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Swami SATYA VEDANT

That’s The Way It Is!

May, 2012

– “Hello, haven’t heard from you lately. How is it going?”
– “Not so good. I am having trouble with my landlord.”
– “Why, what happened?”
– “Nothing is working in this apartment. The water doesn’t come up, the electricity is down, the window doesn’t shut sideways, the roof needs fixing, and so forth.”
– “Why, that’s terrible! Why don’t you complain?”
– “What do you think? I have done that so many times that even my stomach cannot take anymore complaining.”
– “Well, let me cheer you up with this news story. In Berkeley, California, a city agency sponsored a poetry slam. Its advertisement in the local weekly, Berkeley Voice, read: ‘Have lousy landlord? Mad at the Manager? Put it into words!’”
– “What a great idea! Tell me more.”
– “Lured by prizes and responding to the complex emotions of the landlord-tenant relationship, about a dozen protesters seized the opportunity to recite original poems that addressed their trauma.
“One poem touched on the landlords of someone’s student days:
“’From the skirt-chasing alcoholic to the
80 year old pensioner to the
250 pound-overweight woman
 constantly reading get-rich-quick books.’
“And one person spoke of his youth recalling:
“’My last 20 dollars after rent went into groceries
that went rotten in the fridge
the landlord promised to fix
but never did.’”

  • “Hmm, very touching….I am sure a lot of people would feel as angry as you do. I wonder, though, would it not be great if we could learn how to manage our anger?”
  • “Is it always bad to feel angry?”
  • “Not necessarily, anger is a natural response to feeling hurt, attacked or injured. It is part of an energy expressing itself, it is human. Anger can also function as a friend helping one to fight back or defend. The way we are brought up and conditioned can also become source of our anger. Our parents, family, society, political leaders contribute in building a reservoir of anger within us.”

“What are the physical effects of Anger?”
 
“Anger, it is observed, might affect one’s:
digestion (contributing to the development of heartburn, ulcers, colitis, gastritis)
blood pressure
joints and muscle pains
The Emotional effects may include:

  • depression -- when the anger is turned inwards
  • addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or any illegal drugs
  • compulsions  including eating disorders, such as excessive dieting or binge-eating, overworking, unnecessary cleaning and any other behavior that is out of control.
  • Trying to make someone else feel bad, because one thinks it will make him or her feel better”

“Yes, but how do we do it? When I get angry, actually it is anger that gets me.”

  • “How true! Let me share with you Osho’s insight in how one can deal with anger and be free from it. He says:

“The first thing: it is useless just to be angry with someone and then create a chain. Then he will be angry and then more anger will be created, and this can continue. Everything has a continuity of cause and effect; it becomes a chain.
Don't suppress it in the system because that is too dangerous. Anger is poison, and when the body is ready to fight the blood is filled with poison…you have to act it out. If you don't go through a catharsis then you will have to suffer for it. It may become a physical disease, it may cripple your body, and it may poison your relationships – because you were not angry, but the anger was there.
So if you feel anger and you see it is going to be destructive to you and to the other person, move to your room, close the doors, take your pillow and beat it. Write the name of the person on the pillow and do whatsoever you wanted to do with the person.
In the beginning it will look absurd, but soon you will get into it and you will enjoy it. And the pillow is not going to answer, the pillow is not going to create any chain. Rather, on the contrary, the pillow will be very happy that you related with it.
Remember not to suppress, and remember not to create any chain. Once you learn the art you can be free of all these madnesses which come into you, without creating any disturbance in life. Every day catharsis is needed. Life is complex, and many things come into the mind which have to be thrown out.
That's why I emphasize Dynamic Meditation so much.”
OSHO
Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Ch. 7
--“Thanks for sharing this beautiful insight.
Now Dynamic Meditation…the first thing tomorrow morning!”
--“Great! Stay cool. Bye!”

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My Experience as a Disciple

February, 2012  

"When a disciple with total trust bows at the feet of his guru, something happens, which is invisible to the eye. Energy falls from the master, enters the disciple. The guru is heavy with infinite divine energy, which he can pour into infinite disciples. Alone, he can work with millions of disciples. He is never exhausted because he is connected with the whole. He has found the source. Through him, you too can leap into the whole. Surrendering to god is difficult because you don’t know where god is. But a guru can be found. And if you ask me, the guru is the address of god!"
OSHO:
Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, Ch.6
Thirty seven years ago I found the address of Bhagwan, God. It’s a long story, but the experience being in His presence that evening Darshan is as fresh at this moment as if it happened just a while ago. Later, it was during one of those early years, after having been initiated by him into sannyas in 1975, that I received a short reply from him to my letter I had mailed it from Chicago. The most significant line in that short message in Hindi was: “float like a dry leaf in a river.” What he is conveying to me through this message, as I am able to understand now is that, there are two ends of a continuum -- at one end is the struggle while on the other end is surrender. Moving from struggle to surrender is the very growth process of a disciple.
How abundantly his grace and love showered upon me can be seen from his following words I heard further on at a darshan on March 23, 1979:
“…So now dissolve yourself completely in the commune. Not even a trace of you has to be left behind, because if the surrender is total, then this life will be the last life, then there will be no need to come back again: enough is enough!”
Trust is a state of being – it can manifest but it cannot be measured directly. Trust is essentially a matter of choice and inner growth showing how to deal with spiritual challenges that outgrow rationalistic reasoning. Osho’s insight is: “…Trust, is the greatest quantum leap. To come from the head to the heart is the longest journey. Man can reach the moon -- that is easier -- and soon man will reach to the stars; that too is not very difficult. The only problem and the most difficult journey is: to move from the head to the heart, because they don't exist in the same dimension -- their ways of existing are so different.
OSHO
Darshan Diaries, The 99 Names of Nothingness, Ch.20
The most profound manifestation of such a “quantum leap” can be visible in the dynamics of how a disciple relates with the Master. According to Osho, a disciple is one who has an open mind, a receptive mind so he is not just learning from the Master but receiving, and thus continuously evolving. That is why in the spiritual world trust is seen as a basic component for being a disciple. Osho explains:
“The relationship between the disciple and the guru is a relationship of intimate trust. That doesn't mean blind faith, because the guru never expects you to believe in him -- that is not an expectation. But the very nature of the unknown is such that you cannot go a single step further without trust. Trust is required of the disciple because he will not be able to take a single step into the unknown without trusting the guru. The unknown is dark, the field is uncharted -- it is not bliss, it is not the ultimate -- and the guru is always saying, "Jump into it! Do it!" But before you can jump, trust is needed or you will not jump.”
OSHO
The Great Challenge, Ch.7, Q.1
The ultimate choice before the disciple is that of surrendering totally. The very phenomenon of surrender brings transformation and crystallization in the individual. The attitude of the disciple needs to be always one of total surrender. Then the guru is able to do anything because only through such total receptivity to him, one can be in communion with him. In Osho’s words:
“If you understand it well, Trust is the Guru. Guru is merely an excuse for the Trust to arise within you. So sometimes such incredible things have happened that the Guru was not really a Guru, but the disciple reached to the ultimate state. Although, it happens daily that the Guru remains a Guru but the disciple never reaches. Trust is really the key.”
OSHO
Suno Bhai Sadho, Translated from the Hindi, Ch.4
Trust, in the context of disciplehood, is not the same as when one applies it in social or business relationships. It is not just creating confidence and achieving perceived goal or desire. It is more like annihilation of one’s ego in order to merge with the luminous presence of the Master – it is essentially and truly falling in love with the Master. Osho makes this point clear: 
“We in India have given another word for falling in love with a master, just to show the difference. We call it SHRADDHA -- we call it trust, a loving trust. If you fall in love with a master -- and you will fall -- then there is a difference. You are in sleep, but the master is not in sleep. You will try in every way to create a conflict, violence, aggression but he can laugh at it -- at you. He can be kind and he can arrange things so that there is no collision. He can arrange things so there is no violence and no hate.”
OSHO
The Supreme Doctrine, Ch.15, Q.2
The very phenomenon of being a disciple is that of, re-spiritualization of one’s being, the very existence. Trusting the Master means going beyond the intellectual, the logical, the argumentative side of one’s personality and opening the heart to be filled with Guru’s grace and blessings.
And then , my last darshan of him in July 1989. The very next day that I returned to Poona from the US, I got a message to see him. The message came no less than as a pleasant surprise and a gift. I was alone with him for about twenty minutes. He looked rather fragile but his presence was supremely luminous. He spoke slowly and briefly about the nature of work as it was growing and asked me to get involved.
As I was to take his leave, I bowed down and touched his feet with deep reverence and gratitude and said with folded hands: I know I have never been totally with you, but now I am going to be total, Osho! Looking at me with the same loving eyes, he gave a very soft/enchanting/a rather sweet and mischievous smile!!
That moment of my surrendering in totality was possible for me because I had let go of my preconceived ideas, my concerns and expectations. In surrendering I seem to have discovered the meaning and implications of ‘I don’t know’ -- in fact ‘I can’t’. It is then that I became total. Surrendering in a way freed me to be and to welcome that which I might not have had otherwise without the let go. It was obvious, before, the mind was not cooperating in my being total. But it was perhaps the pain, the frustration that helped me eventually to come to the point of totality. And finally, all pain, agony, disappointment with myself vanished as the trust, the surrender became total.  
Since then, personal changes have occurred on several planes. However, what has distilled over the years I may summarize it, in all humbleness, is as follows. Though it needs to be seen more as part of an ongoing learning, an evolutionary process and not as an end product:
-- I am a tree in a forest, my destiny is to grow.
-- Osho is concerned little with the person, what I am; his attention is on the inner watcher within me and how it can be the true guiding force.
-- It is the task of the inner watcher to see and understand what I am going through and thereby eliminate/transcend the person. While there is indeed grace and blessings of the Master on one side, there must be total, unreserved dedication to the work -- inner and outer on the other.
-- I am not to reason and compare; my business is to co-create.
-- I am not to dispute and assert, but whisper results to the fellow traveler.
-- There is no alternative to love/loving. And there is no escape from relationship. Love, in my experience, is relationship in motion. To relate lovingly is to respect life/living.
-- Love has proven to be a purifying experience. It has helped me to drop the non-essential and keep the essential.  
Osho reminds:
You have to be sure about yourself, about your search, and if you are sure about yourself then you can devote yourself to a master totally. Remember, the totality of surrender is not going to come from the surety about the master; it is going to come from your own surety, your own totalness.”
OSHO
Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Ch.5, Q.1

So, as I started sharing Osho’s insight in his letter -- for me to float like a dry leaf, it seems to have materialized ever since receiving his blessings at the last darshan. From that point on, as a disciple, surrender has been more like a way of life. And, ever since then, Osho/Existence/Universe has been taking me along as the river takes the leaf along so delicately with such care, such compassion.
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India’s Healing And Therapeutic Paradigm: From Medication To Meditation

January, 2012  

Body is the principle operative means for both Ayurveda and Yoga. Ayurveda is the supportive system for keeping the body healed and healthy; Yoga, on the other hand, finds body as a principle instrument but mainly for the non-physical, inner, psychological, as well as spiritual healing and health. Ayurveda has been alleviated to the status of Veda – knowledge about ayush -- life, health.
Body and physical wellbeing are primary concerns of Ayurveda, but for Yoga consciousness is its main focus although it gives significant importance to body as a vehicle to experience consciousness. Hence, yoga and ayurveda are seen as sister sciences. Study of Ayurveda is considered useful for a practicing yogi, and knowledge of Yoga is found to be helpful for Ayurveda for leading a person from merely physical health and healing to spiritual health and healing. Seeking right ways to remove physical impediments and disorders through Ayurvedic methods is seen as essential. As Osho points out: “In ayurveda, which evolved by the side of yoga in the ancient India, a physician had to be a yogi also. Unless you are a yogi you cannot be a real physician. You cannot be a real healer. The physician had to watch his own inner arrangement before he would go to the patient to see and treat him.”
OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol.8, Ch.3
The central purpose of yoga is: harnessing the entire body-mind complex for the purpose of serving the spirit, soul, or consciousness. The most authoritative text on yoga is, Yoga Sutra of sage Patanjali (circa 2nd century B.C.E.- 4th century B.C.E.). The work consists of aphorisms (sutra) which place great emphasis on the purification of body-mind, on healing, health, and being holy for attaining the higher truth.
Healing, in yoga and ayurveda, involves something more than relieving, getting out of suffering. It really means: promoting wholeness, integration, attaining freedom to be whole, healthy, holy. Freedom is of the essence for being healthy. Health, in view of yoga and ayurveda, is a state of freedom from the impediments brought by the physiological and psychological forces. Such a state alone can lead one eventually to total freedom, moksha, liberation – the ultimate.

The bottom line, however, is that, in both these systems, awareness is the determining factor of being truly healthy. According to the Hindu view, ignorance is the cause of suffering. Hence, viveka or discriminative wisdom is the remedy for all kinds of suffering – physical or psychological. Ayurveda finds ignorance at the root of illness, and so, holds clarity of mind as a determining factor for being healthy.
The text on Ayurveda, Charak Samhita ( circa 600 B.C.E), lists, “Un-impairment of mind, intellect and senses” as a criteria for health. Thus, mental clarity contributes to freedom from suffering and pain: “…the ignorant indulge in unwholesome gratification of the five senses…and adoption of such regimens as are pleasing only temporarily, but the wise do not indulge in them because of their clarity of vision.” (Charak Samhita, 1:28. 39-40)
An important by product of yoga is a person’s awareness of his/her thoughts, feelings and being free of projection. But foremost in the awareness process is one’s ability to learn – a life long readiness to learning from one’s unawareness and thus cultivating human intelligence.
In short, in light of ayurveda and yoga, the Hindu view is that:

  • Spirituality represents a dimension of health (psycho-physiological).
  • Spirituality is not isolated or separate from mind-body complex. It, in fact, penetrates and empowers every cell and fiber of human organism.
  • The relationship of spirituality to health is reciprocal – health promotes spirituality and spirituality promotes health.

Here we may take a brief look at the Western view of health and medicine compared to what we find in ayurveda and yoga. Generally, Western medical science sees human being as a separate unit – separate from nature. It takes a mechanical view. And hence, wherever a use of machine succeeds, the medical science is successful. However, as is being explained by experts in Quantum Physics, such mechanistic view is partial, not holistic. As followed by the Western medical science, it treats only the part that is sick. This mechanical approach is piecemeal; it may succeed in treating the part. But the Eastern view is that the sick part is just a symptom of the actual disease – dis-ease. 
For ayurveda and yoga, humans are not machines but a whole living organism. The sick part in the body only shows that, it is the weakest link in the whole organic system of body-mind-consciousness. Ayurveda, essentially, is a science of LIFE – seen in its totality; while medical science of the West looks into just the phenomenon of body sickness, and treating it. Ayurveda and yoga stand for preventing sickness and maintaining the inner and the outer health. Osho brings the following perspective:
“The word for medical science in the East is ayurveda. Even the word will show you the difference. In the West you call it "medicine." Medicine means curing, healing, but can you see the implication: it does not mean health, it comes after the disease has already come in. It is a follow-up. First you are sick, then comes the doctor. The doctor follows sickness, with his bag of medicines.
“Ayurveda means the science of life. The very word has nothing to do with disease, sickness; it has something to do with life, health, longevity. It is positive, it is not negative. It shows you the way to remain healthy, to remain young as long as you want, to live longer if that's what you want. Its focus is not on sickness,  its focus is on health.”
OSHO
From Darkness to Light, Ch.27
Taking a comparative view of Allopathy, and Ayurveda as well as yoga, Osho shows how both the Eastern and Western approaches are different. His insight is that:
“Patanjali's yoga system and Hindu system of medicine, Ayurveda, developed simultaneously, together. Ayurveda is totally different than allopathy. Allopathy is suppressive of the disease. Allopathy has developed side by side with Christianity; it is a by -product. And because Christianity is suppressive, allopathy is suppressive. If you are ill, allopathy immediately suppresses the illness. Then the illness tries some other weak point to come up. Then from somewhere else it explodes. Then you suppress it from there, then from somewhere else it explodes. But with allopathy, you go on from one illness to another, from another to another, but it is a never-ending process.
“Ayurveda has a totally different concept. Illness should not be suppressed: it should be released. A catharsis is needed. So Ayurvedic medicine is given to the ill person so that the illness comes up and is thrown out, a catharsis. So the beginning doses of Ayurvedic medicine may make you more ill, and it takes a long time because it is not a suppression. It cannot be done right now: it is a long process. The illness has to be thrown, and your inner energy has to become a harmony so the health comes from within. The medicine will throw the illness out, and the healing force will replace it from your own being.”
OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol.2, Ch7
In the entire healing-ayurveda-yoga therapeutic paradigm, what is essentially at issue, however, is: self-transformation. The need for transformation arises only when one finds that we more or less live a life of imprisonment – whether that of physical illness or mental imbalance.
Self-transformation requires a conscious human intervention, a meditative process of awareness. In yoga, ayurveda, and such ancient physiological practices, their work was revealed and made known through inner meditative techniques. While in a way, modern physiology is known through dissection, but the ancient physiology was known through meditation, not dissection. So, transformation is not the same as “change”. We all change, we are changing; our body, mind, attitude go through changes. Transformation, per se, however, is a voluntary and intentional change.

Summing up, ayurveda and yoga systems show us the way to engaging in the work of self-transformation. Besides its implications for body-mind wellness, they see it as imperative for human existence, they see it as human destiny.
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Understanding the Phenomenon Called Osho

December, 2011

Understanding the phenomenon called “Osho” has proved strangely elusive. Perhaps that is inevitable because at the root, Osho represents the greatest potential paradigm shift in the history of humanity.
The first major misunderstanding is the meaning of Osho. Throughout his 59 years he was addressed in different ways, and finally a little over a year before his leaving the body, he announces that he was dropping all his names and would like to be addressed as “the beloved friend.” Then later, when people around him found this too difficult, he offers to accept the name “Osho,” if everyone “votes” for it. Strangely, none of us who did “vote” stopped to ask why we could not accept his original wish. 
The comments we have from him about this are the following. First he transforms a Zen Shout, like the traditional “Kwatz” from his own unique "Yaa-Hoo" to “Osho.” A device, to help find the hara, our center. Then he is asked to give a name to a new pyramidal building being constructed on the campus – The Osho International Commune, in Pune, India. “Osho House?” says the secretary as she writes this down. “No,” he replies, “Osho.” Then, in reference to what to put on the books which had been transcribed from his talks, and which now had the “wrong” name on, he dictates that “his name is derived from William James' word ‘oceanic’ which means dissolving into the ocean.  Oceanic describes the experience, he says, but what about the experiencer?  For that we use the word “Osho.” And finally, he later makes the comment that Osho “was not his name, but a healing sound derived from William James’s oceanic.”
What is the relevance of all this you might ask. Well, the more you listen to what he is actually saying, the more you discover that he has carefully anticipated a time when he would no longer be present, a time when the traditional ideas of a “dead Indian guru or master who leaves his disciples behind” would naturally be projected onto his work.
In contrast to this view, we discover that he is clear that he was “not a guru”. In his words:”That is a dirty word. Because all gurus have been just exploiting people in the name of spirituality. I don't belong to that gang. And I am not an Indian in the sense that I don't believe in nationalities. I simply believe that the whole earth is one.”
OSHO
The Last Testament, Vol.3, Ch.4
He warns, “And don't be bothered about historians and all kinds of neurotic people -- they will do their thing. It is none of our concern at all.”
And on another occasion when asked whether he would like to be remembered, as a mystic, a spiritual leader, a philosopher? He replies, “Just a no body. I would like it to be as if I had never been.”
And even when specifically addressing the people around him, he continuously insists that they have to understand this work is not about him, it is about them: “I cannot always be in this physical body with you; one day or another the physical vehicle has to be dropped. My work is complete as far as I am concerned. If I am carrying this physical vehicle, it is just for you; some day, it has to be dropped. Before it happens you must be ready to work in my absence, or in my nonphysical presence which means the same. And once you can feel me in my absence you are free of me, and then even if I am not here in this body the contact will not be lost.
It always happens when a Buddha is there: his physical presence becomes so meaningful. And then he dies. Everything is shattered.”
And on another occasion: “If you become addicted to my physical presence then rather than being a help it may become a disturbance, because then when you go away, you will miss me. Your meditation should be such here that it can happen without my presence, then wherever you go the meditation will not be in any way affected.”
OSHO
A Bird on the Wing, Ch.1
So, the fundamental paradox becomes clear. Osho is basically putting humanity on the couch and unraveling its every madness. He surgically describes all that is insane with the world around us and how those lunacies are simply expressions of our own inner schizophrenia. And vice versa, he takes all our inner distortions and shows how these create the outer barbarity that passes for “civilization.” And at every turn, he would explain, and demonstrate with his presence, the fundamental medicine for the disease, meditation.
Turning the world around on a dime was never going to be easy, or quick. Perhaps that is why he says that he “would be contemporary in two centuries” -- long after, his listeners were dead and gone.
And Osho always starts with exactly what existence offers him. And that is: you and me, his listeners of any particular day. And unless he could entertain us, intrigue us, connect with us in some way that kept us sitting there long enough to hear his real message of meditation, we would miss the real reason for his speaking.

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Youth: Challenges And Opportunities

November, 2011

Not too long ago, the Chinese leadership brought in new young faces at the helm of political affairs. It was acknowledged by the aging leaders that forcing young people into prolonged adolescence was not in the interest of China in view of the fast changing competitive world of today.  As for India, it is estimated that 47 % of India's current population of one billion is under the age of 20, and teenagers among them number about 160 million. By 2015, Indians under 20 will make up 55% of the population.
A Times of India special report (Feb.16, 2003) shows the kind of cynicism and disillusionment that exists in the youth of India today. The reasons for their reluctance to enter into the political process are clear and obvious. Corrupt means, caste and communal biases, money and muscle power are some of the reasons that completely dissuade young minds to enter into the political arena. 
While our leaders go on lecturing the young people about how, for example, the future of India rests on their shoulders, and exhort them to follow ethics and morality, the discrepancy between their talk and walk reflects a huge gap in evolution of values they so passionately proclaim. Their hollow words ill-equip the youth, for unless the young are given unambiguous directions they find their very survival at stake. Young people, highly disillusioned, are increasingly rejecting inauthentic and hypocritical institutions which they see are totally out of touch as far as their realities, their hopes and aspirations are concerned.
The young sense intuitively that they are being misled and hence often reject not just elders’ emphasis on ethical and moral values but their entire world – including regard for any kind of success, achievement, excellence or whatever. It is then that in disgust they seem to find help, solace, and refuge in alcohol, drugs, or unsafe sex. Their desperation rests upon the perception that they are being taken for granted and are being deceived into believing values which are totally incompatible to their world of reality.
 
The crucial question seems to be: how can the youth feel respected, empowered and loved that is needed to assure truly a bright and promising future? In the wake of new and complex challenges of the twenty-first century, how can they become joyful partners in creating a progressively just, humane and loving world? The existing religious, social and political realities have already led many young people into living in a cynical and a fatalistic world of their own. So the challenge before us is: how to bring the youth out of their despair and distrust for the world surrounding them and invigorate them with a new energy for building their future – freely and creatively.
Osho has shown a great deal of concern for the young. He has not only shared his concern but has also given specific direction as to how the youth can become an effective partner in transforming his or her life and the life around. He has placed main focus on the following:
Willingness to Learn:
A young person must always be open and receptive to learning and thus changing oneself. Life brings new experiences, new opportunities; hence one is in a continuous process of finding new answers. Otherwise, simply repeating the old answers one becomes stale and loses the spirit of inquiry.
Open to Search and Inquire:  
Willingness to face the unknown is a quality that brings out a spirit of adventure which can give an enormous sense of gratification. Osho points out that when treading the unknown path mistakes will happen, one may go astray, but he recommends never giving up. The familiar may be easy to follow but it never allows the best from within to surface. Not to imitate others but to initiate new ways and means gives a sense of fulfillment. To discover, he says, is to remain contemporary. While beating the same path makes even a young person old before time.
Courage to Stand Alone:
As it is easy to live with the familiar, it is convenient to follow the crowd. But whatever the crowd does is out of blind following. In order to search and explore the new, one needs the courage to get out of the crowd mentality. Osho says: “one would rather die than give up the struggle in facing the world according one’s own sense of direction and one’s own understanding.” It is this very readiness to go alone and face the challenge that brings transformation within, says Osho.
Wisdom, not Knowledge
To accumulate knowledge is not too difficult – certainly not in the present age of Information. To earn wisdom is to have an existential understanding. Any act of rejection or opposition can be only a reaction. Osho finds reaction not an act of intelligence but of re-acting the same, repeating the same as one has been doing before. Wisdom and understanding bring a spontaneous response which manifests the inner strength, self confidence, and independence.
Meditation
Wisdom, according to Osho, comes out of meditation. How one is close to the inner center will determine how much wisdom one has. “Farther one is from one’s own inner being, the less intelligent he will be. Meditation brings intelligence and wisdom. Such as one acquires knowledge through schooling and instruction, one attains wisdom through meditation,” he explains. He strongly recommends, therefore, a “movement for meditation” so as to bring meditation to each and every child.
The youth is leaning more toward unconsciousness, as is evident from the stories appearing in the media. The path of wisdom and meditation alone can bring about what Osho calls a “cultural revolution” which will create the kind of awareness that can help in preventing the energy of the youth going down the drain. In Osho’s words:
“…Certainly, the values of life are wrong; otherwise why should there be so much disturbance, meaninglessness and confusion in man’s life? …The values of life will have to be changed…In this world material wealth is increasing, because every new generation takes it to more distant horizons than the previous generation, but spiritual wealth is not increasing because our minds are very much shackled to the past. The son does not hesitate to build a new house where his father had made one. But some deep fear prevents us from developing the inheritance that is left behind by Rama, Krishna, the Buddha, Mahavira or the Christ…

“Every generation should prepare the new generation in such a way that the old generation is left far behind in every way. The desire to keep the new generation tied to the old generation, and to restrict its movement within the boundaries of the old, is a sick desire and is not indicative of a healthy mind.”
OSHO
Revolution in Education, Chapter 2

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Don’t Let Me Down...Okay?

