Swami Om Prakash Saraswati: One with the Master
A born rebel or a freedom fighter or a highly educated person or a top corporate executive or a sannyasin? Is it possible to find such a versatile being? YES! Everything is possible with the blessings of Osho for the authentic seekers who came to Him and remained at His feet, before taking the highest flight and dissolving into the Ultimate. Swami Om Prakash Saraswati is one such blessed being who scaled the peaks of worldly success and then surrendered unconditionally at the feet of the Master, dissolving himself completely. Lovingly known as “Swamiji”, he is the epitome of absolute surrender by a disciple to his Guru.
Born on December 31, 1918, in Faridnagar near Meerut in UP, India; Swamiji was a born rebel, questioning everything – any injustice or violence. As a resolute & earnest youth, Swamiji joined government service and was soon married. The absence of meritocracy and abundance of inefficiencies plaguing government service compelled him to quit his otherwise stable job; and he joined the renowned corporate DCM at Kota, Rajasthan; as a senior executive. During his stint as the Accounts Head, he was inspired by a series of magazine articles of Osho, then known as Acharya Rajneesh. Allured by Osho’s magnetism, he attended that momentous meditation camp at Mt. Abu, Rajasthan in 1971 and was initiated into sannyas. Guided by his Master, he integrated his family life and professional life with his inner journey with remarkable elegance. His life is truly exemplary of a sannyasin balancing a life of career, family, meditation and aloneness. He moved to Delhi to take care of his wife who needed personal and medical care and continue to work in the DCM. After his wife died in 1976 Swamiji took pre mature retirement from his work and was invited by Osho to relocate to the Ashram in Pune, a call that he was eagerly awaiting.
In 1978, Osho sent Swamiji to Delhi to start a meditation center and He also gave Swamiji the name for this new Centre – Rajyoga Rajneesh Dhyan Kendra. This is how the Centre (now known as Osho Rajyoga) came into being. Swamiji’s powerful presence made this Centre the fulcrum of Osho’s work for the entire northern India conducting meditation camps, distributing audio/video discourses, publishing magazines and more. In 1981, when Osho went to the United States, the Center began publishing a newsletter “Rajneesh Buddhafield” to connect people with Rajneeshpuram, Oregon. The creation of Osho Dham, a meditation campus on the outskirts of Delhi, was the culmination of Swamiji’s efforts to provide a suitable space for meditation for a large number of seekers with restful accommodation facilities. Swamiji’s commitment and love enabled the realization of Osho’s vision ‘to bring meditation to the marketplace’ when Osho World Galleria was inaugurated at Ansal Plaza, a fashionable mall in the heart of south Delhi. The creation of the website www.oshoworld.com a treasure chest of Osho’s audio & video discourses, ebooks, posters, meditations and articles; and the publication of monthly magazines Osho World Patrika and Osho News were further manifestations of Swamiji’s vision to make Osho available to a Seeker in any corner of the world.
As Swamiji blossomed in meditation, his inner growth manifested in his work. He is an inspiration to young disciples on the journey of meditation. Swamiji attained enlightenment on May 21, 2001. He continued to meditate, work and provide vision for the future to spread the message of his beloved Master till he attained his Mahaparinirvana on March 27, 2003. Like a drop that dissolves into the Ocean, Swamiji merged with the vast ocean of Osho.
“A disciple becomes almost a part of the very being of the Master. There arises an invisible connection between the two hearts. They dance together.” OSHO
BELOVED OSHO, WHILE LISTENING TO THE DISCOURSE YESTERDAY, I FELT I WAS NOT OF THIS EARTH, BUT WAS A SMALL PARTICLE OF LIGHT IN THE FREE AND INFINITE SKY. AFTER DISCOURSE, AN EXPERIENCE OF LIGHTNESS AND ALONENESS CONTINUED AND I WANTED TO KEEP WANDERING IN THIS SKY. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT KNOWLEDGE, KARMA, AND DEVOTION ARE, BUT IN ALONENESS I WISH TO REMAIN IMMERSED IN THIS STATE. STILL, THE FEELING SOMETIMES ARISES THAT THIS MAY BE MADNESS, THAT THIS MAY BE A TRICK OF THE EGO. KINDLY SHED LIGHT ON MY PATH.
