Review by Sridhar Sattiraju from Hyderabad, India published on Sulekha.com
Osho, the much maligned, maverick modern guru of the “New Age” meditation, was one of the most
voracious readers – a fact he often confessed. He used to read an average eight thousand-odd pages
every day till his death! So, it is not just a matter of record but also one of curiosity for even his most vehemant critics as to what are his books, his reading tastes. Out of this curiosity of one of his followers was born a book – call it a small china box within a larger china box – a compendium of the books which are recommended by Osho. In this book which I stumbled on an accidental visit to the local Osho Mevlan library, I was struck by a couple of features which make this tome different. It is bound in luxuriant leather, with easy-to-read double-spaced sheriff font spread over 16 chapters – covering 168 books in all! One hundred and sixty eight books drawn from a range of religions, languages, schools of thought and eras. To give a trailer – in one chapter he talks about such varietal range as Gandhi’s autobiography, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, The Art of Tantra, Adi Shankaracharya’s Bhaj Govindam and Zen Buddishm.
In another he talks about The Myth of Sisyphus, Das Kapital, Principia Mathematica, Light of Asia, War and Piece, Gospel of Ramakrishna, Koran, Songs of Nanak, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Thus Spake Zarathustra. Of course, one must not get too carried away by Osho’s discourses on books that moved him – there, methinks, seems an opinionnated ebb to his choice as when he lambasts Gandhi for his title (He thinks it should be MY EXPERIENCES… and not MY EXPERIMENTS… as truth can only be experienced, not experimented with).Similarly, he goes into a sudden, orgasmic burst of superlatives over some authors – if there is only one book, then it will be only this. Ironically, you hear this quote atleast for twenty-odd books! Despite the spasmodic and somewhat discontinuous remarks about various authors and their works, some of which are their magnum opuses, Osho’s prejudices are not camouflageable – he has a disdain against Gandhi, communism, bigotry, dogmatism, Aurobindo, et al. Yet what he mentions definitely seems worth paying a nodding acquaintance with – that meditation is the essence of love and love is all and typical oshoisms like that. I keep saying this for every book that I recommend but then read this one too – for I recommend only good books!
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