November, 2011

"One man against the whole history of humanity," as Osho describes himself, it follows fairly naturally that he will be the most misunderstood. And mostly the misunderstanding arises because most people only see one snapshot of what is really an adventure movie. They see a pool rather than a river of consciousness.
As time goes by and our understanding of the full implications of that river increases, what is most striking is the process. Yes, the essential was always there, is always there. But the form was tailored to the needs of the moment: what would best help his listeners at that moment to move on, to move away from that "whole history," in which he could see people trapped, towards that he describes as the possibility of a "Golden Future."
So, first he is known as someone similar to J.Krishnamurti -- against masters, disciples, techniques and so on. A firebrand who berated the conventional wisdom of his time, whether it was Marx or Gandhi, Mahavira, Shankara or whosoever that he found needed to be questioned or reassessed. But then it seems he discovers that the people who will understand him are actually trapped in the religions. So he takes up religion.
There is a very funny story of Osho turning up to talk on Krishna in Bombay in the late 60's. The doorman asked in surprise if it were true he was talking on Krishna, because "you were here two years ago talking against Krishna."
Osho replies, "Yes, but if I speak against Krishna, nobody comes, so I am speaking in favor of Krishna. And if you repeat this conversation, I will deny it."
Osho describes in the following words the first steps into the traditional role of master and disciple:
"The day I started initiating, my only fear was, 'Will I be able to someday change my followers into my friends?' The night before, I could not sleep. Again and again I thought, 'How am I going to manage it? A follower is not supposed to be a friend.' I said to myself that night in Kulu-Manali in the Himalayas, 'Don't be serious. You can manage anything, although you don't know the A-B-C of managerial science.'"
So rather than staying with doubt, as J.Krishnamurti did, Osho begins with trust first as the foundation of a really intelligent doubt. But he says of this period:
"The game that I had to play was a necessary evil; otherwise it would not have been possible to find you. Do you think you would have come to an atheist, an amoralist, a godless, irreligious person? If you ask yourself that question you will understand why I had to use religion and religious terminology. I was using it against myself just for you. It was for your sake that I have been doing that whole number, but now there is no need."
OSHO
Personality to Individuality, Ch 14, Q1
So he plays the role of master, initiates disciples, sometimes on railway stations, makes a satire out of our conditioning around "sannyas," accepts the name Bhagwan to infuriate all, and then one day simply says, "The joke is over."
Explaining this he says:
I would like to say something which I have been keeping a secret my whole life.
Then Osho describes how Ananda asks Buddha if he has passed on everything….
Buddha said, 'You will understand. I have said only this much, and I have kept secret all these leaves that are in the whole forest.'
And continuing further, Osho says:
My situation is just different. I have said the whole forest; only one thing I have kept secret, just one leaf.
 Osho then describes that what Buddha is saying about returning as the friend is of tremendous importance, that it is just Buddha's insight that:
The ancient relationship between the Master and the disciple would become irrelevant in twenty-five centuries. It was his clarity of perception -- he was not predicting anything -- just his clarity to see that as things are changing, as they have changed in the past and as they go on changing, it would take at least twenty-five centuries for the Master and disciple relationship to become out of date. Then the enlightened Master will be only the friend.
I had always wanted not to be a Master to anybody. But people want a Master, they want to be disciples; hence, I played the role. It is time that I should say to you that now many of you are ready to accept me as the friend.
There are people who are sometimes in tune with me and sometimes not in tune with me. You are asking why it happens. The reason is -- perhaps you may be surprised to know -- sometimes they are in tune with me because I am in tune with them, because whatever I am saying is in accordance with them. They feel, "This is perfectly right." They are not in tune with me. On the contrary, they feel they are in tune with me only because I am fulfilling some of their ideas, some of their expectations. That is illusion.
Once you are really in tune with me, you cannot fall out of it. But if somebody falls out of it, that simply means that I have said something, I have done something, which is not in accordance with you. You remain the judge. You have not dropped judgment. Your ego is still there.
So remember one thing: when you are with me, then it is a continuum, without any gap. What I say, what I do, does not matter, because you are not a judge. You love me the way I am. I don't judge you. I love you the way you are. And if it changes, then remember it is a judgment, and rather than going with me, you are trying to drag me with you. And that is not very loving.
And then Osho ends by saying:
It is exactly twenty-five centuries after Buddha's death…. And you have to rise up so that what I want the movement to become, it becomes. So that the dream is realized.
"Don't let me down. Okay?
OSHO
The Last Testament, Vol.3, Ch.23
Of course, Osho has always insisted that he has no followers, only fellow travelers, but following is so easy and cozy. Then it is not my responsibility. Then I can put the responsibility on someone else, God, my guru, Jesus, Buddha, whatever. But slowly and inexorably Osho withdraws his support we seek for our projections, like a bird luring its young from the nest. And that is now the acid test.
“To Be, or not To Be” is no longer an issue for one devoted to Osho’ vision. The issue now is: How To Be and How Not To Be. Creating something that depended on Osho's presence was one thing. To create now something that is self-regenerating, self-growing, without any outer help, relying only on one’s inner sources and maturity is a different thing altogether. 
It is useful to acknowledge that, Osho lived and functioned in “Here & Now” and to that extent he invites us to be part of a spiritual growth process as he designed it not leaving it to be altered or interpreted differently later. Warmth and love, awareness and understanding, collective creativity with individual responsibility, non-tinkering with his words, vision and meditations have never been subject to negotiation or open to be discounted for finding quick answers.

Historically, within the various spiritual movements, the differences in perceptions and practices are evident -- for some, remaining true to the Master; and for others, who interpret the truth Master has given as they deem fit regardless of how it works or doesn’t work spiritually. Consequently, the challenge remains for each seeker under this situation to find where he/she stands rather than getting into value judgments.
Equally important is a fact that, “Forget and Forgive” statement by Osho is an indication for one to grow in spiritual maturity and not for finding justifications in allowing one to fulfill one’s ego-mind. In this respect, it is crucial to learn what Osho says in answer to a question: “HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED?
He says:

“I would simply like to be forgiven and forgotten. There is no need to remember me. The need is to remember yourself ! People have remembered Gautam Buddha and Jesus Christ and Confucius and Krishna. That does not help. So what I would like: forget me completely, and forgive me too -- because it will be difficult to forget me. That's why I am asking you to forgive me for giving you the trouble. Remember yourself.”
OSHO
The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch.29

This is very different if one were to interpret Osho’s statement to mean just ignoring Osho – his work and vision, in supporting what one sees through one’s limited perception born out of an ego-mind.
One indeed feels so fortunate and blessed that Osho left his message totally unambiguous as far as his worldwide revolution in consciousness is concerned. Who would have thought it possible, otherwise -- that today his work expands "beyond our minds" as he forecast?

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Shackles of Tradition

October, 2011

It is said that, during a service at an old synagogue in Eastern
Europe, when the prayer was being said, half the congregants stood up and half remained sitting. The half that was seated started yelling at those standing to sit down, and the ones standing yelled at the ones sitting to stand up.
The rabbi, learned as he was in the Law and commentaries didn't know what to do. His congregation suggested that he consult a 98-year old man, who was one of the original founders of their temple. The rabbi hoped the elderly man would be able to tell him what the actual temple tradition was.
So he went to the nursing home with a representative of each faction of the congregation. The one whose followers stood during the prayer said to the old man, "Is the tradition to stand during this prayer?"
The old man answered, "No, that is not the tradition."
The one whose followers sat asked, "Is the tradition to sit during the prayer?"
The old man answered, "No, that is not the tradition."
Then the rabbi said to the old man, "The congregants fight all the time, yelling at each other about whether they should sit or stand!"
The old man interrupted, exclaiming, "THAT is our tradition!"
Religion is not in the tradition, nor in rituals. Religion has no adjective to it. Religion is simply religion, as love is love. Can we call love Christian, Hindu, Muslim? If love is neither Christian nor Hindu nor Islamic, then why should God be Christian, Hindu or Jewish? Has not Jesus said `God is Love'? The enlightened ones have reminded: no one can be born into a religion; rather, religion has to be born into you. One has to open one’s soul and receive religion. In the church it is not, in the mosque or synagogue it is not, in the temple it is not.
Osho points out, “Science depends on tradition. Without a Newton, without an Edison, there is no possibility for Albert Einstein to have existed at all. He needs a certain tradition; only on that tradition, on the shoulders of the past giants in the world of science, he can stand. Of course when you stand on the shoulders of somebody you can look a little farther than the person on whose shoulders you are standing, but that person is needed there.
“Science is a tradition, but religion is not a tradition: it is an individual experience, utterly individual. Once something is known in the world of science it need not be discovered again, it will be foolish to discover it again. You need not discover the theory of gravitation -- Newton has done it. You need not go and sit in a garden and watch an apple fall and then conclude that there must be some force in the earth that pulls it downwards; it will be simply foolish. Newton has done it; now it is part of human tradition….. But in religion you have to discover again and again. No discovery becomes a heritage in religion.”
OSHO
I Am That, Ch.3, Q.2
A Master, such as Osho, teaches us that God's way of being present in the world is His absence. He is not present by being present. God is present by being absent. That is His way of being present in the world. You cannot pinpoint: here is God. And wherever you can pinpoint, He is not. “He is everywhere and nowhere. You cannot locate, you cannot say "in the north, or in the south, or in this temple, or in that mosque" -- you cannot pinpoint God. If you pinpoint, it will be something else, not God -- a statue, a scripture, a tradition, a morality, but not religion, not God. God is everywhere! His way of presence is to be absent, and this is what a Master teaches you. HIS presence is also a way of being absent.”
OSHO
Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol.3, Ch.1

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Decisiveness

September, 2011

A decision is defined as a choice made between alternative courses of action in a situation of uncertainty. Vanilla or strawberry? Mango or Apple? Left or Right? Life or death? We make tons of decisions unconsciously. We choose actions, form opinions, pass judgments via certain mental processes which are often influenced by our biases, reasoning, emotions, and memories from the past. Questions have often been raised whether we really even have a free will.  

Daily we face choices between heading for procrastination or for a firm action. One is required to make a decision about the direction one must take. Sometimes the decision ends into procrastination. Since we have many choices between procrastinating and acting firmly, one will have many opportunities to get decisive.

Sigmund Freud used the metaphor of a horse and rider to show the endless conflict between our emotional impulse and our reasoning ability. The horse is the source of our emotional impulses, while the rider represents reason. How we resolve a conflict between reason and emotion can very well determine whether one is procrastinating or not.

Guiding the horse requires awareness. And as Osho points out, decision is needed. One  has to decide each moment. Each moment lost without decision creates fragmentation within  us. As each moment is decided, one gradually becomes collected, one piece, you become together. A moment comes, when we become integrated. Osho makes a point though that, decision is not really the thing: decisiveness is. “Through decisions you become decisive.” He explains:

“The more decisive you become, the more integrated you become. The more you take the responsibility of commitment... of course, it is very dangerous, but life is dangerous. I know there are many possibilities of going astray, but that risk has to be taken. There are possibilities you may err, but one learns by erring. Life is trial and error. Decision should arise in your being, because with decisiveness integrity arises. Remember, make a few decisions. Decisions will make you individual.”
OSHO
The Search, Ch.1
What is indecisiveness? It simply means many voices within us are contradicting each other, and we cannot decide whether to go this way or that. And consequently, those who don't know how to decide remain vague, cloudy, confused. With decision comes clarity. And if the decision is far-reaching, if the decision has something to do with your life foundations, it can bring a new birth, a new way of doing and being.
Osho’s insight is: “Decisiveness brings light. Even if you decide to remain the same, even that will bring light to you; things will be clear. Even if you decide wrongly, then too decision is good. If you decide rightly it is a great blessing, but if you decide wrongly, then too it is better than the indecisive state of mind.
Decisiveness is always good; man is born through decisiveness. Remaining wavering, doing things half-heartedly, doing and not doing, just going so far and then turning back, is a sheer wastage of energy. And if you remain this way too long, it becomes your habit. Then it becomes a deep rut in your mind: again and again you do the same thing and the rut goes deeper and deeper and deeper. Stop it!”
OSHO
Darshan Diaries, The Further Shore, Ch.15
Currently, the civil society movement under the strong leadership of Anna Hazare is an eye opener on the issue of how to be decisive. With a firm resolve and a clear, unambiguous strategy the civil society has shown a determined effort towards cleaning up corruption in India. It is this kind of decisiveness that Osho is talking about which has crystallized not only the youth of India but practically men and women from all walks of life. It is a conscious and a clearly defined movement well focused and well energized. Osho’s following insight gives a well deserved credence to this courageous effort: 
“Your making the decision alone will bring an end to the state of unconsciousness, because a decision cannot emerge in an unconscious state. Lacking decisiveness, you will simply go on drifting here and there, pushed by the society. ..You are just pulled and pushed from all sides. So if you stay indecisive, the state of unconsciousness will become more and more condensed.

There is no harm if one has to make a decision -- even for the wrong reasons. As I see it, there is only one wrongdoing -- not to make a decision. And there is only one virtue -- to be decisive. So be decisive.”
OSHO
And Now,And Here, Ch.11, Q.2
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Families in Upheaval

June, 2011

 The structure of family, around the world, is undergoing profound changes. The observations and findings contained in a report, “Families in Focus”, published in 1995, still hold true today – even more transparently than before. The Population Council, an international nonprofit organization based in New York, has analyzed a demographic and household studies from different countries. Judith Bruce, one of the authors of this study, says:
“The idea that the family is a stable and cohesive unit in which father serves as economic provider and mother serves as emotional care giver is a myth. The reality is that trends like unwed motherhood, rising divorce rates, smaller households and the feminization of poverty are not unique to America, but are occurring worldwide.”
The report also brings to our attention that, marriages are breaking with increasing frequency – for reasons which include: abandonment, divorce or death of a spouse, and separation. In many developed countries, the report points out, divorce rates have gone up dramatically and the trend of divorces in developing countries is alarmingly high. The economic reality is that, parents while earning livelihood are facing growing burden caring for children. Even in families where fathers are present and earning, mothers are carrying greater responsibility for the future of their children. The report indicates that compared to men, women around the world are putting longer hours for work – at home and on the job.
Based on many news reports and studies we learn that perhaps family may not be the perfect or ideal arrangement, in fact, evidentially, it can be seen as breeding ground of violence and pathological behavior. As Osho points out, “The family is root cause of all our neurosis.” Parents abuse children, children abuse parents, domestic violence where women are beaten, maimed, and even killed (or burned by in-laws, as in many instances in India, for dowry related resentments). It is indeed an irony that the most commonly accepted rationale for the family is the claim that it protects the very members who are, in fact, its greatest victims – women and children.
The familiar belief that the family nurtures warmth and love is now rests on a shaky grounds, for within the family an environment is rarely free of selfishness, greed, authoritarian rule, and power politics. So, although it is a disturbing reality, but based on statistical evidence home is not necessarily “sweet” for many. The worst enemies are not strangers but the very members who make up the “family”. Even if there is no violence, feelings are routinely bruised or taken for granted and  one’s self esteem is shaken. As part of survival, too often one begins to learn rage and intrigue, shame and guilt.
Being one of the oldest institutions, it may not be easy to discard family. However, in view of the changing economic, social and cultural realities, the impacting tensions and pressures within the traditional framework of family, a much wider and pragmatic discussion is needed to have a new look at this issue. A dysfunctional family is certainly not in the interest of creating a healthy, happy society and for that matter making a peaceful world.
The family has been seen by many as “shock absorber” – a place where one finds care and stability, hope and support. Critics of the family, however, point out it is becoming increasingly out of date and is racing toward extinction.
Futurists, such as the well known author Alvin Toffler, have made a convincing argument that we need to acknowledge the fact that, scientific and technological advances as well as the amazing progress in reproductive biology can in the near future demolish our orthodox view of family – its value and utility. For example, now that the babies are grown in a laboratory, in the test tube, how do we see the whole concept of maternity? And, consequently, how would women be convinced that their primary contribution to the society is propagation and nourishment of human race?  If a woman can now bear in her uterus an embryo which was originally conceived in another woman’s womb, who actually is the mother of the child and who precisely could be the father? Moreover, if embryos are now available for sale, can they be bought and sold as gross or retail, and if so, wouldn’t family be seen more as a commercial enterprise rather than a repository of ancestral name and status?  Furthermore, as homosexuality is becoming more socially acceptable, and gay as well as lesbian “marriages” are gaining in number, would these “domestic partners” be technically seen as parents as in heterosexual marriage?  The point is, it is no longer possible to see family simply in conventional terms.
Further, the increasing pace of life is creating new challenges for family. Toffler says in Future Shock:
“…We grow up sooner, leave home sooner, marry sooner, have children sooner. We space them more closely together and complete the period of parenthood more quickly…But if industrialism, with its faster pace of life, has accelerated the family cycle, super-industrialism now threatens to smash it altogether…When a “mother” can compress the process of birth into a brief visit to an embryo emporium, when by transferring embryos from womb to womb we can destroy even the ancient certainty that childbearing took nine months, children will grow up into a world in which the family cycle, once so smooth and sure, will be jerkily arrhythmic.” (1970, pp.228-229)
Osho has given a much deeper insight into the whole issue of marriage and family. It is also a more comprehensive and a constructive view. He draws our attention to the fact that, family “…conditions the child to a certain religious ideology, political dogma, some philosophy, some theory. And the child is so innocent and so accepting, so vulnerable that he can be exploited.” Hence, the real damage the family has caused to human society is the indoctrination of each new generation. Young people are conveniently stuffed with belief systems and values that support the vested interests of institutionalized religion, the state, and the family as well. Being totally dependent on adults in the family for their material and emotional support, children’s vulnerability is manipulated “in their best interests”. The fact is that, the conditioning adults receive in their childhood they in turn transfer it to their offspring and in effect imprison them for life.
Osho explains: “The family does not help the child to enquire; it gives beliefs and beliefs are poisons. Once the child becomes burdened with beliefs his enquiry is crippled, paralyzed, his wings are cut. By the time he is able to enquire he will be so conditioned that he will move into every investigation with a certain prejudice – and with a prejudice your enquiry is not authentic.”
Osho’s most urgent concern is that, preventing a free and open enquiry since the childhood leaves no possibility that one can ever discover truth. “That is why there are so few Buddhas in the world: the root cause is the family,” he says. “Otherwise every child is born a Buddha, comes with the potential to reach the ultimate consciousness, to discover the truth, to live a life of bliss. But the family destroys all these dimensions…” (Philosophia Ultima)
As the institution of family stands on shaky grounds, the choices before us are clear: either, individuals become more and more alienated and gradually end up living alone, or people start living as a commune. B.F. Skinner in Walden Two and Robert Rimmer in The Harrad Experiment and Proposition 31 describe this idea. Osho has not only talked about this option but has created a sustainable and innovative commune. He declares:
“I teach the commune, not the family. The commune is the alternative to the family.”
The commune of Osho’s vision is based on meditation and can fulfill the many dreams and longings of mankind. A commune frees parents from the treadmill of frustrating parenthood, and it releases spouses from the obligation of "until death do us apart.” The commune is responsible for the children and the woman is free to be an individual – not just a “mother” or a “wife.” She can be both, but out of her own choice, not simply to meet the standards and expectations laid out by the society. Once the external pressures are removed, those who would decide to stay together would do so because they wish to stay together. For them, marriage would be an experience of genuine fulfillment, or in other words, those who choose to be together they are truly in love and they spiritually nourish each other.

As an alternative to Family and its crippling effects, Osho has given a vast vision of how a commune can benefit humanity. He makes it clear   that, “The real socialism can only be the fragrance of a commune deep in meditation. It has nothing to do with the social structure or the economy. Real socialism is not a revolution in the society, it is not social: it is the revolution in the individual consciousness.”( I Am That )  The choice is clear, the choice is ours!
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Does women becoming empowered mean they are happy?

May, 2011

“Daily torture of women continues across the globe” screams a newspaper headline. Amnesty International shows in its report a “global culture” which gives an alarming picture of how women are still being subjected to inhuman treatment and injustice. A lot is being written in the print and electronic media on women’s issues which obviously reflect the stark reality as regards women’s conditions despite provisions of legal remedies and public outcry. Indeed, statistically, one may show how women are getting into important positions in the financially growing corporate world and elsewhere, nevertheless, one still finds something very crucially missing in the various reflections on this issue. And that is, going deeper into the vary phenomenon of women abuse as it has persisted for centuries worldwide.

It is still relevant to draw one’s attention to the fact that tracked by numerous surveys it has been pointed out, “as women have gained more freedom, more education and more economic power, they have become less happy.” The paradox is further revealed through the following statement in a survey, “More than two-thirds of women still think men resent powerful women, yet women are more likely than men to say female bosses are harder to work for than male ones. Men are much more likely to say there are no longer any barriers to female advancement, while majority of women say men still have it better in life.” (TIME October,2009).

The contemporary visionary, Osho, has gone into the root of this issue and has made us aware of how it is needed urgently that in the twenty first century we open doors for the fifty percent of humanity to contribute in making this world a better place to live.  

Women are born into a state of utter degradation, which is equally widespread and unyielding as conditions faced in the name of race and caste. Despite the much talked about “women’s liberation,” the fact of the matter is that women are seriously and systematically discriminated against almost universally. The examples of such discrimination abound in terms of education, employment, salary, opportunity for higher positions but especially in terms of extending  simple courtesy and respect.

http://download.oshoworld.com/media/english/OSHO-From_Unconciousness_to_Conscious_16.mp3

It is ironic, though, that since infancy along with female the male also depends for protection and nourishment upon one woman or another.  Ordinary common sense would, therefore, dictate that such an important person be given the due respect, attention and a special place in the overall scheme of life. But that does not seem to be the case. What does emerge, however, is ambivalence on the part of man in his attitude and demeanor toward woman. For no lesser a person than Freud, a woman has been nothing short of mystery. He says: “Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer…the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want?”

For centuries, how ambivalent and contradictory perceptions regarding woman have prevailed in the East and the West can be seen through a few examples. In the Western culture, for instance, one comes across common gestures of giving up one’s seat in a bus or train, or allowing a woman to enter first, or opening the door etc. On the other hand, a person like Picasso is reported to have said, “There are only two kinds of women – goddesses and doormats.” Napoleon is very direct when he says: “Nature intended women to be our slaves. They are our property; we are not theirs. They belong to us, just as a tree that bears fruits belongs to a gardener. What a mad idea to demand equality for women! Women are machines for producing children.”

In reference to belief in reincarnation and the idea that rebirth can also mean a gender change, Dr. Leonard George points out in his book, Alternative Realities, “It is noteworthy that anxiety about inter-life sex change partially motivated orthodox Christianity to suppress the reincarnation doctrine. St. Jerome wrote that the worst part was that ‘we may have to fear that we who are now men may afterwards be born women.’”

In the Indian context, the ambivalence toward women is sharply divided. On the one hand a woman is put on a pedestal by calling her grihalaxmi. Her status in the family is exalted by saying: yatra naryantu pujyate, ramante tatra devataha (gods dwell in a place where a woman is revered).  On the other hand, Tulsidas makes it perfectly clear: dhol ganwar shudra pashu nari, ye sab taadan ke adhikari (the drum, the ill-bred, the untouchable, the animal, the woman they all deserve to be beaten).

Clearly, a woman in man’s view is never seen as a human being, as an individual, as one who has her own individuality. She is never accepted on her own right. She is worshipped but not given due rights. She is used as a slave, but not given any benefits.

The strategy of man has been to keep her stuck in the image created by him for his own vested interest – whether as a grihalaxmi or as his property. First, man convinced her into seeing herself within this framework, and subsequently, the woman got so conditioned to seeing herself accordingly that she couldn’t perceive herself differently. She complained, she cried, she begged for relief but never dared to get out of the imprisonment of her image. So, first the man was conditioned to perceive women in a certain way, and then the woman too got conditioned to perceive her on the same lines and accepted it without any hope for a better life.

