One day while Saraha was meditating, suddenly he saw a vision – a vision that there was a woman in the marketplace who was going to be his real teacher. Sri Kirti has just put him on the way, but the real teaching is to come from a woman. Now, this too has to be understood. It is only Tantra that has never been male chauvinistic. In fact, to go into Tantra you will need the cooperation of a wise woman; without a wise woman you will not be able to enter into the complex world of Tantra.
He saw a vision: a woman there in the marketplace. So first a woman. Second – in the marketplace. Tantra thrives in the marketplace, in the thick of life. It is not an attitude of negation; it is utter positivity. He stood up. Sri Kirti asked him, ”Where are you going?” And he said, ”You have shown me the Path. You took my learning away. You have done half the work – you have cleaned my slate. Now I am ready to do the other half.” With the blessings of Sri Kirti who was laughing, he went away. He went to the marketplace. He was surprised: he really found the woman that he had seen in the vision. The woman was making an arrow; she was an arrowsmith woman.
The third thing to be remembered about Tantra: it says the more cultured, the more civilized a person, the less is the possibility of his Tantric transformation. The less civilized, the more primitive, the more alive a person is. The more you become civilized, the more you become plastic – you become artificial, you become too much cultivated, you lose your roots into the earth. You are afraid of the muddy world. You start living away from the world; you start posing yourself as though you are not of the world. Tantra says: To find the real person you will have to go to the roots. So Tantra says: Those who are still uncivilized, uneducated, uncultured, they are more alive, they have more vitality. And that’s the observation of the modern psychologist too. A negro is more vital than the American, that is the fear of the American. The American is very much afraid of the negro. The fear is that the American has become very much plastic, and the negro is still vital, still down-to-earth.
The conflict between the blacks and the whites in America is not really the conflict between black and white, it is the conflict between the plastic and the real. And the American, the white man, is very much afraid, basically because he is afraid that if the negro is allowed, he will lose his woman, the American will lose his woman. The negro is more vital, sexually more vital, more alive; his energy is still wild. And that is one of the greatest fears of civilized people: to lose their women. They know that if more vital persons are available, they will not be able to hold their women. Tantra says: In the world of those who are still primitive, there is a possibility of starting to grow. You have grown in a wrong direction; they have not grown yet – they can still choose a right direction, they are more potential. And they don’t have anything to undo; they can proceed directly.
An arrowsmith woman is a low-caste woman, and for Saraha – a learned Brahmin, a famous Brahmin, who had belonged to the court of the king – going to an arrowsmith woman is symbolic. The learned has to go to the vital. The plastic has to go to the real. He saw this woman, young woman, very alive, radiant with life, cutting an arrow-shaft, looking neither to the right nor to the left, but wholly absorbed in making the arrow. He immediately felt something extraordinary in her presence, something that he had never come across. Even Sri Kirti, his Master, paled before the presence of this woman. Something so fresh and something from the very source…
Sri Kirti was a great philosopher. Yes, he had told Saraha to drop all learning, but still he was a learned man. He had told Saraha to drop ALL Vedas and scriptures, but he had his own scriptures and his own Vedas. Even though he was anti-philosophical, his anti-philosophy was a sort of philosophy. Now, here is a woman who is neither philosophical nor anti-philosophical – who simply does not know what philosophy is, who is simply blissfully unaware of the world of philosophy, of the world of thought. She is a woman of action, and she is utterly absorbed in her action. Saraha watched carefully: The arrow ready, the woman closing one eye and opening the other, assumed the posture of aiming at an invisible target. Saraha came still closer. Now, there was no target; she was simply posing. She had closed one eye, her other eye was open, and she was aiming at some unknown target – invisible, it was not there. Saraha started feeling some message. This posture was symbolic, he felt, but still it was very dim and dark. He could feel something there, but he could not figure it out, what it was.
