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MA Anand Bhagawati

Mother Teresa: The Crumbling of a Myth

April, 2013

Upheld and revered for decades as a virtual saint, Mother Teresa’s carefully tailored image has been shredded. An analysis of the published writings about Mother Teresa was conducted by Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal's Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Sénéchal of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education. This paper shows clearly that Mother Teresa’s sanctified image does not match the actual facts, rather, they were fabricated; the beatification idea arranged by clever public relations crusades was paid for by the Vatican and produced a public Roman Catholic superstar.

Having received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and bestowed with the title ‘Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’ by Pope John Paul II in 2003 during the beatification process, her effigy among the saints of the Roman Catholic Church seemed cast in gold. Her legacy of having founded over 500 hospices and homes dedicated to the sick, the poor and the dying was held in reverence, and her Foundation received hundreds of millions of dollars donated by well-wishers and supporters of her causes; millions of people world-wide admired her work.

Even so, there had been some criticism about her attitude that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus and she would thus deny medical care or pain killers to those in need and preferred to pray for them. Journalist Christopher Hitchens, a contester of religious dogma quotes Mother Teresa as saying, “There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ's Passion. The world gains much from their suffering." Yet when this haughty and fanatically moralistic woman was in need of palliative care, she received that in a modern American hospital.

Although there were some questions about the misuse of charitable money and her maintaining positive relationships with dictators such as the Haitian Duvalier family, the myth about her generosity and caring for the poor so carefully forged over decades and supported by the Roman Catholic Church held up strongly. Very few spoke out against her, but of course it was foremost Osho who for years – in a major way – exposed the lies and hypocrisy underlying the fairy story propagated about her.

In response to the question, “You are also against Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but who will take care of the poor, the sick, the orphans and the starving people?” Osho said,

“How long has Mother Teresa been there? And who was taking care of all these people before her? And how long is she going to stay alive? Who will take care of these people after her? Rather than depending on Mother Teresas, why don't you stop creating orphans, so there is no need for any Mother Teresa?
What is the need to create orphans when the pill is there? Anybody can distribute the pill to people. Orphans can be prevented... But Mother Teresa would not like orphans to be prevented.
It happened that one American couple went to Mother Teresa's place in Calcutta. They wanted to adopt a child. They had no children of their own. The clerk, the receptionist said, "We have seven hundred children. You can choose. You just sit down and fill in the form." They filled in the form. The clerk looked at the form and he said, "You wait here. I will come back soon."
He went inside; he never came back. Somebody else came back and said, "Forgive us. Right now we don't have any children."
The couple were puzzled. Just a few minutes before there were seven hundred children, and now they don't have any children. He said, "What happened?"
The man said, "I don't know anything. I know only one thing, that I have been sent to tell you that right now we don't have any children to give to you."
The reason was that in the form he had just filled in he said he was a Protestant Christian. If he had been a Catholic, then there were seven hundred children! He wrote a letter to THE TIMES OF INDIA, and I publicly criticized Mother Teresa. She wrote me a letter explaining why the man was refused. She tried to explain that the man was refused "because we give the children only to those families where their upbringing will not create any conflict."
I wrote back saying, "Then those children should be given back to Hindus, Mohammedans and not to Christians. What right have you got to give them to Catholics? In the first place you should not give them any Catholic preaching. You don't have their consent. They can give you consent only when they are at least twenty-one years of age. You are committing a crime against small babies. It is unforgivable."
She was very angry. She wrote to me, "I don't want to discuss the matter, but I will pray to God to forgive you."
I wrote her my last letter. I said, "This is my last letter, to inform you, firstly, that there is no God – so please don't waste your time in praying. Secondly, without asking my permission, who are you to pray for me? This is interference into my very spirituality. I will sue you in the court!" 
These people... Now she has opened an AIDS home in New York. These people are responsible for AIDS; they have created it. This is not service, this is simply punishment. The Vatican should be turned into an AIDS camp. All their monasteries should now be AIDS camps – because they have created it, and they should take the responsibility for it.
This is not service to humanity, this is simply repentance. It will be good if they do it as quickly as possible; otherwise I am going to tell the homosexuals, from all over the world, "Move towards the Vatican. That is your home."
OSHO
Socrates Poisoned Again After 25 Centuries, Ch 9, Q 8

In the above mentioned Canadian analysis, to be published in the March 2013 issue 42 of Studies in Religion / Sciences religieuses, Serge Larivée and his colleagues also cite a number of problems not taken into account by the Vatican in Mother Teresa's beatification process, such as "her rather dubious way of caring for the sick, her questionable political contacts, her suspicious management of the enormous sums of money she received, and her overly dogmatic views regarding, in particular, abortion, contraception, and divorce."  The facts they discovered debunk the myth of Mother Teresa. One of the questions yet unanswered is where the donations transferred to the MCO's various (most of them kept secret) bank accounts are. Larivée says, "Given the parsimonious management of Mother Teresa's works, one may ask where the millions of dollars for the poorest of the poor have gone?"  He further states that she was generous with her prayers but rather miserly with her foundation's millions when it came to humanity's suffering. During frequent floods in India or following the explosion of a pesticide plant in Bhopal, she offered numerous prayers and medallions of the Virgin Mary but no direct or monetary aid.

Furthermore, according to the researchers, in 1968 she met with anti-abortionist Malcolm Muggeridge of the BBC in London, a man who decided to promote Mother Teresa. She then began travelling throughout the world and received numerous awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize. In her acceptance speech, on the subject of Bosnian women who were raped by Serbs and now sought abortion, she said: "I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing – direct  murder by the mother herself." 

‘Science Blog’ reported, “Following her death [in 1997], the Vatican decided to waive the usual five-year waiting period to open the beatification process. The miracle attributed to Mother Theresa was the healing of a woman, Monica Besra, who had been suffering from intense abdominal pain. The woman testified that she was cured after a medallion blessed by Mother Theresa was placed on her abdomen. Her doctors thought otherwise: the ovarian cyst and the tuberculosis from which she suffered were healed by the drugs they had given her. The Vatican, nevertheless, concluded that it was a miracle. Mother Teresa's popularity was such that she had become untouchable for the population, which had already declared her a saint. "What could be better than beatification followed by canonization of this model to revitalize the Church and inspire the faithful especially at a time when churches are empty and the Roman authority is in decline?" Larivée and his colleagues ask. 

What indeed? Which brings us to the next Vatican story about the election of a new pope, because out of mysterious reasons Benedict XVI decided to resign, or did he? It is interesting to note that the new pope, Francis, has from day one made statements about helping and defending the poor and the weak. Sounds familiar? The subject is forever popular yet history shows the poor strangely always remain poor. But I digress; this is stuff for an in-depth look for another day.

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Meteors and Their Other Impact

March, 2012

The meteor exploding over Russia this month has been the most destructive natural projectile hitting Earth in over 100 years. The reader might remember another meteor blast over Russia in Tunguska (now Krasnoyarsk Krai) that happened in 1908, believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres above Earth's surface. Studies estimate the object’s size to have been about 100 meters across, whereas this month’s was 15 meters in diameter, weighing in at 10,000 tons and travelling at more than 64,000 km/h at an altitude of 20 kilometres when it exploded.

In comparison, Asteroid 2012 DA14, which NASA tracked on the same day on its flight passing very close to our planet and missed, was approximately 45 meters in diameter.


Asteroid 2012 DA14

“If you think about objects the size of the one that came in to Russia, you’re probably looking at 100 million up there. Of those likely to intersect Earth, there’s less, maybe 100,000,” said K.T. Ramesh, director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute and  Professor of Mechanical Engineering at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. “Space is pretty big.”

Increasingly during the last few months there has been an astounding increase in sightings of fireballs, streaking lights and lightning bolts, strange booms heard worldwide, and not to forget the enormous increase in sunspots. It seems as if some of the 100,000 objects K.T. Ramesh refers to have rapidly moved closer towards our globe. The public is almost instantly informed of such observations, as so many people are able to take a photo with their mobile phone, distributing them immediately to a wide audience.

Almost everything that we can see in the sky belongs to the Milky Way Galaxy, including the planets, over 61 moons, the asteroids, comets, meteoroids, dwarf planets, rocks and gas that orbit the Sun. There is constant movement and action that we are not aware of, down here on Earth. And all that has an impact on everything living on this planet, on humans, on animals and insects, on trees and plants.

And just to remind you of the sheer size of our solar system, the sun is about 26,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy (about 80,000 to 120,000 light-years across and less than 7,000 light-years thick). We are located on one of its spiral arms, out towards the edge. It takes the sun (and our solar system) roughly 200-250 million years to orbit once around the Milky Way. In this orbit, we (and the rest of the Solar System) are travelling at a velocity of about 155 miles/sec (250 km/sec).

Besides the physical increase of inbound meteors and asteroids that are appearing surprisingly sudden in spite of the many monitoring systems in place, something deep is being stirred in our collective subconscious. Scientists are finding more and more areas on the globe that in the far distant past have been hit by rather large meteors and the memory of such events – no matter how long ago – is a permanent part of the collective unconscious.

As Carl Gustav Jung asserted, “The unconscious has no time. There is no trouble about time in the unconscious. Part of our psyche is not in time and not in space. They are only an illusion, time and space, and so in a certain part of our psyche, time does not exist at all.”

According to him, humanity shares an underlying, biologically inherited storehouse of collective experience and knowledge that is cross-cultural. Jung saw universally recognizable motifs among dreams, myth, religion, the arts and architecture.

Jung calls these hypothesized patterns of human existence archetypes. Existing in a larger time frame than most people’s daily awareness, the archetypes of the collective unconscious apparently connect the past, present and future.

For example, the rather astounding ending of the movie ‘Melancholia’ shows an entire planet moving slowly and unfaltering towards Earth – the image is spectacular and overwhelming, the outcome predictable, yet the viewer can accept this calmly, almost matter of fact, because the collective unconscious ‘knows’ this. It is also interesting to note how the movie shows people’s behaviour changing with the knowledge of such an impending impact.

Lately I am observing a lot of crazy behaviour patterns among our fellow earth inhabitants. So many bombings, shootings, murders, rapes, threats of any kind are happening on a daily basis, as if people are taken over by something inexplicable. And yet, curiously also more and more people are becoming interested in meditation. This is a breakthrough! It is through meditation that we can understand life being precarious and our bodies vulnerable, and it is through meditation only that we can find that center within where nothing ever dies.

This is indeed a time of crisis yet also of an incredible opportunity to live the essential and let all non-essential pass. A time to realize that nothing is safe and that within there is the only safe place we can ever be. All external aggravation, disturbance and influence can only be experienced sanely through a meditative approach.

Osho states, “At the time when the sun experiences increased radioactivity, during its eleven-year cycle, our clocks falter. Whenever the earth comes under the influence of such external forces its inner rhythm is disturbed. New cosmic influences like a star, a meteor, or a comet passing near the earth also disturbs it.
On a cosmic scale, things very far away in the sky are really very near, because everything is interconnected in an invisible way. However, the ability of our language to express this phenomenon is very weak, because when we say that a star has come a little nearer to our sun, we think about this in the ordinary sense of one person coming nearer to another. However, the distances are very great. But even a slight change in the distances between cosmic objects and the axis of the earth will be disturbed – although we may not even be aware of this. To disturb the earth, a great force is required. Even for a one-inch deviation on the earth, powerful cosmic bodies are required to pass near its orbit.
When these great cosmic bodies pass near the earth, they also pass near us. When the earth is shaken, it is not possible that the trees that grow on it are not shaken. It is not possible that the human being living and walking on it is not shaken. But the shaking is very minute, and so far we have not had any instruments to measure it. But now we have such sensitive electronic instruments that a vibration of a thousandth of a second's duration can also be measured. But the vibration of the human being still cannot be measured. So far we have not yet made any instruments for measuring that.
Man is a very limited creature – and it is necessary for him to be that way, otherwise it would be difficult for him to live on the earth. If you were able to experience and know the influence of all the surrounding forces that act upon you twenty-four hours a day you would not be able to live. We are able to live because we do not know everything that is happening around us.”

OSHO
Hidden Mysteries, Ch 6 (translated from Hindi)

As science has advanced so much in the last few decades, we have come to know of many hidden aspects of our solar system and in fact the entire universe, and we look in awe at photographs taken in the far realms of the cosmos. We have become aware of worlds within worlds and have also have come to a better understanding of the meaning of infinity. Yet we still don’t know much, do we?

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A Vicious Circle

February, 2013

It is with a heavy heart that I read about another brutal gang rape by 6 or 7 men of a 29 year-old woman, this time in Punjab. Not much is yet known about the circumstances other than she is believed to have been travelling on a bus back to her village on Friday night. The driver and conductor allegedly refused to stop at her village, instead taking her to a desolate location not far from the city of Amritsar.

It is unimaginable cruelty that such men unleash on a woman, it is a crude and sick self-importance that makes them think they can just abuse and torture a woman as if it were their birth right.

Men have shown inconceivable disrespect of women down the ages. They have murdered millions of women by forcing them to be burned alive on their husbands’ funeral pyre. Have they forgotten that a woman gave birth to their miserable life? Have they forgotten that it is a woman who gives birth to their all important sons? This is widespread chauvinist oppression of women who are being used like cattle, many beaten by their husbands on a regular basis.

The BBC reported recently, that “with more than 24,000 reported cases in 2011 [in India], rape registered a 9.2% rise over the previous year. More than half (54.7%) of the victims were aged between 18 and 30. Most disturbingly, according to police records, the offenders were known to their victims in more than 94% of the cases. Neighbours accounted for a third of the offenders, while parents and other relatives were also involved. Delhi accounted for over 17% of the total number of rape cases in the country.”

Punishment is not a solution to combat this violence which will just fester deeper and deeper until there is another vicious outburst out of terrible unawareness. Demonstrations won’t change the bigoted male attitude, women’s liberation movement won’t change the sexist mind. What is needed is for the society to change.

A sannyasin asks if Osho is against the Women’s Liberation movement:

Shakti, I am not against women, I am all for them. But the liberation movement is something ugly – and I know the responsibility is on the male chauvinists. They have been doing so much harm to women down the ages that now the woman wants to take revenge. But whenever you start taking revenge you become destructive. The movement is still in a destructive phase; it has not become creative. And I am against destructiveness.

It is of no use to go on looking at past wounds. It is of no use to take revenge because of the past. One should learn to forgive and forget. Yes, it was wrong – accept it. Whatsoever has been done to women down the ages was absolutely wrong. Man HAS exploited them. Man has been very brutal, very animalistic. Man has reduced women to slaves; even more than that, he has reduced them to things, to possessions. But what is the point of taking revenge? Then you become the pursuer and man becomes the pursued. Then another kind of chauvinism begins to take form and shape. Then the female chauvinist is born. And this is not going to put things right. Then the women will start doing harm to men, and sooner or later they will take revenge. Where is this going to stop? It is a vicious circle.

And my feeling is that instead of men stopping it, it is far easier for women to stop it, to come out of the vicious circle – because they are more loving, more compassionate. Man is more aggressive, more violent. I don't have much hope from men, I hope much from women. Hence I am not in favor of the aggressive attitude and approach of the Women's Lib movement.

Don't be worried, Shakti. There are many women here who have belonged to the Women's Lib movement. But as they have come closer to me, their attitudes have changed, their approach has changed. Life's problems can only be solved by love, they cannot be solved by any violent approach.

Men and women are different worlds; hence it is difficult to understand each other. And the past has been full of misunderstandings, but that is not necessarily to be so in the future. We can learn a lesson from the past, and the only lesson is that man and woman have to become more understanding of each other and more accepting of each other's differences. Those differences are valuable, they need not create any conflict; in fact, they are the causes of attraction between them. If all the differences between men and women disappear, if they have the same kind of psychology, love will also disappear because the polarity will not be there. Man and woman are like negative and positive poles of electricity: they are pulled towards each other magnetically; they are opposite poles. Hence, conflict is natural. But through understanding, through compassion, through love, through looking into the other's world and trying to be sympathetic to it, all the problems can be solved. There is no need to create more conflict – enough is enough.

Man needs as much liberation as woman. Both need liberation – liberation from the mind. They should cooperate with each other and help each other to be liberated from the mind. That will be a true liberation movement.

That's what sannyas is all about.

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 10, Ch 2, Q 5

Related article: We need Change not Revenge
http://www.oshoworld.com/newsboard/news/news_item.asp?NewsID=1185

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We Need Change, Not Revenge

January, 2013

Only a few weeks ago I penned an article about rapes in rural India, only to read about another gruesome rape that just happened in New Delhi. Delhiites are outraged, understandably so. Women are more frightened than ever to go to work or to even venture out shopping on their own, let alone use public transport. In this last most brutal case, a 23 year-old physiotherapy student boarded the bus with a male companion who was unable to defend her against six vicious men already on the prowl. The moment he tried to intervene, he was gagged and knocked unconscious with an iron rod. After the young woman had been raped over and over again on the moving bus (also with said iron rod), she and her companion were thrown from the bus onto the street and left there.

Widespread public protests and outrage have called for the death penalty for the six accused, which is however, not permitted by the Indian Penal Code.  What we do see though is a certain helplessness by the lawmakers.  I was stunned to read that Delhi’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is reported to have said she did not have the courage to meet the victim. This shows cowardice and total indifference towards this young woman’s suffering. But at least she didn’t make inane comments such as were made after several similar heinous rapes happened in Jakarta, Indonesia, recently. The then incumbent Governor Fauzi Bowo said in response to rapes that had taken place in public transport:  “Imagine if someone on board of a mikrolet (minivan) sits wearing a mini-skirt, you would get a bit turned on.” Women, he said, “must adjust to their surrounding environment so that they don’t provoke people to commit unwanted acts.” Activists say the case reveals long-standing shortcomings in how authorities respond to violence against women.

A 14-year-old girl living on the outskirts of Jakarta was alleged to have been abducted, held captive and repeatedly raped by several men for an entire week. She was subsequently expelled for bringing shame upon her school. But the girl's nightmare did not end there. Indonesia’s Education Minister Mohammad Nuh drew more attention to the case after having the gall telling reporters that rape is sometimes the fault of the victim. He said sometimes rape participants "do it for fun... then the girl alleges it is rape."

And so it goes. The blame is squarely put on the woman’s head, government officials try to wiggle out of the responsibility, the perpetrators are eventually punished and nobody even thinks about the victim who must try to rebuild her life after the ordeal.

Whatever punishment is given will not deter other men to go about such dastardly deeds. We must look at the root cause of these actions and address the problem of widespread sexual repression that turns into violent acts against women. We need change, not revenge. Although knowing that one’s perpetrator has been punished for years in prison might bring some mental relief to the victim, we see across the globe that a woman raped is ultimately being punished for it.

Last year there was an outcry over the case of Hena, a 14 year-old Bangladeshi girl, who was murdered for having been raped. An older relative was raping the girl in her town when the rapist's wife discovered them. The wife reported the girl to her local mosque and the local imam found her guilty of adultery and the town’s religious court sentenced her to 100 lashings for ‘adultery’. Hena collapsed after 70 lashings and was taken to the hospital where she died a week later.

All these cases are just the tip of the iceberg – and don’t think this is only happening in Asia. It is happening everywhere 24/7 on this planet in various contexts.

Man lives in unconsciousness. It is out of utter unawareness that violence erupts. It is society that needs to change. Osho says, “The Indian mind is full of sexuality, full of anger, full of hatred – and it talks about love, talks about compassion, talks about non-violence. But don't be deceived by their talk – their talk simply shows that just the opposite is inside them. And now they are free; there is no pressure on them to go on repressing. So everywhere in the country every day... I think nothing like this is happening anywhere else in the world. People are burnt alive! Women are raped everywhere – mass rape! Many women die just because so many people rape them that they fall dead. And the mahatmas of the country go on talking about celibacy, but the same mahatmas are being caught doing all kinds of criminal acts…

All kinds of things go on happening in India for the simple reason that the country lacks character – character in my sense, character that arises as a by-product of consciousness. India is absolutely characterless, but what they think is character, they go on bragging about all around the world: that they are very religious, very moral. And that is sheer nonsense!

I have seen their morality, I have seen their character – it is bogus, it is just painted. And when you have a painted face your face can be exposed. Just any opportunity...
OSHO
Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing, Ch 9

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It's A Girl

December, 2012

The matter of gendercide (the killing of newborn babies according to their gender, more often than not female babies) keeps rearing its ugly head. Last month I wrote about rape and the abuse of women, and that only a sexual revolution will do to overthrow such wretched primitive behavior patterns. Just now I watched the trailer of a movie called ‘It’s a Girl’ about the despicable and tragic gendercide that is happening day by day – mainly in India and China – in a horrifying and totally unconscious repetition of ancient behavior patterns.

Comparative anthropologists calculated that 50% of female newborn babies were killed during the Paleolithic era, also known as Stone Age, which is counted from about 2.5 million and 20,000 years before our time. Neolithic groups who resided in Mesopotamia, starting ca. 8,000 years ago, committed infanticide to control their numbers so the land they occupied could support them. That’s besides the children that were offered as sacrifices to all kinds of gods.

Interestingly, the religion of the ancient Egyptians forbade infanticide and children of both sexes were valued. Also the ancient Greeks considered child (and adult) sacrifice barbarous even though they practiced the method of ‘disposal’ which they did not consider being murder. After a baby was born, the woman would show it to her husband who decided on its fate. Those babies weren’t killed directly, but put in a clay pot or jar and deserted outside the front door or on the roadway. Not surprisingly, this practice was also prevalent in ancient Rome. Quite shocking evidence can be gleaned from a letter from 1 BCE sent by a Roman to his wife, demonstrating the casual nature with which infanticide was often viewed:

"I am still in Alexandria...I beg and plead with you to take care of our little child, and as soon as we receive wages, I will send them to you. In the meantime, if (good fortune to you!) you give birth, if it is a boy, let it live; if it is a girl, expose it."

What we must understand is that gendercide is deeply and firmly entrenched in the collective unconscious and is continuously practiced to this day. UNICEF reported that up to 50 million girls and women are missing in India’s population as a result of gendercide, and killings of newborn babies are on the rise in Pakistan, attributed to the patriarchal society where women are less valued than men. And a recent study shows that over 40 million girls and women are missing in China.

When nature runs its course, there are on average 120 boys for every 100 girls inside the womb. At birth, the average is 105 male babies for every 100 female babies. Between ages 35-45, the females pull even, and then they begin to pull away. At ages 75+, there are roughly twice as many females. These averages hold true for virtually every developed country in the world.

Osho says, "Girls don't die so easily, they are stronger. And it is a fallacy created by men, male chauvinists, that man is the stronger sex. This is a fallacy, woman is the stronger sex. In every way she is stronger. She is ill less than man, she goes mad less than man, she lives longer than man. The average life-expectancy of women all over the world, in every country, is five years more than men. If men live to be seventy-five, women are going to live to be eighty. And they die less in childhood – fifteen percent less. They are the stronger sex.
And this is how it should be, because they have to do the greatest creativity of this life – give birth. It is such a long suffering, a tapascharya, a sadhana, to give birth. Just think, if man had to give birth the world would have disappeared. Just think, for nine months carrying a baby in your stomach. It is impossible to conceive of man doing that and then bringing up the child. No man would be ready for it. He is weak."
OSHO
Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Ch 5, Q 4


Current estimates show that in India there are almost 40 million men more than women. Activists attribute this to gendercide: every month approximately 50,000 female fetuses are aborted and the number of baby girls that are murdered or abandoned is incalculable. Ruchira Gupta of Apne Aap Women Worldwide states, "It's the obliteration of a whole class, race, of human beings. It's half the population of India." One shudders at the implications of what happens when 40 or 50 million men in a country cannot find a female partner, in particular during their productive years.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/december12/img/In_Focus/india-female-sex-ratio-map.jpg

For eons has male chauvinist behavior resulted in the compliance of just too many women. So much so that countless are in cahoots when it comes to killing off their baby daughters. In India, money is one of the main reasons for the unacceptable heinous discrimination against females; think expensive dowries which are a terrible financial burden for the parents, and more so when there are several daughters. On the other hand, males are welcomed because they eventually bring in money, namely their wife’s dowry. This is utterly convoluted thinking, but ingrained in Indian society.

Evan Grae Davis, Director of the documentary It's a Girl said, "In the past decade that I've worked as a filmmaker, I've captured countless stories of poverty and human tragedy. Learning about the gendercide in India, however, exposed me to a whole new kind of suffering. I couldn't understand how the global community could stand by and allow this violence against women to continue.

"The only way I could think to help end gendercide was to expose it, so I shot the It's a Girl documentary in hopes that the various stories it told would capture the hearts of audiences everywhere and compel us all to take a stand against this injustice. I wanted to fuel an international movement to end gender-based violence and affirm the worth and dignity of girls and women worldwide."

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Sexual Revolution Is The Only Answer

November, 2012

Widely circulated reports recently were about rape in rural India, in particular in Haryana, one of India’s newly created states out of the greater Punjab province.
 
Haryana is one of the wealthiest Indian states with the third highest per capita income in the country. It is one of the most economically developed regions in South Asia and India’s largest manufacturer of automobiles and two-wheelers. The agricultural and manufacturing industry has experienced sustained growth since decades.

One would think that the apparent well-being of the population would result in excellent education, care for all people, and a healthy liberal outlook on life.

The reality is that there is a very dark side to all this progress and it has been there for centuries: Last year, 733 rapes were reported in Haryana yet many more went unreported, most of them having occurred in rural villages. A recent victim was a 16 year-old girl who was abducted by a dozen men while walking on the street in Dabra, and taken to the river banks where seven of those men took turns to rape her while the others kept watch. The men also filmed the assaults on their mobile phones and circulated the images widely.

She did not remain the only casualty. Her father was so overcome with shame and humiliation that he committed suicide by poisoning himself. The girl was courageous enough to report this horrendous sexual abuse to the police and nine of the alleged attackers have been arrested while the others are still at large. She said that other girls stopped going to school because they are frightened. Nobody knows what kind of future she will have if she remains in the area.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/november12/img/In_Focus/In_Focus1.jpg

This is not an isolated case by far. Sexual violence against women takes place all over India, yet what is glaringly obvious is the social attitude towards women in Haryana. In this region, close to Delhi, men still call the shots. The all-male village council meetings called khaps, are tremendously powerful both socially and politically. Women are usually not included in those meetings. One council elder was reported as saying that girls should be forced to marry young to protect them from rapists although it is clear that being married hasn’t protected women from being assaulted. Others routinely blame Western influences. Yet nobody addresses the root cause of these heinous acts – male supremacy and sexual repression.

Rights activist Ranjana Kumari of the Centre for Social Research commented on the khaps: "They often function like kangaroo courts, creating laws for society, determining what women must do, how people should behave. And if people don't follow them, they intimidate them and threaten violence, including honour killings."

Khaps are unelected bodies but politicians and governments are wary of taking them on because they can help deliver votes during elections, which means they are often indispensable to politicians. But there is a growing sense of outrage across India at their pronouncements following the recent spate of rapes. Many people believe the khaps have no place in a modern, democratic and liberal India. But taking them on is not going to be easy.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/november12/img/In_Focus/In_Focus2.jpg

Haryana is just the tip of the iceberg. Violence against women is rife all around the globe and takes many forms – physical, sexual, psychological and economic, and not to forget widespread trafficking: It is estimated between 500,000 to 2 million people are trafficked annually into situations including prostitution, forced labour, slavery or servitude. Women and girls account for about 80 per cent of the detected victims.

Nor is violence against women confined to a specific culture, region or country, or to particular groups of women within a society. The roots of violence against women lie in persistent discrimination against women. Up to 70 per cent of all women on this planet (!) experience violence in their lifetime.

Rape happens everywhere.  In their recent article, ‘50 Actual Facts About Rape’, The Huffington Post writes: “All over the world rape acceptance, rape tolerance, rape denial and rape ignorance at best are used to restrict women's reproductive rights and impede women's equality. At worse, rape is used strategically and with violence and malevolence as a weapon in war and as a tool of active oppression. Keeping the reality of rape in the shadows has obviously done us a massive disservice and provided cover for rapists and their apologists. So, even though it's not easy information to digest, it's important. Maybe information is part of god's divine plan.”

And in the Nation, by calling for ‘Ending Rape Illiteracy’, author Jessica Valenti spells out what is a global reality: "Every day, the severity, violence and criminality of what rape is – its very definition – is distorted in a way that makes it more difficult for survivors to come forward and for anti-violence advocates to do their work, while making the world easier for victim-blaming and for rapists themselves."

Osho says again and again that sex is a natural phenomenon not to be repressed, and sees the dire need for a sexual revolution to happen:

“I am neither a priest nor a politician. I am just a human being as you are. And I can see humanity – how MUCH it has suffered. I feel for it because it is me, it is you, and I want to have a totally different future for humanity, for the children to come, for the people who will come on the earth. If we can create a different future for them, that will be the only revolution.
Up to now no revolution has happened, because ninety-nine percent of hypocrisy, untruth, exploitation, violence depends on sexual repression, and no sexual revolution has yet happened.
I am trying to create that situation. It is going to be against the society. It is going to be very controversial, but it is natural. I want the controversy to spread all over the world, because only through that controversy the people who have intelligence, the people who have any kind of understanding, are bound to come to me.
These repressed people cannot understand; their minds are full of holy cow dung.”
OSHO
The Secret of Secrets Vol. 2, Ch 15, Q 1

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Ants in Your Mind

October, 2012

 Listening to Osho in the early days of being a sannyasin, I had no clue what he was talking about when he spoke about ‘the mind’. This was an unknown concept to me, as I understood brain (hard drive) and mind as being the same thing. Through meditation I began to get a glimmer of understanding that the words and conversations going on up there in the attic – which I had never questioned – were, in fact, the mind. Once having understood this and becoming aware of the constant chatter was kind of freaky as it appeared the mind had a life on its own.

At first I fought it and wanted it to go away; I wanted to stop it, I tried to control it, I screamed inwardly at it (and just who was screaming?). The mind having had years of sole custody over my life, wasn’t just going to slink away.

It was only through meditation and sitting silently that I could practice watching the mind, and letting all words and conversations go – sometimes this occurred only for nanoseconds, yet along the way, the gaps became longer and longer. And the next blessing to grow from this relaxation and letting go of the chatter was that thoughts when they did make an appearance became less and less judgmental. It has been a long journey that went deep down to the roots and resulted in serenity and stillness within.

Most of us humans are subject to the workings of the mind, yet nowadays more and more people can see a connection between the mind and how it influences our body and emotions, and the way we live. Many books have been written about positive thinking, many suggesting bright shortcuts that won’t even scratch the surface. I have come across a rather clever book by psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen, entitled Change Your Brain, Change your Body. Dr Amen has spent years studying how thoughts influence just about everything in our lives and came up with a solution: change negative thoughts into positive thoughts and thus change your life into being happier and more successful.

He gave a name to negative thoughts: ANT (Automatic Negative Thought); he has described those ANTs as “the ­little voices that pop into your head and tell you you're not good enough, not thin enough, a rubbish daughter, mother, worker.” And he also asserts that it is quite easy to handle a few ANTs but infestations, when the mind is taken over by too many negative thoughts, are a challenge.

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He thus offers a variety of techniques to gobble up those ANTs and thus stop them from ever being born again. He says that as the brain is a powerful organ, “negative thoughts can make negative things happen.” For example, he asserts if one has a self-image of being fat or wrinkled up, the production of stress hormones skyrockets which affects the body’s and mind’s healthy balance.

He suggests to “develop an ANT-eater in your brain that can eat up all the negative thoughts that come into your head. Whenever you feel mad, sad or frustrated, write down your ANT, then write down what your ANT-eater would say to that ANT to kill it.” 

Here is a working example what he calls a RED ANT with regard to predictions: “Predicting the worst even though you don't know what will happen ('I know I'm never going to be able to stick to this exercise ­programme'). These ANTs are very common and can quickly become an ANT infestation. The problem with fortune-telling is your mind is so powerful it really can make these terrible things more likely. 

If you allow yourself to get stressed about something, it can depress your immune system and increase your odds of getting sick. In fact, chronic stress has been implicated in a number of diseases. 

ANT-eater: Ask yourself what right you have to be a fortune-teller. You don't know what the future holds. Instead, be curious about the future in a positive way.

Another RED ANT syndrome is the blaming of others: “It's toxic to blame others and take no responsibility for your own ­successes and failures. When you begin a sentence with 'it is your fault' it can ruin your life. These ANTs make you a victim. 

ANT-eater: You are ­responsible for how your life turns out. You can't keep blaming ­others.” 

He concludes that “Negative thoughts can make negative things happen. In the never-ending ­battles, redemption lies in building your own arsenal of ANT-eater solutions. Make a pact with yourself to not listen to your ANTs. If you do this, your thoughts will ­translate into actions and those actions will cause your body to transform into the body you've always wanted. Your body follows your mind. It has no choice.”

So far so good. However, although the suggestions and positive solutions appear helpful, they all remain a little on the surface and are fraught with ‘doing’. Furthermore, they all take place in the mind, so there isn’t any glimpse of a significant shift to the place within where there is no thought, no mind. Meditation has not been a consideration.

Osho says,“The thinker is creative with his thoughts. This is one of the most fundamental truths to be understood. All that you experience is your creation. First you create it, then you experience it, and then you are caught in the experience – because you don't know that the source of all exists in you.
There is a famous parable:
Once a man was travelling, accidentally he entered paradise. In the Indian concept of paradise there are wish-fulfilling trees there, Kalpatarus. You just sit underneath them, desire anything, and immediately it is fulfilled – there is no gap between the desire and its fulfillment.
There is no gap between a thought and a thing. You think, and immediately it becomes a thing; the thought realizes automatically. These Kalpatarus are nothing but symbolic for the mind. Mind is creative, creative with its thoughts.
The man was tired, so he fell asleep under a Kalpataru, a wish-fulfilling tree. When he woke up he was feeling very hungry, so he simply said, "I am feeling so hungry, I wish I could get some food from somewhere." And immediately food appeared out of nowhere – just floating in the air, delicious food.
He was so hungry that he didn't pay much attention to where it had come from – when you are hungry you are not philosophic. He immediately started eating, and the food was so delicious that he was caught up in the food. Once his hunger was gone he looked around. Now that he was feeling very satisfied, another thought arose in him: "If only I could get something to drink..." – And there is still no prohibition in paradise; immediately, precious wine appeared.
Drinking the wine relaxedly in the cool breeze of paradise under the shade of the tree, he started wondering, "What is the matter? What is happening? Have I fallen into a dream, or are some ghosts around and playing tricks with me?"
And ghosts appeared. And they were ferocious, horrible, nauseating. And he started trembling, and a thought arose in him: "Now I am sure to be killed. These people are going to kill me."
And he was killed.
This parable is an ancient parable, of immense significance. It portrays your whole life. Your mind is the wish-fulfilling tree, Kalpataru – whatsoever you think, sooner or later it is fulfilled. Sometimes the gap is such that you have completely forgotten that you had desired it in the first place; sometimes the gap is of years, or sometimes of lives. So you can't connect the source.
But if you watch deeply you will find all your thoughts are creating you and your life. They create your hell, they create your heaven. They create your misery, they create your joy. They create the negative, they create the positive. Both are illusory – the pain and pleasure, the sweet dream and the nightmare, both are illusory.
What is meant by calling these things illusory? The only meaning is that they are your creation. You are creating a magic world around yourself – that's what is meant by the word maya. Everybody here is a magician. And everybody is spinning and weaving a magic world around himself, and then is caught – the spider itself is caught in its own web.
There is nobody torturing you except yourself. There is nobody except yourself; your whole life is your work, your creation.”