Concerned with women’s plight, several reformers in India came forward, but they came with the assumption of helping the “weaker” gender. Whether it is an issue of child marriage, widow re-marriage, or any other form causing women to suffer, they sincerely tried to help. But their help was extended within the same parameters of religion, caste, morality, ethics, social norm – they gave protection and shelter to the suffering women but not freedom from suffering. 

Osho is the first visionary of the contemporary world to recognize woman on her own right—not just as someone’s daughter, wife, or mother, but simply as a woman independent of all identifying labels. He has restored her lost dignity and has given her individuality. In a forthright manner he declares, “Woman can never be free unless she drops artificial conditioning. It is difficult to drop them because the society respects you for those qualities. It is very ego-fulfilling, so to drop them seems to be very difficult.”

Indeed, Osho is a post-feminist. When the women’s liberation movement of the seventies was brought to his attention, he immediately points out where it was going wrong. In their efforts to liberate themselves from the bondage that came with womanhood, he asserts, the champions of women’s liberation were in danger of “liberating” themselves from womanhood itself. In sociological terms, Osho finds it utterly counter-productive for women to ask for “equality”. His view is that men and women are essentially different; in fact, each is endowed with unique qualities. And hence he says: “Woman’s uniqueness must be recognized, respected, supported. Women must have an equal opportunity, but not the opportunity to imitate man’s quality, rather, opportunity to develop her own qualities.”

Although women are attaining education, a little economic and political freedom, a position of high responsibility here and there, and yet, her original predicament still remains – she is still not free from within. But her inner freedom largely depends on man becoming free from within – free from the centuries old inner conditionings created by the family, the society and the religion.

Essentially, however, both men and women are prisoners -- prisoners of their mind. Both have lived in slavery. Mind, when it is allowed to function as a master turns out to be a ruthless dictator. Meditation can de-throne this dictator and put it in its right place -- as a partner in evolution. All along, men and women have suffered under the control of mind. It is time for both to be free from it and walk together, work together, celebrate life together in turning this earth into what Osho calls:"a lotus paradise".

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Meditation: Motion in Rest

April, 2011

Osho has repeatedly pointed out that mankind is facing today an unprecedented crisis where not only biological but psychological survival is under a constant threat. Hence, he stresses the fact that in the first place, we urgently need to pay attention to the problems of the Mind, the challenges faced by the interiority of human existence.  The human situation today is such that a new species of mankind, what Osho calls the “New Man”, must be born if the current crisis of consciousness is to be resolved. And this requires that we recognize as well as apply the science of meditation; that both the biological and the psychological levels are scientifically synchronized.

For thousands of years sages have shared the spiritual science of Meditation which governs human consciousness. Osho has refined this science in ways similar to how other sciences are applying the methodology of observation, experimentation, repetition, and the evident proof of  millions of transformed lives of meditators.

We are witnessing increasing evidence from various scientific data that the entire universe is nothing but energy in movement. It is a process of energy in motion. What this means is that, we are always affecting each other within a given environment. Also, modern science has shown that matter and energy are interchangeable. Matter is nothing but energy in its static state; while, matter in its dynamic state is energy. Thus, in reality, the whole universe is permeated with energy. Modern science also shows how there are various categories of energy. For example: Mechanical, Electrical, Nuclear, Chemical and so on. However, the scientists also point out that all these different forms of energy are essentially expressions of one energy – the Cosmic Energy. It is this very energy that pervades all around the universe expressing itself at different levels, in different forms. On similar lines, meditation is also a manifestation of energy. Osho makes this very clear when he points out:

“The mystics have always come to one conclusion that, our innermost core consists of nothing but pure light. Now modern physics is absolutely in agreement with the mystics. Modern physics says there is no matter but only electrons; electrons are light particles, just pure energy, no matter in it. But that has always been the experience of the people who have gone deep into meditation: they entered within and found that there is nothing but light. Science has entered from without, penetrated matter and found that there is nothing but light. About one thing religion and science agree, and about one thing only -- that all is light. But this is a great agreement.”
OSHO
Darshan Diaries: God’s Got a Thing About You, Ch. 8

Meditation, as explained in the context of Yoga by Osho, is as much a religion as it is a science. In its scientifically designed transformation process meditation is concerned with sat (Truth or Being), chit (Consciousness), and anand (Bliss or Joy). The main objective of meditation, however, is beyond these three – the Samadhi, the Silence transcending all dualities, all opposites, and all conflicts. Osho puts it all through the following observation:

“sat chit anand -- satchitanand. sat means "being" -- the quality of eternity, the quality of permanence, being. chit: chit means "consciousness," awareness -- chit is energy, movement, process. And anand: anand is "blissfulness." These three have been called the three attributes of the ultimate. This is the yoga trinity; of course, more scientific than the Christian trinity because it does not talk about persons -- God, the Holy Ghost, the Son. It talks about realizations. When one reaches to the ultimate peak of existence, one realizes three things: that one is and one is going to remain, that is sat; the second, one is and one is conscious -- one is not like dead matter -- one is and one knows that one is, that is chit; and, one knows that one is and one is tremendously blissful.”
OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol.8, Ch.7

The fundamental scientific method of meditation, however, is witnessing or being an observer of the observed – without judgment, evaluation or projection. Through awareness the meditator allows the witnessing object to enfold and reveal itself in its own true form and nature. Science is objective. The basic requirement of science is to approach a reality without any prejudice. Looking at it without any idea whatever the case may be; just to be there, impartial, objective, with no pre-conceived notion in the mind -- so that one can watch whatever is there. Reality reveals itself if one can be a witness. A pure witnessing is what science is. This very “art of witnessing”, in Osho’s view  is the “science of transcendence”. He calls it the greatest science of inward revolution.

Once, responding to a question by Dr.Kovoor, Osho explains:

“Physics has become metaphysics again. Physicists even talk about atoms having free will. Albert Einstein has said that no event can be postulated without the presence of a witnessing observer. And Eddington says: "Religion first became possible for a reasonable scientific man about the year 1927." But Dr. Kovoor seems to have not lived since then! Eddington also says: "We begin to suspect that the stuff of the world is mind-stuff. The universe looks more like a thought than like a thing." And that is what I mean when I say that there is intelligence, great intelligence in existence or God. Recently a new branch of science, molecular biology, has conclusively proved that the "matter" of organic life, our very flesh, really is mind-stuff. Eddington, Jeans, Einstein, Schrodinger all agree in this. But the problem with the learned Dr. Kovoor is that he goes on fighting against out-of-date religion with the aid of his out-of-date, so-called science!”
OSHO
The First Principle, Ch. 6

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When the disciple is ready, the Master arrives

February, 2011

There is a well known Sufi saying: “When the disciple is ready, the Master arrives.” An earnest desire to grow and a sense of deep commitment are the hallmarks of one who aspires to be a disciple. When at the core of one’s being a person comes to realize he/she needs to seek a path for coming out of one’s unconscious and conditioned life, mysteriously a person appears to guide and show the way.
There is a progressive evolution from the point when one begins to ask and enquire. There are three stages: the first is that of a student, the second is that of a disciple, the third is that of a devotee. The student learns only intellectually, he relates only on the plane of intellect -- but that is the beginning. If he can relate intellectually, he may start feeling a trust in the guru. Then he can relate emotionally; that makes him a disciple. And when he is able to relate emotionally, trusting the guru, the person turns into a devotee. A deep communion is established between the disciple and guru.
When he is a student, he sees guru as a teacher. When he becomes a disciple, he recognizes guru as a Master. Now a communion begins to take place; now at the emotional level a contact, a unique kind of love arises. The seeker is now on the path. The student is not aware that he is a student. He may think he is a disciple, he may think he is a devotee; but his functioning is absolutely unconscious. The student acts through logic. The disciple operates through love. The devotee moves through trust.  Trust is the culmination of love.
“And the third and the highest state is that of a devotee. In that state the Master and the disciple are no more separate: union happens -- not only communion but union, a kind of unity. That has been our way in the East. The seeker comes as a student, falls in love with the Master, becomes a disciple; and one day the love has matured, the Master and the disciple have met, really met. In that meeting, the devotee is born.
Then the Master is no more a human being: the Master is thought to be a God. That's why we have called Buddha 'Bhagwan'. It is not in the Christian sense of the word 'God'. It is in the sense that the devotee has come to a point where he can see that his Master only lives in the body but is not the body. Now he can see the transcendental energy of the Master. The Master represents God on the earth. The Master is a penetration of the beyond, of the unknown, into the known.”

OSHO
Philosophia Perennis, Vol.2, Ch.8
Discipleship is basically that of attitude and gratitude. Guru shows the unconscious and the wounded state of a seeker; he un-masks the seeker so that the person may see the true, the “original face” as how the Zen Masters put it. Disciple’s attitude is that of total receptivity and a deep gratitude towards the guru for showing the way, unraveling the mystery, and pointing at the truth. Essentially:

  • A guru is a phenomenon, not a person. He/she has no personality. A guru is an authentic being having one’s own individuality.
  • A guru is beyond duality.
  • He is not a thinker or a philosopher – he is a seer, drashta. He sees through an exalted state of consciousness.
  • He does not teach; he shows as one can show the path to a traveler by sitting on a hill-top.
  • He is neither a teacher nor a leader but a catalytic agent whose very presence, words, and gestures can bring a transformation in an individual’s life.
  • He/she does not expect nor does fulfill anyone’s expectation.
  • A guru functions more as a physician – a healer par excellence. Buddha called himself a vaidya, a physician. A guru makes the diagnosis of our inner illness, gives a prognosis, and also a medicine (read meditation) to heal and regain the seeker’s health.
  • A guru is not a reformer, he is a transformer. A reformed person may again go back to one’s weakness or commit sin, but a transformation is irreversible.
  • If a guru chooses to remain in society then he equally treats the collective illness – the illness and insanity prevalent in society. In this respect, he functions as a rebel – non-compromising, un-masking, often shocking and seemingly crazy.
  • Such a guru can be loved or hated but cannot be ignored. He cannot be comprehended through mind; mind cannot see the one who has transcended mind.
  • An authentic guru – a sadguru, does not do miracles, though miracles happen around him or her.
  • People come to him with all kinds of questions; a guru answers, but not to really give an “answer”, but rather to dissolve the whole question altogether. Thus he brings the questioner to a point where the person can begin the real quest, seeking, searching and not depend on a given or a readymade answer.
  • In their search for truth, guru engages seekers, disciples into a creative dialogue. Through the earnest and energetic process of a verbal and non-verbal exchange, a guru unravels the deepest mysteries of life and the universe around us. Remarkable examples of such dialogues are seen in the Upanishads between a seer/guru and a seeker/disciple; in the dialogue between Lord Krishna and the great warrior of his time Arjuna in the Bhagavadgita; exchanges with Socrates by Plato and others; conversations between Gautam the Buddha and disciples/seekers; the famous dialogue between sage Ashtavakra and the king Janaka.

In modern times similar dialogues and conversations are seen with Swami Ramakrishna Paramhamsa, Maharshi Ramana, J.Krishnamurti, and Osho.
The contemporary enlightened mystic, Osho, gives the following perspective for understanding the place and role of a guru:
“The role of the guru is to give you a glimpse of the real -- not a teaching, but an awakening. The guru is not a teacher: the guru is an awakener. He has not to give you doctrines. If he gives you doctrines, he is a philosopher. If he talks about the world as illusory and argues and proves that the world is illusory, if he discusses, debates, if he intellectually gives you a doctrine, he is not a guru, he is not a master. He may be a teacher, a teacher of a particular doctrine, but he is not a master, not a guru.
“A guru is not a giver of doctrines. He is a giver of methods -- of methods which can help you to come out of your sleep. That is why a guru is always a disturber of your dreams, and it is difficult to live with a guru. It is very easy to live with a teacher because he never disturbs you. Rather, he goes on increasing your accumulation of knowledge. He helps you to be more egoist, he makes you more knowledgeable. Your ego is more fulfilled. Now you know more, you can argue more. You can teach yourself, but a guru is always a disturber. He will disturb your dream and your sleep...”
OSHO
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol.1, Ch.36, Q.3

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Sannyas: A Lotus in A Swamp

September, 2010

“So, it will be ok in white clothes?” With a sweet smile on his face, Osho asks me at my very first darshan on the first day of a ten-day meditation camp in 1975, at Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona. Working in Chicago, I took a short leave and came especially to see ‘Bhagwan’ and attend the meditation camp.
Utterly overwhelmed by his luminous and gracious presence and soaked in his compassionate and sweet voice, I simply looked at him and nodded my head in affirmative. And then, with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, he says: “But you will have to get into orange soon…hmmm?” Once again, in the similar state of how a child looks at a wonderful scene, I nodded looking at him in affirmative. And thus, Osho places mala in my neck and gives me the name Sadhu Satya Vedant and initiates me into Neo-Sannyas while I bow down at his feet not really knowing what had happened, or what was happening (all out of compassion, Osho would give those early days sannyas in white clothes as well so that it may be easier to work in one’s job and hence the name had ‘Sadhu’ in the beginning. As one changed to orange clothes the name would begin with ‘Swami’). 
And that’s how I was reborn and set on a totally new journey into the unknown. However, so that we may have some perspective, my understanding is that among the myriad gifts Osho has given, three are the most outstanding: Meditation, Sannyas, and the Commune. Meditation, for self- awareness; Sannyas, for self-commitment; And the Commune, for self-contribution.
As I have learned over the years, Meditation is to first work on oneself – becoming alert, total, and silent. Sannyas --working with other fellow sannyasins through insecurity, acceptance and commitment. Commune – working in a collective environment through the spirit of ‘what I can do, and how do I do it’?  A commune is not seen as a last resort or a place of refuge. Rather it functions as a place for the invigoration of sannyas. As a Mahayogi, Osho has given his sannyasins a three-fold vision of Yoga: meditation, for yoga within oneself; sannyas, for yoga between sannyasins; and commune, through an internal and external surrender causing a yogic convergence of sannyasins regardless of race, religion, color, sex, and nations.
Perhaps, it was the last aspect that was clearly emphasized by Osho when later once addressing me at a darshan I heard him say: “…So now dissolve yourself completely in the commune. Not even a trace of you has to be left behind, because if the surrender is total, then this life will be the last life, then there will be no need to come back again. Now there is no more birth for you -- enough is enough!”
Briefly, let me share what this incredible journey has meant for me focusing on the following. How has sannyas worked for me? In many ways; but essentially, it has given me clarity to see and courage to be. But it would be futile to define an all-inclusive vision of Neo Sannyas. In fact, Osho says, definition is never possible about anything that is alive.
Definition is possible only about something that is dead, which grows no more, which blooms no more, which has no more possibility, potentiality, which is exhausted and spent. Then definition is possible. Such as, one may be able to define a dead man, but one cannot define a man who is alive.
“Life basically means that the new is still possible,” explains Osho. “The old sannyasin has a definition, very clear cut; that's why he is dead. I call my sannyas 'neo-sannyas' for this particular reason: my sannyas is an opening, a journey, a dance, a love affair with the unknown, a romance with existence itself, in search of an orgasmic relationship with the whole.
OSHO
The Heart Sutra, Ch.10
In view of how significant and momentous Sannyas is, Osho has made a very insightful statement. He declares, “In the coming fifty years many sannyas traditions will suddenly disappear from the world. There was a Buddhist sannyas tradition in China which suddenly became nonexistent. Lamas are going away from Tibet, they cannot survive. There was an old tradition of Christian monks in Russia which ceased to exist. And it will become very difficult for sannyas to survive in any part of the world. Hence, in my view, such a precious flower like sannyas should not get destroyed. Sannyas as an institution may disappear, but sannyas as such must not go away.”
OSHO
Translated from the Hindi: Chetna ka Surya, p.101
According to Osho, the only way one can save sannyas is that the sannyasin should not run away from life – he/she should become a sannyasin right in the middle of the marketplace. A sannyasin may run a shop, do any manual work, work in office -- wherever, but should not escape from where one is. Livelihood of a sannyasin should not depend on society. One should be a sannyasin wherever one is, whatever the individual may be.
 From what I have learned from Osho, the cornerstone of neo sannyas is AWARENESS. Awareness spread over the physical, mental, and spiritual levels. Neo Sannyas is also unique because it totally eliminates the dichotomy of body and spirit, this world and the other world. It inspires and encourages a sannyasin to be a materialist-spiritualist; it shows the way toward becoming what Osho says: Zorba the Buddha!
The vision of Neo Sannyas for Osho is yet another manifestation of his message for the emergence of a “New Man,” homo novus. The “old man”, he says, followed the ideal of renunciation; while the New Man’s ideal will be not renunciation but “rejoicing.”
The “new man” the neo sannyasin, for Osho, lives a non-divisive life of totality transcending duality and escaping schizophrenia. Osho’s foresight is that the “new man” will give birth to a totally new world because his very being will be qualitatively and radically different from the ways humanity has lived in the past. Osho declares:
“Once we have brought this new man into existence, the earth can become for the first time what it is meant to become. It can become a paradise: this very body the Buddha, this very earth the paradise!”
OSHO
Darshan Diaries, Zorba the Buddha, Ch.1
I find the essence of the vision of neo sannyas is alive and spreading globally. It is also my experience that while living a life of a neo sannyasin one is constantly redefining what it means to be meditatively committed to synergizing the material and the spiritual, the local and the global, the inner and the outer by being all-inclusive and open to making a positive contribution to individual and collective growth. Osho gives a clarion call:
“My sannyasins have to become the first rays of the sun that is going to come on the horizon. It is a tremendous task, it is an almost impossible task, but because it is impossible it is going to seduce all those who have any soul left in them.”
OSHO
Darshan Diaries, Zorba the Buddha, Ch.1

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Boredom: The Road to Creativity

July, 2010

Issac Asimove, the science-fiction writer, once said: “I don’t believe in afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” One can see what the writer is pointing at: for example, one day an individual looks around and asks, “Is that all there is? Is there nothing else…nothing more…?” The person finds that the very things that excited him or her just the day before have lost their appeal. One finds that the very passion that was once a driving force has just leaked out of life and that one is simply going through an empty routine. No wonder that, unless the person has been taught what to do with success after getting it, the attainment of it would inevitably leave him a state of utter boredom.

The fact is that, world is eaten up by boredom, although one can’t see it all at once. It is like dust. You go about and never notice it, you breathe it in, eat and drink it. One just needs to stand still for a moment and there it is. To shake off this drizzle of ashes one must be for ever on the go. And so, people are always “on the go” – if for nothing else than to just get out of boredom. And as Bertrand Russell points out so aptly, “Boredom is ... a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.”

Our tendency is to blame boredom on the environment. "This town is really dull" or "What a boring speaker." Actually though, a particular town or a speaker is never dull; it is you experiencing the boredom, and one can eliminate it by doing something else with your mind or energy at that moment.

The most interesting reality is that, though we all know what boredom is, most people do not experience sheer boredom very often. We are stressed, rushed, and worried, but we are seldom purely bored--partly because we are so stressed, rushed, and worried. We find a very interesting, yet humorous insight in the words of the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard. He says:  “Since boredom advances and boredom is the root of all evil,  no wonder, then, that the world goes backwards, that evil spreads. This can be traced back to the very beginning of the world. The gods were bored; therefore they created human beings.”
 
I find Osho’s following insight the most significant and immensely helpful when he says:
“Life is not given readymade, it has to be discovered. You get bored because you think life is readymade, somebody is going to give it to you. Nobody is there to give it to you. You have to discover it moment to moment, every day. The discovery must continue to the very end. If you stop discovery you will be bored.
“You have stopped discovery, long ago you stopped discovery completely. Start again. Start feeling things, persons, try to find out something new always. Wherever you look -- in the sky, at the trees, at the market, at the shop -- wherever you look just be in a search to see something new. And there is enough, you will never feel a failure. Always the new will bubble up, the life will again become a mystery.
“And when life becomes a mystery you become religious. A demystified life cannot lead you towards the divine. The divine means the deepest mystery that is hidden in this life.”
OSHO
Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi, Chapter-17

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Living in Guilt is Like Living in Hell

June, 2010

We experience guilt, and shame associated with it, over what choices we make – whether knowingly or unknowingly. And the interesting part is that much of what and how we feel comes from what we have internalized through the punishing voices of parents, the society, and the religion.  It is one of the greatest problems. We all face it, because the very treatment meted to us is based on self-condemnation. The religions, the society, the family – all create a tremendous guilt in us in the sense that we are not what we should be. In a way, they all give us perfection-based ideals to fulfill which are impossible to achieve.
Osho points out: perfectionism is the root cause of our neurosis. Nobody can be perfect -- nobody need be perfect; life is beautiful precisely because everything is imperfect. Perfection is death; imperfection is life. It is because of imperfection that growth is possible. If we were to become perfect then there is no growth, no movement. Then nothing can happen to us in terms of growth and evolution.
And, since one can never become perfect, one carries a huge burden of guilt. It crushes the individual; it destroys all joy in life. Osho says, this situation won't allow us to celebrate, to sing, and dance. It is suicidal.
And, in a way, to “castrate” human beings the strategy of putting ideals, role models, perfection have been used. For example, our parents say, our teachers say, the society goes on saying: "Be like a Buddha, or a Krishna, a Jesus, a Mahatma Gandhi; but never, Be yourself." Osho’s insight is that this ends up creating a psychological castration: “…they create guilt in you -- if you are yourself you will feel guilty. And you can never be the person you are trying to be, but in the effort energy is wasted and their purpose is fulfilled. And your life will be a life of misery, because you can feel joy only if you are yourself.”
Osho brings to our attention the fact that, this is the reason why we see guilt ridden people everywhere. People are looking so sad, so burdened, as if they are carrying mountains on their shoulders carrying a psychological weight. They have been burdened, they have been knowingly burdened.
OSHO
Guida Spirituale, 9
Religion, in particular, has done a great harm to humanity. It has wounded the human heart by creating guilt. Religion basically lives on guilt. Once guilt is created in people, they are caught in the net, explains Osho. One can then exploit them. “Guilt is the spider's net. Make people feel guilty and they are in your power. Then you can manipulate them. You can force them to surrender. You can force them to do things for you, for the church, for the priest. They are guilty. They are afraid they are going to suffer; they want to find a way out. First create guilt, then they are bound to come to you, because they will have to find a way out of guilt. Then tell them to pray, then tell them to do some ritual, some mantra. But first the guilt has to be created. As far as I am concerned, my whole work is in how to free you from guilt -- not to transform it.
OSHO
Sermons in Stones, Ch.28, Q.5

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Next to God, sex is the most misunderstood subject

April, 2010

Both, sex and spirituality may look to be different and separate, but essentially they are interconnected. Perceptions may differ, but intrinsically they are not opposites, they are not antagonistic, they are not in conflict with each other – rather, they are part of a continuum. While sex is basically universal life energy, a creative a healing energy….creativity, spirituality is a miraculous alchemy – it is the ultimate manifestation of transformation. Seeing this clearly is necessary for us to making it easier to explore briefly the mystery of sex and spirituality.
Sex is not created or manufactured by us; it is actually a gift from the Divine. It is God’s gift to enjoy and celebrate. And yet, almost universally, we apply double standard in accepting it as a given reality. We show untrue, a hypocritical and a rather schizophrenic attitude towards sex.
Next to God, sex is the most misunderstood subject. And, if I were to replace the word God with Spirituality, then next to Spirituality, Sex is the most misused term. Sages have seen Sex as spiritual -- and spirituality as a sublime form of sex energy. It is seen as orgasmic union, enlightenment, the dissolving of male-female, yin-yang polarity. The transformation of this creative energy into spirituality can be accomplished through a miraculous alchemy of meditation.
Osho puts the whole issue in a clear perspective. He says: "Sex is the energy. So I will not say sexual energy -- because there is no other energy. Sex is the only energy you have got. The energy can be transformed -- it can become a higher energy. The higher it moves, the less and less sexuality remains in it. And there is an end peak where it becomes simply love and compassion. The ultimate flowering we can call divine energy, but the base, the seat, remains sex. So sex is the first, bottom layer of energy -- and god is the top layer. But the same energy moves."
OSHO
My Way, The Way Of The White cloud
Osho neither encourages sex nor does he condemn it – he has simply tried to make sense and give meaning to sex. And a process, which is basically directed toward finding a meaning, is essentially spiritual in nature. Generally, sex is either condemned or taken for granted; there is hardly any conscious effort to know what it means, what is this universal creative energy?
Spirituality is all about search for the meaning – meaning of that which is, why it is, and why it is the way it is? And in that search for the meaning one automatically sees that which is meaningless. Seeing the meaningless, one intelligently drops the meaningless.
As far as sex is concerned, on the one hand we are culturally blind in not seeing what sex is; and on the other hand we are meaning-blind, that is, not knowing what this life energy means. Osho cultivated a kind of intelligence to know what sex is all about and how to deal with this energy spiritually.

