Seeking - When Krishna came alive
by Pradeep Darooka
On August 2011 (Janmashtami day), I was at the Osho World Galleria in Ansal Plaza, New Delhi, attending a dance and a talk by Sonal Mansingh, on Krishna and his multi-dimensional roles. After the performance, I was browsing the shelves and came across a set of CDs titled ‘Gita Darshan,’ by Osho. Instinctively, I was drawn towards it, asked how many CDs were in the complete set, and before I knew, I had bought the entire set of 22 CDs and walked out. I had not even bothered to notice that the CDs were in Hindi!
That was the beginning of an 18-month long journey through the world of wisdom.
The spell of Hindi
It is March 2013, and I have just been walked through the 700 verses of the 18 chapters of Bhagavad Gita by Osho in chaste Hindi. Hindi is my mother tongue, but it has not been my medium of education, or upbringing, or career, or spiritual journey, until now. Nevertheless, I was surprised how easily it became the language through which I embarked on the remarkable journey, with someone for whom it was the language of his heart, just as the flute was the voice of Krishna. I do not remember a single word of English intruding into the 22 CDs spread over 30 hours.
Those who have heard Osho in Hindi have experienced something close to ecstasy. His own journey started firmly rooted in Hindi, and in his early days all his discourses and talks were in Hindi for the discerning Indian audience he spoke to, travelling all over India. That was well before the dramatic shift that took place in the late 1970s when his audience changed almost completely from Indians to non-Indians, and the language from Hindi to English. While he was equally successful in mesmerising his audience in English, those who have been fortunate enough to hear him in both languages know that the difference between the two is as stark as day and night. When he spoke in Hindi, his heart poured out, and it almost seemed like Krishna himself was talking.
From the time I was in school, I had read many different interpretations of the Gita both in its entirety, and individual verses and chapters. In hindsight, I consider myself fortunate that my father had insisted I choose Sanskrit as a ‘foreign’ language in preference to French and German. At that time, it seemed the most stupid thing to do, especially since I had plans to go abroad. It was only later that I realised the value of learning the basics of Sanskrit. One of the most basic yet deepest spiritual lessons of my life is that things happen for a reason as part of a plan for each of us. The Sanskrit lessons in school made liberal use of excerpts from the Gita, and that was my first introduction to the pearls of wisdom lurking behind each verse. When I lived in Boston, I attended a Philosophy School which was actually a group of Harvard/MIT type doctorate and research scholars, who met a couple of times a week to discuss the Advaita philosophy, and the Gita was the main reference tool for the purpose. It was my first indepth and serious introduction to Advaita philosophy.
But even though the Bhagavad Gita along with the Ashtavakra Gita were instrumental in keeping me focussed on my spiritual journey, there were occasional gaps in my understanding and some questions. Later, almost all of them dropped off at the feet of Ramesh Balsekar. Osho appeared in my life at about the same time, not in his body any more, but in his spirit that engulfed me completely. The medium was mainly his books (all in English) along with his talks (in English) at the white robe meditation in the Osho Ashram in Pune. More than his words, his spirit and his energy were now within me. The Gita Darshan brought him alive for me.
Stillness amidst chaos
The set of CDs sat in my car for the last 18 months, and during that time, Osho became my companion whenever I was at the steering wheel. Whether it was a 10-minute quick jaunt or a three-hour drive to Mumbai or stuck in the traffic for hours, his voice filled the car and I became oblivious to everything outside. The chaos, the confusion, the cacophony that used to bother me so much driving round in Pune and Mumbai, all disappeared the moment Osho started talking. It was almost as if I was sitting right in his presence while he was talking, moving from one city to another. It did not matter whether I heard him for just five minutes or a complete hour. It did not matter where I stopped and where I picked up again. The energy was a continuum that lasted through the entire 30 hours of recording that took me 18 months to complete. Each word was chaste, crisp, and clear. The explanation for each sutra was as if Krishna himself was explaining it. Each talk was interspersed with questions and answers, anecdotes, stories and his favourite Naseerudin jokes. I never felt the rush to go to the next verse of CD. I wanted to savour each word uttered by Osho (Krishna) like a morsel of saatvik food. It went deep in my heart. I had my first shaktipat experience in the 14th chapter, when Osho leads the audience towards the same.
The Gita came alive as it had never done earlier, reading all those books and interpretations. Even that was an interpretation, Osho’s; and as he himself says throughout the talks, anyone who talks about the Gita can only talk from his perspective, but for me it was Krishna talking himself. During the time the CD would be playing, the car would appear to be on autopilot, and I honestly would not realise how and when I reached my destination. For someone who intensely dislikes driving in India, it seemed like Osho (Krishna) himself was navigating me like my charioteer. There was a certain calmness within me and in the car.
The icing on the cake was that my Hindi skills sharpened as never before. For the first time in my journey, a recent workshop I conducted was almost entirely in Hindi. Of course it helped that the audience too mainly consisted of Indians. Just as Sanjay acquired divya drishti from Ved Vyas, to be able to narrate the war to Dhritarashtra, it seemed like I had somehow acquired divya shruti to be able to listen to Krishna himself.
The journey of the last 18 months has been a phase of my spiritual growth that is as remarkable as the five years I spent at the feet of Ramesh Balsekar. Osho came alive for me finally.
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