OSHO
Take It Easy, Vol. 2, Chapter-5

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The Strange Case of Julian Assange

September, 2012

Julian Assange has been in the news almost on a daily basis, ever since top secret US military reports and innumerable diplomatic cables were leaked by him two years ago. This move was courageous if not daring, and the general public ought to be grateful that so many secret documents within the US government machine have been made public, showing terrible evidence about the war in Iraq, treachery, wide-spread corruption, illegal spying. Yet there are more, many more compromising documents and scenarios waiting to see the light of day and the US government is making tremendous efforts to get Mr. Assange under their control.

Mr. Assange is to be extradited to Sweden where dubious allegations over sexual assaults were made against him. The obvious and devious spin behind the allegations is to get him back to Sweden and whisk him from there to the USA and throw away the key.
He has fought this extradition in the British courts and after 18 months of legal battle, the British Supreme Court surprisingly rejected Mr. Assange’s argument against extradition. After a court hearing of barely ten minutes, the decision was delivered by the 74 year-old president of the court, Nicholas Phillips, in one of his last major decisions before retirement this fall.

Mr. Assange is currently under the protection of the Ecuadorean embassy. The Ecuadorean government has found that Mr. Assange’s application for asylum is justified; additional material he submitted shows that he has a well-founded fear of political persecution, and risks torture or the death penalty in the United States in connection with the publication of truthful information of matters of interest to the public through his work with WikiLeaks.
Ever since Tony Blair and George W. Bush became best cousins and went to war against Iraq together, it appears British authorities are still in a lingering embrace with American authorities. Otherwise why would the British government make such a dim decision as to threaten Ecuador to suspend their embassy’s diplomatic status if they continue to shelter Mr. Assange, and moreover, threaten to have the British police enter the embassy building by force. The latter threat was later denied, denied, denied...

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/september12/img/In_Focus/In_Focus2.jpg
Julian Assange gives a statement from a balcony
at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to waiting press and supporters.
© George Henton, London, UK


All this about one Australian man who is being sought merely for questioning (no charge or conviction) over sex crime allegations in Sweden? A diplomatic stand-off, accusations flying left and right while most of South America’s nations back Ecuador, scores of police surrounding the embassy building besieged by an unprecedented hostile British media who went even as far as accusing Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, of being a corrupt dictator. The spin doctors who wrote this script did an awful job and it is obvious that America, the self-styled sheriff of this planet, is behind it all. Again.

As reported by the Guardian on August 21, 2012, “A grand jury in Virginia has been preparing a case against Assange and WikiLeaks for espionage, a leak earlier this year suggested that the US government has already issued a secret indictment against Assange, while Australian diplomats have reported that the WikiLeaks founder is the target of an investigation that is ‘unprecedented both in its scale and its nature’.”

At this point in the developments we might want to recall the allegations made against Osho while he was staying abroad on his world tour, and most notably while in Uruguay, a country with a government that had the guts to grant him a one year visa. However, the American government in their witch hunt against Osho managed to put so much pressure on the Uruguayan government that they were compelled to ask Osho to leave:

The American government has been telling all the governments of the world that I should not be allowed, even as a tourist, in their countries. One small country, Uruguay, in South America, was very happy that I had come there, because the president had been reading my books, and he had not dreamt that I would ever come to Uruguay. So he said, "We will make every effort to give you land, so that you can create a community. Because not only will we be enriched by your presence and your disciples, but thousands of pilgrims will start coming; and we are a poor country – it will be a financial gain too." And he immediately managed a one-year residence visa for me.
But when the American president, Ronald Reagan, became aware of it – the American ambassador in Uruguay informed him – he threatened the president of Uruguay: "Within thirty-six hours Osho should leave the country. Otherwise you will have to return all the loans that we have given you in the past, and all the loans – billions of dollars – which we were going to give you in the coming two years will not be given. So you can choose."
Now, Uruguay cannot manage to return the money and cannot afford not to take billions of dollars in the coming two years, because her whole planning is based on those billions of dollars. The whole economy of the country would collapse. The president had tears in his eyes when he told me, "Your coming to our country has at least made me aware of one thing: that we are not independent. We have been living under a delusion.
"You will have to leave. It is illegal – because you have a valid residence visa for one year; and you have not committed any heinous crime – that is the only reason that a residence visa can be canceled." And I had only been there one month. And he said, "It is unfortunate that I have to do it. I am doing it against my own conscience."
Even this much the American president was not willing to concede: that I should simply leave the country. My plane was standing at the airport... I said, "There is no problem; I can leave the country. I will not put your country into such jeopardy."
He said, "The American president insists that you should be deported; you should not leave the country without being deported. I am forced to commit crimes: first, to tell you for no reason to leave the country; you have done nothing. Second, to deport you. But I am absolutely helpless. Still, I want one thing: that on your passport there should be no stamp of deportation from Uruguay. We have a small airport – so move your airplane to that airport, and in the evening leave without informing us; so we can say, `He left without informing us. There was no time to deport him.'"
But he was wrong. As my jet moved to the small airport – the American embassy must have been watching – the American ambassador was there with all the stamps and the official whose business it is to deport people. I was delayed there, because they had to fill in all the forms, and as I left the country, I said, "It doesn't matter...." In fact, my passport has become a historical document: I have been deported from so many countries without any reason.
OSHO
The Rebellious Spirit, Ch 25, Q 1

Same spin and movie script, isn’t it?

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The Urgency

August, 2012

The good news is, we are no longer facing a time of crisis. The bad news is, we’re right in the middle of it. 12 noon has chimed in with hollow sounds.

Besides being dangerously overpopulated with not many signs of birth control being truly implemented, our planet is well on its way to being depleted in food and water. It is also well on its way to being poisoned by ruthless and greedy conglomerates such as Monsanto, supported by various governments and some deranged scientists. Radiation covers the entire globe yet plans for several new nuclear power stations are already being drawn up. The dramatically changed weather patterns of the last few years have brought a heavy increase in more powerful storms and rain; floods and landslides are headline news almost every day.

There’s also a global war raging which is being watered down in the media to ‘armed conflicts’ and ‘military interventions’, and presently being fought in numerous countries from the Middle East to Africa, Asia and beyond. Millions of people have been displaced, are hungry, seeking refuge in other countries and often die on the escape route to dubious freedom. We are looking at global suffering.

So where does this leave me as an individual living amid all this? I cannot think of the future as it is totally unpredictable and I blessedly live mainly in the here-now; whenever I do get a thought or two about what could happen any moment, I do not permit my mind to linger in that bubble and return it to base. Yet there is this niggling sense of urgency that is present within and without, day in and day out.

Osho instilled the word ‘urgency’ into our collective unconscious and conscious by initiating a new meditation that took place at the end of each discourse shortly after the series YAA-HOO! The Mystic Rose, preparing us for the then upcoming series of Zen. During every evening meditation after a few minutes of ‘gibberish’,  Osho urged us to move to “the inner center of being which is just two inches below the navel, inside you...” – powerfully supported by Nivedano’s epic drumming.

There were ongoing subtle changes in Osho’s directions and a few months later he suddenly included every day the words ‘urgency’ and then ‘last moment of your life’. From then on the evening meditations even intensified as Osho expressed more and more urgency until his last discourse – and thus ending the series, The Zen Manifesto.
It is to those meditations I turn to. In our so uncertain times they offer tremendous help to go within. And to always remember... sammasati...

It is time, Nivedano...
(Drumbeat)

(Gibberish)

Nivedano...

(Drumbeat)

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Be silent... Close your eyes... and feel yourself completely frozen.

This is the right moment to enter inwards.

Gather all your energy, your total consciousness,

and rush towards the inner center with deep intensity and urgency.

The center is just two inches below the navel, inside the body.

Faster... and faster... Deeper... and deeper...

As you come closer to the center of being,

a great silence descends over you, and inside a peace, a blissfulness,

a light that fills your whole interior. This is your original being.

This is your buddha.

At this moment, witness that you are not the body, not the mind, not the heart,

but just the pure witnessing self, the pure consciousness.

This is your buddhahood, your hidden nature, your meeting with the universe.

These are your roots.
Relax...

Nivedano...

(Drumbeat)
Relax... and just be a silent witness.

You start melting like ice in the ocean.

Gautama the Buddha Auditorium becomes an oceanic field of consciousness.

You are no longer separate – this is your oneness with existence.

To be one with existence is to be a buddha, it is your very nature.

It is not a question of searching and finding,

you are it, right now.

Gather all the flowers, the fragrance, the flame and the fire,

the immeasurable,

and bring it with you as you come back.
Nivedano...

(Drumbeat)
Come back peacefully, silently, as a buddha.

Just for a few seconds close your eyes and remember the path and the source you have found,

and the buddha nature that you have experienced.

This moment you are the most blessed people on the earth.

Remembering yourself as a buddha is the most precious experience,

because it is your eternity, it is your immortality.

It is not you, it is your very existence.

You are one with the stars and the trees and the sky and the ocean.

You are no longer separate.

The last word of Buddha was, sammasati.

Remember that you are a buddha – sammasati.
Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Osho.

OSHO
The Zen Manifesto Ch 11, Q 4

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Transform Your Life Into A Quest

July, 2012

A surprising outcome of a new study, published in the British medical journal Lancet recently, shows that more and more young Indian women and men are committing suicide. Suicide is now the second most common death for young Indians between 15 and 29 years of age; incredibly, the highest rates of suicide were among the wealthy and educated, and notably females were also more likely to kill themselves than males, which is the reverse of what researchers usually find.

Professor Vikram Patel of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and lead author said to the Hindu that it is hard to say why such a contrast exists. He theorized,

“One possibility is that the higher rates of suicide in the more developed and educated communities of India may be attributed to the greater likelihood of disappointments when aspirations that define success and happiness are distorted or unmet by the reality faced by young people in a rapidly changing society where jobs may be higher paying but less secure and where social networking more accessible but loneliness more common.”

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In 2010, 1.87 lakh people committed suicide in India. According to Professor Patel, about half of suicide deaths (49% among men, and 44% among women) were due to poisoning, mainly ingesting of pesticides. Hanging was the second most common cause for men and women, while burns accounted for about one-sixth of suicides by women. He said he feels that with the decline in maternal death rates, suicide could soon become the leading cause of death among young women in India.

He told Times of India, "Overall, more Indian men commit suicide than women, but the male to female ratio for suicides is smaller in India than in many Western countries, in particular among youth. Studies have suggested that social factors such as violence and depression are key determinants of suicide in women."

Why this staggering increase in suicides? Adapting to Western values and lifestyle after centuries of a more pastoral way of life can increase anxiety and ego-ridden desires to succeed; the latter often triggered by parents who want their child to excel, reach the top ten of everything. However, this drive is unnatural and imbalanced. Obviously something vital is missing in these young people’s lives, otherwise why throw it away?

Osho says, “Transform your life into a quest. Question the values that you have accepted. Question all that you have been brought up to believe in. Question the way you have lived up to now. Question your mechanicalness, question your robotlike existence.
Yes, something drastic has to be done, but it is not suicide. It won't help, it won't change you; you will be back again in another womb somewhere. Millions of stupid couples are making love every moment. Beware! You will be caught in some net somewhere. And you will get only what you deserve, remember; you can't get more than you deserve. You get the womb that is right for you.
And dying in suicide is dying in such anguish, because it is one of the most unnatural things to do, most abnormal things to do. No animal commits suicide, no tree ever commits suicide – only man. Only man can go that insane. Nature knows nothing of suicide; it is man's invention. It is the most ugly act. And when you do something ugly to yourself you cannot hope that you will get a better life. You will die in an ugly state of mind and you will enter an uglier womb.
But what is the need to commit suicide? Just question: you must have lived in a wrong way, that's why life has not become a song. You must have lived foolishly, stupidly, unintelligently; that's why life has not attained to celebration. You cannot dance with joy with the stars and with the flowers and with the wind and with the rain, because you have lived with wrong kinds of ideas imposed on you by the same kind of people as you are.
It is a perpetual phenomenon; stupidity goes on perpetuating itself. Parents go on giving stupidity to their children and the children in their turn will hand over their stupidity to THEIR children. This is the heritage. This is called tradition, heritage, culture... great names!
Question all that you have lived without questioning up to now, and your life will have a new intelligence arising in it. Your life will become more sharp.”
OSHO
Be Still and Know, Ch 10, Q 3

Parents are of course very disturbed if they find out how much their children are suffering of depression and anguish. Rather than dragging them to a psychologist or psychiatrist or push them harder, they ought to introduce them to meditation and moreover, they too should start meditating. India invented meditation! Indian people have their own strengths and values; there is no need to live according to Western ways and values which clearly aren’t even beneficial to Western populations.

As Osho points out, “We are eager for money, power, prestige, and when Westerners come to the East in search of religion, we laugh at them thinking they have gone mad. ‘What is wrong with them?’ we want to know. In the West there is a different kind of worry: people arrive from the East to become engineers, doctors, nuclear physicists in the West, and the Westerners wonder: ‘So, their search is also for the materialistic!’ And they feel disappointed: ‘What can we get from these people who are running to get help from us – who have no food and shelter, whose minds are set only on material desires?’
This is the crisis – that the East is losing what it has gathered over so many centuries, and the West is anxious to find that of which it has come to know only in the past few centuries. So what is the crisis in it? The crisis is that what the East already has will be lost and the West will have to start from ABC.”
OSHO
Nowhere To Go But In, Ch 16

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Internet, Gadgets, Drugs...Enough!

June, 2012

1. Why is Osho capable of capturing the attention of so many people, especially the young people?

What Osho says is timeless. More than that, he speaks on all of life’s issues, on so many masters and traditions, on people’s problems in life, on relationships, on politics and power, on love, awareness and consciousness. Anybody listening to Him or reading even one discourse will necessarily hear at least one phrase that resonates within. And from there to a deeper understanding and meditation is merely one more step.

Young people today are not much different compared to young people of the previous generation (think of hippies, flower power) but surely are subjected to much more titillating media impact, have so many more gadgets to play with, so many more drugs to choose from, compared to us ‘elders’ who were young in the sixties and seventies. I feel they think they are really cool universal citizens with massive global internet access, and hooked into so many Facebook – Twitter – Whatnot – sites. But what is so cool about their exchanges and chats? What is so important that they feel they have to share with hundreds of so-called friends, many of whom they have never met personally? It appears they have an urge to make statements, showing as many people as possible, “Look, this is who I am (or at least, think I am).”

Any intelligent young person will tire of all this at some point and may ask her/himself what now? And this is the first step towards the journey within.

2. Why do the number of people who follow his ideas and teachings increase every day?

The word ‘following’ is anathema to me.  I absolutely encourage people NOT to follow Osho’s ideas and teachings. It would make mere sheep out of them, a crime which all the religions already imposed onto a large part of humanity. I wish for people to become inspired by what Osho has to say and to discover for themselves the path to get in touch with their inner being, their consciousness.

3. Why does he continue to capture so much interest, even twenty years after he left his body?

Osho has left so many tools, devices and solutions for humanity that even to this day we are surprised to find out about incredible statements and visions that are on record but haven’t been really heard or understood.

Even though there is a legacy of bad media coverage that remains forever stored in the archives and is being pulled out by any third class reporter who happens to write a story about Osho and sannyas, people nowadays are developing an understanding that what the media says is not necessarily the truth. Hence, when the same old statements are being regurgitated, people start thinking and are curious to look deeper. At the same time, there are many insightful books and articles about Osho already available, and many more to come; all His discourses are easily available. Osho’s eternal contribution to humanity is being more and more recognized and His impact is becoming more and more felt and understood.

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Human Eggs And Bar Codes

May, 2012

A rather unnerving headline caught my eye a few days ago: “Human Eggs Grown in the Lab Could Produce Unlimited Supply of Humans”. Unlimited supply? Isn’t this planet already enormously overpopulated and its resources being wrung out before our very eyes to feed the 7 (yes, seven!) billion people presently alive? You can watch the numbers of births as they happen via this link - www.worldometers.info/world-population/ - at the time of writing it accounted for 7,036,075,841 humans. But back to the issue.

I think it is about time to stop breeding humans the old way and rather get them going in a laboratory in a selective and intelligent manner, without overloading the planet.  Osho has foreseen this and also emphasizes that if children are created in a laboratory, women will have much more energy to pursue their creativeness:

“Sooner or later children can be produced in the labs; they have already succeeded in having test-tube babies. The woman need not carry the child in the womb for nine months; we can create a better womb in the laboratory, we can create better children through scientific methodology -- and the woman can be completely freed from the burden of remaining pregnant; and once her energies are released she will be able to be creative. But I think man is afraid of her creativity. She can certainly surpass man's creativity; naturally she is more endowed with creativity.
I am all for creativity but remember, reproduction is not creativity; they are not synonymous. Creativity is something conscious, reproduction is unconscious. Creativity is meditative, reproduction has nothing to do with meditation at all.
But man has just been using the woman almost like cattle. He has been using the woman to raise HIS children; he has been using the woman just as a farm. That's exactly the meaning of the word 'husband': husband means 'the farmer'. Agriculture means husbandry: the wife is the field and the husband is the farmer, and the wife's only function is to give a good crop every year.
The woman can never be liberated unless this is understood: that she has to stop this past pattern. And man has been telling her, "You are great because you give birth to children!" This is a rationalization, this is a consolation. Beware of such tricks. Man has exploited woman in every possible way and it is time to finish this exploitation.”
OSHO
Philosophia Ultima, Ch 16, Q 1

Rebecca Boyle of ‘Popular Science’ (POPSCI) reports this month that “The first human eggs grown from human stem cells could be fertilized with human sperm cells later this year, potentially revolutionizing fertility treatment for women.” At the same time it has been reported by Reuters that nearly one third of babies conceived through certain fertility treatments are tied to a higher risk of birth defects; the risk was 37% higher than that of children conceived the old way.

Major birth defects such as the malformation of a limb or organ occur in about three out of every 100 babies born in the USA. A 37% increase would bump that rate for four out of every 100 babies. This is unacceptable and shows that although scientists have made a huge inroad towards breeding humans, the assisted reproductive technology has still many snags and pitfalls to sort out.

Research has also shown there is a possibility that people who have trouble conceiving and undergo fertility treatments, could likewise have an increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Another possible danger is the technique of handling the embryos and also the drugs that are administered to the mother to be. 

In order not to mix up any of the eggs during IVF procedures (in 2002 a ‘white couple’ gave birth to ‘black’ twins), researchers at the Autonomous University of Barcelona went one step further to gain more control. By using cells from mouse embryos and eggs, they managed to insert microscopic silicon bar codes into a gap between the cell membrane and an outer membrane called the zona pellucida. Next step will be tests on human embryos and eggs.  I shudder to think what consequences this barcode, even though miniscule, could have on the health of the embryo... It would be advisable to drop all research for IVF improvements and rather focus on production in laboratories.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/may12/img/infocus/Barcoded_eggs.jpg
             Barcoded Eggs Autonomous University of Barcelona

In Osho’s revolutionary vision there will be a time when mass production through animalistic sex is replaced by giving scientific birth to children. Women will have to drop the idea that their egg is special, and men that their semen is extraordinary. He says,

“The scientific birth of a child is not animalistic. You are transcending the animal by giving birth to a child scientifically. It is fascinating, the greatest, most fascinating thing around. We can manage it, it is already a scientific reality. We can manage healthier people, who will live as long as we want, and we can give them as much intelligence as is needed for their work.”
OSHO
From the False to the Truth, Ch 29, Q 1
By carrying out cross-breeding in laboratories, women and men with many new qualities will emerge – a New Man not only consciousness-wise but also in physical form. Scientists must improve upon their research methods and tests to come up with the right methods to ensure proper development of the embryo. Somehow the idea of bar codes doesn’t quite cut it!

Click here to read the entire fascinating discourse on this subject...

Click here to listen to the audio recording...

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The Eternal City

May, 2012

I love the sound of the ancient name Kashi for this incredible city – at some point in history it was renamed Benares and since India gained Independence, it is called Varanasi. Considered among the holiest places among Hindus, it is located on the northward flowing Ganges: the 7km stretch through Varanasi is the only part on the journey from the Himalayas to Calcutta where the river turns back towards her source. 

Nowadays Varanasi is easily reachable by plane. It gets a bit more complicated after one has prepaid for a taxi to get into the city. Right away, our taxi drivers tries to discourage us to drive to our chosen destination. He does not tire to counsel along the way how “really terrible, Sir,” the place we have chosen is, and “there are mosquitoes as large as my thumb, Sir.” He trumps that comment with a worried face saying, “also, your hotel is flooded, Sir.”  He tries hard to impart a vision of merely the third floor of ‘our’ hotel sticking lonely out of the floods.

It appears that all drivers we endure during our stay in Varanasi have an uncle, or aunt, or other relative who has a silk factory; they are eager to go there with us right away because, “You must be knowing, Sir, that unfortunately most businessmen will cheat you but if we go to my cousin-brother’s factory …”

Our senses experience massive input during the drive, so many people milling about, such a variety of incidents to watch along the road. At Assi Ghat the surrounding area is indeed flooded and the water reaches to the hotel walls. Ramshackle buildings surround the hotel and there is the incessant murmur and noises of the people living nearby. We have a room overlooking the swollen majestic river and sit on our balcony for hours with binoculars in hand, watching life unfold.

From sunrise onward a fascinating vista – flocks of birds heading towards the other shore, hawks circling close to the balcony, dark-grey rain clouds gathering over the distant burning ghats, an occasional row boat struggling to stay out of the strong current. It is a constant allure to watch a narrow brick path opposite the hotel – initially it is below water level, then it reappears bit by bit as the flood waters slowly cede.

At first only the water buffaloes, who seem to know their turf, parade by and immerse themselves in the Ganges. Slowly, as more of the road emerges day by day, Sadhus in various stages of dress gingerly pick their way over the crumbling bricks, then a group of Buddhist monks with their maroon robes fluttering in the breeze pass in single file, later women in colourful saris, white holy cows, bicycle rickshaws, school children and other passers-by, then carts and small trucks, horses, dogs, and finally even a large farm tractor returning day labourers to their homes.

A bloated human body settles right opposite from our balcony and dogs and birds feast on it for two days until a boat has been arranged to tow the body out into the current so it can float away. Life and death on the Ganges; we are being offered the entire teaching.

Our hotel room is small, square, and there’s a poster on the door communicating rules such as, “Do not light candles in the room. They leave dark spots on the walls and sometimes catch fire.” We particularly like “Do not kill insects on the walls, nor paste mosquito repellent on the walls. (Some former inmate didn’t heed this warning. There’s a flattened body right next to my side of the bed.)

In the adjoining mini bathroom huge colour-coded spray-painted lettering on the wall makes sure that we find the hot and the cold water tap. Indeed it is a hazard to turn on the hot water ONLY, as the water is really scalding. Anatto screams and yells a few times in the mornings until he gets the knack of it (there’s a solar water heater on the roof).

To flush the toilet (hygienically devised foot pedal) there’s some exercise involved: the toilet fits snugly between the two walls of the tiny enclave. So one leans with the back against the wet wall under the shower head (watching out for the scalding hot water tap), then braces the shoulders against it to gather momentum and then stands on the left leg and pushes the lever powerfully with the right foot (beware not to slip on the wet floor, better hold on to the shower head with the left hand and hope it holds).

The curtains are of a slightly sickening tan colour with a cheerless pattern of cabbage roses in dark and light shades of puke brown. We are informed along every 5 cm of the fabric length that it is made of 100% Polyester and called COBRA. The square stucco ceiling is painted in a violent shade of mauve, as is part of the railing along the staircase. This particular colour must be a favourite of the Swamiji, the owner of the establishment who always hangs out near the front door clad in canary yellow lunghis and a yellow singlet. He acts very holy. Yellow seems to be the next best colour for him after mauve, as the hotel is painted such on the outside.

The Hotel Temple on Ganges hosts also a very interesting character the name of Philip who practically runs the place and arranges just about anything. He has a habit of being always on the ready, phantom like. Whenever we leave or return to the hotel, he makes himself visible. At times he literally seems to pop out of the walls.

Philip makes our day when he admits to “a terrible blunder, Sir.” Anatto’s favourite khaki-coloured pants had come back from the wash with some bluish marks on them. He had sent them back to be washed again.

Anatto says to Philip, “I know, there were some blue spots on my khaki pants.”

To which Philip responds, “That was nothing, Sir; now they are totally white.”

As it is not advisable to take a boat from Assi Ghat to the burning ghats – too dangerous, as there are too many strong currents right now – we venture out to the old city on foot. In one l we suddenly hear a familiar voice – a battered tape recorder in a small kiosk transmits Osho speaking in Hindi, his voice such a tender heart jolt, and we join the few people who have stopped to listen.

Every day we walk for hours, passing through narrow alleys filled with an abundance of life forms, garbage, and cow dung. It does not feel like a strange place, rather I feel to have surrendered to the energy of the city, immersing myself in the sounds and smells and impressions to such an extent that I feel I have become part of it. Walking through Varanasi can be likened to letting oneself drift in the Ganges, surrendered to the currents yet being carried along safely to the next destination.

At the main burning ghat several cremations are usually going on simultaneously. In a dilapidated shelter nearby several people are housed just waiting to die. We are asked to donate for the wood that will be needed to burn them. The wood sellers are a mafia to themselves. Although the government built an electric crematorium right there, their power is such that nobody uses the much cheaper and cleaner disposal unit.

There are many self-appointed guides pestering us and we decide to speak in the Indonesian language so we can get rid of them. A typical dialogue:

“Where are you from Sir, maybe Italy, France, Spain?”

“Indonesia,” Anatto answers.

Silence. The man thinks and then says brightly, “Where is that, Sir?”

Anatto tells him it’s a country near Singapore.

“Ah!” the man exclaims.

And, “You speak English?”

Anatto shakes his head in denial.

“You don’t speak English? But you must speak English when you come to India,” the man whines.

After that we are left alone but continue speaking to each other in Indonesian and enjoy our sightseeing without being tormented. However, Anatto is often asked if he is Indian and quite frequently people are about to talk to him in Hindi. Also his moustache is a constant item of interest and the male population is quite taken by it, commenting on its beauty!

Unless somebody has been to Varanasi, it is hard to explain anything about it. Varanasi is said to be one of the oldest inhabited cities on this planet, people have reportedly been living there more than 5,000 years ago and it shows. To put it in a nutshell, its layer upon layer or better, decay upon decay, in a sense immortal. It is the acute experience of timelessness that I feel oozing into me that brings upon a meditative awareness of just being.

“Hindus say that Kashi is not a part of this earth, but a place apart; the city of Shiva is separate and indestructible. Many towns will be built and will be destroyed, but Kashi will remain forever. Buddha went to Kashi, all the Jaina tirthankaras were born in Kashi, Shankaracharya also went to Kashi, Kabir went to Kashi. Kashi has seen tirthankaras, incarnations and saints, but all are no more. Not one of them remains, but Kashi does. The holiness of all these people, the benefit of their good work, all the achievements of their lives, their collective fragrance is absorbed by Kashi and it has acquired their life streams. This makes Kashi separate from the earth, at least metaphysically.

On this city's roads Buddha has walked, and in its lanes Kabir has given religious discourses. Now it has all become a story, a dream, but Kashi has assimilated everything within itself. If someone with absolute trust and faith enters this city, he can again see Buddha walking on its roads, he can see Tulsidas and Kabir.... If you approach Kashi like this then it is not just an ordinary city like Bombay or London, it will take on a unique spiritual form. Its consciousness is ancient and eternal. History may be lost, civilizations may be born and destroyed, may come and go, but Kashi keeps its inner life-flow continuous.

Walking on its roads, bathing near the banks of its river, the Ganges, and sitting in meditation in Kashi, you also become a part of its inner flow. To think that "I alone can do everything," is dangerous. The divine in many forms can help. In temples and holy places that help can be sought; their whole arrangement is to provide help.”
OSHO
Hidden Mysteries, Ch 2 (Translated from Hindi)

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Safety

April, 2012

Is Your Mind Thinking About Safety?
Existence is Already Taking Care of You


Life on our planet today might be scarier to most people than ever before. Ask anybody you meet on the road what their main concern in life is, and most will say “to feel safe, for my family to be secure.” Nobody wants to feel afraid, be worried about tomorrow. And in come the politicians who will manipulate and play with this perfectly reasonable human need and assure the populace that they will provide the safety and security for their voters once they are sitting high and dry in government. They have been lying since the beginning of time.

There is no such thing as safe. Simply said, we live in a constantly changing dangerous world. What used to be considered perilous – think Tyrannosaurus Rex or a Raptor – is now distinct. The Black Plague that appeared in the Middle Ages and killed about 75 million people not only in Europe but also in the Middle East, India, and China, is considered passé and scientists think they would have a cure nowadays should it come to pass once more. Yet other threats are now looming darkly, from AIDS to all kinds of strange viruses and bacteria and not to forget, world-wide radiation.

People try to minimize their worries by buying insurance – so many aspects and events in our lives can be protected by medical insurance, home insurance, fire insurance, car insurance,  flood insurance, retirement insurance, and last but not least life insurance! And even the mainstream religions offer insurance – that after death the pious will be able to live it up in paradise! I know people who took out a life insurance when they flew somewhere on a holiday, even though they didn’t have any immediate family who would benefit in case the plane crashed. They simply bought the talk.

At the same time there is no insurance to deal with traumatizing events, such as natural catastrophes that are unleashed without any warning, how to work through the trauma of tsunamis, earthquakes…and in case of global catastrophes – who will be there to pay out some money on insurance policies?

Meditation is and can only be the sole answer.

There are no safety nets; there is only the unknown that will reveal itself as we courageously move into new territories and experiences. I know that I am always in the right place at the right time and for whatever I live through with awareness I don’t need the help of crutches of any kind. My soul rejoices in freedom that comes without assurances.

"Insurance is the greatest thing in the world," the eager insurance salesman said to his prospect, Mulla Nasrudin. "Why, I carry a $75,000 policy on my own life, payable to my wife."

"In that case," said Nasrudin, "what excuse do you have for living?"

One of the discourses by Osho that has remained fresh in my memory is his answer to a question by affectionately called Chinese Alok. He had asked, “…What does it mean for a sannyasin to live in society without falling into the mental traps of stability, and missing the growth in trust, possible in a state of insecurity?”
“Anand Alok, the first thing to be understood by a sannyasin is that life is insecurity. There is no insurance against death. And the more you make life safer and secure, the more it becomes dry and a desert.
Insecurity means you have to remain awake, alert to all the dangers. And life is always passing on a razor's edge. The idea of being secure and safe is very dangerous, because then you don't need to be alert and conscious. In fact, to avoid alertness and consciousness you want security and safety. Live moment to moment with all the insecurity there is.
... As one becomes older the shadow of the death starts falling on you; that's what is creating the fear. But as far as a sannyasin is concerned, there is no death.
If you are feeling afraid of death and the dangers ahead, that only means you are not going deeper into your meditation, that meditation has been to you just a fashion. Now it is time that you should sincerely and authentically enter into meditation, because that is the only space which can free you from all fears of death, old age, sickness.
It makes you aware that you are not the body and you are not the mind, and you are not only this life, you are eternal life. Death has happened many times and you are still alive, and death will happen many times and you will be still alive.
Meditation's ultimate conclusion is, live the moment to its totality, intensively, joyously, because there is nothing to be feared – because even death is a fiction. There is no need for any security, for any safety. Live moment to moment, trusting the whole existence as the birds are trusting it, as the trees are trusting it. Don't separate yourself from existence, become part of it and existence will take care of you. It is already taking care of you.”

OSHO
The New Dawn, Ch 26, Q 2

To read the complete answer, click here – Life is Insecurity

To listen to the audio discourse, click here

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Nuclear Reality And Meditation: That Which Never Dies

March, 2012

Watching or reading the news, one would think most people reel with the horrors that are being reported day by day. Or do they? There might be a positive item or two – ‘Cat Rescues Bedridden Old Lady by Non-stop Meowing’ – but most of it is negative and horrifying to contemplate. And I am not even going to the political pages here, which are not necessarily reporting physical abuse but nevertheless are as appalling.

Besides the more localized horrors there is the gradual build-up of the next armed conflict, and the Third World War appears to be already in full swing. We read about this country accusing that country, a third one stepping in, people revolting in both countries, terse messages and warnings being uttered, yet it all seems to be directed into a controlled and frostily planned action: armed conflict, or worse, nuclear war. I don’t even need to mention names of the countries involved because they are all interchangeable and have been so throughout history, nuclear weapons or not. It just depends where the profit is to be gained from and who wants it more – and man turns into a killing machine.

Speaking of nuclear – Fukushima is another horror the population had to come to terms with but did we? Are people really going deeply into the matter to understand what happened and become aware of the utmost threat to our entire planet? Within days after the melt-down the radiation cloud reached over the Pacific and descended over America, but the public was barely aware of it.  It was more convenient for the politicians not to have this reported too widely, “as there could be unrest among the population.”

Nowadays we don’t hear too much about Fukushima except assurances by politicians that all is under control. But really there is no control at all. Radiation fallout has spread all over our planet and not only saturated the soil in a vast area surrounding the Fukushima nuclear plants, but also contaminated the oceans and the air we breathe. This in addition to the radioactive fallout from Chernobyl that is still around, 26 years after that particular melt-down happened. And radioactive fallout is a silent killer...

Moreover, just a few days ago scientists have warned that the Fukushima plant is at dire risk of a massive new earthquake. More than 6,000 tremors have been registered recently and it has been found that last year’s disaster reactivated a seismic fault located basically under the power station.

Also, in a recent report in the weekly Russian magazine ‘Vlast’ it was unveiled that “Russia, for a day, was on the brink of the biggest catastrophe since the time of Chernobyl.”  End of December 2011, a blaze engulfed the nuclear-powered Yekaterinburg submarine which was carrying ballistic missiles, each armed with four nuclear warheads.