We are on this earth, but in fact we cannot be on this earth, and we are not. We feel it: we are strangers to this earth. We have made a home in our body, but our body is not our home.
It is as if someone settles abroad and forgets his homeland. Suddenly in the market one day he meets someone who reminds him of home, who speaks his own language. For a moment the foreign country will vanish and his homeland will be present. This is the significance of scriptures. This is the real purpose of the words of the masters. After listening to them, for a moment we are no longer here. We go where we belong. We flow in their music. The situations which had completely involved us vanish, and that which was very far away comes near.
Ashtavakra’s words are absolutely unique. Hearing them, it will happen again and again: again and again you will feel you are not on this earth but have become part of the sky — because these words are of the sky. These words come from the homeland, come from that from which source we all come, the source to which we must return. Without going back to it we will never find peace. Where we are is like an inn, not a home. No matter how much we may insist it is a home, still an inn remains an inn. Try to explain it away, to forget it; it makes no difference. The thorn goes on pricking us, the memory keeps on coming. And sometime, if we happen to encounter such a truth that pulls us, and like a magnet would show us another world, then we feel we are not part of this earth. It is good: “While listening to the discourse yesterday, I felt that I was not of this earth.” There is no one who is of this earth. We appear to be of it, we feel as if we are: in reality we exist in the sky. Our nature is of the sky. Being means the inner sky. Body means the earth; the body is made of earth. You are made of sky. These two have met within you. You are the horizon where the earth seems to be meeting the sky. But has it ever met it? Far away the horizon appears — sky touching earth. Start walking towards it, expecting to reach it in a minute or two. Continue walking for life after life — you will never reach a place where the sky touches the earth. It is only a mirage. It always appears that you can touch it a little further on, just a little further.
The horizon does not exist, it only appears to. It is the same inside us as with the outer horizon. Inside no contact ever happens either. How will being touch body? How will the mortal meet the immortal? Milk mixes with water — both are of the earth. But how will being merge with body? Their basic quality is different. However near they come, they cannot touch. They may be forever near, still they cannot touch; they cannot meet. It is only our assumption, our concept — the horizon exists only as our idea. If you allow Ashtavakra’s statements to penetrate your heart like arrows, they will awaken and remind you. They will arouse that long forgotten memory. For a moment the sky will open, the clouds will break, and your life will be filled with sunlight.
It may be difficult: the experience goes against our whole way of life. It will cause discomfort. And you did not disperse the clouds within, they were dispersed by the words of a master — the clouds will gather again. Before you reach home, again the clouds will surround you. You won’t drop your habits so quickly. Again the clouds will gather, and you will be more uneasy. You will doubt. Was it not a dream that you saw? Was it not some kind of projection? Was it not a trick of the ego, of the mind? Perhaps you fell into a kind of madness? Naturally, the weight of your habits is heavy, very old. Darkness is ancient — it doesn’t exist, still it is ancient. Whenever rays of sunlight burst in, they are fresh — absolutely new, freshly bathed. You see them for a moment, and again you are lost in darkness. Your darkness has a very long history. When you weigh these two, doubt arises about sunlight but not about darkness. Darkness should be doubted. Instead sunlight is doubted because its rays are new, and darkness is very old. Darkness is like a tradition coming down from century to century. The rays of light have just arrived — fresh, new. So new, how can they be trusted?