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From Loneliness to Aloneness

March, 2010

In the present day world loneliness is becoming an epidemic of vast proportions. People seem to find empty moments consuming their life energy. They often find themselves sliding into isolation or depression. The ironical fact is: we are using technology more than ever before to connect and communicate and yet we find people lonelier than ever before. It is reported that, “according to the 2004 General Social Survey one out of four Americans talked to no one about something of importance to them during the last six months.”
Osho’s insight is that, one is compelled to come to terms with loneliness, so much so that eventually the loneliness is transformed into aloneness. Only then is one able to move into a deep enriching relationship. Only then will one be able to move into love. He distinguishes loneliness from being in the state of aloneness, which he calls a state of positive energy. Osho explains that to be lonely is totally different from being alone. Not only is it different but that they are opposites.
He says: “To be lonely means a negative state: you are hankering for the other, you are longing for company, you are missing the crowd. You cannot tolerate yourself; you feel yourself intolerable. You are bored with yourself -- that's what being lonely means -- utterly bored. To be alone is totally different: it is utterly ecstatic. To be alone means a positive state. You are not missing the other; you are enjoying yourself. You are not bored by yourself; you are intrigued. A great challenge comes from your innermost core.”
OSHO
The Dhammapada: the Way of the Buddha, Vol-3, Chapter-6
Obviously, a great deal of meditative effort is needed to inculcate the ability to live in a state of positive energy. We all know how it is to feel depressed and we all know how it is to feel left out. What we need to learn is how to feel sufficient unto oneself. I am touched by the following lines from a poem: The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer: “I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
An additional fact that has emerged in modern times is that, one hears from people frequently how busy they are. Although people complain how busy they are and yet they seem to look at it as a virtue. However, they are unable to recognize the family and social consequences of being so “busy”; one of them being – they often feel lonely, burned out, and unable to take care of their mental as well as physical health. Osho reminds:
“And aloneness is beautiful, loneliness is ugly. Loneliness is like a wound, aloneness is like a flower. Loneliness is sick -- Soren Kierkegaard has called it "sickness unto death" -- and aloneness is life, abundant life. It is health.
“The Sanskrit word for health is very beautiful; the English word also has its own beauty. "Health" means the wound is healed; it comes from healing. The person is no longer sick; the wound of negative nothingness is no more there it has healed It is beautiful, but nothing compared to the Sanskrit word for health. The Sanskrit word for health is SWASTHYA; it means becoming centered. It means coming to one's own self, realizing one's own self. SVA means self; SWASTHYA means getting rooted in the self.”
OSHO
Guida Spirituale, Ch.11, Q.1

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Become the Master of your own life

September, 2009

Vedant's publications include books and a wide range of articles published in journals, magazines, and newspapers in India, USA, and Australia. He has given numerous public lectures and has held workshops around the world including at the United Nations, The World Bank, the Pentagon, as well as at Dr. Deepak Chopra's program in San Diego.  
Osho’s acute observation is that, increasing drives to have and possess as well as to use more and more things is based on a very fallacious assumption – having more is being happy! And this very assumption leads people to go after money, work overtime, and eventually cripple one’s mind and body. Man’s whole identity lies ultimately with money which lands him in a precariously vulnerable condition – being a spiritual drop out.
What has further exasperated the situation is that the work begins to get more and more fragmented besides being repetitious as well. Beneath the chase for money and the rat race for going ahead of all, the physical and mental state of man continues to get eroded leading one to daydreaming, frustration, and resentment. The feverishly busier a man becomes to fulfill his unmet desires, the greater the eruption of anger against people at work – including the employer, fatigue, and almost complete breakdown of ability to relate meaningfully whether at home or at the place of employment. Furthermore, the training deeply rooted in childhood to manage tension at work submissively leads one to repressing one’s emotional energy thereby making the person vulnerable to aggression and subsequently gets one into psychosomatic illnesses. Osho’s insight in this matter is clear, he says: “If you suppress energy then you will become aggressive -- don't suppress energy. This is one of the deepest problems for modern man.”
OSHO
When the Shoe Fits, Chapter-10
Moreover, both, the utilitarian ideologies and the unprecedented breakthrough in technology have opened the floodgates of unrestricted greed on the one hand and the sense of powerlessness and isolation of the individual on the other. One thing seems to be apparent: modern man cannot survive as what Osho calls, an “ambiguous being.” Man can no longer live a suspended existence. Hence Osho’s whole vision is given to building bridges between the polarities of work and meditation.
Osho explains, life is a continuum between movement and rest, action and let go, tension and relaxation, using and regaining energy. The human organism reacts in busy and stressful situations with the same pattern of response. Repeated for years physical, mental, emotional responses become habitual, conditioned. Unconsciously we move, think, sense, feel in known ways only – we avoid unknown territory. In our busy lives, the individual stress pattern is mainly directed by the unconscious.
So, in Osho’s view, how to become conscious of our unconscious is what meditation is all about. By becoming aware of our conditioned responses and patterns of behavior while being lost in our busy world we expand our freedom to choose an authentic way of life; we discover the dignity of being the masters of our busy life and our actions.
As far as meditation is concerned, Osho’s repertoire is vast – it contains something for everyone, something for all situations. There are special meditation techniques for working men and women, for couples, and for children. Osho reminds:
“Whatsoever you do, do it with deep alertness; then even small things become sacred. Then cooking or cleaning become sacred; they become worship. It is not a question of what you are doing, the question is how you are doing it. You can clean the floor like a robot, a mechanical thing; you have to clean it, so you clean it. Then you miss something beautiful. Then you waste those moments in only cleaning the floor. Cleaning the floor could have been a great experience; you missed it. The floor is cleaned but something that could have happened within you has not happened. If you were aware, not only the floor but YOU would have felt a deep cleansing. Clean the floor full of awareness, luminous with awareness. Work or sit or walk, but one thing has to be a continuous thread: make more and more moments of your life luminous with awareness. Let the candle of awareness burn in each moment, in each act.”
OSHO
The Beloved, Vol.1, Ch4.,Q.1

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The Essence of Relating

August, 2009

Most people look for a loving relationship in wrong places. Essentially though, all relationships are based on energy – the human, loving, caring energy. Relationships based on such positive energy show a state of consciousness which reflects intimacy in various aspects of togetherness such as: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. The loving couple/partners experience intimate relationship which blends the energy in a harmonious way so that love flows between them more freely and naturally.
On the other hand, when couple/partners are in a negative, poor relationship involved in an on going state of arguments, fights, quarrels there is a distinct sign energy not blending and flowing freely. The friction is not only painful but psychologically damaging. Also, couples or partners often fail to realize that intimacy between a male and a female is about more than having a sexual relationship. It is a common fact that when intimate contact exists only on a physical plane it tends to bring frustration as the physical body changes and the earlier attraction begins to fade. Hence, Osho’s observation is that, “Sex has never satisfied anybody. It creates more and more dissatisfaction. Sex has never fulfilled anybody – it knows no fulfillment.”
Furthermore, seeing our relationships from our own personal viewpoints usually ends up seeing oneself as the victim, as someone who is wronged by the other. However, if we could see outside our personal viewpoints what is happening energetically, we might come across the very dynamics of relationship in a more objective and compassionate way. We may need to look at in this context basic principles of energy.
One principle of energy is that equal nature attracts itself. Secondly, we reap what we sow. Thirdly, for example, if you were to run an electric current through a wire which is too small or unfit to handle the current it may turn out potentially hazardous and harmful. If we juxtapose these principles with relationships we can see how the energetic interaction with parents, partners, friends, colleagues will need a great deal of understanding, mutual respect and allowing space to the other to be – free. So if we were to recognize and acknowledge the energy patterns working through our relationships we may see how and why the interaction may be so difficult to handle.
The conscious mind exists because of the relationship between people. It is just a link between you and all those with whom you are related, but it does not help in relating to yourself, in knowing yourself. Osho tells a story which highlights the essence of relating.
“I remember a story. King Ashoka sent his son to Ceylon to take them the message of Buddha. He met the king of Ceylon and asked him a question: "There are people in the world to whom you are related and others to whom you are not related. These are the two categories. Is anyone left who is not in one of these two categories?"

The king said, "I am left."
Ashoka's son said, "Now the message can be delivered to you. You are an intelligent person, so something can be said to you. I asked this question to find out if you know that there is something else besides the related and the unrelated or whether you think everything belongs to one of these two categories.”

OSHO
The Great Challenge, Ch.3, Q.2
Commenting on the story Osho points out this third -- which is neither related to oneself nor unrelated to oneself – this is the un-conscious part of our existence. It is indeed the realm of meditation. The conscious mind is helpful as far as our relationship or non-relationship to the world is concerned, but it can never be a help as far as the individual is concerned.
Meditation, says Osho, does not mean a conscious implementation; it actually means an effortless jump into oneself – into the un-conscious of the infinite possibilities. 
In terms of any kind of failure, frustration, or disappointment in a relationship, the way to heal oneself and find a positive break in one’s life, Osho recommends following steps of an aware and responsible act.

  1. Be open and express how you feel: be with the facts and not live in projected idealistic imaginations. Express what YOU are feeling and while doing so avoid being philosophical. State the fact as it is; be truthful. Unexpressed or repressed feelings create unmanageable internal complexes.
  2. Accept whatever that is: The acceptance is total; Buddha calls it tathata. The sky exists in a state of tathata, suchness: whatever the case may be one is ready to accept it without being judgmental. Such as clouds come and go; the sky remains, it abides. It is eternal, it is timeless. Same is the state of one’s acceptance while going through a relationship

Osho’s emphasis, however, is to be alert and watchful, dissolving the ego mind as one encounters the challenges of intimacy and relationship. He explains a technique:

“So meditate on the sky, and whenever you have time just lie down on the ground, look at the sky. Let that be your contemplation. If you want to pray, pray to the sky. If you want to meditate, meditate on the sky... sometimes with open eyes, sometimes with closed eyes, because the sky is within too. As it is big without, within it is the same.
We are just standing on the threshold of the inner sky and the outer sky, and they are exactly proportionate. As the outside sky is infinite, so is the inner sky.

We are just standing on the threshold. Either way you can be dissolved; and these are the two ways to dissolve.”
OSHO
Only Losers Can Win in this Game, Ch.16

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A Master is a Nourishment

July, 2009

Descartes is famous for his statement, “I think, therefore I am”. For many, such a statement can be seen as an attempt to reduce human existence to a minimum assumption which is quite misleading. In a much more realistic sense this is an attempt to avoiding awareness in a large measure to continuing with uncomfortable unawareness. At a more existential level, we exist by affecting someone or something by our feelings and not necessarily by our thoughts. It would look more in tune with reality, therefore, if Descartes were to have said: “I feel therefore I am”.
The modern man is predominantly suffering from the tyranny of the world of “feelings” and emotional turmoil. His inner world is a battleground of anxieties and longings, hopes and aspirations, rights and wrongs. There is clear evidence that the modern man/woman is facing a split between unconscious manifestation of mental functioning and a conscious behavior based on alert attention. This very fact has made today the presence of having a Sadguru of such momentous importance – indeed, more than ever.
But then, one may ask: how does one find a Master, a Sadguru? Here are the keys given by Osho for finding a Master:
“If you can find a man who is interested in you AS YOURSELF -- that is your Master. That is the criterion, the definition of a Master: one who is not putting any trip upon you, who is simply interested in helping you to be whatsoever you can be. He is not driving you in any direction, but simply nurturing you, nourishing you, so that you can have any direction that comes naturally to you; who is not pruning you, who is simply putting fertilizers onto your roots, so if you want to grow to the north or to the south, or you want to go high in the sky, or you want to become a thick bush, you become whatsoever you want to become. A Master is just a benevolent presence, a nourishment. He does not guide you to be this or that, he simply helps you to be that which is hidden in you.”
OSHO
I say unto You, Vol-2, Chapter-7
But there are two overriding factors which are relevant whay a Sdaguru is needed today. As Osho explains, firstly, the whole present generation is in a very difficult situation. The situation is that nobody wants to learn. Learning gives a very deep fear, because learning means learning the new -- so people are dropping out from all sorts of learning. Hence, Osho points out: “And this too is a learning, and one of the most significant. You will never be the same again once you have learned this that I am teaching here! But the problem is that you can know what it is only by going into it; there is no other way to be convinced about it. You can think about it and you can drive yourself crazy -- that is not going to help. It is not a question of thinking about it; it is a question of tasting it.”
OSHO
What is is, What Ain’t Ain’t, Chapter-3

The second factor, as Osho points out, is recognizing that Love alone is the principle which overrides everything in life. In fact he says, “Love is life, and it is greater than you. You cannot possess it. I would like to repeat it: love is greater than you; you cannot possess it. You can only allow yourself to be possessed by it; it cannot be controlled. The modern ego wants to control everything, and you become scared of whatsoever you cannot control. …You will not be in control. With love you cannot be in control, and the whole trend which has led to this century was one of how to control. All over the world, and particularly in the West, the trend is for how to control nature, how to control everything, how to control energies.
 “You can possess money; you cannot possess love. And because of this we have been turning everything into a thing. You even go on turning persons into things because then you can possess them. If you love a person, you are not the master; no one is the master. Two persons love each other, and no one is the master -- neither the lover nor the beloved. Rather, love is the master and both are possessed by a greater force than themselves, encircled by a greater force -- a whirlwind.”
OSHO
Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol-2, Chapter-4
In view of how significant it is to have a Sadguru in the modern times, it is, however, out of great compassion that Osho has equally drawn our attention to beware of the so called gurus. So, he observes, if there is one sadguru in the world, for each perfect master there are ninety-nine pseudo-sadgurus. This is always the ratio: 1 to 99. And the joke lies in the fact that the pseudo-gurus are more successful in attracting people than the genuine guru, for they speak our language. The pseudo-guru knows us very well and does all that you wish of him deep within yourself. He tries to satisfy all our desires. Therefore you find crowds of thousands, around a pseudo-sadguru, for he is but a reflection of our own life.
Hence, Osho draws our attention to the following so that the need for a Sadguru in our times could be seen in the right perspective. He says:
“It is difficult to recognize a sadguru, for it requires a transformation in your life: you must change! A pseudo-guru gives to you and tries to satisfy your desires; an authentic guru snatches away all you have.
“Thus you usually find crowds around the pseudo-guru. Whenever you see such a crowd, beware! For a crowd is always of deluded people. You will find very few people in the right place, near a sadguru. And they are extremely hard to find. You will find only a selected few whose aim is to attain God. A crowd is always made up of desire-ridden people.”
OSHO
Trans. from the Hindi: The True Name,Vol. 2, Ch.6

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Let Us Stop Putting Band-Aids on Environmental Problems

June, 2009

The recent ecological studies have revealed the fact that not only are the living and non-living entities of nature interrelated but that they function in an orderly manner as a dynamic organic system. The eco-system in the environment is an interdependent phenomenon. Nature has fixed certain rules and conditions to maintain the cycles of each component of the environment. Any fluctuation or disturbance in one component directly or indirectly affects the other and upsets the ecological balance.
In the past, people lived in accordance with the eco-system. Humans lived in harmony with nature because they saw themselves as part and parcel of nature. Today, however, we are experiencing so many complex and devastating environmental crises that the issue of ecological sustainability has become of a paramount concern. The situation in the Third World is far more grave than it is in the developed world. People in the poor countries are not only suffering from the present global problems of environment and irresponsible development, but they have also not yet recovered and healed from the ruthless and dominant past. The fact is that, for two-thirds of those living in that part of the world, survival is the most immediate concern.
The task ahead of us makes it imperative that we examine the fundamental causes and root of the issue so that we may strategically deal with the challenge of ecological sustainability. This would, of course, require us to question our traditional assumptions and attitudes toward nature. It would also mean making some radical changes in our values and institutional responses. Our urgency must be reflected in redesigning the socio-economic, political and educational systems so that we may provide the benefits of development more equitably and fairly to the entire mankind.
We need to consider and encourage seeking a greater role for the educators, women, religious and non-governmental organizations in meeting the ecological problems. Educators, especially teachers, could very well be at the vanguard in making strategic changes in the school curriculum so as to give students a wider, trans-national understanding and scope in acquiring skills for the protection and sustainability of our ecological system. Parents can make a significant contribution by supporting educational efforts. As a result of leadership provided by the educators, we may be able to see more appreciation and willingness from the public at large for adopting environmentally suitable approaches and practices.
At the Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro a great deal of attention was paid to “Agenda 21”. But in that agenda, Man was missing. The Summit failed to recognize that for an ecology of human consciousness, ecology of mind, meditation is the core of true environmental sustainability. There was a lack of widespread understanding at the Summit that, only a clean and healthy environment within -- free of prejudice, greed, violence, ambition and jealousy -- can in effect create a healthy and sustainable natural environment.
“Public Awareness” is the nearest we come to giving a place on our agenda, and even then, how can awareness be public?  It can only be individual. The central issue is that the ecological disasters around us are not due to our making “the wrong decisions” in the past. It is not simply a question of now making “the right decisions” and all will be well.
The reason we find ourselves in the mess we are in is because that is how we are -- messy. Until we change, until the individual changes, the earth will be a mess. We were able to get away with it up until now because there were fewer of us, and our technology was not so powerful as it is today -- powerful enough to make big material achievements on the one hand, and the big mess on the other. It is about time we recognize: we are the center of our own catastrophe.
From the very outset, we as humans are set against our own nature -- we are at war with ourselves. From that point the rest of the disaster follows. If we cannot love ourselves, we offer our neighbors anything but love. And the current state of war between different factions of humanity the world over evidently testifies how lack of love and compassion can make a disastrous impact on humanity. And, if we cannot love ourselves or our neighbors, what hope do the trees have!
The contemporary mystic, Osho, has this to say on the issue of environment:
“ When nature is destroyed and natural systems are destroyed, then man is more destroyed. Then again nature goes on affecting man and man goes on affecting nature. It is a vicious circle. But as I see it, the basic problem is somewhere inside man. If you are relaxed inside, if you have come to a settlement with your own nature, then you will be able to understand the natural functioning of the world, and you will not create any problem....The basic problem is inside man.”
OSHO
Dance Your Way to God, Ch19
The resolution of the issue of ecological sustainability, therefore, is not in putting band-aids on environmental problems, but in addressing now, immediately, the state of humanity, the state of ourselves. And any honest investigation will show that the missing link, the one magic formula that will allow us to be at ease with ourselves -- consequently allowing us to be at one with our neighbors and the trees -- is meditation.

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Solutions For A Resurgent India

May, 2009

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson and he said: “I feel I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one.” The grandson asked him, “Which wolf will win fight in your heart?” The grandfather answered, “The one I feed!”

Osho’s vision for humanity in general and for India in particular is precisely for us to ask which wolf we want to feed. Amidst the uncertainties of political, economic, and cultural contradictions the challenge before us is to see the truth as Osho has revealed it to us. To obtain truth Osho’s principle has been to approach truth through seeing the false as false. Or else, we never can be certain of knowing truth and will continue to resort to infinitesimal lies.

As for the current scenario existing in India, a few facts seem to have contributed to it. First, we are witnessing a dance of reprehensible ambitions. We see in the political arena people inciting their ambition, vanity, self-interest to the uttermost confines of propriety. Secondly, what has spurred the players is the clear-cut striving for power, for domination and even a diabolic attempt to fit the nation in one formula. And thirdly, there is manifest a great deal of feeding on the trust and respect of millions of citizens willingly involved in the experiment of Democracy.

Osho’s observation is clear; he says: “There are always problems in the world, and the world has always been there, and the world will remain there. If you start working out: changing circumstances, changing people, thinking of a utopian world, changing the government, the structure, the economy, the politics, the education, you will be lost. That is the trap known as politics. That's how many people waste their own lives. Be very clear about it: the only person you can help right now is you yourself. Right now you cannot help anybody. This may be just a distraction, just a trick of the mind. See your own problems, see your own anxieties, see your own mind, and first try to change it.”
OSHO
The Beloved, Vol-2, #8

Osho has given profound insights on what will help India to attain glorious heights. The country is now on crossroads and the stakes are higher than ever. One needs only to look around the world to notice the challenges not just local but on a global scale. Osho, through his vision for a resurgent India compels us to give a fresh look at how we need to conduct ourselves as responsible citizens and take more realistic steps in building a New India. He says:
 
 Politics is a thermometer of the entire life. Whatever happens there begins to happen all around in life – everywhere. So, if there is an evil person in politics then in all spheres of life the evil man will begin succeeding and the good man will begin losing. And it can be the greatest misfortune of a country where to be evil brings success and to be good brings failure.

In this country, today, to be a kind and a good person means failure is guaranteed; there is no other golden rule for becoming a failure than to be a good person. And when it becomes apparent that being good means being a failure and being evil means climbing the ladder of success then will it be surprising if life becomes ugly and perverted all around!

The more healthy politics is the more different aspects of life can become healthy because politics holds great power. If power becomes impure then it is not possible to stop weaker sectors in becoming impure. I believe the impurity in politics has turned all other aspects impure.

So first it is absolutely essential that politics becomes clean and pure. It is very essential that a good person be involved in it because such a person becomes a role model among us and people from all directions begin to take after the individual. And once the follower finds out that all leaders are scoundrels then how long can one keep the follower good and honest! With the arrival of a good person in politics fundamental changes will begin automatically all around.

Up to now the Man we created was a citizen of a stable society. We shall have to pay attention to the fact that the Man we need to create now is a citizen of an on going revolution. While thinking about Man of the future, the New Man, it is essential that we first consider: in a changing world, where things will not be the same for ever what kind of ethics what kind of behavior do we need to evolve. It has become imperative that we take a fresh look at how we want to be.

Today life is becoming more and more difficult because the founding principles of ethics have fallen apart and we have not been able to create new Ethics. The old ethics is dead and new ethics is not born yet. And the period of pregnancy is getting longer and longer. It is becoming more and more painful, dangerous, and costly. This is true about the entire world. It is the case in this country too. Now what will happen? How new Ethics, new formula can be created?

Old ethics was based on fear, on commandment, and on authority. We accepted whatever the scripture said. Whatever the Guru said was right. Whatever father or the elderly people said was taken to be true. It indicated authority – we never gave thought weather it was right or wrong. Now we have begun giving a thought and so all authorities are falling apart. Now there is no authority.

Will we be able to create ethics which is based on intelligence, wisdom, and fearlessness? Certainly, such Ethics alone can be developed. And the foundation of the emerging man of the future will have ethics which will rest on prudence and wisdom – not on blind faith or superstition; which will rest upon fearlessness not on fear. It will not depend upon punishment and enticement but it will rather be based on the concept of having a healthy, happy, and prosperous human being. This is possible! 
We need positive morality for the future – only that person would be considered as “moral” or “ethical” one who is active in creating happiness for mankind. We need to develop and work for the concept of positive ethics, meaning: how we can increase happiness for mankind. And there are thousand and one ways for increasing man’s happiness. And remember, alone no one can be happy; we have to make a collective effort only then the flower of happiness can blossom. I would call a person unethical who goes on crying whole day about his own misery; because, by doing so he is making other people unhappy. But one who is happy and smiling, he is making it possible for others to be happy and smiling as well. I call such a person ethical ! 
We can lay the foundation of positive ethics only if we are ready to have a New Man – healthy and happy -- on this earth, not in heaven. We will have to give value to having health and happiness right here on this very planet.

