He’s The Greatest!

"He is the greatest,” was my answer when Muhammad Ali looked at my mala and asked who was he after we were introduced in 1974 at a party at the American Ambassador’s residence in Nairobi where I worked as an editor for a local newspaper. The boxer’s eyes narrowed a little and his fist clinched slightly at my reply. As I explained that my guru was a heavyweight of quite another category, he eased to my immense relief!
After initiation into sannyas a few months earlier, this was just one of the long line of knee-jerk reactions of many people who encountered me in full blown orange clothes and mala. The Kenyan leaders and friends had their own unique perspective. "Who is this witchdoctor?” asked the then Finance Minister Mwai Kibaki with a smile perhaps thinking of another boost for political survival. "Many journalists become disciples to expose these gurus, so when are you publishing your expose?” asked another socialite. He is still waiting.
On arriving at Nairobi Airport to attend the funeral of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta in 1978, the then Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai refused be interviewed by me as PTI and AIR correspondent after a steely look at my attire.
Later he did not find it an uplifting experience, as we went up in the same lift quite by chance in stony silence.
Mother Teresa was more vocal. She started off her interview by saying, "Your guru is not happy with me but I pray for him.” Obviously, she had read Osho’s views on her work and was still following them. During the Pope’s visit to Nairobi in 1985, it was decided to have a special meeting with leaders of other faiths when we had an encounter. As he listened to what Osho taught, the Pontiff refrained from any comment but continued to bless me!
Once it came pretty close to be thrown into prison. As I went through the security checks for an international conference, the guards looked through my briefcase and took side as they read the titles of two books in my possession — ‘The Silent Explosion’ and ‘The Inward Revolution’. It took them quite a while to understand the dynamite thoughts of one who later came to be called the spiritual terrorist!
Our close American friends in New York could not understand why I had been to Rajneeshpuram. "What did you do there?” asked Nicky Canetti, "Did you meet him?” It was difficult to provide a logical reply as to why my wife and I spent a fortune to visit Oregon from Kenya when we never even met him personally.
"We meditated and once while driving by he looked at us!” replied my wife. "Are you crazy? You spent all that money just for that!” said Nicky. His wife Nancy understood as she said,"I understand. I know when I was in love, just an eye contact with him was enough!”
What have you benefited from Osho? Is the re-current question, which most people asked when His mala and sannyas colours were the first impression that hit them? Everytime a different answer came out spontaneously depending on the questioner and I wondered how meditation made one merge with the other like water taking shape of the container it is poured in.
What has Osho said which has not been said before? Is another permanent query? Sure, it has all been said before — but it’s the style, which makes it pertinent for the 21st century.
After a family holiday in USA in 1980, I was at crossroads when He answered my question to talk about ‘the New Man’ for the 21st century. I asked, "At Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, we saw the ultimate in science to explore outer science and create ‘a better man’, and at Rajneesh Space Centre, Poona, is the effort to create experience the inner space and create ‘a new man’. The former is the launching pad for the new century backed by the world’s richest and most powerful nation. This one is the flying saucer for the new consciousness and yet decried by one of the world’s poorest nations. One is matter and the other is spirit. What is happening?”
He replied, "The idea of a better man is an old idea, very old, as old as man himself. Everybody is willing for a better man because it needs no radical change. A better man means something is added to you: you remain the same, you remain continuous; there is no discontinuity. And you become richer, better.
The idea of a better man is rooted in greed, hence everybody will support The rich countries will support it, the poor countries will support it. India was totally in favor of Mahatma Gandhi because he was trying to bring a better man.
The idea of a better man is reformatory, it is not revolutionary. But the idea of a new man is dangerous because it requires guts. It’s basic requirement is that you have to die to the old and you have to be born anew — It is a rebirth. Hence I am opposed. And it is not only here that I am opposed and decried, I will be opposed and decried anywhere else in the World; even if I am in Florida the same will happen.
In fact, there is more possibility of opposition in a richer and powerful country than there is in a poor and starving country, for the simple reason that millions of Indians have no idea of what is going on here. They have no time, they have no interest. It is not a vital issue for them, the birth of a new man. Their vital problem is how to survive, and you are talking of the birth of a new man! They are not even able to survive. Their problems are totally different. They are ill, they are hungry, their children are uneducated, they are unemployed, they don’t have any land, no food, no shelter — and you are talking about a new man? They are not interested; it is not their problem.”
His words were really prophetic when he went on, "But if I talk about the new man in America I will be killed immediately, imprisoned. I will not be tolerated at all, because that means a danger to the whole American way of life.
The American way of life depends on ambition, and my new man has to be utterly ambitionless. America’s whole approach is: things should be bettered, everything should be made better. It does not matter where it is going to lead, but things have to be better, better and better. They are obsessed with the idea of bettering things. You have to have more speed, better machines, better technology, better railroads, better roads— everything better! Of course, in the same way, you need a better man. It fits with the whole American style of life.
Man is also thought to be a commodity. Just as you need better cows and better dogs and better cars and better airplanes, you need a better man! There is no difference: it is the same logic.
I am talking about a NEW man. The new man is not necessarily the better man. He will be livelier, he will be more joyous, he will be more alert, but who knows whether he will be better or not? As far as politicians are concerned he will not be better, because he will not be a better soldier — he will not be ready to be a soldier at all. He will not be competitive, and the whole competitive economy will collapse. He will not be interested just in accumulating junk, and the whole economy depends on that. All your advertising agencies are just bringing to your mind the idea of collecting more and more junk.
The new man will have a totally different vision of life. He will live in a more loving way, because to him love is richness. He will know that money cannot buy love or joy. He will know that money is utilitarian; it is not the goal of life.
The whole American system depends on doing better. ‘Do it better!’ What you are doing is not the point. ‘If you are murdering people, do it better!’ You can see what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki: America really did it in a better way than anybody else has ever done it. ‘Reach the moon!’ Nobody asks ‘why’. If you ask ‘why’ you are crazy; such questions are not to be asked. The only question worth asking is: ‘How to reach the moon in a better way than anybody else?’ Defeat Russia. It should be an American who is first to walk on the moon. ‘For what?’ That is not the point. As far as I am concerned, I can’t see the point. The American standing on the moon looks so silly! But that is their way of thinking, their philosophy: ‘Even if you are looking silly, look silly in a better way. Defeat everybody else!’
My new man means the end of the old world. So it is not only a question of my being decried and opposed in India — I will be decried and opposed anywhere else. In fact, I have chosen India for a particular reason: here people are so lethargic. Even if they want to kill me they will take twenty, thirty years! By that time I will have done my work — I will have done the harm. It is not for no reason that I have chosen India: people are lethargic.”
Just a few days ago a man threw a knife at me to kill me. Now, such a knife can be thrown only in India! When it fell just in front of me I thought it was a stone. My eyes are not bad, I don’t need glasses yet: I can see very clearly. I thought it was just a stone — it looked so dirty! And when I saw the pictures of it I was very much puzzled — you could not even cut vegetables with it! This is the beauty of being in India. Now, in America or in Germany they would have done it with more sophisticated means. India is the best place at the moment to do my work, my kind of work. And why is the new man decried? He has always been decried. Jesus was killed because he was talking about the new man, not about the better man. Mahavira was not killed, Buddha was not killed, because they were talking about the better man. You should see the difference.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, "Unless you are born again you shall not enter into my kingdom of God.” Now you cannot find any parallel in Mahavira, in Patanjali, in Moses, in Mohammed; no, nowhere can you find a parallel. Jesus insisted that first you have to die to the past, only then can a new consciousness arise in you. He was crucified.
Socrates was talking about a new man, remember. These are the differences. Why was Socrates killed? Athens was one of the most cultured cities of those days; in fact, not only of those days, but even today no city compares with Athens. Twenty-five centuries have passed, but neither New York nor London nor Paris nor Bombay nor Calcutta nor Peking nor Moscow — no city has been able to achieve that peak of culture, sophistication, civilization, that Athens did.
But why did such cultured people become so animalistic, so barbarous as to kill a man like Socrates? He was talking about the new man. If he had talked about the better man he would have been worshipped... Those who have talked about the better man have always been worshipped, because they are telling you that the past is beautiful but it can be beautified more. They are not against the past, they are not against conventions, they are not against traditions; they are all for them. The tradition has to be the foundation and on that foundation you can raise a better temple, a better house.
