By Amit Jayaram March 1997 The story of Osho—master, mystic, madman Trying to define Osho is like trying to imprison a rainbow or catch a cloud that’s floating through your room. Like sand, he slips through your fingers: like a sparkling drops of dew, his magic vanishes with the rising sun of definition. Samuel Johnson, in his Preface to Shakespeare, says that Shakespeare is not a pretty garden, but a great forest, a forest that is wild and wonderful. So is Osho. And it is his wildness that is his greatest flavor. A trip with Osho is no picnic for socialites or fingernail-clicking namby-pambies. Osho’s sweep is as vast, as majestic, as diverse, as unpredictable as life itself. There is majesty here, but danger too. Far past the comfortable backwaters of respectability, morality, ethics and so-called sanity, we find ourselves on the high seas of life, with no buffers between us and the elemental powers of the universe. And our captain, far from sheltering and consoling us in this our first assay into the world of the uncharted, pushes us into the danger. He removes our props, throws away our crutches, destroys our conditioning, tramples on our most cherished beliefs and abandons us, naked and unprotected, to the gigantic waters of the cosmos. Most of us are too scared to even allow him to take us thus far, and run away, often without even trying to find out what he is really saying. But even amongst those of us who walk some steps with him and encounter the utter nakedness of floating on the high seas of life, almost none of us can deal with the feeling of being unprotected, unguarded, unprepared. We are terrified and rush back, often swearing never to go again. But there is something haunting about the experience. Almost against our will, we wander into this boundless ocean again. An ocean called meditation, where we turn inward to face ourselves. Despite the confusion. Despite the fear. Despite the darkness, the absence of the comfortable, the familiar. Slowly, hesitantly we enter this space. Where, with William Blake, we see ‘the worlds in a grain of sand, heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the eternity in an hour’. This is the oceanic world. The world that is Osho… BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACCHAMI ‘Somebody anonymous, somebody who is more a nobody than a somebody; a man who has died long ago as a separate entity…’ Where does one begin? At the beginning? One wonders. Because this story is as much about time and space as it is about here and now, about eternity. Because this is the story of one who was never born, never died. One who visited plant Earth briefly, and left his gentle imprints on the measureless sands of time. As a child growing up in the grace and openness of total freedom a gift from his wonderful grandparents. As a young adult, exposing the stupidity of a bankrupt educational system with the scalpel of an incisive mind and penetrating insight. As Acharya Rajneesh, roaming the vastness of India to encounter people, to enchant them with his incomparable oratory, to help them transform themselves with the Dynamic Meditation he devised for our troubled age. As BhagwanShree Rajneesh, immobile in Pune, western India, the wanderer in him dissolving into the sage, creating a vibrant ‘Buddha field’, a crucible of the spirit where countless seekers absorbed the energy and used the techniques made available to trigger the process of self-discovery. As Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in the Oregon days, when he and his sannyasins transformed the face of a timeless desert into a green and beautiful land before (according to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s America by Sue Appleton) a bigoted government threatened by his extraordinary insight and unparalleled courage, used every foul means at its disposal to poison him with long-acting thallium, depart him and prevent some dozen world governments from entertaining him, in the ugliest way possible. As Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh of the World Tour days, when nation after nation passed beneath him like the fleecy clouds beneath the wings of a plane, and his fiery discourses in Greece, in Uruguay startled a shell-shocked world into awareness. As Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, in the days when he returned to his commune in Pune, his discourses were initially as fiery as those he delivered during the Oregon and World Tour days. But they soon mellowed into the most deeply meditative ones he had ever given—they veered towards Zen and, for the first time, began to include group meditation. A couple of years after he came back home, the Acharya who was Bhagwan became Osho, the oceanic one. And that’s all there was, because soon the thulium administered to him by the US authorities when he had been arrested without a warrant and spirited away to parts unknown (documented by Appleton), began to take effect. His failing