Translated from Hindi: BHARAT KE JALTE PRASHNA, Ch # 24

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I am all time masters together

February, 2009

It is interesting to know, in the first place, what Osho says in one of his discourses: “The consciousness in the East has discovered Guru. There is no word for Guru in languages of the West. We find words such as: a teacher, a professor, a preceptor, but no word similar to Guru.” It would also be helpful for us to learn that there is fundamental difference between a Teacher and a Guru.
For me, as for many others, the only exposure I had was of a teacher. It was a typical contact a pupil has with a teacher in an educational institution. It was a mind oriented skill learning interaction within a structured syllabus. Meeting Osho, being at his feet, receiving his blessings and initiation into Neo Sannyas and receiving his guidance ever since has been an out of the world experience – a phenomenon beyond description. As a Guru, a Master, a Light to show me the way his luminous presence has been far different from the presence I found that of a teacher. My contact with him did of course start with an intellectual curiosity and search but it terminated into my falling in love with him – indeed a heart to heart connection that lifted me from my merely being a curious person to being an earnest seeker.
So, let us first look at the difference between a teacher and a Master which I feel critical in terms of really appreciating the Guru-Disciple relation. Few things are obviously clear. First, Guru doesn’t give you any knowledge; rather, he takes away our knowledge. He doesn’t fill us; rather, he actually makes us empty of all we may have known or learned so that instead of merely an intellectual one begins to gain an existential understanding of reality.
Secondly, as Osho points out, “a teacher finishes with words while a Master ends in wordless silence. Guru also begins with words; hence the fear is that one may get confused and see a teacher as Guru and Guru as a teacher. After all, one has to begin with words because the journey can start only from where you are at. If you are ill then one has to begin with medicine. But medicine is not the end – health is. And being healthy means where medicine is needed no more.
OSHO
Trans. from Hindi, Suno Bhai Sadho
Thirdly, the relationship between a teacher and a student is businesslike; there, trust is not required. Hence, if the teachers expect trust, respect from the students, they are mistaken. It is simply not possible. In the East a guru has been seen with great respect and trust. Teachers may see themselves as gurus but they are not gurus. The students are not disciples; the teacher is not a guru. Hence, Osho explains: “…the difference between Guru and disciple is qualitative, while it is quantitative between a teacher and a student. Any kind of trust is not expected between a teacher and a student. While on the other hand, nothing will happen between Guru and disciple without Trust because essentially Guru and disciple are connected through heart. Heart means love and the ultimate form of love is called Trust. The purest form of love is Trust. The lowest form of love is sex.
OSHO
Trans. from Hindi, Suno Bhai Sadho
Trust is a state of being – it can manifest but it cannot be measured directly. Trust is essentially a matter of choice and inner growth showing how to deal with spiritual challenges that outgo rationalistic reasoning. Osho’s insight is: “…Trust, is the greatest quantum leap. To come from the head to the heart is the longest journey. Man can reach the moon -- that is easier -- and soon man will reach to the stars; that too is not very difficult. The only problem and the most difficult journey is: to move from the head to the heart, because they don't exist in the same dimension -- their ways of existing are so different.
OSHO
Darshan Diaries, The 99 Names of Nothingness, Ch.20
The most profound manifestation of such a “quantum leap” can be visible in the dynamics of how a disciple relates with the Master. According to Osho, a disciple is one who has an open mind, a receptive mind so he is not just learning from the Master but receiving, and thus continuously evolving. That is why in the spiritual world trust is seen as a basic component for being a disciple. Osho explains:
The relationship between the disciple and the guru is a relationship of intimate trust. That doesn't mean blind faith, because the guru never expects you to believe in him -- that is not an expectation. But the very nature of the unknown is such that you cannot go a single step further without trust. Trust is required of the disciple because he will not be able to take a single step into the unknown without trusting the guru. The unknown is dark, the field is uncharted -- it is not bliss, it is not the ultimate -- and the guru is always saying, "Jump into it! Do it!" But before you can jump, trust is needed or you will not jump.
OSHO
The Great Challenge, Ch.7, Q.1
The ultimate choice before the disciple is that of surrendering totally. The very phenomenon of surrender brings transformation and crystallization in the individual. The attitude of the disciple needs to be always one of total surrender. Then the guru is able to do anything because only through such total receptivity to him, one can be in communion with him. In Osho’s words:
If you understand it well, Trust is the Guru. Guru is merely an excuse for the Trust to arise within you. So sometimes such incredible things have happened that the Guru was not really a Guru, but the disciple reached to the ultimate state. Although, it happens daily that the Guru remains a Guru but the disciple never reaches. Trust is really the key.
OSHO
Trans. from Hindi, Suno Bhai Sadho
Trust, in the context of disciple hood, is not the same as when one applies it in social or business relationships. It is not just creating confidence and achieving perceived goal or desire. It is more like annihilation of one’s ego in order to merge with the luminous presence of the Master – it is essentially and truly falling in love with the Master. Osho makes this point clear: 
We in India have given another word for falling in love with a master, just to show the difference. We call it SHRADDHA -- we call it trust, a loving trust. If you fall in love with a master -- and you will fall -- then there is a difference. You are in sleep, but the master is not in sleep. You will try in every way to create a conflict, violence, aggression but he can laugh at it -- at you. He can be kind and he can arrange things so that there is no collision. He can arrange things so there is no violence and no hate.
OSHO
The Supreme Doctrine, Ch.15, Q.2
The very phenomenon of being a disciple, is that of re-spiritualization of one’s being, the very existence. Trusting the Master means going beyond the intellectual, the logical, the argumentative side of one’s personality and opening the heart to be filled with Guru’s grace and blessings.
However, there is one significant thing Osho brings to our attention. He says, “… there is only one way to choose a Guru and that is, when a Guru chooses you. How can you really choose a Guru? What you may end up doing really is, creating hindrances in Guru choosing you. So, there is only one skill a person can follow to becoming a disciple and that is, being available. The person can never choose because there is no particular reason, no logic he can apply for choosing a Master. And if you were to apply any logic for choosing a Guru, then know well that it is not Trust – it will be just a mind game. You may say: what the man is saying is right; hence I will make him my Guru. Then in that case you have not really chosen a Guru. You are still searching for a teacher. You found the conduct of the man acceptable. Who are you to judge the conduct? How would you determine weather the conduct is right or wrong?
If only you knew what is right and what is wrong, then you would yourself be a Guru. Then, there was no need for you to search.
OSHO
Trans. from Hindi, Suno Bhai Sadho
Hence, Osho makes it very clear: “ If you are impressed by me and then you decide, you can be impressed by somebody else tomorrow, and then you will decide that. And if you are impressionable for me, you are impressionable for anybody else. That's how people go from one Master to another.
Here there is no need to go anywhere because I am all the Masters together. You can just remain here and the Master changes; there is no need to go anywhere. I consistently contradict myself, so there is no problem. You need not go anywhere; you can just remain where you are.
People go on changing Masters because one day something impresses you and you are over-enthusiastic about it, and then there is a honeymoon -- but honeymoons end. Anything that begins has to end. After a few days the enthusiasm is gone. Now the thing seems to be familiar. The enthusiasm was because of the unfamiliar, because it was new. Try to understand this mechanism.
OSHO
The Beloved, Vol.1, Ch.2, Q.2
Guru’s all insights, all guidance, and all his pointers are equally significant because they are beyond time and space. Also, they come from a Source which is infinite and universal. That’s why Osho says, “My books of the past are important, because they will be a test for you -- whether you can grow with me or you have stopped long ago.
OSHO
From the False to the Truth, Ch.11.Q.2
From my own personal experience it has been obvious that as a disciple being accepted by Guru is a profound blessing but far more blissful is the fact that Guru opens all the doors for one to grow and in growth is the greatest gratification.
"When a disciple with total trust bows at the feet of his guru, something happens, which is invisible to the eye. Energy falls from the master, enters the disciple. The guru is heavy with infinite divine energy, which he can pour into infinite disciples. Alone, he can work with millions of disciples. He is never exhausted because he is connected with the whole. He has found the source. Through him, you too can leap into the whole.

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Transformation: The Only Antidote to Terrorism

January, 2009

Terrorism is not new, though it has come in a new incarnation. Historically, the Huns, Taimur Lane, Nadirshah, Mahmood Gaznavi, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, all are part of a chain of terrorists down to the modern day. Many may perceive the British as terrorists citing the gory incident of Jalianwala Baug. The major difference is now the phenomenon of terrorism is no longer limited to a particular area or a geographical territory. It has become globalized. Now everyone in the world feels threatened and terrorized. It seems, psychologically, people have carried the feeling of terror within, the present day terrorists have only magnified it on a global scale. 
Terrorism is the result of entrapment of soul in ideology. Any ideology, whether religious, political, or social, when becomes a closed system turns harmful. Idea is an open invitation to reflect, to search, to experiment. However, when an ideology is woven around it fanaticism and rigidity begin to strangle society. While an idea represents a free expression of thought, ideology is imposed to serve vested interests. In the imposition of an ideology the individual is not the concern, the system, the pattern and the conditioned view is the central force. Ideology when forced brings violence; violence is used to justify the rightness of ideology.
Terrorism is an ideological violence essentially rooted in unconscious human behavior. It shows its heinous form when governed by hypnotic conditioning. Osho points out, “Terrorism is not in the bombs in your hand; terrorism is in your unconscious.”  Religion, in most cases, has proven Marx right for functioning as “opium” and has consequently rained terror on men, women and children. Ironically, more often than not religion has taken God for a ride and has sold ideology around it with force, often brutal.
So the question now is, whether mankind can break out of self-reinforcing process of violent aggressiveness or is it resigned to go on passively subjecting itself to it. According to Freud, it is natural to be violent, aggressive. He stops here, but if this is taken to be the final point, then there is no scope for evolution. One just has to live with it or find some temporary solution: alcohol, drug or a shrink. The belief that we are naturally aggressive serves to excuse our aggression rather than take responsibility for it. This robs man away from his potential to grow, to transform.
Marx, on the other hand, said existence is the essence of being, hence, the society, the history, the living conditions are responsible for man’s actions. The man is not to be blamed for his acts. He insisted on changing the society, the outer structure. Here again, man was absolved from his responsibility. So, if we were to follow Freud and Marx, we will end up never realizing our true potential – our present actuality will remain an actuality.
Nevertheless, it is apparent that as a species we have, in our evolutionary process, made our genes work for us. We have shown that regardless of the environment or the social mileu, individuals such as Buddha have overcome the odds and gone beyond the biological and psychological barriers. Studies have also shown how aggressive and antisocial individual behavior is related to family and socio-cultural influences.

The critical factor is how well we are successful in channeling the energy, in transforming the energy of aggression and violence into love and compassion. Osho has shown the way toward materializing this change. His basic insight is:
“What happens with your sex energy depends on how you use it. What it can become does not depend on it alone, but on your understanding and on how you live your life. Have you not observed that it becomes brahmacharya, the state of celibacy when it is transformed? Bramhacharya is not hostile to passion; brahmacharya is the purification, the transcendence, the sublimation of passion. In the same way, the energy that manifests itself in violence becomes peace, serenity and tranquility. It is only a question of transformation. The energy that manifests itself in violence becomes peace, serenity and tranquility. It is only a question of transformation”.
OSHO
The Long, the Short and the All, Ch. 6
Existing nuclear and biological weapons have placed humanity at grave risk. Hence, in the context of our present day-to-day reality, how do we keep the human life free from terrorism? How do we transform the energy used for terrorism into concord and tranquility?  The first need obviously is to get out of the trap of dogmatic, closed, blind following of religion. But along with that we will have to be vigilant and pro-active, speak out against the regimented conditioning imposed by the custodians of “religion”. We will need to bring more celebration in our life – more joy, more laughter. A happy person can never become a terrorist. We will have to move from Gun Culture to Fun Culture. Osho’s insight is, life is not a problem to be solved by violent means; it is indeed a gift to be shared by living joyously.
What we need in essence is a commitment to making this world for our future generation a better place to live and enjoy. First, we need to make a conscious commitment to be free of all conditionings, patterns of belief and behavior, trappings of de-humanizing ideologies. Further, we need to help our children remain free from all that breeds hatred, violence, prejudice, aggression.
We need to help them develop the quality of what Osho calls “religiousness” rather than having them follow religion blindly. We need a vision that would raise our consciousness higher so that we may take care of our lower instincts of hate and violence, greed and power. The sages remind us: bhumaiva sukham, naalpe sukhamasti, the true happiness is in growing, in expanding our consciousness; there is no happiness in being narrow and fragmented.
Osho’s observation is that the twenty first century has brought us to a crossroad. We are, of course, moving ahead in leaps and bound as far as our horizontal growth is concerned. But we have also reached to a point where we need to work on our vertical growth as well. Along with material gains, Osho explains, we will have to move vigorously toward enhancing our emotional and spiritual growth. He says, the horizontal seems to be taking us somewhere, but reaches no where – it is just like chasing horizon. The vertical, on the other hand, does not seem to be taking us anywhere, and yet, it leads us towards a point where being human, being an individual, being a spirit takes a new meaning, a new value, a new dimension.
Dealing with the issue of terrorism and violence, he makes his point through the following anecdote.
“There is an old Indian tale. One Christian missionary was passing through a forest. Of course he believed in love, so he was not carrying a gun. Suddenly he saw a lion approaching. He became afraid. He started to think: "Now the Gospel of love won't do. It would have been wise if I had a gun."
But something had to be done, and he was in emergency. Then he remembered somebody has said somewhere that if you run, then the lion will follow you, and within minutes you will be caught and dead. But if you stare in the eyes of the lion, then there is some possibility, he may get impressed, hypnotized. He may change the mind. And there are stories that many times lions have changed their minds; they have slinked away.
So it was worth trying, and there was no use in escaping. The missionary stared. The lion also came near. He also started staring into the eyes of the missionary. For five minutes they were standing face to face, staring into each other's eyes. Then suddenly the missionary saw the miracle. Suddenly the lion put his paws close together and then bent over them in a very prayerful mood -- as if he was praying.
This was too much! Even the missionary was not expecting so much -- that a lion should start praying. He was happy. But then he thought, "What is to be done now? What I should do?" But by the time he was also hypnotized -- not only the lion -- so he thought, "It is better to follow the lion."
He also bent over, started praying. Five minutes again passed. Then the lion opened the eyes and said, "Man, what are you doing? I am saying the grace, but what are you doing?" The lion was a religious lion, pious, but just in thought. In deed, he was a lion, and he was going to be a lion. He was going to kill the man; he was saying grace.

This is the situation of the whole human phenomenon, the whole humanity -- just pious in thoughts; in deeds, man remains the animal. And this will be always so unless we don't cling to thoughts but create situations in which thoughts change.”
OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol.1.Ch.6,Q.1
As pointed out by Osho, we need to go back to the basics,: Awareness, Understanding, Meditation (AUM). Under the prevailing conditions, the greatest challenge before us is to heal our mind and body. We are a wounded civilization. So, how do we heal ourselves? Osho’s prescription is: “As you become more and more meditative, your energies become non-aggressive. Your violence disappears; love arises.” This is transformation. And, transformation is the only antidote to terrorism.

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The World in Drought and Osho - The Rainmaker

November, 2008

Change – any change, requires two essential conditions that need to be addressed: First, recognizing a set of new facts that clearly indicate the need for the change. Secondly, an environment conducive enough in which these facts can be seen and accepted. When the newly elected President of America, Barack Obama, talks about hopes of “getting there”, of “change”, or of “one world”; when he talks about a classless society or of new order of equal opportunities, he is essentially appealing to values not so much related to any intellectual facts but primarily to our emotional needs and realities. He is looking at the potential growth through a conscious participation – emotionally. His statements are for us to feel the reality and respond to it emotionally.

In his victory speech Barack Obama says: “Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity…The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”

 Obama, in essence, is asking people to become emotionally aware of a new worldview consistent with our geo-political as well as cultural facts.  If Barack Obama and along with him millions in America as well as around the world are looking for a paradigm shift then it has got to be seen at the level where we feel and not just intellectually rationalize. 
Maura Moynihan in an article recently has said, “He(Barack Obama)is the man of the New World.” Barack, in Arabic, means “blessing”. The enlightened mystic, Osho, on the other hand has been known as the “Blessed One”. Barack Obama may turn out to be a “blessing” only if his views can synchronize with the vision of the Blessed One – a vision that of creating a New Man/New Woman so that eventually we may see a “New World.”
In order to create a “New World” what is imperative is to first, what Osho says, letting go of old identities, patterns of behavior, and the outdated ideas – in other words dropping our conditioning. He says: “We have to change our consciousness, create more meditative energy in the world, create more lovingness. We have to destroy the old man and his ugliness, his rotten ideologies, his stupid discriminations, idiotic superstitions, and create a new man, with fresh eyes, with new values; a discontinuity with the past…
OSHO
The Rebel, Ch.1, Q.1

For this to happen, he says, we the people will need to make conscious and intelligent choices so as to help the evolution of life in general and society in particular. Each country and culture, in Osho’s view, will need to open its heart. It may manifest this shift differently from each other but it will need to recognize that this shift is central to creating a New World with dignity and maturity.

Osho’s makes it very clear:

“We have lived in an insane way, and now it is a choice between insanity and sanity. If insanity wins, there will be no life at all. If sanity wins, life will become for the first time free from all superstitions, all boundaries, all divisions -- one humanity, one earth; freedom of expression, freedom of movement, freedom to choose where you want to live.
It is our earth.

OSHO
The Rebellious Sprit, Ch.12, Q.3

What Osho is saying is a crystallized vision of an intent which is universal and focusing on human potential beyond feeling. He has expressed the intent through concrete images and practical guidance for a meaningful action. His immensely valuable approach is to reconcile inherent psychological contradictions with greater clarity and coherent light.

“The very base of thinking in terms of East and West, this and that, belongs to the past. For the future, it is not only foolish -- it is deeply harmful. But how can this be made possible? This can be made possible in three ways. One, the mind must not be trained in any one attitude. The mind must be trained simultaneously in both the attitudes. A child must not be trained only in logic, doubt and science. He must be trained for trust, for meditation, for religious sensitivity, and both of these trainings must be given simultaneously.”
OSHO
The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol-2, #7


There is a story about a rainmaker who was brought into a village that had been enduring a drought for a long time. When he arrived, he found the villagers upset and anxious. The atmosphere in the village made him feel that way as well, so he retired to a hut, where he did nothing but get quiet. His quietness spread, and the villagers became calm. Soon the rain came. He had done nothing but bring his own energy into harmony with the universe. And then the natural forces brought rain. (Quoted from: Where Two Worlds Touch: Spiritual Rites of Passage, by—Gloria D. Karpinski).

Osho, the Blessed One, has been a rainmaker quietly sending his vibes and his blessings for creating a drought free world. It could be a coincidence, perhaps of great significance, that Osho’s vision may become a reality through a committed effort from Obama and a supportive intelligent cooperation from the present day humanity. Osho brings a much deeper and profound blessing in awakening the masses.

In Osho’s words : “A whole earth is possible, but the earth has not been whole. Now, for the first time, barriers arc breaking. This breakdown of the old barriers will have to be consciously worked out. Unconsciously, it will take a longer time. Consciously, it can be done very easily and with less pain and less suffering. Now men should not belong to any land, to any culture, to any civilization, to any religion. Now, for the first time, men must belong to the whole earth.”
OSHO
The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol-2, # 7

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Meritrocracy : Concept to work through Democracy

October, 2008

In any system, weather democratic or not, there needs to be some congruence between the way people make decisions and the way they govern themselves. If, for any reason, both are very dissimilar then one will prove counter productive to the other. The encouraging fact is that we now have a vast experience in how to pursue the ideals of political freedom and a more participatory but focused governance. We now have the potential for achieving breakthroughs in pursuing the democratic path if we make imaginative use of new approaches suggested by such enlightened mystics as Osho.

The time has come for a meaningful reassessment of Democracy and the democratic process -- made not just by politicians, sociologists, or the so called experts but by a visionary being. In this respect, Osho, the contemporary mystic, has fundamentally questioned our basic assumptions on the issue. He has, through his enlightened view given us a far more realistic and forthright analysis as to what do we really mean by Democracy and what kind of future does it hold. Osho observes: 

“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,Ch.21

“What I am proposing is the right way to change the whole structure, so that one day meritocracy can merge into democracy -- because sooner or later everybody can be educated. I am not preventing anybody; I am simply saying that right now give the power of governing only to those who are entitled to it and prepared for it. Meanwhile, go on preparing other people.”
OSHO
From Misery to Enlightenment, Ch.8, Q.1


The existing reality, particularly in a country such as India is that, by and large, voters are so helplessly far removed from any contact with their elected representatives. The issues are becoming so complex and technical that even an educated person feels excluded from a healthy democratic process.

It seems apparent that we may be rushing toward a fateful breakdown of the entire process of political representation. If we do pursue a democratic process then we need to heed Osho’s words when he says:

“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.”
“…Meritocracy is not opposed to democracy; meritocracy is a concept of working through democracy. And sooner or later, with the growth of understanding, the specialist is going to be significant in the whole world. Maybe, sooner or later, everything will be in the hands of the expert, the knowledgeable.”
OSHO
Translation from Hindi: Beware of Socialism, Ch.4

In the past, as successive stages of human evolution unfolded, our awareness followed the unfolding reality rather than preceding it – the change was adapted but unconsciously. Today unconscious adaptation is neither sufficient nor intelligent – man must now assume a wisdom based control of evolution itself. This then is the significance of Osho’s vision. Giving a more realistic and practical alternative within the framework of a representative government, Osho makes it clear:

“We may not be here, that does not matter. But within three or four generations, everybody can pass through the process of deprogramming, meditation and education. Then all people are entitled -- because by twenty-one, most have already matriculated: they can participate in the local election. A few of them are graduates: they can participate in the state election. And by twenty-four, most of you are post-graduate: you can participate in all the elections. And before thirty you can be able to stand for the presidency of the country.”
“I am not asking much, just a ten-year preparation. And if the whole government is meditative, deprogrammed, unprejudiced -- just visualize it -- then bureaucracy disappears, hierarchy disappears; then things that take years can be finished within seconds.”

OSHO
From Misery to Enlightenment

What Osho would like to see is nothing less than a future-oriented, constructive mass movement in raising people’s awareness. And meditation alone can serve that purpose. Osho sees the political process as a manifestation of an evolutionary growth. His view is that, such as we have moved from monarchy (Ektantra), one man’s rule, to democracy or people’s rule (Loktantra), we now need to grow into meritocracy (Gunatantra) or rule only by people of merit.

He is proposing, however, that, in order for us to keep evolving politically, we basically need Dhyantantra -- a framework or an environment of Meditation.
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Neo Sannyas

September, 2008

A hermit once told me, "I have renounced everything for the God and now I have nothing left."
I see that truly he has nothing left, but I tell him that he still possesses that which he should have renounced, that which is the only thing that could have been renounced.
He looks all around. He really has no possessions -- what he has is inside him. It is in his eyes, it is in his renunciation, it is in his sannyas. It is his 'I'. To renounce that is the only renunciation, for everything else can be taken away, and finally death takes away everything. It is only the 'I' which none can take away -- not even death. It cannot be taken away, it can only be dropped, it can only be renounced. And the renunciation of that which cannot be taken away is the only real renunciation.
Hence, man has nothing but the 'I' which is worth offering up. Every other renunciation is only an illusion, because that which he renounced did not belong to him in the first place. On the contrary, all the other renunciations only intensify and crystallize his ego. Even if one offers his life from the center of the 'I' it is no offering at all. Except for giving away the 'I' no other giving is a giving.
'I' is the only possession.
'I' is the only world.
He alone who drops it is a non-possessor, a sannyasin.
'I' is the world.
The absence of 'I' is sannyas.
To give away the 'I' is the real spiritual revolution and transformation….
OSHO
Seeds of Wisdom, #117)
The absence of the ‘I’ or the ego-mind, giving up this mind is according to Osho the whole essence of “spiritual craftsmanship.” Sannyas, is not just an event, rather it is an ongoing process which makes one free from following the unconscious behavior by confronting oneself. It is essentially freedom to be, by transforming our illusions -- although, it is a highly personal work. Osho’s basic premise is that we have brought into life much, our potential that can become our actuality. We are not necessarily starting at ground zero. All we need is to pay attention to the fact that a Sannyasin can be “free” only when one becomes free from the mind and thus turns into a watcher.
But it would be futile to define an all inclusive vision as Neo Sannyas. In fact, Osho says, definition is never possible about anything that is alive. Definition is possible only about something which is dead, which grows no more, which blooms no more, which has no more possibility, potentiality, which is exhausted and spent. Then definition is possible. Such as, one may be able to define a dead man, but one cannot define an alive man.
“Life basically means that the new is still possible,” explains Osho. “The old sannyasin has a definition, very clear cut; that's why he is dead. I call my sannyas 'neo-sannyas' for this particular reason: my sannyas is an opening, a journey, a dance, a love affair with the unknown, a romance with existence itself, in search of an orgasmic relationship with the whole.
OSHO
(The Heart Sutra, Ch.10)
In view of how significant and momentous Sannyas is, Osho has made a very insightful statement. He declares, “In the coming fifty years many sannyas traditions will suddenly disappear from the world. There was a Buddhist sannyas tradition in China which suddenly became nonexistent. Lamas are going away from Tibet, they cannot survive. There was an old tradition of Christian monks in Russia which ceased to exist. And it is now difficult for sannyas to survive in any part of the world. Hence, in my view, such a precious flower like sannyas should not get destroyed. Sannyas as an institution may disappear, but sannyas as such must not go away.”
OSHO
(Translated from the Hindi: Chetna ka Surya,p.101)
According to Osho, the only way one can save sannyas is that the sannyasin should not run away from life -- he should become a sannyasin right in the middle of the marketplace. He should run a shop, do any manual work, work in office -- wherever, but should not escape from where he is. His livelihood should not depend on society. He should be a sannyasin wherever he is, whatever he may be.
This vision is not only very different from the traditional practice of sannyas but also carries new and fresh approach to giving the individual and collective life a new meaning Hence, Osho calls it the Neo Sannyas. Briefly, the cornerstone of neo sannyas is AWARENESS. Awareness spread over the physical, mental, and spiritual levels. It is also unique because it eliminates totally the dichotomy of body and spirit, this world and the other world. It inspires and encourages a sannyasin to be a materialist-spiritualist; it shows the way toward becoming what Osho says: Zorba the Buddha!
The vision of Neo Sannyas for Osho is yet another manifestation of his message for the emergence of a “New Man,” homo novus. The “old man”, he says, followed the ideal of renunciation; while the New Man’s ideal will be not renunciation but “rejoicing.” The “new man” the neo sannyasin for Osho lives a non-divisive life of totality transcending duality and escaping schizophrenia. Osho’s foresight is that the “new man” will give birth to a totally new world because his very being will be qualitatively and radically different from the ways humanity has lived in the past. Osho declares:
“Once we have brought this new man into existence, the earth can become for the first time what it is meant to become. It can become a paradise: this very body the Buddha, this very earth the paradise!”
OSHO
(Darshan Diaries, Zorba the Buddha, Ch.1)
The essence of the vision of neo sannyas is alive and spreading globally. By living a life of a neo sannyasin one is constantly redefining what it means to be meditatively committed to synergize the material and the spiritual, the local and the global, the inner and the outer by being all inclusive and open to making a positive contribution to individual and collective growth. Osho’s gives a clarion call:
“My sannyasins have to become the first rays of the sun that is going to come on the horizon. It is a tremendous task, it is an almost impossible task, but because it is impossible it is going to seduce all those who have any soul left in them.”
OSHO
(Darshan Diaries, Zorba the Buddha, Ch.1)

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Globalization

August, 2008

The word “globalization” first appeared in the early sixties. Since then, it has gone through different perceptions. According to some experts it is "the most abused word of the 21st century." No word seems to have meant so many different things to different people. Although, primarily it is seen in terms of global economic and material achievement, Osho has gone far beyond it and has presented a different “global” view -- more as a state of universal peace, prosperity, and consciousness.