And the next bizarre and terrible accident is most likely just around the corner.
 “And that's what has been happening to humanity. Look: three thousand years of history and you will find only accidents and accidents and accidents. In three thousand years we have fought five thousand wars. What more accidents do you want? And in these three thousand years, what have we done to the earth, to nature? We have destroyed the ecology. Now if something is not done immediately, the earth may become uninhabitable.

The earth has been poisoned by us, we are killing it. And we have to live on it, and we are turning it into a corpse! It has started stinking in many places. We have given nature and earth a cancer: nature has given us life, and we are giving death to nature in return. And the basic reason, the basic cause, is that we have been listening to the mind which moves backwards.

Mind means past. Mind has no idea of the present, cannot have any idea of the present. Mind only means that which has been lived, known, experienced – the accumulated past. It cannot have any contact with the present; it will have that contact only when the present is no more present and has become past. And life moves ahead. We live in the present and we move in the future, and mind never lives in the present and always clings to the past. This is the dichotomy, the greatest calamity. This is the knot that has to be cut.”
OSHO
The Book of Wisdom, Ch 21
In spite of that most of humanity goes on living day after day, seemingly unperturbed about the Damocles sword dangling above them. On the one hand we could all be wiped out by either man-made or natural disasters – I haven’t yet mentioned the recent increase in meteors plunging into the atmosphere – on the other hand people are concerned with prolonging their lives, having their bodies frozen after death for future life after defrosting, gossiping about their neighbors shortcomings, complaining about the government they themselves elected, playing with innumerable electronic gadgets and communicating with all and sundry, anything but looking within. Death is there, waiting, but people are avoiding the only thing that will surely happen to them; they prefer not to look within.

So what will it be? Avoiding reality and hoping to dodge death – or we can begin making inroads into awareness and higher consciousness, to seek the buddha within, that which never dies. And it is only through meditation that we can reach the center of our being, where we are eternal.

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Freedom of Speech? My Foot!

February, 2012

Just a couple of days ago, ‘India Ink’ – a segment of The New York Times Global edition – inked (pun intended) an article with the headline ‘A Macabre Start to the Sprawling Jaipur Lit Fest’.

Macabre indeed. Salman Rushdie is once again threatened with assassination, should he appear at India’s largest literary event. What is all the fuss about this time around? Where were the keepers of the grail in 2007 when Mr. Rushdie appeared at the same event and not an eyebrow was raised? Why now?

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/feb12/img/Salman_Rushdie.jpgI read The Satanic Verses shortly after publication in the late eighties and had to organize a copy to be sent to me from Europe because it was (and still is) banned in India! It was a thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking read, because not only is Salman Rushdie a brilliant accomplished writer, he has the guts to tackle controversial issues; for this he ought to be commended and not condemned.

BBC correspondents muse that “the protests against this year's planned trip are linked to crucial state elections due in Uttar Pradesh.” They also say, “No political party wants to antagonise the Muslim community, which constitutes 18% of voters in the state, India's largest.” In a statement made on January 10, a leading Islamic seminary in Uttar Pradesh, Darul Uloom Deoband, called on the government to block Salman Rushdie's visit as he "had annoyed the religious sentiments of Muslims in the past.”

So if a writer “annoys the religious sentiment”’ of a certain group of people, there is just cause to unleash assassins? Just wondering – if the book has been banned in India for so long, where did those accusers get a copy of the forbidden book to read and comment upon? But I digress.

At the India Today media conclave in Delhi in 2010 Mr. Rushdie spoke about the case of the late artist MF Husain, who had been driven out of India and his works vandalized. MF Husain died last year in London after having lived in exile in Qatar since 2006: "This is the proud face of a philistine India," Mr. Rushdie said. "There is nothing wrong in not liking his art. You can easily opt out. A painting is a finite space of art. If it offends, don't enter that space. The best way to avoid getting offended is to shut a book… The worst thing is that artists are soft targets… We don't have armies protecting us."

Where is the holy cow of democracy, freedom of speech? Will scaring Mr. Rushdie away from the event fetch more Muslim votes? Why has Mr. Rushdie’s attendance become a political issue at all? Are we living in a democracy or not? If creativity is to be silenced in this country or anywhere else on the planet then we as free citizens of the world have allowed a terrible shift into a period of another inquisition.

At the time The Satanic Verses were published, Osho called upon the Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, to cancel the ban on the book, stating,

“It is absolutely innocent. The fanatic Mohammedans who are trying to destroy the book, to ban the book, perhaps have not read it…
…India is a democratic secular country. Rajiv Gandhi's banning the book simply shows fear. And the fear of Rajiv Gandhi should not be against the constitution of India, against the laws of India. The ban should be immediately removed. That's why I said perhaps he has not read the book himself, otherwise he would see that it is a beautiful fiction.
And now even Mohammedan scholars are coming out in favor of Salman Rushdie. Of course, they are all outside Iran. The so-called religious leaders are the worst kind of butchers. They would have killed anybody who would have raised the question. And I doubt whether they have read the books that they are condemning or not. I suspect that the book contains nothing, nothing that should cause four persons to be murdered as a punishment. It is against Islamic law and it is against Iran's constitution. But in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini is the law, is the constitution…
…One has to be very aware about the fanatic and fascist attitudes of religious leaders. A great consciousness is needed, particularly for those who are in power, that they don't misuse it. Banning Salman Rushdie's book is a misuse of power, and I condemn it with my whole heart.
I have nothing to do with the book, or with Islam, or with the writer. My concern is that these things become precedents for destroying freedom of speech, freedom of expression, which are necessary foundations for a cultured society, for a humane society.
I hope that Rajiv Gandhi comes to his senses and takes the ban away.
And the same should be done around the world by all the political leaders, otherwise all creativeness in poets, in novelists, is bound to be destroyed. And they are the very salt of the earth, they are the only people who are creating something. Religious leaders like Ayatollah Khomeini have not contributed anything to the world, to its beauty, to its truth, to its culture, to its civilization. They have only destroyed. But they destroy in the name of God, and the poor God cannot even say anything because he does not exist.”
OSHO
I Celebrate Myself: God is Nowhere, Life is Now Here, Ch 4

Instead of banning books, slashing paintings, destroying statues, issuing death threats to anybody who might be ‘annoying’ or ‘offensive’, why can’t there be a dialogue? Why not invite the writer and his critics to a talk show and speak about the issue, let both sides have the right to express their sentiments. Coming out into the open would be a democratic process. India is not only a democracy but also has a secular government; hence it is against the constitution to prevent anybody’s freedom of speech.  But sadly, this freedom appears to be only a theory.

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You Are The Only Holy Scripture In The World

January, 2012

The Bhagavad Gita has become a major news item, having been declared an extremist religious text in Russia. After a Russian translation of the Bhagavad Gita by ISKCON had been published, state prosecutors in Tomsk, Siberia, said the text sows social discord and want its distribution banned; moreover, it has also been put on a prohibited book list that includes Hitler's Mein Kampf.

Heated voices were raised in public protest and Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna told parliament that the complaint was filed by "ignorant people." He stated furthermore, "The government has taken up the issue with the Russian government and Indian embassy officials are in touch with the officials of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness." Members from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party expressed outrage over the move in Siberia to ban the holy book, and Laloo Yadav, leader of the Rashtriya Janata Dal party declared, "We will not tolerate an insult to Lord Krishna." Alexander M. Kadakin, Russian Ambassador to India said, "It is strange that such events are unfolding in the beautiful university city in Siberia, as Tomsk is famous for its secularism and religious tolerance.” Many more public figures have jumped on the band wagon protecting what they consider a holy text. But is it?

Until the fall of the Soviet Union, Soviet policy toward religion was based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which made atheism the official doctrine of the Communist Party. Russia now recognises freedom of religion among its four main faiths, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism, and Russians are again embracing religion – the very concept that was condemned by Karl Marx as the "opiate of the people" and relentlessly battled by the Soviet state for decades.

Hinduism has been spread in Russia mainly through missionaries from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and the Brahma Kumaris. The Hindu Forum in Britain reported there are 60,000 Hindus in Russia; about 10,000 of those live in Moscow. A few years ago the Federal Registration Service of Russia had registered 78 Krishna centered Hindu communities. In recent years, the Russian Orthodox Church repeatedly opposed what they considered a move to "convert Russian Christians to a Hindu way of life.” Hindus were victimized, threatened, bullied, beaten and subjected to violence. A misinformation campaign was launched against Hindus by the Orthodox Church in Moscow and in November 2005, Archbishop Nikon of the Russian Orthodox Church sent a letter to the mayor of Moscow, describing the Hindu deity Krishna as an 'evil demon'. The letter included also words such as 'satanic'.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/jan12/img/Bhagavad_Gita.jpg

The Bhagavad Gita has been available in Russian language for a long time. However, as stated by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich recently, the controversy “is not about the book proper but about a poor translation and the preface written by the author [Swami Prabhupada] … which were classified as falling under Article 13 of the Russian Federation Federal Law 'On countering extremist activities'."

If not the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, or the Bible, throughout the ages the priests and politicians used such old texts, declared them holy and worthwhile to be used to indoctrinate the masses:

“All traditions are blind. And any traditional person is sick, because he has not yet been able to find his own understanding.
But I give you the criterion – I don't say what is right and what is wrong, I give you the criterion so whatever the situation, whatever the context, you will be always able to judge in that particular context and situation what is right and what is wrong.
And such a simple thing has been missed for thousands of years. Perhaps it is very simple and obvious; that's why it has been missed. All these so-called great thinkers and philosophers and theologians are stargazers. They don't see that which is close; their eyes are fixed far away on an imaginary God, a paradise beyond death.
I don't care at all about your gods, and I don't care at all what happens to you after your death. My concern is what happens to you right now, to your consciousness. Because that will always be with you, beyond death, wherever you are. Your consciousness will carry that light which divides the wrong from the right.
Anything that makes you more alert, more conscious, more peaceful, more silent, more celebrating, more festive, is good.
Anything that makes you unconscious, miserable, jealous, angry, destructive, is wrong.
I am not giving you a list of objects which are right and which are wrong. I am simply giving you a clarity to judge in each moment of life, without any consultation of ten commandments, of Srimad Bhagavad Gita, without asking the dead.
Why not ask the living source of being in you?
You are the only holy scripture in the world.”

OSHO
The Messiah Ch 21, Q 1

(Free download E-Book & Audio discourse: www.oshoworld.com)

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Shed The Slave Mentality

December, 2011

The events of last year appear like a turning point for humanity, with its many demonstrations, revolts, uprisings and power struggles throughout the world. Starting with one man who set himself alight in Tunisia last December, the flame of discontent and desire for change jumped to engulf the Middle East, killing or toppling leaders who had seemed previously untouchable, and indirectly even reached Europe, resulting in the fall of Italian Prime Minister, Berlusconi. Meanwhile in the USA unheard of demonstrations continue in spite of the at times brutal police force against the peaceful demonstrators. The so-called ordinary people are uniting to stand up against the politicians and corporate entities who rule their lives; they are saying enough of the power games, enough of corporate greed.

These latest uprisings and wars have not resulted in the peace and prosperity people are so desperately seeking; nothing much has changed in the power structures and economies of any of the countries involved. New presidents and governments have been elected or installed but as destruction doesn’t set free higher consciousness, these new leaders are of the same mind set as the ones earlier disposed of – and all have the same ambition: power.

The reason why rebellion with violent overthrow of governments and bloody uprisings doesn’t work is based on the prevalent unawareness of the people. Osho says, “In the past, man has lived without awareness in all the aspects of life. He has loved without awareness and failed in it, and love has brought only misery and nothing else. He has done all kinds of things in the past, but everything has proved a hell. So has been the case with political action.
Each revolution turns into anti-revolution. It is time we should understand how this happens, why this happens at all – that each revolution, each struggle against injustice, finally turns into injustice itself, becomes antirevolutionary…
…When you are powerless, it is easy to fight against injustice; the moment you become powerful, you forget all about injustice. Then repressed desires to dominate assert themselves. Then your unconscious takes over, and you start doing the same things that were done before by the enemies against whom you had been struggling.”
OSHO
The Dhammapada Vol. 6, Ch 6 Q 1


Most humans have lived and acted in unawareness as far back as we can remember. And also then have always been those in power over them who told them what to do and what not, and most humans throughout the past have obeyed their rulers and priests. This system seems to have come to a climax with institutions such as the Department of Homeland Security in the USA implementing regulations and controls that we thought were obsolete and never to make a comeback since WW2!

The enormous corporations that have mushroomed during the last two decades influence life on this planet in frightening ways. Through clever advertising campaigns people are fed beliefs that make them buy products that actually will make them ill, or buy gadgets they don’t need. People have become puppets in a game only a few are privileged to dominate.

Yet, at the same time we have access to an amazing global network which can be used to wake each other up rather than wasting time with nonsensical messaging. Already people are uploading news about demonstrations within minutes into the action and such messages are being relayed with amazing speed to all corners of the world. This is an important tool to make others aware of the powers we actually have when we unite and so bring about awareness into our unconscious:

 “You may be the last generation which has the possibility to rebel. And if you don't rebel, there may be no more chances: humanity can be reduced to a robot-like existence. So rebel while there is still time! I don't think there is much time left, maybe just this last part of the century, these coming twenty or twenty-five years. If humanity can rebel in these next twenty-five years, this is the last opportunity; otherwise people will be utterly unable to, their unconscious will dominate them. Up to now, the society has only been able to pollute your conscious mind – through education, through the church, through propaganda – but only your conscious mind; your unconscious is still free.”
OSHO
The Book of Wisdom, Ch 4, Q 1

Rebel with intelligence to whatever you feel is oppressing your freedom, rebel with love before ‘they’ manage to turn you into a robot. If we want to continue living on this planet, it is up to each and every individual to take responsibility to shed the slave mentality and wake up!

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Seven Billion People

November, 2011

By the end of October the population on our planet will reach seven billion; somewhere a baby will be born that will tip the scale. It has been predicted this baby will be born in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state. The international child advocacy agency ‘Plan International’ will present a birth certificate to a baby girl in the region on Oct. 31 to draw attention to the problem of sex-selective abortions in India. Most likely the child will be given a future scholarship and the parents some money. It will be all over the news – but does this have any significance? Does this really matter? What matters is that the population will continue to increase, and it is anticipated that there will be nine billion people by 2050.

During all the millions of years our planet has been inhabited, there has never been such a vast population on earth – at least that we know of. The farthest reaching back record of a hominid we have to date is the Toumai fossil from Chad, dating back between 6-7 million years, the other – famous Lucy from Ethiopia, who was apparently male – 3-4 million years ago. Modern Homo sapiens started breeding about 120,000 years ago.  

There are speculations that we had about five million dwellers around 8000 B.C. but then again, who knows. Fact is, the human race began already multiplying a tad faster around 500 A.D. at the time the early Christian missionary St. Patrick roamed around Europe – not that I am insinuating it was his fault – and then really sped up in spite of all the nasty plagues and wars afflicting the population during the early middle ages. Fast forward to around 1800 when we hit the first billion, and only about 130 years later, at the beginning of the Great Depression, we were standing double at 2 billion and in another 75 years the population tripled.

So in a mere 200 years we managed to breed with the speed of light and went from one billion to seven.

Just read this again and let it sink in: seven billion.

Famine and poverty is widespread in Asia and Africa; drinking water is becoming scarce and resources are drying up – on the other hand, enormous floods destroy farmland and entire villages. Already twenty years ago, India's Planning Commission reported that India is on the verge of an enormous ecological disaster with water reserves drying up, and predicted that within a few decades India would be on par with Africa. The imbalance between developing and industrialized countries is huge. In spite of a detectable raise in consciousness the vast majority of humanity lives in unconsciousness and suffering.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/nov11/img/india-train-crowde.jpg

What solutions are there besides a terrible war or disease that would kill off a vast part of the population so that the survivors can live?

Osho speaks about this already decades ago and he calls upon his people (and that includes you, dear fellow traveler) to facilitate a decisive change for humanity:

“The struggle that has been going on from time immemorial has reached its moment of decision. And looking at the situation as it obtains at present, there is not much hope. But I am not disappointed because it seems to me that very soon a simple and natural and easy way can be found which will revolutionize the lives of millions of people spiritually.
A few individuals can be of no help in the present times. In olden times it was enough if only one person became enlightened. Now this won't do. In view of the tremendous explosion of population taking place in the world, a few individuals cannot do a thing. Now something tangible can be possible only if, commensurate with the huge population, hundreds of thousands of people are influenced and involved in spiritualism. And it is possible as I see it.
If a few people form a nucleus and begin the work, then India can play a significant role in that momentous fight. No matter how poor and miserable, how degraded and slavish, how misled and misguided this country has been, yet this land has some well preserved treasures with it. Down the centuries such people have walked this land that their light, their fragrance, their longings have left their vibes in the air, have left their imprint on every blade of grass here. Man has of course gone wrong, but the dust of this land still remembers Buddha's feet walking it. Man of this country has gone wrong, but the trees still cherish the memory that Mahavira had once stood in their shade. Man has really gone wrong, but the seas surrounding this country still know a different voice they had heard in the past. Man has no doubt gone astray, but the skies of this country are still full of hopes. Everything is there, only man has to come back home.
Of late, I have been constantly praying with the hope that collective explosion in the lives of millions of people may be possible. And you can be of great help in this endeavor. Such explosion in your own life will have immense value not only for you, but for all mankind. With this hope and prayer that you will not only light your own lamps, but that your light will help other extinguished lamps to be lighted, I bid you farewell.
I am grateful to you for having listened to me in peace and with such love, and I bow down to God sitting within each one of you. Please accept my salutation.”
OSHO
In Search of the Miraculous Vol. 1, Ch 8, Q 2

Let us all go within with such intent and focus so as to ignite the spark that is so sorely needed – Osho has given us all the tools!

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Neutrinos (Aka Ghost Particles) Beat Speed Of Light

October, 2011

Here we go with this month’s most mind-boggling news report: Test results presented at CERN, the world's largest physics lab located in Geneva, Switzerland, might fundamentally alter our understanding of how the universe operates. The results suggest that subatomic particles move faster than the speed of light.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/oct11/img/large-hadron-collider.jpg
The Haldron Collider

One of the pillars of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, it has been believed until now that the speed of light is the ultimate speed limit in the Universe. Indeed, modern physics depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it. Going faster than light is something that is just not supposed to happen according to Einstein's special theory of relativity — the one made famous in 1905 by the equation E equals mc2.

CERN reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds (a nanosecond is one-billionth of a second). However, scientists are still cautious about the findings of European researchers who confirmed they clocked an oddball type of subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the 186,282 miles per second that has long been considered the cosmic speed limit. Given the enormous implications of the find, the researchers spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there were no flaws in the experiment.

As expected, scientists are skeptical and even the researchers are cautious and have asked other physicists to independently try to verify their findings. Even if these results are confirmed, they won't necessarily change our lives. After all, these particles have presumably been speeding around since the beginning of time.  It has been suggested that one reason for the neutrino’s speed could be a cosmic shortcut through another dimension — physics theory is full of unseen dimensions — that allows them to beat the speed of light. In any case, our understanding of how the universe works is surely changing fundamentally as we speak!

Even more mind-boggling to me is the fact that about 40 years ago, Osho explains in a talk the possibility for science to enter the fifth or spiritual body, and emphasizes that until science accepts the existence of the etheric plane, it cannot have any understanding:

“For instance, modern science says that matter when analyzed is ultimately reduced to electrons which are not matter but which are particles of electricity. Nothing like substance remains in the end – only energy. So science has made a wonderful discovery in the last thirty years. Though it had considered matter to be a reality, it has now come to the conclusion that matter does not exist whereas energy is a fact. Science now says that matter is an illusion brought about by the movement of energy at a high speed.
When a fan is made to rotate at high speed we cannot see the three blades separately. What we see is a circle going around and around. Also, the spaces between the blades appear filled. Actually, the blades move so fast that before the reflection of one blade passes our eyes the second blade is already there. Then the third blade comes just as swiftly, with the result that they follow one after the other so that we cannot see the vacant spaces between them. The fan can be made to revolve at such a speed that you can sit on it and never know that anything is moving underneath you. The space between two blades can be filled so swiftly that after one blade passes under you the second will immediately replace it; then you will not feel the empty space at all. It is entirely a matter of speed.
When energy revolves at a high speed it looks like matter. The atomic energy on which our entire modern scientific research is based has never been perceived visually; only its effects are visible. The fundamental energy is invisible and the question of seeing it does not arise, but we can observe its effects.
So if we look upon the etheric body as the atomic body it will not be wrong – because in this case also we only see the effects and not the etheric body itself. Because of the effects we have to admit its existence. This second body is the subtle form of the first; hence there is no difficulty in connecting the two. They are, in a way, joined to each other. One is gross and so it can be seen; the other is subtle and hence it cannot be seen.
Beyond the etheric is the astral body. It is a subtler form of ether. Science has not yet reached there, but it has reached a conclusion that if we analyze matter, what ultimately remains is energy. This energy can be called ether. If ether is further broken up into more subtle components, what will remain is the astral – and this is subtler than the subtle.
Science has not yet reached the astral but it will. Until recently science only accepted matter and denied the existence of the atom. Until yesterday, almost, it said that matter is solid. Today it says that there is nothing like solid substance and everything is nonsolid. Now they have proved that even a wall, which appears solid, is not so solid. It is porous and things can pass back and forth through its holes. We may be inclined to say that at least that which is around the pores must be solid, but this too is not solid: each atom is porous.
If we magnify an atom to the same size as the earth we will find that there is as much distance between two components of an atom as there is between the earth and the moon or the sun and the stars. Then we might say that at least the two components at the two ends are solid – but science says that these too are not solid; they are particles of electricity. Now science is not even ready to accept the word particle, because with that is joined the concept of matter. Particle means a portion of matter – but the atom's components are not matter, because matter is solid and keeps its shape whereas these components are continuously changing shape. They are like waves, not particles. When a wave arises in water, before you even say to yourself, "This is a wave," it has changed, because a wave is that which comes and goes continuously.
But a wave is also a material happening, so science has coined a new word which was not there thirty years ago. The word is quanta. It is difficult to find a Hindi equivalent just as many Hindi words have no equivalents in English: for instance, the word Brahman – the cosmic reality. Words are formed because there is a necessity of expression on the part of those who have experienced. When the Brahman was experienced it was necessary for those who experienced to coin a word to express it, so the word brahman was coined in the East. The West has not reached this stage yet; hence they do not have any equivalent word, because they did not require it.
This is why many religious terms do not have any equivalents in English. For example, the word aum – this word cannot be translated into any language of the world. It is an expression of a deep spiritual experience. The West has no parallel word by which it can be ex-pressed. In the same manner, quanta is a word coined to express the peak of scientific heights and it has no parallel word in any other language. If we try to understand the meaning of quanta, it means a particle and a wave together. It will be difficult to conceive of it however. It is something which behaves sometimes like a particle, sometimes like a wave, and whose behavior is very unpredictable.
Until now matter was most reliable; there was a certainty about matter. But the ultimate part of matter, the atomic energy that has been discovered, is very uncertain. Its behavior cannot be foretold. First science stood firmly by the certainty of matter. It said that everything is precise and definite. Now the scientist does not press this claim, because he knows that from where he has reached in research today this certainty is very superficial. There is a deep uncertainty within, and it would be interesting to know what this uncertainty means.
Where there is uncertainty there is bound to be consciousness; otherwise uncertainty cannot be. Uncertainty is a part of consciousness, certainty is a part of matter. If we leave a chair in a certain place in a room we will find it exactly there upon our return, but if we leave a child in the room we will never find it where we left it. There will always be a doubt, an uncertainty, where he will be and what he will be doing. We can be sure about matter, but never about consciousness. Therefore, when science accepted the uncertainty in behavior on the part of the ultimate portion of the atom, it also accepted the possibility of consciousness in the ultimate part of matter.
Uncertainty is the quality of consciousness, but matter cannot be unpredictable. It is not that fire may burn when it chooses and not burn when it does not choose to, nor can water flow in whatever direction it pleases or boil at any temperature it fancies. The functions of matter are determined, but when we go within matter we find that ultimately it is undetermined.
You can take it this way: if we want to find out how many people die in Bombay, this is possible. If there are ten million people we can take the number of deaths in one year and find out approximately how many die per day, and this would be almost correct. If we calculate the mortality rate for this whole country of nine hundred million in the same way, the figure would be closer to the exact number. If we calculate the mortality rate for the whole world, the certainty of the figure will be even greater. But if we want to find out when a single person will die our calculations will be most uncertain.
The greater the crowd, the more material things become. The more individual the phenomenon, the more we find consciousness. In fact, a single piece of matter is a crowd of millions of atoms; therefore, we can predict about it. But if we penetrate within the atom and catch hold of the electron we find that it is individual: we cannot determine its course and it seems as if it decides that on its own. So about a solid rock we can be certain: we will find it in a particular place. But the structure of the individual atoms within will not be the same. By the time we return again to the rock, all the atoms within will have changed their positions and traveled from one place to another.
Uncertainty begins by going deep within matter. This is why science has changed its language from certainty to probability. No longer does it say, "This is how this or that will be." Rather, it says, "It is more probable this way than that." It no longer says emphatically, "This is it." In the past all the claims of science were in the language of certainty: whatever it said was bound to be. But when the search of science went deeper all its former concepts began to break down. The reason was that science had unknowingly stepped from the physical realm into the etheric, about which it has no understanding. Until it accepts the fact of stepping from the physical to the etheric plane, it cannot have any understanding. It has reached the second dimension of matter, the etheric dimension, and this has its own possibilities. There is no gap between the first and the second body.
The third or the astral body is even more subtle. It is the subtlest of the subtle. If we break the ether into atoms – which still seems improbable, because we have barely unfolded the physical atom, so to experiment with ether will still take a long time. When the ether atoms are known we will find that they are the particles of the body that comes next – namely, the astral body. When we broke the physical atom its most subtle particles were found to be etheric. Similarly, if we break the etheric atom the most subtle particles will be that of the astral body. So we shall find a connection between them. These three bodies are clearly joined to one another and it is for this reason that photographs of ghosts have been taken.”

OSHO
In Search of the Miraculous, Vol.2, Ch 5, Q 1

Click here to read the entire question of Osho’s electrifying talk…

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Universe and Consciousness

September, 2011

Scientists keep coming up with larger and larger numbers for the size of the universe and say now that the region visible from Earth (the observable universe) measures at least 93 billion light years or 8.80 × 1026 meters. I am unable to compute this in my brain. Just to clarify, due to the limitations imposed by light speed, we can view only a small portion of the universe and it is considered uncertain if the universe is finite or infinite.

Now, to maintain a size we must assume the object we are measuring is finite. One cannot measure the infinite. So, if the universe has the size of 93 billion light years, what is it that surrounds it, and where does that border on? This in view of the multiverse theories, in which physicists suggest that our universe is one among many others that exist.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/sept11/img/infocus/img02.jpg

Scientists also state that the age of the universe is 13.73±0.12 billion years, based on observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation. I am not sure how this is being measured but again, we have to assume that it all started at some point. What was there before? Where did it come from? Our minds are much too finite to comprehend what the universe actually means. These are all hypotheses.

Osho explains, “We are familiar with the one sun we see in the sky, but there are countless suns like ours. When night comes the sky is full of stars. Though we call them stars they are all suns, but being very far away they look small.  Our sun is not very large. Among the countless suns it is of average size. There are much larger suns in the universe. One calculation by scientists estimates that there are about forty million suns.

The experience of the sages is that there are countless suns but the sun referred to in this sutra is that supreme sun from which all other suns receive light. The reference is to the supreme sun which is the root and primal source of light -- and from which radiate all the interwoven rays in the universe. The whole of existence is the manifestation of this sun.”
OSHO
The Heartbeat of the Absolute, Ch 17

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/sept11/img/infocus/img03.jpg

We are merely able to ‘look back’ in time for a few million years. Archeologists have found evidence supporting the fact that various civilizations on this planet have come and gone. There are also more avant-garde seekers and thinkers who have linked certain research with channeled information.

It appears there are worlds within worlds and that we are surrounded by other planes existing simultaneously. Time as we know it is an abstract in regard to the universe. We cannot know what happened maybe billions of years ago, maybe billions of years in the future, not even yesterday and tomorrow. Life cannot be measured like that. The mind tries but it proves nothing. We are so busy measuring our lives in 24 hours segments and a life expectancy of maybe 80 - 85 years. And then what? The fact that every single body on this planet is bound to die one day is being largely ignored and spoken about only in veiled words.

Physical death is the only thing that is certain for the billion bodies occupying planet Earth. Every time a catastrophe happens, such as an earthquake, a raging fire, an epidemic, newspapers write about ‘lives lost’. Reporters also have the habit writing about medical breakthroughs in terms such as, “With this new medicine, at least 1,000 lives lost yearly to – insert any disease at random – will be saved.” Saved for what? For another few years of life as part of the same old rat race?

Nobody is concerned with the quality of life, and above all, with consciousness. What use are billions of people without a shred of consciousness? Why is everybody concerned with the mere physical body? Why do people work hard to get the tiniest glimpses from faraway regions in the universe yet neglect trying to understand who they are, right now, right here, and totally disregard their inner being?

Why are these same people bent on destroying each other, destroying the very Earth that gives them life? Looking at the danger of nuclear accidents and the ever present nuclear warheads ready to be launched at the drop of a hat, Earth seems to be in a delicate precarious situation with a very fragile life span.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/sept11/img/infocus/img01.jpg

Says Osho, “This small earth may be very small in size, but in significance this is the most significant planet in the whole universe, because this is the only planet which has not only life, but has consciousness. Not only consciousness, but it has reached in a few people to the ultimate flowering of consciousness I call enlightenment.
It should not be destroyed. It took millions of years for life to grow to such a point where a few people at least can become enlightened. We can hope that if life survives, a day will come when we have many, many people enlightened, and perhaps one day the whole humanity. That day will be the greatest day in the history of the universe, when the whole planet is enlightened.”

OSHO
The Last Testament Vol. 2, Ch 21

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Newspapers and The Murdoch Empire

August, 2011

I always loved reading newspapers. Growing up, while my parents and I would have breakfast together, each one of us had a (different) newspaper in front and we would talk about the news! No doubt my brain and intellect got a good workout and I learned a lot about the world, society, and politics. And dare I say the media wasn’t as fraudulent as it appears today?

I love the feeling of holding a newspaper between my hands – same with books, no Kindle for me. I need paper and print to enjoy reading and I also prefer my daily newspaper to news on TV which I purposely do not watch. There I am flooded with information and have to wait for the entire broadcast to end to get the full picture. In a newspaper, I can select; I have choices what to read and what not.

News reporting has mushroomed into an avalanche of information supplied by the internet, online newspapers, Facebook and YouTube, individual blogs and many more broadcasting stories posted by the minute! ‘Breaking News’ is a much favored word – another war, another atrocity, or some Bollywod couple splitting up or getting together? Take your pick. There is usually also a large selection of very odd news about dim-witted actions by humans and I wonder how many people really want to know why a pet almost drowned in a bucket and why people feel called upon to comment on every little bit of information coming their way.

I don’t trust many of the news reports; I often detect some discrepancy or things not being clearly spelled out and immediately I know this is either false or just not the whole truth. It bothers me, hence I reduce my intake. A few days ago I saw a photo pubished in the China Daily of Tibetan dancers performing a ceremony at Potala Palace Square in Lhasa. The photo caption reads: …to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the peaceful liberation of Tibet.” Now, to call that catastrophic violent takeover a peaceful event is outrageous to put it mildly. But the younger generations might not know what really happened and slowly, slowly the truth of a historic event is being manipulated and watered down to the point when the entire story is changed and nobody can even remember the truth.

I learned a lot about lying media during our time in Rajneeshpuram. There I could see from my inside view just how many lies were being told about us (I admit also some truths) and how many facts were manipulated. So if the media were doing this about us, they were and are doing the same with everybody else. There are simply too many vested interests involved in most of the major news cartels who want to pull the wool over people’s eyes, often so to avoid “that there is no public unrest.” I’d say it is high time the public wakes up to this and become more selective.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/august11/img/infocus/Osho.jpg

Let’s fast forward to the Murdoch Empire. Over the years, Murdoch has become the media king and much of the news floated by his many media holdings was streamlined and yes – intended to brainwash people into believing certain truths or untruths. And Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall because of evil actions happening in his empire, among them reporters illegally hacking phone messages in Britain and not shying away from infiltrating phone messages of a 13-year-old kidnap and murder victim, and those of families of 9/11 victims and British soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Much talk about payoffs to police and other institutions abounds and quite frankly it smells very bad. Certain reporters were so obsessed coming up with scoops, they illegally accessed medical and financial records of individuals and News Corp’s planned acquisition of a huge stake in British Sky Broadcasting. There are quite a lot of folks high up in various corporations whose legs are shaking in their well-polished Brogues.

Even the Met police chief bowed down to pressure and resigned; four senior officers were facing questions and the Prime Minister was forced to call an emergency session of the British Parliament. Britain's chief counter-terrorism officer has become the latest victim of the phone hacking scandal, resigning amid claims that he helped a News of the World executive's daughter get a job at Scotland Yard. A former News of the World reporter who was the first to allege that Andy Coulson (former News of the World editor) knew phone hacking was taking place at the paper, was recently found dead at home. Strange coincidence.

Meanwhile the public is savoring the stories and observing the downfall with glee (unless they are stock holders), enjoying the widely reported spectacle like the old degenerate Romans at the Coliseum when they gave a thumbs-down to the losing party or suggesting, as the Red Queen said, “Off with their heads!”

At the time of writing, David Cameron is facing the worst crisis of his premiership to date and his involvement with the BSkyB takeover is being scrutinized. Surely we haven’t seen the end of this yet.

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The Fear Factor

July, 2011

There is a program on TV called ‘The Fear Factor’, an American reality game show. It seems very popular as it is being shown in 36 countries, including India. Viewers are getting a kick out of watching other people facing their personal fears, trying to overcome them. I have seen some of those episodes and it strikes me as absurd and sometimes downright disgusting what the participants are being made to do – not for personal growth and truly dealing with and ultimately overcoming fear, but for the money they will win if they outshine their competitors!

I remember that as a child I wasn’t fearful. The world was there to be explored and enjoyed. However, inadvertently, through my mother, I began to understand the concept of fear but also how not to buy into it. She had lived through WW2 and experienced a tremendous amount of fear during that time, what with continuous bombings, my father far away on the Russian front, no food supplies and a small child, my sister, to care for.  Living through countless fearful moments and anxieties, her trust in life was completely undermined and she felt helpless. So even years after the war she was dearly holding on to fear because she couldn’t shake her past memories and would use her own fears to scare me into obedience because she was afraid something could happen to me!