“I felt I was not of this earth.” There is no one who is of this earth. We cannot be of this earth. To think otherwise is our belief, our projection. It seems so, but it is not the truth. “… And I felt I was a small particle of light in the infinite sky.” This is the beginning, “a small particle of light in the infinite sky.” You will soon feel, “I am the infinite sky.” This is the start. Right now we are not ready to be completely absorbed in the infinite sky. And if we feel the flight coming, the storm coming, that winds are carrying us away, still we keep separate and save ourselves. “… a particle of light.” You are no longer darkness; you have become a particle of light. But the difference from the sky is still there; the division remains, a gap remains. The ultimate will happen the day you become the sky. The particle of light is also separate. The day you become integrated, one, on that day you will feel “I am the vast empty sky.” That’s how we express it in language: “I am empty sky.” But how is it possible as long as “I” is there? If “I” is, then the sky remains separate. When the feeling of empty sky comes, then “I” will be gone, only empty sky will remain. People say aham brahmasmi — I am God, I am Brahma. But when Brahma is, how can “I” remain? Only Brahma remains, not I. But there is no other way to express it…
It is impossible to bring the ultimate wisdom into words. But we are fortunate that rare individuals like Ashtavakra have made untiring, impossible efforts. As much as it is possible they have made the effort to bring the fragrance of truth into words. And note few have been as successful as Ashtavakra in their attempt. Many have attempted to bring the truth into words — all were defeated. Defeat is certain. But if you look among the defeated, the least defeated is Ashtavakra. He is the most successful. If you listen rightly you will be reminded of your home.
It is auspicious that you felt you were a particle of light. Prepare to be lost. One day you will feel that the particle of light is also lost, and only sky remains. Then drunkenness will completely overwhelm you. Then you will drown in the wine of truth. Then you will dance. Then you will experience the full taste of nectar.
“After discourse, an experience of lightness and aloneness continued. I wanted to keep wandering in this sky.” Here we make a small mistake. When we have any pleasant experience, we want it again and again. How weak man’s mind is! It is full of desires, full of greed; temptations go on arising. It wants to repeat whatever is pleasant. But remember one thing: repetition is already wrong. As soon as you wish “Let it happen again” it can never take place, because the first time it occurred it was not from your desire. It happened by itself, it was not your act. This is where Ashtavakra puts the whole emphasis: truth happens. It is not an act, it is a happening. It happened to you while listening. What were you doing?
Listening means you weren’t doing anything. You were sitting feeling empty. You were silent, you were alert, you were awake, you were not asleep. Good! But what were you doing? You were simply a receiver. Your mind was mirrorlike — what came before it was reflected, what was said was heard.
You were not adding anything to it. If you were adding anything it would never have happened. You were not making commentaries. You were not in your mind saying, “Yes, this is right, that is wrong. I agree with it, I disagree. It is according to the scriptures,” or “It is not.”
You were not making logical statements about it. If you had been lost in logic, this happening would never have taken place.
The one who has asked — Swami Om Prakash Sarasvati — I know him. His mind is far away from logic, far away from doubts and arguments. Those days are gone. He may have made logical arguments once, may have raised doubts. Now he has ripened from the experiences of life. Now that childishness is not in the mind. This is why it could happen. He was simply listening, sitting, not doing anything — he just went on sitting and it happened.
It happened the first time without your doing anything. If you want it to happen a second time, this will create a disturbance. Desiring was not the cause of its happening. So when such a rare happening takes place, do not desire. When it happens, accept it joyously. When it doesn’t happen don’t complain, do not ask for it. Ask and you will miss. In asking is a demand, an insistence: “It should happen. It happened once, why doesn’t it happen now?”…
The mind is interested: it must happen again. There is greed, a desire for repetition. The mind has come in and the whole process is disturbed. It happens only when there is no mind.
Remember, mind is the desire for repetition. Let the pleasant happen again, let the unpleasant never repeat — this is the mind. The mind chooses: let this happen and that not happen. Let it happen again and again like this, but never like that — this is the mind. When you begin to flow with life: whatever happens, okay; what doesn’t, okay…. Suffering comes, it is accepted. Suffering comes, there is no resistance. Happiness comes, it is accepted. Happiness comes, there is no excitement. When there is calmness, in both happiness and suffering, an equanimity starts arising. Then happiness and suffering begin to appear very similar — because no choice is left. Now it is out of our hands. What happens, happens. We go on watching — this is what Ashtavakra calls sakshi-bhav, witnessing. And he says if witnessing is attained, everything is attained. Inside, sakshi-bhav awakens the witness, outside it brings equanimity. Equanimity is the shadow of witnessing.
Or if you achieve equanimity, witnessing comes. These two go together. They are the two feet or the two wings of the same phenomenon.