Indeed, as we can clearly see it, the distances have been largely overcome and man-made barriers removed to facilitate the movement of goods and ideas. We see both the interconnectedness and interdependence have grown at the global level. However, Osho’s foresight is that increasing “connectivity” at the current economic level must also grow at human and spiritual levels as well to avoid imbalance and bring a unity of inner and the outer world. Osho has clearly stated:

“And particularly in the modern age to talk of East and West is sheer crap. The globe is one. For the first time this beautiful phenomenon has happened in the world: we are global, we are universal. Nations are just hangovers, just hangovers from the past -- old habits that die hard.”
OSHO
The Secret of Secrets, Vol.1, Ch.16., Q.1

“The world was, in the past, divided. The world was very, very big. People remained confined in their own countries. Teachings were not meeting: a Mohammedan lived like a Mohammedan, never aware of what the Vedas say; a Hindu lived like a Hindu, never knowing really what Zarathustra has taught. But now the world has become very small, a global village; the world has shrunken tremendously.”
OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol-5,Ch. 8

Osho’s concern is, however, far deeper. Seeing from a global perspective, his observation is that, if the entire world seems to be blanketed with clouds of hatred one only needs to have to look into the heart of each individual to find the source of the personal anger, ambition, pain, misery and hate that have combined to form those clouds.

Osho explains, when one man stands against another in hatred or in violence the effect multiplies. It spreads all over. It becomes like a shadow of death, encompassing the earth. And the totality of this hatred and violence is far greater than the sum-total of individual hatreds, of individual acts of aggression. Hence, proposing an option, Osho says:

“My emphasis is that our problems are international but our solutions are national. No nation is able to solve them. I take it as a great challenge and as a great opportunity: nations should be collapsed into one world government.
It was tried by the League of Nations before the Second World War, but it could not succeed. It simply remained a debating club. The Second World War destroyed the very credibility of the League of Nations. But the necessity was still there; therefore they had to create the United Nations organization, the U.N. But the U.N. is as much a failure as the League of Nations was. Again, it is still a debating club because it has no power. It cannot implement anything; it is just a formal club.
“I would like a world government. All nations should surrender their armies, their arms to the world government. Certainly if there is a world government, neither armies are needed, nor arms. …Nations have become out of date, but they go on existing -- and they are the greatest problem. Looking at the world, just like a bird looks, a strange feeling arises: we have everything, just we need one humanity.”

OSHO
Hari Om Tat Sat, Ch. 5

Taking a wider view of the existing global realities, Osho is clear that, what is needed is to look at the world, all over, as one unit. Our problems have brought us to a situation where either we will have to commit suicide or we will have to transform man, his old traditions, his conditionings.

“Those conditionings and those educational systems, those religions that man has followed up to now, have contributed to this crisis. This global suicide is the ultimate outcome of all our cultures, all our philosophies, all our religions. They all have contributed to it -- in strange ways, because nobody ever thought of the whole; everybody was looking at a small piece, not bothering about the whole.”
OSHO
Hari Om Tat Sat, Ch. 5

Thus, taking a holistic view, Osho’s vision is, “Now a new world is evolving, a new man is emerging out of the historical process -- a man of the future who will be neither of the East nor of the West. A new mind is coming into being: a global mind, a universal mind. So we have to discard our obsessions.

“The East has to discard its obsession with the third dimension: the religious; and the West has to discard its obsession with the first dimension: the empirical, the scientific. We have to see the world, the reality, through all three dimensions. Only then -- through all the doors that are potentially available to human beings everywhere -- can a synthesized knowledge, knowledge that is total, be gained.

“A person becomes whole when he becomes three-dimensional: simultaneously philosophical, religious and scientific. If these three dimensions are in the mind simultaneously, then the mind knows reality through all the doors of perception.”
OSHO
The Eternal Quest, Ch.1

In the global context, as an enlightened mystic and a visionary Osho brings to our awareness, the urgent need for bringing about a synthesis for saving and nurturing the entire humanity -- which precisely is the nature of his work:

“Now man is just around one of the greatest turning points. It always happens after twenty-five centuries that humanity takes a turn; the circle is complete. The human consciousness had taken one turn at the time of Buddha. Now twenty-five centuries are over and the turn is just in the near future…. It is just like the earth takes one round of the sun in a certain period of time: the whole human consciousness moves in a circle and comes to the original source in a certain time, that is, twenty-five centuries. That critical moment is near. It can become very radical. If in your mind you are synthesized, you will be able to use that turn. If you are not synthesized -- you remain a Mohammedan, you remain a Christian -- you remain out of date, you remain of the past. You are not here; you are not available to the present. To make you available to the present, to make you capable of understanding what is going to happen soon, that's what this whole synthesis is all about.”
OSHO
Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol-5, Ch. 8
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Terrorism: An Ideological Violence

July, 2008

Terrorism is not new, though it has come in a new incarnation. Historically, the Huns, Taimur Lane, Nadirshah, Mahmood Gaznavi, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, all are part of a chain of terrorists down to the modern day. Many may perceive the British as terrorists citing the gory incident of Jalianwala Baug. The major difference is now the phenomenon of terrorism is no longer limited to a particular area or a geographical territory. It has become globalized. Now everyone in the world feels threatened and terrorized. It seems, psychologically, people have carried the feeling of terror within, the present day terrorists have only magnified it on a global scale.

Terrorism is the result of entrapment of soul in ideology. Any ideology, whether religious, political, or social, when becomes a closed system turns harmful. Idea is an open invitation to reflect, to search, to experiment. However, when an ideology is woven around it fanaticism and rigidity begin to strangle society. While an idea represents a free expression of thought, ideology is imposed to serve vested interests. In the imposition of an ideology the individual is not the concern, the system, the pattern and the conditioned view is the central force. Ideology when forced brings violence; violence is used to justify the rightness of ideology.

Terrorism is an ideological violence essentially rooted in unconscious human behavior. It shows its heinous form when governed by hypnotic conditioning. Osho points out, “Terrorism is not in the bombs in your hand; terrorism is in your unconscious.” Religion, in most cases, has proven Marx right for functioning as “opium” and has consequently rained terror on men, women and children. Ironically, more often than not religion has taken God for a ride and has sold ideology around it with force, often brutal.

So the question now is, whether mankind can break out of self-reinforcing process of violent aggressiveness or is it resigned to go on passively subjecting itself to it. According to Freud, it is natural to be violent, aggressive. He stops here, but if this is taken to be the final point, then there is no scope for evolution. One just has to live with it or find some temporary solution: alcohol, drug or a shrink. The belief that we are naturally aggressive serves to excuse our aggression rather than take responsibility for it. This robs man away from his potential to grow, to transform.

Marx, on the other hand, said existence is the essence of being, hence, the society, the history, the living conditions are responsible for man’s actions. The man is not to be blamed for his acts. He insisted on changing the society, the outer structure. Here again, man was absolved from his responsibility. So, if we were to follow Freud and Marx, we will end up never realizing our true potential – our present actuality will remain an actuality.

Nevertheless, it is apparent that as a species we have, in our evolutionary process, made our genes work for us. We have shown that regardless of the environment or the social milieu, individuals such as Buddha have overcome the odds and gone beyond the biological and psychological barriers. Studies have also shown how aggressive and antisocial individual behavior is related to family and socio-cultural influences.

The critical factor is how well we are successful in channeling the energy, in transforming the energy of aggression and violence into love and compassion. Osho has shown the way toward materializing this change. His basic insight is:

“What happens with your sex energy depends on how you use it. What it can become does not depend on it alone, but on your understanding and on how you live your life. Have you not observed that it becomes brahmacharya, the state of celibacy when it is transformed? Bramhacharya is not hostile to passion; brahmacharya is the purification, the transcendence, the sublimation of passion. In the same way, the energy that manifests itself in violence becomes peace, serenity and tranquility. It is only a question of transformation. The energy that manifests itself in violence becomes peace, serenity and tranquility. It is only a question of transformation”.
OSHO
The Long, the Short and the All, Ch. 6

Existing nuclear and biological weapons have placed humanity at grave risk. Hence, in the context of our present day-to-day reality, how do we keep the human life free from terrorism? How do we transform the energy used for terrorism into concord and tranquility? The first need obviously is to get out of the trap of dogmatic, closed, blind following of religion. But along with that we will have to be vigilant and pro-active, speak out against the regimented conditioning imposed by the custodians of “religion”. We will need to bring more celebration in our life – more joy, more laughter. A happy person can never become a terrorist. We will have to move from Gun Culture to Fun Culture. Osho’s insight is, life is not a problem to be solved by violent means; it is indeed a gift to be shared by living joyously.

What we need in essence is a commitment to making this world for our future generation a better place to live and enjoy. First, we need to make a conscious commitment to be free of all conditionings, patterns of belief and behavior, trappings of de-humanizing ideologies. Further, we need to help our children remain free from all that breeds hatred, violence, prejudice, aggression.

We need to help them develop the quality of what Osho calls “religiousness” rather than having them follow religion blindly. We need a vision that would raise our consciousness higher so that we may take care of our lower instincts of hate and violence, greed and power. The sages remind us: bhumaiva sukham, naalpe sukhamasti, the true happiness is in growing, in expanding our consciousness; there is no happiness in being narrow and fragmented.

Osho’s observation is that the twenty first century has brought us to a crossroad. We are, of course, moving ahead in leaps and bound as far as our horizontal growth is concerned. But we have also reached to a point where we need to work on our vertical growth as well. Along with material gains, Osho explains, we will have to move vigorously toward enhancing our emotional and spiritual growth. He says, the horizontal seems to be taking us somewhere, but reaches no where – it is just like chasing horizon. The vertical, on the other hand, does not seem to be taking us anywhere, and yet, it leads us towards a point where being human, being an individual, being a spirit takes a new meaning, a new value, a new dimension.

As pointed out by Osho, we need to go back to the basics,: Awareness, Understanding, Meditation (AUM). Under the prevailing conditions, the greatest challenge before us is to heal our mind and body. We are a wounded civilization. So, how do we heal ourselves? Osho’s prescription is : “As you become more and more meditative, your energies become non-aggressive. Your violence disappears; love arises.” This is transformation. And, transformation is the antidote to terrorism.

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Priests & Politicians-The Mafia of the Soul

June, 2008

Priest: Good morning Sir.
Politician: Good morning, Your Holiness. How can I be of any service to you?
Priest: Well, Sir, there is a problem.
Politician: Just tell me and I will fix it. We are known for working hand in hand -- aren’t we? In war times, in peace times -- in fact at any time (wink…wink).
Priest: Our business is going down, sir; the faithful are deserting us. The word of God is no longer attracting them to our fold.
Politician: Now that is awful. God is the only savior. Why it is so?
Priest: Well, sir, once in a while there are these truth seekers, the mystics, the enlightened ones who create alarm in the society and create doubts in the minds of our believers.
Politician: Are they against us? Are they our enemy? We will finish them off!
Priest: No sir, they are neither against us nor for us; they say they are here to awaken people.
Politician: Well, can you name anyone who is now present in our times trying to awaken those who are enjoying their sleep?
Priest: Yes, the contemporary enlightened mystic, known as Osho, has been very outspoken about the priest and the politician. He has created a worldwide awareness attack by targeting the age old professions of both of us. He says, Priests and Politicians are the “mafia of the soul!” He says we are the exploiters. We are the people who are sitting on people’s heart and blocking their energies. We are in power only if people are miserable. By being miserable, Osho says, believers are helping a gang of exploiters.
Politician: Now that is intolerable! What does he say about your profession?
Priest: An organized religion is nothing but a hidden politics, he says, a deep exploitation by the priesthood. They may be shankaracharyas, imams, rabbis, or popes, it makes no difference. The priesthood is interested in the non-essential because that non-essential could be used for exploitation. The essential cannot be used for exploitation.

The essential will destroy the priesthood immediately. In his discourses, Osho says:

So it is really a great exploitation by the priesthood of all the religions. They have destroyed every individual. They have made you Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, but they have not allowed you to become just an individual, a human being. You were born not as a Christian, you were born not as a Buddhist; you were born just as a human being. They have destroyed your innocence, they have misdirected your life. They have molded you into something which you cannot become; it is not your potential.
OSHO
From Bondage to Freedom, Ch.23, Q.1

All these religions are trying to humiliate humanity. Their whole business and exploitation and oppression depend on you, your fear, your greed, your death, your disease. If you start feeling yourself divine and can enjoy not only life but death too, with the same dance, what will be the purpose of the priests? And there are millions of them all over the world, just living like parasites. They may be Hindu, they may be Mohammedan, they may be Christian, they may belong to any religion, but priesthood is the ancientmost profession of parasites.
OSHO
Dogen, The Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment, Ch.6

Politician: Horrible, just horrible!! I can’t listen to it anymore! And what does Osho say about my profession?
Priest: Osho describes your profession as a profession of liars. He says: politicians are asleep. No awakened person can become a politician for the simple reason that he cannot lie. He cannot give you promises that he knows can never be fulfilled. No awakened person will be a politician, because he has no desire for his ego to be fulfilled. Right now, politics is the only profession where no qualification is needed, Osho says. Any idiot who is stubborn enough, has no sense of shame, has no sense that what he is saying he cannot fulfill, can lie very easily, is a hypocrite, is pushy enough... will become a politician, will be in a high post.
Politician: My God! Help me! I can’t take it anymore!
Priest: That is not all, Sir, Osho goes on to say:

The politician is a liar. He's trying to lie -- to himself and to the whole world. The religious dimension is the dimension of being true, authentic.
Once it happened that a man entered a bar and said, 'Bartender, I want you to meet my dog. He talks. I will sell him to you for only ten dollars.'
'Who do you think you are kidding?' said the bartender.
The dog, tears in his eyes looked up. 'Please buy me,' he said. 'This man treats me cruelly. He never gives me a bone. He never bathes me. He is always kicking me around. And once I was the richest trick-dog in the country. I performed before presidents and kings. My name was in the papers every day, and....'
'So he does talk,' said the bartender. 'But why sell a valuable dog like that for only ten dollars?'
'Because,' said the customer, 'l hate liars.'
A politician is a liar, and he is trying to convince himself through convincing others.
OSHO
Ancient Music in the Pines, Ch.8.Q.3

Politician: That is not true…that is just not true…we, the politicians, are servants of the people. We sacrifice everything to help people; we are here to serve people (saving himself from falling off the chair). Please have someone bring me a glass of water!!!
Priest: Take hold of yourself, Sir, the weight of whole country is on your shoulders. You and I are the only ones who people look up to -- millions of them. We just need to stay together, hand in glove, and ignore what the enlightened people say -- including the jokes Osho tells to his people. Take the following one:
A Bible-bashing Baptist is preaching to a Texas businessman, who doubts the miracle of divine punishment.
"Let me tell you," says the preacher, "about a remarkable occurrence. On the TV news last night there was a story about a politician who was struck by lightning while he was telling a lie. A miraculous incident, was it not?"
"Well, I don't know," drawls the Texan. "It would be more of a miracle if lightning struck a politician when he wasn't lying."
(The politician at this point faints and the priest runs to the door for help).
As a visionary and a man of truth, Osho has given insights which are valuable for the whole humanity in saving their lives, and lives of the future generation from falling in the vitriolic trap of the priest and the politician. He has clearly stated:

Man lives under a great hypnosis. Man lives under deep conditionings: the society has conditioned you, the state has conditioned you, the priest, the politician, the culture, the religion, the church -- all their investments are there in your deep sleep. They don't want you to be awake. Once humanity is awake, there can be no politician possible. Once humanity is awake, there can be no priest possible. Once humanity is awake, temples, churches, religions, will disappear from the earth. This whole exploitation is possible because man lives in sleep. The exploitation is possible because man is miserable -- only a miserable humanity can be exploited.
It is a vicious circle: only a miserable man can be exploited, and when you exploit him he becomes more miserable. When he is more miserable you can exploit him even more -- and so on and so forth.
A happy man is a rebellious man. Happiness is tremendous rebellion.
OSHO
Divine Melody,Ch.10,Q.1

Following tale told by Osho puts succinctly the whole issue in perspective:

There was a rich magician who had a great many sheep. He did not want to hire shepherds, nor did he want to erect a fence about the pasture where his sheep were grazing -- he was very miserly and very mean. The sheep consequently often wandered into the forest, fell into ravines, and so on; and above all, they ran away -- for they knew that the magician wanted their flesh and skins, and this they did not like.
At last the magician found a remedy. He hypnotized his sheep and suggested to them first of all that they were immortal; and that no harm was being done to them when they were skinned -- that, on the contrary, it would be very good for them and even pleasant. Secondly, he suggested that the magician was a good master who loved his flock so much that he was ready to do anything in the world for them. And in the third place, he suggested to them that if anything at all was going to happen to them, it was not going to happen just then, at any rate not that day, and therefore they had no need to think about it. Further, the magician suggested to his sheep that they were not sheep at all: to some of them he suggested that they were lions, to others that they were eagles, to others that they were men, and to others that they were magicians.
And after this, all his cares and worries about the sheep came to an end. They never ran away again but quietly awaited the time when the magician would require their flesh and skins.
This tale is a very good illustration of man's position.
You have been hypnotized to remain in misery. You have been taught, conditioned, to remain in misery. And the trick is very subtle.
OSHO
Divine Melody, Ch.10, Q.1

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Democracy

May, 2008

Today the emerging techno-societies are reaching to an almost universally felt concern about the future of freedom. Democracy principally means: maximum individual choice and right to express. Nevertheless, experts and those concerned with human life are arriving to a conclusion that we are moving further and further away from this ideal.

Democracy means everybody has the right to think in his or her own way, to live in his/her own way. Democracy means that the government is not going to impose its own ideology on everybody; that the government will keep away from interfering in people's freedom. Regardless of all the rhetoric about freedom of choice, however, government agencies around the world can hardly claim to have realistically delivered the goods.

The time has come for a meaningful reassessment of Democracy and the democratic process -- made not just by politicians, sociologists, or the so called experts but by a visionary being. In this respect, Osho, the contemporary mystic, has fundamentally questioned our basic assumptions on the issue. He has, through his enlightened view given us a far more realistic and forthright analysis as to what do we really mean by Democracy and what kind of future does it hold. Osho observes:

“Democracy means government by the people, of the people, for the people -- but it is only in words. In India right now there are nine hundred million people. How can nine hundred million people have power? They have to delegate the power to somebody. So it is not the people who rule, but the people who are chosen by them. What are your grounds for choosing? How do you manage to choose? And are you capable of choosing the right people? Have you been trained, educated for a democratic life? No, nothing has been done.”
OSHO
Sermons in Stone, Ch.29, Q.1

The existing reality, particularly in a country such as India is that, by and large, voters are so helplessly far removed from any contact with their elected representatives. The issues are becoming so complex and technical that even an educated person feels excluded from a healthy democratic process. Osho addresses this problem with a wider and a much deeper perspective as follows:

“...Democracy is neither by the people, nor of the people, nor for the people. The people who have been holding power down the centuries have always been able to persuade people that whatever is being done, is done for their sake. And the people have believed it because they have been trained to believe; it is a conspiracy between religion and state to exploit humanity.”
“The religion goes on preaching belief and destroys the intelligence of people to question, makes them retarded. And the state goes on exploiting them in every possible way -- still managing to keep the people's support, because the people have been trained to believe, not to question. ”
“Any kind of government -- it may be monarchy, it may be aristocracy, it may be democracy, it may be any kind of government... Just the names change but deep down the reality remains the same.”
OSHO
Beyond Psychology, Ch.7, Q.1

Looking into India’s political reality, Osho is forthright in his assessment. He says: “The Indians understand only one language: that of enforcement. If you enforce something upon them they are very law-abiding.”
“For two hundred years the English people ruled India and found the Indians very law-abiding. Lawlessness was never a problem before the end of the British Raj, but these thirty-three years of freedom have seen India falling apart, becoming a chaos -- something which looks strange if you don't understand the root cause. The root cause is that freedom is absolutely strange to Indian programming. India needs a totally different kind of government. Democracy is an imported idea.”
OSHO
Zen: Zest, Zip, Zang and Zing, Ch.9,Q.1

We hear people talking about democracy, freedom of speech, but it turns out to be just another talk. Furthermore, if we have amongst us a person, an enlightened being such as Osho, who has something to say, who has a distinct vision, we immediately start stopping him. It is so strange, says Osho, “there is a freedom for gossiping but there is no freedom to say the truth. You are free to lie as much as you can. Nobody will prevent you, no government will ever bother about you, but if you start talking about truth... And even more dangerous is to give people a certain direction so they can move into their own realization. This is very dangerous to all the vested interests.”
OSHO
Hayakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho’s Haikus, Ch.8

Osho proposes a clear alternative to make sure eventually a country such as India can have a much stronger and healthier political process. Osho suggests:

“For the transition period democracy should be put aside. For the transition period a presidential form of government with more dictatorial power than the American President has will be of immense help. But that power has not to be used to impose the same old character -- no need to commit the same mistake again -- that power has to be used to de-program people from the past and to give them a taste of consciousness. a taste of awareness. They have to be helped to become more individual, but democracy will not be able to do it; it will simply lead India into more and more chaos. ”
OSHO
Zen: Zest, Zip, Zang and Zing, Ch.9,Q.1

What Osho would like to see is nothing less than a future-oriented, constructive mass movement in raising people’s awareness. And meditation alone can serve that purpose. Osho sees the political process as a manifestation of an evolutionary growth. His view is that, such as we have moved from monarchy (Ektantra), one man’s rule, to democracy or people’s rule (Loktantra), we now need to grow into meritocracy (Gunatantra) or rule only by people of merit.

He is proposing, however, that, in order for us to keep evolving politically, we basically need Dhyantantra -- a framework or an environment of Meditation.

In Osho’s words, “There may be millions of people who are blind -- there are millions, but it is not a question of democracy. They cannot vote, they cannot assert a single word about light. That one man is right and those millions of people are wrong. The question is not of numbers. The only question that is significant is the transformation of your being from mind to no-mind.”
OSHO
Sermons in Stones, Ch.14. Q.1

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Preventing Deprssion

April, 2008

Depression is a serious debilitating disease. It affects every facet of life for one suffering from it. Sadly it is also on the increase at an alarming rate. It is estimated that ten million Americans are affected by depression every year; that more women than men suffer from depression. Depression is estimated to affect as many as 1 in 8 people in their teen years.
It affects people of every color, race, economic status, or age. For some teenagers, a negative, stressful, or unhappy family atmosphere can affect their self-esteem and lead to depression. This can also include high-stress living situations such as poverty;

Osho’s observation is that, particularly in the West, the depression is going to be very deep. In the East, there have been rich people, but there was a certain dimension available. When the road to richness came to an end, they did not remain stuck there; they moved into a new direction. That new direction was in the air, available for centuries.
In the East the poor have been in a very good condition, and the rich have been in a tremendously good condition. The poor have learned contentment so they do not bother about running after ambition. And the rich have understood that one day one has to renounce it all and go in search of truth, in search of meaning.

“In the West, at the end, the road simply ends. You can go back, but going back will not help your depression. You need a new direction. The first thing in life is to find meaning in the present moment. The basic flavor of your being should be of love, of rejoicing, of celebration. Then you can do anything; dollars will not destroy it. But you put everything aside and simply run after dollars thinking that dollars can purchase everything. And then one day you find they cannot purchase anything -- and you have devoted your whole life to dollars. This is the cause of depression.
OSHO
The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch.2,Q.1

As Osho explains, in the East depression has never been a problem. The poor learned to enjoy whatever little they had, and the rich learned that having wealth and glory means nothing -- one needs to go in a search for meaning, not for money. Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, and many others were at the peak of richness, but they realized that something else had to be found before death approaches. In view of conditions in the West, Osho’s guidance is that “there is no need to be in despair, in depression -- you just have to move into an unknown dimension. They have never explored it -- but as they start exploring the new dimension, it means a journey inwards, a journey to their own self. All that they have lost starts returning… The West needs very urgently a great movement of meditation; otherwise, this depression is going to kill people.”
OSHO
The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch.2, Q.1

Continuing his analysis of the situation in the East and the West, Osho says the West is in a far worse condition than the East -- although many think the West is in a better condition than the East because the East is poor. But poverty is not as big of a problem, says Osho, as is the failure of richness. An ordinary poor man at least has dreams, hopes, but the rich man has nothing.

