4.9 Reading Osho
Many reports have appeared on readers’ experience when reading Osho for the first time. For a start a few quotes by Osho on reading:
“A book is a dead thing. It has not been written particularly for you… But if I am talking to you, I am talking to you. I am not talking to somebody else… It is meant for you. It will take care of your need, of your possibility, potentiality, of your past, of your future. Then you are on a safe path.” Blessed are the Ignorant. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 164.
“There are things which are not facts. For them a totally different kind of language is needed. It exists: the language of aesthetics. It is illogical, it is emotional, it speaks heart to heart. It speaks in gestures, it speaks in metaphors, it speaks in myths and parables. It spins beautiful poetry. If you try to squeeze meaning out of that poetry, nothing will come into your hands; only the poetry will be destroyed. It cannot be squeezed. One has to be very sympathetic, available, one has to fall en rapport with it, one has to be possessed by it. One has to allow it to enter one’s interior-most core and then suddenly a flower blooms within. And one understands, but that understanding is not knowledge; that understanding is wisdom.
Become a language of love. Facts are okay, but just okay; they don’t make life a rejoicing, they don’t create celebration. They can give you a better standard of life but they cannot give you a new passion of life, they cannot give you intensity of life. They cannot give you quality; they can only give you quantity. Only the language of love starts penetrating you through a different dimension, through the vertical dimension.” Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I Am Pointing (1982); The Book (1984). Vol.II, p. 108.
“So rather than going through the books… If one is simply reading the books for entertainment, it is okay. Then whether you read tibetan or zen books, or Krishnamurti or Gurdjieff, or anybody – if you are reading only for entertainment then it is as much use as any detective novel. There is no problem in it, you can read. But I don’t see that you are reading only for entertainment – you have a sincere search. You have a desire, a passion, to find out who you are, to find out why, for what life exists. The passion is there, then it is dangerous to go on reading, and one tends to try.” The Shadow of the Whip. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 92.
“But when such great truths are put into language, difficulties arise because our language is made by us. It is not made by people like Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu, Ko Hsuan, it is made by the mediocre people the world is full of. Obviously, language is their invention and it carries their meanings, their attitudes towards life. So whatsoever you say is going to be somewhere inadequate – not only inadequate but deep down wrong also.
If you remember this only then will you not fall into the trap into which almost all the scholars have fallen.” Tao. The Golden Gate (1984). Vol.I; The Book (1984). Vol.II, p. 107.
“Bhagwan, Why did you decide to speak instead of writing your philosophy?
My spelling is far worse than my pronunciation!” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1980:8)
Osho in darshan to Aniruda on reading Laing
“Mm mm… don’t read much; this is not the right time to read. Reading will not help you right now. It will give you many more troubles, and those ideas will start moving in your mind. And particularly not laing… no! When you want to go crazy (chuckling) then you can read laing. He is just crazy – a good man, but crazy! It is not good; you will not be able to absorb him. It will create a kind of sickness in you. Meditate more, dance more, sing more.
Reading is good when you are not affected by it at all. Then it is perfectly beautiful; you can enjoy it. But then there is nothing serious. You can read the bhagavad gita or the bible or the koran as if you are reading a detective novel; there is no problem. And they are all detective novels of ancient days written in a different pattern. But right now you can get very serious about things. Just relax. Reading is not good right now.” The No Book. No Buddha. No Teaching. No Discipline. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 140.
S.K. Saksena quotes Kushwant Singh
“The inimitable writer Kushwant Sing, after meeting Osho wrote: “Soon after meeting him I began to read his books. I was very impressed that there is one teacher who is highly erudite. He could talk about any subject – religion, psychology etc. His range and vision was enormous and unmatchable. The strong point is his lucidity. There is no confusion about what he said. Also he impressed me as he liberated people from their preconceived notions, superstitions and beliefs. So I got more books to read. I kept reading. I have written an introduction to one of his books based on whatever I have read. He wrote so much that it is difficult to say that I have read everything. I have not. I wrote this introduction because of a genuine admiration for the man who had the courage to speak his mind.””(www.oshonews.com/2017/08/02)
Indira Gandhi reading Osho in Delhi 1977
“An appointment was sought in New Delhi. As was customary with Ma Yog Laxmi, whenever she went to meet anybody she took along BSR’s books and tapes as presents. At the meeting with Mrs Gandhi – the Prime Minister, a keen reader, picked out one of the books from the pile that was placed there – and the volume fell open to a page: Neither This Nor That, her own favorite Zen story. It was no small comfort then to the representatives of the ashram to find Mrs. Gandhi not just very communicable but also rather well-disposed towards BSR and his work… [in 1977] FH and MYL happened to be in New Delhi. FH phoned Mrs. Gandhi’s residence in the morning to make an appointment to see her. Immediately granted, this one happened on the way to the airport. Shattered, despondent and noticeably swollen eyed, as if sleepless, this is what she expressed: for those two traumatic days and nights it was only Osho’s books and tapes that had kept her and her family going. FH wasted no time in phoning MYL from the airport requesting her to leave a few other Osho books at Mrs. Gandhi’s residence. These acts of kindness were never forgotten by Mrs. Gandhi and only helped in cementing the bond between New Delhi and the ashram at the time.” (Fali Heerjee. In: Keerti 2000, p. 181)
Reading a Darshan Diary
“I was reading a darshan diary, which is the evening groups with Bhagwan talking to people. I was completely blow away by the way he related to people. Bhagwan was so there. He understood people. It didn’t matter where they came from or anything. He just understood. He had a great deal of humour about the whole thing. Then, in about the middle of the book, I realized I would take sannyas. That was it. There was no decision. There was no thought. There was no analysis. There was nothing.” (Goldman 1999, p. 153)
Ma Prem Navina recalls her time as a forest-fire lookout
“At the beginning of each summer I packed two boxes of books to take. In the summer of 1977 among them was ‘My Way: The Way of the White Clouds’. Sometime in August, I picked the book up and from the first paragraphs it held me enthralled. I walked around with it clutched to my heart for many days as I read and re-read passages.” (Viha Connection, 2016:5)
Maitreya on reading Osho
“You will be surprised to know that among the Indian leaders – political, spiritual, intellectual – Bhagwan is read the most. I can say this particularly about His Hindi books. His Hindi books have appeared in pocket-book series and have sold on a large scale. That is something rare! In Hindi, only cheap sexy novels are printed and sold in pocket-book series, mostly like Gulshan Nanda. But it is something rare that Bhagwan’s books, even on such subjects as Mahavir, are printed in pocket books and sold. To print a book in pocket-series, it requires that the edition must be as large as twenty-five thousand. And these pocket-book publishers are vying to get Bhagwan’s books, so this is something rare.
And also ‘Beware of Socialism’, one of Bhagwan’s old pamphlets, has been brought out!
I don’t think any communist book or Gandhian book, any book on Gandhism or communism or socialism, has sold in such large numbers. This is something really unique! And who reads them? The ‘intelligent’ people read them. So I am very hopeful.” (Divya 1980, p. 353)
“The books I found had been badly printed in India on already browning paper, but the contents were a happy surprise. They were collections of talks on religious texts he had given in Bombay in the late sixties and early seventies. They turned out to be colloquial, sophisticated, and funny…
Again and again sannyasins told me that in reading Rajneesh they had the sense that he was telling them what they already knew, confirming the fleeting thoughts, perceptions, or feelings that they had suppressed or been too timid to trust. His writings helped them to experience what had just been an idea, to see clearly what they had only glimpsed.” (Gordon 1987, pp. 8,49)
Komala Lyra asking for sannyas
“I left the office, sat back on the wall. There were more and more people coming in. What to do? I didn’t even know what I was asking for, but in my heart… How many books had I read? What nonsense! I later found out that she meant Bhagwan’s books – transcripts of his daily discourses…
Bhagwan gave daily discourses in the morning, and he alternated between Hindi and English every other month. I was not interested in his words; what emanated from his presence was plenty. During these waiting days the discourses were in Hindi. I sat in his presence, drinking the sounds that came out of his mouth like melodious music. (Lyra 2005, pp. 99,103)
“Rajneesh’s own books, over 400 of them, compiled by disciples from his talks, showcase a vast and eclectic erudition. They are highly readable, often poetic. Studded with some striking insights, illustrated by dramatic parables, they also display his talent as a gifted storyteller. At the same time, his books have many ideas borrowed from philosophers and spiritual teachers of the world which Rajneesh blithely appropriates without attribution.” (Kakar 2009, p. 14)
Reading Osho’s provocative books
“Osho, my beloved Master, came into my life when my wife Ma Priya, was reading a Hindi book by Rajneesh (as He was then known). I snatched the book, said, “Don’t read this book,” and threw it in the corner of the room. After a few days, I began to wonder why people talked so negatively about Rajneesh. I picked up the book and started reading, and that was the beginning of the love affair with my Master.” (Swami Dhyan Vedanta. In: Viha Connection, 2014:5)
Punya presenting My Way
“I looked in my suitcase to see if I had something I could give to Saeed as a gift. Apart from my few clothes there were only a book: ‘My Way. The Way of the White Clouds’ by Osho. It was the first bound and illustrated English book which had been published – a real treasure. Despite the fact that Saeed had always been quite suspicious about my orange-wearing fashion – the concept of a guru was not in the mind field of someone brought up as a Muslim – I still took it with me. The moment I put the book on his desk he started reading it without giving me any further attention. He became so absorbed in the book that I had to show myself out of his office without saying good-bye. After a month, his whole family went to see Osho and took sannyas…” (Punya 2015, p. 59)
“We were both passionate about the same things that mattered, and so for a whole afternoon we went to nose about in a specialised bookshop in Geneva that somebody had recommended to him. It was there that I discovered on a dusty shelf a book bound in a maroon cover: ‘My Way, the Way of the White Clouds’ by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The title reminded me of happy memories of my stays in Holland, and guided by my insatiable curiosity. I said to myself, “I may as well see what is in it.” I bought it, as well as a pile of other books that we brought back home together. I can still see us in the living room at Crans, and I can hear the determined voice of my friend who, having read only one page of this book, earnestly declared: “I am going to go there,” which both amused and intrigued me. I immersed myself in the book – which was a series of answers given by Bhagwan to questions asked by his disciples and visitors – and I had the impression of finding “under one roof” everything I had always searched for in various directions: the best of Western culture (psychology at its deepest level, philosophy, art and science) integrated with the essence of the great universal religious traditions, and expressed in the simple, direct and poetic language of a truly “free man”. (Berthout 2001, p. 38)
Devageet on reading and listening
“When I first arrived in Pune I only knew of Osho’s vision from two of his books: “The Way of The White Cloud,” and “No Water, No Moon.” His words were clear and brilliant, but when I heard him speaking, the unique quality of his voice lifted me into another, altogether unknown and ineffable region. I felt the consciousness carrying his words singing a silent melody that breathed new life into my heart. For me, hearing Osho giving his daily discourse was like hearing a long-lost love song that touched my heart and awakened my soul.” (Devageet 2013, p. 24)
“Then I read the first book, I think it was “My Way: The Way of the White Clouds”, and it was like an instant recognition. It was like arriving at an oasis after being lost in the desert for years and finding a well of cool and pure water. With each page, I was coming back to life. I felt this man could read and decipher my most inner thoughts. For the first time I was hearing what my heart had been yearning for, something that my soul intimately knew but had lost all memory of. I had finally found something I wanted to live for.” (Somadevi. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 253)
“Since there was not much time to talk, she lent me her favourite Bhagwan book “My Way: The Way of the White Clouds”. Wow, this book really got to me! I was reading some pages every night before falling asleep. Even though my English wasn’t great, it was very easy for me to understand, it went right in and very deep; it felt much more than just reading a book, it felt like a revelation, for which I had been waiting for such a long time.” (Nandan. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 280)
Krishna Prem on meeting Osho
“Was ist passiert?”, fragte ich ihn.
