Body defies all religions

An insight on living a harmonious life by listening to your greatest friend—your body

woman on one leg meditating in the sea shore

All the religions have been teaching you to fight against nature. Whatsoever is natural, is condemned. Religions say that you have to manage to do something unnatural, only then can you get out of the imprisonment of biology, physiology, psychology, and all the walls that surround you. But if you go on in harmony with your body, with your mind, with your heart, then the religions say you will never be able to go beyond you. That’s where I oppose all the religions. They have put a poisonous seed in your being, so you live in your body, but you don’t love your body.

The body serves you for 70, 80, 90, even 100 years, and there is no other mechanism that science has been able to invent which can be compared to the body. Its complexities, its miracles that it goes on doing for you… and you don’t even say thank you. You treat your body as your enemy, although your body is your friend.

It takes care of you in every possible way, while you are awake, while you are asleep. Even in sleep it goes on taking care of you. When you are asleep and a spider starts moving on your leg, your leg throws it away without bothering you. The leg has a small brain of its own. So for small matters there is no need to go to the central system, to go to the brain—that much the leg can do. A mosquito is biting you, your hands move it or kill it, and your sleep is not disturbed. The hand is not supposed to have a brain, but certainly it has something which can only be called a very small brain. Even while you are asleep your body is continuously protecting you, and doing things which it is not generally supposed to. Perhaps every cell of your body has a small brain in it. And there are millions of cells in your body, millions of small brains, moving around, continuously taking care of you.

You go on eating all kinds of things without bothering what happens when you swallow them. You don’t ask the body whether its mechanism, its chemistry, will be able to digest what you are eating. But somehow your inner chemistry goes on working for almost a century. It has an automatic system of replacing parts which have gone wrong. It goes on throwing them out, creating new parts; and you have to do nothing about it, goes on happening on its own. The body has a certain wisdom of its own.

And the religions say that the body is your enemy, you have to starve it, you have to hit it hard, because unless you starve it, torture it, how are you going to be free of it? They say the only way to be free of it is to cut all attachments to it. They teach you hatred for your body, and this is something so dangerous. The very idea turns your greatest friend into your greatest enemy.

These religions go on saying to you, “You have to be always fighting, you have to move against the current. Don’t listen to the body—whatever it says, do just the opposite. The body is hungry, let it be hungry. You starve it, it needs that treatment.” It simply serves you without any payment from your side, no salary, no facilities, and religions says go against it. When it wants to fall asleep, try to remain awake.

Gurdjieff was doing the same thing in the twentieth century. It certainly gives you a great ego power. When the body wants food, you say no. ‘No’ has great power in it. You are the master. You reduce the body to a slave – not only to a slave, you force the body to keep its mouth shut: “Whatsoever I decide is going to be done; you are not to interfere.” Gurdjieff used to do just the opposite of what Jainism does. Jainism starves you—but the method is the same and the result is the same; Gurdjieff used to force his disciples to go on eating. When the body was saying no, he would say, “Go on….” Every night, that was the peak point for Gurdjieff’s disciples.

He was a great cook, and as far as exotic foods are concerned he was incomparable, but that does not make him a religious man. He used to cook strange foods which you would have never eaten, your body is absolutely unacquainted with how to absorb them, what kind of ingredients he was putting in those foods! And then he used to stand there, forcing everybody; nobody could say no to the master. The body was in revolt but he would go on forcing them to eat, and then the drinking would begin. Then he would force you to drink. The ritual used to continue from three to six hours, it was not a small affair. In the middle of the night, in that whole place only Gurdjieff was awake. All the others were unconscious, vomiting, everybody falling, in every kind of posture. It was a dead place, ugly.

What was the purpose? The purpose was the same: to teach you how to fight the body. The old disciples would slowly start getting accustomed to it. They would not vomit, although they had eaten so much that it was coming to their throats, but they would not vomit. Now they had controlled it enough. The disciples that had followed him from Russia were the oldest group. They would drink as much wine as he wanted and they would not fall unconscious. That gave great power—that you are no longer a slave of the body, you are a master of the body. It is the same power that the Jain monks get from fasting for months together. The same ego is satisfied.

My request to you is: Do not fight with your body.

It is not your foe, it is your friend. It is a gift of nature to you. It is part of nature. It is joined with nature in every possible way. You are bridged not only with breathing; with sunrays you are bridged, with the fragrance of flowers you are bridged, with the moonlight you are bridged. You are bridged from everywhere; you are not a separate island. Drop that idea. You are part of this whole continent, and yet… it has given you an individuality. This is what I call a miracle.

You are part and parcel of existence, yet you have an individuality. Existence has done a miracle, has made possible something impossible.

So being in harmony with your body, you will be in harmony with nature, with existence. So instead of going against the current, go with the current. Be in a ‘let go.’ Allow life to happen. Don’t force anything, in any good name. For the sake of some holy book, for the sake of some holy ideal, don’t disturb your harmony.

Nothing is more valuable than to be harmonious, in accord with the whole.

From Unconsciousness to Consciousness/Courtesy Osho International Foundation/

This was first published in the December 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931 and 19 January 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement.


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