"To talk about the new man is dangerous. A new man means cutting away totally from the past, disrupting, uprooting yourself completely from the past, dying to the past and living in the present. And old habits die very hard. We have become accustomed to hearing about a better man; it has gone into the very circulation of our blood. Every saint, every mahatma talks about the better man; that’s his business, we know. But about a new man? Then we become afraid. He is bringing something absolutely new; he is taking us into the territory of the unknown, he is trying to uproot us from the familiar. And we have lived for thousands of years in a particular way; we are conditioned by it, we are part of it. Only very few people can manage to get out of it. Hence my message is going to remain only for the chosen few.
Remember, old habits die hard — and our religions, our philosophies are very old, our styles of life are very old. And I am for the new. We think the old is gold — and I say the old is just junk! I agree with Henry Ford that history is bunk. It is all bullshit! We have to free man from all that has gone before, and we have to free man totally, absolutely, categorically.”
Now on the doorstep of the 21st century, the focus is still on a better man for all international organisations, including the United Nations where I have been working for the past two years. But whenever the attention turns to man’s inherent problems, then any one of his ‘No Thought for the Day’ jolts my colleagues as they get his taste — the taste of 21st century.
Osho : The Mystic and the Rebel
"An absence of vision seems to have gripped the globe’s most prominent nations.... It has become painfully and globally evident of late: a failure by heads of government, sometimes entire parties and democratic systems, to come to grip with those issues that the governed consider most urgent..... Clearly, the world needs a new vision.” (Time magazine, July 12, 1993)
To his millions of lovers and friends, disciples and devotees all over the world he is known simply as ‘Osho’. As explained by Osho himself, the name is derived from William James’ word ‘oceanic’ which means dissolving into the ocean. However, ‘oceanic’ describes the experience, he says, but what about the experiencer? Osho therefore means: one who has dissolved into the universal ocean of consciousness, one who has disappeared as a separate entity such as a dew drop disappears in the ocean. "Osho” has also been used historically in the Far East meaning: "The Blessed One, on Whom the Sky Showers Flowers”.
To the people in India, and later to the whole world, he has been known as "Acharya Rajneesh” and as "Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh” — an enlightened fiery mystic who demolishes age-old myths and beliefs, traditions and teachings. "I teach utter rebellion,” he declares. "I am not here to compromise. I have decided to be utterly honest and truthful whatsoever the cost.”(1979 ‘Dimensions Beyond the Known’)
Twenty-five centuries after Gautam the Buddha, Osho has turned the wheel of dharma by raising human consciousnes so that a "New Man” can emerge to create a better world. He has made it known to all that the energy field he has created for raising human consciousness would be even more stronger after him. The seekers who are visiting this campus in thousands from around the world are without exception able to experience the truth of this.
Osho, the enlightened mystic, personifies the ultimate in human consciousness. His vision and his work exemplify a great revolution, an incredible transformation worldwide in the lives of men and women who cared to grow and find happiness. He offers clarity and confidence, love and compassion, understanding and awareness to the entire human race which is beleaguered today by death and destruction, pain and suffering.
It is not easy to say anything about Osho. He is like a vast space which contains all dualities, all diversities, all contradictions. He radiates consciousness which brings light to all those who are groping in dark. He symbolizes religiousness in its ultimate glory. For the strife-ridden humanity, increasingly Osho is now being seen as perhaps the only alternative for creating a peaceful and wholistic society.
His revolutionary message comes from his own realization of truth. Hence, his words have the kind of authenticity, sharpness, and power which can bring about a complete mutation, a total transformation in anyone willing to stay open to his deep insights into human existence. Of all the self-realized, enlightened beings, Osho is exceptional. He is the first among Masters, present and past, who has succeeded in making religion contemporaneous and applicable to all in every living moment.
Although variously described as: a rebel, an iconoclast, an enlightened mystic, absurd, anarchist, prolific author, outrageous, anti-Christ, spiritual terrorist, an intellectual giant, he is all this and more simply because he is not part of any tradition, school of philosophy, or religion. "I am the beginning of a totally new religious consciousness,” he declares. "Please don’t connect me with past — it is not even worth remembering.” He is Buddha, Lao Tzu, Krishna, Jesus, Kabir, Gurdjieff all rolled in one, and more.
Osho has remained controversial throughout his life. All enlightened mystics, including Buddha, Mahavir, Socrates, Jesus and Zarathustra, are controversial because their way is the way of change and transformation which the society resists. The society on the other hand prefers status quo, it is at ease with the familiar. Hence the words and deeds of an enlightened Master are not accepted. The non-acceptance of the enlightened by the society creates controversy.
Secondly, as Osho says: "I have not come to teach, I have come to awaken.” A teacher never creates a controversy because he is comfortable with the status quo, he willingly follows the beaten path. A teacher has nothing to offer of his own, coming out of his own experience. He says and does whatever is acceptable to society. A Master, such as Osho, is here to bring us out of our age old conditioning. He is here to dehypnotize us out of our religious, social, cultural hypnosis. He awakens us to our original reality, to the reality around us, and to the reality of our future evolution as a Buddha. For this, he needs to provoke us, shake us, create a friction of energy so that the humanity can come out of its unconscious state.
With regard to Osho in particular, the controversy is more intense because he is a path-breaker and, above all, he is as he has declared, "a category by himself.” One cannot mould him into any form, shape, or idea — hence the controversy.
In his discourses he speaks about the need for a ‘New Man’, a New Mankind or a New Humanity. Osho emphasises the fact that we are a divided humanity, hence we are also a wounded humanity. In his vision of a New Man and New Humanity there is no room for divisions. He is for a whole human being and one humanity. He says: only a whole person can be a holy person.
Osho has pointed out repeatedly how our division of matter and spirit, body and soul has proved harmful in the individual’s spiritual growth. He would like to see Zorba the Greek and Gautama the Buddha coming together. They are, in his vision, two halves of one total reality. Both are incomplete separately, together they fulfill the total need of humanity.
Similarly, he sees the need to synthesize science and consciousness. He would like to see, however, a world where science can work not for destruction but for enhancing the human consciousness. In fact, he proposes that consciousness must guide the scientific endeavor. To him, the divisions of mankind in East and West, or in North and South are meaningless. The world is essentially one, all such divisions are based on human selfishness and ignorance. He would like to see East and West merging into each other, enriching each other, only then he finds the possibility for a truly lasting peace and harmony in the world.
According to Osho: "The New Man will not be either/or, he will be both and. The New Man will be earthly and divine, worldly and other worldly. The New Man will accept his totality and he will live it without any inner division; he will not be split... He will transcend duality, he will not be schizophrenic. With the New Man, there will come a new world.”
Often, Osho’s sannyasins are branded by the Western media and other vested interests as a "cult” and Osho is ludicurously lumped together with cult leaders such as Rev. Jim Jones and Koresh. The truth, however, is that crucifixion is at the root of Christianity, and crucifixion is a symbol for death. Jim Jones and Koresh were Christians and were obsessed with glory in death, resurrection, second coming. They fanatically believed in the biblical prophesies, Armageddon, heaven and sitting next to Jesus after death. They used their fanaticism in recruiting and then controlling their followers. Both, Jim Jones and Koresh, were the product of blind faith, greed, and ambition. They were for seeking attention and recognition at any cost.
Osho does not see his sannyasins as followers but as friends or fellow travellers. His vision of sannyas is based on the individual’s freedom to be, to explore, experiment, and inquire. He asks them neither to believe or disbelieve, but only to search for the truth that would bring light and joy in their lives. A sannyasin, in Osho’s vision, is full of reverence for life. A sannyasin is one who lives naturally, one who is open to life in all its manifestations. A sannyasin is not bothered whether God is or not, his/her effort is to bring what Osho calls, ‘godliness’, in life — a quality of awareness and compassion, love and celebration. A sannyasin cares for this world so much that he or she would create a paradise on earth rather than leave the earth in search of a fictitious paradise in some other world. His message is loud and clear: "I don’t want my people to leave the world, ...it is time that people should be strong enough in their awareness so they can remain in the society without compromising. Although it is far more difficult, it is a great challenge to live in society and not be part of it, to live in society but not allow society to live in you. That is my special contribution to the religious experience and to the rebellious human beings.”(The Invitation, p.91)
As a contemporary mystic and a visionary, Osho made contribution simultaneously on three levels:
1. He declared old values, such as nationalism, racism, this world and the other world, religious bigotry and prejudice, outdated.
2. He gave new meaning and context to those values which are still relevant and useful — such as: democracy, education, women’s equality with men, love, creativity.
3. Created, articulated, and implemented new values:
  • drop the old, live in the moment here and now
  • be an individual, not part of a crowd
  • find your own truth, your own path
  • drop seriousness, celebrate every moment
  • be natural, live naturally, accept sex as a stepping stone to rise in love and attain spiritual consciousness
  • bring a synthesis between body and soul, Zorba and Buddha, meditation and love
  • bring religious quality in life instead of following a religion blindly
  • bring light of awareness instead of fighting with darkness of unconscious conditioning
  • sammasati — remember, you are a buddha.

