MA DHARM JYOTI (Flame of Religion)
Born in 1942 in Karachi, then India, now Pakistan. Dharmjyoti took sannyas in 1970 and presently lives in New Delhi, India.

23 Ma Dharm Jyoti

I am 26 years old. It is Sunday, January 21, 1968, and today Osho will be speaking at 4 pm in Sunmukhananda Hall in Bombay. One of my friends, knowing my quest for truth, advises me to go and listen to Him. I have already heard so many so-called saints and mahatmas that I am disillusioned by this religious game going on in India. But somehow, Osho, who is known as Acharya Rajneesh, attracts me. I decide to go to his discourse.

At 4 pm, I find my way to the second floor balcony of Sunmukhananda Hall, which is overcrowded. Lots of people are standing on the sides near the walls and there is quite an excitement in the air. It is very noisy. This is one of the biggest auditoriums in Bombay, with the capacity to hold about 5,000 people. I find a seat, make myself comfortable, and try to relax.

Within minutes, a man with a beard, wearing a white lungi and shawl, appears on the podium, namastes the audience with folded hands, and sits down in the lotus posture. I am sitting quite far away from the podium and can hardly see his face, but my heart is throbbing with excitement in anticipation of listening to this unknown man.

In a few moments, I hear his sweet but strong voice addressing the audience as “Mere Priya Atman” – my beloved souls. Suddenly, there is pin-drop silence in the auditorium. I experience his voice taking me into a deep relaxation, and I am listening to him in utter silence. My mind has stopped: only his voice is echoing inside me. I am in a total ‘aha!’ and wonder: He is answering all the questions which have been bothering me for years.

The discourse is over, my heart is dancing with joy, and I tell my friend, “He is the master I am looking for. I have found him.” I come out and buy a few books and a magazine called Jyoti Shikha. As I open it, I see that the headline on the page reads “Acharya Rajneesh’s 36th Birthday Celebration.” I can’t believe it; I am sure it is a printing mistake and it should be ’63’. I ask the girl at the counter; she laughs and says that ’36’ is right. I still can’t believe that I have heard the discourse of a man who is only 36 years old. From his speech, he sounds like an ancient rishi from the time of the Upanishads.

I start reading his books and find myself totally unburdened by my borrowed knowledge. His words leave me alone in utter emptiness. My heart is longing to meet him. I find the phone number and address of the centre in Bombay called “Jeevan Jagruti Kendra.” I call there and inquire about Osho, and am told of the coming meditation camp at Nargol, where I will be able to meet him. I am overjoyed and wait impatiently to go to this meditation camp.

Finally, the day of his first close-up darshan, when I will be able to sit near his feet, at Nargol has arrived. There are about five hundred people in the camp. It is a beautiful place on the seashore, surrounded by tall trees. I find my tree near the makeshift podium and make myself comfortable underneath it. My eyes are glued to the pathway from where he will be coming, and in a few moments I see him coming in all his beauty and grace, wearing a white lungi and a shawl wrapped around the upper part of his body. I can literally see some kind of pure light surrounding him. He has a magical presence, not of this world. He namastes the audience with folded hands and sits in the lotus posture on the little square table covered with a white cotton sheet.

He starts speaking, but his words are slipping away above my head. There is utter silence all around except for his voice and the sound of waves from the distance. I don’t know how long he spoke; when I open my eyes, he has already gone. I am feeling something like a dying experience. He has tugged at my heart like a magnet pulling a piece of metal, and I am unable to sleep the whole night. Wandering on the seashore, I look around with empty eyes. The sky is full of stars, and I have never experienced such silence and beauty before. My heart wants to shout, “Where is he? I want to meet him!”

In the morning at eight o’clock, we gather again at the same place for His discourse; he will be answering our questions, and many people are handing in pieces of paper to a man who is working as his secretary. I gather courage and write down my experience, asking him what is happening to me. I hand in my question and sit a little away, among the others, trying to hide myself.