“Ich bin da so einem Mann in Indien begegnet.”
“Erzähl mir von ihm.”
Er zog ein Buch aus dem Rucksack hervor. “Hier”, sagte er. “Ich glaube, es ist besser, du liest selbst, was er zu sagen hat.”
Nach eine halben Seite wusste ich, wo ich hinfahren würde und warum. Das war der Mann, auf den ich gewartet hatte. Das war derjenige, der mir endlich meine Fragen beantworten und mir die Wahrheit sagen würde.
Unsere erste Begegnung ein paar Monate später empfand ich wie ein Nachhausekommen. Dieser “Man in Indien”, dieser Osho, war der “Jesus” meiner Kindheit. Ich hätte ihn überall erkannt. Bei meinen Vorstellungen von Jesus handelte es sich einfach um innere Bilder, aber dieser Mann war aus Fleisch und Blut und noch einiges mehr. Hier hatte ich es mit einem Wesen zu tun, das anders war als jeder Mensch, den ich bisher kennen gelernt hatte. In den Augen dieses Mannes leuchteten Liebe und Akzeptanz, und er strahlte Stille aus wie ein Leuchtturm – dieselbe tiefe und fruchtbare Stille, die ich auf dem New York State Thruway erlebt hatte. Es war klar, dass ich dableiben würde.
Sechs Monate später, als immer mehr Suchende aus dem Ausland kamen, begann Osho, täglich Vortrage zu halten, jeden Monat abwechselnd auf Hindi und auf English. Die erste Reihe seiner englischen Vorträge, die auf ein westliches Publikum zugeschnitten waren, wurde unter dem Titel Mein Weg: Der Weg der weissen Wolke veröffentlicht, und als ich eines Morgens zuhörte, kam eines dieser verborgenen Gesetze zum Vorschein, eine dieser Wahrheiten hinter den Kulissen, auf die ich gewartet hatte.” (Allanach 2005, p. 123)
Reading and listening to Osho February 1978
“Your discourses and books are like spiritual music to my ears, and I sense that when nearly complete you may, like the composer Beethoven, be taking your leave. Therefore at this moment I desire to communicate with you eye to eye and soul to soul. I have no questions. All I ask is to be in your presence for a while.” (Alexander Everett. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 187)
Avikal on reading Osho
“One afternoon in 1976 I am standing in the Feltrinelli bookshop in Florence where I live, looking here and there, leafing through some books and reading the first few lines, in the knowledge that those are the words that either grab me or not and, at a certain point, I happen to have a book in my hands by a certain Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: “Tantra: The Supreme Understanding”. I skim the chapter title, the back cover and buy it… I return home and begin reading that book with a strange sense of fear and expectation that goes to the pit of my stomach, cautiously, as if delving into something dangerous that is drawing me toward it, at the same time I have an uneasy sensation of not being in control. To my complete surprise, every word I read reaches me like a gentle touch, warm and also very powerful, reawakening that mystical yearning, that desire to be and to understand and live beyond the limits of conventions, socially-approved truth, the boundaries of my personality and my personal history. Each word is like honey flowing down my throat, melting every tension and relaxing my nervous system. Every word I read lights my passion: yes, yes, YES! I feel like I am starting to breathe again after having had apnea for almost two years. In my heart there is only joy, while in my mind a phrase keeps repeating itself: this man says what I have always felt!” (Avikal 2016, p. 8)
Shanti Louis recalls
“There He was suddenly. His voice providing insight that surrounded me. Nowhere had I found such a connection to Existence. No religion ever came close to His unconditional invitation. As I listened to Osho, read His words, more times than not I put the book down and let the energy in His words wash over me. This was not dead religious script written by ancient primitives. This was authentic, alive!
Closing my eyes, I felt the pulsing of an energy all around me. The words “I am an invitation” gave me permission to open to Existence through Him, unconditionally.” (Swami Shanti Louis. Viha Connection, 2017:5)
Swami Anurag Prapat recalls how he met Osho by way of reading for the first time after having read books by Prabhupada, Yogananda, Vivekananda and other gurus
“Most of these writings were either too far out, or way too deep for me. There was no real connection with any of them. Then I came across Osho’s ‘The Mustard Seed’. I was reluctant to purchase this book when I saw it was about Jesus. I had had enough of Jesus by then. However, something about Osho’s photo on the book’s cover was very compelling, and so the book went home with me. The book literally changed my life forever. For the first time, I began to understand that religion and religiousness were two completely different things. The Jesus here was not the same Jesus I knew from Sunday school. Wow, finally a connection! Perhaps religion wasn’t all that bad.” (Viha Connection. 2011:6)
Reading ‘The Mustard Seed’
“Several months later, back home in Portland, Maine, I was browsing through the stacks of my favorite bookstore, when a title leapt off the shelf: ‘The Mustard Seed’, in bold yellow letters on a black spine.
My heart beat faster when I saw it. It was as though my destiny were standing there on the shelf. I took the book in my hand and turned it over to find a black-and-white portrait of its author on the cover. A confusion of fear and excitement arose in me as I heard myself saying, “Oh my God, it’s him!” I wasn’t sure what I meant by this at the time, but he looked eerily familiar.
I bought the book and brought it home. In my bedroom that night, I began to read. By the second page, tears were flowing. I ran for a pen and began to underline, circle, make stars in the margin: “I must remember these things!”
Even as I was urging my memory to take note, I felt the author was saying things I knew once but had somehow forgotten; it was as though he was giving voice to my most secret feelings.
The author, of course, was Osho – the one who would eventually be my impassioned guide in meditation, offering encouragement and methods for exploring the unchartered terrain of my heart and soul. It remains a mystery to me why my friend suggested this book. She herself never came to Osho, while for me the book opened a door into a world beyond my imaginings. And the yogi’s role in my search is an even deeper mystery, for it was his apparent inability to provide me with guidance that led me directly to that which I had so long been seeking: a master of life.” (Prartho 1998, p. 96)
Reading ‘The Mustard Seed’ and ‘Come Follow Me’
“First of all I read ‘The Mustard Seed’. There was a great deal of repetition in it, I thought, but one felt that he was repeating because he wanted to impress the words on one, you see. Also I felt that if I’d heard him – heard his voice and the way I see him move now – his hands and his expressions and the whole personality coming out… It’s totally different when you see it flat on the page, isn’t it?
Suddenly you think, ‘Heavens, I’ve heard this before!’ A perfect shaft of brilliance and truth comes. I’ve marked several pages in ‘The Mustard Seed’ and I thought it was quite outstanding and marvellous.
Now since I’ve been here, I’m reading, ‘Come Follow Me’. I like ‘Come Follow Me’ best. Somehow to me, it’s more beautiful – it’s more utterly true and lovely.” (The Buddha Disease. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 32)
Chinmaya on reading Osho
“I was a chaplain at Churchill College, Cambridge. Before that I was chaplain at Warwick University. I heard about Bhagwan because I was pursuing my own interest in psychotherapy. Long ago, at Warwick, I had arrived at the conclusion that my ministry was missing something. Psychotherapy seemed to offer something to me. In London I came across sannyasins whilst in holistic group situations. One of them suggested I read ‘The Mustard Seed’, a book on Jesus by Bhagwan. I was terribly moved by it. Then later on I had the chance to go to India. I went to Poona, just to see what this man was like. I was curious. I had no intention of becoming a sannyasin. When I got there I was struck dumb by the man and took sannyas. (Chinmaya).” (Thompson 1986, p. 75)
Chinmaya, a chaplain from Churchill College, Cambridge University, reading ‘The Mustard Seed’
“One day I read a few passages out of ‘the mustard seed’, took it home and read then re-read it. That’s where it all started… Bhagwan on jesus is superb. I was very moved, especially at a critical time in my experience as chaplain at cambridge, about getting lost… It came to me as a revelation – that yes, one’s really got to be lost. That was one of the chapters in one of the books that was really indicating to me that I’ve got to go and see, read more, about this man.” (Chinmaya (U.K.). In: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 56).
