THE MIND SIMPLY STOPS
SWAMI CHAITANYA KEERTI (Consciousness and Glory)
Born in 1950 in Panipat, Haryana, India. Keerti took sannyas in 1971 and presently lives in New Delhi, India.
I arrived in Bombay on the morning of September 4, 1971. I had five rupees in my pocket. A taxi was too expensive, so I took a bus and went to Jeevan Jagruti Kendra to find out Osho’s residential address. The office boy, Balkrishna, directed me to A-1 Woodlands Apartments, Peddar Road, and told me how to get there by bus.
At the entrance to the apartment, there was a notice board saying that ‘Meeting Times with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh are from 9.30 to 11.00 am and 2.30 to 4.00 pm’.
I arrived too late for the morning meeting, so I waited around and returned at 2.30 pm for my first meeting with the Master.
I entered the apartment and introduced myself to His secretary, Ma Yoga Laxmi, who was sitting at the reception desk. There were a few cheerful sannyasins sitting nearby, laughing and having fun. I asked Laxmi if she could arrange a time for me to meet Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
“Have you heard His discourses?” she asked.
“I have been reading His books.” I replied.
“Then it would be better,” she said, “if you first attended His discourses in the Patkar Hall, before coming for Darshan.”
“No,” I replied, “I have read His books and feel ready to see Him right away. There is no need for me to wait for some days.”
“No,” she retorted, “you can’t see Him right away.”
I was determined that I should see Him there and then, so I just sat there and waited. “Who is this secretary who is preventing me from seeing Him?” I kept asking myself. “When He comes out of His room, I will catch Him.”
I waited until 4 o’clock. The afternoon meeting was over. Then, suddenly, I had an idea.
“Please give me a notepad,” I said to Laxmi, “I will write Him a note to read.”
Laxmi gave me a notepad, and I wrote this to Him in Hindi:
“Bhagwan Shree, I have come from so far away, and there was no problem. Now I am sitting here, and you are sitting there, a few yards away. What are these walls between us? What is this distance? Why I have come, I can’t express – I won’t be able to express. I have come; this is my expression.”
I am unable to remember the exact words.
Laxmi took the message in without reading it and very quickly returned, saying, “He is calling you. Just go into that room.”
Now! The full stop to all the struggle! I was so used to the mind struggling and keeping on saying, “No.” But the mind doesn’t know how to react to a positive invitation that comes like a lightning. The mind simply stops. To me, it seemed the right thing for the mind to stop before one goes in to see the Master.
In that state – somewhere between the mind and no-mind – I took a few steps toward the room where the Master was sitting; Laxmi had not accompanied me. Very softly, I opened the door.
Then I SEE HIM!
The Master is sitting there in His revolving chair; a glass wall is behind Him; the sun is shining, and He is aglow. The chair is simple and small; He is sitting in it, but He is really all over the room. The empty room is filled, vibrating with His glowing presence. GRACE is all there is – nothing else.
Looking at me He says softly, in a flower-like voice, “Chale Aao, Chale Aao! Main tumhara intezar kar raha tha.” (Come in! Come in! Come, I was waiting for you.)
It feels as if there is something within me that has already reached Him and surrendered at His feet. Very softly, I take a few steps, go close to Him, and sit there with my head bent down, looking at His feet.
“Kaise Aana Hua?” I hear Him say softly. “What brought you here?”
I look down, unable to speak.
He asks the question again: “Kaise Aana Hua?”
I feel as if I should be saying something. On the train, I had been thinking of all the things I would be asking Him. But now, what happened to all those things? Where were all my questions?
Mustering all my courage, I answer, “I have come to be with you.”
“Here! With me!”
There is a long pause. Then the Master laughs – I hear this laugh so loud as if it is filling the whole cosmos.
Then He says, “Oh, you want to take sannyas?” “Yes,” I reply, “whatever the way to be with you…”
“Have you any responsibilities at home?” he asks. “No, none,” I say, “forget about my home.”
After asking me questions about my education and listening to my replies, He calls Madhu through the intercom: “Madhu, mala lao.” (Madhu, bring a mala.)
He turns and takes up a piece of paper. I look up at Him, but immediately look down as He turns back, and looks towards me. Suddenly, Madhu is there with a mala. He takes it and garlands my neck, saying, “I give you a new name, Swami Chaitanya Keerti.”
He introduces me to Ma Anand Madhu. She was coordinating the Kirtan Mandali that was due to leave the next day, travelling around Gujarat, and arriving the following month at Mount Abu for the next meditation camp.
“You join this group, sing and dance with this group, and we will meet in Mount Abu next month,” He says.
I go to Ma Madhu to touch her feet. “You touch only His feet,” she says.
Then, after Osho has told Madhu to fetch me orange clothes, I leave with her and am given instructions on how to find the Kirtan Mandali. Ma Laxmi welcomes me with a cup of chai. I know that now that I have been accepted and blessed by the Master, I am looking like a different person. With the mala around my neck, my eyes had an otherworldly glow.
I remember a poem to describe something of the experience:
How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
Utterly thrilled and blessed I came out of the Woodland Apartment and found the whole of Bombay celebrating… dum dum dum… loud drumbeats. People were carrying Lord Ganesha idols and there were processions after processions – very crazy and very colourful.
I found myself dancing with them – I had met the ultimate in human form, and my happiness knew no bounds. I was not a dancer. I was a very serious person. Osho had filled me with a new consciousness that made me dance – an unknown dance. And the journey of dance had begun.
“The moment mind stops, time stops; they stop together. Hence Buddhists say: Mind is time. They are synonymous, they are two names for the one phenomenon. It is the movement of mind that creates the movement of time. It is the moving mind that creates the illusion of a moving time. Once the mind stops, is in utter silence, thoughts disappear and nothing is moving, all time disappears. Each time you penetrate into meditation, time stops, the clock stops, the world stops. Then you are neither in the past nor in the future nor even in the present; you simply are. There is no time – you cannot relate yourself with time. So the best definition of meditation is ‘a state of no-time’ or ‘a state of no-mind’.”
Osho, The Sun Rises in the Evening, Ch 1
Narrative reprinted with permission from Allah to Zen: Personal impressions of Osho, Ch 43, by Swami Chaitanya Keerti
From the book, Past the Point of No Return by Ma Anand Bhagawati