Going off to play in the park she would warn me, “Watch out that you don’t slip on the staircase, you could break your leg!” To answer that I was walking up and down that staircase several times a day without ever having had an accident was to no avail. I know she cared for my well-being but her care was always laced with fear. I knew that every time she warned me, she was talking about something that hadn’t happened yet and might never happen, and this understanding kept me out of the morass all that fear would have otherwise created. 

Fear is something that has to do with a future event that the mind creates and publishes. Even when some physical threat happens, in that very moment there is no fear anywhere to be detected as the mind is also in shock. The feeling of fear comes afterwards, when the adrenaline tsunami has flooded the body. And then the mind will carefully file that away for future reference and dig it out when there is maybe a similar situation on the horizon and thus fear is created. The mind doesn’t care or know if a similar event comes to pass or not; it is just there on the ready with propaganda.

I trust in life, in existence. I live all that which I came for with as much totality I can muster, trusting that every moment – waking or sleeping – life is an adventure to be lived and nothing to be feared. And in particular not even death. Living in the moment, fear cannot exist.

“Trust is the most subtle nourishment for life. If you don't trust you cannot really live. You are always in fear; you are surrounded by death, not by life. With a deep trust inside, the whole view changes. Then you are at home and there is no conflict. Then you are not a stranger in the world. Then you are not an alien, you are not a foreigner. You belong to the world, the world belongs to you. The world is happy that you are -- the world is protecting you. This feeling of a deep protection gives courage, and gives courage to move into unknown paths.”
OSHO
The Beloved Vol. 2, Ch 4, Q 2

I do not know what is going to happen after I have typed this article. I do not know what is going to happen tomorrow or the day after. There are no maps, no guidelines. Everything around me and inside of me is ever changing, moving. And that is the joy of the adventure, the ecstasy of being!
There is a program on TV called ‘The Fear Factor’, an American reality game show. It seems very popular as it is being shown in 36 countries, including India. Viewers are getting a kick out of watching other people facing their personal fears, trying to overcome them. I have seen some of those episodes and it strikes me as absurd and sometimes downright disgusting what the participants are being made to do – not for personal growth and truly dealing with and ultimately overcoming fear, but for the money they will win if they outshine their competitors!

I remember that as a child I wasn’t fearful. The world was there to be explored and enjoyed. However, inadvertently, through my mother, I began to understand the concept of fear but also how not to buy into it. She had lived through WW2 and experienced a tremendous amount of fear during that time, what with continuous bombings, my father far away on the Russian front, no food supplies and a small child, my sister, to care for.  Living through countless fearful moments and anxieties, her trust in life was completely undermined and she felt helpless. So even years after the war she was dearly holding on to fear because she couldn’t shake her past memories and would use her own fears to scare me into obedience because she was afraid something could happen to me!

Going off to play in the park she would warn me, “Watch out that you don’t slip on the staircase, you could break your leg!” To answer that I was walking up and down that staircase several times a day without ever having had an accident was to no avail. I know she cared for my well-being but her care was always laced with fear. I knew that every time she warned me, she was talking about something that hadn’t happened yet and might never happen, and this understanding kept me out of the morass all that fear would have otherwise created. 

Fear is something that has to do with a future event that the mind creates and publishes. Even when some physical threat happens, in that very moment there is no fear anywhere to be detected as the mind is also in shock. The feeling of fear comes afterwards, when the adrenaline tsunami has flooded the body. And then the mind will carefully file that away for future reference and dig it out when there is maybe a similar situation on the horizon and thus fear is created. The mind doesn’t care or know if a similar event comes to pass or not; it is just there on the ready with propaganda.

I trust in life, in existence. I live all that which I came for with as much totality I can muster, trusting that every moment – waking or sleeping – life is an adventure to be lived and nothing to be feared. And in particular not even death. Living in the moment, fear cannot exist.

“Trust is the most subtle nourishment for life. If you don't trust you cannot really live. You are always in fear; you are surrounded by death, not by life. With a deep trust inside, the whole view changes. Then you are at home and there is no conflict. Then you are not a stranger in the world. Then you are not an alien, you are not a foreigner. You belong to the world, the world belongs to you. The world is happy that you are -- the world is protecting you. This feeling of a deep protection gives courage, and gives courage to move into unknown paths.”
OSHO
The Beloved Vol. 2, Ch 4, Q 2

I do not know what is going to happen after I have typed this article. I do not know what is going to happen tomorrow or the day after. There are no maps, no guidelines. Everything around me and inside of me is ever changing, moving. And that is the joy of the adventure, the ecstasy of being!

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Devastating News An Opportunity To Deal With Death And Dying

June, 2011

Worldwide, various disasters are happening on a daily basis. Our planet has experienced a myriad of even much more devastating events in the distant past than most people are aware of.  From a cosmic point of view, the recent catastrophes on our planet are merely hiccups. We now know that Earth is not just a rock but an alive planet that continually creates itself and because of this and the planetary movements particularly within our sun system, ocean floors move, islands sink, mountains rise, volcanoes erupt, meteors shoot through our atmosphere, hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms race across the skies and create havoc, and more, much more.

When confronted with news about devastations, bomb explosions, wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, wild fires, floods, nothing happens within because I have not experienced it; it is not my reality even though we like to say we are all one. Naturally, I feel compassion for those who died in fear, shock, pain and unpreparedness for the next step, empathy for the displaced people and their sufferings. Yet nothing stirs inside because there is no judgment by the mind about the incident.

However, when I experience for example an earthquake, something that happens fairly regularly on Bali, there is definitely something going on within! When the ground begins to shake, the body usually freezes up, the mind stops and in whatever position I was when the quake started, I remain there, just being aware of the body and the shaking. Often, it is over very quickly and the body responds with a feeling of nausea as the adrenaline output is high. At other times the shaking continues and suddenly the spell breaks and the mind starts thinking frantically about either running out of the door, jumping out of the bed, standing under a door frame – while the body is almost too slow in reacting. It has happened rarely that I actually made it out of the door during an earthquake and I remember one time turning around to look at our house and saw the entire structure undulating! And another thing – in those moments also ‘time’ stops.

What news reports about disasters do trigger though is the importance to be aware of death and dying. For many years now I sometimes have a keen sense that in any next moment I could be dead, or I might not wake up the next morning.  So any catastrophe is yet another incredible opportunity to look at my approach towards dying, to live so totally that when death happens to me, I shall be able to go without regrets and with gratefulness for this life, and joy and excitement about the next adventure.

Incidentally it is also interesting to note that many people believe we are about to experience Agamemnon, at the latest in December 2012, yet we actually don’t really know what the Mayan’s had in mind when they stopped carving their calendar into stone right at that date. Is this now a global collective unconscious memory of a previous event or a wish to end it all as mankind seems to have reached the end of the capability to evolve further? Are those who predict the demise of the planet ready to face death and destruction?  Are they even aware what they are possibly manifesting? The news reports are so full of doomsday predictions of catastrophic events and many people jump onto them with great interest and send the information via e-mail to all and sundry, and I ask, “So what?” Does this change the way I live in any possible way?

All this hysteria is nonsense. We all are guests on this planet and most likely have lived in one form or another on a myriad of others too. When it is time to go, we’ll go – with total awareness; until then, do live!

 “To come to know that nothing is good, nothing is bad, is a turning point; it is a conversion. You start looking in; the outside reality loses meaning. The social reality is a fiction, a beautiful drama; you can participate in it, but then you don't take it seriously. It is just a role to be played; play it as beautifully, as efficiently, as possible. But don't take it seriously, it has nothing of the ultimate in it.”
OSHO
The Book of Wisdom Ch 4, Q 2

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First Unrest Then War

May, 2011

It appears the current Middle East unrest began when Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26 year-old Tunisian fruit seller, set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid last December, protesting the regional authorities' seizure of his goods. His self-immolation triggered clashes between residents and the police, which escalated into wide-sweeping violent protests throughout Tunisia.

Soon after, protests began in Egypt, with Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria following suit. The New York Times wrote on April 22 that “The widening defiance in Syria comes after months of challenge to the autocrats of the Arab world that confronts them with a stark choice: either they can step down, as the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt were forced to do, or they can protect their own power with varying degrees of force, like the rulers of Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, at the risk of ever greater violence.”

The common denominator of all those countries is the presence of oil.

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/may11/img/Osho_main_story.jpgAt the time of writing, Tunisia’s Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia, Egypt’s Mubarak was forced to resign, Yemen’s Saleh agreed to step down under a 30-day transition plan drawn up by Gulf Arab states, Syria’s al-Assad is holding on to power in spite of widespread violence, and Bahrain’s King Hamad alleged that a foreign-backed plot against his country was foiled, largely thanks to mostly Saudi Arabian troops who were brought in last week. Although obviously hinting at vested interests, he did not elaborate. The suffering in all countries particularly among civilians is great.

Meanwhile oil prices are soaring.

Last but not least, Libya. Why is Libya the only country being directly targeted by western leaders? Gaddafi is the longest ruling autocrat in the world, having been in power for over 40 years. The uprising against the Gaddafi government is raging throughout Libya and the question arises why NATO moved into Libya beginning of March, and the protests have turned into a war, with leaders of Britain, France and the US ‘vowing to keep up their military campaign’ until Gaddafi quits and to ensure ’civilians remain protected’. They further declared, “For transition to succeed, Colonel Gaddafi must go, and go for good.’

http://download.oshoworld.com/media/english/OSHO-Beyond_Psychology_10.mp3

At a rally in Tripoli Gaddafi’s daughter Aisha claimed the demands are an insult to the population, for “he is in the hearts of all Libyans.” Meanwhile the clashes between government troops and rebels are raging back and forth and NATO confirmed the first US Predator drone aircraft strike against "a Gaddafi regime multiple rocket launcher (MRL) in the vicinity of Misrata, which had been used against civilians.”

Looking back in history, it is clear that Gaddafi is a maverick tyrant and hard to pin down. Although the Nixon administration saw him as a positive influence in the Arab world because he expressed anti-communism, Libya was also classed as a ‘rogue state’ and in 1986 Reagan ordered a bombing raid against Libya with the declared aim of killing Gaddafi which failed. The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988 provided an excuse for severe sanctions imposed on Libya. Significant hurt to the country was caused by falling oil prices during nineties and early 2000’s; Libya was being punished.

However, after the ‘rogue state’ label was lifted in 2006, western politicians flocked to Libya, embracing Gaddafi and signing a myriad of deals. Earlier, in 2004 Tony Blair visited Gaddafi, establishing a ‘new relationship’ and getting profitable oil contracts for Shell, while in an unprecedented deal in 2008, Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi forked out US$ 5 Billion in compensation for Italy’s colonization of Libya in the past. Condoleezza Rice, then US Secretary of State flew in the same year on an official visit and Gaddafi has been helping in their ‘war on terror’ by passing on information to the CIA and MI6, thus becoming a collaborator of the so-called imperialists of today and an unlikely candidate to simply give up his power.

Are we hearing echoes of the invasion and following destruction or Iraq?

Almost prophetically, Osho speaks about a previous attack by the American government on Libya:

“This [American] government is not going to last long. They have already started doing suicidal acts. With the attack on Libya they have shown their real face. A small country like Libya, and a nuclear power like America -- there is no comparison.... The only reason for attacking Libya is that the man who leads Libya, Gaddafi, is really a brave man, outspoken, and he says whatever is the truth. He is not a politician.
And he said that Ronald Reagan is Adolf Hitler Number Two. This statement was the root cause for attacking Libya; all other things were not of any consideration…
…But he does not know that before attacking Libya he should attack me -- fortunately I don't have any land -- because I have immediately corrected Gaddafi: "You are wrong. Ronald Reagan is not Adolf Hitler Number Two; he is Adolf Hitler Number One."
The poor Adolf Hitler of the Second World War cannot be number one. He is now second, for the simple reason that Ronald Reagan has a million times more power than Adolf Hitler had. Now he is calling Gaddafi ‘the mad dog of the Middle East,’ calling him ‘the bad smell.’
Ronald Reagan and his government started dying the day they arrested me. It takes a little time. Let them do a few more stupid things and let the American people understand what kind of a government they have got. It is not a democracy: it is not for the people, it is not of the people, it is not by the people.
It is a fascist gang that is ruling America, and it will be good that the American people get rid of it; otherwise.... People naturally think the government and the so-called political leaders are the leaders of the people. That is not so.”

OSHO
Beyond Psychology, Chapter 33, Question 3

http://download.oshoworld.com/media/english/OSHO-Beyond_Psychology_33.mp3

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Meditation is The Death of The Mind

April, 2011

People who don’t know much of meditation usually have a picture in mind of somebody sitting in the lotus position, a kind of ‘otherworldly’ image, a space of being which they think they will never be able to attain. They might toy with the idea of perhaps joining a meditation retreat but then quickly shy away from it, because the very thought of sitting in silence for any length of time scares them.

Anybody who has a little courage going over this mental barrier about meditation and had a taste of it will definitely want more. What came natural to people just maybe a hundred years ago, sitting in silence near a stream after their work was done in the fields, relaxing, looking at the water gushing forth, or walking through a forest, taking in the silence and abundance of trees and bush, all restoring their spirit, is lost to modern man. Modern man rushes through life, with a myriad of goals ahead of him, owning a hundred-and-one gadgets for supposedly making his life and work easier, being pounded by outer distractions such as television, mobile phones, computers and an abundance of electricity surrounding him.

Their minds churn as their souls are being choked off, denied access to live from the heart. They get ill and the pills prescribed to subdue the symptoms make them even sicker as the root cause is not addressed; many doctors no longer see a human being in its wholeness in front of them, they only see symptoms. Only very few have come to understand how psychological distress can evolve into disease. However, some manage to get out of this downward spiral and become drawn to find out about meditation…and they will experience the incredible positive effect of healing and how it is to live with a quiet mind.

“Meditation is the only contribution the East has made to humanity. The West has made many contributions, thousands of scientific inventions, immense progress in medicine, unbelievable discoveries in all the dimensions in life. But still, a single contribution of the East is far more valuable than all the contributions of the West.
The West has become rich; it has all the technology to be rich. The East has become poor, immensely poor, because it has not looked for anything else except for one thing, and that is one's own inner being. Its richness is something which cannot be seen, but it has known the highest peaks of bliss, the greatest depths of silence. It has known the eternity of life; it has known the most beautiful flowering of love, compassion, joy. Its whole genius has been devoted to a single search -- you can call it ecstasy.
Meditation is only a technique to reach to the ecstatic state, to the state of divine intoxication. It is a simple technique, but the mind makes it very complex. Mind has to make it very complex and difficult, because both cannot exist together.
Meditation is the death of the mind.”
OSHO
The Invitation, Ch 21

Osho has devised astounding and immensely powerful meditation techniques especially for modern man to change his hectic life and chattering mind. Anyone who has experienced the effects of Dynamic Meditation for example, feeling totally exhausted by the time the fourth stage is announced and while standing still, witnessing a tired mind trying to make some sense out of what is happening, will begin to understand. And then the joy and celebration…which will become more and more, and finally your life will be meditative, alert and conscious.

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The Judgmental Computer

March, 2011

The mind can be best described as a computer. Data is being fed in through our senses all day long and the mind-computer filters, compares, sorts, evaluates and – judges more often than not! The mind seems at its best delivering judgments to present situations based on its past memory, ad nauseam.

For example, your neighbor who was lately emotionally needy and a bit of a bother, rings your doorbell and immediately the mind will judge, “what does he want NOW?” while going in defense position. Now wait – maybe he doesn’t want anything, maybe his situation has changed? Maybe he wants to give you a flower and say thank you for listening?

The mind cannot know because the information was filtered through the dredges of old data banks.

Now here’s a marvelous opportunity to witness. Let whatever the mind comes up with slide along, remain open without thought, look into the man’s eyes and take in what he says or does.

It is not so difficult to let the mind’s frivolous assumptions and judgments pass silently by. Just some alertness is needed and you will be free-flowing in the present with an intoxicating lightness.

My all-time favorite story regarding judgments is about and old man who lived in a village in China. He was very poor, but even kings were jealous of him because he had a beautiful white horse. He was offered fabulous prices for the horse, but the man would say, “This horse is not a horse to me, he is a person. And how can you sell a person, a friend?” The man was poor but he never sold the horse.

One morning, he found that the horse was not in the stable. The whole village gathered and they said, “You foolish old man! We knew that someday the horse would be stolen. It would have been better to sell it. What a misfortune!”

The old man said, “Don’t go so far as to say that. Simply say that the horse is not in the stable. This is the fact; everything else is a judgment. Whether it is a misfortune or a blessing I don’t know, because this is just a fragment. Who knows what is going to follow it?”

People laughed at the old man. They had always known that he was a little crazy. But after fifteen days, suddenly one night the horse returned. He had not been stolen, he had escaped into the wild. And not only that, he brought a dozen wild horses with him.
Again the people gathered and they said, “Old man, you were right. This was not a misfortune, it has indeed proved to be a blessing.”

The old man said, “Again you are going too far. Just say that the horse is back … who knows whether it is a blessing or not? It is only a fragment. You read a single word in a sentence – how can you judge the whole book?”

This time the people could not say much, but inside they knew that he was wrong. Twelve beautiful horses had come...

The old man had an only son who started to train the wild horses. Just a week later he fell from a horse and his legs were broken. The people gathered again and again they judged. They said, “Again you proved right! It was a misfortune. Your only son has lost the use of his legs, and in your old age he was your only support. Now you are poorer than ever.”
The old man said, “You are obsessed with judgment. Don’t go that far. Say only that my son has broken his legs. Nobody knows whether this is a misfortune or a blessing. Life comes in fragments and more is never given to you.”

It happened that after a few weeks the country went to war and all the young men of the town were forcibly taken for the military. Only the old man’s son was left, because he was crippled. The whole town was crying and weeping, because it was a losing fight and they knew most of the young people would never come back. They came to the old man and they said, “You were right, old man – this has proved a blessing. Maybe your son is crippled, but he is still with you. Our sons are gone forever.”

The old man said again, “You go on and on judging. Nobody knows! Only say this, that your sons have been forced to enter into the army and my son has not been forced. But only God, the Total, knows whether it is a blessing or a misfortune.”

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/march11/img/horses.jpg

“Once you judge you have stopped growing. Judgement means a stale state of mind. Now the movement has stopped, the effort to know more has stopped, the effort to grow has stopped. You have already made the judgment and it is finished. And the mind always wants to be in a judgment because movement is troublesome. To be in a process is always hazardous. To come to a conclusion means you have reached the goal; now there is no journey.
A man who wants to journey to the ultimate should make it a basic point not to judge. Very difficult, almost impossible -- because before you know it, the mind judges. Before you have even become aware of it, the mind has judged. But if you try, by and by, a subtle awareness arises. And then you can suspend judgment. If you suspend judgment you have become religious. Then you don't know what is right and what is wrong.”
OSHO
Until You Die, Chapter 2

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From Disciplehood to Buddhahood

February, 2011

I became a disciple of Osho without knowing much about him, the spiritual path, what it means to be a disciple. It was an electrifying moment that shook me to the core when I sat with closed eyes in the first ever meditation weekend in North Germany I participated in, and all of a sudden Osho’s face appeared in front of my inner eye with His incredibly deep and intense eyes looking directly at me.

Instinctively and immediately I knew that I had to meet this man. The mind was not involved in that decision but being unfamiliar with how one went about this, I wrote to Osho and told him what I had seen and experienced. A few weeks later a letter arrived, telling me about my new name; He had accepted me as His disciple and I found myself on the path past the point of no return.

Osho spoke once about a promise he made in a former life, a promise to connect with His people in a future life. He fulfilled this promise and also attracted so many hundreds of thousands more who might have been with other masters and were searching, often unknowingly, until they heard Osho’s call.

Love.
Do you hear me?
Do you see me?
I stand at the door and knock,
and I knock because of a promise made
in another life and another age.

OSHO
A Cup of Tea

I might add that the other image that rattled me during that meditation was that of a chorus of men chanting and wearing high black hats, which later I found out were Tibetan.
But all that is just the icing on the cake; it is fun to revel in past live memories and they can also trigger some deeper understanding. Yet the one and only thing that matters for the disciple is to be so totally in the here and now, so totally in his imbibing the Master, so totally in whatever he does, so total in his absolute surrender that he/she dissolves in the Master. It is then that consciousness begins to flower.

And to me this is when ‘the work’ really starts. This is when the fire is lit and the candle burns on both ends! You do remember the discourses that Osho lit up with a finale of Nivedano’s drumming, the gibberish, the letting the body fall backwards and then His voice insisting for us to penetrate like an arrow to our deepest core to find the center that connects us to the universe:

“Be silent.
Close your eyes.
Feel your body to be frozen.
Look inwards with absolute urgency,
as if this is the moment of life and death.
Without a total urgency, you cannot reach
to the innermost center of your being.
Remember, there may be no other time;
this may be the last moment.
Deeper and deeper, without any fear,
move into the center like an arrow.
It is your own life-source,
and it is also the life-source of the whole universe.
This is the ultimate home –
the buddha, the empty mirror of Ma Tzu.
Just be a witness, a clean mirror reflecting everything
without any judgment.”

OSHO
Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Ch 9, Q 1

Witnessing the state of our planet which is deteriorating day by day, conspiracies being uncovered and others freshly unleashed, the power and control games cunningly being imposed on a mostly unsuspecting humanity by governments and religions alike, many choose the ostrich approach to bury their head in sand and to hang on to immaterial outer symbols of comfort and wealth and hope all this will pass. Others fight against the injustices, demonstrate and attack the status quo. Very few stand back to see and understand that we all have created the situation and that for a disciple, once the fire is lit, there is no way to avoid looking at the stark reality, there is no way back ever.

This is not about a huge mission of saving humanity, this is about every disciple finding buddhahood; this is about cutting dependencies, attachments, bursting the soap bubbles of illusions, becoming real and rooted in one’s center. And all this must not be postponed, it is to be lived now and with the very urgency and intensity Osho conveyed to us. And only then can the New Man emerge:

“Relax,
and see that your body is not you,
your mind is not you,
you are just a witness.
This witness I have called the mirror.
This is your eternity,
this is your ultimate nature of buddhahood.
Once you have tasted it,
once you have walked the path to the life stream,
you will never be the same again.
Finally you have to awaken as a perfect buddha.
To the eyes of a buddha,
the whole existence becomes enlightened.
The green of the trees become greener,
the fragrance of the roses takes a new nuance,
the full moon in the night reflects in your mirror
without creating any ripples.
The whole of life becomes a festival,
a ceremony, a rejoicing.
This evening and this silence
make it a beautiful experience.
You are all dissolved into one oceanic consciousness;
separation is forgotten, oneness is remembered.
Carry this ecstasy, this drunkenness,
twenty-four hours around the clock.
Except this there is no other religion.”

OSHO
Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Ch 9, Q 1

Osho has prepared the ground with utmost care, love and compassion. He encourages us to transform, he urges us to move on, he has given us the keys to buddhahood; now it is in our hands.

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Beauty Emerges Out Of Inner Bliss

January, 2011

Beauty is everywhere we turn, beauty surrounds us, poets have been indulging in it, singers have praised it; we look for beautiful objects, we point at a beautiful view, we admire the beauty of a woman … I could fill reams of paper with descriptions of what beauty is and means to us, and there wouldn’t be an end to it. Or is there?

Osho speaks in many different ways about beauty and one particular quote made me stop and look at the issue in a much deeper way:

“Beauty doesn't exist in things; beauty is a projection. Beauty is not objective; it is subjective. So one day somebody looks beautiful, another day the same person becomes ugly. It is you who projects, it is you who withdraws, the other works just as a screen.
Once you come to know that the mind projects beauty and ugliness, that the mind projects good and bad, you stop projecting. Then for the first time you come to know what objective reality is. It is neither good nor bad, it is neither beautiful nor ugly; it simply is. All your interpretations drop with the projections.”

OSHO
A Bird on the Wing, Chapter 7

From the moment humans are born, they are brainwashed into what is good and what is bad, what is beautiful and what is ugly. As a small example, my mother used to freak out completely and jump up on a chair when she saw even the tiniest spider. Spiders were something to avoid, they were ugly; they were dangerous. That’s one of the things I grew up with and believed. However, observing cockroaches for the first time in my life as an adult upon arrival in Pune at the lovely Shalimar Hotel, all I came up with was that they were lovely golden-brown beetles! My mind had nothing to compare them to and hence they were labeled as being beautiful…

Scientists have made enormous efforts to define beauty. Is it genetic, is it part of the DNA, of genes? We know that beauty is experienced through visual stimuli, both conscious and unconscious. Already the ancient Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between mathematics and beauty, and mathematicians have for hundreds of years noted that objects that are proportioned according to the golden rule, seem to be more attractive. And so on and so forth ad absurdum, with the result of thousands of treatises having been written, studies undertaken, all to find and prove possible explanations for the formula of beauty.

Beauty cannot be put in concrete and absolute terms. And why should it? Why are we so bent on explaining everything down to the minutest criteria? To use the ancient Greek saying, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Isn’t that sufficient on this plane of existence? Isn’t it sufficient to immerse ourselves totally into what we feel is beautiful, gazing at a mountain range, looking at the stars, listening to music?

However, setting out from this outer reality, a meditator delves into the inner world – that boundless and formless universe with layers of infinite perceptions – without  holding on to anything and merely witnesses the inner beauty of all that is revealed in its utter splendor:

“When you come out of your prison of senses, nervous system, brain, mind, layers and layers of walls, suddenly individuals disappear. A vast energy in millions of forms... and every form indicating towards the formless, and every form melting and merging into other forms -- a vast ocean of formless beauty, truth, goodness. Hindus call it sat-chit-ananda: that which is, that which is beautiful, that which is good, that which is blissful. This is direct perception, aprokshanubhuti, immediate knowing.”
OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega Vol. 3, Chapter 9

When the objective and the subjective merge we have individual experiences that don’t need explaining. The inner bliss that emanates from the face of a meditator is beauty beyond words, it is a radiant glow and flow of energy that reaches anybody close by.
There is nothing wrong with what is normally perceived of as beauty but make one more step to find that inner bliss of ultimate beauty by discovering the inner sky.

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Power of Love And The Inner Mystery School

December, 2010

Quite often I associate the word power with politics, with ‘those in charge’, in short with a bit of a negative connotation. Hence when this month’s keyword for the newsletter came up, I rolled up my eyes a bit and thought, aw shucks.

Then along came a reunion with Navanita, known to me since many years as a wonderful lithe dancer; within a few days we set up a Skype time during which she would tell me about the most crucial event in her life. Already after a few minutes just seeing her on the screen, so alive, her luminous eyes, her dramatic sharing of the story and marvelous sense of humor made me instantly feel the power she was talking about and knew this to be this month’s contribution unfolding.

NavneetaScroll back mentally to October 1993. Navanita has a vivid dream about both her legs being broken. Forward to April 2, 1994, Goa. Navanita arranges for a taxi to take her to Pune. She misses the taxi and calls for another one, which out of whatever reason she also misses. At this point she stands in the shade under a tree and asks herself, “Am I supposed to go on?” An answer came from within saying, “Go on.”

She sets out to the bus station and as she walks towards the bus, she sees the bus driver’s body glowing in fluorescent pink, yellow and green. Navanita thinks she might be ill but then senses that something else is going on, steps onto the bus and sits down on the seat behind the driver. In that moment she hears her inner voice saying, “Don’t sit here, this is the wrong seat.” She realizes that something strange is going on indeed, gets up and sits down in the back.

After some time the bus stops for people to have dinner. She steps outside, looks at the night sky and sees the stars with an intensity like never before. She asks within, “Can I go by taxi now?” The answer, unmistakingly, is “Go on.”

NavneetaThe bus starts on its journey. A little while later she feels the bus wobbling and shaking before it takes a sudden rolling dive down the hill. She hears the words, “This is the next step in your dance.”

As she comes to, she is looking down on the bus, seeing a crumpled body which she realizes is hers. A decision is made to go down there to look inside the body, scanning the body from within and the message is, “The organs are ok.” She hears herself breathing loudly like a steam machine and then hears the voice saying, “The lungs are not pierced.” She feels a sense of compassion all around. Although it feels very blissful to be out and free of the body, connected to the whole with a sense of oneness, isness and peace, she is consciously ready to return to the body. She is aware of three beings around her, one of which is her late grandmother.

Her eyesight is affected, she cannot see, so she feels around her if there is something dangerous to watch out for. She keeps having spells of blacking out and yet is aware of being encouraged by the body to sit up a little to stay conscious. When she slumps down again, she hears “You need to sit up again.”  This nudging happens several times to prevent her from falling unconscious (with a big grin she calls this the spiritual body detective).

She is aware of her mind asking, “What if the bus rolls down more?” and senses immediately something inside powerfully taking care of her. She hears the voice saying, “Don’t panic, it won’t help. Anyway, if we roll, you’ll die.” She is in awe about this and feels gratefully empowered by the clarity. She realizes her left leg is smashed, sticking up in the air, twisted into a strange position and the foot facing in the opposite direction. Her right leg is also broken. She wonders like a child, “What an unusual way to have a leg like that on the body.” The body is calm, there is no mind. She knows it is vital to stay in the present.

It takes two hours for help to arrive.  She hears someone asking if she is OK. She says “Yes,” and it feels as if she were alive for the first time in her life.  When the helpers ask her to stretch out her arms so they can pull her out, she is unable to comply: the body knows she also has a broken back and it would be dangerous to be pulled out of the window. The helpers pull her out sliding on a blanket from the backdoor of the bus and she is put on the floor of an army truck together with other injured people; one person is screaming with pain and she wants to reach out and hold him, and she does, from her heart. She now knows that several people including the bus driver are dead. She is aware of breathing quietly.

The first hospital they arrive at refuses admission because they are westerners, so they are taken to a simple transition place where a nurse wants to give her an injection. She still cannot see and says, “I am so Aids conscious, I cannot have a needle.” The nurse then crunches the blister pack and tells her, “It is a new needle, it is OK.”

An X-ray quickly made shows that her head is OK – at which she starts laughing – but that “your legs are broken and we need to operate.” She refuses and the doctor is very angry and says that she needs at least a blood transfusion, but she refuses this too because of Aids, and he argues that without “you will die.” At this moment she surrenders and he assures her that they are aware of Aids. She is rolled into a ward that has a huge sign on the wall saying ‘WE ARE AIDS CONSCIOUS’. Her eyesight is back.

The transfusion is set up and all of a sudden the body says “Wait.” She is to surround herself with pink light, the tube with white light, and the blood with golden light. She again has a strong sense of compassion and questions herself, “How can you be so anxious when you are being guided so much?”

She asks for her friend Dr. Pragitam to be called in Goa but it is all too difficult for the medical staff. She decides not to waste her energy in panicking. She is put in a male ward where a man with a broken leg watches out for her to be taken care of properly, telling the staff to give her pain killers, water to drink. Later relatives of the man come and offer to help; they return to Goa which is an hour’s drive away and inform sannyasin friends about what happened. When they arrive they freak out seeing her in such obvious agony and with severe injuries, wrapped in prehistoric looking bandages and the now swollen right leg straining against metal rings placed around it. Navanita realizes that it is energy they are giving her, and it doesn’t matter in which way it comes, and that she has to learn how to receive. She is aware of her thoughts and again and again drops back into simply being.
Preparations are being made to get her to Pune in an ambulance – the backdoor doesn’t close and her feet are sticking out for the entire journey of twenty hours, straight to Inlaks hospital in Koregaon Park.  A short stop is arranged when they arrive at the ashram’s gates at 3 o’clock in the morning. When she sees Avesh and Varsha and other friends waiting there, she cries, and she still weeps remembering this scene so many years later. With the crying she lets go and although she is screaming with pain, she also feels “I don’t have to do this alone.”

At the hospital she is knocked out with drugs for a week, just sleeping, sleeping. Surfacing from this induced sleep, she takes matters into her hands. She has been using the technique of talking to her body since the age 20, so every morning for the many months to come she scans the body, finding what she calls the spaciousness within, and this spaciousness in turn asks what is needed in order to heal.

The hardest to be with is the pain and when she tells Varsha that she doesn’t know if she can handle any more pain, Varsha hugs her and she feels the strength to continue. She understands how powerful love is as a healing force.

During the eight months she is in hospital, she undergoes seven operations; during one of them  metal rods were hammered through the bone marrow and several screws where put in place. During another operation while anesthetized her heart nearly stops but Pragitam who is present talks her through it, saying “Navanita, your heart rate is going down, you need to get it back up.”  The doctors are amazed when the ECG indicates the rate going up.

She is put in the intensive care unit and she understand that she is just as responsible as the doctors are, that she must listen to everything the body is saying, and not to what the doctors think. During one of several incidents a doctor wants to take some of the tubes out of her body and Navanita tells him not to do it, that she wants her orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Aurora to come. He doesn’t listen and pulls on some tubes sticking out of her belly when she suddenly feels everything very wet and realizes she is hemorrhaging.  While the doctor now panics and fuddles about, she gives clear directions to the nurses on how to get Pragitam, for them to fetch a pint of her blood that is in the cooler and that the needles need to go in the right arm as the left is too punctured by now. The attending doctor begins to understand and says, “She is on the team, listen to her!” She is utterly present.

The doctor comes back later, namastes and says that he is sorry, that “I forgot to see god in you.”

Dr. Aurora is her favorite surgeon, she trusts him. He is amazed by her attitude and says, ”I have never seen anybody smile like you with all that pain you are having and handling it the way  you are.” Navanita starts talking to him about the meditation she is doing and that love is a big part of the healing and they often talk from then on.

It is a magic time when she visualizes the bones in her left leg and sees little elfs wheeling some kind of substance around in wheelbarrows which they put into the bones; she sees fairies dancing around and Ayama, who is one of her caretakers, wakes up one night and sees them dancing around the bed. She keeps listening to the body to tell her what she needs to do. She experiences herself going through layers and layers within to reach the point of simply being. 

One day she is in such pain and in a desperate state that she asks, “What if I can’t dance again?” A nurse calls in all the others and they say, “Navanita we love you, you are going to make it!”, and one nurse runs to her room, comes back with a rose and gives it to her. This is the first and only time she has that thought. The pain is ever present yet Navanita is aware that “I am watching.”

After the first operation Pragitam wheels her out of the operating theatre and she says, “I didn’t do it meditatively enough, did I?” Pragitam says something but what she hears in that moment is “Who is watching?” and she realizes it doesn’t matter what she is watching, they are only labels – and the walls disappear, there is simply nothingness. Pragitam quips later, “You just had a bliss attack!”