Osho’s diagnosis is that, “What is needed is a great meditation movement reaching to every person. And in the West these people who are depressed are going to psychoanalysts, therapists and all kinds of charlatans who are themselves depressed, more depressed than their patients -- naturally, because the whole day they are hearing about depression, despair, meaninglessness. And seeing so many talented people in such a bad state, they themselves start losing their spirit. They cannot help; they themselves need help.”
“The function of my school is going to be to prepare people with meditative energy and send them into the world just as examples for those who are depressed. If they can see that there are people who are not depressed -- but on the contrary, who are immensely joyous -- perhaps a hope may be born into them. Now they can have everything and there is no need to worry. They can meditate.”
OSHO
The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch.2, Q.1

Two robbers broke into a bank in a small town.
"Alright," said the bigger man. "Line up! We are gonna rob all the men and rape all the women!"
"Wait a second!" snapped his partner. "Let us just grab the dough and beat it!"
"Shut up and mind your own business," said the spinster from behind the counter. "The big fella knows what he is doing!"
Commenting on this humorous episode, Osho says, “...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 un-burdened; he will become saner, healthier. ”
OSHO
The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Ch.4, Q.4

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What is Enlightment

March, 2008

A man asked Buddha: “Everyday you say everyone can become enlightened. Then why doesn’t evetryone become enlightened?” Buddha said, “In the evening make a list of all those in the town and write down their desires next to their names.” Man came back in the evening and gave the list to Buddha. He asked, “How many of these seek enlightenment?” Man said, not one person. Then Buddha said, “I say, everyone is capable of enlightenment; I do not say everyone wants enlightenment.”

Osho has brought this point home repeatedly that every human being is potentially capable of enlightenment, however, one would need earnestness of desire and a committed effort to actualize this potential.

Essentially, enlightenment according to Osho is about being able to see how your mind works clearly, and thus gaining better understanding and comfort with your thoughts, feelings and actions. A moment to moment awareness needs to be an ever-present and all-pervading part of our existence. It is basically our conscious and qualitative experience of the world around us. Osho makes it clear, there is nothing inherently ""mystical" to gaining awareness. It is about watching through a witnessing consciousness how our mind functions and coming to terms with what you see, think, feel and do. As part of this process, one must deal with how the mind interacts with the unknown.

Osho says, “And you are not courageous enough to accept the fact, because you don't respect yourself. You have been taught by the so-called religious people to condemn yourself. You cannot accept that 'Enlightenment can happen to me. It happens to Buddha -- okay. It happens to Christ -- maybe. But it can't happen to me. To me? It can't happen to me.' You have not respected yourself, you have not loved yourself.
Otherwise enlightenment comes to everybody, all and sundry. It comes to sinners, it comes to saints. Enlightenment has no condition for coming. In fact to use the word 'coming' is not right -- it arises.”

OSHO

The Revolution,Ch.10,Q.3

Osho points out that creating a meditative space is a pre requisite to enlightenment. This meditative space holds the enlightened moment to give us a transcendental experience of relaity. “If you have created a meditative space inside you,” explains Osho, “that meditative space will be able to contain it. That's what meditation is all about: the capacity to contain enlightenment. Enlightenment comes to everybody -- but you have so many holes in your being, it flows out, it simply leaks out. Seeing a tree in full bloom, the spring has come and you are in a kind of awe. Seeing the green and the red and the gold of the tree, you are transported into another world. This is enlightenment.”

*-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------*

Expaining “meditative space” he says,: “And when you are totally meditative... and what do I mean by 'meditative'? When you are totally thoughtless. It is thought that functions as a hole in your being -- and you have so many thoughts, so you have so many holes. Your bucket is full of holes: with this bucket you go to a well and you try to draw water. When you lower the bucket down into the well, when it is in the water it is full of water. Then you start drawing it and the water starts leaking. By the time it reaches your hands it is empty.

“And it is not that it was not full of water when it was in the well -- it was. Exactly like that, it happens: there are moments when you are full of enlightenment.”
OSHO
The Revolution, Ch.10,Q.3

In Osho’s view, enlightenment is nothing but living naturally, what Kabir calls “sahaj”. To be just ordinary, to live -- to enjoy, to love, to dance, to sing, being creative consciously -- the very ordinary existence with an extraordinary intensity, with passion, that, according to Osho, is enlightenment.

Osho’ insight is: “Consciousness is always enlightenment. To be conscious means to be a Buddha. And the possibility exists in everybody. Yet people go on living in an unconscious way because they believe they are already conscious, so there is nothing to be done, there is nothing to be transformed to. They go on thinking this is all that they have. This is not even the beginning; the journey has not started. You are fast asleep. But you can have a dream-journey -- you can go in your dream to the farthest corner of the earth, and you can go on believing that you are a traveler. And all the time you are asleep here now.”
“Here now you are asleep. That is what unconsciousness is. You may be conscious of the past -- but the past is no more, so that consciousness is of absence. You may be conscious of the future, and the future is not yet. That consciousness is pseudo. The only consciousness is of here now, of this moment. If you are utterly here this moment, totally here this moment, then you are conscious. And in that very intensity you become a flame of light. A smokeless flame. That is what enlightenment is.”

OSHO
This Very Body the Buddha, Ch.2, Q.1

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Trust

February, 2008

Since long, human society is being managed on two approaches seemingly at odds with each other – one identified as “scientific” and the other as “spiritual”. In the classical sense, the former tends to deny the spiritual reality, and the latter finds science inadequate in addressing significant questions of life. These contradictory perceptions show that something is basically wrong in understanding the overall dynamics of human evolution. It shows we are missing a tremendously important quality that can transform this dichotomized view into a holistic vision -- the quality of Trust.

Trust is a state of being – it can manifest but it cannot be measured directly. Trust is essentally a matter of choice and inner growth showing how to deal with spiritual challenges that outgo rationalistic reasoning. Osho’s insight is: “…Trust, is the greatest quantum leap. To come from the head to the heart is the longest journey. Man can reach the moon -- that is easier -- and soon man will reach to the stars; that too is not very difficult. The only problem and the most difficult journey is: to move from the head to the heart, because they don't exist in the same dimension -- their ways of existing are so different.”
OSHO
Darshan Diaries, The 99 Names of Nothingness, Ch.20

The most profound manifestation of such a “quantum leap” can be visible in the dynamics of how a disciple relates with the Master. According to Osho, a disciple is one who has an open mind, a receptive mind so he is not just learning from the Master but receiving, and thus continuously evolving. That is why in the spiritual world trust is seen as a basic component for being a disciple.

Osho explains: “The relationship between the disciple and the guru is a relationship of intimate trust. That doesn't mean blind faith, because the guru never expects you to believe in him -- that is not an expectation. But the very nature of the unknown is such that you cannot go a single step further without trust. Trust is required of the disciple because he will not be able to take a single step into the unknown without trusting the guru. The unknown is dark, the field is uncharted -- it is not bliss, it is not the ultimate -- and the guru is always saying, "Jump into it! Do it!" But before you can jump, trust is needed or you will not jump.”
OSHO
The Great Challenge, Ch.7, Q.1

The ultimate choice before the disciple is that of surrendering totally. The very phenomenon of surrender brings transformation and crystallization in the individual. The attitude of the disciple needs to be always one of total surrender. Then the guru is able to do anything because only through such total receptivity to him, one can be in communion with him.

In Osho’s words: “If you understand it well, Trust is the Guru. Guru is merely an excuse for the Trust to arise within you. So sometimes such incredible things have happened that the Guru was not really a Guru, but the disciple reached to the ultimate state. Although, it happens daily that the Guru remains a Guru but the disciple never reaches. Trust is really the key.”
OSHO
Suno Bhai Sadho, Ch.4

Trust, in the context of disciple hood, is not the same as when one applies it in social or business relationships. It is not just creating confidence and achieving perceived goal or desire. It is more like annihilation of one’s ego in order to merge with the luminous presence of the Master – it is essentially and truly falling in love with the Master.

Osho makes this point clear: “We in India have given another word for falling in love with a master, just to show the difference. We call it SHRADDHA -- we call it trust, a loving trust. If you fall in love with a master -- and you will fall -- then there is a difference. You are in sleep, but the master is not in sleep. You will try in every way to create a conflict, violence, aggression but he can laugh at it -- at you. He can be kind and he can arrange things so that there is no collision. He can arrange things so there is no violence and no hate.”
OSHO
The Supreme Doctrine, Ch.15, Q.2

The very phenomenon of being a disciple, is that of re-spiritualization of one’s being, the very existence. Trusting the Master means going beyond the intellectual, the logical, the argumentative side of one’s personality and opening the heart to be filled with Guru’s grace and blessings.

Hence, Osho’s insight is: “There is something that is called trust; it is something one should not miss. To know it is to know god, to know it is to know samadhi... to know it is to know the 'summum bonum', the highest good that is possible to man.” (
OSHO
Darshan Diaries, Far Beyond the Stars, Ch.8

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Life and Death

January, 2008

Most spiritual traditions around the world stress upon the fact that, life does not end with the death of our physical body. And yet, death is perhaps the most mysterious experience of our life. In a spiritual sense, though, our life neither begins with birth nor does it end with death. From an enlightened perspective, death is just a part of life. As other things are part of life -- love, birth, joy, sadness, and happiness -- so is death. As Osho points out, “Death is not something against life, death is not something beyond life -- death happens in life, death is an intrinsic part of life.”

So, the enlightened view is that, death and birth are an inseparable phenomenon. Death in one form gives birth to another form in an ongoing continuity of life energy. Water becomes mist and cloud, or the flower becomes a seed – as Benjamin Franklin once said, “a newer and better edition.” Osho reveals:

“Everything returns to its original source, has to return to its original source. If you -understand life then you understand death also. Life is a forgetfulness of the original source, and death is again a remembrance. Life is going away from the original source, death is coming back home. Death is not ugly, death is beautiful. But death is beautiful only for those who have lived their life unhindered, uninhibited. unsuppressed. Death is beautiful only for those who have lived their life beautifully, who have not been afraid to live, who have been courageous enough to live -- who loved, who danced, who celebrated.”
OSHO
The Art of Dying, Ch.1

The sages, including Osho, point out, what we call life is just an identification with a certain body, with a certain mind, with a certain attitude, and what we call death is nothing but getting out of that form, out of that body, out of that concept.

It is like changing houses, the sages explain. Indeed, if we get too identified with one house, then changing the house will obviously be very painful. One thinks, one is dying because the old house was what he or she was -- that was the person’s identity. But in an enlightened view, this doesn't happen, because you know that you are only changing the house, you remain the same. Those who have looked within themselves, those who have found who they are, come to know an eternal, non-ending process. Life is a process, timeless, beyond time. Death is part of it.

Osho has repeatedly reminded us, death is a continuous revival: a help to life to resurrect again and again, a help to life to get rid of old forms, to get rid of dilapidated buildings, to get rid of old confining structures so that again you can flow and you can again become fresh and young, and you can again become virgin. It is a process of no ending and no beginning. It never starts. It never ends anywhere, it never begins anywhere. “We are involved in eternity. We have been here since the very beginning -- if there was any beginning -- and we are going to be here to the very end, if there is going to be any end. In fact, there cannot be any beginning and there cannot be any end. We are life -- even if forms change, bodies change, minds change.”
OSHO
The Art of Dying, Ch.1

Osho explains:
“I have heard.
A man was browsing through an antique shop near Mount Vernon and ran across a rather ancient-looking axe. 'That's a mighty old axe you have there,' he said to the shop owner. 'Yes,' said the man, 'it once belonged to George Washington.' 'Really?' said the customer.' It certainly stood up well.' 'Of course,' said the antique dealer, 'it has had three new handles and two new heads.' But that's how life is -- it goes on changing handles and heads; in fact, it seems that everything goes on changing and yet something remains eternally the same.

“…There is a thread, howsoever invisible. And everything goes on changing but that invisible thread remains the same. That thread is beyond life and death. Life and death are two wings for that which is beyond life and death. That which is beyond goes on using life and death as two wheels of a cart, complementaries. It lives through life; it lives through death. Death and life are its processes, like inhalation and exhalation.
But something in you is transcendental. THAT ART THOU...that which is transcendental.
But we are too identified with the form -- that creates the ego. That's what we call 'I'. Of course the 'I' has to die many times. So it is constantly in fear, trembling, shaking, always afraid, protecting, securing.”

OSHO
The Art of Dying, Ch.1

Hence, explains Osho, the moment a person asks, "What is the meaning of life?" it means he has become old -- it does not matter at what age. His question emphatically shows that he has lost touch with life, lost touch with love, lost touch with vitality, and wherever he looks it is all emptiness. The question has become significant to him -- why is he living? In fact, he has died; his life is posthumous.

“The moment a person asks,” says Osho, "What is the meaning of life?" it is the question of a dead man -- who still breathes, whose heart still beats, but it is all like a robot. All poetry, all rainbows have disappeared ... no sunrises at all. It seems the night is eternal. It seems that he must have dreamt about the days when he had seen the light; they were not real. Old age, when death is just standing close to you, creates the question, "What is the meaning of life?" But when you are alive, when death is far away beyond the horizon of your vision, who cares about the meaning of life? -- you live it, you have it, you sing it, you dance it. It is in every breath, it is in every beat of your heart.”
OSHO
Beyond Enlightenment, Ch.3, Q.1

Osho’s message is: “If you have touched something of the transcendental in yourself, if you have entered your own nothingness at the centre -- the centre of your being, where you are no more a body and no more a mind, where physical pleasures are completely left far away and mental pleasures such as music and poetry and literature and painting, everything, are left far away, you are simply, just pure awareness, consciousness -- then death is going to be a great celebration, a great understanding, a great revelation. If you have known anything of the transcendental in you, death will reveal to you the transcendental in the universe -- then death is no longer a death but a meeting with God, a date with God.”
OSHO
The Art of Dying, Ch.1

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Freedom

November, 2007

Often, Osho has referred to the famous statement by Sartre that, Man is “Condemned to be free.” Condemned, because, Osho explains, he hasn’t created himself yet. Having been thrown in the world, he is now free and responsible for everything he does.

An individual is nothing else but what he makes of himself or herself. This is the basic premise on which Osho’s vision of Freedom is based, It is also what he calls “subjectivity.” On many occasions, after concluding his message I have heard him say, “It is all up to you!”

What he implies by that is, it's up to you to give life a meaning, and value is nothing else but the meaning that you choose. And hence, Freedom consists of involving both choices and responsibilities, for an individual is always free within his situation to choose the meaning in his or her life. The person is free to revise, reconstruct his interpretation of experience, free to reassess and also alter them if he/she chooses. We live in an uncertain world which has limitations such as laws, codes of society, illness and death, yet, Osho says, by recognizing one’s individuality and potentialities one can choose to live authentically.

According to Osho, man is freedom, and Freedom is the ultimate value. A human being has freedom of action. Actions are intrinsically tied to intention. And so, absolute freedom refers to “choice”, “intention”. Whether one likes it or not, one must work out his/her own values and make choices. Even if one has to put off a choice, in fact it is an act of choice. This is why, comments Osho, man is condemned to make choices. He says:

“Your responsibility is not separate from your freedom, your individuality. Once you drop your responsibility on somebody else's shoulders, you have reduced yourself into a nonentity. Of course, now nobody will blame you if something goes wrong, but you have lost your soul.
OSHO
The Invitation, Ch.10,Q.2

In the past, all answers were fixed; one was not required to search for answers. God was there, heaven was there, the theory of karma was there, everything was so clear-cut, you could live with all those formulations very easily. The past of humanity is not of human beings. Man has existed more as a crowd, not as individuals; he has existed as collectivities. But the modern man is placed in a totally different situation, in a strange environment. Now we don't know; nothing is certain any more. A great paralysis is happening. This paralysis either can kill humanity, cautions Osho, or it can become a great transforming quantum leap.

“Because, the modern man is for the first time becoming man. The individual is being born, hence the modern man is very neurotic. It is a good indication. It is a great revolution human consciousness is going through.

What is neurosis really? Neurosis is an indefinite state of mind, undecided, indecisive. To be this, or to be that? All outer definitions have disappeared; all props have been taken away. Your identity is very fragile -- everybody knows it.

“In the past it was very easy to answer "Who am I?" A Hindu, a Christian, a Mohammedan, Indian, Chinese, Tibetan, brahmin/sudra, white/black, man/woman -- things were clear. People knew who they were. Now it is not so clear; all those labels have disappeared. Man is standing nude, with no labels -- a great anxiety. And everybody has to define himself. The work of defining oneself was done by others before -- parents, teachers, priests, politicians. They were authorities, infallible authorities. You could be dependent easily; you did not need to think about, meditate, over things. Everything was chewed for you by others and given to you -- you were spoon-fed.

Now man is becoming adult, mature. You have to work out your own identity. It is not so easy -- only very intelligent people will be able to avoid neurosis. Utter intelligence will be needed to avoid neurosis. Great silence, a great capacity to go out of the mind and its traps, will be needed in the future. And it will be so, more and more.”

Highlighting his observation, Osho narrates an experiment:

“In a well-known experiment in learning theory, rats jump from a stand toward a pair of cards. There is a white card that is fixed in place -- if the rats jump toward it they fall to the ground. But if the rats jump toward the other, a black card, the card falls and the rats can eat food that the experimenter has placed behind the card. The rats easily learn which card is which. If the cards are shifted around, they learn always to jump to the black card, wherever it happens to be.
But in the next stage of the experiment, the unambiguously white and unambiguously black cards are replaced by cards that successively approach a neutral grey. At some point the grays become so similar that the rats cannot distinguish between them. They can no longer tell which card is which. In this ambiguous situation, they refuse to jump; they become sort of paralyzed, tense and neurotic.”
“They have been puzzled, confused. This is the situation of man -- a very potent situation, a very pregnant situation. If men are just rats they will go really neurotic and they will commit suicide.”
“… Neurosis is only in the interval, sooner or later man will know how to deal with it. Without authorities, without God, without Bibles and Vedas, man will fall upon his own consciousness. Man will start functioning spontaneously, moment to moment, without any ready-made answers. Then the neurosis will disappear -- and not only the neurosis, but the mob mind also.”

OSHO
Take It Easy, Vol.2, Ch.11, Q.2

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Celebration

October, 2007

For Osho, life is all. What else is there, he asks? If one loses life and gains the whole world instead, what has one gained really? And if you gain your life and lose the whole world, nothing is lost.

People think someday, in the future we are going to be happy, joyful, celebrating. Osho’s vision is that, if you want to be happy, joyful, celebrating, then nothing is lacking. Right now, this very moment, dance; laugh, this very moment. This moment is all there is; celebrate it. Osho says: " People come to me and if I say to them, ‘Celebrate your life,’ they say, ‘Yes, that's why we have come here: to learn how to create situations in which we can celebrate.’

Osho declares: Celebrate this moment. Life is not just for pleasure. Life is meant to find meaning. Doing something meaningful, doing something significant and creative, and that brings pleasure as a reward. Life should not be lived for a purpose; life should be lived as a celebration. Life should not be a business; it should not be just mundane. When one lives for no other reason except for the sheer joy of living it becomes a fulfilling experience -- then it becomes a gift from the Divine. It gains a religious quality, explains Osho.

Osho reminds us, life is meant to be a celebration, not a contest, a competition. We need not be enemies here. If we function as enemies, then life becomes a hell. We make it a hell because we make it a conflict; we reduce it to violent struggle. Furthermore, the conflict is multi-dimensional: one nation against other nation, one religion against other religion, one caste against other caste, man against woman, rich against poor, one ideology against another ideology. It has become very complicated, hence it has lost the rhythm; it has lost the quality of song and dance. Osho says: man is missing something terribly; something has gone really wrong; man has moved astray. Hence he declares:

“If I can create as many people as possible who can dance madly, laugh madly, sing madly, who can make every moment of their life just a celebration, I have introduced you to the authentic religion for which man has been searching for centuries but has not been able to find. I have found it and I want you also to be partners in this immense finding…”
But still, Osho asks, where is religion? “If there were religion there would be celebration. Then flowers would be blooming on peoples faces, or there would be moons and stars in their eyes, or veenas would be playing in their hearts, or dance would arise in their life. Where is dance? Where are sparkling eyes? Where are dancing people? Where are joy filled souls? And it is said that god is enjoyment, raso vaisah. God is enjoyment, but your mahatmas are not enjoying. Those who have broken you off from god are your saints.
“Those who have erected a wall between you and existence, erected a China wall, are your so called pundits and priests. And as long as a person is not free of pundits and priests he cannot be free of intellect. And unfortunate is the man who lives only in his intellect and dies only in his intellect. He will never know the secret of life. He will never have any awareness of the mysteries of life.”
OSHO
Death is Divine, Ch.5

Osho’s observation is that, religion in the past has been very sad, serious, and that's why humanity could not become religious. If religion is going to remain serious and sad, says Osho, then only pathological people will become interested in it, ill people, sick people. If religion is serious and sad then only masochists and sadists become interested in it, because a sad religion is life-negative. It doesn't affirm life, it does not celebrate life.

In Osho’s words, “Now again, a new step has to be taken and humanity will have to prepare before it can take the jump. This time it is going to be celebration that will enter into religion. Love is good but unless it is a dancing love and a celebrating love, it is mild, it has no passion in it. Now religion has to become celebration: celebration of life, reverence for life.
First god was masculine, then god became feminine. Now god will no more be separate; god will not be a creator as opposed to creation. The next step in human evolution is that god will be creativity, not separate, not a person at all, neither male nor female. God will be simply godliness -- no more god... a fragrance, not something concrete, very elusive and mysterious.
Celebration is going to be the virtue. The non-celebrating person will be the sinner. So help people to become more celebrating.”

OSHO
Darshan Diaries, The Sun Behind the Sun Behind the Sun, Ch.15

So, Osho presses with this question: what has happened to man? What has gone wrong with man? The so-called religious people are responsible, he says, they have taught humanity only one way, which is a wrong way: the way of repression -- repress oneself, controlling oneself.

“No religion teaches celebration; they teach celibacy! I am absolutely against celibacy and all for celebration. I am making every effort to bring a new approach towards life which the past humanity has missed -- a new freedom, a new sky to open your wings. All religions have been cutting your wings, putting you into cages and making you believe that this is all that life is. There was a reason for them to do this. Unless you take away people's individuality and destroy their wings and their freedom and cut their roots of nourishment, you cannot enslave them. It is impossible to create armies and wars; it is impossible to make millions of people suffer in poverty…”
OSHO
I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life is Now Here, Ch.7, Q.1

Here is a story that illustrates Osho’s insight on celebration:

Many years ago, a beloved Pope died and went to heaven. Saint Peter greeted him in a firm embrace. "Welcome your holiness, your dedication and unselfishness in serving your fellow man during your life has earned you great stature in heaven. You may pass through the gates without delay and are granted free access to all parts of heaven."

St. Peter continued: "You are also granted an open-door policy and may, at your own discretion, meet with any heavenly leader including the Father, without prior appointment. Is there anything which your holiness desires?"

"Well, yes," the Pope replied. "I have often pondered some of the mysteries which have puzzled and confounded theologians through the ages. Are there perhaps any transcripts which recorded the actual conversations between God and the prophets of old? I would love to see what was actually said, without the dimming of memories over time."
St. Peter immediately ushered the Pope to the heavenly library and explained how to retrieve the various documents. The Pope was thrilled and settled down to review the history of humanity's relationship with God.

Two years later, a scream of anguish pierced the quiet of the library. Immediately several of the saints and angels came running.

They found the Pope pointing to a single word on a parchment, repeating over and over: "There's an 'R'. There's an 'R.' There's an 'R'... It's CELIBRATE, not celibate!" Celebration…indeed!

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Peace

September, 2007

It is apparent that, despite a universal outcry for peace, the central issue today continues to remain that of threat to life and environment. According to some estimates, “Every minute the nations of the world spend 1.8 million dollars on military armaments. Every hour 1500 children die of hunger-related causes. Every day a species becomes extinct….Every year an area of tropical forest three-quarters the size of Korea is destroyed and lost”.

According to SIPRI Yearbook of 1998, in 1997, 25 major armed conflicts were waged in 24 locations around the world…In 1997, the world military expenditure is estimated to roughly $740 billion. Carl Segan, in his article (1983), The Nuclear Winter, warns: “There are now more than 50,000 nuclear weapons, more than 13,000 megatons of yield, deployed in the arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union – enough to obliterate a million Hiroshimas”.

Any intelligent and concerned person would be alarmed at seeing such a state of affairs. And no other person of high esteem than Einstein himself has expressed his deep fears in the most uncertain terms. In one instance, when asked how World War III would be fought, Einstein is reported to have said that he did not know about the third world war; but that he knew how World War IV would be fought – with sticks and stones. In one of his remarks, Einstein says: “The discovery of nuclear chain reactions need not bring about the destruction of mankind any more than did the discovery of matches. We only must do everything in our power to safeguard against its abuse”.