Here he comes again, with his beauty and grace, namastes everyone, and sitting in the lotus posture starts reading the questions. My heart starts beating fast when I see my pink paper in His hand. Somehow I am feeling ashamed, wondering what he will think about me after reading my question. To my surprise, after reading the question –  actually, it is not a question but a description of the experience I felt when I first heard him –  of being pulled by a magnet, a sensation like dying, he starts looking at the audience from his far left, and when his eyes rest on me, he looks no further. I bow down, frozen, knowing that he knows it is my question. He has read it to himself, and passes on to other questions.

After the discourse is over, people are going near him to touch his feet, and he is touching their heads. I am watching all this from a distance, not daring to go near him. Finally, when he gets up to leave, I rush towards him, and as I approach him, he gives me a smile and says, “You wrote that?” I nod my head in affirmation and bow down to touch his feet. He places his hand on my head, and as I get up, he says, “Come see me in the afternoon.”

At 2 pm, I reach the bungalow where he is staying. Lots of people have already arrived and are waiting to meet him. His secretary comes, and people start going to his room, one by one. Mostly everyone comes out within two or three minutes. Now the woman standing in front of me is going in; my turn is next. Just to see how she meets Osho, I peep in through the window when she walks in. Osho is sitting on a sofa, and the floor is carpeted. The woman bows down to Osho, touches his feet, and sits on the carpet. I say to myself, “This seems to be the right way to meet him.” My heart is throbbing with excitement and, at the same time, is gripped by some unknown fear. In a couple of minutes, the woman comes out, and I enter the room. Osho greets me with a big smile. I simply forget everything and am pulled toward Him. I hug Him, and He receives it with such love that I feel it is not only I who has found Him, He has also found a lost child. He looks very happy and makes me sit next to Him on His left side on the sofa. With His left hand, He is caressing my back and places His right hand in my hands. I look in His eyes –  they are full of love and light, and I feel that I have known this man for eternity. By His magical touch He is doing some miracle, and I come back to the normal state from that dying experience which had started when I had listened to His discourse the night before. He asks me what I am doing in my life, but I am unable to speak. He says, “Don’t be worried; everything will be okay.” By now I am able to talk, and I tell Him I am working for a transport company in Bombay.

He asks, “Will you do my work?”

Not knowing what His work is, I simply nod my head.

He calls His secretary in, introduces me to him, and tells me, “Keep in touch with him.”

In a couple of minutes, I get up to leave, walk two or three steps, and again look back at Him. He simply smiles, and I return and sit near His feet on the carpet. He says, “Close your eyes,” and places His right foot on my heart centre. I feel some energy flowing through His foot and entering my body, and my mind goes blank; I only hear the sound of my breath. It feels as if time has stopped. Maybe it is just a couple of minutes later that I hear His voice saying, “Come back… open your eyes slowly.” He slowly takes His foot away, and when I open my eyes, He is sitting with His eyes closed. I slowly get up and slip out of the room with my heart dancing in joy. It is as if I have found some lost treasure.

After this meditation camp, when I return to Bombay, I find myself lost in the crowd of people. This intense longing to meet Him again has disturbed my sleep. Almost every night I see Him in my dreams, talking to me. I start writing a letter to Him every day and expect a quick reply from Him. I have totally forgotten that the letter will take at least three days to reach Him, and even if He replies the same day He receives it, it will take three more days to reach me. Sometimes I feel angry at Him for driving me crazy like this –  I don’t know how I am managing to keep myself together and continue my work in the office.

A couple of weeks have passed. Today I am coming down from the first floor to leave my office at 5 pm when I hear my office peon come running behind me with a letter in his hand, which is very unusual. In the office, no one bothers about anybody’s personal letters. I take the letter from him –  it is from the beloved of my heart. I kiss it and open it with shaking hands.

It reads like this:

“Beloved Pushpa (my name before I take sannyas)

Love. I am happy to receive your letters. Such longing for God is good because it is the totality of longing which becomes the way to reach him.

I am in Bombay on the night of the 17th, meet at 9 pm, or I will be in Bombay again on the 21st, then you can meet at 3 pm. Where I will be staying, you can find from these four phone numbers.”