Three months in, during one night she asks, “I need clear help on how to deal with the pain.” In a dream she hears what she senses is Poonjaji’s voice saying, “Don’t fight the pain, allow the pain.” This is a moment of atonement for her and it becomes a meditation. She realizes that her way had been to be present with the pain by penetrating it, and that by doing this she was actually holding the pain. By going into the pain to get rid of it actually empowers it and doesn’t help with healing. What is actually needed is to allow the pain by watching it and giving it space.

Finally the doctors feel it is time for the operation on her back. Until now she has denied even to herself that the back is broken. In hindsight this defiance was helpful, as it allowed her to concentrate on the healing of her legs. However, when the doctors bring up their plan to operate on the broken 4th lumbar vertebrae, Navanita refuses, as she is convinced she can take care of the healing. While looking at the X-rays of her back, a German doctor who is brought in for consultation says, “If she says she can heal it, she can!”

She must lie flat on her back for six weeks. She feels her toes constantly moving and senses that by doing that she keeps the dance going on inside. One night while she is sleeping Varsha shakes her – she thinks Navanita is dead because her toes are not moving!

At last she is encouraged to slowly sit up and when she is able to roll from her back onto her belly she feels like a newborn baby. At first she can only crawl, then she sits on a wheelchair, upgrades to a walker, all the time physically renewing herself and learning how to sit and walk, now almost nine months after the accident. It is indeed a new birth.
Navanita tells me that she now knows she came back from the accident to learn love, that every relationship she has since then is a different experiencing of love: “As the journey goes on exploring the body, I see love and innocence as the same, being more and more humble, being a child and very wise at the same time. Once I told existence that I know I am here to love, but to tell me if I need to continue teaching or if there is something else I need to do for this to pass through.” The answer was simply “Quietness.”

After 8 months in hospital friends asked, “Aren’t you bored? And I laughed and said, “How can I be bored with all that going on?!”

"How can you be dead and yet fully alive? If you become a witness to your body, then you know you are not the body. The body is born and the body is going to die; the moment you know you are not the body, you know that you were never born and you will never die. So in a sense you become wholly alive, eternally alive -- what Jesus calls 'abundance of life', overflowingly alive.
“… And when you are fully alert and no longer attached to the body, no longer identified with the body, no longer does the idea exist in you that you are the body, then love arises.”
OSHO
The Beloved, Vol. 2, Chapter 7

Navanita offers workshops all over the world – Natural Dance, Remembering Health, Somatic Movement, Experiential Anatomy and various others. Next year she offers a longer training in Cologne, Germany.

Find out more about Navanita at www.navanita.net

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Thy Will Be Done

November, 2010

Check on Google for the term ‘meaning of prayer’ and you will find there are more than 16 million hits! Obviously, prayer is popular, widespread and important to mankind. 

The definition of prayer or prarthana (in Sanskrit) is derived from two words ‘pra’ and ‘artha’ meaning pleading fervently. In other words, it is asking God for something with intense desire.

There are two kinds of prayer – the more common way of praying is when people ask for something, wanting this and that, demanding divine help in solving the problems in their lives, asking for fulfillment of their desires. They do not take responsibility for their lives and insist God must help them. It is his duty so to speak. I wonder why there hasn’t been a smart invention for mobile phones yet, with a direct hotline to God, so any demand can be dispatched with more certainty and a loud ring!?

Fittingly, I recently read about a CNN journalist who had heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. 

She went to check it out and approached the Western Wall and there he was, walking slowly up to the holy site. 

She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane and moving very slowly, she approached him for an interview. 

"Pardon me, sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. What's your name? 

"Morris Feinberg," he replied. 

"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"  

"For about 60 years." 

"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?" 

 "I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims." 

"I pray for all the wars and all the hatred to stop." 

"I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man."
 
"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?" 

"Like I'm talking to a fucking wall." 

And then there is prayer that comes from meditation, from the heart, out of gratefulness, surrender; such prayer is without words, a thankfulness that is communicated in silence to nobody in particular, a surrender of the ‘I’, a ‘thy will be done’. It is a benediction, it is sacred, and becomes a state of being. Acting and responding with love is prayer, is to give all and everything without asking anything in return.

What will you choose?

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The Blame Game And Slave Mentality

October, 2010

In Rajneeshpuram we called our coordinators ‘moms’ even when they were male. I always felt at odds with that term, which indicates a dependency to a higher power, as it would be for a child, yet the majority of residents were adult people, meditators. I could never shake off my dislike for this expression.

I came across a similar phenomenon when I heard people speak about Poonjaji, using the term ‘Papaji’. I know that it means ‘respected father’ in India and is traditionally used in reverence to a teacher or elderly parent, nevertheless I kept sensing a certain submissiveness in using this term, which Poonjaji seemed to compassionately consent to. One of his devotees coined the term in 1990 and this is how he was known from then on.  I have never heard this expression in connection with any other spiritual Master.

These are archetypical expressions, deeply rooted in the collective unconscious. By adhering to them even in a subtle way, responsibility is given to somebody else.  It is arduous to get to the root of such terms, understand them and ultimately change one’s perception.

I now know why Osho changed his name from being previously called Bhagwan. With the name Osho there is nothing to hang on to or be subservient about. The very meaning of oceanic is clear: limitless, formless, ever changing.

It is important to me to look with awareness at what words I use and what they really imply. Yet it is evident that the majority of people shirk responsibility. The Latin root of the word is ‘respondere’, to respond, meaning when I am responsible, I am not reacting to a situation, I am responding with awareness and work consciously on resolving the issue.

For eons mankind was taught to be compliant. It is easy if one does something ‘wrong’ according to whichever existing rules of the day, to throw the responsibility on someone else. “He made me do this,” or “She told me it would be alright.”

The Catholic Church is one of the big supporters of the blame game. Just go to confession and you will receive absolution by the highest authority! No need to take any responsibility, just recite a few Hail Mary’s and the slate is clean.

I recall a report about a woman who burned herself badly by spilling scalding hot coffee from a paper cup which she held between her thighs while driving. She did not take any responsibility for her unaware and quite mad action, rather she sued McDonalds!  

Many people who suffer from lung cancer do not take responsibility for their decision to smoke, they sue the tobacco company instead. Many love to blame their parents for everything bad that ever happened to them. It is so much easier to blame than take responsibility.

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Only by being fully responsible for what I do, can I exist in a joyful and alive state. Only by accepting all consequences of my actions can I truly be free. Free of any dictates, and free of telling others what to do.

Only full responsibility and awareness make every action right.

Once one sees the proverbial shackles that have been bound to mankind’s feet since millennia, since the time man was created as an obedient servant, a gigantic transformation is possible. The transformation into a responsible and free human being, growing in awareness and consciousness.

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What is sannyas

September, 2010

To me this is sannyas:

“Forget the past, forget the future, this moment is all.
This moment has to become your prayer,
Your love,
Your life,
Your death,
Your everything.
This is it.
And live courageously, don’t be cowards.
Don’t think of consequences;
Only cowards think of consequences.”

OSHO
The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 14, Question 1

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Flying High With Joy

August, 2010

It was a cold night in Rajneeshpuram, Oregon. Our community was going through a building crunch: the construction of Hotel Rajneesh needed to be finalized by a certain date because of legal complications involving land use laws that would render the hotel illegal. All of us were working late if not through the night. I was driving a pick-up truck, transporting air conditioning ducts from the factory where they were built to the hotel’s building site. In-between there was nothing to do but sitting silently in the cab.

At some point during that night I was told that the ducts I had just loaded were the last lot to be transported. Upon arrival at the site I had a peak into the makeshift tool shop where Kaveesha was occupied with having all kinds of tools arranged for workers to pick them up when needed. She was tired, I was tired, it was about midnight, and a bunch of tools had been returned and needed to be cleaned and put in their proper niches. There were also filthy bundles of electric cables piled up in a corner that begged attention. We looked at each other, communicated a mutual understanding and then we worked in tandem, cleaned every tool and stored it, rubbed down those cables, rolled them up, until the area looked like a perfect display of new tools in a store! Workers coming in to pick up supplies were blown away not only by the neatness but by the love that they felt was put into those tools, and all the while we were enjoying ourselves so much, we were flying high deep into the night!

This is a small memorable example of ‘joy in the workplace’. If whatever I do, I do with love, focus and intent, even mundane tasks become a joy to complete. There is no difference to me making a pasta sauce for dinner, or writing an article, or setting up a business spread sheet on the computer, or weeding the garden. I enjoy what I am doing as long as I stay with the task in the here and now.

The mind might come in, yakking away that rather than cooking right now in this heat, I should be at the pool, or rather than filling in this pesky spread sheet, I could be gossiping with my neighbor, and so on ad nauseam.

But as they say in Germanglish, “vee have vays”:  just by shifting my focus totally on the work on hand the mind slips on an invisible banana peel right out of sight! And suddenly the fingers are flying over the keyboard, the brain cells compute with utter clarity, the hand wielding the cooking spoon creates a delicious tomato sauce brimming with love and spices.

“There should be a passion flowing between you and your work. When really you have found your vocation, it is a love affair. It is not that you have to do it. It is not that you have to force yourself to do it. Suddenly you do it in a totally different way you had not known before. Your steps have a difference dance, your heart goes on humming. Your whole system functions for the first time at the optimum. It is a fulfillment. Through it you will find your being -- it will become a mirror; it will reflect you. Whatsoever it is -- a small thing.
It is not a question that only great things become vocations no. A small thing. You may be making toys for children, or making shoes, or weaving cloth -- or whatsoever.
It doesn't matter what it is, but if you love it, if you have fallen in love with it; if you are flowing with no reservation, if you are not withholding yourself, if you are not dragging -- dancingly moving into it -- it will cleanse you, it will purify you. Your thinking by and by will disappear. It will be a silent music, and by and by you will feel that it is not only work, it is your being. Each step fulfilled, something in you flowers.
And richest is the man who has found his vocation. And richest is the man who starts feeling a fulfillment through his work. Then the whole life becomes a worship.
Work should be a worship, but that's possible only when your being starts to be more meditative. Through meditation you will gather courage. Through meditation you will gather courage to throw the profession and to move towards the vocation.”

OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega Vol. 7, Chapter 6, Question 4

Many of us were blessed to have had so many opportunities in the various communes to experience work as worship! I don’t remember any friends who were miserable during those times, but I do remember the beaming happy face of a Swami who cleaned the public toilets, and the smiling Ma mopping up the kitchen floor for the umpteenth time. There was love and care in every gesture and movement, and such passion...

This is where the point is reached where time has disappeared and only HERE AND NOW exists. Forgotten are worries, plans for the future and t memories of the past.

Being total results in joy emanating out of every corner of your being!

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Boredom is Mind Freaking Out

July, 2010

The vast majority of so-called civilized and intelligent people seek constant stimulation or subject themselves unconsciously to titillation and distractions during their entire day. We all have seen humorous depictions of somebody seated at the breakfast table, reading the small print on the box of cornflakes because the morning newspaper hasn’t arrived yet. Simply eating one’s fried eggs and savoring the flavor won’t do. Others start their day by listening to the morning news on their radio-cum-alarm clock. They do not hear the early morning bird song outside their window. They drive in their cars or sit in subways or buses, reading the advertisements displayed all around them. They do not see their fellow passengers, or maybe join a child’s cheerful laughter.  Everything BUT simply being here and now.

Ma Anand Bhagawati

There is fear in people that lest they are constantly on the move, boredom might set in. And boredom has to be avoided at all cost. So the mind is being fed constantly with useless information and in turn demands more and more like a ravenous monster.

Boredom seems to be a human affliction only, animals and plants don’t appear to be bored. Have you ever watched a dog tirelessly chasing its own tail? The dog most likely sees the tail as something new coming around the corner the whole time! In spite of the fact that we live in an ever changing world people manage to be bored. It is the mind freaking out when there is nothing to do, nothing to occupy it.

Osho says about boredom that "The higher the intelligence, the greater is boredom. The lower intelligence is not bored so much. That's why primitives are happier. You will find people in the primitive societies are happier than those in civilized ones. Bertrand Russell became jealous when for the first time, he came into contact with some primitive tribes. He started feeling jealous. The aboriginals were so happy, they were not bored at all. Life was a blessing to them. They were poor, starved, almost naked. In every way, they had nothing. But they were not bored with life. In Bombay, in New York, in London, everybody is bored. The higher the level of intelligence and civilization, the greater the boredom.
OSHO
202 (Jokes of Mulla Nasruddin)

Another typical attitude of the mind is to ‘kill time’. One has an hour or two with nothing to do before an appointment, so a magazine is flipped through idly, a dim-witted afternoon TV show switched on, a game of solitaire … there is nothing wrong with reading a magazine, watching a foolish  show or playing cards if this is done with full awareness! But drowning out the mind with chatter and entertainment does not prevent boredom from setting in.

In Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Henry makes an immensely poignant remark: "The only horrible thing in the world is ennui, Dorian. That is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness."

It is a terrible waste not to celebrate the abundance showered on us by existence every moment and rather drift into a comatose state of boredom and remain stuck there. We must readily explore every new aspect and nuance coming into our lives, and take the risk of walking on a previously unknown road. And that includes looking at boredom too!

“People are really afraid of change, very afraid of change. Even if the change is for the better, they are afraid. They are afraid of the new because the mind becomes very clever with the old and is always embarrassed with the new. With the new the mind has to learn again from ABC -- and who wants to learn? The mind wants the world to remain static. It is because of the mind that societies are conformist, orthodox. Millions of people in the world are conventional. Why? There must be some deep investment in it. This is the investment: nobody wants to learn, nobody wants to grow, nobody wants to be acquainted with the new. People want to go on moving in the old rut, and then naturally they are bored. Then they say, "Why are we bored?" and "How to drop boredom?" -- and they are creating the boredom, and they don't see the mechanism of how they create it.”
OSHO
The Secret of Secrets, Vol. 2, Chapter 7

Wake up every morning and feel the excitement and wonder for all the things that WILL happen but you don’t know yet about! Do not fritter away even a minute of your life with boredom. Enjoy aloneness and do not confuse it with boredom. Experiencing aloneness totally, blissful freedom emerges. This freedom is your birthright.

May you experience a blessed wondrous day!

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Morality is A Chimera to Induce Guilt

June, 2010

I remember feeling guilty. It was generally a nasty experience. It was as if something was gnawing on the insides, nauseating and scary. The scary bit was about being found out to have purposely lied or to have gone against explicit instructions to behave in some way or other; childish actions, but with agonizing consequences nevertheless.

Growing up, feelings of guilt didn’t just disappear but I learned to rationalize and suppress.  That is, until I joined group therapy and found out the painful way just how I was creating those emotions myself and what the motivations were. I found out I felt guilty because I wanted to live life according to my innermost desires, I felt guilty for not loving my partner enough, guilty for fear of hurting my parents if I abandoned them by going abroad; the list back then seemed actually endless.  When I finally understood that the guilt I was feeling was based on spoon-fed conventional morality and had nothing to do with who I really was, I could move on to understanding societal guilt and collective guilt. What a vast fetid ocean of super-imposed moral rules and regulations humanity has subjected itself to!

Listening to Osho compassionately unravel the deeper causes of guilt and to encourage us to live our own truth and nothing but, I began to understand the roles and influence of the priests who were tirelessly dishing out guiltiness to the populace since millennia, and thus gaining power over their flock, who as a result suffer guilt every corner they turn.

Osho doesn’t stop with the impact of religion on humanity, but points far deeper:
 
“I am against guilt -- the guilt that has been created by the priests -- but there is a different type of guilt which is not created by the priest. And that guilt is very meaningful. That guilt arises if you feel there is something more in life and you are not working hard to get to it. Then you feel a guilt. Then you feel that somehow you are creating barriers to your own growth -- that you are lazy, lethargic, unconscious, asleep; that you don't have any integration; that you cannot move towards your destiny. Then a guilt arises. When you feel that you have the possibility and you are not turning it into actuality then a guilt arises. That guilt is totally different…”
These guilt feelings don't allow you to see the real spiritual guilt which has nothing to do with any politics, with any priesthood, with any religion or church. That guilt feeling is very natural. When you see that you can do something and you are not doing it, when you see how potential you are but you are not changing that potentiality into actuality, when you see that you are carrying tremendous treasures as seeds which could bloom, and you are not doing anything about it and you are just remaining in misery -- then you feel a great responsibility towards yourself. And if you are not fulfilling that responsibility, you feel guilty. This guilt is of tremendous import.”

OSHO
The Art of Dying, Chapter 10, Question 1

Osho urges us to continue exploring the outer and inner worlds, and to live life in totality with no strings attached, with no concepts and prefabricated or borrowed ideas. Walking out on a limb, so to speak, brought me to the mind-blowing understanding that there is no such thing as morality, which is merely a man-made chimera to induce guilt.

Osho  points out that “Life is absolutely amoral. It is neither moral nor immoral, it is amoral. It knows nothing of what is wrong and what is right. It moves in both directions, it is both together. A river in flood -- what will you call it, moral or immoral? Thousands of villagers are drowned, hundreds of people dead, thousands homeless. What will you call this river in flood -- bad? No, you will not use that word, because you know the river does not know what is good, what is bad. And God exists in the river as much as in you. A tree falls down where a saint is meditating, he is killed. What will you call this tree -- a sinner, a murderer? Will this tree have to be forced to appear in a court? No, you will simply say, ‘This is a tree. Our morality -- sin or non-sin -- doesn't apply to this tree.’
Morality is man-created, God seems to be amoral. The whole of existence is amoral. Amoral means neither -- or both. But if you go to Jesus with a moralistic attitude you will miss him. Saint Peter, this Simon Peter, missed Jesus completely. He was in search of a moral man; he was in search of a saint, not in search of a sage.”
OSHO
The Mustard Seed: My Most Loved Gospel on Jesus, Chapter 12

Once understood that morality is an unnatural concept, guilt cannot get a foothold within. Once every action and decision is made with clarity and awareness, the concept of guilt does not arise, it has no fertile ground to fester. Life thus becomes a constant joy of discovery without fear of consequences or punishment, simply a divine amoral dance. Ultimately ‘ right’ is not what you do but HOW you do it.

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Existence Is Laughing With Joy

May, 2010

Rabbi Sydney Mintz is a very unusual rabbi.  She is a woman who has lectured widely in the areas of Midrash, Jewish humor and women in Judaism and said about laughter:
“When you laugh, aside from the endorphin rush, there’s also a spiritual opening. You’re not so tight inside yourself. That opening I’ve found to be a real gift, in people being able to absorb spirituality.”

Beautifully put. Now, the laughter that I can tell you about is the one that leaves me breathless in the long run, that begs for more of the input that triggered it, that flushes my face pink and transports a lot of oxygen to my brain all the way to the pituitary gland which in turn releases endorphins, those endearing endogenous opioid polypeptide compounds, also described as natural pain relievers. It might also trigger tears of pleasure, exhilaration and all the way onwards to ecstasy, depending on the trigger. But the main result is being out of the mind and thus being madly and beautifully out of control!

“Somebody has asked 'Why, Osho, do you go on telling jokes?' That's why. Nothing brings you out of your mind like laughter. When you have a good laugh the logic disappears -- at that moment, at least. And the jokes are so absurd. They are jokes because they are absurd; you laugh because they are ridiculous, you laugh because they don't follow the rules of logic, they go just against it. They take such an unexpected turn that your thinking could not have concluded. Because of that unexpected turn, because of that sudden leap...the whole joke goes in one way, then comes the punch line. And the punch line is a leap, it is discontinuous.
A joke is a great meditation.”

OSHO
This Very Body the Buddha, Chapter 8, Question 1

I have always enjoyed laughter but nothing would set me off like the jokes that Osho would read during discourse displaying a poker face while we were writhing and howling with laughter! I did witness – rarely though – Osho giggling from time to time while reading some of the jokes and THAT threw me usually totally overboard! Over time I realized that when I would laugh so hard in discourse, something else was going on simultaneously, something within that felt very significant but I couldn’t quite describe it. So I wrote the following question for discourse:

“Osho, whenever I get off on the jokes you crack, underneath my laughter I get run over by a bulldozer and end up feeling like a mashed potato! How long can an over-and over-mashed potato survive?”

He responded:

“Have you survived yet? Are you still there?
The distraught woman went to the hospital and said "It is my husband -- he was run over by a steam roller. Could you tell me which ward he's in?"
The nurse said, "Ah, he must be the one who is in wards four, five and six!"
Here you see all mashed potatoes! It is very difficult to know who is who -- just orange potatoes!
Your question is coming a little too late, Bhagawati. You are finished already! Now nothing can be done. You can't put a mashed potato back together again. That is impossible!”

OSHO
Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter 6, Question 6

I do realize now how Osho used those moments of no-mind triggered through such total laughter, to somehow penetrate into layers of psyche, subconscious, ethereal body, soul … you name it…this was one of His ways to help us get out of the mind and leave blissful silence in the wake.

He said, “Zen people are more sane. In their insanity they are saner than you. They start with laughter... and then the whole day you will feel laughter bubbling, welling up. There are so many ridiculous things happening all over! God must be dying of His laughter -- down the centuries, for eternity, seeing this ridiculousness of the world. The people that He has created, and all the absurdities -- it is really a comedy. He must be laughing.
If you become silent after your laughter, one day you will hear God also laughing, you will hear the whole existence laughing -- trees and stones and stars with you.”

OSHO
A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Chapter 9

And now one for the road:

“Jesus is hanging on the cross singing, "Da-di-li-da-dum-dein...."
Suddenly Peter hisses from underneath, "Hey, Jesus!"
Jesus goes on, "Da-di-dum-da-dum-da-dei...."
Peter, now more urgently, "Hey, Jesus, stop it!"
Jesus continues happily with "Di-duah-duah...."
Finally Peter yells, "For God's sake, Jesus, cut it out! Tourists are coming!"

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When You Are Alone You Hear His Footsteps

March, 2010

At a very tender age, something happened that I now understand was a very important step for my future inner development. I was placed in a frog-legged position in plaster cast from hips to thighs because my hip joints hadn’t fully formed at the time of birth. My mother used to tell me that from that day on I stopped laughing and only kept asking to be taken out for a walk … I can only guess how the feeling of immovability was for this small child but all that could be done was sitting quietly, biding the time needed for the joints to form into a proper position. It was my very first meditation camp!

I have been told that I was a content child and I do remember later, from about age four onwards I was always very happy being on my own playing, or quite prematurely reading comics and then books.  I played with other children of course, but was at the same time immensely private, always observing my family and surroundings very closely, feeling I was quite different compared to them.

Loneliness is something I rarely experienced. I was never alone, or left alone, somebody was always around me; yet I loved being alone!  Sometimes I locked myself in the bathroom, particularly when I had some problem to deal with as I never wanted to share troubles with my parents; in my opinion they already had so many worries about me and I didn’t want to add to that. I remember a time as a teenager when my parents left for a month-long journey and I was left alone at home. I cherished the time I could be with myself so much, I was fully content not having anybody about. I was truly enough unto myself.

“Aloneness has nothing of loneliness in it. You are not lonely when you are alone. You are alone but not lonely -- because you are one with the all; how can you be lonely? You don't miss others, true. Not that you have forgotten them, not that you don't need them, not that you don't care about them, no. You don't remember others because you are one with them. All the distinction between one and all is lost. One has become the all and all has become one. This English word alone is immensely beautiful.”
OSHO
The Diamond Sutra, Chapter 1

My life adventure continued. I moved to another country, married, and was generally on a roll and content with my life. Yet increasingly, as I approached my 28th year, there was a spot within that was yearning for something I couldn’t place at the time. It was something mysterious, yet almost tangible, close yet far away, elusive.

And then the exquisite implosion when Osho appeared in my life!

I spent most of my life in relationships. There were times when I was single yet nothing changed about how I felt within. I was alive and living life as it unfolded. I did not ‘miss’ anybody else, yet always cherished my friendships.

In some of my relationships I experienced co-dependency and entanglement and those were truly intense learning situations! Now during my more mature years I am sharing life with my beloved:  we travel together yet we are both alone. We don’t ‘need’ each other and we both enjoy the silence and aloneness within.

“And remember the difference between loneliness and aloneness. Never feel lonely. You are never lonely. At the deepest core of your being, God resides; he is always with you. And whenever you are alone, only then will you be able to hear his footsteps. Whenever you are alone, only then will you be able to hear his music, his whisperings. He never shouts, he only whispers. He comes very silently and goes very silently. Be in a deep rest and you become the host; and he is the guest, God is the guest.”
OSHO
The Dhammapadda: The Way of the Buddha Vol. 8, Chapter 7

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The Meaning Of Disciplehood: Buddham Sharanam Gachchhami: I Surrender To The Master.

February, 2010

During the beginning of my life at the ashram, I was curious why at the end of discourse some sannyasins would literally throw themselves flat on the ground in front of Osho’s dais, often weeping uncontrollably. There was a judging of this situation in my mind that this was not right, that nobody is higher or lower; the entire situation just didn’t sit well with my newly discovered independence.

Then there was also the term ‘surrender’ which in my opinion was overused on a daily basis, and which in my mind was listed under ‘been there, done that when I took sannyas!’. I proudly thought of myself as a disciple of Osho without even knowing the true meaning of the expression.

Time went by during which I was thrilled to be working at the ashram, listening to Osho every morning, exploring openings of shut-down spaces I hadn’t even known existed, mingling with so many friends from all over the world…this was paradise! And this was going to be it for the rest of my life and I was on a roll!

One day in discourse listening to Osho speak, something happened with  a tremendous force that broke open encrusted layers inside of me, that shook me into the realization of how tremendously larger and infinite disciplehood is than I could have imagined in my wildest dreams. A chasm opened up that was filled with tremendous compassion and love into which I disappeared. To this day there are no words to describe what occurred, as they would only confine the experience.

Osho once explained, “That's why the world has never trusted Buddhas -- because they talk about something which has nothing to do with your experience. It is SO beyond, it is SO transcendental, it is so far out, that you cannot comprehend it. It is incomprehensible. You cannot figure out what it is. In sheer desperation you cling to your reality and you say, ‘Forget all about it -- these people are either mystics or mad; poets of the unknown, dreamers, eccentric, crazy. Forget all about them!’
You also cannot forget; that is the problem -- because whenever you come close to a Buddha he hits something deep in your heart. Your mind may go on saying that he is a dreamer, but somewhere your heart starts feeling what he is saying. Its fragrance approaches, reaches to the heart. What he is singing is heard somewhere, on some level of your being. Maybe it is not very conscious, maybe it is just like groping in the dark, but you have heard. And when you watch a Buddha, and if you are fortunate enough to be close to him, if you are blessed enough to become a disciple, to become an initiate, then by and by his reality will-become more real than your own reality. That is the meaning of surrender.”

OSHO
The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol. 4, Chapter 6, Question 2

After Osho had left Buddha Hall, I felt an irresistible urge to walk towards the dais, where I fell down on the ground in surrender, weeping uncontrollably.

And some time later I heard Osho say, “When you surrender to me, what is happening actually is this: that your lower self is surrendering to your own higher self. I am just an excuse. When you surrender without surrendering and without knowing that you are surrendering then that is the real surrender.”
OSHO
Come Follow To You, Vol. 3, Chapter 8, Question 2

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The Mystics Know They Are Talking To The Walls

January, 2010

It is more often than not that I hear Osho declare there is no hope for humanity, and the main reason being that man is behaving like a robot, unconscious, mechanical, unaware. This makes itself shown day by day by merely scanning the news about the latest madness on this planet, and you might be tempted to scream in frustration or throw the towel in desperation.

No need for either. There is a way – and it is up to us. Up to all those who are meditators, who have experienced being close to a Master, a spiritual teacher, who have expanded their consciousness and decided to live life in awareness and in the wake bring forth inner and outer change.

Osho spent His entire life help humanity out of its misery and entanglements; he revealed His insights, offered solutions, spoke on every aspect of life and consciousness, on science and education, on politics and old religions, and above all He showered us with His unconditional love and compassion.

He shows the ways for a new man to emerge; to this very day He encourages us to live in the present:

 “I teach you rebellion. I am against the whole past, I am all for the present. And the future is going to be born out of the present.
I am not for the establishment. My whole work here is to create a totally different kind of humanity. The humanity that has existed up till now is ill, abnormal, neurotic. I don't belong to any tradition: I am not a Hindu, not a Christian, not a Mohammedan. I am utterly finished with the past, and I teach the same to you.
I don't give you a doctrine, I give you an insight into reality. I don't give you a belief, I take all beliefs and prejudices away from you, so that you can become a clean clear mirror and that which is can be reflected in you.
But this is possible only if you come close to me. The closer you are, the better. And by being closer I don't mean a physical closeness, I mean a spiritual closeness.”

OSHO
Unio Mystica, Vol. 2, Chapter 6

Even though there are scores of disciples and lovers of Osho presently alive who are having a tremendously positive impact on life on this planet, it might be future generations who will understand on a much larger scale what impact Osho has on this planet and its inhabitants. I feel positive that a new man is emerging who lives in total freedom, with an open mind and no restrictions, in harmony with his fellow inhabitants, but the majority of the present generation seems bent on destruction. The prospects for humanity are indeed rather grim, in particular as the general population seems unable to even get motivated to bring about change. They too see the destructiveness, the violence among people and the rape of the planet’s resources, but they remain silent, observe the world in front of the TV, shutting themselves out, actually preferring to live in fear! And then there are those who are too hungry and poor to be concerned about more than their immediate survival.

 “This life is closing, but hope has not ended -- it knows no ending. For thousands of years the story has been repeated again and again. Your blindness, your deafness are infinite, and the compassion, and love, and trust of the mystics is greater even than your blindness and deafness. That's the only hope for humanity.
The mystics know they are talking to the walls, but they go on talking; they know they are not being listened to, but they go on knocking on your doors. They know you are annoyed, irritated -- why do these strangers disturb you? But it is impossible for these strangers, these people from the other world, to stop loving you. There is nothing that you can do to kill their love, to crucify their compassion.”

OSHO
The Messiah, Vol. 2, Chapter 24

Every day counts. Every positive change we make counts. Every moment lived with awareness, every act performed with consciousness has a tremendous impact on all around us. We must live for the truth and speak the truth, choose bliss over misery, and take total responsibility for our lives and not expecting others to be liable.

And what precisely is it you are waiting for?

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Death – the great illusion

December, 2009

Deep within us all nestles the knowing that consciousness is eternal. This knowing challenges any fear concerning the eventual death of the physical body. As the petals of a flower fall at the end of its bloom only to come back as a bud in due course, so does the body appear and disappear.

As a child, I laughed when I heard one of my aunts had died. The entire grieving scene, the sad faces, the muted tones, the drab black clothes were inexplicable to me. Something didn’t make sense. When I investigated, I was told to shut up and banned from attending to the funeral.

A little older, I decided that should I die, I wouldn’t be put in a coffin and buried six feet under. I found that extremely distasteful. Much later, when I watched bodies of sannyasin friends being cremated at the burning ghats on the banks of the Mula Mutha River in Pune, my heart understood. There was a tangible joy, the sense of the soul being released from the physical body, soaring among the flames to the sky.  And nothing was lost. Consciousness was there, ready to play a different game, to come into bloom yet another time...
 
Most religions have made death look like a severe punishment. A penalty for a life not lived according to stingy and petty rules. And even worse, after death there would be purgatory and hell and torture! The priests support a death cartel and have everybody under their thumbs to exert their questionable powers. And one of their most sinister armaments is spreading fear.

No wonder that the mere thought of death is something to be avoided at all cost. No wonder some severely ill people even pay fortunes to have their bodies frozen and stored, so they can be resurrected one day when there is a cure.  And what will they do – in case this actually works – when there is a new disease threatening them? And what will they do when their bodies are thawed and they are facing life on the planet a hundred years from now? The mind can come up with such incredible nonsense...

There’s a list of fears no doubt every human can draw up easily. Of course we need to distinguish between a purely physical fear when the body reacts to imminent danger such as being run over by a truck, and the faceless fear that is a figment of our mind and has nothing to do with the here-now. I’ve had my share of experiencing fear that my mind concocted and witnessed the humiliating and crippling sensations that came with it. But a day came when I realized that all I had to do was to look at what I labeled ‘fear’ and see this ‘fear’ for what it was. Just another illusion or projection on the stage of life, and by not allowing this mirage to settle into the various body layers where it would fester, it simply evaporated!

Fear of death is there for all those consumed by false guilt broadcast by all religions. Once you start to live your own religion, your own principles, and your actions are initiated by love, fear of death disappears and one is ready to leave this body with happiness whenever the call comes, without trying to avoid, postpone or cheat it.

Osho said, “One of the fundamentals of sannyas is: Go on dropping your fear, don't waste time. Enjoy life so totally that there is no space left for fear. And I give you the guarantee that even when death comes, you will not be afraid; your whole life-long training in fearlessness will not allow you to be afraid of death. On the contrary, you will feel excited because you are moving into an unknown space.”
OSHO
The Razor’s Edge, Chapter 26, Question 2

To quote from ‘The Razor’s Edge’ is apt. Since I have become Osho’s sannyasin my life has been a dance along that very edge. Every morning I am ready to jump into the day’s uncharted waters and live what comes my way to the hilt! And if it is death that comes my way, I will dance along with that too and remember,

“There is no death. Death is the greatest illusion there is, the greatest myth – a lie. For even a single moment, if you can see that you are deathless, then no meditation is needed. Then live that experience, then act out of that experience, and the doors of eternal life are open for you.”
OSHO
Ancient Music in the Pines, Chapter 5

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Health And The Modern Man

November, 2009

I suppose there is such a creature one could call ‘modern man’ but it is actually the ‘old man’ living in a world that has changed enormously during the last few decades, and with the speed of light to boot. The ‘old man’ is desperate to keep up with the many changes and often looks on with quite some frustration. Because of the many influences that are hammering on him day by day, because of the flood of information washing over him every second, he has lost touch with his inner voice, with his sensibilities and own intelligence.

For example, the medical and pharmaceutical world regularly issues news bulletins that according to the latest research this and that sickness is caused by drinking too much (or too little) milk, or wine, or pick any other, and that the best medicine available to keep the symptoms at bay is ‘Blastitall’. Then a week later some other obscure researcher or medical body recants everything and another miracle medicine or food suggestion has been found!

The fear of becoming sick, old and frail is purposely instilled into society, monetary gains of course being the ultimate goal. The latest scare is the so-called swine flu. Not only do many government bodies and pharmaceutical companies constantly issue unprecedented fear slogans, almost at the same time this ‘threat’ was announced, a miracle inoculation was already being cooked up in laboratories to be manufactured by the millions.

There have been some courageous people speaking out against this inoculation as allegedly it hadn’t even been tested on humans before being manufactured, but most people give way to the pressure like sheep and are willing to have the jab and also gladly bring in their children who don’t even have a choice of saying no. Now claims have been made that the inoculation is dangerous and would make many people sicker than the actual flu itself. Yet the liquid rolls off the assembly lines unrestricted and is being distributed for immediate use and stockpiling.