Reading ‘Come Follow Me’
“I read your book ‘Come Follow Me’, Volume I; it was so wonderful for me. I met Christ in you and it was quite different from the time I was a child and I heard about him. I find a new relationship to Christ now…” (Rashido. In: The 99 Names of Nothingness. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 181)
Reading ‘The Ultimate Alchemy’
“When the landlord and his family left for work I grabbed the book, “The Ultimate Alchemy”, read it from cover to cover and was never the same again. A pebble was cast in the stagnant water of my being. A hand had knocked on the door of my dormant consciousness. The call of the beyond was too strong this time for my meddlesome mind. Osho´s profound wisdom, rare insight, his daring and iconoclasm, his love and compassion had me in tears of ecstasy. All that I had ever thirsted for in life was here, right under my soaked eyes. And I had wasted decades knocking against rocks and getting bruised.” (Ma Prem Fatima. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 488)
Reading ‘Tao. The Three Treasures’
“So I searched all the town’s bookshops to find any book by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. There was one book in the whole town, volume 3 of ‘Tao: The Three Treasures’. “Volume 3,” I said. “I want volume 1.” “It’s not a problem,” I was told by this wonderful old man, the owner of the bookshop, with tears in his eyes. “I promise you,” he said. I rushed back to the bistro, which was busy, the atmosphere wonderful. I opened the book, read half of the first page and was home!. Since that day in 1981 I have never started a day without reading my Master.” (Swami Dhyan Rahim. In: Viha Connection, 2014:5)
Reading ‘The Search’
“In this context. I want to mention a beautiful book by Osho containing all the steps of the inner search called – very appropriately – ‘The Search’. In this book, the classic story of the Ten Bulls of Zen provides the basis for Osho’s discourses. The story is told in three different forms: as pictures, as poetry, as commentary.” (Ganga. In: Svagito 2014, p. 442)
Reading ‘Hammer on the Rock’
“The first book I read from Osho in 1978 was a Darshan Diary called ‘Hammer on the Rock’, in which Osho was talking with his disciples on a personal basis and answering their questions. I was fascinated by his full-heartedness, his clarity and directness. It was the last kick to make me visit the ‘ashram’ in Pune – as it was called at that time.” (Devapath. In: Svagito 2014, p. 275)
Reading ‘And the Flowers Showered’
“I simply picked up a book [in an Amsterdam bookstore]. It was ‘And the Flowers Showered’. I looked at a passage. I was very struck. I took it home with me. I read it and then ran back the next day to buy two more books. And I think that within a month, I had bought twenty-five; I bought every book of his that was in the store, and ordered that every new book that arrived should also be delivered!…
I started to hoard in a cra-azy kind of way! I had to have the whole row in front of me! Of course you need not even read a whole book – you have just to look at one page and that is enough – but I hoarded!
It had never happened to me before. From that moment on I didn’t read anything else any more. I lost my interest in television, newspapers and had almost lost interest in the psychoanalytic kind of literature. I also bought tape recordings and listened to them in my apartment or when I was riding in the train. I listened continuously. I was really haunted.” (Swami Deva Amrito (Jan Foudraine). In: Halleluja! A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 118)
Audio 3. Interview by the author with Swami Deva Amrito (Jan Foudraine). Amsterdam. 11.12.2015. Excerpt. Total time of interview: 1 hour 13 min.
Chaitanyo when hearing the recording from interview
“I am very touched by this recording. It is really the last time he was talking so strongly, two months before his death. He had been thinking about this interview and the subject, preparing throughly as he always would before a lecture or an interview.
The first book from Osho that Amrito read in 1977 was ‘And the Flowers Showered’. After that he bought all the books that were published. He was especially touched by ‘No Water, No Moon’ and ‘The Silent Explosion’. He would buy the books from the bookstore Au Bout du Monde, Amsterdam. Later in 1977/78 he also started listening to audio-cassettes, which he bought from Amitabh Meditation Centre. (The Boat in Amsterdam).
The deep recognition of Osho’s words confused him and he wrote a letter to Osho and sent him a copy of his book ‘NOT MADE OF WOOD. A Psychiatrist Discovers His own Profession’. Osho answers promptly and sent him an audio discourse where he talks about a psychiatrist who collapsed under his success. (We do not know which discourse that was). (Personal information from Chaitanyo (Marijke Foudraine-Kranenburg) to Sugit. 29.04.2018)
Reading ‘And the Flowers Showered’
Maneesha: “A therapist and high school teacher, vimoksha was admantly anti-guru until he read bhagwan. ‘And the flowers showered’ bowled him over… ‘The strange thing about the book was that when I read it, I was awed, and I had all different emotional reactions. Sometimes I was excited, laughing… But I couldn’t remember a thing when it was over! It was as if it by-passed my intellect in some way.'” (Maneesha and Vimoksha. In: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 146)
Reading ‘No Water, No Moon’
“But specifically I was having lunch with a woman – she is a lecturer in psychology and she’d been to India and just returned. She said, ‘You should read this,’ and put this book into my hand and I fell this current going up my arm, and I said, ‘What’s this?’ That was ‘No Water, No Moon’. And of course I was gone… that was it. Anyway, I read the book – and that was the first explosion… Just to read something: ‘Oohhhh… too much! Put it down! It was like that. It’s the only way I can describe it. The same feeling exactly as falling in love. It’s almost just too painful to stay with.” The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 301.
Reading ‘The Book of the Secrets’
“About a year ago I came in contact with some books of bhagwan shree. The first book that I was able to read was ‘from sex to superconsciousness’. Later on I was so drawn by the exposition and the approach that I ordered all five volumes of ‘the book of the secrets’.
From what I have read I very strongly believed and still believe that bhagwan is a great solace and a bliss for the present world. So through the distance from where I live to poona is great, in spite of that I have been trying to come over here and see bhagwan shree personally to get his benediction.” (Swami Nirvana Bharti. Interview. Principal of the University of Madras. In: The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 401)
Khuswant Singh on reading Ek Omkar Satnam
“Osho has explained the essence of the ‘Japuji Saheb’, the holy book of the Sikhs, in his book ‘Ek Omkar Satnam’ [The True Name]. This book has received the essence of Sikhism for modern mind. After reading the book, the famed Sikh writer and intellectual Khuswant Sing said, “Till now I thought that Nanak was a parish saint. I didn’t feel any flavor in his words. I listen to Osho’s discourses every morning. After hearing Osho explain the essence of Nanak, for the first time I feel love and devotion for him.” (Arun 2015, p. 277)
Krishna Prem meeting Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai
“I take the hint. “Thank you for your time, Mr. Desai,” I say politely. I place the books we’ve brought on the corner of his desk. “Here is some books of Osho’s discourses for you. We felt they might interest you. The English book is on Patanjali; the Hindi on ‘Bhagavad Gita’.” “I am a busy man,” he says. “This is a large country to run. I have little time to read.” “Then I’ll take them back.” A gnarled claw shoots across the desk, pinning them down. “Leave them.” We make it through the anteroom, past the battery of secretaries and into the corridor before the laughter takes us over once again.” (Allanach 2010, p. 241)
Reading versus meeting Osho November 1973
“My first reaction was that I didn’t want to see him yet, I was not ready. The next thing I knew, I found myself sitting in his room and everything just exploded inside. You know, you read and you read and you read; you read about Buddha and Jesus, about Mahavir and Patanjali, but nothing prepares you for that first face-to-face contact with a superman. I knew I was sitting in front of a being unlike anyone I’d ever come across before. Everything just exploded inside; it was wonderful. I cried most of the day.” (Krishna Prem. In: The Open Secret. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 101)
Interview with Satya Vedant on reading Osho
“In an interview some days after his darshan [July 1977] vedant says his first interest in bhagwan was more academic than everything else. He was given some books of bhagwan’s by his father-in-law [Rekha’s and Sheela’s father] who thought they might be of interest to vedant, at that time on the faculty of the university of california, berkeley, lecturing in indian literature. But it wasn’t until he heard bhagwan talking on mahavir some years later that he became really turned on…
After seeing him and reading him and listening to him, everything has started falling into place. That is the greatest thing that has happened to me and for which I am tremendously grateful, because now I am able to see things in what I read. I’ve read so many mystical works – kabir and so on – and it was never, never, never as clear as it has become after seeing bhagwan or reading him, listening to him.” (Satya Vedant to Maneesha. In: Far Beyond the Stars. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 22)
Satyananda recalls reading Osho
“Auch mir drängen sich diese Fragen auf, und ich suche Amtworten in Bhagwans Schriften und Büchern. Erst jetz komme ich dazu, mich mit Bhagwan-Litteratur gründlich zu beschaftigen. Erst jetz werden mir die Dimensionen dieses Mannes deutlich, und ich begreife, warum er sich nich in Schablonen einengen, nicht als Glaubensstifer, Lehrer, Philosoph bezeichnen lassen möchte.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 103)
“When I read the first book of bhagwan which came to me as so often happens quite out of the blue, I had only to read a few lines and I knew that this was it. To me, his is the voice of my teacher only rendered more… Many things inayat spoke of in a half-veiled way but this was the same voice speaking for a new age and saying a whole lot of new things as well… [on Bhagwan’s way of speaking:] I love it! Yes, it is pure poetry – especially towards the end of each discourse. He’s such a genius at expressing himself… just unbelievable! It is partly inspiration I suppose, and partly his mind, but he is able to just gather all the threads up one after another at the end of the lecture, but in the most poetic way so that each word falls into rhythm. Everything is just like one poem.” (Prabhu Praveeta. In: The Further Shore. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 182)
Maneesha on reading Osho
“It seems that when I first heard lectures, tapes, read his books, it was just one continual affirmation over and over again of what I already thought. I knew that though we shared the same ideas there was something about bhagwan that I didn’t have, and thought it must just be a matter of time until I too, was enlightened. Now everything I thought I knew seems like platitudes – maybe a truth for someone else but just echoes for me, not something I’ve really known.” (Maneesha. In: The Further Shore. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 36)
“It was during the time I spent with the Lamas that I heard about an Indian guru called Bhagwan. First I saw his photo in a German esoteric magazine, on which he looked stunning, wearing a straw hat. Then another student gave me a book by him, “Tantra: The Supreme Understanding” which I read eagerly – his way of explaining this ancient path was intriguing yet easy for me to understand because he was able to speak simply to the heart.” (Homa. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 420)
Aneeta on reading Osho
“You might be holding a book that will open a totally new life for you. It was such a book that led me to bhagwan a year ago. I fell in love with this being through a photograph, and his words affirmed the deepest voice in my heart. Bhagwan has said that a disciple only seeks a master after the master has called him. Perhaps you have been called, and what you regard as your seeking, even selecting this book, is part of the mysterious, wondrous dance you have with your master, now drawing you closer to each other.” (Ma Prem Aneeta. In: The Further Shore. A Darshan Diary (1980). Introduction)
Sugata on reading Osho
“The first time I came across it was reading medieval mystics when I was at university, and out of everything else, this stuck. There are people wanting it; everyone is wanting it. So bhagwan’s books are going to go out all over the world, and I believe that people who need will happen on them or they’ll happen on a sannyasin or on something else. Everybody needs, everybody – but we’re at different stages of knowing that we need.” (Ma Sugata (Rachel Herbert, UK). In: For Madmen Only. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 328)
Amit Prem on reading Osho
“Well, it was not that he was someone new, but that he was someone old. The feeling that I had about what I read, was that it was the same thing that I’d read from all kinds of sources and what I’d been writing, but it was coming from a deeper place than I’d ever seen before and with a kind of authenticity.