“I wanted to keep wandering in this sky.” Be alert. Don’t give the mind a chance to destroy the moments of meditation. This same mind has already destroyed your life. It has spoiled all of your relationships. This mind has made your whole life dry like a desert. Where many flowers could have blossomed there are only thorns. Do not bring this mind with you on your inward journey. Say good-bye to it and take your leave. Lovingly, bid it farewell. Tell it, “It is enough. Now I won’t demand anything. Whatever happens I will be awake, I will be watching.” As soon as you demand, you can no longer be a witness. You become identified as the one who enjoys and suffers. Then meditation vanishes. To be identified means you are saying: “I am the one who enjoyed this, it made me happy.”
“I do not know what knowledge, karma, and devotion are, but in aloneness I wish to remain immersed in this state.” Throw this wish away, and you will slip into the same state. Not only in aloneness but in the crowd you will slip into it. Even if you are in the market you will remain immersed. This state has nothing to do with aloneness or the crowd, the market or the temple, the masses or isolation. This state is related to your mind becoming quiet, to its being in equilibrium. This happening will take place wherever there is peace, equanimity. But do not demand it, otherwise the very demanding becomes uneasiness, creates tension.
Ashtavakra says, “Right here, right now.” A demand is always for tomorrow. It cannot be here and now. The nature of demanding is that it is not in the present. It jumps. Demanding means: “Let it happen — tomorrow, after an hour, in a moment, let it happen.” A demand cannot be right now. Time is required. It may be very short, but time is required. And the future does not exist. The future means what is not. The present means what is. The present and demanding are not related. When you are in the present you will find there is no demanding. And then the happening takes place. When there is no wish for it, it will happen abundantly. Understand this double bind well. Become familiar with every aspect of it.
The day you don’t demand anything is the day everything will happen. The day you aren’t running like a madman after godliness, it will come after you. The day you don’t show any eagerness for meditation, when there is no tension within you, that day you will be filled, overflowing with meditation. Meditation does not come from outside. What is left inside you when you are not tense is called meditation. That which remains when there is no desire within you is called meditation.
It is a lake. Waves arise, then sudden gusts of wind. The surface of the lake is covered with storm and winds; everything goes topsy-turvy. The moon is in the sky, full; but no reflection is made because the surface is shimmering. How can it be a mirror? The moon’s reflection is broken into a thousand pieces — like silver spread over the whole lake, but no image is made. The lake becomes quiet. Have the waves gone somewhere? Did the waves come from somewhere else? They are from the lake. Now they have gone back to sleep, they have returned to the lake. The lake has regained its stillness. The moon, which was scattered like silver all over the surface of the lake, is now gathered in one place. The image becomes clear. As soon as there are no waves on the lake of your mind, desiring waves, demanding waves, waves of, “This should be so and that should not be so,” when there are no waves on the lake of the mind, then truth is reflected as it is. Then how can the beauty of the moon within you be described? How can its ecstasy be told? A river of ecstasy showers. One meets the inner beloved. Then there is a honeymoon, only a honeymoon. But if you desire it, you will miss.
And I know this desire looks completely natural. But this is a great hurdle. So much joy comes in such moments, how can you avoid desiring? It is human. I don’t say that you have made a big mistake, unworthy of a human being. It is an absolutely human error. When for a moment the window opens and the vast sky flows into you, when for a moment darkness vanishes and rays of light descend it is impossible, almost impossible, not to wish for more. But the impossible will have to be learned. Learn it today, learn it tomorrow or learn it the day after, but it will have to be learnt. The sooner you learn it the better. Become ready right now and it happens immediately. There is no need to wait even a moment. “… I wish to remain immersed in this state.” This state will come. It has nothing to do with your mind, so leave your mind behind. Whenever it sneaks in, you have to tell it again and again, “Excuse me, but you have meddled more than enough! You have messed up the world, now don’t mess up the divine too. You have spoiled all of life’s happiness. Now happiness is coming from the inner depths; at least don’t spoil this.” Remain alert and say good-bye to the mind. Gradually, increasingly, such moments will be coming.
