Man and woman are two ends of duality — inseparable opposites || Acharya Prashant, on J. Krishnamurti

Acharya Prashant
6 min readJun 12, 2024


A religious man must be both masculine and feminine

~ J. Krishnamurti

Speaker: You could read it either way that — he must be both feminine and masculine, or he must be neither masculine nor feminine. You know what masculinity stands for in popular parlance, as a psychological state, as a physical state. You know what masculinity stands for, and you also know what femininity stands for. Whenever you are associated with one of the two, that is your hell.

To be associated with both masculinity and femininity, is to be able to see both together, and hence to be able to see that both are just one. That both sustain each other. That fact is, none of them can stand in isolation.

A woman is not always a woman. A woman becomes a woman, the moment she thinks of a man. A woman becomes a woman, when a man crosses her. Otherwise she is not a woman. She is just consciousness, free of identity. A man too is simply his attentiveness. But the moment a woman crosses him, he becomes a man. Are you getting it?

But if he can see the man and the woman together, if he can see the entire process, if he can see that here was somebody, standing in his vacant emptiness, and then a woman crosses him, and simultaneously the man in him wakes up, and the woman comes in existence, then he is able to stand separately from both man and woman and look at them.

“Oh! This is what happened.” The man was born, and parallely a woman was born. Or a woman was born, and parallely a man was born. Are you getting it?

Both man and woman are just objects of witnessing. It’s just that one object appears as a material object, and the other is just a mental object. When a woman passes-by, the woman is a material object. And the man that is born simultaneously, is in the mind, thus a mental object. But both are born, and both are simultaneously born. In the presence of a woman, the man becomes a man. In the presence of a man, the woman becomes even more womanly.

We have a few of us here, who have become newly sensitized to what hell gender brings to our lives, in the sense of being identified with your gender. They should remember that there is no point in hating the other gender.

The other gender arises only when you are identified with your gender.

Do not become a man, and you will not see any women around. Only a man sees women around. Do not become a man. Do not think that you are a man, and you won’t see any women at all. Are you getting it?

We all have heard the story about the Buddha, right? The story goes like this. One day the Buddha was quietly sitting under a tree, and some men came towards the tree chasing a woman. They asked the Buddha, “Did you just see a woman pass-by?” He replied, “Somebody went. I do not know whether it was a man or a woman.” The men become aggressive at the Buddha. They abused him, and said that how was it possible that sitting there he didn’t see whether it was a man or a woman. To this the Buddha said, “I stopped seeing that way, long back.” So who is the Buddha — a man or a woman? Who is he? Either both or neither.

We can go more into this. We also know in terms of psychology what it means to be a ‘man’. We also know what it means to be a ‘woman’. We also know that whenever there is this kind of partition, it is a disease. To be a man means to have an active and aggressive ego, which will be overtly violent. To be a woman means to have a passive ego, which will express itself in the form of jealousy, and covert violence. But in either case, there will be violence, coming out of a sense of insecurity and in-completion.

The man thinks he is incomplete, so he attacks. The woman thinks that she is incomplete, so she possesses. Do you see this? When a man feels that he is incomplete, he wants to attack and grab. When the woman feels that she is incomplete, she becomes possessive and jealous. And when the two are together, there is neither completion nor in-completion. There is neither an urge to get complete, nor a feeling that — “I am incomplete.”

Listener 1: Then why does Osho praise feminine qualities?

Speaker: If he was praising feminine qualities more, than surely he at that time he must be speaking to a masculine audience. I am again repeating: You become identified with your masculinity because you find something abhorrent in femininity. Have you not heard a man say, “Are you a girl? Are you wearing bangles?” Now if you find something abhorrent about being a woman, that makes you become more identified as a man. To prove to a man that a woman is equally worthy, probably more worthy, is to hit on is masculine identity. That is the reason why Osho is saying like this. Otherwise neither is man higher than woman, nor is a woman higher than man.

How can one part be better than the other part? Both are incomplete, both are fictitious, both are in a sense, imaginary. How can one imagination be better than another?

So there is no point in praising a woman over a man, or a man over a woman. It doesn’t make any sense. But sometimes just as a tool it can be done. If there are women who are totally devoid of energy, then probably the strength of man can be presented as an ideal to them. That- “Look at men. They are so strong and daring. And you women you have no guts, no courage, no power, no fire.” And then men can be presented as some role model. So that kind of thing can be done. Otherwise there is nothing especially praiseworthy about being woman. What in any case do you present as specialties of womanhood ? That she can be a mother, that she is tolerant, and such things. They mean nothing.

By putting woman on a pedestal, you only reinforce their femininity. When you put the tolerance and the adaptability of women as a virtue, then you only ensure that they become more feminine. You are praising what is essentially their curse. The woman is fettered, she can’t break out of her self-imposed problems, and you are saying that this inability to break out is her virtue.

You are saying, “Look at her. She is so tolerant. Look at her, she carries the weight of the morality of the entire family and society upon her. Look at her, she is so clean.” You are praising her hell. You want her to continue in hell. You are saying, “She is better than the man because she can tolerate everything and the man can’t tolerate anything. So that is why she is better than the man.” What rubbish!

Listener 2: Is it true that women are more creative?

Speaker: When a woman is a woman, she has zero creativity. A man is creative when he is not a man. A woman is creative when she is not a woman. To say that a woman is creative, is to completely misunderstand the whole thing.

It is not the man or a woman who is creative. It is the existence that creates through you when you stop being a man or a woman.