Bhagwan seemed to be speaking from the inside out, and every one else seemed to be speaking from the outside in. I think that for me, that was really unique about him, and the fact that he was attempting to really do a wholistic thing. I’ve never seen that happen in the west, and it’s a shortcoming I feel of every particular direction in the west and the east.
Everybody has a ‘piece of the pie’. I feel that bhagwan is the first person that I’ve seen who has at least got the whole pie together. Being a pisces, I seize upon that! (a chuckle).” (Amit Prem (Bernhard Gunther). In: Blessed are the Ignorant. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 479)
Veeten on reading Osho
“So when I got back to London I started to try to find other of his material, and I came across ‘the book of secrets’. I’m a technique freak – I mean I love them and I know hundreds. I’m totally fascinated by techniques – and here were five volumes of every technique ever known on earth… and I couldn’t believe it. It was like a feast… like a huge trunk of the most exquisite toys – and so many techniques that I became really confused. I said, ‘I’ve actually got to see the guy now because he’s got to advise me; he’s got to tell me which is the one for me.’
And he’s very wicked because he’s always talking about (veeten says in ‘significant voice’), “My ship is ready to sail”, and that freaked me out. I felt this fantastic sense of urgency that I had to get here very quickly before his ship sailed. And that did it really. I mean, I sailed here on ‘the book of secrets’!” (Veeten (Terence Stamp). In: Blessed are the Ignorant. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 139)
Aneesha on reading Osho
“I haven’t been to a lot of gurus, but once I flashed on Bhagwan, once I started reading him… and I mean, even before I read him, I felt the pull – and I don’t know why. When I got to London this summer, finally the books were available to me, and so I started to read, and I just kept saying, ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! This is right!'” (Aneesha. In: The Shadow of the Whip. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 162)
“He had more clarity than anybody I had ever read. Others sometimes had a clarity but not his grace, and they didn’t speak to you personally. They were all very intellectual, but they didn’t speak to me; they didn’t speak to my pain, to my emptiness. They almost belittled all of that. Bhagwan gives you a sense that whatsoever you are suffering from, it’s alright, it’s you, and he can understand it – and that’s just what I needed.” (In: Dance your Way to God. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 236)
Listening to versus reading Osho
[Maneesha] “Did you find the live experience of the discourse different from reading his books? Alexander: Obviously, yes; a live discourse is more vibrant than reading the word in a book. But you see, I’ve reached the point where I can read the word and feel the man so to me it is not necessary to attend the discourse. I can read the book, close my eyes and let it flow through me; I can feel and sense the man who wrote it. Now, that may seem strange to you, but that’s how it is for me. I feel totally positive about him, I feel beautiful about him. I know that what I’m doing is very similar but maybe it’s a more Western version. I don’t dress like you people do. I’ve no desire to do that, but I’m here to be better at what I’m doing.” (Alexander Everett, founder of ‘Samata’. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 190)
Nisarga on reading Osho
“And it was through Chetana [on Ibiza], who was very fond of one of my sons, that I first heard about Bhagwan. I read in ‘Genesis’ – this pamphlet for a new world group – Bhagwan’s talk on sex, and I thought ‘My goodness, this is the first man I have ever heard who understood what he was talking about.’ Then Chetana asked me to read the books because she wanted to know what I thought about what this man was doing. And I said, ‘It is great. My blessings.'” (Nisarga. In: God is not for Sale. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 188)
Jan Vintilescu on reading Osho
“When I had finished reading the book [The Book of the Secrets] I knew that here was a real master who spoke out from his own inner and living knowledge. Every sentence cut right through my intellectual structures and psychological defence mechanisms, hitting with an archetypal explosive effect my innermost centre. Here was the voice for which I had been waiting all these years, a voice which summoned me with high-tension current, charged softness, challenging generosity and reckless love.” (Jan Vintilescu. Sökaren, 1978:6 June. Sweden. In: Walk Without Feet Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind (1979). Flaps)
Indian media on reading Osho
“Get one book by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, whether it is on Yoga, Vedanta, Tantra or Tao. Once in your hands you will not be able to put it down. It is so simple, so interesting, so illuminating. And you will read anecdotes that teach you even as you laugh. Bhagwan’s talks are taped and transcribed without any need to edit them.
By bringing out these books, the Rajneesh Foundation has done yeoman service for posterity. Nowhere else has such an attempt been made to bring the great religions and teachers within the comprehension of all of us.” (India Tidings. 08.07.1979. India. In: The Sun Rises in the Evening (1980). Front flap)
Mellish on reading Osho
“The power and love of Bhagwan are instantly available to the trusting heart but profoundly elusive to the inquisitive mind. Words are too slow and heavy to capture him – even his words in this book are only what remains after he has been and gone – the tracks he leaves in Poona’s high-energy bubble chamber. But to them clings enough of his magic to transform you totally and forever if you allow it to.” (M.J. Mellish, Ph.D. In: The Secret (1980). Front flap)
Devika tells of Carl Rodgers and Krishnamurti
“One day I gave him one of Osho’s books that I liked very much, a commentary of the texts of Lao Tzu which he appreciated. However I found out later that he had given this book to a friend saying, “I have nothing to do with this man,” (or “I want nothing to do with him,” – I am not exactly sure). He was wary of “gurus,” fearing that people would turn him into one!… I had the privilege of being able to meet him [Krishnamurti] personally, and I have a radiant memory of it. We had all lunched together, in the most ordinary way, then, my friends having organised this meeting for me to throw light on what they called my Bhagwan problem, we went alone into the living room in order to talk in private. At that time I was wearing orange clothes, and Krishnamurti explained to me why it would be better for me to “drop all that right now.” Then he confessed to me honestly: “I don’t know this man (Bhagwan). I have never met him and have never read any of his books; so I don’t have an opinion.” (I was delighted). Then he added: “But I do know trustworthy people who have spoken to me about unacceptable things.” (I didn’t like this interference…). “In that case,” I replied, “I don’t believe there is any point in continuing to discuss him and his teaching, and it would be more profitable for us to share our own experience.” (Berthout 2001, pp. 129,180)
Prartho Subhan on reading Osho
“What is a miracle? It happens every time someone reads the words of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and has the eyes to see even a fleeting glimpse of His grace and mystery.
My first contact with Bhagwan came in a book like this one. As He spoke (this book was not “written,” it was spoken and then transcribed) I found myself saying, “Yes! Yes!” I felt as if He touched truths inside me that I had always known, but somehow had forgotten. My appetite for His words became insatiable and I plunged into every book of His that I could find.
This love affair with Bhagwan brought me to a Rajneesh meditation center, where I heard His voice on tape. And soon, like many others before and after me, I found myself packing my bags and heading for Poona, India, to see and hear this living miracle. There I sat and heard and absorbed and laughed and cried and opened and closed and opened again and rejoiced and felt deeply blessed to have been there.” (Swami Prartho Subhan. In: Theologica Mystica. Discourses on The Treatise of St. Dionysius (1983). Introduction)
Anand Shantida, Ass. Prof. of philosophy, US, on reading Bhagwan
“On an August afternoon in 1977 I wandered into a bookstore and there happened what I take to be a miracle or a divine accident. After several minutes of browsing, my eyes fell upon ‘The Book of the Secrets’ with Osho’s image on its cover. One look and I stumbled back a step, these words flowing through my shocked awareness: “Whoa! How can anyone be so virile and so vast?” I picked up the book, held it between my prayer-like palms. Then I opened it to see what it offered me. Page 29 gave itself and my eyes fell upon this sentence: “Yoga is suppression with awareness; tantra is indulgence with awareness.” And somewhere later in that discourse words that I forever remember but can no longer locate words, I paraphrase: Mine is the path of tantra; the path of womb-like receptivity.
My heart melted, flamed. I was forever changed. Nor only his words, his transformative energy, but the succinct and total appropriateness to my life at that time convinced me there are convergences, there are no coincidences. Within a week I also bought ‘I Am the Gate’ and quickly wrote to Pune requesting initiation into neo-sannyas.” (www.oshonews.com/2014/11)
Srajan reading Osho
“In the 1970s Srajan studied Zen, and one day the Zen Master mentioned during a retreat discourse that he had read in ‘The Grass Grows by Itself’ about Osho’s experience of “grace descending,” and stated that was enlightenment. Once Srajan saw the cover photo of Osho on that book and started reading, the love affair began. He left the Zen world an traveled to India to take sannyas in Pune, in 1978.” (Viha Connection, 2016:4)
Sarvesh talks to Sudha, editor of Sannyas, on reading Osho
“[Sudha] At first he resisted reading the books she offered – he had read ‘too much shit’ he said and no longer believed in the value of books. But through an experience of what he described as a mini-satori he opened himself up to Aseema and borrowed from her ‘The Book of the Secrets’ Volume One.
Sarvesh: I went home, I opened the first page… I remember feeling ‘Wow! That’s it! – and nothing else!’ I ran back to Aseema and said ‘Please give me more.’ I tried all the secrets out, all six (volumes) of them immediately. I read all the books and this ‘here-and-now’, I tried it out. Things were happening so fantastically that I fell more and more in love with Bhagwan without ever having seen him.” (Sudha and Sarvesh. In: Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1982), p. 175)
“Then, one Sunday morning a rather extraordinary thing occurred while reading Bhagwan’s book “Yoga, the Alpha and the Omega Vol.IV”. I had just finished a phrase that had impressed me quite strongly. Suddenly something opened in the area of my forehead and what appeared to be bubbles (I could actually see them) flowed outward and upward from where the opening felt to be. It happened in an instant. It felt as though a door had been opened for the briefest of moments onto some higher realm. Just after that I was filled with an entire new and powerful energy that was so strong that I had to put down the book and move outdoors. As I walked I felt light and uplifted, colours seemed brighter. For some hours after I felt a feeling of love and blissfulness surging through the area of my heart as I breathed. These exact words came to me: You have lived your entire life up to now just to be HERE, just for THIS.”