I am overjoyed to read the letter. It is the seventeenth today and I decide to see Him tonight. I rush back to the office to make a phone call. While reading the letter, I thought, “Why has He written four phone numbers?” But this man of awareness knows better! Three numbers don’t work, the fourth does, and the woman on the other end confirms His arrival and gives me the address. It is already 5.15 pm; it is a matter of only four hours and I will be meeting Him again. Time passes very slowly. Almost every five to ten minutes, I am looking at my watch and curse it for moving so slowly. This waiting seems like eternity.

It is 8.55 pm. As I am passing through the entrance gate of the building, a car coming out of the gate stops near me. I am so engrossed in my thinking that I don’t pay any attention to it. Suddenly, I hear Osho’s voice calling me from the car. He is sitting in the back seat near the window.

I rush towards Him.

He says, “I am going out for about half an hour –  wait,” and asks me if I know the apartment where He will be. I answer, “Yes, I know it.” The car passes by, and I stand there for a couple of minutes, looking at it as it vanishes from my sight. I take a deep breath and enter the building; it has many wings, and I don’t know which way to go. Now I realise why He was asking me if I know the apartment. After wandering stupidly in all the wings, I feel angry with myself for not being true to my Master in my unawareness. It takes me twenty minutes to find the right wing.

I press the call button, and this same woman, whom I spoke to on the phone, opens the door and, recognising me, feels very sorry for me for not giving the complete address. She hugs me and takes me by the hand into a quite big living room, where eight to ten people are already sitting on sofas, gossiping about different things. The atmosphere is very light; no one looks serious except me. I feel myself alien in that group, sitting quietly in a corner waiting for my Master.

Exactly after ten minutes, Osho arrives, and we all stand up. He smiles and greets everyone with folded hands in namaste as He passes into another room. Immediately I am called into the room. Again, this unknown fear grabs me as I enter; I feel scared, like a little insect going near a fire that will burn him. But this magnetic pull of fire is much greater than the fear. I see Him sitting on the bed in the lotus posture, drinking some juice, and I sit opposite Him at a little distance, my legs hanging down from the bed. He finishes His drink, puts the glass aside on the little table near the bed, wipes His mouth with a little white napkin, gives me a smile and asks me to come closer.

He places His right hand on my chest and His left hand on my head. My chattering mind stops; I am transported into a space unknown to me. Tears roll down from my eyes, and my body starts bending towards Him. I start sobbing like a little kid with my head in His lap.In a couple of minutes He takes away His hands and asks me, “Come back slowly.” I calm down, raise my head and look into His eyes. They are shimmering like little stars in the vast blue sky. I feel relieved of this unknown fear and pain of separation.

He chuckles and tells me to do Vipassana meditation every morning for an hour, and I can meet Him whenever He is in Bombay. I touch His feet and walk out of the room, feeling that today He has initiated me as His disciple.

“This is the happening for which I am here, you are here. It has no name. Call it just ‘happening’. It is immensely beautiful. When your heart starts pounding, that means your heart is close to my heart.

It is a sign to you that the mind is left far behind, that you are no longer thinking but feeling, that you are no longer doing anything; it is happening. In the beginning you may get scared because it is so new. You may think something is going wrong – why is my heart pounding? – but only in the beginning. Just allow it, don’t try to stop it. Enjoy it, rejoice in it. This is communion, heart to heart.

There comes a moment when your heart pounds, beats in exactly the same rhythm, in the same frequency as my heart. Immediately there is a meeting. And that meeting brings transformation.

The master cannot do anything. He can only create certain devices in which the happening becomes possible. This commune is a device; otherwise there was no need for it. You were living somewhere, everybody was doing something. To take you out of your houses, your families, your cities – what is the purpose? The purpose is that if so many hearts start beating in the same rhythm and frequency, others whose hearts are not beating but whose heads are circling may catch the fire. It simply jumps like wildfire from one tree to another tree.

I know a few people are in tune with me. That makes it easier for others to be tuned in with me. All these hearts together become a tremendous force. If five thousand people can be in one rhythm, in one frequency, they may create such great energy that it will start spreading around the world.”

Osho, From the False to the Truth, Ch 13, Q 3

From the book, Past the Point of No Return by Ma Anand Bhagawati

Past The Point Of No Return

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