So he asked the woman whether she was a professional arrowsmith, and the woman laughed loudly, a wild laugh, and said, ”You stupid Brahmin! You have left the Vedas, but now you are worshipping Buddha’s sayings, Dhammapada. So what is the point? You have changed your books, you have changed your philosophy, but you remain all the time the same stupid man.” Saraha was shocked. Nobody had talked to him that way; only an uncultured woman can talk that way. And the way she laughed was so uncivilized, so primitive – but still, something was very much alive. And he was feeling pulled. She was a great magnet and he was nothing but a piece of iron. And then she said, ”You think you are a Buddhist?” He must have been in the robe of the Buddhist monk, the yellow robe. And she laughed again. And she said, ”Buddha’s meaning can only be known through actions, not through words and not through books. Is not enough enough for you? Are you not yet fed up with all this? Do not waste any more time in that futile search. Come and follow me!” And something happened, something like a communion. He had never felt like that before. In that moment, the spiritual significance of what she was doing dawned upon Saraha. Neither looking to the left, nor looking to the right, he had seen her – just looking in the middle.
For the first time he understood what Buddha means by being in the middle: avoid the axis. First he was a philosopher, now he has become anti-philosopher – from one extreme to another. First he was worshipping one thing, now he is worshipping just the opposite – but the worship continues. You can move from the left to the right, from the right to the left, but that is not going to help. You will be like a pendulum moving from the left to the right, from the right to the left. And have you observed? – when the pendulum is going to the right, it is gaining momentum to go to the left; when it is going to the left it is again gaining momentum to go to the right. And the clock continues, and the world continues. To be in the middle means the pendulum just hangs there in the middle, neither to the right nor to the left. Then the clock stops, then the world stops. Then there is no more time… then the state of no-time.
He had heard it said so many times by Sri Kirti; he had read about it, he had pondered, contemplated over it; he had argued with others about it, that to be in the middle is the right thing. For the first time he had seen it in an action: the woman was not looking to the right and not looking to the left… she was just looking in the middle, focussed in the middle. The middle is the point from where the transcendence happens. Think about it, contemplate about it, watch it in life. A man is running after money, is mad, money-mad; money is the only god…
One woman was asking another, ”Why have you left your boyfriend? What happened? I had been thinking that you were engaged and that you were going to be married – what happened?” The woman said, ”Our religions are different, and that’s why we have broken up.” The questioner was puzzled because she knew that both were Catholics, so she said, ”What do you mean by saying that your religions are different?” The woman said, ”I worship money, and he is broke.”
There are people whose only god is money. One day or other, the god fails – it is bound to fail. Money cannot be the god. It was your illusion, you were projecting. One day or other you come to the point where you can see that there is no god in it, that there is nothing in it, that you have been wasting your life. Then you turn against it, then you take an opposite attitude: you become against money. Then you leave the money, you don’t touch the money. You are continuously obsessed now; now you are AGAINST the money but the obsession remains. You have moved from the left to the right, but your center of consciousness is still the money. You can change from one desire to another. You were much too worldly, one day you can become other-worldly – you remain the same, the disease persists. Buddha says: To be worldly is to be worldly, and to be other-worldly is also to be worldly; to be for money is to be mad after money, to be against money is to be mad after money; to seek power is foolish, to escape is also foolish. Just to be in the middle is what wisdom is all about.
FOR THE FIRST TIME Saraha saw it actually there – he had not even seen it in Sri Kirti. It was really there. And the woman was true, she said, ”You can only learn through action.” And she was so utterly absorbed that she was not even looking at Saraha who was standing there watching her. She was so utterly absorbed, she was so totally in the action – that is again a Buddhist message: To be total in action is to be free of action. Karma is created because you are not totally in it. If you are totally in it, it leaves no trace. Do anything totally and it is finished, and you will not carry a psychological memory of it. Do anything incompletely and it hangs with you, it goes on – it is a hangover. And the mind wants to continue and do it and complete it. Mind has a great temptation to complete things. Complete anything and the mind is gone. If you continue doing things totally, one day you suddenly find there is no mind. Mind is the accumulated past of all incomplete actions.
You wanted to love a woman and you didn’t love; now the woman is dead. You wanted to go to your father and you wanted to be forgiven for all that you had been doing, for all that you had been doing in such a way that he was feeling hurt – now he is dead. Now the hangover will remain. Now the ghost…. Now you are helpless – what to do? Whom to go to? And how to ask forgiveness? You wanted to be kind to a friend but you could not be because you became closed. Now the friend is no more, and it hurts. You start feeling a guilt, you repent. Things go on like this.