Osho has given a concrete blueprint, he has given viable alternatives to free humanity from the current state of chaotic life. Meditation, Neo-Sannyas, and Commune are part of that alternative blueprint.
Osho’s attitude toward life is that of a visionary poet, his approach toward human problems and predicaments is that of a scientist, and his functional response toward status quo is that of a catalyst. He manifested these roles essentially through creating a dialogue. His discourses, intimate talks, are mainly to create a mutual understanding. And it is through this understanding he has given a collective meaning, a holistic meaning, an integrated meaning to life and living.
Another aspect of this meaningful dialogue is that, he unraveled, he surfaced the precious invisible center lying hidden within human consciousness — the center of awareness. By giving new meanings to multiple dimensions of human existence he made it possible for an individual to have an experiential breakthrough and thus bring the issues to light which were otherwise lying unseen in the darkness of one’s unconscious.
In Osho’s vision, there is no mission, no idea of changing society or the world at large, because, for him there is no society — only individuals exist. What we need is a totally different kind of change — a change in the heart of the individual, says Osho. Because, as he sees it, the individual is concrete and real. Those who have come to Osho, therefore, are individuals, they are seekers in need of change and transformation. They are ready to encounter problems which society has otherwise avoided. These individuals are showing courage to face issues and illnesses society has been teaching them to repress.
Meditation works as the technology for transformation, and indeed it is the very foundation of Osho’s vision. In Osho’s words:
".....only a society which is enlightened enough can fulfill the demand of being harmonious — a society of enlightened people, a society of great meditators who have dropped their divisions. Instead of thinking in terms of revolution and changing the society, its structure, we should think more of meditation and changing the individual...”
"The world can come to a harmony if meditation is spread far and wide, and people are brought to one consciousness within themselves. This will be a totally different dimension to work with — not revolution, but meditation, transformation. And it is not so difficult as people think. It is only a question of understanding the value of meditation.”
"My effort is to make meditation a science so it is not something to do with religion. Then anybody can practice it — whether he is Hindu or a Christian or a Jew or a Mohammedan, it doesn’t matter.... Meditation has to become almost like a wildfire. Then there is some hope.”
Meditation, Sannyas, Commune, Rajneeshpuram, the World Tour—these are all powerful dimensions of Osho’s work. Born out of love and compassion, experiment and dynamism, these are existential truths to wake up humanity. What has happened around Osho is not a movement — it is certainly not a ‘new religious movement’. Osho has not given any new religion, he has definitely given a new religious consciousness. He is neither a leader of any movement nor is he part of any movement. "I am not part of any movement”, declares Osho. "What I am doing is something eternal. It has been going on since the first man appeared on earth and it will continue to the last man. It is not a movement, it is the very core of evolution.”
Osho has a vision. And it is critical that as we step into the new millennium we pay attention to the vision of this man of compassion and peace, love and infinite creativity, instead of waiting for the governments, the politicians, and the religious preachers to solve the life threatening problems. It is too early to make any appraisal of Osho’s contribution to humanity. As for him, he states clearly that what he has done, "People may understand today or tomorrow or day after tomorrow —that doesn’t matter — but one day they will understand it. One thing I can say that, whatever I am saying is going to be the future philosophy, the future religion, of the whole humanity...”
Just a few weeks before leaving his body on January 19, 1990, Osho was asked what would happen to his work when he was gone. He says:
"My trust in existence is absolute. If there is any truth in what I am saying, it will survive... The people who remain interested in my work will be simply carrying the torch, but not imposing anything on anyone...”
"I will remain a source of inspiration to my people. And that’s what most sannyasins will feel. I want them to grow on their own qualities like love, around which no church can be created; like awareness, which is nobody’s monopoly; like celebration, rejoicing, and maintaining fresh, childlike eyes....”
"I want my people to know themselves, not to be according to someone else. And the way is in.”

Swami Satya Vedant
Osho Multiversity, Pune

From Mind to Awareness

In Japan, she was Minako Sugunama. She came to Pune looking for meditation and even though she could not meet Osho while He was in the body she continues to live here because of her love for Him.