I took a book to my friend Tom, whose opinion I respected, and he became as turned on as I was. We both felt we were hearing the Truth for the first time. Thus began the adventure of exploration into Osho, his teaching and his being that has changed my life.” (Anupam. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 55)
Satyananda on reading Osho
“Fast jede Woche bekomme ich Mails von Menschen, die mir erzählen, wie das Buch ihnen geholfen hat, ihr Leben anders zu leben – weniger Ehrgeiz, mehr Freude, weniger Angst, mehr Vertrauen und so weiter und so fort. Viele fragen mich, welche Osho-Bücher ich empfehlen kann… Ich sage “Geh in den Buchladen und greife zum ersten Osho-Buch, das dir unter die Finger kommt. Es wird das richtige für ich sein.” Bei mir war das übrigens “Tantra – The Supreme Understanding”. Mein erster Augenöffner.” (Satyananda 2013, p. 300)
Krishna Prem writes
“Eine Frau, die ich in Indien kennen lernte, erzählte mir, dass ihre Suche ebenso wie meine mit Büchern begann. Eines Nachmittags stand sie in der spirituellen Abteilung eines Buchladens in Manhattan und blätterte, als ihr von oben aus dem Regal ein Buch vor die Füsse fiel. Sie hob es auf und stellte es wieder an seinen Platz, aber einige Augenblicke später fiel es wieder herunter und diesmal auf ihren Kopf. Es war ein Band mit Vorträgen von Osho. “Eine Woche später”, sagte sie, “sass ich im Flugzeug nach Bombay.” (Allanach 2005, p. 77)
Satyananda on Peter Sloterijk
“Da drängt sich doch die Frage auf, warum Hunderttausende von Osho-Lesern (darunter auch der Philosoph Peter Sloterdijk und viele “Spiegel”-Leser) das ganz anders sehen. Liegt es vielleicht daran, dass “Spiegel”-Rechercheure Oshos Bücher gar nicht lesen? Und wie soll man sich erklären, das das Nachrichtenmagazin – durchaus ein von Peter Sloterijk – gar keine Notiz davon nimmt, dass der bekannteste deutsche Philosoph den Weisen vor Pune für den “bedeutendsten Religionsphilosophen” seiner Zeit hält?” (Satyananda 2013, p. 354)
(Note: Peter Sloterdijk is a German professor of philosophy and a cultural theorist. He took sannyas and became Swami Dhyan Peter in Poona in 1978 where he stayed until 1980. He has published almost fifty much acclaimed philosophical works in Germany, his ‘Kritik der zynischen Vernunft’ (Critique of Cynical Reason) in 1983 became his first best-selling work)
Arun meeting Dalai Lama
“After waiting for about an hour it was announced that I had made it to the list. A pleasant chill went through my spine. After a series of security checks I was ushered into a rather spacious salon where His Holiness was seated among his English translator and a few senior Buddhist monks. Dalai Lama noticed my mala with an Osho pendant and interjected joyously, “Ah! Rajneesh! Rajneesh!” He then turned around to the monks and said a few things in Tibetan about Osho. Throughout, a faint smile lit up on his face.” (Arun 2015, p. 144)
Arun meeting Gokhle Baba
“I had told him that I was a disciple of Osho and gave him a few of his books. He returned the books to me and said, “It’s been long since I stopped reading. My eyesight is also weak now. I want to hear about him from your mouth itself. And he listened with great interest. He used to say that Osho has divine radiance and intelligence just like Buddha and Sankaracharya.” (Arun 2015, p. 168)
“So, when I visited my favorite Haight Street bookstore and books by this Indian guru with long hair and a beard seemed to jump out at me, I ignored them. I wasn’t interested in Indian gurus.
For my vacation that year, I went to a yoga retreat in the Bahamas, and one of the yoga instructors was very attractive. He told me that this guy named Bhagwan was his “main man.” When I got home I headed to the bookstore to find out who this guy was, and lo and behold, it was the same Indian guy who had been jumping at me for months. So, I bought some books and read ‘Hammer on the Rock’, a darshan diary. As I read it, I kept feeling that I knew this guy, knew Him very well and had known Him for a long, long time – lifetimes.” (Prem Sangeet. Viha Connection, 2017:4)
“That night I picked up my first book of Osho’s: ‘The Mustard Seed’, talks on the sayings on Jesus. After reading a few pages, I put the book down thinking: This guy thinks he’s Christ!” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 64)
“Some Sikh friends invited me to attend kung fu classes with them, so I found myself shopping for a gi (the traditional uniform) at White Crane Supplies, a funky martial arts shop located in the Tenderloin. Across a back wall of the store were shelves of publications with titles like ‘How to Kill’. An irresistible force immediately drew me to a small paperback located dead center in the wall of books. On the cover was a photo of a bearded man in a brown fur hat with the most magnetic eyes I had ever encountered. It was titled ‘Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy’. I opened it to the first chapter and read the words: The purpose of life is to become conscious. It felt as if I had been struck by lightning. I could not believe how deeply these few simple words had penetrated. Somehow they just said it all. In the most unlikely of places in this seedy neighbourhood I was changed forever. It was the beginning of a lifelong love affair with my Master. I bought the book and the gi.” (Swami Anand Jivano. Viha Connection, 2016:6)
Selling Osho’s books
“Another way to let people know about Osho was to place his books in bookshops. At the time they were available only in India, so we brought them over in our suitcases or shipped them overland. Deeksha had made an arrangement with a shop where we could have a shelf of Osho’s books and they would pay us after they were sold. So once in a while I visited the shop to stock up. I am reading now in a book by Devika, a woman from Geneva whom I did not meet at the time, that she became a sannyasin because she found a book by Osho in that very shop!” (Punya 2015, p. 63)
Carter on Osho’s books
“Writings based on discourses of Bhagwan explore his core ideas, linking these to selections from different religious traditions… Most are neither indexed nor organised into sets of related topics. He has said that critics will go crazy trying to systematise his thought. The books are readable, with sharp insights and dramatic parables, marred by appeal to “secret” and uncited manuscripts providing new insight into teachings of other religious leaders.” (Carter. In: Aveling 1999, p. 207)
Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“Bhagwan has proved himself to be a realist; he does not have a divided view. In fact, he does not have a divided view about anything, he accepts everything: soul and body, matter and spirit, love and meditation, East and West. He sees the whole of humanity in the same boat. He knows the West as well as he knows the East. He knows the world better than Mahavir, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, or any other spiritual leader ever did before. He is placed in a time when he can see and respond to the condition of the world through a greater and more highly sophisticated information system. His contribution to the growth of human consciousness is not local – it is global.” (Joshi 1982, p. 176)
Now let us turn to the production of Osho’s books.
4.10 Publishing Poona Editions
During Poona One publications from Rajneesh Foundation with discourse series and Darshan Diaries appeared in exquisite hardcover editions. Since Bombay Osho had been moving from Indian sutras only to sutras from other faiths to reach out to his wider audience, turning his discourses into comments on most major religious faiths around the globe.
Answering question on scriptures
“Why is Zen so against scriptures? I have learnt so much from the Bible, and I am ever so grateful to it. How do these Zen people dare to say that these scriptures should be burnt?
Jesus! The Christian has not gone yet.! The Zen people are not against scriptures, they are against your mind. And when they say ‘burn the scriptures’ they are saying ‘burn your mind’. The Zen people are not against scriptures – why should they be against the poor scriptures? They are against knowledge, knowledgeability. They are against the constant hoarding of memory. They want you to be free of memory, they want you to be free of knowledge, they want you to come to a state of unlearning.
Burning the scriptures is just symbolic – and Zen people are very down to earth. When they want to say a thing they say it very loudly because they know how deaf you are. They shout! They don’t whisper, because they know that even a shout is not going to be heard. This is just shouting. A Zen Master burning the scriptures is just shouting to you to show you what you have done with your knowledge and with your scriptures.” (Sannyas, 1977:5, p. 8)
In the early days of Poona One before the new quality editions of discourses and darshans had come out these were the books by Osho available according to a listing in ‘Yukrand’ magazine Oct-Nov 1975 with their price in rupees:
“Bhagwan Rajneesh Literature
I Original English Books
- The Inward Revolution15.00
- I am the Gate10.00
- Dynamics of Meditation15.00
- The Silent Explosion12.50
- Wisdom of folly 6.00
- Thus spake Mulla Nasrudin 6.00
- Meditation: A New Dimension 3.00
- Beyond & Beyond 3.00
- What is Meditation? 4.00
- Secrets of Discipleship 3.00
- Flight of the alone to the alone 2.50
- LSD: A shortcut to False Samadhi 2.00
- Yoga: A spontaneous Happening 2.00
- The Gateless Gate 2.00
- The Silent Music 2.00
- Turning In 2.00
- The Eternal Message 3.00
- The Dimensionless Dimension 2.00
- Seriousness 2.00
- The Vital Balance 1.50
II Translated from Original Hindi
- From Sex to Superconsciousness 6.00
- Path to self Realisation 5.00
- Earthen Lamps 4.50
- Seeds of Revolutionary Thought 4.50
- Mysteries of life & Death 4.00
- Wings of Love & Random Thoughts 3.50
- Towards the Unknown 1.50
- Lead kindly light 1.50
III Critical Studies on Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
- Acharya Rajneesh: The Mystic of feeling 20.00
- Lifting the veil 10.00
- Acharya Rajneesh: A Glimpse 1.25″
(Yukrand, Oct-Nov 1975)
On the amount of words being spoken
“There is no end to it. Each Year five million, five hundred thousand words. Each Week one hundred and five thousand words. Each Day fifteen thousand words. These recorded talks are transcribed and edited to form 50 pages of manuscript every day.” (Sannyas, 1976:5. Back cover)
“Each 30-day series of lectures, whether in Hindi or in English, was transcribed, edited, and published. By 1980, approximately 130 English books and nearly 200 Hindi books had been published and approximately 85 English and 35 Hindi books were in some stage of being published.” (Amitabh. In: Aveling 1999, p. 122)
“Words. During His seven years in Poona, Bhagwan spoke over 33 million words in daily discourse and evening darshan. He answers over 10.000 questions from disciples and visitors.
Books. More than 2.500 discourses and darshans have been or are being transcribed into a total of 330 books with 174 foreign language editions. Over two million books have been sold worldwide.
Hindi expression of His love.
During His years of speaking throughout India and the seven years of giving daily discourses, Bhagwan conveys through millions of words His eternal message of truth. His discourses are recorded and transcribed into more than 330 books of which 275 are in Hindi.