They will come through your experience. Whenever mind is not, immediately the window opens again. Again the stream of heavenly joy flows, again the light descends. Again you are radiant, intoxicated. Again you drown in nectar. When this happens again and again, it will become clear. You will become skilful at keeping the mind away from you. When it happens, let it happen. When it does not happen, wait quietly for it. It will come. That which has come once will come again and again — just do not wish for it. Do not come in between at all. Do not create any hindrance. “Still, the feeling sometimes arises that this may be madness….” Such feelings will arise in the intellect, because it cannot believe that bliss is possible. Intellect is absolutely at home with unhappiness. It has totally accepted unhappiness because it has given birth to it. Who will not accept their own offspring? So the intellect says, “If there is unhappiness, it is absolutely right. But ultimate happiness? Certainly there must be some mistake. Does it ever happen? It must be imagination. You saw a dream; you were lost in some daydream. You went into hypnosis. Certainly you have gone mad.” The intellect will often say such things. Don’t listen to it. Don’t pay any attention to it. If you give attention to it, the experiences will stop. Those doors and windows will never open again.
Remember one thing: Bliss is the definition of truth. Wherever you find joy, know it is the truth. That is why we have called God, Sat-chit-anand — truth, consciousness, bliss. Anand is the ultimate definition for him. Bliss is above even truth, even above consciousness — truth, consciousness, bliss. Truth is a lower step, consciousness is a lower step, bliss is ultimate. Wherever bliss flows, wherever you find ecstasy — don’t worry at all, you are near the truth.
It is like someone nearing a garden. The breeze becomes cooler; he begins to hear the singing of birds; he begins to feel a coolness. The garden is not yet visible, yet these signs tell him that he is on the right path, he is nearing the garden. Similarly, as you start approaching truth springs of bliss well up. The mind begins to cool down, you begin to be in equilibrium, patience begins increasing, happiness increases. An exultation overwhelms you — uncaused. No cause can be found. You haven’t won the lottery or made a big business profit, nor been offered a prestigious job. Or it may happen that you lost the job you had, you lost what was in your hands, your business went bankrupt — but there is an uncaused exultation that goes on dancing within, never stopping. The intellect will say, “Have you gone mad? These are the signs of madness!”…
These mistakes happen because the boundaries of these two touch. This confusion is natural.
Make it a point that if joy is increasing, no need to worry. But joy can increase due to insanity also. Then what is a safe criterion for it? This is the criterion: if your joy is increasing and at the same time you are not causing anybody’s unhappiness to increase, then continue untroubled. Your joy should not be dependent on violence towards anyone, on aggression towards anyone, or on making anyone unhappy. Then there is no reason to be afraid of going mad. Even if you are going mad, it is a good sign, it is right. Go into it with no hesitation. You need to be concerned only when you begin to harm somebody. Nobody is bothered by your dance. But if somebody is sleeping and you play your drum over his head and start dancing?… Dance, there’s no problem in it. Chant your prayers, that’s fine. But if in the middle of the night you set up a mike and start non-stop kirtan singing, then you are really mad — although in India no one would call you mad because you are singing devotional songs. Many madmen do this. They say, “We are performing a non-stop kirtan — twenty-four hours straight. Whether you sleep or not is your problem. And if you object to our program, you are irreligious.”
See that your joy is not violent. This is sufficient. Your joy should be your own. Don’t disturb anybody else’s life with it. Let your flowers bloom, but in blooming, don’t let anyone be pricked by its thorns. If you always make sure of this, then you are moving in the right direction. When you feel that now others are being disturbed by your behavior, be careful — you are not moving towards enlightenment but are on the path to insanity. Nobody is disturbed by Om Prakash. You can proceed without hesitation, fearlessly.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse Series: The Mahageeta, Vol 1
Chapter #2, Chapter title: Strangers in a Strange Land, 12 September 1976 am in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Osho has spoken on ‘meditation, witnessing, listening, bliss, truth, consciousness’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Beyond Enlightenment
- The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
- From Bondage to Freedom
- From Death to Deathlessness
- The Golden Future
- The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here
- The Invitation
- The Path of the Mystic
- Satyam Shivam Sundram
- Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
- The Messiah, Vol 2
- Zarathustra: The Laughing Prophet
- The Path of the Mystic
- Tao: The Pathless Path, Vol 1
- Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2