He wonders how is it possible that a small ruling group, a minority, “can make subservient to its desires the masses of the people who by a war stand only to lose and to suffer"? His own answer to this question is, “…the minority, the ruling class, is in possession of the schools, the church and the press. By these means it rules and guides the feelings of the majority of people and bends them to compliance”.

The enlightened mystic, Osho, has done what many may see it as utopia. Creating a worldwide revolution in consciousness, Osho has given the clarion call to grow and transform the “destructive instincts” and become more creative, loving, peaceful and compassionate beings through meditative awareness. He has created a whole new generation willing to struggle and stake their lifelong conditioning in the interest of peace within and without. Osho’s sannyasin is the New Man who knows the futility of war and violence and who is consciously engaged in creating a counterbalance to the forces of death and destruction. Osho describes his sannyasin, his New Man in the following words:

“To become a sannyasin means to change the direction from violence to love, from war to peace. To be a sannyasin means that now we declare that the earth is one, that humanity is one, that all barriers are false and arbitrary, that neither color nor church nor nation has any value. Life has value, music has value, poetry has value, but not weapons, atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs, not politics but poetry. We have to create a new kind of human being who is in tremendous love with life and creativity.”
OSHO
Darshan Diaries: Zorba the Buddha, Ch.22

Osho has gone deeper into the human psyche than perhaps Einstein has.

He has openly addressed the hypocritical and the schizophrenic state of humanity. He says: “…we talk about brotherhood and we prepare for war; we talk about world peace, and we prepare for war. This is a sheer neurosis; this is not sanity! Man hitherto has remained insane, and the reason is a wrong upbringing.”

Although the issue of war is as much alive and dangerous today, however, the worldview of Osho, as compared to the views of scientists and psychologists, is more in tune with the existential realities and human aspirations.

Osho’s trust in humanity and his optimism coming from an enlightened state of being are indeed far removed from the perspectives of any expert, a scientist, or an analyst. Based on his keen observation and a penetrating insight, Osho declares:

“As far as I am concerned, war has become almost impossible. The impossibility of war is based on two fundamentals. One is a human consciousness about the futility of war. Nobody can claim that it is something beautiful, something honorable, something which gives dignity to humanity…So the first thing is that war has fallen into disrespect, into utter futility, stupidity, it has lost all its past glory and significance.”
OSHO
The Golden Future, Ch. 28, Question 1

However, in Osho’s vision peace cannot be just talked about or attained by raising slogans. Peace is a by product of a totally alive and aware consciousness. For that to happen, meditation is the key. Only a humanity transformed through meditation can realize peace. Osho puts the issue in perspective through following words: “This whole world is tortured by politicians in different names, exploited in different names. The only way to get out of this exploitation is to spread meditation to as many people as possible -- because the meditator is no longer gullible. He has a maturity and an intelligence; words cannot deceive him. “And if the major part of the world becomes meditative, it will release such a great energy of peace, love, compassion.... That, to me, is the only possibility of preventing the third world war, because meditators will refuse to fight, meditators will refuse to be violent. It does not matter whether they are American or Russian or Indian, the quality of meditation is the same. It makes you so sensitive that you cannot be destructive.”
OSHO
From Bondage to Freedom, Ch.22, Question #3

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Youth: Challenges and Opportunities

August, 2007

Not too long ago, the Chinese leadership brought in new young faces at the helm of political affairs. It was acknowledged by the aging leaders that forcing young people into prolonged adolescence was not in the interest of China in view of the fast changing competitive world of today. As for India, it is estimated that 47 % of India's current population of one billion is under the age of 20, and teenagers among them number about 160 million. By 2015, Indians under 20 will make up 55% of the population.

A Times of India special report (Feb.16, 2003) shows the kind of cynicism and disillusionment that exists in the youth of India today. The reasons for their reluctance to enter into the political process are clear and obvious. Corrupt means, caste and communal biases, money and muscle power are some of the reasons that completely dissuade young minds to enter into the political arena.

While our leaders go on lecturing the young people about how, for example, the future of India rests on their shoulders and exhort them to follow ethics and morality, the discrepancy between their talk and walk reflects a huge gap in evolution of values they so passionately proclaim. Their hollow words ill-equip the youth, for unless the young are given unambiguous directions they find their very survival on stake. Young people, highly disillusioned, are increasingly rejecting inauthentic and hypocritical institutions which they see are totally out of touch as far as their realities, their hopes and aspirations are concerned.

The young sense intuitively that they are being misled and hence often reject not just elders’ emphasis on ethical and moral values but their entire world – including regard for any kind of success, achievement, excellence or whatever. It is then that in disgust they seem to find help, solace, and refuge in alcohol, drugs, or unsafe sex. Their desperation rests upon the perception that they are being taken for granted and are being deceived into believing values which are totally incompatible to their world of reality.

The crucial question seems to be: how can the youth feel respected, empowered and loved that is needed to assure truly a bright and promising future? In the wake of new and complex challenges of the twenty-first century, how can they become joyful partners in creating a progressively just, humane and loving world? The existing religious, social and political realities have already led many young people into living in a cynical and a fatalistic world of their own. So the challenge before us is: how to bring the youth out of their despair and distrust for the world surrounding them and invigorate them with a new energy for building their future – freely and creatively.

Osho has shown a great deal of concern for the young. He has not only shared his concern but has also given specific direction as to how the youth can become an effective partner in transforming his or her life and the life around. He has placed main focus on the following:

Willingness to Learn:

A young person must always be open and receptive to learning and thus changing oneself. Life brings new experiences, new opportunities; hence one is in a continuous process of finding new answers. Otherwise, simply repeating the old answers one becomes stale and loses the spirit of inquiry.

Open to Search and Inquire:

Willingness to face the unknown is a quality that brings out a spirit of adventure which can give an enormous sense of gratification. Osho points out that when treading the unknown path mistakes will happen, one may go astray, but he recommends never giving up. The familiar may be easy to follow but it never allows the best from within to surface. Not to imitate others but to initiate new ways and means gives a sense of fulfillment. To discover, he says, is to remain contemporary. While beating the same path makes even a young person old before time.

Courage to Stand Alone:

As it is easy to live with the familiar, it is convenient to follow the crowd. But whatever the crowd does is out of blind following. In order to search and explore the new, one needs the courage to get out of the crowd mentality. Osho says: “one would rather die than give up the struggle in facing the world according one’s own sense of direction and one’s own understanding.” It is this very readiness to go alone and face the challenge that brings transformation within, says Osho.

Wisdom, not Knowledge:

To accumulate knowledge is not too difficult – certainly not in the present age of Information. To earn wisdom is to have an existential understanding. Any act of rejection or opposition can be only a reaction. Osho finds reaction not an act of intelligence but of re-acting the same, repeating the same as one has been doing before. Wisdom and understanding bring a spontaneous response which manifests the inner strength, self confidence, and independence.

Meditation:

Wisdom, according to Osho, comes out of meditation. How one is close to the inner center will determine how much wisdom one has. “Farther one is from one’s own inner being, the less intelligent he will be. Meditation brings intelligence and wisdom. Such as one acquires knowledge through schooling and instruction, one attains wisdom through meditation,” he explains. He strongly recommends, therefore, a “movement for meditation” so as to bring meditation to each and every child.

The youth is leaning more toward unconsciousness, as is evident from the stories appearing in the media. The path of wisdom and meditation alone can bring about what Osho calls a “cultural revolution” which will create the kind of awareness that can help in preventing the energy of the youth going down the drain. In Osho’s words:

“…Certainly, the values of life are wrong; otherwise why should there be so much disturbance, meaninglessness and confusion in man’s life? …The values of life will have to be changed…In this world material wealth is increasing, because every new generation takes it to more distant horizons than the previous generation, but spiritual wealth is not increasing because our minds are very much shackled to the past. The son does not hesitate to build a new house where his father had made one. But some deep fear prevents us from developing the inheritance that is left behind by Rama, Krishna, the Buddha, Mahavira or the Christ...”
“Every generation should prepare the new generation in such a way that the old generation is left far behind in every way. The desire to keep the new generation tied to the old generation, and to restrict its movement within the boundaries of the old, is a sick desire and is not indicative of a healthy mind.”

OSHO
Revolution in Education , Chapter 2

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Religiousness is The Way of Life

July, 2007

Today, a fundamental misunderstanding about the meaning, role, and function of religion has greatly undermined the already shaky structure of human values and social responsibility. In spite of the prominent role that religion plays in people’s lives, the fundamental understanding about religion is basically neglected in pursuing non-religious goals. We are actually caught in a vicious circle, and the challenge before us is how to break from it. How do we make dharma regain its place in the lives of people without their becoming captives of its peripheral manifestations? Most religions seem to have lost connection with their source. In many centuries of the past they have collected so much superstition and nonsense that it has distracted people from or have confused them in regards to the original message. But, by and large, religion as it is seen and followed today has become part of social hypnosis.

While political reforms, eco-planning, conservation projects and policies regarding sustainable development may provide temporary relief to slow down the massive devastation to our planet earth, very little will change until humanity once again can feel the beauty of a night sky glittering with stars or breathe alive the innocent freshness of wild forest. Basically, the environment is dying because something in our hearts is already dead. The sad truth is that we have lost touch with the living bridge of feeling which, as the Latin root of religion: religare shows, binds man to the cosmic web of life. What is desperately needed is a radical paradigmatic change in our antiquated understanding of religion.

Society is made of relationships which are maintained through the application of ethical and moral codes. Often, we hear an outcry for enforcing “moral order” or for returning to “old fashioned values.” Such talks of morality are essentially driven from one or the other institutionalized religious teaching. For example, one may come across an impassioned plea to stress on the moral values based on Christian belief.  But then, is morality of Christians different from that of the Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists? If yes, then there can never be peace in the world.

A dynamic worldview reflects an organic and integrated consciousness. It is a paradigm based on a holistic awareness. A man aware of the dangers of fire will not play with it, he does not have to follow any religion to know the truth about the fire. Similarly, a truly religious man aware of himself, the life around him, his place in the universe is unlikely to cause harm either to himself or to the world around him. On this issue, observations made by Osho are very relevant:

“As you become more and more silent, serene, calm, and quiet, as you start understanding your own consciousness, as your inner being becomes more and more centered, your actions will reflect morality. It will not be something that you decide to do, it will be something as natural as roses on a rosebush.”

Since time immemorial attempts have been made to reduce God to a set of concrete, conceptualized, and ritualistic definition. This may have served the purpose of the priest in asserting non-empirical factors in shaping religion into an almost chaotic, superstition-ridden random belief system; it certainly deprived people in experiencing God as a presence rather than as a person.  Today, science carries implicit pressing message that the universe is nothing but an energetic presence. As science continues to go deeper into the matter, it is mystified in observing the fact that matter is essentially a mass of energy, that it is energy which is manifested in the myriad forms throughout the universe. Undergoing a radical change in its perception and understanding, it is now being realized that science and religion are not “separate and mutually exclusive.”

Science also has come to see that it is an expanding universe. The very word brahman too means that which is ever expanding. In other words, God is not the “creator,” rather it is creativity. God is an uninterrupted process of creativity. As humans, our ultimate fulfillment is in creatively manifesting our energy. Osho, declares:

“The urge to create is the first stirring of the divine within you. The urge to create is the presence of God. You have the first message; the first ripple has reached you. It is the beginning and the birth of prayer... To be creative is to be religious.”

In the ongoing creative process, God is what Krishna says in the Geeta: a catalytic agent. God does not do anything, only his energetic presence works. Hydrogen and oxygen become water when electricity is passed through it -- it is the missing link. Electricity does not mix, it simply is there. Krishna says, He does not create, His very being, His very presence makes creativity possible:

Mayadhyakshena Prakritihi Sooyate Sacharacharam
Hetunanena Kaunteya Jagat Viparivartate

(Bhagavadgeeta, 9/10)

(My very presence alone creates the universe and in my very presence itself the universe keeps dissolving and recreating again.)

To be religious, therefore, is to realize that God is a creative presence; that I am a manifestation of God’s creativity and I too can creatively manifest God. Religiousness consists in recognizing that we need to create God every moment -- we are the rock, we are the sculptor, and we are the carved image as well.

However defined or explained, every religion asserts views regarding the creation and the creator, the place of mankind in the ultimate scheme of things, heaven and hell, reward and punishment, the nature of ethical and moral values. But in view of how historically  religion has been conceived and practiced to the detriment of human life and values, there is enough to justify the failure of  this most significant phenomenon of human experience. Religion, is more likely to play a vital role only if we are ready to accept and grapple with its core, intrinsic, subjective, qualitative and transcendental aspects which  Osho calls, “religiousness”.

In Osho’s vision, “Religiousness can become just a way of life. A religious person will walk differently than a non-religious person. What will the difference be? The difference will be his awareness. A religious person will act differently from a non-religious person. What will the difference be? His action will come out of love. A religious person will create a different kind of fragrance around himself, naturally, obviously -- because there will be no ego, so there will be no shadow around him. A religious person will live a luminous life; a light will go on filtering out from his innermost core. A religious person will be A CONSCIOUS PERSON -- not Christian, not Hindu, not Mohammedan.”
OSHO
The Wisdom of the Sands, Vol. 2, Ch. 4

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Managing Knowledge in Quest of the Ultimate

April, 2007

Knowledge is a very personal thing. It is not an object to possess, a property to own. Also, knowledge does not exist in books and scriptures, in software programs or prepared texts. When one knows, say the Buddhas, it becomes part and parcel of oneself. In spiritual traditions, therefore, it has been passed on from person to person. This is so much evident in the Upanishads, in the dialogues between Socrates and his students, Zen masters and their disciples.

Knowledge has several dimensions. It can be factual information, or an accumulated body of thoughts, ideas, and insights. In spiritual terms what matters is "knowing" which is more intuitive and subjective – hence very personal. In the Eastern tradition knowledge is identified as: Avidya, the worldly knowledge; Vidya, spiritual understanding; Pragya, Intelligence – which is beyond worldly knowledge and the spiritual understanding.

Osho’s insight is that, people love knowledge but in the sense of information. It is very ego-satisfying, he says. Whenever you can say that you know, whenever you can give some advice to somebody else, you feel very high. This way one loves to play the role of a teacher.

Beyond information and the worldly knowledge is "knowing" and, knowing is part of growth. "Grow, says Osho. "Each moment go on growing, expanding, exploding. Each moment should be a new birth. Why is it not so? Because, you go on carrying the past with you. If you want each moment to be a new birth, you have to die also each moment to the past. Die to the past so that you can be reborn here-now. All knowledge is of the past. Mind is always of the past. Consciousness is always of the present. A buddha helps you to become more conscious; he does not help you to become more knowledgeable.”
OSHO
The Last Nightmare, Chapter 7

Commenting on the second adhyaya (cantos) of the Bhagavadgita, Osho’s explains: "There is a very valuable saying of Socretes that, knowledge is virtue. He used to say, to know means to become alright. People would tell him, ‘we know that stealing is bad but even then we cannot give up stealing!’ And Socretes would say, you don’t know at all what stealing is because once you knew what stealing is, you will automatically drop stealing, then you won’t have to make any effort to give up stealing.

"We know, anger is bad; we know, fear is bad; we know, sexual lust is bad, desire is bad, greed is bad, all intoxicants are bad; we know all these things. But Samkhya, or Socretes, or Krishnamurti will say; no, you don’t know. You have only heard that anger is a bad thing, but you actually don’t know it is indeed a bad thing. You have heard from somebody else anger is bad, but you have never known it yourself it is bad. And knowing can never be a borrowed thing. If you wish to know something you have to know it yourself, others cannot make you know it. Only you yourself can know, and nobody else can know it for you. And there is a big difference between these two things."

…2 The secret of managing knowledge, therefore, is in knowing the difference Osho is explaining. He also makes it clear that knowledge of the ultimate is paradoxical for many reasons. But basically, the very claim that one knows becomes a hindrance because the moment one says, "I know," the person is not only emphasizing knowledge; one is also emphasizing 'I' -- and the 'I' is the barrier. The ego is the most subtle barrier, explains Osho, but the strongest. So when someone says, "I know," the 'I' destroys the knowledge.

"This is the paradox: those who are ignorant, they always think they know. This is part of ignorance. To think that you know is part of ignorance; it comes from ignorance. If you are ignorant you will think that you know much. The more ignorant, the more you will think that you know much. Ignorance is filled with knowledge. Ignorance, really, lives on knowledge, feeds on knowledge. The wiser you become the more aware and understanding, the more you will feel how ignorant you are. And a moment comes when you feel that you do not know anything. Simply, you are ignorant. All the burden of knowledge is thrown away. There is no heaviness of knowledge on you. You have become so weightless that you can fly. Knowledge is a burden."OSHO
The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter 8

Hence, Osho points out that, when one feels one does not know, the ego disappears; then it has no room to exist. It can exist only with knowledge. So, whenever a person claims knowledge, it is a claim by the ego: "I know." The emphasis obviously is not on knowing, the emphasis is on ‘I’. But when one says, "I do not know," the emphasis is not on ignorance; now the emphasis is on egoless-ness.

While explaining the paradox furtehr, Osho says: "The ultimate is not only the unknown; the Brahman is not only the unknown -- it is unknowable also. You can know it, but you cannot know it totally. That creates again a new puzzle. You can know it but you cannot know it totally because you are just a part to it and the part cannot know the whole. How can the part know the whole totally? But also the part cannot be totally ignorant either because it belongs to the whole; it is part of the whole. So it knows in a way, it feels in a way, it understands in a way, but it cannot comprehend the total because the total is so vast.”
OSHO
The Supreme Doctrine, Chapter 8

A Sudden Clash of Thunder #2

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The Feminine, The Ecology, And The Inner Transformation: Redefining Feminism

March, 2007

Among scholars as well as lay people discourse on women’s place in the family and society and opinions on women’s issues are inspiring a sense of rediscovering the mysterious inner and outer workings of woman’s power and energy. Female energy has always perplexed people. For no lesser a person than Freud, a woman has been nothing short of mystery. He says: “Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer…the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want?”

Throughout the centuries, however, woman’s strength and qualities instead of being appreciated for itself have been largely ignored, taken for granted, or outright exploited to the benefit of man. Despite much advocacy of women’s rights, women have not yet achieved the power to influence and control their own course of life. Their efforts to overcome impediments to freedom and equality have made very little inroads in raising the human consciousness worldwide making their vision even more elusive.

The current century has the potential of women achieving equality, but only if they recognize the significance of what Naomi Wolf calls – the “historical self-awareness”. Women are today at a turning point, what historians call, “an open moment”. A lot more women are shining at professional levels of great diversity – from Aerospace to Business, Corporate Leadership to Politics, Sports to Science and Technology. Nevertheless, what would really determine the outcome of their marching forward is the level of historical awareness without ever losing the sight of it.

The word “feminism” is often seen as taboo; and yet, does it really matter if one calls oneself as “feminist” if one is actually living feminism? Feminism need not remain just a label; it must become a way of life. This, however, is possible if women do not become indifferent to their role and responsibility towards history. Dissent and disagreement shown by women across the whole spectrum of human life need not be a reactionary phenomenon, but rather a healthy sign of diversity and strength.

Shirley Mac Lane said at the 1992 Ecological Global Forum at Rio de Janeiro that, the approach to our environmental/ecological problems is left-brained, it is dominated by male mind. The male mind is based on conquest, achievement – at any cost; success at any rate. Ms. Mac Lane, instead called for more of the “feminine” spirit”, that is, intuition, patience, foresight, caring and nurturing. She asked to be involved emotionally without embarrassment. She said: “We shouldn’t have to apologize for feminine feelings. It is time for these feelings to be recognized”. She spoke of feminine crisis and the need to “make the jail break from the male, left-brained attitude”.

It is evident that today both feminine crisis and the ecological crisis have coincided – globally – and women now have a responsibility to save the planet Earth. Women can understand and relate with the problems of the Mother Earth better because a woman carries qualities of a mother. She can easily resonate with the pain of Mother Earth than anyone else can.

The Chinese mystic, Lao Tzu, has given a remarkable insight into Ecology. He says: “The nature of existence, the environment around us is more like a female”. Lao Tzu is not saying the existence is “female”. He is not giving a slogan for any particular ideological movement. He is actually pointing at a certain quality; he calls it the “creative principle” – like Earth, a woman is a creative principle, the most marvelous being in the universe.

A more realistic and a sustainable vision related to women and their contribution in the evolution of human consciousness can find its ideal manifestation in recognizing the natural kinship between feminism, ecology, and the inner transformation. Supported by modern science, such philosophical and spiritual framework is rooted in the perception where meditative awareness, healing power, and ecological responsibility come into a dynamic interplay transforming individual as well as collective consciousness.

Despite the much talked about “women’s liberation,” the fact of the matter is that women are seriously and systematically discriminated against almost universally. The examples of such discrimination abound in terms of education, employment, salary, opportunity for higher positions but especially in terms of extending simple courtesy and respect.

It is ironic though, that, since infancy, along with female the male also depends for protection and nourishment upon one woman or another. Ordinary common sense would, therefore, dictate that such an important person be given the due respect, attention and a special place in the overall scheme of life. But that does not seem to be the case. What does emerge, however, is ambivalence on the part of man in his attitude and demeanor toward woman.

The strategy of man has been to keep her stuck in the image created by him for his own vested interest – whether as a grihalaxmi or as his property. First, man convinced her into seeing herself within this framework, and subsequently, the woman got so conditioned to seeing herself accordingly that she couldn’t perceive herself differently. She complained, she cried, she begged for relief but never dared to get out of the imprisonment of her image. So, first the man was conditioned to perceive women in a certain way, and then the woman too got conditioned to perceive her on the same lines and accepted it without any hope for a better life.

Concerned with women’s plight several reformers in India, for example, came forward, but they came with the assumption of helping the “weaker” gender. Whether it is an issue of child marriage, widow re-marriage, or any other form causing women to suffer, they sincerely tried to help. Their help, however, was extended within the same parameters of religion, caste, morality, ethics, social norm – they gave protection and shelter to the suffering women but not freedom from suffering.

Although the rise of the modern feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s has broken some of the sociological and psychological barriers toward women in some countries, the impact of the movement appears to be losing its power when in its zealousness women seem to want to be equal and similar to men.

The contemporary visionary and prolific author, Osho, totally disagrees with this kind of feminism. Women, in his vision, are neither inferior to men nor similar -- they are different. Even though in his progressive view he is all for woman’s freedom and equal status, however, he also makes it clear that women have their own uniqueness, their own place, their individuality. He says categorically, “Drop the idea of the women’s liberation movement, because they are also putting nonsense into your minds. Their nonsense is that they are trying to prove that men and women are equal. They are not -- and when I say they are not, I don’t mean that someone is superior and someone is inferior. I mean that they are unique.”
OSHO
Sermons in Stones, Ch.17, Ch. Title: The Poetry of the Feminine


According to Osho, lesser the polarity between men and women, greater will be the possibility for a creative tension. They need to be different so that they can be complementary. Men and women are equal, but not similar -- they are different. They are unique in their own ways. Both need equal opportunity -- an opportunity to grow. Women’s uniqueness must be recognized, respected, supported. A woman must have equal opportunity, but not the opportunity to imitate man’s quality -- rather opportunity to develop her own qualities. If women don’t realize this then they will be either slaves or helpless followers.

Although over a period of time women have attained education, more economic and political freedom, nevertheless, a woman’s existential problem is still the same: she is still not free from within -- free from fear and insecurity, free from jealousy and anxiety. Osho has given this inner freedom by introducing her to meditation, through the science and technology of inner transformation. Meditation gives her inner strength. Meditation makes her free from her conditionings, social and psychological trappings, low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence.

Osho is essentially provoking women to tap their inherent potential. His emphasis is equally on women’s as well as men’s liberation. He would like to see them not as co-dependents but as co-creators. The redefining of feminism, therefore, depends not only on women rediscovering themselves; men will also need to redefine their role and restructure their attitude vis a vis women.

The feminine qualities of caring, nurturing, empathy and creativity are urgently needed today to save humanity from the brink of self destruction. Mesmerized by the material greed, the male mind will have to be encouraged instead to focus on feminine perception of seeing relationships rather than just seeing things. We need women showing their historical awareness in spiritualizing humans by, what Osho says: liberating both male and female from their age old conditionings.

“The freedom of women is going to be the freedom of men too. The day the woman is accepted as equal, given equal opportunity to grow, man will find himself suddenly free from the bitchiness that he used to feel from the woman. It is time....We can create a world together, with men and women sharing their insights, their visions, their dreams. Because they are different, their dreams are different; their contributions to the society will be different. And if a society can be created in which men and women have participated equally, that will be for the first time the richest society in the world.”
OSHO
Sermons in Stones, Ch.5, Ch. Title: Laughter – As sacred as Prayer

  Dr. Vasant Joshi
Ph.D. University of Michigan; M.A., Ph.D. M.S.
  University of Baroda Visiting Professor,
  Cleveland State University,
  Cleveland, Ohio, USA


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