A recent news item by CBS caught my eye: "If you've been diagnosed with 'probable' or 'presumed' 2009 H1N1 or swine flu in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn’t have H1N1 flu. That's according to state-by-state test results obtained in a three-month-long CBS News investigation. "
  -- CBS News, 10/21/09

I have been also getting widely disseminated e-mails with lengthy instructions how to avoid an infection. Basically, wash your hands! Clean up around your house! Keep your immune system strong! I am wondering if people have forgotten such simple precautions? Now that dubious ‘hand-cleaning gels’ are being pushed at us in supermarkets I am asking what is wrong with plain soap and water?

We have moved too far away from common sense and believe too much in a medical science that sees the body only in parts and not as a whole, hence is only able to offer questionable help against the symptoms that show up.

Health comes with a mind at peace. The Romans used to say “mens sana in corpore sano” (healthy mind in a healthy body) but I feel the opposite is true: in a healthy body resides a healthy mind. It is a fact that happy people live longer; just observe composers and artists who seem to rejuvenate themselves by their positive vibrational activities! Many of them live healthy, active and content until their late eighties or nineties!

Intrinsically we know what we want and need and are best advised to always follow our heart and instincts. If your body is unhappy it does let you know by displaying some symptoms first and if you do not listen then the warnings will increase gradually.  It is good practice to listen to the very first twinges of unease and get to the root of the problem rather than covering it up with temporary band aids handed out by a smiling pharmaceutical industry.

Osho says, “And your body is giving you the right indication; the body is very wise. The mind is a very late arrival. The body has lived millions of years, it knows what is needed. It is the mind that interferes. Mind is very immature, body is very mature. Listen to the body.”
OSHO
Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter 10, Question 1

It is most important to realize is that the body knows how to heal itself. We just forgot about that. Use science and technology where they are supportive for our wellbeing but take back control over your own body now!

“Your body is your temple, it is sacred. Your body is not your enemy. It is not irreligious to love your body, to take care of your body -- it is religious. It is irreligious to torture your body and to destroy it. The religious person will love his body because it is the temple where God lives.
You and your body are not really two, but the manifestation of one. Your soul is your invisible body, and your body is your visible soul. I teach this unity, and with this unity, man becomes whole. I teach you joy, not sadness. I teach you playfulness, not seriousness. I teach you love and laughter, because to me there is nothing more sacred than love and laughter, and there is nothing more prayerful than playfulness.
I don't teach you renunciation, as it has been taught down the ages. I teach you: Rejoice, rejoice, and rejoice again! Rejoicing should be the essential core of my sannyasins.”

OSHO
The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 25

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The Eternal Dance

October, 2009



This morning I heard Osho say, “…there is nothing more sacred than love and laughter, and there is nothing more prayerful than playfulness.” Don’t worry, I am not hearing voices in my head!  This is one of the exquisite daily audio quotes by Osho available on www.osho.com that Anatto and I tune into when we meditate after our daily work-related meeting.

This early morning interlude plays a role in setting the tone for the day ahead, and in spite of all the things that can and will happen during its course that can be labeled positive or negative according to one’s mindset, what else can there really be other than laughing and being playful, to rejoice? Such gratefulness to be alive on this beautiful planet, to be surrounded by unlimited opportunities to learn, enjoy, marvel at what is being offered by existence and to share our joy of being.

Yes, there are times when mundane or bizarre manifestations sneak up on me and the mind starts chewing on the implications, going here and there and nowhere in particular. However, as soon as awareness is brought in, it all evaporates into meaningless gibber and exits the stage.

Celebration does not imply running around with drums and cymbals, shouting on top of one’s voice or be in a drunk stupor. Celebrativeness is a delicate inner state of being, welcoming all and everything, an acceptance of life with every fiber of our being. The silence of this internal and eternal dance echoes within and the more we are in tune with this celebrativeness, others will feel it, become affected and turned on too!

“Remember one thing: that each of my sannyasins carries something of me, each of my sannyasins becomes a part of me, spiritually, physically, in every possible way. My sannyasins are not believers, my sannyasins are in a love affair. It is a MAD phenomenon! So wherever my sannyasins meet, my presence will be felt. Wherever my sannyasins celebrate, my message is realized, because celebration is my message.
Rejoice! Sing! Dance!
Dance so totally that your egos melt and disappear.
Dance so totally that the dancer is no longer there, but only the dance remains. Then you will find me wherever you are.”

OSHO
Come, Come, Yet Again Come Chapter 14, Question 3

We always have the choice to see a goblet that is half empty or a goblet that is half full! Guess which glass I am holding in my hand!?

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The Marketplace: Most Fertile Ground for Meditation

September, 2009

Two monks were meditating in the garden of a monastery when one asked, "Is it possible to smoke while meditating in the garden?" As the other didn’t know, they both decided to ask the abbot.

Next day, the first one was sitting under a tree looking depressed when the other passed by, smoking a cigarette. The first one could not believe it.
He said, "It seems you have not asked the abbot! But I did and he got mad at me and yelled, "Absolutely not!"

The second monk said, "What did you ask the abbot?"

The monk replied, "I asked, ‘Is it possible to smoke while meditating?’"

The second monk laughed and said, "That's why! I asked him, ‘Can I meditate while smoking?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, of course!’"

Meditation is linked to my everyday life, waking and sleeping. As I am snuggling into sleep, I tell myself to remain aware and conscious while falling asleep. This was not easy at first as I would fall into an unconscious state almost immediately. But slowly, by remembering this night after night, the ‘falling asleep’ changed, wide spaces opened up and a feeling of deep calm arose. The very quality of sleep changed and this alertness during sleep makes me aware that I am dreaming.

Waking in the morning becomes joyful with the awareness and gratefulness of another day to live and experience all that life offers – and by remaining watchful, the day unfolds effortlessly. I rarely feel the need to sit silently and watch my breath or the thoughts of the mind coming and going; it suits me to do all that during the day – for example while I am standing at a red traffic light I watch my breathing while also being aware of the light switching over to green; being totally in the here-now while driving in mad traffic is another way of meditation for me; one moment of unawareness and an accident can happen in a split second.  Working at the computer being aware not only of the screen and the letters and numbers on it, but also of the dance of the fingers on the keyboard.
Instead of walking around a supermarket comatose and zoning out (tempting, I know!), remain aware of your surroundings, of the other people, of the cashier busy running up your bill, be totally there! While preparing food be aware of all ingredients and their nutritious value and thus whip up a delicious meal with loving vibes that will be beneficial to the body. Greet your neighbor with awareness, really look into his/her eyes, acknowledging there too nestles a budding Buddha inside.

Most people don’t see or hear each other, wrapped up in their everyday dramas. Have you ever experienced how some react if you answer to their careless question of “How are you today? with “Actually, I am not feeling well!”? Their automatic answer comes, “Good, good!”

Osho quoted the following from Atisha:

“Atisha says: In the morning remember it is a new day, a new beginning. Have a decision deep in your heart that "Today I am not going to waste this opportunity. Enough is enough! Today I am going to be aware, today I am going to be alert, today I am going to devote as much energy as possible to the single cause, the cause of meditation. I will meditate in all my acts. I will do all the activities, the usual day-to-day activities, but with a new quality: I will bring the quality of awareness to them.”
Welcome the new day. Feel grateful, happy that existence still trusts in you; there is still a possibility, the transformation can still happen. Start the day with a great decisiveness.
And in the evening again feel gratitude that the day was given to you, and feel gratitude for all that happened -- good and bad both, happiness and unhappiness both, because they are all teachers.”
OSHO
The Book of Wisdom, Chapter 17

Of course every day is different, there are days when I ‘lose it’, when I forget all about being centered,  when I let myself be buried by mad mind activity and can’t see the sky for all the dark clouds that suddenly turn up. It is nonetheless becoming easier to catch on to such digressions by becoming aware of them and returning to center. And all of a sudden the sun shines again in a brilliant sky.

Make the first step and start by waking up alert and a sense of wonder about this new day. And throughout the day turn again and again to the point of being aware of what you are doing and how you are doing it. And the periods of awareness and centeredness will increase by and by and become your very way of life! It is that simple…

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Thrown into the eye of the storm

August, 2009

I connect the term relationship to a sound. The sound of a heavy anchor on metal chains descending into deep sea with no possibility to move. If we love another then the term should rather be ‘relating’, which is alive and constantly has to adjust itself to new information, data, feelings, situations. I’d love a new expression altogether, maybe such as the word liaison as it has a mischievous twist to it, but when I looked it up,  its 17th century French root ‘lier’ means ‘bind’; so that won’t do.  The other is rapport, also French of the same century, ‘rapporter’ meaning ‘bring back’. Now here’s a word we might be able to apply. In modern English it means a friendly relationship between people based on mutual liking, trust, and a sense that they understand and share each other's concerns. But ‘rapporting’? Forgive me, I regress.

More importantly I am reminded of the time in Pune1 when so many questions we asked Osho in discourse or darshan had to do with the relationships we were in, or wanted to be in, or wanted to be out of. With incredible compassion and patience he would speak to us, again and again emphasizing how essential it was to fully immerse ourselves into a relationship, with as much awareness as we could muster, to watch our jealousy and possessiveness relentlessly, which would eventually lead us to meditativeness and unconditional love.

He encouraged us:

“Never escape from relationship. That's why I have introduced sannyas with relationship, not without it. There is great meaning in it. Never on the earth has sannyas existed with relationship, that's why I say that sannyas has not really existed, or, the sannyas that has previously existed was anemic, bloodless.
…I am showing you a path which is arduous, which is really arduous. Love alone is good because there is nothing to reflect, meditation alone is simple because there is no mirror to reflect, but meditation and love together.... I am throwing you into the very eye of the storm. But that is the only way one comes home.”

OSHO
Tao: The Pathless Path Vol. 2, Chapter 6

Explore our relationships we did and a stormy ride it was! There were many beautiful love affairs, ample pain, lots of jealousy and rage, tears and anger, ego clashes, yet of course also much laughter and joy; we played and acted out the entire emotional scenario to the hilt. Among so many of us I too found out that a deep fear of being ‘left alone’ would contribute massively to the power games the mind is so clever at constructing.

I vividly recall one morning sitting in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, not listening to Osho’s discourse but wallowing in pain and misery because the latest love affair had just ended. Letting go didn’t seem an option as I felt very possessive about him.  I wanted to be with him so badly; I was still hoping he would return to me. All of a sudden I saw my body sitting there with thick steel wires growing out from my abdomen, attached to the man who had moved on. It was clear this moment was not to be missed. I visualized having a pair of steel cutters in my hands and began a very painful process of cutting through every single wire. This act incurred excruciating physical pain and when the last wire snapped off, I felt as if I had a gaping wound and felt completely exhausted. And I also knew that this story was finally over.

It followed that I understood that intrinsically I am ALONE, and so the fear of ‘being alone’ vanished. I learned that nothing ever ends, and that we can let go lovingly when attraction has evaporated with nothing left in its wake, or move deeper if both parties allow each other to come to yet another level of understanding by simple acceptance and with honesty.

As Osho put it, “Love need not be attached. And if this understanding is coming to you -- that you are tired of attachment -- then drop attachment. That is not a step in dropping love; in fact that is a step in growing towards love. But the mind is very much confused about love and attachment. One has to be very alert, only then can one remain loving; otherwise attachment settles. And it gives trouble, it creates misery.
When attachment creates misery you start getting tired of attachment, then naturally of love too. Then one becomes afraid of love because one sees if you love, attachment comes in. They are not necessarily connected; they are only connected in our ignorance, in our unawareness. They are not connected themselves, they are poles apart. In fact it is a miracle how we manage them together in the same bed! They are not bed-fellows; they cannot be. They are not a couple. Attachment is poison to love.”

OSHO
Only Losers Can Win in This Game, Chapter 15

Acceptance is the most beautiful attribute between two people, and essentially between all people we come in touch with. It implies total freedom for all to live and experience every part of what they incarnated for. It is total acceptance of the other as she/he is – without judgment.

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Does modern man need a Satguru more than ever?

July, 2009

The very question for this article indicates that yes, we ARE in need of a Satguru. Nonetheless, this is a very philosophical question; the inquiry does not come from the inner being, it comes from the mind. Thus as long as we inquire with the mind we definitely are in dire need of a Satguru to help us understand how to let the mind be and dive deeper into self to find the answers we are seeking!

To begin with, who is this modern man? This humanity is so old, so overcooked, it can only be the new man who will be able to deeply immerse himself with the inner search that ultimately will lead him to the feet of the Satguru. Osho said,

“Just the other day I told you: When the disciple is ready, the Master appears -- and in no other way. When the disciple has really prepared his heart, has opened himself up, is vulnerable, has dropped his armour, the Master immediately appears. The disciple is the question: the Master is the answer.”
OSHO
The Perfect Master, Vol. 1, Chapter 2, Question 1

So-called modern man thinks he is on top of the heap and the master of the universe. He has acquired much knowledge; he dapples with intricate research into the mysteries of the cosmos and has decoded most of man’s DNA. Now in the ongoing pursuit of knowledge he is eager to find out more about the other realms. In his obsession to be in control – even over nature – we can see into what sorry state all this got us in.

With man’s mind becoming heavier and heavier, he begins looking for spiritual release and can find easily accessible teachers and masters widely advertised on the internet, with new names popping up by the week, promising salvation and help, teaching this or that. Maybe, maybe there is one among them who is a satguru yet there is so much deception and so many false gurus that the shortcut will only lead to frustration and denial.

As Osho put it, “A Master goes on creating Masters. First he teaches you to surrender so that all that is false disappears. Once the false has disappeared he will tell you to surrender too. Once the false has disappeared he will now tell you to surrender your disciplehood too. A Master is satisfied only when he has created another Master.
In the vicinity of a Master a chain starts working -- one flame jumps into other lamps and they start burning. And then they in their own right will start jumping into other unlit lamps, and many more will be burned. People come to me and ask why I am not going into the world. I need not go. I will create many Satgurus, I will create many Masters, just sitting here. They will be traveling, they will be my ambassadors; they will go around the world to share their light.”

OSHO
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 1, Chapter 5

Now don’t turn your head! Yes, you are one of them– and you over there too!

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Climate Change - Not For The First Time!

June, 2009

Climate change has become a huge catchphrase and besides concerned individuals and environmental groups, also politicians and the vested interest have joined the band wagon. A recent news item said that Nobel Laureates and big businesses are uniting against climate change and billions of Dollars need to be invested, combating climate change in a move likely to expose the challenges faced. Combat? Big Business? Billions? These are the same phrases giant global businesses have used for decades by means of various excuses to become more powerful and controlling, and to rake in even more money.

Admittedly a lot of known and thus expected weather patterns have changed over the last decade or two, but is this the first time mankind is faced with significant changes in weather patterns? I don’t think so. We ought to differentiate between the ongoing man-made destruction and abuse of this planet which have dramatically endangered our environment and livelihood, and the dramatic shift of weather patterns that occur every few thousand years or so, maybe through sunspot activities, space winds or other natural factors.

Geologists who sifted through various riverbank deposits in Utah and Arizona. found clues about more than 250 extreme floods during the last 6,000 years or so. They were able to date the floods by carbon-14 analysis of organic material and archaeological artifacts preserved in the deposited sediments.

Besides the biblical flood in Mesopotamia and the destruction of Atlantis and Lemuria that resulted in floods of gigantic proportions, there is also that curious Piri Re'is Map which surfaced in Constantinople in 1929. The map is thought to have been drawn in the 15th century by an Admiral of the Ottoman Navy, allegedly copied from maps dating at least back to the time of Alexander the Great. This map shows Antarctica, which has an average ice thickness of 7,000 feet, without the ice cap! And just how they were able back then to draw a map that shows a bird’s eye view of the planet has not yet been explained by the so-called scientific pundits.

This planet has yo-yoed through many ice ages and then again warmer times and more and more evidence is mounting about the natural cycles mankind has endured and adapted to in one way or other because he/she is a resilient creature. However, what is really troubling nowadays is that most of mankind is no longer in tune with nature but has largely moved into the artificial world of science and mammon.

“The scientific training has taught human beings to be inimical to nature; that has been one of the most harmful things that has ever happened. Science has taught people that we are to fight with nature, as if nature is there to destroy us; we have to conquer it. That stupid attitude has made man utterly disoriented from nature, cut away; he has lost his roots. And that is the only problem we are facing now.
People are searching for meditation, prayer, new ways of being, but the deeper search and the more basic search is how to get rooted in existence again. Call it meditation, call it prayer, or whatever you will, but the essential thing is how to get rooted in existence again. We have become trees which are uprooted, and nobody else is responsible except us with our own stupid idea of conquering nature. We are part of it; how can the part conquer the whole?”

OSHO
The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao, Chapter 23

Osho was well aware of the changes that were happening on the planet and spoke in discourse on the findings of an independent scientist called James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia theory. Osho said,

“The Gaia theory says that Earth is an alive organism which maintains its own balance. But man is trying in every way to disturb the balance, because he has not recognized that the earth is your mother, and the sky is your father -- not any God.
You are beings of the earth and the sky.
You are the meeting point of the earth and sky.
You are born out of earth and sky. That's why in the East the woman is called the earth and the man is called the sky.
And certainly it balances. That proves its intelligence.”


He further referred to the ongoing destruction of the ozone layers, the holes that were made by sending rockets into space, and allowed death rays to enter which increased the cancer rates radically. Many of us snickered at that, being totally ignorant of the implications. Now we know that such occurrences have catapulted our planet and mankind into a horrifying imbalance.

“James Lovelock has come to a tremendously meaningful discovery. Mystics have been talking about it all the time, but nobody hears the mystics because they cannot produce any evidence. They are not scientists, they don't have any labs to experiment in. All that they have is their inner perception, their clarity, their enlightenment, their awakening to this great life all around.”
OSHO
Yakusan: Straight to the Point of Enlightenment, Chapter 1, Question 1

And with an example of His enigmatic way of shedding light on a subject, I leave you with this very particular example of His insight on how we can bring about a non-violent change to a problematic situation:

“If Lao Tzu was faced with the problem of eradicating Malaria, he would never think in terms of destroying the mosquitoes. He would have suggested two methods. He would have suggested a change of attitude towards the mosquitoes or a change in man's physical system to make him immune to malaria. There is no need whatsoever of destroying the mosquito. It is also possible to change the composition of the mosquitoes' body system by which it would not be an enemy of man but rather a friend. Either or both of these methods can be implemented.
If we had followed the Lao Tzu method, we would have worked out an accord between the two. If it is possible to annihilate the mosquito completely, why should it be difficult to annihilate the poison within it? And if the mosquito can be completely destroyed or its poison removed from its system, then there is no reason why man's resistance cannot be built up to withstand the poison of the mosquito? Lao Tzu would definitely be in favour of increasing man’s power of resistance.
There are always two ways to any problem.”

OSHO
The Way of the Tao, Vol. 1, Chapter 6

It is so clear, isn’t it? And it is in the hands of each one of us to relearn how to live on Earth.

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Revolutions Fail

May, 2009

From time millennia change of dire conditions on this planet took place mainly through wars and revolutions. Even if some of the new leaders that emerged were idealistic and wanted to bring about a better life for their subjects, in the end only the rich got richer and the rest remained serfs and slaves. For the general populace nothing much changed. Rare, far too few enlightened ones brought about more positive change for individual people than all the noisy warfare and cunning conquering throughout history.

In general the masses kept on struggling and only slowly and ever so slowly some people developed more consciousness, in particular during the last century which was rife with wars and revolutions. All that brought us to a slightly more global attitude and understanding, yet each country still fiercely guards their own narrow-minded agendas.

The students used to be the ones who brought about several important changes in the last forty years or so, at least in Europe, but now it seems young people are so brainwashed by their societies’ manipulations and consumerisms, are far too occupied with their electronic gadgets, fast food and obsessive Facebook use that they even think something ought to change. So how to bring about the crucial transformation mankind must go through in order to steer clear of a total global disaster?

Osho says, “Revolution is possible only in the individual soul. The social revolution is a pseudo phenomenon, because the society has no soul of its own. Revolution is a spiritual phenomenon. There can be no political revolution, no social revolution, no economic revolution. The only revolution is that of the spirit; it is individual. And if millions of individuals change, then the society will change as a consequence, not vice versa. You cannot change the society first and hope that individuals will change later on.
That's why revolutions have been failing: because we have taken revolution from a very wrong direction. We have thought that if you change the society, change the structure, economic or political, then one day the individuals, the constituent elements of the society, will change. This is stupid. Who is going to do this revolution?”

OSHO
The Secret of Secrets, Vol. 2, Chapter 6, Question 2

Osho has inspired His friends and lovers for decades to develop into the New Man who has the love, compassion, guts and insight to bring about a quantum leap in consciousness that will in turn affect many of those still in deep slumber. Do remember that buddhahood IS already in everybody. Let us nourish and develop it and wake up. All the tools have been given.

This quantum leap has already begun. It is now up to you, and you and yes, you over there, to accelerate this process with utmost awareness and intensity and light up the entire planet!

YES, YES, OSHO, YES!

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Nothing is Right, Nothing Is Wrong

April, 2009

Receiving darshan or ‘sitting with a guru’ has become a wide-spread phenomenon. Through e-mails I am hearing about many people who are allegedly enlightened (or so their followers claim), receive invitations to attend regular Deeksha sessions (lately even via satellite link straight from Golden City’s Oneness University), many ashrams with so-called teachers in residence have opened their doors in the vicinity of Ramana’s Ashram in Tiruvannamalai, and all of them cater to those who are in search of a guru, for somebody who will enlighten them. Photos and You-Tube movies always show a similar picture: the seekers sit on the floor in a half circle around the guru or teacher, who is seated a little bit elevated in a chair and talks.

So yes, we all have been doing that around Osho, you will say. And you are right – yet that was back then; why do so many now copy this and set up the same scenario? And many of those are Osho’s disciples! As happy as I would be to see many to become enlightened in this lifetime, all I have seen or experienced so far are copycats. If there is a true satguru out there, wouldn’t maybe at least the setting be different, unique?
 
The only exception I have heard about so far is Amma who is silent and just endlessly hugs people with seemingly great joy. And those who walk away from that hug, shine and look blissed out. I feel touched within when I see her way of pouring out her love and compassion.

To declare oneself to be a guru, or better have some followers declare that you are the one, is a very lucrative business both for the ego and the coffers. It has been my own experience that friends wanted to drag me to sit with this guru or that who in their opinion was the latest ‘IT’ and the only person who would deliver their enlightenment, painting him or her in glorious colors. Sooner or later I hear from them that that they have now really found the right master and have even moved to some other country to be with yet another one. When asked what happened to the last one they stayed with, the question gets brushed off and they mutter that they just knew it was time to move on.  I have sampled a few of those gatherings to get first hand experience; nowadays I usually let those invitations go by as I feel no pull.

“People love to be in the crowds, because in the crowds you can forget your inferiority. That's why people don't leave crowds. One crowd is that of Hindus, another is that of Mohammedans, the third is that of Christians and so on and so forth. Nobody wants to leave the crowd.
And even if sometimes people leave one crowd, they immediately join another. They escape somehow from one prison just to enter into another -- they cannot live alone. Buddha says it is better to live alone than with fools. If you can find a master or a friend, good; if you cannot, then it is better to be alone. Of course, it will be hard to be alone, it will be difficult because the crowd will create so many difficulties for you.”
OSHO
The Dhammapda: The Way of the Buddha Vol. 2, Chapter 7

From what we remember Osho said it is obvious that all what is needed is to find our own inner light and He has given enough advice and encouragement how to do just that by finding it by ourselves; yet in His inexplicable and contradictable way, He also said,

“Soon I will not be here either. And remember, I would like to remind my disciples especially: if you really love me, when I am gone I will direct you to people who will be still alive. So don't be afraid of that. If I send you to Tibet or if I send you to China or if I send you to Japan or to Iran -- go. And don't say that because you belong to me you cannot belong to another real Master. Just look in the eyes and you will find my eyes again. The body will not be the same but the eyes will be the same.”
OSHO
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 1, Chapter 3

Which is so characteristic of His teachings – you go figure – it is your life!

“And I don't care a bit what you will be doing when I am gone. If you cannot do anything while I am here, what can be hoped about you? If you go on missing me while I am alive, naturally you will go on missing me when I am dead. It will not make much difference to you.
And it will not make much difference to others who are not missing me right now. They will never miss me. Even when I am gone I will be there in their heart, as alive as ever. Once you are really in contact with a living Master, that living Master becomes your living Master forever.”
OSHO
Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol. 1, Chapter 16

Osho teaches awareness, non-attachment, liberation. The means are secondary. Everybody has a choice and if one’s choice is to chase pseudo gurus, so be it. Liberation can happen by stumbling over a stone, by seeing a palm tree swaying in the wind, by watching an eagle in flight and maybe, finally seeing that chasing gurus is futile, that particular moment can be somebody’s enlightenment. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong, just get on with it and walk on your own feet under your own steam!

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The Expansion of Osho's work is up to every single sannyasin

March, 2009

Whatever words Osho has spoken on any subject, they intermingle, contradict, provoke, explain and yet there’s always the one persistent message, freedom and truth.

“Each individual is a freedom, an unknown freedom. It is impossible to predict, impossible to expect. One has to live in awareness and in understanding.

You come to me seeking knowledge; you want set formulas so that you can cling to them. I don't give you any. In fact, if you have any I take them away. By and by, I destroy your certainty; by and by, I make you more and more hesitant; by and by, I make you more and more insecure. That is the only thing that has to be done. That's the only thing a master needs to do! -- to leave you in total freedom. In total freedom, with all the possibilities opening, nothing fixed... you will have to be aware. Nothing else is possible.
This is what I call understanding. If you understand, insecurity is an intrinsic part of life -- and good that it is so, because it makes life a freedom, it makes life a continuous surprise. One never knows what is going to happen. It keeps you continuously in wonder. Don't call it uncertainty -- call it wonder. Don't call it insecurity -- call it freedom.”
OSHO
A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Chapter 6

So as we all are His successors, an intrinsic part of our freedom is to take care of Osho’s work, the books, the meditations he devised, making them accessible to every being on this planet, to share. However, with this freedom comes the responsibility not to manipulate anything that He said, and not to makes changes for appearance’s sake.

A sannyasin asked Osho about institutions or friends who take care of the publication and distribution of His words: “Do they still have a function, and how can they function?”
Osho said, “They still have a function -- and they will continue to function -- but their function is not dictatorial. Their function is to serve the whole world of sannyasins and the people who love me. So their function is not to govern you, their function is to serve you.
OSHO
Light on the Path, Chapter 28

This mention is enormously important because in the last few years more and more control has been wielded with regard to Osho’s work, in particular by those who nowadays represent what is left of the original Inner Circle.

It appears to me that the symbol ‘©’ equals control equals fear!

An important step towards responsible freedom and against monopolizing Oshos’s work was winning the Trademark case in the USA, litigation against OIF Zurich brought about by a small group of concerned sannyasins.  You can find all the details on the website of http://www.oshofriendsinternational.com/

Osho did not endorse a centralized authority to dictate and control how sannyasins and their meditation centers should be like. Every sannyasin has the freedom to share Osho’s work and their experiences in their own way. We know He was not concerned about being misrepresented:

“I am not doing any serious work. I am not doing work at all; it is my joy to share with you. Now what you do with it is your problem, not mine.
You cannot disappoint me. You can betray me; there are people who have done that. You can do any kind of harm imaginable -- and people have done that. You can go against me, you can tell lies about me; still I will not be disenchanted, because in the first place I have never expected anything from you.”
OSHO
Beyond Psychology, Chapter 29

However, if a sannyasin loves Osho why would he/she want to misrepresent Him? His message is there for everybody to see and listen to. Why anybody would change words in His books when the authentic audio and/or video will show what He really said? This can only be done by somebody who comes from his/her mind and has not understood a single thing Osho ever said. Such as:

“My old books are immensely important. Unless you understand them, you will not be able to understand me. But remember, it is a constant flow and change, so don't be bothered with inconsistencies, contradictions.
If you go on, soon you will be able to find the truth. And once the truth is revealed, all contradictions and inconsistencies dissolve. Then you can see, crystal-clear, that it is a single message from the roots to the flower. It is a single organism.”
OSHO
From the False to the Truth, Chapter 11

Osho’s original archives are available in various locations. There are enough rebels among our caravanserai who have a keen awareness of the importance of Osho’s work and words. Rather than having a control group nobody wants and which anyway cannot even oversee all occurrences where Osho’s words are being used, it is up to us, His sannyasins and lovers that we keep an eye on any misrepresentations we come across and to make available Osho’s work as widely as possible. Remember, the sky is NOT the limit!
As Osho said, “Truth need not propagate itself, it need not advertise. It spreads like a wild fire, it reaches all the nooks and comers of the earth without any effort.”
OSHO
Don’t Let Yourself be Upset by the Sutra, Rather Upset the Sutra Yourself, Chapter 48

All we need to do is to allow and support this to happen.

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Absolute Surrender

February, 2009

From early childhood on the word ‘disciple’ conjured up an image of several men shuffling behind Jesus, clad in rather scratchy dark robes with sandals on their bare feet. What they were doing was a mystery to me, except they were following in his foot steps. That was my perception growing up in Catholic Austria during the fifties, having been christened as a Protestant and thus a little bit of an outcast from the majority of the other kids at school.
Later, having become Osho’s sannyasin I understood to have also become a ‘disciple’ and could see that what I was living now to be very different: I wasn’t following the Master, rather I was learning:

“Remember my emphasis. It is not the master who teaches, it is the disciple who learns. It is up to you -- to learn or not to learn; it is not up to me to teach or not to teach. A master cannot help himself: because of the way he is, he goes on teaching. His every moment, his every breath is a teaching, his whole being is a teaching, a message. The message is not different from the master. If it is different then the master is simply a teacher, not a master; then he is repeating words of others. Then he is not awakened himself, then he has a borrowed knowledge; inside he remains as ignorant as the student. There is no difference in their being, they differ in their knowledge.”
OSHO
And the Flowers Showered, Chapter 11

So there I was together with so many other disciples in the ashram during the seventies , happily wearing robes in all colors of the rainbow (exclusively maroon came much later), thinking by becoming sannyasins we had surrendered to the Master and then that was it. The rest would take care of itself.

Learning from the Master first of all implied ‘unlearning’ all that which I had undisputedly stored as truths while I was growing up. That was often painful because by discovering falsehoods I had believed in I came closer to my own misconceptions and ideas that were based on the other fabrications and were firmly stuck within. Getting rid of those can be compared to toiling in salt mines!

I did not ask myself if I was committed to be a disciple or not. I knew I loved him and was His sannyasin, and that implied surrender; to what depth surrender could be possible, I was unaware of.

I recall a day when I felt what surrender really means. At the time I was an ‘ashramite’. Meaning I worked and received food in the ashram, living in a room together with two other women in ‘Number 70’, a property behind the ashram.  I sat in morning discourse and was aware of my mind loudly whining and bitching about wanting to live inside the No. 17 Koregaon Park premises, what was to me the ‘real ashram’. I only occasionally heard a word about what Osho was speaking about because the mind was bringing up all kinds of reasons making me feel more and more miserable.  Suddenly, self or soul or consciousness came in overriding the mind and my inner voice stated categorically, “I would live under a bridge if this is what it takes to be physically near to Him!” A huge wave of relief wept over me and bowed down within.

The discourse over I went back to my room in Number 70 and started tidying it up, making my space nice; I felt I had neglected it and from now on I would enjoy living here. Then I went back to the ashram to the press office where I was working and settled down to my tasks. An hour or so later I got a phone call to come to the office in Krishna House. One of the coordinators saw me and said, “Pack your bags, you are moving inside the ashram premises today.”

“The disciple is receptive, vulnerable, unguarded; he drops all armor. He drops all defense measures. He is ready to die. If the master says, "Die!" he will not wait for a single moment. The master is his soul, his very being; his devotion is unconditional and absolute. And to know absolute devotion is to know God. To know absolute surrender is to know the secret-most mystery of life.”
OSHO
The Dhammapadda: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 3, Chapter 8, Question 2

BUDDHAM SHARANAM GACCAMI,
SANGHAM SHARANAM GACCAMI,
DHAMMAM SHARANAM GACCAMI.

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Lovingly Remembering Ma Yoga Laxmi

Februaary, 2009

I saw quite a bit of Ma Yoga Laxmi during Pune 1 in the ashram. Working in the main office and later in the press office I had many occasions to pop in with questions or receiving answers or guidance from Osho through her.

This tiny woman with such a huge energy and sparkling eyes sat in the middle of the front office flanked by Arup on one side and by Sheela on the other. We used to call them jokingly the triumvirate.

I sense her to be only one person in the entire ashram who was totally surrendered to Osho. She was very much loved by many of us and I always trusted that what Laxmi told us was coming straight from Osho. She was the only one among those ‘in power’ who was not going to misuse her position although some people have questioned that.

Laxmi would move mountains to further Osho’s work. She was the one who managed to do the impossible before breakfast, so to speak! She seemed tireless and running just on air; I know how little she ate, her fuel came from somewhere else. However, her position was changed one day and Sheela was the one to do her work. I do not know the details about this change but there were enough rumors to keep the ashram buzzing for a while.

I was aware of her hardship during the commune years on the Ranch yet that too she took in an incredible surrender. A book entitled ‘Journey of the Heart’ has been written about her and I wish for it to be well edited and published for she was an incredible being who lived in such totality, trust and surrender; the story about her life will be an inspiration for many!

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Death? What Death?

January, 2009

The other night I dreamed of being escorted through the corridors of a large mansion and led into a room where Osho was, together with several people. I knew he was about to die.

I stood there, watching him talk when he turned to me and said, “And now I will leave, but I will come back.” Upon hearing this I started laughing aloud. And he said, still looking at me, “and you too will leave, and will come back!

I woke up.

“There is no way to encounter death, just because death is a fiction. You can think about it, you can be afraid about it; but you cannot encounter it. Nobody ever dies -- people are simply changing houses.”
OSHO
The Golden Future Chapter 32, Question 2

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Terrorism - Why?

January, 2009

Terror is part of the human experience and deeply related to fear and control. Starting with the oldest scripture on record, the Rigveda, we hear that Indra ‘struck terror into all people’. Moving on it is recorded in the Bhagavad Gita, the Bible, the Koran, graphic depictions on Sumerian steles – mankind has lived with terror since the beginning of time. Innumerable kingdoms and countries have been conquered, people have been murdered, brutalized, forced to take on the conquerors’ beliefs and religions. 