health started affecting his work. His regular discourses were interrupted repeatedly. Eventually, he surrendered to the effects of the poisoning; a life rudely cut short, when the world could have benefited from fresh insights and his unique wisdom for many more decades. These details are insignificant trivia. Like looking at the grooves on a gramophone record reveals no mysteries about the music they contain, these biographical benchmarks say little about the spirit, the genius and the effortless ebullience that is Osho. The tense I use is important. His leaving the body has had little effect on his living presence. Whether in the OshoCommune International in Pune, at other communes and meditation centers around the world or wherever his sannyasinsand lovers gather in his name, hear him, read him, or talk about him, Osho is tangibly present. What he called the Buddhafield in Pune is the very matrix of the energy field he created around him and has a very powerful and immediately tangible presence even today. His is a presence that pervades the world. Every day, new people take their first hesitant steps towards him and slowly slip into the silence of his presence, the fathomless depths of his insight, the healing aura that emanates around him. Like most enlightened masters, Osho was continuously misunderstood by small minds soaked in prejudice, and fell prey to the gratuitous violence of man—like Jesus and Socrates before him. His truth was too incandescent, his candor too blinding for men who had lived in darkness all their lives. He held the mirror up to us, to reflect our follies, our prejudices, and our superstitions; our implacable and adamantine conditioning that holds us prisoner all our lives. But we were too fainthearted to look. And a vast majority of those who looked, looked briefly, were terrified of their reflection and railed against the mirror. It is far easier to break the mirror and not have to see our tortured reflection. To look, accept, admit and begin the arduous journey of transforming oneself is difficult, well-nigh impossible. When the mirror that was Jesus reflected us, we crucified him. When the mirror that was Socrates reflected us, we poisoned him. A similar fate was reserved for Osho. We human beings certainly have a strange way of saying ‘thank you’ to the enlightened beings that make their effulgence available to us. What did Osho do? He told us to give up our phony adherence to an ossified past that haunted us, and live in the moment, use the alchemy of meditation to transform ourselves—to become Christs, not Christians; Krishnas, not Hindus; Buddhas, not Buddhist. His crime was that he spoke the truth. He dared to tell us that sex was the first rung of the ladder to super consciousness; that unless we accept the rung and use it as a stepping stone, we would be stuck forever—the very energy that is sex is transmuted into super consciousness. We continued to sweep sex under the carpet or indulge in it, and called him a Sex Guru. He dared to expose the deep nexus between priests and politicians that has kept humanity enslaved from beginningless time. He showed us how the priest uses the carrot of heaven and the stick of hell in the matrix of a psychologically nonexistent past and future, how he creates guilt and fear and then provides panaceas for it. How the politician divides us into fragments and then speaks of uniting us; creates hatred and ill will, then talks about universal brotherhood; creates and espouses the divisiveness of nation states and then gives it a sanctity that can demand sacrifice. We continued to run like frightened rabbits into the warrens of a bankrupt society and organized religion, and called Osho dangerous, the antichrist, the unbeliever. Prophets are often ahead of their time, but Osho was centuries ahead of his. When his majestic vision showed us a brave new world, we hung on to the apron strings of society and church, tradition and conditioning, and huddled deeper in the cavern of our own little selves. In his masterpiece, A Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake says that if the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite… But man has closed himself up till he sees all things through the narrow chinks of his cavern. But it is never too late. The italics in ‘as it is’ are mine. That’s what Osho said again and again all his life, but our conditioning didn’t let us hear. He said we were all Buddhas, gods in exile; that God was not separate from existence, but immanent in existence-only God is an all is God. Osho may not be in the body, but his spirit is ever present, ever available, his Buddha field of transformation a tangible reality. Never born, never died—just visited Planet Earth. He can still catalyze an unprecedented change in your life today. All you have to do is visit his Buddhafield in Pune, read a book, listen to a tape. And watch the magic unfold
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