Shiva as Ardhanarishwar – half-man, half-woman.”

In India we have pictured Shiva as Ardhanarishwar – half-man, half-woman.”
That is the only symbol of its type all over the world. Shiva – half is man, half is woman; half Shiva and half Parvati, his consort. Half the body is of man and half of woman: Ardhanarishwar, half-man, half-woman. That is the symbol. Lovers join together but on the surface they remain two. Shiva is one, the body is two – half comes from Parvati, half he contributes. The body is two, on the surface the banks are two; in the depth the souls have mingled and become one.
Or look at it in this way: the room is dark, you bring two lamps into it, two candles into it. Those two candles remain two, but their light has mingled and become one. You cannot separate the light; you cannot say, “This light belongs to this candle and that light belongs to that candle.” Light has mingled and become one. The spirit is like light, the body is the candle.
Two lovers are only two bodies, but not two souls. This is very difficult to achieve. That’s why love is one of the most difficult things to achieve, and if even for moments you can achieve it is worth it. If even only for moments in your whole life, if even for moments you can achieve this oneness with someone, this oneness will become the door for the divine. Love achieved becomes the door for the divine, because then you can feel how this universe exists in the many and remains one.
But this can come only through experience – if you love a person and you feel that you are two and still one. And this should not be just a thought but an experience. You can think, but thinking is of no use. This must be an experience: how the bodies have remained two and the inner beings have merged, melted into each other – the light has become one.
Once experienced, then the whole philosophy of the Upanishads becomes exactly clear, absolutely clear.
The many are just the surface; behind each individual is hidden the nonindividual, behind each part is hidden the whole. And if two can exist as two on the surface, why not many? If two can remain two and still one, why can’t many remain many and still one?
One in the many is the message of the Upanishads. And this will remain only theoretical if you have never been in love.
But people go on confusing love with sex. Sex may be part of love, but sex is not love. Sex is just a physical, biological attraction, and in sex you remain two. In sex you are not concerned with the other, you are concerned with yourself. You are simply exploiting the other, you are simply using the other for some biological satisfaction of your own, and the other is using you. That’s why sexual partners never feel any deep intimacy. They are using the other. The other is not a person, the other is not a thou; the other is just an it, a thing you can use, and the other is using you. Deep down it is mutual masturbation and nothing else. The other is used as a device. It is not love, because you don’t care for the other.
Love is totally different. It is not using the other, it is caring for the other, it is just being happy in the other. It is not your happiness that you derive from the other; if the other is happy you are happy, and the other’s happiness becomes your happiness. If the other is healthy you feel healthy. If the other is dancing you feel a dance inside. If the other is smiling the smile penetrates you and becomes your smile.
Love is the happiness of the other; sex is happiness of your own, the other has to be used. In love the other’s happiness has become even more significant than your own. Lovers are each other’s servants, sex partners are each other’s exploiters.
Sex can exist in the milieu of love, but then it has a different quality; it is not sexual at all. Then it is one of the many ways of merging into each other. One of the many – not the only, not the sole, not the supreme. Many are the ways to merge into each other. Two lovers can sit silently with each other and the silence can become the merger. Really only lovers can sit silently.
Wives and husbands cannot sit silently, because silence becomes boredom. So they go on talking about something or other. They go on talking even nonsense, rubbish, rot, just to avoid the other. Their talk is to avoid the other, because if there is no talk the other’s presence will be felt, and the other’s presence is boredom. They are bored with each other so they go on talking. They go on giving each other news of the neighborhood, what was in the newspaper, what was on the radio, what was on the TV, what was in the film. They go on talking and chattering just to create a screen, a smokescreen, so the other is not felt. Lovers never like to chatter. Whenever lovers are together they will remain silent, because in silence merging is possible.
Lovers can merge in many ways. Both can enjoy a certain thing, and that enjoyment becomes a merger. Two lovers can meditate on a flower and enjoy the flower – then the flower becomes the merger. Both enjoying the same thing, both feeling ecstatic about the same thing, they merge. Sex is only one of the ways. Two lovers can enjoy poetry, a haiku, two lovers can enjoy painting, two lovers can just go for a walk and enjoy the walk together. The only thing necessary is togetherness. Whatsoever the act, if they can be together they can merge.
Sex is one of the ways of being together, bodily together. And I say not the supreme, because it depends…. If you are a very gross person, then sex seems to be the supreme. If you are a refined person, if you have a high intelligence, then you can merge in anything. If you know higher realms of happiness, simply listening to music you can move into a deeper ecstasy than sex. Or simply sitting near a waterfall and the sound of the waterfall, and in that sound you both can merge. You are no more there; only the water falling and the sound, and that can become a higher peak of orgasm than can ever be attained through sex. Sex is for the gross. That is only one of the many ways in which lovers can merge and forget their I and thou and become one.
And unless you transcend sex and find out other ways, sooner or later you will be fed up with your lover, because sex will become repetitive, it will become mechanical. And then you will start looking for another partner, because the new attracts. Unless your partner remains constantly new you will get fed up. And it is very difficult; if you have only one way of enjoying each other’s togetherness, it is bound to become a routine. If you have so many ways to be together, only then can your togetherness remain fresh, alive, young, and always new.
Lovers are never old. Husbands and wives are always old; they may be married only for one day but they are old – one day old. The mystery has gone, the newness disappeared. Lovers are always young. They may have been together for seventy years but they are still young, the freshness is there. And this is possible only if sex is one of the ways of being together, not the only way. Then you can find millions of ways of being together, and you enjoy that togetherness. That togetherness is felt as oneness.
If two can exist as one, then many can exist as one. Love becomes the door for meditation, prayer. That is the meaning when Jesus goes on insisting that love is God – because love becomes the door, the opening towards the divine.”




 

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