Q: How did you come to Osho?
A: It was January 1991, I was learning dance in Japan when a friend of mine who had come to the Ashram wrote to me and told me that I could come here and dance as a meditation. So I wanted to know what is meditation. Because when I was learning dance I could feel that something is inside which is very vast and deep, beyond just the body movements but I could not understand what it was and I could not ask anybody about what I was feeling. So after about six months I came to the commune in Pune. And my life became a dance itself.
Q: Would you explain yourself clearly — what you mean by your life becoming a dance itself?
A: Practically I like dance technique like jazz or ballet or whatever because I like to feel my body expressing different movements at that time. But when I came here I discovered through Osho’s meditations that even though I was moving on the outside there was always a core inside which was not moving, and which was silently watching everything that was going on. Slowly I learnt that real dancing was what one feels from inside when one hears the music and lets oneself express that. It has less to do with technique than with the inner energy. That was the first transformation of mine after coming here.
Q: That was in the field of dance. What kind of transformation did you experience as a person?
A: As a person I discovered that the mind is conditioned to believe certain things which become the cause of our happiness or sadness. To bring this understanding we have to watch ourselves. We have to first detach ourselves from the past, the future and understand that what is going on in this moment within ourselves. We have to realise that we cannot allow ourselves to be stuck with what happened in the past or worry about the future , because if we do , we only make ourselves miserable. We miss the moment and we miss enjoying it or learning from it whatever the case maybe. Another thing is that if we are not happy we cannot meditate. After my dance changed from technique to let go I began to work in the commune. I was assigned cooking and cleaning jobs. Then I discovered that even during cleaning I can perform my movements as fluidly as if I were dancing and show my love and gratitude to existence even through that! And I felt that those around me were doing the same thing. They were performing even cleaning jobs with so much love! And that impressed me very much. And I carried that feeling into everything that I was doing . Then I was working in the bookshop and that required communicating with people a lot and I realised that That required a lot of awareness too! Because all the time I had to be alert to what people were saying and what was the best reply I could give them. And that also was a kind of dancing to me.
Q: Tell me about the book you have translated.
A: Again that was transforming myself immensely because I felt that I can understand Osho completely. I felt that I can dance as Osho says, I can watch myself as Osho says so I’ll translate the book quickly too. But I had a terrible time! I could translate the words but how could I bring the quality of His words into the Japanese language? And I was not even a student of literature except in Junior High School. (Laughs) But I did it over a period of three years. First I just translated it word by word. And later a friend helped me to put it in a literary way.
Q: Tell me about what spirituality means to you?
A: For me, meditation has taught me that slowly I have to experience the death of my mind and only that can lead to ‘awareness’. (Long Pause). Lead to absolute Silence and to experience The One.
Going For the Diamonds

The flavor of the word "impermanence” is somehow scary. Just to say it, I feel the earth move under my feet, the world spinning round, and the picture of my own death coming ever closer. The creation and destruction of the Earth are contained within that word. It’s wonderful and terrifying at the same time. I remember how, often in my childhood people who hadn’t seen me for a while would say "She has grown, hasn’t she?” and inside I felt annoyed to be measured in that way. But they could see the change and I couldn’t — because I was inside the body that was growing. It’s hard for us to see the impermanence that is happening all around and within us because the change is so slow and we are in it; however, there are certain moments that bring it up closer for inspection. And Osho brings it to our attention many times, in many different ways — by telling us straight and by leading us through the experience of it. The occasion that comes to mind immediately is Osho’s departure from the physical world, which happened on 19th January, 1990. At the time I was staying at Osho Ko Hsuan, the Osho school for kids in Devon, England. I had very much wanted to be in Pune but could not because of bad health. I was teaching maths and other subjects and my living space was a funky trailer in the grounds, which used propane for heating and for the water heater. It was pretty cold in the trailer due to the almost complete lack of insulation, and I was sleeping alone at that time, so a hot water bottle was a high priority at night! During the week before the 19th I had intense nightmares every night, and would wake up feeling scared and worried. Waking up to a cold trailer, alone in the grounds added to the feelings. The nightmares were all about the end of the world — fires raging, nothing to drink or eat, people in panic, the whole structure of society falling apart.
On the morning of the 19th just by chance I had run out of propane, and the trailer was feeling particularly cold. At around 10:00am the whole school was doing the Friday morning deep clean, a wonderful ritual where everyone would clean intensely for 2 hours and then be rewarded with a yummy jam doughnut. I was in the kitchen with several others scrubbing away, the music blaring, when Nisheetha picked up the phone. I saw her crying and wondered what had happened.
"Osho’s dead” she said. Just two words to blow my world apart. The music stopped and we all stood in shock.
My first response was that my dreams were all true — the world is going to end.
In my mind, the only hope for this beautiful earth is Osho and his passionate fight against all the destructive and negative forces in the world. I only remember feeling numb after that. My mother, with her antenna in full operation, called about an hour later. It was extremely unusual for her to call me in the daytime, out of the blue, and I was a little peeved that she should call me at such an important moment. She was not all that sympathetic, as my sannyasin-hood was against her choice, but it seemed to be fitting that she called. Someone helped me with a new propane bottle up to the trailer and we joked about running out of propane and losing a master all in one day. Later on, everyone gathered in the main hall to hear Osho songs and Osho quotes. That’s when it really hit me and I started balling my eyes out. A little hand touched my head and a little voice said, "Don’t cry Suvarna. Osho said we should celebrate his death.” I don’t remember which kid it was, but it was so incredibly sweet. The kids had organized a disco in one of the classrooms and were dancing away in there. I went there to try to do as my master had asked, but the sadness was too strong and I slipped away after one dance. I sat outside my trailer, listening to the wind, and trying to feel Osho now that he was no more in the body. And yes, I felt him in the wind and the trees of the beautiful Devon countryside.
The next day a major hurricane blew in and it really was dramatic. End of the world stuff again! Trees came down, windows blew in, the top floor of the school building was shaking, tiles came loose, the power went out... We were without power for ten days, but somehow this was a blessing as normal school life was halted and we concentrated on keeping life together without electricity. It gave me more time to absorb the change that had just happened. Of course, Osho had told us so many times that Existence will decide its timing for him to leave. I knew, theoretically speaking, it would happen one day, but I was not prepared for it to happen. I have been a sannyasin since I was eighteen— from family home to commune, almost. Through all the outward changes that have happened to me since then, Osho’s presence has been the most constant and grounding thing in my life, the only thing I haven’t doubted. I wasn’t ready for that presence to be taken away (or so I thought at the time). I could understand what had happened on a physical level, but could not accept that it had to happen then, when he was only 58. Why does Existence’s timing give him so few years on the Earth? Why did he have to leave when I didn’t feel ready, mature enough? Couldn’t we sannyasins have prevented his going to jail by being more alert about all the bad stuff that happened on the Ranch, by protecting his safety more? What if, what if...
Strangely enough, his leaving helped me very much, and his presence has not gone away. I realized I had been depending on him for my own growth, despite him telling us a million times not to. So I decided to get going and do some serious work on myself. A few years of intense therapy later, my heavy emotional load had been lightened tremendously — I had really moved on. Still, some part of me can never accept that he left when he did. Yes, life is impermanent, but can’t it last just a little longer? These days I am watching the environmental news with great interest. It seems that every piece of news is another validation of my end of the world feeling. The coral reefs are dying, the rainforests are burning, each year brings record temperatures, the genetic makeup of our food is being tampered with. The one thing that always seemed to be stable — our beloved earth, the air we breathe, the food we eat — now seems threatened. If we change job or relationship it seems like a big upheaval, but what about if we can’t live on the earth any more? Yes, even our planet is impermanent. Whether mankind causes the changes or Existence provides them, it can change so that we are not able to live on it. Then the ultimate test of our trust in Existence will happen. Osho often joked that if this earth were destroyed we would all meet again on another planet, and he would be able to find his people by our singing and dancing. I hope so! When I look at life in that context, I have just to be grateful for his presence here — in the body or out of it — and for my time in the physical plane.
"The New Man will have the spirit of adventure; his concern will not be security, his concern will be ecstasy.” (Secret of Secrets, Vol. 1, Chapter 14)
When I look at the big picture, this statement seems so right on. Our life is so short and we may die at any moment. If I’ve only thought of security I know that at the moment of death I’m going to regret it. What this means for me is that I have to do everything that I need to in order to experience my full potential. Anything left unsaid or undone will be a burden. About a year ago I realized that unless I made a CD of my own music, I would die unfulfilled. And so I did. It took about a year and was a wonderful process of discovering my inner music — I had always played other people’s music before that. It will be released early next year. Strangely, I was a little worried during the recording that I would die before it was finished (I don’t know why — I’m fairly healthy!). After it was made I felt complete, and now I feel myself more present in the day-to-day world, not thinking about the future so much.
Lately, I have been feeling really empty inside. It’s as if parts of my identity are simply floating away unobserved, leaving just a space behind them.
It feels a little weird, but I’m getting used to it now. Outside, life goes on as before — work, taking care of things, relating — and on the inside it’s unclear who is doing all this. It’s certainly not the one I always thought it was.
Osho answered one of my questions in the Invitation, and it seems to fit very much with the topic of the ever-changingness of life. I asked him about a particular experience, and how I was longing for it to come back again. He very kindly encouraged me to let go of every experience and never look back. He told that wonderful story of the poor woodcutter who was told again and again by an old master on the side of the road "Just go a little further and you will find more and better treasures. Never look back.” I think I can say that I have been doing that ever since. Perhaps moving a little slower than needed, but still I’ve been gradually finding the copper, silver and gold mines. Now for that diamond mine...

