting link between you.
And if you see your woman tomorrow hugging somebody else, there
is no need to be jealous. She is being enriched, she is tasting
a little newness -- just the way you go sometimes to a Chinese
restaurant! It is good. You will come back to your own food, but
the Chinese restaurant has helped you; you may relish your own
But after a few days, again -- that's how the mind is -- you are
moving towards an Italian restaurant... spaghetti. I cannot even
tolerate somebody eating spaghetti in front of me!
But that is my problem. Life is so simple and so beautiful, just
one thing is missing: freedom. If your wife is being with some
other people, soon she will come back to you enriched, with new
insight. And she will find something in you she had never found
before. And meanwhile, you need not just sit down in your chair
and beat your head. You also gain experience, so that by the
time your woman is back you are also new. You have also been to
the Chinese restaurant. Life should be a joy, a rejoicing. And
then only can there be friendship between men and women;
otherwise, they are going to remain intimate enemies.
Osho on what is Love
Osho Videos on Love
discourse on Love - Am I in Love
Osho on Life in a
marriage and its Problem
Osho - why do you ask
people to get Married
What is Jealousy and why does it Hurt so much
I very much doubt my wife. What should I do
Relationships and learn how to Relate
Osho on Commitment
and Non-Attachment in Love
Osho on importance of
Commitment in a Relationship
Relationship between Living Partners and Growth
Problems of Love - In my relationship I often
lose my Self
relating with people, Relationship is not relating
Osho - Cannot
one ever find a Perfect Partner in Marriage?
Osho - Before you can Love Yourself you
have to know yourself
Aloneness - We are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone
First come to
terms with one's Loneliness before entering into Relationship
Osho on hell of
living with a woman and the hell of living without a woman
If love is destroyed in
Marriage, how are we to Live if we wish to share love
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