This vast collection of Bhagwan’s words is practically unknown to those outside of India. Some of the Hindi books are translated into English but the majority are still waiting to be translated. The Hindi panels and titles in this section represent the awesome contribution Bhagwan has made to the people of India. It is a tremendous gift of love soon to be enjoyed by people around the world.” (Madyapa 1984, pp. 228,229)
Arun on transcribing in 1975
“Laxmi would say that she had to get Bhagwan’s permission to give me any work. But one day, to my surprise, Laxmi asked me if I could transcribe a series of Hindi lectures called ‘Sahaj Samadhi Bhali’.
I was overjoyed to receive this work, as it meant that I could listen to Bhagwan all the time. The ashram provided a tape player and the tapes of his discourses. In those days, tape players were not a common thing, so it was a luxury to have one. Laxmi also said that I’d be paid twenty rupees for transcribing each discourse. That was a good deal of money. Normally, people took three days to complete the transcription of a discourse. But those who skipped meditation, and devoted their entire time to transcribing, finished the work in two days.
It was an entirely different case with me; every time I listened to Bhagwan, I went into a trance. I would be completely blissed out, and forget totally that I had to write down what I was listening to. It took me more than seven days to complete even one discourse. Swami Anand Maitreya was in charge of the Publication department. Laxmi asked me to submit what I had completed. It took me more than double the allocated time to just finish one discourse…
The delay was not acceptable to the Publications department. Bhagwan was very particular about the deadlines that he set for the publication of his books, and at my speed there was no way that they could be met. The maximum time that they could give me was three days per discourse…
Once, Swami Chinmaya had also faced a similar problem during Bhagwan’s Woodlands stay. He had said that while listening to Bhagwan’s discourses, he would get drunk on his words, and couldn’t submit assignments on time because he would be in a trance. When the matter was reported to Bhagwan, the answer came, “Stop Chinmaya’s entry into discourse until he finishes his work.” Bhagwan said the ashram is an institution that thrives on the creativity of its members. If they are not productive, the ashram becomes unsustainable.” He didn’t appreciate a lethargic approach to work. He is not against lazy people, but such an institution as an ashram needs productivity for its sustainable growth. He had said, “Lazy people should find out their own way of making a living, and should vacate the ashrams pace to make room for those who were more productive.” When it came to work, he was a hard taskmaster.” (Arun 2017, pp. 161-164)
Ma Yoga Pratima recalls joining book production early on
“In the very early days of the ashram in Poona, my first job was sitting at a table at the front gate (there was no gateless gate back then) greeting people and, after discourse, selling the very few Osho books that existed at the time – mostly Hindi books, ‘I Am the Gate’ and a few pamphlets in English.
Nearly every day a man would arrive on a bicycle with a bundle of papers that he would give to me. As I didn’t have much to do in my job (in those days, after discourse was finished hardly a person would enter the gate all day), I started to read these pages. Noticing that they were full of spelling mistakes, I started correcting them. I would give them back to the same man the next day when he brought another bundle. I didn’t even know I was proofreading and these papers would one day appear as a printed bound book – ‘The Book of the Secrets 1’. This was how I started working in the publications department.
As Osho was speaking every day, and the tapes were mounting up, more editors were needed, so I began to edit full time. In those days, we worked whereever we could – in our rooms, or on Lao Tzu balcony… there wasn’t a dedicated publications space. And our editing was not editing in the conventional sense – that is, changing sentences and words, correcting grammar etc. Our job was to listen to the tapes, make sure that his words had been transcribed exactly, and then, with the aid of punctuation only, make sure that they flowed in the way that he had spoken them.
One day Osho called all the editors to darshan and he spoke about this. He said that when he talked about clouds, the words should flow on the page… and if ever we felt a word really needed to be changed so that it was correct English, we should check with three other editors before doing so. (And 99 times out of 100 there was never a need to change a thing. It was often just our own understanding that was lacking…)
By this time, sometime in the late 70s (I am no good with dates), I was coordinating more than editing, working with a group of editors, designers and photographers and liasing with Ma Yoga Laxmi, who was the Foundation’s publisher and made all the final decisions. One day Ma Vivek called me to Lao Tzu gate and asked me how the books were going and how many were expected to be printed by the next celebration day. I told her the situation – many were running behind schedule, typesetters had not been found, paper not bought, binding material not ready. She went into Lao Tzy House, returned and said, ‘Bhagwan says you are to go to Bombay. Take whoever you need and stay there until the books are printed.’ That night I went to see Ma Laxmi in her room in Lao Tzu House. She looked at me mischievously and, giggling like a schoolgirl, said, ‘Now it is up to you. Laxmi told him eleven books were ready and coming. Now you take care.’ And she laughed and laughed. Unable to say no to her master, Ma Laxmi had fludged the truth slightly!! And so I became the head of the publications department.
I went to Bombay and stayed there for weeks – and yes, I think we did deliver eleven books for that celebration day. It was a baptism of fire: I learnt all about how books are produced, how to haggle with paper and material merchants and make deals with typesetters and printers. I learnt to first sneak onto the press floor of the printing houses to see what they were printing, before going into the air-conditioned offices to confront the owners when they said, ‘Yes, Ma Pratima, your Bhagwan’s books are printing right now’ when I knew they had a Hindi movie magazine on the press.
And so the years flew by. Every celebration day we would try and produce as many books as possible, always aiming for more titles each time.
By this stage the publications department had expanded greatly. We had a dedicated space for the editors and designers, and also a darkroom, a screenprinting department, and eventually a book bindery. We also imported printing presses (though we never got those up and running…)
By the end of Poona 1, there were probably 150 or more people working in the publications department – people from all over the world joined together by their love for Osho. Everyone worked from the discourse until Kundalini meditation in the afternoon, but with our impossible deadlines many of us worked much longer hours. Before my trips to Bombay to visit the printers there would be a great push to finish the artwork for the books I needed to take. And remember, this was way before computers. The first books were actually set in hot metal – each letter punched out one at a time, then made into a line, and then the lines of type tied onto a board with string.
Then came the great revolution – typesetting onto bromide paper. This came in a long roll, which then had to be cut and pasted by a designer, one page at a time. So, very often, lights would burn late in the graphics department as designers finished pasting the last pages and adding photos for me to take at 4 am for the long trip to Bombay. None of this was work. It was fun, it was play. It was leela. It was love.
No one counted their hours, no one was paid. We weren’t doing a job. Our sole aim was to present his words as beautifully as possible, and to get as many of his books published as we could so that all the world could hear what this amazing man was saying.
Although there was an ostensible ‘head’ of each department, the books themselves dictated the rhythm of the work. Osho spoke twice a day, four books were spoken each month (three lecture books, and one darshan diary) and it was up to us to turn those words into beautiful hardbound books (5,000 print run of each title). Occasionally, if a celebration day was coming up (there were four a year) I would gather everyone and give a ‘pep’ talk. I would explain the stage that all the forthcoming books were at, and suggest that if we all aimed for 110% energy then we would reach 100% and the books would come out on time.
But the main inspiration for all our activity was our love for Osho and the knowledge that his books were very close to him and it was our privilege to be working with his words and his image. Osho was very involved with the production of his books. After each photo session a contact sheet from each roll of film was sent in to him. A few days later Vivek would present me with a stack of envelopes, each labelled with a book title. Inside were little cut-out photos, and in his handwriting on the back were instructions for where each photo was to go in the book.
The weeks before each celebration the energy reached fever pitch as final deadlines were reached. I would spend the last week in Bombay, going from typesetter to printer to binder, using whatever powers of persuasion I had to get the workers to finish on time. (I must admit I sometimes resorted to telling them they were doing God’s work…) And then, on the last night, a last dash back to Poona with the finished books, sometimes still wet from the binder’s glue. We would sit till the early hours of the morning in the godown, painstakingly checking each one to find the most perfect copies. Finally, as the celebration day dawn was breaking, I would carry one precious copy of each title down the long red corridor in Lao Tzu House, and carefully lay them outside his bedroom door. Our offering of love.” (Ma Yoga Pratima. www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/feb13)
Bodhena on publishing
“The other major area of work was the publishing of Osho’s books, mostly verbatim transcripts of his discourses, and, to a lesser degree, transcripts of the evening darshans. During those years, about 40 new books were published annually by the Ashram, most of them in English, the rest in Hindi. Most of them were hardcover deluxe editions (several of them had won prizes for their design, in India as well as abroad), with 5,000 copies each. In mid-1979, there were about 340,000 books stored in the “Vipassana Godown”, the large storage space near the Ashram back gate, and every month about 10,000 of them were being shipped out.
To do this work, there were editors, proofreaders, typists and translators; we had a dark room where the layout, graphics and photographic work was being done, and in our silk screen-printing department the covers were printed. Only the actual printing and binding of the books were contracted out.
The books could be bought at the Ashram bookshop, along with audio cassettes of the discourses and music by sannyasin musicians, produced by our own tape department. In late 1978, the Ashram started to explore yet another medium by videotaping Osho’s discourses. At first this was done occasionally, and by early 1981 had been expanded to the point that, typically, every other question of the Q&A discourses was taped.
By 1979, about 15 of Osho’s books were also published in licensed editions by American and British publishers, and more than 20 of them had been translated and published by German, Dutch, Danish, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese publishers.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 57)
“Bhagwan speaks daily, each morning, to his disciples and visitors, and each series of discourses comprises a beautifully printed, bound book.
Darshan, the more personal and intimate responses of the Master to questions and situations and the time when he initiates seekers into neo-sannyas, is compiled, with commentary and over one-hundred photographs of the many faces of the search, into Darshan Diaries. These books are published by the Rajneesh Foundation Ltd. in India.
There are also several books about Bhagwan, all except one written by disciples, that have been published or are shortly to be published in the West, in four different languages. In addition, there are translations of the discourses themselves: five books in Japanese, eight in Dutch, ten in Italian, six in German, five in Spanish, two Portuguese, one Danish and on French.” (Sannyas, 1979:6, p. 27)
Publishing in Poona One 1974- 1981
“The discourses on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’ were the first after Bhagwan arrived in Poona. His first series of English discourses began in May, 1974, and when published was entitled ‘My Way: The Way of the White Clouds’. Bhagwan’s discourses continued over the next seven years.