Ma Shivam Suvarna
Note: Suvarna’s CD is called Fire of the Oracle,
and is published by Etherean Music (www.etherean.com)

Relaxing into the Energyfield


Q: How did you come to know about Osho?
A: In 1979, I was studying in Germany and a journalist there had written about his stay in Poona in Rajneesh Ashram as it was called then, and I saw Osho’s picture in his article and read Osho’s quotes and was very inspired to read more of his books. Later I learnt that some people were even organinsing Dynamic Meditation in my town and I attended these meditations. I continued to read Osho and for those two years and finally I came to Poona in 1981, I took sannyas before Osho left for America. When I had read the Diary of the German journalist and later met sannyasins and read Osho’s books I realised that something very profound was happening here. Something that I had been more or less always looking for in my life. A way of people relating with each other in which there were no barriers of usual seperations . A sort of frankness in which people did not bother about your age or nationality or the language you spoke or what religion you belonged to which until now I had found as reasons for seperation amongst people. The first time in my life I felt that these very reasons were actually enriching our lives rather than keeping us apart. I also noticed that people were hugging each other freely without thinking which sex you belonged to and it was so natural and friendly. All this was so new to me ! And I decided that I wanted to continue to stay here.
Also for a long time I had been interested in matters that were religious. In school I remember that during the one hour which was assigned for religion everyone was dozing except me. I was the one who was always asking some or the other critical question. I remember always reading books on spirituality and on Buddha and I had this strange attraction for India. All throughout my family was very unsupportive. My surrounding was not sympathetic to this interest of mine. And its like a door had opened to many enquiries which I had about for many things. I looked for answers in music and books and philosophy, sports women ! travelling and I couldn’t find the answers. Actually sometimes I was even confused as to what I was looking for— there was no specific question. And it was very overwhelming sometimes. And when I met Osho the greatest feeling was that, well, for the first time I relaxed! I felt that I shouldn’t have struggled for the answers so much. What I should have done in fact was drop the questions and just relax! And the answers were always there.
Q: So you stayed on......
A: Yes, here I find the beautiful combination of the normal world and what you’re looking for . There are challenges like everywhere else. But it is unique because it is never the same. Lots of people keep coming and going and it’s never boring. But you’re always interacting with different types of people all the time. After 1981 I kept visiting Osho in Oregon and later I came to Poona twice a year. Then when I expanded my business and took on two partners so I could stay away from it more and stay for longer stretches here. The reason again for that is that the atmosphere this place is the meeting place of friends. Say for example I go to White Robe in the evening and there are say ninety-five percent of the people there whom I don’t know. But I still feel a connection with them that I can’t explain except that it feels very good. And I guess it is what Osho calls the feeling of communion. Even while doing all the other commune activities I get the feeling that because everyone here is so supportive and non-judgemental I can experience the joy of living moment to moment. Here if you make mistakes the response from others is such that even if you’re not condemned your mistake is not ignored and you are helped to see where you’re wrong and that you don’t have to repeat it. It’s like I’m helped to see reality and I don’t live in any dream or don’t indulge in wishful thinking. Anywhere else in the world I suppose it would be depressing if someone showed you your faults. But here, its meaning here with Osho’s presence so imminent here. It is easy to accept yourself as you are and say its okay. And not accept it as I’m mean or something and be unhappy about it but accept yourself as you are ! and that I’ve acted out of unawareness then I’m told that its okay but don’t be stupid and make that mistake again. And that puts you at peace with yourself.
Q: Could you relate some interesting situation?
A: When I came to Poona I could not immediately enter the Ashram and I had to live in this hotel adjacent to the commune from where I could hear Osho’s evening discourse. I had written a letter in which I told him that I had a vision in which I was standing at one end of a long dark tunnel and there was a ray of light at the other end of it. And I wanted Him to help me through it and lead me till the light. Then in the middle of this discourse I hear him talking about people with a tunnel vision and he was referring to Krishnamurthy. I felt that he was referring to my letter and that struck me very strong because he said that "My way is Light and on my way there is already dancing and celebration going on. And on this way there is already Light, you don’t have to go through a dark tunnel full of suffering and then find maybe light Here my way itself is Light . At that time I got such a powerful message in that because I realised that I don’t have to be this deep serious seeker and Osho said "Drop! Drop! this seeking and celebrate Now!”
I’ll tell you another interesting episode. When I was Germany and I was going to do Dynamic Meditations and I saw that the sanyassin who was leading us was also wearing a marroon underwear! And I said "OH my God! YOU are even wearing a marroon underwear” and He looked very seriously at me and said "It doesn’t matter what you do! Whatever you do just do it totally!” And one of the best stories I heard about Osho is that He was in Portugal and the government had created some problems. And here were all these disciples sitting around so solemn and worried. And here was Osho trying to lighten the atmosphere by asking His secretary Ma Hasya " Hasya about those watches.......”. Referring to the beautiful watches that His sanyassins had made for Him in America and which the authorities has confiscated. For me this was such a message that no matter what, you should be in the here and now!
Q: Tell me something about your here.
A: I am working in the Press Office. Because I like reading and to be abreast of the latest news. And I like meeting people and connecting with them. And it helps to work for expanding the work of Osho. Also when journalists come from the outside I like to work with them because they come for such short periods and they want their work done so quickly and it is very interesting for me to study them because they come from the outside world and our world is so different from theirs. We are always asked to work in a relaxed state of mind and give our best to what we are doing so I make comparisons and study these situations. And I ask myself if I am really doing anything differently than what I would be doing in the outside world. And I ask myself if I do this out of stress or with totality in this moment? Am I enjoying this? Am I spontaneous? And this provides the opportunity to deepen my meditation and obtain clarity and I like to carry this quality to everything I do — not just doing say for example Vipassana in Buddha Hall but even in observing myself as I do everything else. Often I see my mistakes this way. I know I have a temper but the people I work with (like Swami Chaitanya Keerti who is so tolerant at all times) always helps me to see my mistakes and very lovingly, help me to get out of it without being judgmental. Here we don’t have barriers of age, sex ,or hierarchy or difference among sanyassins who are new or have been here for a long time. Everyone here, is trying to bring the meditative approach to everything we do so we have to look and look and understand what we may have done in an unaware moment.
Q: Tell me more about your work.
A: Personally I’m not interested in numbers , I’m more interested in the quality of people who come here. But I like to send out Osho’s message to more and more people. A message to people who are out there looking for more satisfaction in their lives and looking for a deeper meaning. People who think that mere money is not enough. Money is good but not enough. And people who are looking for satisfying the ‘inner’ and not just the outer. Because if only the outer could satisfy we would have America as the happiest place on the globe. But look at them! That’s the place with drug abuse and medication abuse , violence, depression, psychotherapies. If nothing just overeat and make a mess of their lives. So you see, material comfort is not everything.
Here, I find that you can work towards an inner richness and I like sharing these insights from Osho with the outer world which is sometimes misguided by the media.
And doing meditations also means that I am growing up, not just growing old. I feel that I am very lucky that out of billions of people in the world I am one of the chosen few who recognized Osho and can be part of His dance.
Multiversity: Preparation for Meditation