For thousands of years African people were rounded up and forced into slavery. Unspeakable things were freely done to them and they were openly tortured as if they were some kind of animals. Asian people, North and South American Indians, Aboriginals, Jewish people, they all were terrorized throughout time. It is a very bleak past we all come from.

Nowadays not a day passes without seeing the word terror or terrorism written in newspapers or broadcast on the TV and radio. Although the term usually depicts violence carried out for political purposes, it encompasses much more than that. Since millennia, women have been an easy target for men to persecute them, being forced to submit to men while being treated with threats and unspeakable horrors. This is terrorism at the basic root of humanity and priests throughout time have cunningly supported such.

Terrorism is used to dominate people, submit them into slavery, hold them in constant fear. Terrorists are people intent on hurting others, steal from them, frighten them to force them to enact appalling acts, forcing them to live in a way that is intrinsically not their choice.
Terrorism is all around us. Many former Eastern block women are sold into sex slavery and smuggled into other countries. Children gun down their class mates in American schools; teenage gangs terrorize people in cities. Terrorists just walk into hotels and railways stations and shoot indiscriminately at bystanders.

Osho said, “Terrorism simply symbolizes that to destroy human beings does not matter, that there is nothing in human beings which is indestructible, that it is all matter -- and you cannot kill matter, you can only change its form. Once man is taken to be only a combination of matter, and no place is given for a spiritual being inside him, then to kill becomes just play.”
OSHO
Beyond Psychology, Chapter 8, Q1

It is a sign of insanity to be willing to sacrifice one’s own life to get even with other people just because they live in a different way, have another skin color or a different religion. Terrorists want their victims to be frightened so they can be controlled. They want people to change their way of life, make them feel paralyzed and helpless which in turn makes them feel in control. They want the populace to live in fear, never to know when there could be another strike. All this to force their own belief system onto the general populace.
We must realize that terrorism is usually not generated by independent individuals or groups but by people who often belong or work for governments of countries that have a keen interest in controlling the population by instilling fear in their daily life. Of course this is done very secretly and hard to prove but now and then such covert actions fly wide open and expose the real terrorists.

Osho said, “Terrorism is going to become bigger and bigger, because the third world war is almost impossible. And the stupid politicians have no other alternative. Terrorism simply means that what was being done on a social scale now has to be done individually. It will grow. It can only be prevented if we change the very base of human understanding -- which is a Himalayan task; more so because these same people whom you want to change will fight you; they won't allow you to change them easily.
… Until we change the basic grounds of humanity, terrorism is going to become more and more a normal, everyday affair. It will happen in the airplanes, it will happen in the buses. It will start happening in the cars. It will start happening to strangers. Somebody will suddenly come and shoot you -- not that you have done anything to him, but just, the hunter is back.”

OSHO
Beyond Psychology, Chapter 18, Q1

Man’s genetic set-up contains violence and animal conduct. A change in humanity can only come about with a spiritual revolution, with a change of inherited behavior patterns, by waking up from the robot-like existence we have lived in for thousands of years:

“What is your life? What you are doing with yourself and with others? You feel powerful whenever you can torture others; torture gives you a great release of power. Why are these Adolf Hitlers, Joseph Stalins and Mao Zedongs born again and again? From where do they come? They represent you. They represent the essential madness of humanity. They erupt again and again and they will go on coming, you can't prevent them, unless we change the very foundation of human existence. If we change human consciousness from misery to bliss, from tensions to peace...“
OSHO
The Dhammapadda: The Way of the Buddha Vol. 8, Chapter 4, Q 4

Terrorism is just one aspect of a destructive mind. Miserable people are dangerous because they don’t care about others; they are revengeful. Yet we are one. We constantly breathe in molecules somebody breathed out elsewhere and vice versa. It is a constant exchange of matter and we must realize that we are all one brotherhood despite the outer differences. Again and again Osho encourages us to disconnect from the past and to live up to the fact that we are the seeds of the new man this earth needs so sorely, that it is only through transformation, meditation and expansion of our consciousness that we can transmit to others a celebrative attitude, experiencing a joyful life, and love and respect each other. Where there are blissful and conscious people, terror has not foothold.

“Paradise is not something that has to be achieved, it is something that has to be created. It depends on us.”
OSHO
Hari Om Tat Sat Chapter 5, Q 1

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Zorba The Buddha is the New Man

December, 2008

I so vividly remember the raw vitality and wild beauty of the Greek peasant Zorba played by Anthony Quinn in the memorable movie of the sixties, based on Nikos Kazantzakis’ brilliant novel, ‘Zorba the Greek’.

Osho loved the character of Zorba and spoke on this subject frequently. While he was staying on Crete, the island where Kazantzakis was born, Osho was asked if he had read the book. He said, “I have been Zorba the Greek for many lives. I need not read the book; that is my autobiography. And that's what I would like you to be.

Take life joyfully, take life easily, take life relaxedly, don't create unnecessary problems… That's my whole message for my sannyasins: live it in such way that you need not repent, ever.”
OSHO,
The Heart Sutra, Chapter 6, Question 2

http://www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/dec08/img/in_focus01.jpgClose your eyes for a moment and sense this Zorba, which is such a large part of you: feel the wildness, the earthiness, feel the movement of the dance and the song on the lips, feel the spray of the incoming tide on the skin, smell the freshly cut grass, listen to the joyful shouts of children playing nearby, savor the chewing on a crunchy apple - this vastness of impressions is of such tremendous beauty and raw energy.

And then feel the Buddha: observe the serenity, the calmness, listen to the wind in the trees, observe the stillness of the lake, go totally and quietly into the other part of who you are. This is the ultimate synthesis Osho spoke about, that he would like his sannyasins to be like Zorba the Greek and Gautam the Buddha, both together. And this is the seed for the new man who is evolving now and now and faster and faster.

Religions over the centuries have not succeeded in helping man/woman to become whole. On the contrary, it is they who created duality in people’s minds in the first place and lauded seriousness as being a virtue.  Zorba the Buddha is the antithesis to the oppressive enslaving religions that still abound. Many people clearly understand that crusty doctrines are useless in their quest to evolve, to reach to the stars, to become whole, yet don’t see that it is in their hands to fulfill their seeking, that self-realization won’t be coming from somewhere outside themselves, from somebody else.  

Even though so many of us are seekers and meditate and yearn for the ultimate, this unique synthesis Osho that is dangling right in front of our eyes is at times forgotten because of the old habits that can pull back so strongly … vegetating on the couch, watching the same old news on the TV, being bombarded by impressions and listening to words from totally unenlightened politicians, business and media people. We find ourselves get caught up in petty squabbles with our partners, children, colleagues or neighbors, and too often choose the depressing rather than uplifting moment which in turn results in seriousness and dull senses, not allowing the life force to flow in totality, and with all it’s might.

And remember, “The sense of humor is very significant, particularly for my sannyasins, because I am introducing a new kind of religiousness to the world: a non-escapist religiousness, a religiousness which is not against life. I would like you to be Zorba the Greek and Gautam the Buddha together, simultaneously. Less than that won't do. Zorba represents the earth with all its flowers and greenery and mountains and rivers and oceans. Buddha represents the sky with all its stars and clouds, and the rainbows.
The sky without the earth will be empty.
The sky cannot laugh without the earth.
The earth without the sky will be dead.
Both together -- and a dance comes into existence. The earth and the sky dancing together -- and there is laughter, there is joy, there is celebration.”
OSHO,
Come, Come, Yet Again Come, Chapter 6, Question 2


We have no time to lose. Get up from that couch, laugh and dance with abandon,
download the Sirtaki and get into the spirit!

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Click on Zorba-Sirtaki.mid

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Via Meritocracy to a World Government

November, 2008

It is a very apt time to bring up the topic of meritocracy. The American people are about to elect their next president and if any country has a mobocracy, as Osho named the present democracies so fittingly, it is them. After eight years of the Bush regime, a radical change in government is sorely needed.

It was at the end of the year 1984 when I first heard about meritocracy. The venue was an extremely chilly air conditioned room located in Osho’s house in Rajneeshpuram. These were smallish gatherings he spoke to every evening and the video of his talks were broadcast the next evening in Buddha Hall for all to listen to. We sat warmly dressed (think ski underwear!) on the parquet floor while Osho spoke and I admit my thoughts occasionally wandered off to cups of hot tea; that’s how cold it was yet Osho loved that chill!

I remember distinctively a particular evening when any thought of the cold was dispelled in a flash when Osho began to speak on the subject of meritocracy. I was riveted, enthralled; I finally understood clearly how the usually rather ill-functioning system of governance can be changed.

As far as I know the only time he had spoken on this subject before was during a Hindi discourse in April 1970 held at Cross Maidan in Mumbai:

“What we have at the moment is mobocracy; it is certainly not democracy … Unless democracy is wedded to meritocracy, it will remain a tool in the hands of the ignorant and stupid people. And unless democracy it allied with meritocracy, democracy will continue to be the instrument of man's downfall and degradation; it can never be the instrument of his uplifting and glory.
The Cabinet and the administration of the country should be in the hands of the experts. Meritocracy means the rule of the experts, the specialists, the qualified people; it is the rule of men of merit.”

OSHO
Beware of Socialism, Chapter 4

It was years later in Rajneehspuram that Osho referred to the subject again with what seemed more and more urgency; what he said is as current and captivating now as it was then:

“So I don't want a system in which it is possible for a person like Nixon to reach to the highest post in the country. I do not want a system like in America where twenty percent of the presidents have been murdered, where Kennedy was murdered, where his brother, who was running for the presidency was murdered, and his other brother -- and there are only three brothers -- is threatened that if he runs for the presidency, he will be assassinated.
Now this kind of country, where criminals are ruling and people who can do immense good for the country are prevented.... Who is preventing them? Who killed the two Kennedys? Who is threatening the third one? And why are they not killing Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan? Nobody bothers. But it is simple: anybody, any group, any gang, who has killed the Kennedys is somehow connected with Ronald Reagan, with Nixon.
Nixon did everything wrong and he was not shot, and Kennedy was not doing anything wrong. In fact, because he was trying to do something good, he was shot. This is a very corrupted state of affairs.
My political system is totally different. I call it meritocracy, because it will depend on merit. It will not be a political system, it will not have any political parties. People will be running for posts on their own merit. And each individual will decide on his own, because no political party will be pressurizing him. There will be no political party at all -- individual to individual -- no gang will be allowed.”

OSHO
The Last Testament Vol. 2, Chapter 2

The concept is very simple really: the best individual for each job, competitive examinations for entry, and selection and promotion on the basis of merit. Talented people chosen for a job will move ahead on the basis of their achievements.

For higher positions such as the justice minister for example, the person must be an outstanding lawyer or judge. A science minister should be chosen by his peers of the same profession; the economics minister must be a highly trained professional in that field. Ah yes, and it is essential that all those people have at the very least a somewhat higher degree of consciousness so they themselves don’t fall into the ego, greed and power trap.
It then follows that also all other departments in ministries and administrations must be staffed with as many experts and specialists as possible. Of course this would mean the end to any political parties which are made up of members mainly interested in their own well-being or ego gratification and not because they want to serve their countrymen/women. The structure of meritocracy is more just and will be by definition much more productive than other systems. It also allows for an end to distinctions based on sex, race or social connections.

Looking back in history, it was Confucius’ revolutionary idea to replace the nobility of blood with one of virtue and in addition to him, another ancient Chinese philosopher of the same period called Han Feizi advocated a meritocratic system of government and society. Meritocracy was the primary basis for the selection of chiefs and generals in the Mongol Empire and of all people it was Genghis Khan who personally chose only those who were talented and fit for his military chain of command.

More recently, it was Napoleon who is sometimes considered to have had a meritocratic approach. After the French revolution in 1792 he chose the people he thought best for the job, including officers from his army, revolutionaries who had been in the peoples' assembly, and even some former aristocrats such as prime minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand.

And it was also Thomas Jefferson, principal author of the American Declaration of Independence who was a strong advocate of meritocratic types of government, believing they are superior to all other known forms of government; in more general terms, he believed a noble ‘natural aristocracy’ would arise to look after the common good. He didn’t see George Bush and his likes coming.

Presently among modern nations, the Republic of Singapore maintains to be meritoratic, emphasizing academic credentials as objective measures of merit, and training bright young people for positions of leadership. However, to me there seems to be too much authoritarianism involved and although the city-state is being run economically very successfully, its citizens don’t seem to be as liberated as they could be.

At the end of 1986, after the world tour during which 21 so-called democratic countries denied him an entry visa, Osho spoke on this subject one last time:

“…This idea I call a meritocracy. And once you have chosen all the people, then these people can choose the president and the prime minister. They will be our geniuses; they can choose the prime minister, the president from the country, or they can choose from the members of the parliament. And for the parliament we should also make gradations.
For example, people who have at least a post-graduate degree should be able to vote. Just becoming twenty-one years old does not mean you are able to choose the right person. At twenty-one years, you don't know anything about life and its complexities. At least a post-graduate degree should be held by those who choose the members of the parliament or the senate or whatever you call it. In this way, we can make an educated, refined, cultured government.
Before the world government happens, each nation should pass through a meritocracy. And once we have enjoyed the fruits of a meritocracy then these people will be able to understand that if we can combine the whole world into one government, life can certainly be a joy, worth living -- not to renounce, but to rejoice.
Up to now, whatever has happened has been accidental. Our history up to now is nothing but a history of accidents.
We have to stop this. Now we have to decide that the future is not going to be accidental. It will be created by us; and to create our world can be the greatest creation possible.”

OSHO
Sermons in Stone Chapter 29, Question 1

And it is us, his sannyasins he called upon to become the creators of this new world.
I call upon Osho World to send a copy of ‘From Misery to Enlightenment’ to Barack Obama to read and also as a good luck token for the upcoming elections.

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Your Humanity is only Skin-Deep

October, 2008

One of the things mankind seems to crave most is peace; many prayers are being constantly beamed up to the heavens with the aim of stopping bloodshed and brutal conflict. Demonstrations for peace are being initiated, candle light vigils are held, peace placards are held high, peace petitions flood the internet … yet we are fraught by violence wherever we look – in our encounters with others on a daily basis and the wars and terrorist actions that are raging on most continents. This is not a peaceful planet nor does there dwell a peaceful society at large.

Why does man generate so much anger, hatred, and violence? And if reading the newspapers with their daily gruesome reports isn’t enough, in the evening we collectively sit down and watch mainly violent movies with certain gusto. Computer games created for children are full of destructive war games and shooting at one another has become commonplace.

The bloodier the merrier! And the amount of violent movies has even increased dramatically since the time when Osho said,

“People are so much interested in violence that if they cannot do it themselves -- because it is risky and they think of the consequences -- they find vicarious ways to be violent. In a movie, or on the TV, violence is a must; without violence, nobody is going to see the film. Seeing violence and blood, suddenly you are reminded of your animal past; you forget your present, you completely forget your future -- you become your past. You become identified; what is happening on the screen somehow becomes your own life. You are no more a spectator -- in those moments you become a participant, you fall en rapport.”
OSHO
The Fish in the Sea is Not Thirsty, Chapter 13

More and more archaeological and scientific evidence points to the fact that man’s blueprint originates in a genetically modified creature-animal that once roamed the Earth. And this explains some of the behavior patterns within us:

“Why is there so much violence in the world? The animal past goes on pulling you back. Your humanity is only skin-deep. Any moment you can become a wolf, you can become a tiger; you can tear the other into pieces. Any moment! Any moment you can kill.”
OSHO
The Perfect Master, Vol. 1, Chapter 8, Question 3

Osho further lined out that “Violence is not the nature of man; it is the acquisition of his past, it is the impression of his past. Violence is man's conditioning which was unavoidable through the process of his evolution from beastly life. Beast is to be pardoned because violence is unavoidable in its life. Man cannot be pardoned, because violence is his choice; it is not inevitable when he chooses violence.”
OSHO
The Perennial Path: The Art of Living, Chapter 1

The paradox is that people crave violence while actively propagating nonviolence.

A U.N. resolution for ‘A Culture of Peace’ was approved by 169 nations in 1999 and the declaration received the enthusiastic support of millions of people worldwide who signed its manifesto. The years 2001 to 2010 were declared by the U.N. to be the ‘Decade for the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World’, even presenting an instruction manual with a blueprint for a peaceful society, a society of nonviolence and human dignity.

Since then the concept of ‘The Culture for Peace’ has not been exactly headline news and few people ever heard about it at all.

The concept of a nonviolent society isn’t new and the term appears as noble and quite civilized. In recent history, the principles of nonviolence were embodied by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who both died violent deaths by being assassinated. Incidentally, Malcolm X, the American black militant leader is quoted to have said, “Nonviolence is fine as long as it works.” Well put.

Osho explains, “Nonviolence is neither to be brought from anywhere, nor to be reached. Nonviolence is not a matter of any gap in time, that I will reach within ten years or after trying for ten births; it is not a goal. If my violence disappears today I am nonviolent today. How can this violence disappear? It cannot disappear through any violent means. If one thinks that by going on a fast he can become nonviolent.... Fasting itself is a violent means, a torture, suicidal. By fasting, neither violence can disappear, nor can nonviolence happen. A person may say, "I shall stand on my head or remain lying on a bed of thorns" -- all these are violent means. Through them one cannot become nonviolent. Then the question arises: What can be the means for achieving nonviolence?
The first thing: Understanding is the first means. There is no other nonviolent method in this world as good as understanding -- because for one whose understanding increases, violence becomes impossible. Understanding is so nonviolent that violence is impossible. Once you are able to see that this is violence, it disappears. The moment of your seeing becomes the moment of its disappearing. Nothing more has to be done.”

OSHO
Revolution in Education, Chapter 9, Question 2

The only way to evolve and change all unconscious behavior comes through meditation. As we become the witness and our awareness sharpens, consciousness becomes so powerful that it is not possible to fall back into the darkness and unconsciousness of our animal past. Then there is no need to go marching and supporting big peace movements. Start with yourself now, today, and then reach out with love and understanding to all those you come in contact with.

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My Message to Huminity is a New Man

September, 2008

One of the most important events for the sake of mankind took place on September 28, 1970 in Manali, a beautiful hill station located in central Himachal Pradesh, a township spread along the banks of the river Beas. Interestingly, the name 'Manali' literally means the abode of Manu. When Manu and other gods were flooded, they were saved by the seventh avatar of Lord Vishnu by towering high to dry lands. Manali is the place where Manu found refuge and thus marks this place as an interesting choice made for this unique occasion to have taken place.
It was a balmy post-monsoon evening when Osho initiated his first disciples there, and during the extraordinary evening discourse in Hindi that followed, he explained the significance of what he called neo-sannyas and would become a revolutionary world-wide movement. The freedom of each individual was always most important in his vision and he spoke on this subject a myriad of times.

“A sannyasin has to be liquid, flowing. He has not to be stone like, fixated. He has to be like flowing water so he can take any form. Whatsoever is the need of the moment he responds accordingly -- not according to any fixed pattern, not according to any a priori idea of how a sannyasin should be. There is nothing like that in my vision of sannyas.
Never ask me how a sannyasin should be, because that will become a pattern and you will act out of the pattern. And any action out of a patterned life is wrong. One has to be loose, relaxed, so that one can respond to the situation. And situations go on changing. In the West it is different; here it is different.
So when it is needed to be a warrior, be a warrior; and when it is needed to be meditative, be meditative. When it is needed to be an extrovert, be an extrovert; and when it is needed to be an introvert, be an introvert. This fluidity is sannyas. If you become fixated, then you are no more alive -- you have become obsessed. Then you are an extrovert or an introvert, worldly or other-worldly, but you are no more my sannyasin.
My sannyasin is indescribable, as indescribable as God himself, as life itself, as love itself -- as inexpressible as existence itself. A sannyasin is in total harmony with existence, so whatsoever the need of the moment, the sannyasin goes with the moment, flows with the river. He does not go upstream; he does not have any idea of how things should be. He has no ‘ought’; he has no commandments in his mind to be fulfilled, to be followed.
This is true discipline: discipline that brings freedom, discipline that liberates.”

OSHO
Ah This!, Chapter 6, Question 1

During the early seventies when Osho resided in Mumbai, most of Osho’s disciples were from India. From their very upbringing they understood the old term of sannyas and the need for change, and embraced neo-sannyas enthusiastically. In a short time, word about Osho spread to western countries and within a few years thousands packed their bags and traveled to Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Pune to become Osho’s disciples. All of them donned the orange clothes, wore the mala with Osho’s picture around their necks and adopted the new names Osho gave them. The many innovative meditation techniques Osho had devised became part of every sannyasin’s day. A conscious discontinuance of the past led to a fresh existence for all those who connected with him.

It is obvious that Osho was propagating his vision of the new man from the very beginning, at first using neo-sannyas as a bouncing board. The concept of a new man might not have been easily understood in those days in India but with the advent and wide-spread of the New Age movement in the West during the following years, Osho could move on from neo-sannyas and publicly coined the term of the new man more than eight years later, during discourse in Pune:

“I teach a new man, a new humanity, a new concept of being in the world. I proclaim homo novus. The old man is dying, and there is no need to help it survive any more. The old man is on the deathbed: don't mourn for it -- help it to die. Because only with the death of the old can the new be born. The cessation of the old is the beginning of the new…
My message to humanity is: Create a new man -- unsplit, integrated, whole…
My sannyasins, my people, are the first rays of that new man, of that homo novus.”
OSHO
Philoosphia Perennis Vol. 2, Chapter 2, Q2

To encourage hundreds of thousands of people to change, to die to the past, to become the seed of the new man, was a Herculean task. Yet he empowered people, challenged them to dare, to think out of the box, to grow. And he would always be full of humor as for example when he once joked in darshan in response to the statement of a seeker who resisted becoming a sannyasin.

Osho said, “You can call it 'sannyasinate', and that will be far better, because it is an assassination. Drink as much as you can so the death is not painful. Drink of me as much as you can before your sannyas happens, so that it really happens. And it is going to happen really, because you had not come to be a sannyasin. You had come with all kinds of resistances; you were afraid that it might happen untimely. You wanted to take it by your own decision, in your own time.
Whenever one becomes a sannyasin by his own decision, in his own time, he misses the whole point. Let it be a happening, not a doing on your part. Surrender cannot be done: it can only be gratefully accepted. And that's what is happening. You are fortunate, you are blessed.”

OSHO
The Fish in the Sea is not Thirsty, Chapter 6

He revealed to us all a new much vaster world, lovingly encouraging the exciting adventure of being a sannyasin, daring to take risks, and always compassionate even though his Zen sticks could be thunderbolts!

He declared: “Sannyas means: now I will live in the universal. I will not have any private opinion of life -- I will let the whole decide; I will not pretend the part is the whole. I will no more be decisive on my own. I will allow the decision to arise in my consciousness and take possession of me.
To live that way is to live the life of a sannyasin. It is utterly beautiful, utterly blessed, but great courage is needed because you don't have a guide, you don't have a particular form; you cannot depend on the past. One has to move from the unknown to the unknown and one never knows what is going to happen next moment, where one is going to land. There is no security in it, no safety in it; it is pure adventure.”

OSHO
Far Beyond the Stars, Chapter 5

In mid 1979 his vision became more urgent and global: “A new man is needed on the earth. The old is rotten and finished, it has no future, it can't survive. It has come to the very end of its tether. It is on the deathbed. Unless a new man is born -- East and West meeting, all three dimensions together -- humanity is doomed.
This experiment that I am doing here is just to create the first specimen of the new man. You are participating in a great experiment of tremendous import. Feel blessed. Feel fortunate. You may not be aware of what you are participating in, but you may create history! It all depends on how committed, how involved you become with me and with my experiment.
This is the greatest synthesis possible that has ever been tried....”

OSHO
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha Vol. 1, Chapter 7

I was riveted listening to Osho speaking about the new man. All of his disciples were the beginning of this tremendous change he invoked. To this day I can put myself back into Buddha Hall, sitting among the thousands, imbibing his powerful words. All those years since, my life has been a rollercoaster; definitely never a dull moment! I feel blessed to be part of this experiment and my life has changed dramatically in so many formerly unthinkable ways. The experience of inner freedom and the vastness of existence in all its forms, the myriad of roads I’ve taken and the many more to be discovered is too gigantic to describe. I feel blessed to be one seed of the many needed to create the new man and the new humanity we so sorely need.

Regardless the grandness of the experiment, Osho always maintained the importance of the inner growth of every individual being and this shows as an example in the way he answered the following question of a sannyasin:

Beloved Osho,

When I hear you speaking of your vision, I can’t help but feel that those few daring people around you will live to experience the new man. But it feels more like a hundred years away before man at large will come to see and live the genius of your ways. Is this true?

“It is true.
Even if it happens in a hundred years time it will be soon.
But the question is significant in a totally different way. It is not the realization of the vision, the coming of the new man, a new humanity... that will come in its own time. The more important thing is to be able to visualize it.
Everything great that has happened in the world has been an idea first. Sometimes it took hundreds of years for it to become a reality, but the joy of having a vision, an insight into the future, is immense. The people who are with me should rejoice that they can see a possibility of the old rotten world disappearing and a new fresh human being taking its place.
Just the vision will change you at least; will shift your being from the past to the future. In a certain way you will start living the new man, who has not yet come. You will start living the new man in small ways, and each moment of that living will be a blessing. And as you become acquainted, within yourself, with the explosion of the new and the destruction of the old, you are changing, you are going through a revolution.
I am interested in you. Who cares about what is going to happen after a hundred years? Something must be going to happen, but it is not our business. And when I talk about the new man I am really talking about you, for you to become aware of the possibility, because that very awareness will change you. I am not interested in the future; I am simply interested in the immediate present.
The future will go on for eternity, but if your mind can be cleaned of the past rubbish, and if you can see the faraway rising sun... I am not interested in the sun, I am interested in your vision, in your capacity to see, in your understanding, in your hope that it is possible. That very hope will become a seed in you.
The new man will come whenever it has to come.
But the new vision can come right now.
And with the new vision you participate in a subtle way with the man who has not come yet, with the humanity who is still in the womb. You start having a synchronicity, a certain relationship. Your roots from the past start dropping, and you start growing your roots into the future.
But my interest, I repeat, is basically in you. Neither am I interested in the past, nor in the future. I talk about the past so you can get rid of it; I talk about the future so you can remain open to it. But YOU are the point of my emphasis.”

OSHO
Beyond Psychology, Chapter 12, Q 1
I bow in immense gratitude to Osho forever.

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Globalization: Only Consciousness Can Be The Way

August, 2008

Whatever argument there is for or against ‘globalization’ is immaterial. We have it. We are stuck with it. I liken it to a huge hot air balloon, generously adorned with many fancy colors and advertisements. All to make it look good, safe and endearing and who wouldn’t want a ride on this beautiful chariot?

Globalization isn’t such an entirely new concept. In recent history, the first known expansion of capitalism occurred during the 16th century in Europe after Ferdinand Magellan successfully circumnavigated the planet. And then the big increase in world trade and investment during the late 19th century came to a crushing halt because of the First World War, followed by anti-free trade protectionism which led to the great depression in 1930.

However, after the Second World War another great era of capitalism began. Multinational companies were eager to produce and sell their goods in markets all over the world. Air travel, expanded tourism and the development of international communications enabled international business to soar.

The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union ended the cold war between the forces of capitalism and socialism, with capitalism decidedly the winner. And because of the development of the internet, businesses were able to interact on a global scale with ease. The buzzword ‘globalization’ was born.

The idea of a global market is intrinsically good but as we have it now, the power and the money is in the hands of far too few individuals and groups and that is indisputably unhealthy. Corporate trade and banking institutions are not accountable to democratic processes or national governments. There are corporations with so many subdivisions and businesses under their wings that the employees often don’t even know who employs them really. The anonymity of who is in fact running this planet is dubious and chilling. That includes The World Trade Organization (WTO) who is among the most powerful and secretive international power groups we have. It already acts like a global form of government with more than 150 member countries supporting it and the power is starting to become totalitarian.

Osho says, “There have been economic revolutions in this world. The capitalists have been removed and the laborers have occupied their place. But just by occupying that place has the laborer become a capitalist? No, capitalism has gone and professional managers have come in. They also have become as dangerous as the capitalist exploiters. Nothing has changed -- classes have continued. In the beginning there were two classes: rich and poor. Now there is a class to which money is distributed and there is a class which distributes the money. Whosoever has enough power remains in power, and those who are powerless are those who are not in power. New classes are formed but classes have remained.
Whatever experiments have been made so far in four or five thousand years for the welfare of humanity have all been failures.”

OSHO
Revolution in Education, Chapter 1

Through globalization people’s welfare has been upgraded but somewhat unevenly. The rich have definitely become richer; the poor are basically still poor in spite of marginal improvements. What happened is that wealth has been amassed but not distributed and the exploitation of all resources is rife and continuing.

While integrated into global economy, countries are obliged to ensure social protection and full employment for their citizens; increased education for all is a must. More investments in scientific and technological research must be made rather than spending a disproportionate amount of a nation’s budget on military objectives. Then the riches globalization can bring about can be put to good use. But all that necessitates politicians with a vision and the well-being of their constituency in their foremost thoughts. Alas there aren’t many of those around.

Almost thirty years ago Osho said, “Poverty should go, but the only way for it to go is to produce more wealth, to industrialize society more scientifically, to bring more and more technology, and with a deep understanding of nature so your technology and industry don't destroy nature. They should become part of ecology, they should not go against it. That is the highest scientific development. It cannot happen through socialism; it can happen only through capitalism.
The word "capitalism" has become very derogatory, but I am not worried about that. I believe in capitalism and not in socialism, because to me capitalism is the only hope for freedom, for growth, for individual uniqueness. It is a respect for the individual; socialism is disrespectful of the individual. Socialism does not believe in the soul of man; it cannot believe because if you believe in the soul of man then you cannot behave as if man is a machine. You have to give respect to the uniqueness of every individual. Not to give that respect means committing suicide.”

OSHO
Am That, Chapter 11, Q1

In this era of globalization there isn’t much thought given to the individual’s freedom, soul, consciousness. Only few make the effort to seek within and find meaning in life. The masses are concerned about food, shelter, gadgets, entertainment. As long as all this is provided they will not question the shady sides of globalization. I am reminded of the words ‘panem et circense’s (bread and circuses), an ancient Roman metaphor for people choosing food and fun over freedom. It often appears in commentary that accuses people of giving up their civic duty and following whichever political leader offers to satisfy their decadent desires.

There are groups of individuals who demonstrate against the powers of the G-8, against globalization, against the raping of this planet and are trying to put global warming to a stop. There is rebellion and fighting going on in favor of democracy, against the various wars that are being currently waged. And those people are earnestly engaged in making a positive difference. But amid all this ‘against’ has anybody simply stood up to encourage love? To love this planet we inhabit, to be grateful to the bounty it offers? Instead of ‘fighting against’ we can monitor situations and change them with a loving heart; enough wealth is there to be used in a positive way. And with love inherent, man’s consciousness will take that quantum leap we came for. With love inherent, the new man emerges. And that is you, and you, and you…

Osho said years ago, “But now a new possibility has opened up. For the first time, particularly in the West, man is free from his day-to-day needs. Now we can experiment with new possibilities for the mind. It was impossible to do this in the past, because bodily needs were such a heavy burden, so unfulfilled. But now the possibility is there. We live on the threshold of a deep revolution, a revolution such as human history has never encountered. A revolution in consciousness is possible now. With more facilities to know and understand, we can change. Much time will be needed, but the possibility is open to us. If we dare, if we have courage, it can become an actuality.
The whole humanity is at stake. Either we will go back to the past or to a new future. It is not a question of a third world war, not a question of communism or capitalism. These problems are out of date now. A new crisis is nearby. Either we will have to decide that we want to have a new consciousness, and work for it, or we will have to fall back, to regress to the old patterns.”

OSHO
The Psychology of the Esoteric, Chapter 12, Q 6

LET US BE THIS NEW MAN!

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Terrorism is in your unconscious

July, 2008

The other day I mentioned to a friend that I was about to write an article on the subject of ‘Terrorism’. “Yeah, right,” he said. “You write something about terrorism and the next thing you know your name is on a list, and from there to Guantanamo Bay it’s just a short trip; the good news is that you will be wearing an orange jumpsuit!” We both laughed yet in that very moment it hit me: the fear that is being created about terrorism had even entered our sannyas life and I had almost accepted the notion that writing on this subject could be precarious!

Now there’s our Master speaking his entire life on all topics under the sun, including many ‘very dangerous’ matters and did he ever consider repercussions? Of course not. Fear is not a word he adhered to. This is the very trap mankind falls into again and again: some powers create fear in the general population in such cunning ways that nobody dares to speak out. So whatever position somebody might take on terrorism there surely will be someone else who feels wronged, who feels that person needs to be silenced, who defends his or her faith and ultimately god ‘to the last drop of blood’. I don’t see why god needs mortals to sign up to defend him/her but never mind that for now.

Historically, the term terrorism was first coined during the French Revolution (1789–1799), a period of political and social upheaval during which the feudalism of the aristocracy and clergy were radically changed under a great loss of life and suffering. The goal was to introduce quite enlightened principles of nationalism, citizenship and inalienable rights for the general population. The revolution brought about violence, repression and warfare that involved several other major European countries. Far from being peaceful and free, in the following century France experienced the Napoleonic Wars, two attempts to restore the monarchy, a dictatorship and two additional revolutions. Nothing changed in the programming of the people nor did they attain freedom.

“I have looked into the scriptures of all the religions, I have looked into the ideological literature of all the political parties and I am amazed: they go on piling up lies upon lies. And the whole of humanity is asleep – not only does nobody object, but nobody even suspects.”
OSHO
Excerpted from: Sermons in Stone, Chapter-12, Question-1

Terror acts have been committed among humans since the dawn of life, and not only among tribes and nations but often, also psychologically, among families and in relationships. Nowadays the word terrorism is purposefully mainly connected to Muslim extremists. Most infamously it was George W. Bush after 9/11 who declared, “Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

This is a very one-sided and simplistic view of course. The leaders of the very groups he is attacking are saying the same things to their people!

We all have witnessed what has been going on under the cloak of this term, from the unjustified war in Iraq, to slaughter in Afghanistan, the seemingly never ending battles between Palestine and Israel, the conflicts and wars in many African countries to the creation of the Gestapo-like department of Homeland Security. Fear of terrorism has entered the collective unconscious. This is a horrendous intentional manipulation of the masses, and freedom of the individual is nowhere to be seen.