The discourses were held either in Chuang Tzu Auditorium (part of his residence) or in Buddha Hall. Bhagwan was driven to Buddha Hall, a distance of about one hundred yards from his residence called Lao Tzu House. These discourses were totally spontaneous and open to the public.
It has been estimated that from 1974 to 1981 Bhagwan spoke over 33 million words in his daily discourses and evening darshans, averaging 13,000 words per day, seven days a week. During the same period he answered over 10,000 questions.
In Hindi, Bhagwan has devoted fourteen volumes to the ‘Bhagawad Gita’ (he has spoken on all eighteen chapters of the ‘Gita’), ten volumes to Mahavir, and another forty volumes to other Indian mystics. In English he has devoted eigthteen volumes to Gautam Buddha, seven to Jesus, eleven to Sufism, twelve to Taoism, and twenty-one volumes to Zen masters and their stories.
More than 2,500 discourses and darshans have been, or are being, transcribed into a total of 336 books, published by Rajneesh Foundation. Of these, 128 contain his English discourses, 144 his Hindi discourses, and 64 are darshan records.” (Press material. 1981. Reprinted in: sannyas info, June 1987)
Carter on publishing
“After the move to Poona, the “staff” was expanded to include editors (initially Maneesha and later Bharti)… The bindery and stationery, publications department, and tape department produced a startling array of books and tapes to be marketed locally and in the satellite centers around the world… Unknown but sizable revenues were generated by sales and distribution fees from the Media Center’s continuous production of books, audio tapes, and videotapes used in recruitment and meditation centers. These are still treasured by individual sannyasin.” (Carter 1990, pp. 78,82,91)
Yoga Pratima on book production and office organization
“Sudha: Did you ever get bored when you were editing? Or do you get bored with it now, because it’s the same thing day in, day out, seven days a week, no days off, no vacations?
Pratima: No boredom is there at all, because I have that kind of mind that likes doing at least ten things at once… I got worried about it once, and I wrote a letter to Bhagwan and said, “Is it okay? I seem to get so involved with the work and stuff.” And he said, “Yes, it’s fine,” so now I don’t bother about it. But it used to worry me, this sort of complete activity. But in a way there’s now more a kind of detachment, just looking at it, especially in the office, because if you walk into that office in a slightly off-centered space, you know, if you’re into some emotional number; there’s so much going on there and there’s so much energy, it’s like a… it’s just chaos…
Doesn’t matter what you do. Just doing anything, it just comes out. And so, in a way, nobody here is working, even though in the book department we publish… There must be sixty books coming out per year, which is more than one a week. You know, if you look at that… I get amazed sometimes.
Sudha: It’s amazing.
Pratima: When Laxmi tells people this is what’s happening, I just sit there and start giggling. And she starts giggling and it’s like this thing is happening and people are impressed and we know that nobody’s doing anything! It’s like a joke, it’s like an incredible joke and secret. The whole place is like that, all the things that happen around here – because they do just happen. Even though you see people instrumenting their happening, nobody’s doing it. Nobody’s working. So that’s how the work happens.” (Ma Yoga Pratima. Interview. In: Sannyas, 1978:6, p. 37)
Satya Bharti on publishing
“When we’d finally managed to create a sizable market for Bhagwan’s books in America, an Indian sannyasin arranged to ship them to us as gift parcels through his family in Flushing. The books left India, the money to pay for them stayed in the States, everyone seemed happy with the arrangement…
Harper & Row is interested?” Bhagwan was asking me now. He’d wanted me to approach them in particular. I shook my head blushing. “They didn’t think anything I gave them was suitable. They asked me to write a book on meditation for them instead,” whispering, embarrassed. “Hmmm?” “They want me to write a book about meditation for them. Is it okay?” “There’s no need,” Bhagwan remarked brusquely, dismissing the idea immediately. “You do one thing, Satya, hmmm? Take the book you gave them, reorganize it , restructure it, anything you have to do so it’s what they want, and give it to them again. There’s no need to write anything yourself.” So while Chaitanya and I continued travelling, I rewrote several of Bhagwan’s books ghost writing as much as editing as I turned his early English-language discourses into something palatable and commercial. (His English was very rudimentary in those days.) Before long, the books were being published by Harper and Row and a dozen other publishing companies worldwide, making Bhagwan increasingly well-known amongst the intelligentsia everywhere…
I finally got used to the noise in our room, even managing to write a novel in twenty-one days, working on it for a half hour every morning after the lecture. Bhagwan was talking in Hindi again. While he spoke, a funny, intricately-plotted story came into my head that I wrote down virtually verbatim. When Bhagwan read it and loved it, I signed over the copyright to the ashram, it seemed like the appropriate thing to do. It wasn’t until a contract for the book had been signed with Grove Press that Laxmi decided it shouldn’t be published. It was black humor, she told me disparagingly. People would think that was the way the ashram was… Since a contract had already been signed for the book, I had to write another one to replace it. When the ashram moved to America years later, my aborted novel (as well as all the other writing I’d done in India that hadn’t been published yet) was allegedly “lost at sea.” I chose to accept it as fact, unwilling to acknowledge the obvious; that my work was deliberately destroyed. It was years before I was ready to admit it.” (Franklin 1992, pp. 59,61,72)
Satya Bharti on publishing
“He was particularly interested in being published by Harper & Row (now Harper-Collins). When I returned to NY, I met with H & R’s president and their ‘spiritual books’ acquisition editor (Hugh van Dusen). They felt Bhagwan’s books were unreadable and unpublishable, but said they’d publish a book on meditation if I wrote one for them. (Hugh was familiar with my pre-sannyas writing.) This put me in an embarrassing position, as I’m sure you can appreciate. It wasn’t something I could agree to without Bhagwan’s blessings. My life was totally devoted to him, and to furthering ‘His work’.
At my first meeting with him after returning to Poona, he made it clear I wasn’t to write the book. “There’s no need,’ Bhagwan remarked brusquely, dismissing the idea immediately. ‘You do one thing… Take the book you gave them, reorganize it, restructure it, anything you have to do so it’s what they want, and give it to them again. There’s no need to write anything yourself.” (From Franklin, ‘The Promise of Paradise’, p. 51.). So with Bhagwan’s permission, I took a book Harper & Row had rejected (‘Dynamics of Meditation’) and chopped up chapters, added chapters, combined, consolidated, incorporated material from earlier and later lectures and wrote new sections in ‘his’ words to tie the material together, familiar enough with how he expressed himself and the things he said for this not so obvious. Chapter 19 (“Techniques Devised by Bhagwan Shree” was written solely by me, with Bhagwan spoken of in the 3rd-person.) The resulting book, ‘Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy’, was the first ‘Bhagwan book’ published by Harper & Row. It initially came out as a Harper Colophon Book (1976), then later as a mass-market paperback under Harper’s Perennial Library imprint (1978). H & R had dozens of printings of the book and sold over a half million copies. Their version… was also published in England by Sheldon Press and throughout the world in many languages: Japanese, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. (The translations were done at the ashram in Poona – later referred to as Poona 1.)” (Satya Bharti. E-mail. 11.06.2015)
“I spent hours with Werner Erhard (who visited the ashram with Diana Ross several months later), introduced two Playboy editors to Bhagwan (articles on the Rajneesh movement eventually appearing in the magazine), lectured and officiated at the opening of several new Rajneesh centers, and met with book publishers and distributors… convincing the former to buy Bhagwan’s books… one letter from a German guy who wants to make a movie here; you better get down there.” Writing and editing half a day, I spent the rest of my time working on copyright matters and arranging for Bhagwan’s books to be published commercially.” (Franklin 1992, pp. 91,97)
“Besides interviewing dozens of people and visiting the groups they were in, I was still running the translation and foreign publishing department and editing my last book… but Bhagwan wanted me to keep on writing: to finish the manuscript I was working on, start another one, get several of my books published abroad every year. The translation department had recently begun translating my books as well as Bhagwan’s; foreign-language contracts were being signed for them. Sheela was incensed by it all.” (Franklin 1992, pp. 108,113)
Satya Bharti further on publishing
“Bhagwan had me do the same thing I’d done for ‘Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy’ with material from ‘The Silent Explosion’; ‘I Am the Gate’; and ‘The Inward Revolution’. Harper & Row published these as ‘I Am the Gate’ (Harper Colophon, 1977; Perennial Library, 1978) and ‘The Psychology of the Esoteric’: ‘The New Evolution of Man’ (Harper Colophon, 1978) Translated versions of the H & R books were subsequently published worldwide in Dutch, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and German. (Again, the translations were done at the Poona ashram.)
In 1994, the sannyas-owned Rebel Publishing House in Germany came out with their version of ‘The Psychology of the Esoteric’ with Ma Anand Prem and Yoga Chinmaya listed as the editors. (They’d edited ‘The Inward Revolution’, which ‘The Psychology of the Esoteric’ is based on.) Not having seen the Rebel version, I can’t say whether it’s identical to the H & R version, but I doubt the original text (‘The Inward Revolution’) was used as the basis for the Rebel version. (Ma Anand Prem left the Rajneesh movement around the time Bhagwan – and Chinmaya – moved to Poona. Neither lived at the ranch in Oregon.) The version of this title that appears on the Osho online library has the same chapter titles as the H & R version and appears to differ from it primarily in where paragraphs begin and end. At best, it’s an editing of my editing.
The online version of ‘The New Alchemy to Turn You On’ (Osho online library website) appears to be identical to my version, which was published by Rajneesh Foundation in 1978. However, it omits “A Period of Silence: A History of the Anand Shila Meditation Camp”, which I wrote. To confuse matters even more, the Osho online library website gives the publishing dates of the above mentioned books as: ‘Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy’ (1970), ‘The Psychology of the Esoteric’ (1970), ‘I Am the Gate’ (1971) and ‘The New Alchemy to Turn You On’ (1973). This may be when Bhagwan gave the lectures upon which the books were based. For example, the talks in ‘The New Alchemy’ were given in 1973, but the book not published until 1978. The same may be true for the lectures compiled into the other three books.