Q: How did you first come to Osho?
A: The very first time I saw Osho I was studying in Oxford College and I saw this Sunday supplement of the Times Of London in which there was a very famous picture of Osho touching Vivek on the third eye. The article was very satirical about Yuppie Englishmen going to India in search of Spirituality. I found it all very amusing and I was curious but after that I went back to Canada to study and practice Law. I was very successful but the strange thing was that I wasn’t happy. I’d been brought to believe that I come from a family of lawyers and my father is a judge and I’d been brought up to believe that if you have your career and your success and if you have a home and cars and a family then you can be happy. Now, I had everything but I was not happy. So I thought that it’s maybe because I’m not married and probably if I had children, I would be happy. Then I found this woman who I thought, I should marry but by sheer good luck it didn’t happen. Around that time Osho came to America and He was on T.V. all the time. Some of my family went to see Him and they came back and said that it was a very good place to visit. So I went. And wonderful thing is that that happened to be the day Osho came out of His Silence. And I was able to hear His discourse and it had a great impact on me because Osho was talking about so many things that I had lived and understood but which I couldn’t crystallise in my mind or in my language. And then I stayed for seven days, not more because I was afraid of being brainwashed and hypnotised. But it was a revolution for me. I had not yet seen Osho in person because the discourses He was giving was only to a select audience and we were watching it on video, but what I saw was the people and they were so happy. Their eyes were so clear and there was a Light about them — a kind of glow around. And it was so incredible that all these people had given up everything — their careers and everything to be in this commune and build this kind of Utopian place. And I realised the commitment that these people had towards their search and so I left my practice and with my girl-friend went back to the ranch.
Later, I left Law and enrolled to be trained as therapist and then I became director of the Multiversity.
Q: Tell me about the Multiversity.
A: The Multiversity is really a preparation for Meditation. For the Westerners, we, in our culture don’t have anything like meditation and whenever we try to take it up, we always screw it up. We turn it into concentration, or action or some other kind of doing. It is very difficult for us to sit silently, doing nothing. Multiversity groups allow people to be in action before meditation. So the groups are an expression for sadness or laughter or anger or whatever repressed emotion needs to be expressed and then there is quietness. The Multiversity has five faculties — we work with Healing Arts, with Tradition, Reikian and Freudian base, dance, singing, painting, whatever we can use. And whatever comes up in America or Germany whether it is Primal Therapy or Breath Therapy.
Q: How is it that Osho is not in the body anymore?
A: When Osho left his body, I thought ‘What now?’. When he left his body I didn’t know what I would do! But the next day, we had Dynamic meditation, then breakfast then Kundalini and everything was exactly the way it was when Osho was in His body so I decided that I would stay or at least stay till I thought I would come to a point where the commune was not transformative for me. And that never happenend. Today, I was having lunch with a friend and we were both saying how miraculous this place is that if you participate fully in what is happening here then the transformation is astounding. You see people who come here , who are closed and frightened and hurt and despaired and in weeks sometimes in days you see the transformation in them. If you had told me ten years ago when Osho left His body that this was possible, I’d have told you ‘no’. But the number of people who come here are growing daily and it has grown over the years there are people from a 103 countries here now!
Q: What does this all mean to you?
A: Well it doesn’t really ‘mean’ anything that way but I’ve never enjoyed my life more than I’m enjoying it now and my life has never been more simple. I think that I have less identification with the process of ‘who I am’, and that gives me more freedom.
The Way of the Heart