“Now the world war has become almost impossible; otherwise there would have been no terrorism. Enough time has passed since the second world war; the third world war should have happened near about 1960. It has not happened. This has been the routine for the whole of history, and man is programmed for it.
Terrorism is going to become bigger and bigger, because the third world war is almost impossible. And the stupid politicians have no other alternative. Terrorism simply means that what was being done on a social scale now has to be done individually. It will grow. It can only be prevented if we change the very base of human understanding -- which is a Himalayan task; more so because these same people whom you want to change will fight you; they won't allow you to change them easily.”
OSHO
Excerpted from: Beyond Psychology, Chapter-18, Question-1

Even though every being senses deep within the quality of freedom and would like to live in this state, man still sleeps. Even if large groups of well-intended people gather to demonstrate against their government’s actions, even if hundreds of thousands rebel against a war, they still move in a kind of sheep-like way, chanting the slogans given to them. Even though people vote for a president with the hope he will bring about the necessary changes for their freedom, usually the very person they vote for is also fast asleep and acts unconscious.

“You can't be free unless absolutely whatsoever happens spontaneously in you is allowed and accepted. Man has been programmed, you have been given blueprints – what to be, how to be, what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. And those programs have been put so deep down in your being that you have become unconscious of them. It appears as if you are acting out of freedom; you have been tremendously deceived.
Even when you think you are acting out of freedom, even when you think you are acting out of your own conscience, you are not. The society is controlling you in a very subtle way. The moment the child is born, the society starts programming the child. The society treats you like a computer; it goes on feeding and programming you. By the time you become a little alert, you are already programmed – you are already a Christian or a Hindu or a Jain. You are already fixed; you are no more liquid, you are no more flowing. And you will function out of this fixity, out of this obsession, that the society has put inside you. It is like an electrode put inside your brain. You will not know anything about it, but it will control you. That's what conscience is.”
OSHO
Excerpted from: Take It Easy, Vol.-2, Chapter-10

Osho once said that his religion is nothing but the science of deprogramming: “That's why I go on destroying your conditionings. My whole effort is to deprogram you and make you clean –as clean, as pure, as innocent as you were when you were born.
You were not born a Christian, you were not born Jewish; you were born just an innocent potentiality of growth which has been stopped by the vested interests. And those vested interests are still in power. They are doing their best to destroy any possibility for human evolution.
My people have to fight for their own sake and for the sake of humanity. First, become enlightened, and then spread your light to anybody who is interested.
Everybody is interested. Who would not like to become more conscious, more alive, more loving, more compassionate? Just models are needed. People are needed who can create a tremendous urge in others that they can also have the same joy, the same dance, the same song and the same fragrance.
The politicians and the priests are still not on their deathbed. We will have to put them on their deathbed. They will resist, but what to do? Either they have to become part of an evolutionary process or they have to disappear from the earth.”
OSHO
Excerpted from: From Bondage to Freedom, Chapter 10, Question 1


More than 20 years ago, Osho has spoken at length on terrorism while he was staying in Uruguay during the world tour which was sabotaged by every possible means in particular by the government of the U.S.A. because Osho was considered a dangerous man to society. Since then, the global situation of violence and terror has increased and there is only one way out: to wake up!

“...without freedom you cannot rejoice. You live in fear, not in joy. If we can clean the basement of the human mind's unconscious... and that's what my work is. It can be cleaned away. The terrorism is not in the bombs, in your hands; the terrorism is in your unconscious.
Otherwise, this state of affairs is going to grow more bitter. And it seems all kinds of blind people have bombs in their hands and are throwing them at random. The third world war would have relieved people for ten or, fifteen years. But the third world war cannot happen because if it happens it won't relieve people, it will only destroy people.
So individual violence will increase – it is increasing. And all your governments and all your religions will go on perpetuating the old strategies without understanding the new situation.
The new situation is that every human being needs to go through therapies, needs to understand his unconscious intentions, needs to go through meditations so that he can calm down, become cool – and look towards the world with a new perspective, of silence.”
OSHO
Excerpted from-Beyond Psychology, Chapter 18, Question- 1

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Priest and Politicians : The Age - Old Conspiracy vs. The Age-Old New Man

June, 2008

“On the earth there are no boundaries, but politicians need boundaries. Religiousness has no boundaries, but priests need them. Religiousness is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Mohammedan, but then what will the priests do? They will be out of a job, completely out of a job, and millions of people depend on these boundaries. Their whole business is to go on insisting: ‘Only Christianity is the right religion; only Hinduism is the right religion. Unless you are a Christian there is no hope for you.’ And the same is the claim of all the other religions. Everybody is trying to pull you into his fold because numbers create power.
Society, up to now, has existed in deep hatred -- hatred for other countries, hatred for other religions, hatred for other-colored people, hatred in every possible way. So the love quality has to be destroyed, and we start destroying the qualities of love from the very childhood. We start teaching the child: ‘You are a Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian -- hate others.’ But we don't say it directly, it is a very indirect maneuver. We start making every child ambitious, and ambition means you cannot love; ambition is anti-love. Ambition needs fight, ambition needs struggle, ambition needs you to use others as a means.
Love is a totally different perspective. Love says respect the other as an end unto himself or herself; never use the other as a means. Nobody is a means for you, everybody is an end. But then ambition will flop, and our whole educational system depends on ambitiousness, our politics depends on ambition, our religions depend on ambition. Politics is the religion of this world and religion is the politics of the other world; that's the only difference between the two. And the politician and the priest have been in a deep conspiracy for centuries. They have divided everything up amongst themselves: ‘You will rule here, we will rule there; you will rule before death, we will rule after death -- fifty-fifty!’ But both have to do one thing: destroy any potential for love.”

OSHO
Come, Come, Yet Again Come, Chapter 7, Question 2

It appears political and religious domination is coming yet again to another ugly peak. Having been active during the sixties and seventies’ liberation movement, I used to think that with so many people enjoying better education, having the ability to learn about actions and events across the globe, the freedom to meditate and to pursue higher consciousness, priests and politicians would lose their sickly grip on the greater populace. Instead I see a trend in many countries to return to orthodox religion, with enforced rules and regulations to keep the flock at bay. Just recently the Vatican came up with a list of ‘new deadly sins’ and the Muslim clergy in several countries are doing their best to clamp down on the hard-earned freedom of the female species. The issue of having to wear headscarves which has been widely discussed particularly in Europe, is just one of the outer signs of the rekindled oppression.

Another curious affair is the fact Pope Benedict XVI decided to visit the USA and the UNO Headquarters just now during the election campaigns, shaking hands with politicians, religious leaders and teachers, with a bogus smile on his face. Needless to say he included saying some prayers at Ground Zero for what it’s worth. This man was the Archbishop of Munich before he was promoted and I still remember how much he condemned Osho and His people in Germany at that time. But does he condemn Bush for waging a horrendous war on Iraq? Of course not. His is of a similar mind set as Pope Pius XII who supported Hitler and the Nazis.

“These priests go on preaching to every child a certain kind of mind that keeps the society running -- or stuck. The politicians are in a deep conspiracy with the priests. The politicians are full of lust for power, and if they want power, they want blessings from the priests, because the priests have a spiritual hold over humanity. And if a politician goes and touches the feet of a priest, the followers of the priest are going to vote for the politician. There is a conspiracy: the politician goes on praising the priest, his religion, his ideology, and the priests go on blessing the politician and his ideology. And between these two powerful groups the whole society is crushed, sucked.”
OSHO
Beyond Psychology, Chapter 26, Question 1

Also in the news these days is the latest voting circus in the USA. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are vying for the post of the Democratic presidential candidate and are spending millions of Dollars in campaign expenses. As at end of March 2008, Clinton raised so far almost 190 million dollars, and Obama more than 230 million. Add to that the almost 80 million dollars McCain raised, that makes it half a billion US$ dollars that are being used to brainwash the American population into electing one of those three as the next president. And there are some predictions that the final two nominees will need to raise another 500 million each to compete. Now that makes the enormous sum of one-and-a-half billion dollars.

Seeing that we are facing a global food crisis and that several genocides are taking place in Tibet, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, and Kenya, to name just a few, this money could serve a much better purpose than election gatherings and pasting the mugs of those three campaigners on TV, billboards, and newspaper advertisements. In my opinion, a person should be elected as president because of his/her intelligence, former conduct and abilities, their humanitarian and social standing, about which people should be able to inform themselves about with much ado. There is no need for those brainwashing campaigns that are presently infesting every media, with lies and false promises abounding. None of the candidates are able to make promises about their future in the White House because the future cannot be foretold or even imagined. Whatever they say are clever lies in their pursuit of power, pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

In every TV broadcast of the campaign speeches you can see people in the background hanging onto every word of the candidate as if he/she is speaking the one and only truth! Nodding their heads like sheep in unison, they feel exhilarated about every word their candidate utters, even though for example video footage proved that Hillary Clinton was blatantly lying when she said she and her daughter had dodged bullets when they embarked from a plane on a visit to Bosnia. This should have put the end to her campaign but somehow her aides made the matter disappear in a sinkhole. She also embellished her views about Rwanda, China and North Ireland but the public forgets conveniently quickly. How can you trust such a person to become the president?

It is a dirty war that is being fought between politicians everywhere. Although the American constitution clearly separates church and state, in this political campaign religion was dragged into the race when ABC News discovered racially and politically charged sermons by Obama’s family priest Jeremiah Wright and gleefully broadcast them in an attempt to discredit Obama. One wonders of course who was really behind that particular smear campaign.

As Fred Siegel of ‘The Australian’ put it so succinct on May 5, 2008: “Political campaigning necessarily produces a wide gap between words and deeds. This is the price of bringing together a broad coalition with disparate interests. All effective politicians are at times authentically insincere or sincerely inauthentic. Exaggeration, embellishment, overstatement, doubletalk, deception and lies presented as metaphorical truths are the order of the day…

But so far, the wild discrepancy between Obama's words and his deeds, and between his enormous ambitions and his minimal accomplishments, doesn't seem to have fazed his core supporters, who apparently suffer from a severe case of cognitive dissonance. Like cultists who rededicate themselves when the cult's prophecies have been falsified, his fans redouble their delusions in the face of his obvious hypocrisy.”

I am neither for nor against any of the candidates. None of them knows ‘how to be a president’, each one of them pretends that they do but then nobody ever did. Why does anybody want to become the president? To help their fellow citizens get a better life? Hardly. It is out of lust for power and greed which ultimately only leads to manipulation, corruption, and sooner or later to another conflict and war. It is all one big business venture.

Osho has spoken so much about his vision of the new man who must evolve now. About the new man who will be nobody’s puppet, who will think intelligently for him/herself, who will be loving and caring and aware. A new man who will act consciously and responsibly towards the entire planet. Only with this new man emerging now among us will this planet have a chance to survive:

“That's why I am condemned all over the world, criticized, because the whole of human history has been a history of war, violence. The whole human past has been ugly, inhuman, uncivilized, primitive, animalistic. And all the societies that have existed up to now have tried to kill love and the very possibility of love in you, because only if love is killed can you then be reduced to a machine -- a machine which can kill, a machine which can function efficiently without creating any problems, a machine which will be obedient, a machine which will not rebel against any kind of slavery, oppression, exploitation. The priests, the politicians, all have wanted you to be machines, not men, and for centuries they have been in power because you were ready to be reduced to machines.
The only phenomenon that can bring you back to your real nature, that can revive you again into humanity, into human beings, is love.”

OSHO
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha Vol. 5, Chapter 10, Question 2

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Depression is nothing but repression...

April, 2008

During the last few decades, depression seems to be spreading like a virus. Not exactly a household term when I grew up, this condition is now being diagnosed more and more often, treated with more and more medicine, speak anti-depressants which are even being prescribed for children!

Not having first-hand experience with this disorder, I started googling just to get an idea about the magnitude of this world-wide dis-ease. Amazingly I found 83,700,000 hits for the word ‘depression’, and 10,100,000 hits for ‘anti-depressants’! Just for some balance, checking the term ‘joyfulness’ yielded a mere 239,000 hits, and ‘blissfulness’ rendered a meager 97,800 references. The topmost result on the first page showed:

Welcome to depression.com

Facts about depression, including how to manage it and how to live with this medical condition.

Welcome? Not only that, the main emphasis on the first page of that website points the way with seemingly Machiavellian cunning: ‘Understand it’; ‘Treat it’; Take it day by day’. It continues, “Depression is not something you can just ‘snap out of’. It’s thought to be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, along with other factors. Like any serious medical condition, depression needs to be treated. Take charge of your depression, one step at a time.”

To put it mildly, I was horrified. I made a beeline to look what Osho has to say:

“Depression means that somehow anger is in you in a negative state: depression is a negative state of anger. The very word is meaningful – it says something is being pressed; that is the meaning of depressed. You are pressing something inside, and when anger is pressed too much it becomes sadness. Sadness is a negative way of being angry, the feminine way of being angry.
If you remove the pressure on it, it will become anger. You must have been angry about certain things from your childhood but you have not expressed them, hence the depression. Try to understand it!
And the problem is that depression cannot be solved, because it is not the real problem. The real problem is anger...
Once anger comes up your depression will go. Have you not watched and observed it?
– that sometimes after real anger one feels so good, alive?
... Start doing something at home. Mm? do an anger meditation every day... twenty minutes will do.”

OSHO
This Is It, Chapter 5

Of course the term ‘Dynamic Meditation’ immediately comes to mind. This incredible therapeutic meditation that Osho devised is one of the best remedies to reach that anger simmering within and to get it out of the system. Hundreds of thousands have participated in this meditation since Osho introduced it in his earliest camps and their lives changed for the better because of it.

“You ask me, Krishna Teertha Bharti... He is a surgeon, a doctor; naturally this question has arisen in his mind. You ask me, "Is it justified and ethical for patients of depression to be given Dynamic Meditation?"
What else can be more justified and more ethical – because to be a sufferer of depression simply means he has repressed too much. Depression is nothing but repression. He is depressed so much because he has not been allowed to express himself. Dynamic Meditation is expression. In expressing himself, in catharting all that has been repressed in his unconscious, he will be unburdened, he will become saner, healthier.”

OSHO
The Dhammapada : The Way of the Buddha Vol. 7, Chapter 4, Q 4

Why do so many people suffer from depression? Why are we looking at an avalanche of cases in these modern times, when life for every individual ought to be rather improving on many levels?

“Humanity up to now has lived in a very controlled way; that's why humanity is suffering. Everybody is miserable, everybody is in anguish, tension, everybody is depressed, everybody is in a strange state, always falling apart, falling into pieces. Life seems to be just a struggle to survive somehow, not something to rejoice in, not something to dance about, not a song, not a celebration, just a drag. If you can go on holding yourself together somehow, that seems to be more than one can expect.… The so-called religious people are responsible. They have taught humanity only one way, which is a wrong way: the way of repression -- repress yourself, control yourself.”
OSHO
Guida Spirituale, Chapter 13

Psychotherapy used to be recommended for people with severe depressions but nowadays it seems it is generally medication and more medication, even for lighter cases, such as just ‘feeling blue’. And is this helping people? The general public has been made believe this is so for many years but just now the results of a new study have come to light:

...and anti-depressants don’t work

An article in the ‘The Guardian’ of February 25, 2008 reports scientists have established that Prozac, a drug used by about 40 million people does not work nor do similar drugs in the same class. “The study examined all available data on the drugs, including results from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to publish at the time. The trials compared the effect on patients taking the drugs with those given a placebo or sugar pill.
“When all the data was pulled together, it appeared that patients had improved - but those on placebo improved just as much as those on the drugs.”

So then this is the case of the mind working on the physical body. Osho spoke about this already 30 years ago!

“Now much research is going into this phenomenon. A new kind of therapy is arising they call placebo therapy. A placebo is a false, pseudo medicine, with no medicinal qualities in it, but it has to be given in such a way that the patient thinks it is medicine. Not only that the patient thinks it is medicine, even the doctor has to think it is medicine, otherwise his gestures may show, may reveal the truth. The doctor is kept in ignorance; he is given just water to inject, or given just sugar pills with all the marks and names and labels of the true medicine. He knows that this is medicine. The patient knows this is medicine. And the miracle is that it works – and there is no medicine in it. The patient is healed. The very belief of the doctor that it is medicine creates an atmosphere, a psychology, a hypnosis, and the whole paraphernalia of the hospital.... What is really happening is this, that in the first place the illness has been created, it is a mind phenomenon. And in the second place, if the mind is convinced that it is going to be cured, then it is going to be cured”
OSHO
Take It Easy Vol. 1, Chapter 7

I am sure the pharmaceutical companies will be very unhappy about the publication of this study and will go through great pains to have the results deep-sixed so to speak. We can only hope that the media will distribute this story even more widely so people can begin to understand what is done to them. And only out of such understanding can the urge for change grow which ultimately must lead to meditation.

Millions of Dollars are being spent in developing antidepressants and psychotropic medications and many more millions are being made by the prescription and sale of the same. On March 15, 2008 it was reported in ‘The New York Times’ that five major pharmaceutical companies reported strong gains in quarterly earnings. “... Prozac sales in the period rose nearly 17 percent, to $210 million, from $180 million in the preceeding quarter, “in spite of significant negative publicity and lawsuits.” Critics say that some people who took Prozac have experienced life-endangering side effects; many psychiatrists have said that the drug is effective and relatively safe.”

The world is awash with antidepressants, promising an easy and quick fix. And we mustn’t forget that these drugs enter into the water when they are being shed by the body; we don’t yet know how much of the chemicals survive and become part of the drinking water system again. A vicious circle indeed while meditation and a deeper understanding of man’s inner workings can be the only cure.

“The West needs very urgently a great movement of meditation; otherwise, this depression is going to kill people. And these people will be the talented ones -- because they achieved power, they achieved money, they achieved whatsoever they wanted... the highest degrees in education. These are the talented people -- and they are all feeling despair.
This is going to be dangerous because the most talented people are no more enthusiastic about life, and the untalented are enthusiastic about life but they don't even have the talents to get power, money, education, respectability. They don't have the talents, so they are suffering, feeling handicapped. They are turning into terrorists, they are turning towards unnecessary violence just out of revenge -- because they cannot do anything else. But they can destroy.
And the rich are almost ready to hang themselves from any tree because there is no reason for them to live. Their hearts have stopped beating long before. They are just corpses -- well decorated, well honored, but utterly empty and futile.
The West is really in a far worse condition than the East – although to those who don't understand, it seems that the West is in a better condition than the East because the East is poor. But poverty is not as big of a problem as is the failure of richness; then a man is really poor. An ordinary poor man at least has dreams, hopes, but the rich man has nothing.
What is needed is a great meditation movement reaching to every person.”

OSHO
The Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter 2, Q 1

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Seven Deadly Sins

April, 2008

“Out of awareness is virtue born. Whatsoever comes out of awareness is virtue, and whatsoever comes out of your sleep is sin. If you ask my definition of sin, I will say, ‘An unconscious act, which is a reaction, is sin. A conscious act which is not a reaction -- which is a response -- is virtue.”
OSHO
Come Follow To You Vol. 3, Chapter 6, Question 3

In March of this year, the Vatican published an updated version of what is considered being ‘deadly sins’ which allegedly bring about eternal damnation. The question that comes to mind is ‘why’? What is the purpose? Is it a desperate attempt to revive the corpse that this religion has become by being more modern? Trying to lure new converts into the creed by threatening them with new or only marginally altered concepts?

While taking a deeper look at the new keywords, first of all one must bear in mind that this declaration is based on the manipulations by fallible priests and the pope who are desperately clinging on to their power over mere humans by ‘putting the fear of god’ into them.

Invented by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century A.D., the original deadly sins (there is also a list of various venial sins) are punished with permanent relocation to hell after death, unless one confesses to having sinned in the last moment on one’s deathbed and receives absolution through the priest on hand.

Which makes me wonder why anybody ever bothers to put themselves through the prescribed weekly confessions in church, having to recite endless Ave Maria’s or other prayers as repentance, if the slate can be wiped clean immediately just before the final check-out. But I digress.

So what is outdated about the sins which kept priests in moralistic charge for fifteen centuries that they need to be replaced? Gluttony? Considering the increasing obesity levels world-wide one should assume this sin is very much alive and goes hand in hand with sloth!

Causing social injustice is a new sin rather than wrath, a very profound term which means vengeance, punishment, or destruction wreaked by somebody in anger. Social injustice sounds so much more cultivated, doesn’t it? Presumably this term includes war, terror and murder or is that left to be interpreted by the priests who hear the confession?

“... man has never tried to remove the causes of injustice. On the contrary, in the name of justice, he has been taking revenge on the individuals who were not obedient to the social order, to the establishment, to the vested interests. They were condemned as criminals, punished -- and it was thought that justice had been restored.”
OSHO
The Rebel, Chapter 9, Question 1

Obscene riches rather than greed? Well who is talking? In his fascinating book, ‘The Vatican Billions’, Baron Avro Manhattan wrote: "The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

If the Vatican considers obscene riches as a deadly sin, then this would be the moment to clean house and use those enormous hoardings to alleviate poverty, a concept always so dear in words rather than action. But this has yet to happen.

“There is no need for communism to destroy poverty; science can do it very easily, because a single machine can do the work of thousands of people. But it is not being allowed because it goes against the vested interests, and those interests are pouring their money into the churches.
Who has made the pope "bejeweled and bedecked pontiff'? Who has made Vatican the richest religion in the world, the richest church in the world? From where all that money has come? It is bribery. It is the rich people who go on bribing the church, and the church goes on preaching things which look very religious but are basically political and economical, and are against all revolutions.”

OSHO
The Wild Geese and the Water. Chapter 10, Question 1

Choosing pollution is a clever move because there is no doubt that we are in dire need to rid the world of the poisons that surround us and destroy the very air we breathe and water we drink. And the environmental pollution crisis has come about because of the very greed and obscene riches! As Osho explained, it is also politics that are pollutants :

“The world can be a paradise any moment it decides! It will just have to drop a little crap: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, American, Russian. Politicians will not help you to do it, they will hinder you from doing it. Priests will not help you to do it, they will hinder you from doing it. All their greatness -- the president of America, the premier of the Soviet Union, the infallible pope in the Vatican... what will happen to these people?
If you drop all your conditionings, and if you remove all the lines from the map, you burn all your identity cards, your passports, your visas, and you start moving around the world absolutely freely -- it is our world -- what will happen to these idiots who are sitting on your head? They will create every difficulty.
But the time has come to face the fact; otherwise, you are on the very verge of a total global war which will destroy everybody. Before that happens, get free of all poisons -- nations, politicians, priests, religions -- and the world will be pollution-free.”

OSHO
From the False to the Truth, Chapter 23, Question 2

Pedophilia? Isn’t this term already included in lust? Does that mean that ‘other lusting’ is OK? And when will the church clean up their own ranks? In an article dated March 7, 2008 Agence France-Press reported that in 2007 the Roman Catholic church in the United States paid out 615 million US Dollars for child sex abuse cases involving members of the clergy; this is 54 per cent more than the previous year.

According to Terry McKiernan, president of ‘Bishop Accountability,'’ which documents the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic church, “more than 5000 priests out of the 41,500 across the United States have been denounced for sexual abusing children since the 1950s.”

Do they hope that by singling out this term as a ‘new sin’ maybe the sexual problems among their own repressed priesthood will go away? That the priests will be scared to end up in the very hell they rage on about in their sermons?

“These are your priests. They have dominated humanity, and every day they are being caught either molesting children, or raping women, or having homosexual relationships. They don't seem to have any consciousness which is superior to yours; it may be inferior, but it is not superior. They will not allow you to evolve because your evolution will destroy their whole profession. You have to remain retarded in order that their profession continues; and they have the greatest profession in the world.”
OSHO
Zarathustra : The Laughing Prophet. Chapter 9

The Vatican used to condemn and hark on and on about birth control being a sin and now the word abortion shows up. Does that mean that birth control will be finally considered an intelligent device to control overpopulation and unwanted births? Somehow I don’t think so.

“The poor have been there always; but to exploit their poverty to increase your population is sheer politics -- ugly, mean. Politics is a game of numbers. How many Christians you have in the world -- that is your power. The more Christians there are, the more power is in the hands of Christian priests, the priesthood.
Nobody is interested in saving anybody, but just in increasing the population. What Christianity has been doing is continually issuing orders from the Vatican against birth control, saying it is sin to use birth control methods; it is sin to believe in abortion or to propagate abortion, or to make it legal.
Do you think they are interested in the unborn children? They are not interested, they have nothing to do with those unborn children. They pursue their interest knowing perfectly well that if abortion is not practiced, if birth control methods are not practiced, then this whole humanity is going to commit a global suicide. And it is not so far away that you cannot see the situation.”

OSHO
From Personality to Individuality, Chapter 8, Question 1

By bluntly declaring taking drugs a sin shows that the clerics don’t have a solution to find and address the root cause of the problem. Considering that even cigarettes are considered a drug (on average one in three people on this planet currently smokes), that makes 1,346 million people who take drugs on a regular basis.

The latest UN Drug Report for 2007 cites the world population with 6,6 billion people. About 4,177 million people are of the age between 15 – 64 years and 28% of those smoke tobacco. That is 1,152 million people. Another 160 million people smoke cannabis.25 million people use amphetamines, 9 million ecstasy, and 16 million opiates.

Declaring the taking of drugs a sin won’t help anybody to come off them but it makes the sin list look good. Osho put it this way, “Unless drugs can be used as a step towards meditation they are dangerous. As they are today they are all dangerous, and no government has been able to prevent them...
The situation is the same with all our difficulties. Those who are in power are in power only because most of the humanity is sick. Either they are sick because of undernourishment, or they are sick because of wrong nourishment. Either they are suffering from drugs, or they are suffering from anxieties and other anguishes.
It seems the elite, the powerful, want people to remain as they are. Nobody wants that everybody should become a Buddha. And every opportunity should be provided -- by education, by parents, by neighbors -- every opportunity to help the person to meditate.”
OSHO
The Language of Existence, Chapter 3, Question 1

Last but not least I remember listening enthralled to Osho speak on genetic engineering; a new concept back then, a household word now and as of late another deadly sin. It comes at no surprise that also Osho predicted this:

“In the Vatican they have created an academy of sciences. The purpose is not science; they will exploit it...
But the real reason is that they will supply to that pope all the necessary information, the latest in all fields of science, so that he can decide what is right and what is wrong; so he can decide whether science should move in this direction and should not move in that direction. Particularly his interest is in genetic engineering.
Now, that is going to happen sooner or later, and it has to be done. We are capable now of engineering the human child in thousands of ways. We can give him a lifelong healthy body, from the very beginning prepared to resist all kinds of sicknesses. We can arrange how long we would like him to live, how long we would like him to be young; he can be young to the very last breath.
There is no need for old age. Old age simply can be wiped out, just as sickness can be wiped out. Man can grow up to youth, and then he can remain young for a hundred years, two hundred years; three hundred years is very easily possible. Right now it can be done, but it is not being done, because nobody is interested in life. All governments are interested in death.
All governments are putting seventy-five percent of their budget into arms. Even the poor countries are in the same competition: seventy-five percent of the budget of their country. People are dying, they don't have enough to eat -- and they are creating nuclear bombs and atomic bombs.
Nobody is interested in life; otherwise all facts and research are available to show that man can at least live three hundred years. In fact scientists say, "We don't see any reason why man should have to die, because if he can manage for seventy years on an automatic renewal system, all that is needed is that his genes be reprogrammed." That is genetic engineering...
But the genes can be reprogrammed; it is only a question of putting the right idea in their minds. Those genes have a certain small mind, and that mind carries the idea of seventy years of age. If you can just put one zero more it becomes seven hundred, and those poor genes will not in any way object to adding one zero more. It is no problem for them, not a burden. And genetic engineering is now capable of this; in animals it has succeeded, so there is no reason... because the process is the same whether in animals or man.
Now the pope is worried about that. And that is one of the reasons for creating the academy, so that genetic engineering be prohibited, or the pope decides whether it is moral or immoral. And certainly I can say that he will decide it is immoral, because God gives you seventy years -- it is a God-given thing -- and you try to improve upon God and make man seven hundred years old?”

OSHO
From Misery to Enlightenment, Chapter 10, Question 1

This new definition of sins is a mere political move benefiting the church and its supporters in their power games to maintain control over their sheep. Fortunately the new man is emerging and with every single one of them spreading awareness, the consciousness of this humanity is raised. The very thing the old sheep are afraid of.

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Enlightenment : The Natural Happening

March, 2008

Osho has spoken about enlightenment thousands of times. We have listened to him but can it be understood? How can we talk about something that we have no direct personal experience of? Or better, something that we already are (as He said), but have lost the key for, have forgotten? At best I can talk about all the things we do to avoid becoming enlightened!

The very phenomenon of the flowering of consciousness cannot be explained but may be sensed by losing oneself in the depth of the Master’s eyes, by sitting silently at his feet, experiencing the delicate vibrations of his being. It can be experienced in momentary glimpses, during a Samadhi, moments of utter bliss, and then the veil that seemingly had disappeared nimbly adjusts itself again between the two worlds until a next precious moment or the final blast happens!

The word enlightenment was the carrot that hung right before our eyes, which made us forsake house and home to satisfy this incredible longing the very mention of the word brought up. Yes, we were all bent to become enlightened in this life and did we ever stop in this dream to consider what exactly happens when one enlightens? What then?

“Enlightenment is a natural happening. If we don't hinder it, it is bound to happen. It is not that you have to achieve it; all that you have to do is not to hinder it. You hinder it in a thousand and one ways. You don't allow it to happen. When it starts to happen you become frightened. When it takes possession of you, you cannot give that much possession – you shrink back, you withdraw. You come back in your tiny cell of the ego. There you feel protected, defended, secure.
Enlightenment is the open sky of insecurity. It is vastness, it is uncharted ocean. The journey is from one unknown to another unknown. There is nothing that can be known. Knowledge, the very idea of knowledge, is part of human stupidity. Life is such a mystery it cannot be known. And if it cannot be known how can it be taught? And if it cannot be taught, what is the point of being a master and a disciple?
Just a few days ago there was a question: ‘Why have you declared yourself to be the Blessed One?' It is a drama. I have decided to play the part of the Blessed One and you have decided to play the part of disciples – but it is a drama. The day you will become aware you will know there is no master and no disciple. The day you will understand, you will know that it was a dream – but a dream which can help you to come out of all your other dreams, a thorn which can help to pull out your thorns from your flesh, it can be instrumental – but a thorn all the same. A poison which can help you to drop your other poisons – but a poison all the same. Use it as a raft. That's why I say it is a drama.
Your being a disciple and my being a master is a drama. Play it as beautifully as possible. To you it is a reality, I know. To me it is a drama. From your side it is a great reality, from my side it is a game. One day you will also understand that it is a game. That day will be the day of your enlightenment.”

OSHO
The Diamond Sutra, Chapter 9
I remember how after listening to the Zen koan in the discourse series, ‘The Goose is Out’, my mind freaked out. My brain felt on fire. I just couldn’t ‘get it’. Actually, it was rather my mind that could not ‘get it’ and went into a feeding frenzy along the known and stored experiences and tried to figure it out. Circuits blew. I couldn’t breathe; an anxiety overcame me that for sure I wouldn’t ‘get it’ because time was running out. Time! The only way to ease this turmoil was to write a question to Osho and hope for an answer, otherwise I would surely go around the bend and find myself marooned in an asylum.

“Osho, I feel that we need to hurry, that there is not much time left. The cocoon of slumber I am existing in seems to suffocate me, and I am afraid I will never make it. You say the goose is out already, why does it feel so impossible to grasp?”

In his inexhaustible infinite compassion and patience Osho answered my question for a long time, swinging from Master Nansen to Joseph Grimaldi and Adolph Hitler and to Lao Tzu, gently pointing out how irrelevant time is and all the goose parable was about, was to relax :

“What is the hurry? The whole of eternity is yours! You have always been here, you ARE here, you will ALWAYS be here. Nothing is ever lost. Now it is a confirmed scientific truth that nothing is ever destroyed. If matter is not destroyed, why should consciousness be destroyed? Matter belongs to a very gross plane of existence. If the gross is so valued by existence, do you think the higher manifestation is not valued by existence? The higher is more valued! If matter persists and is impossible to destroy, consciousness cannot be destroyed either. It is the highest expression of life; there is nothing higher than it. It is the very Everest of life, the peak beyond which there is nothing. The whole of existence is moving towards that peak. There is no hurry.
The whole idea of hurry is a creation of the mind. Let me say it in this way: mind and time are synonymous; the moment your mind stops, time also stops. The more you are in your mind the more you are in time; the less you are in your mind the more you are out of time.”

OSHO
The Goose Is Out, Chapter 2, Question 1
Over the years I have listened to or read this discourse again and again and entered deeper and deeper into Osho’s answer. This helped tremendously with the imaginary concept of time; an inner slowing down happened, the ‘urge’ ‘to get it’ became a mere occasional hiccup.

The amusing part about that particular morning is that I was on guard duty in the back of Buddha Hall and had to keep an eye on people coughing or doing anything untoward during discourse. So a few minutes after Osho had read my question and started talking, one visitor started to cough. I crawled over, tapped him on the shoulder and nudged him to get up and out. He didn’t want to leave! Between trying to hear what Osho had to say to me and getting this visitor out, I got myself into a quite stressful situation. Finally after almost hefting the man over my shoulders he left with me and as soon as I handed him to a guard outside I leaped back inside to my spot in the rear. I had just calmed down again when after about ten minutes I heard a cough to my left. I glared at this visitor and willed him to stop coughing. He didn’t. He got into a coughing fit and I did what was needed, left Buddha Hall with him, came back again. I just gave up and surrendered to the task I had been given and suddenly under standing the absurdity of the situation made me giggle.

“Don't take things seriously; life is so hilarious. There is no urgency to be enlightened. It is unfortunate that I became enlightened too early! But now nothing can be done about it -- once enlightened, enlightened forever…
I know the trouble of being enlightened. That's why I make you alert. Don't be in a hurry; otherwise you will blame me. I don't want to take the blame. Nobody can say to me, ‘I am grateful to you that you helped me to become enlightened.’ I help you to learn and love and live as totally as possible. Out of this, enlightenment is bound to happen some day – but there is no hurry for it. It is your birthright, so you cannot avoid it long enough. Sooner or later – and most probably sooner than later – it is going to happen.
But I am telling you, I don't want to take any credit for it because then you will see that this whole life is utterly futile, meaningless, no action is of any worth – and then you will search.
That's why I keep myself locked in my room. I don't want people rushing to me saying, ‘Now it is your fault. You talked about enlightenment and I have become enlightened. Now what do you suppose I should do?’
There is nothing to be done, you have become enlightened, close the door and lock yourself inside! Or if you are really angry, try to make others enlightened: Look what life has done to you.... Do it to others!”

OSHO
Om Shantih Shantih Shantih, Chapter 4, Question 3

Sound advice. So when enlightenment happens to me in this or any other life, I shall just shut up and enjoy the ride!

 


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