An Interview with Ma Yoga Neelam

Q. What brought you to Osho?
A. In March, 1969 I saw Osho for the first time in Ludhiana. He was still living in Jabalpur and travelling all over India giving discourses and holding meditation camps. When He came to Ludhiana, my husband and father-in-law went to hear him... I did not go. When they came back, they were praising Him non-stop and I thought — they’re just being taken for a ride by some fraud sadhu. I had absolutely no interest in religion or philosophy and I had never heard the word ‘meditation’. The second day, my husband said — "You have to come.” I said — "I’m not interested!” He said — "NO! I have to take you!” and I replied that there is no ‘have to’ in my life! After much persuasion, he succeeded in taking me and I thought we’ll sit for a few minutes in the discourse and then we’ll come back. But you can see I’m still sitting here! (Laughs) I was very much against all these sadhus as I thought they always fool people. Moreover I hate to hear about the past. I was always interested in what is happening now! I was not interested in what the Ramayana and Vedas and Upanishads are saying. I want to live in this world and hear what is relevant to it. But when I saw Osho, what struck me was that He was not like ordinary sadhus at all. He was so clean! ...so good looking. I had never seen a man who was so soft, so feminine and at the same time who had such fire in His words. He hit hard on all the social and religious issues. He had minutely observed all that was going on around Him and at the same time he was so calm, so peaceful, so centered. It was then that I had this vision — it was another time, another place—I saw myself standing beside Him— but it was not this life. And it was not like I believed in these things. I didn’t believe in rebirth or anything. But the feeling was very deep.
Q. Did you tell your family about this?
A. Yes. I told my husband.
Q. And how did he take it?
A. My husband is a very beautiful person. And he is very much into religion. So when I told him about this vision, he was very happy and proud because he was the one who took me there in the first place. Then I told him that I cannot put this experience into words, I can only say that I am in love with this man. And my husband replied that "Only an unintelligent woman cannot fall in love with this man and I am glad that you have the capacity to see His depth.” After that Osho went away and I had no idea about where He was for the next six months because he was not famous. There were no books or magazines about Him and no one whom I knew, knew His whereabouts. Then six months later He came back and I went to see Him. I was all tears. I couldn’t even speak my name and my husband had to tell Osho my name.
Q. When did you start working with Him?
A. That came much later. But what I did in those days was accompany Him to the nearby town He went, like Amritsar or Jalandhar and there I would do odd jobs for Him or cook for Him. When He settled in Pune in 1974 I kept coming during the summer and winter vacations because my daughter was going to school. Then in ’81, when He went to Oregon I got a message to come and stay at the commune in there. I went to Oregon and got involved with the commune.
Q. What does your work as Secretary of Osho involve?
A. It mostly involves overviewing the commune activities in India. Keeping in contact with all the various centres in here, organising meditation camps and exhibitions of books. Overviewing the publication of Hindi Osho Times and Osho’s Hindi books, answering mail and doing PR work.
Q. Your work is important it must be difficult...
A. In a way, the work here is very easy because the people who come here, come for the love of Osho and the commune. Here we don’t have the ordinary employee-employer relationship. They come here for personal transformation and for meditations and stay and contribute to the work. The work is a device here. Through it we interact with each other and help each other to grow. Our whole focus is on self-transformation. You see everyone who comes here, comes with a view to learn more about himself or herself. In this commune it’s not what you’re doing that is important but HOW you are doing it — how much love, how much creativity, how much totality you bring to your work. And then the work is difficult too because I cannot order anyone about. I cannot say — "You have to finish this in so much time and you better get it done quickly.” Here the question is "how well can you do your work and how good are you feeling, doing it?” And then automatically, the quality arises and the sense of responsibility surfaces. The environment is very open here. For example even our meetings are not stuffy. We have a agenda — yes! there are things to be done — yes! there are egoes, there are clashes— there are problems to be sorted out — but we don’t push anything under the carpet. We bring it out in the open and we talk about it . We say "such and such thing hurt me” and the other gets a chance to explain why he or she said what they did! And we get a chance to sort out the harshness and proceed in a way that keeps the environment healthy. Meditation helps to break our set mind patterns and clear our grouches and bitterness. You should see us in the evening. We get together cleaning the commune, then everyone showers and wears a white robe and we sit together for meditation in the Buddha Hall. It melts all the harshness and no bad vibes remain.
Q: I see that the women in the commune are very much in centered different from women anywhere else. If meditation is the secret of their calm disposition and confidence I’d like to know if there is anything you’re doing to bring meditation to more and more women ? I ask this also because women in India are largely rural women or middle class women. The literacy rate among them is very low. Even though prayer and religion are rooted deeply in the Indian psyche what we’re talking here is Spirituality and philosophy. How do you propose to get them involved in meditation? Also because Osho wanted to involve women as He felt that they could change the society and remove its evils.
A: We are trying to involve as many women as we can through our meditation camps. At present we have no exclusive program for women. Personally, I trust that Osho will manage to nab the ones who are willing, He will do His work. (Laughs). I believe that Spirituality is not for everybody. The longing has to come from within. Until the physical needs of a person are fulfilled he cannot manage to think of Art, Religion, Philosophy. If you give him these things he’ll sell them for a price that will fulfill his material needs. Once the material needs are fulfilled, the psychological needs arise. That is where art, religion, literature come in. The Spiritual need arises only after the psychological needs are fulfilled. A person begins to realise that he or she has everything but is not satisfied. He begins to feel that he can afford the best food but where is his hunger? I have the most beautiful bed but where’s my sleep? It is then that the realisation comes that one needs something more and turns towards God. Of course there are exceptions. Kabir is an exception. Nanak is another. We’re talking in general, and about the modern times. Another thing that we are trying to do is make Osho available as widely as possible. Osho literature is made available at prices affordable to all. Osho Times is available everywhere on all the stalls, markets, railway stations. We’re also holding meditation camps all over India and again the prices are low. Osho liked that we would make the idea available and leave it at that. We don’t believe in trading religion for conveniences. Things don’t work that way here. The seeker comes here because something is kindled inside him. We’re not interested in quantity. We’re interested in quality.
Q: What in your opinion is unique about Osho’s teachings?
A: I think Osho is the first mystic in history who says ‘The whole man is a holy man’. He is for both — outer and inner growth of the man. He has devised many techniques of meditation which help us to be more peaceful, joyous and silent within. At the same time He does not deny the outer needs, care, comforts and pleasures of the body. He teaches us to celebrate and enjoy life. The man no longer needs to be in split. With the help of His teachings he can live life in totality. He can take care of his body and soul both.


It is from Neelam. I know her. I have known her long enough, not only in this life, but in other lives also. Her path is absolutely certain: it is love. Through love she is going to achieve. Through love she is going to be. Through love all that can happen will happen to her, and I can say it absolutely. I may not be so certain when others ask me. Somebody who has come very recently, I have to know better, to penetrate him more, to watch him in different situations, to watch his moods, subtle layers upon layers of being, then... but about Neelam it is absolutely certain. I have known her in this life, I have known her in other lives. Her direction is absolutely clear: love is her meditation.


I Am Born Again

It was almost 14 years ago at an inter-collegiate elocution competition in Solapur, in Maharashtra, which I attended, where the judge stressed on the importance of developing oratory skills. This, he said, was possible only with a good command over the language. He advised the participants to listen and follow Acharya Rajneesh and listen to his recorded speeches in English which, he said would help us master the language. The judge said the knowledge of English should not be restricted only to speaking the language, instead, he said, if we followed the speeches of Acharya Rajneesh, we would not only learn the finer nuances of the language but also be enlightened. It surprised me! I did not understand what enlightenment was. But the prospect of learning English drew my attention and made me curious about Rajneesh. In fact, I was learning the language with the help of Rapidex at that time. Being educated in Kannada medium, I had great difficulty in dealing with and understanding English, which at best seemed like a ‘very funny language’. Ironically, today the same language provides me with my daily bread and butter and at times tops it off with jam too.
When the judge spoke of Rajneesh I thought him to be the best English teacher available then. Today, 12 years after being introduced to Rajneesh, I now know that he was a teacher but definitely not that of English.
Later, I also heard more of him, but for controversial reasons. However, the reasons never affected me, since all I was interested in was learning to speak English, which I had yet to master. I concentrated completely on learning the language. Meanwhile, the curiosity to learn more about Rajneesh kept on increasing, and I grew keen to acquire audio cassettes of his speeches. I had no idea whether I would be able to afford one since I had to earn my way through college and money was at a premium.
My quest lasted two years, at the end of which I managed to find a book by Rajneesh, called, ‘No Mind’. I remember trying to read it.... At the end of which I forgot that my aim was to learn English. The book made me curious about meditation. What was meditation all about? Why should one meditate? How do I go about meditating? What will I attain after meditating? Will it help me learn English? Will it provide me with a good job? My mind was assaulted by numerous questions. I approached my professor with my questions about meditation and he told me, in no uncertain terms that this was not the time to get interested in spirituality and religion. Instead, he asked me concentrate on studies and told me that I would have all the time to meditate in my old age. I gave up my quest for seeking answers to Rajneesh and all that he said and stood for. In pursuing a career I lost all interest in Rajneesh, or so I thought. For, unknown to me, he had left behind an indelible mark on my consciousness.
After my graduation I stayed in Pune for some time, then I wanted to visit Rajneesh Ashram, but that dream could not be realised. I left Pune in 1993, but my job brought me back to Pune once again.
Years passed by. In 1996 I was ‘existing’ in Mumbai broke and dejected. Life held no meaning. I lost control over my actions, a series of incidents that year flung me to the rock bottom.
I almost gave up on life. Living had lost its meaning and all I could think about was that I had to live such a life where there was no difference between animals and me. there was no one who trusted me. I had no job, no money, no shelter. I was running away from myself. but what I held on to then was my optimism. I believed that everything happens for the better. I knew that my bad days would soon be over.
Back in Pune, the city filled me with the life-force it throbbed with. I was in the city to write on the two institutes, which have helped to evolve as a person and a human — Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Osho Commune International. Both, C-DAC and the Commune were my destiny after all. At C-DAC I had to write about a super computer and the man behind it and at the Commune I had to write an investigative story.
August 1996 was a momentous month. It was my first visit to the Commune, where I was caught up in a sea of magenta. All the people seemed similarly tempered. It was not only the uniform colour which, they wore, but each face radiated with joy and contentment. I remember feeling envious of this bliss and calm which they had managed to achieve on earth itself. It made me wonder whether I could ever achieve even a modicum of this bliss and tranquility.
It was then that I came to know that Acharya Rajneesh was now known as Osho, and the place rechristianed to Osho Commune.
Ma Shruti received me at the Commune and Sarjano took me on a tour of the Commune. Stepping inside the Gateless gate of the Commune changed my life altogether. I felt like a different person. The naturally rich ambience of the Commune made me forget myself for a moment. Something inside me changed... The pristine ambience at the Commune coupled with Shruti and Sarjano’s interpretation of Osho made me forget my ‘investigative’ scoop. I now wanted to ‘investigate and find myself’.
I owe special gratitude to Swami Chaitanya Keerti, who educated me further and helped me meditate at the Commune. I started meditating regularly for six months at the Buddha Hall of the Commune. After experimenting with Dynamic, Vipassana, Kundalini, Nataraja, Nadabramha and few other methods of meditation I realized that I had indeed wasted 27 years of my life.
Here I learnt that meditation does not call for fixed concentration, but instead it is a method to reach relaxed awareness of the self. Meditation does not reduce the person to a single dimensioned entity, instead it helps him flower into a multi-dimensioned personality and realize the self at every moment.
What I really enjoyed at the Commune was reading Osho’s books. The books proved beyond doubt that Osho was an original thinker. The significance and greatness about Osho’s books was that one need not read them from cover to cover. One could open any page and read the lines and they would fill the person with content and peace. Every word, sentence, chapter and page in the book was relevant to the person seeking himself.
Osho’s books lent me an insight to my real self. I had found a New World. My restlessness quelled down and I became less judgmental. I was more relaxed and smiled more. It was bliss.
The funny thing is that my English never improved, but my inner-most core did. Books, audio recitals and videos of Osho helped me purify myself. I realized the meaning of bliss. I learnt to see myself and started living with a relaxed awareness of myself. I also learnt to meditate while working, which at the Commune is called Working Meditation.
I recall that in Sadhana Sutra Osho says that when you expect something, things never happen but they happen when least expected. He explains that when a man fell into the water he struggled to swim and save himself. But he failed and died. However, after his death his dead body started floating. What did the dead body know that a living body did not? How was it able to float when the living body could not? The answer lies in the fact that the dead body did not have any expectations. Like that, we too must let expectations die and swim through life.
Osho’s message smashed my ego to smithereens and it fell down at my feet. Even though if I have never seen Osho, his voice always echoed in my ears as if he is guiding me every moment. Surprisingly, the things that I had long desired but had never hoped to attain started happening. Now I was ready to accept them as gifts.
My professional approach changed. The word professionalism vanished from my vocabulary. Now anybody and everybody are my friends rather than a colleague or a professional counterpart. And these friends are more effective than the so-called professionals. My relationships started growing with love and trust, in contrast to the past, when no one trusted me and I did not trust anybody.
I always remember Osho when I see beautiful things because it was his teaching, which helped me reach this stage in life. For the first time I heard the voice of silence in life. I found a piece of peace in life.
That prompted me to take sannyas and I met Ma Prem Zareen. She asked me how I came to know about Osho? I told her about my quest to learn English, which amused her no end. She then told me that if Osho had heard me, even he would have laughed.
Thus, on June 7, 1997, after three days of silence, I took sannyas. Ma Zareen initiated me into sannyas. I am now recognized as Swami Bodhi Pratiyan, which means, ‘awareness of returning to the source’. That night I experienced glimpses of enlightenment. I had entered a totally new world. I fell in love. With myself. I had missed that for 27 years. All of a sudden I become God-loving rather than god-fearing. I saw God in every one and every thing. I had never known this could be so beautiful.
That night I cried for hours like a small child. I also laughed. Probably, for the first time. All my fears vanished. The urge for security in life vanished. Life had now become an adventure.
From here my real life started. A journey to the inner self had begun... A life where I belong to religionless religion. A life where there is no bondage just freedom. just celebration of every moment.
I am now filled with gratitude for this existence. Gratitude to my master Osho. Gratitude to everyone who are moving along with me. Gratitude to every thing which I experience every moment. I don’t just accept but also rejoice.
The ultimate realization happened when I realized the rebirth of the child inside me . I am born again !!!
Osho’s words from Om Mani Padme Hum, "You have to learn to say yes. Yes to the rocks. yes to the rivers. yes to your totality as you are,” echo in my ears every moment, which fill me with a zeal to move ahead.

Swami Bodhi Pratiyan
(Deviprasad C. Rao)

Osho Doesn’t Qualify

Osho as the man of the millennium? He doesn’t qualify. Osho will not be the man of this or any other millennium. Men like these don’t leave their mark on history. The authentic mystics free themselves from the past, but the figures we usually remember perpetuate a past that celebrates mostly conflicts, superstition, and a pageantry of repetitive stupidities.
Today most people in the world are unaware of a man like Osho, yet who has forgotten Hitler? A Hitler leaves scar tissue on time’s memory. Mystics like Osho don’t leave their mark in the thousand-mile stare of history’s victims.
Most of the time we record history like an air filter, collecting the pollutants of our mistakes, tragedies and wars. The pure love and meditative bliss of a master is like fresh air. No filter can catch it. If any residue-memory remains of a master, it is the grime of myth covering the truth of such unbearably light and ordinary human beings with the sordid identity of a "Son of God,” a "Messiah,” or a "Man of the Century.”
I would like to tell my sannyasin friends to forget trying to pass their master through the screen of any of history’s dirty little lists. You cannot catch the essence of an Osho in the kind of history human memory — such as it is.

John Hogue, USA
Author and Prophecy Scholar


For liberating the minds of future generations from the shackles of religiosity and conformism. He was a deeply spiritual man who denounced all religions.

The greatest teacher of Hindu-Muslim unity whose message reached down to the humblest peasant.

For introducing the teachings of Mahavir and Buddha into the politics of action by his concepts of satyagraha, non-violence, non-co-operation. And of course for liberating the country.

For laying the foundations of a secular, socialist democracy, giving women equal rights and putting India on the road to modernization through five year plans.

For making compassion the cardinal principle of human behavior in society. His teachings have gained universal acceptance and given India a great name.

For elevating the principle of ahimsa to paramodharma, the paramount of faith. This has become the kernel of all religions. Do not hurt anyone.

For spreading the message of Buddha throughout the land and abroad as well as renouncing the use of force as an instrument of political policy.

Who, within a few years of his reign built a network of roads, serais and planted trees which survive to this day.

For taking the country forward from a pastoral-agriculturalist society to an industrialised one.


Online Meditation

Kundalini Meditation Online: The radical mystic Osho was a man ahead of his time and in the cyber age, his teachings may finally be more appreciated. A recent press release by the Pune-based Osho Commune quotes Osho on how to combat Net depression and loneliness. According to press officer Swami Chaitanya Keerti, "Osho has said 80% of one’s total energy is used by the eyes in looking outward. In Osho’s own words: what happens is that when you become too interested in something, you stop blinking. And whenever eyes stop blinking there is a strain, and that strain can be too much.” To avoid such a strain on the body, Keerti suggests Osho Kundalini meditation— an active four-stage meditation that involves shaking the whole body in the first stage and dance in the second. This is one of the most popular meditations and is also available on the Osho site (www.osho.com). "The idea is not to go backward or regress,” says Keerti, "But to use the technology in such a way that it is beneficial to mankind. And what better way than to combine technology and meditation?”

Courtesy: The Hindustan Times, New Delhi (India), September 18, 1998

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