Osho Foundation International, Switzerland, is listed as the publisher of each book despite the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, neither Osho Foundation nor Rajneesh Foundation International existed then. As I ran the international publishing and copyright department in Poona 1, I imagine my recollections of this are more likely to be accurate than those of people less directly involved.” [In her following mail Satya Bharti writes that RFI did exist at the time of publishing, but not when Bhagwan delivered the discourses upon which the books were based, which is what Osho online library uses as the Pub Dates]. (Satya Bharti. E-mail. 11.06.2015)
From leaflet ‘Shree Rajneesh Ashram’
“The books of Bhagwan’s discourses that are published by Rajneesh Foundation Ltd. are the finest quality hard-back books available in India today. The editing, design, photographic work and lay-out of each book is all done at the ashram by Bhagwan’s sannyasins.
A tremendous amount of love and care is poured into this work, so that the finished product can reflect the beauty of Bhagwan’s message. Each book is lavishly illustrated with black-and-white and colour photographs from the ashram’s own photographic studios, which also furnish a pictorial record of ashram life.
When the community moves from its existing site in Koregaon Park, Poona, to a larger rural one, the entire printing and publishing process for all Bhagwan’s books will be done by sannyasins.” (Rajneesh Foundation, no year)
Printing in late 1978
“December 11th is rapidly approaching. Pratima is spending about half the time in Bombay, sitting on the printer’s backs trying to get the books ready for the celebration day festivities – which promise to be the biggest in the history of our ashram!” (Divya 1980, p. 341)
“Enlightenment day is also deadline day; all celebrations are. All the editors of the books are freaking freely, dashing to bombay and back, in a last-ditch effort of mind over matter to have their books out on the day.” (Swami Anand Rakesh. In: The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 451)
Süss on publishing figures
“Die Diskurse wurden seit etwa 1974 bis zu seinem Tod 1990 aufgezeichnet und in über 650(!) Büchern publiziert, die in 29 Sprachen übersetzt worden sind. So erreichen sie die für einen einzigen Author kaum vorstellbare Auflagenzahl von über 1770 Ausgaben.(35 [Poona 1992]) Insgesamt nennt eine interne Statistik 15 Millionen gedruckte Exemplare. (36 [München 1994])” (Süss 1996, p. 45)
Gordon on the issue of tax
“The Indian government was harassing and persecuting the ashram – it had revoked the tax-exempt of the Rajneesh Foundation, Ltd. (incorporated in 1978 as the successor to the Jeevan Jagruti Kendra), and was moving ahead, though with typical Indian lethargy to collect $4 million in income taxes and several hundred dollars in sales, import, property, and export taxes”. (Gordon 1987, p. 94)
“Bhagwan’s discourses switch monthly from religion to religion, mystic to mystic: from Sufism to Tao, from Buddha to Heraclitus, Jainism to Hasidism, Jesus to Chuang Tzu. He is at home in all these traditions, since he is standing at the point where they all converge. This month he is wearing his rabbi’s hat. I once heard him say to an American boy nervous of joining his parents in Israel and of what they would say to his acquisition of an Indian guru. “Tell them I am an old Jew!” At that moment, with his gleeful laughter and the boy’s relief, it was entirely credible.” (The Art of Dying (1978). Introduction)
New second edition of My Way 1978
“A revised edition of approximately 600 pages, fifteen chapters, of ‘My Way: The Way of the White Clouds’ containing over one hundred photos of Bhagwan Shree and his sannyasins will be released shortly.
“Of the great blessed spiritual Masters of today Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is the one who speaks clearest on the role of energy expanding and fulfilling people’s consciousness. The book deals entirely with the power of energy. And this is undoubtedly the best guidance that I have ever felt for me.” (Gabriel Rosenstock. Comhar. Irish Review Magazine. In: Sannyas. 1978:1, p. 48)
On how to get his books
“Bhagwan says: “Problems don’t exist. You’re just imagining.” So if you are imagining it is difficult to get his books, you can drop all that right this moment. Read on and follow the easy instructions. Then, whether you live in India or elsewhere in Bhagwan’s world, there will be no book problem for you!” (Sannyas, 1978:1, p. 16. Insert)
Veena going to Bombay
“We were often under considerable pressure because it was sometimes twice a week that we made the horrendous trip up and down the Ghats on the old Poona/Bombay road which at that time was officially one of the most dangerous roads in the world. Now the journey takes three hours – then it took seven, if nothing happened. As there was only one lane we were usually held up by accidents or breakdowns to the many trucks traversing the dangerous curves, so the journey could often take much longer.
Osho liked the books to be out by one of the various Festivals that were held in the commune. Everybody who has been to India knows that it is difficult to get things done on time – to put it mildly! Sometimes we were sitting at the bookbinders on the morning of a festival waiting for a sample ten copies to be bound so we could dash back to the commune in time for the bookshop opening at eleven o’clock. The glue in the binding would still be wet.
Getting the books published is now much easier with computers and improved printing methods but we had such a great time back then and learnt a lot – about getting books printed, yes, but mostly about our own egos.” (Veena 2012, p. 66)
“Kalpa cleans the Vipassana go-down where your books are stored and stamped – and gummed and wrapped and stringed and packed and posted to the world.” (Savita. In: The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 310)
“After a trip back to the West a year later, she worked in Vipassana godown shipping Osho’s books worldwide. “Packing was a very different task in India, as we only had rolls of corrugated cardboard and had to create boxes to fit the shipment. After wrapping in paper, plastic, and cardboard, each shipment needed to be sewn into white cloth and the address inked on top.” Sucheta taught herself to read enough Hindi so that Hindi orders could be properly sorted.” (Viha Connection. 2015:1)
“… I found the rest of my things in one of the rooms behind the godown, the warehouse where we stored Osho’s books (we literally had to take a dozen steps down, reason why I always thought it was called like this because it was half-underground…). (Punya 2015, p. 194)
‘No 18 parcel now included. New guest house founded with basement for book publishing activities next to the meditation area.'” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:13)
Book Fair in Delhi, February 1978
“A group of sannyasins went to the Book Fair in Delhi to promote sales of the Foundation’s publications. Headed by Krishna Mohammed and his wife, Radha, the team included Gunakar, Madhura (part of the press and public relations department), Kamal, an Indian ashramite, and Arvind and Nirupa. They were gone for a week, travelling in a bus. In those few days dramas within dramas unfolded, and the seven who took part sit now in a semi-circle around Bhagwan.” (Maneesha. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 230)
Publishing and copyright
“If you are in the process of editing or publishing or translating any of Bhagwan Shree’s work, would you please contact the ashram before proceeding any further. Several large publishing houses have approached us regarding publishing Bhagwan Shree’s work, so there is now the question of copyright to consider. Please contact us soon so that we can get a full picture of what is happening everywhere.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:12)
Sam recalls reading early title pre-1974
“‘In Search of the Miraculous’ was in fact Osho’s first major book, and the only one to be published by a normal commercial publisher, Benarsidas of Delhi. I remembered it being around Poona when we first went there, but it had disappeared under the flood of his later books, and gone out of print.” (Sam 1997, p. 181)
Satya Bharti on publishing
“While Christ Chaitanya and I were running the NYC meditation center in 1973-74, we filed documents with the US government for Rajneesh Foundation International to be made a tax-free charitable trust. This was finally granted, and when Chaitanya and I began travelling around the US and Canada running meditation workshops we let Sheela, who’d started a small meditation center in New Jersey (Chidvilas), operate under the auspices of this newly-incorporated trust. This later allowed the Oregon ranch to act as a tax-free / charitable trust.
Sheela and her American husband Chinmaya moved to Poona a few months after me and Chaitanya. They weren’t invited to move into the ashram, but we often let them sleep in our large ground-floor ashram room. By mid-1975, Chaitanya had taken over Teertha’s job as ashram ‘meditation master’, running the morning and afternoon meditations. He’d also become editor of the Rajneesh Newsletter / a job I believe Teertha originally did as well). I handled all foreign book distribution and publishing rights; Chinmaya edited Bhagwan’s discourses; and after a rocky start, Sheela became Laxmi’s secretary, sharing the job with Arup (who is now known as Garimo).
When Bhagwan told me to focus on my writing and hand over my office work to others, Sheela became incensed by this, saying repeatedly that she was doing all the work while “all you do is write your little books, and you’re the one who’s going to become famous. It isn’t fair”. The unfairness of this enraged Sheela, all the more so when I was invited to move into Bhagwan’s house. (Divya moved in at the same time. Our partners weren’t invited to join us.) This was the last straw for Sheela, and our close friendship ended.
Her hostility to my writing continued, and as the second-in-command at the ashram after Laxmi, she made sure my books weren’t ready available, if at all, at the ashram book store, nor at Rajneesh centers abroad. (The sale of Bernard Gunther’s book, on the other hand, was supported. What makes this particularly odd is that Rajneesh Foundation owned the rights to m books and received all royalties from them, something I’m fairly sure wasn’t true for Gunther’s ‘Dying for Enlightenment’.)
What I didn’t learn until years later at the ranch is that after my books were released, new visitors to the ashram frequently asked to meet me. I had no idea this was happening, but as Sheela and Arup (and later Vidya) interviewed all newcomers, I gather they often had to deal with this. Meanwhile I was busy “writing my little books” in Bhagwan’s house, isolated from these requests.” (Satya Bharti. E-mail. 27.07.2015)
Bookish affairs late 1976
“Renuka, amidst the clatter of the typewriters and the squeals of children playing on the lawn near the fountain in front of the office, continues to compile and check subscriptions for the newsletter, while Siddharth balances books with the skill of a tightrope walker. Bharti in the bookstall is already inundated with customers purchasing magazines, books and photographs of Bhagwan… Sudha, the editor of ‘Sannyas’ magazine is en route to a local press to hammer and to humour, while Pratima, another editor, leaves her room in Ekhart House and, manuscripts underarm, sets off to begin a day’s proofreading with Vandana. Yatri, the book designer, assails her in the corridor, and after a hurried two-minutes conference, disappears into the bowels of the darkroom.” (The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 224)
“Er spricht Englisch, gestenreich und mit indischen Akzent, seine Stimme ist wohltuend leise, und was er aus dem Stegreif sagt, wird auf Tonbänder aufgezeichnet. Diese werden später von fleissigen Sekretärinnen abgeschrieben, die wie all Hilfskräfte des Gurus unentgeltlich arbeiten. Aus den Manuskripten werden im Ashram Bücher, die zu einem Stückpreis von durchsnittlich 20 Mark in alle Welt verkauft werden und jetzt auch auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse zu sehen war. So verwandelt sich die Lebensphilosophie dieses Mannes in klingende Münze. Die eifrigen Jünger haben es ausgerechnet: Jeden Tag sind es 15000 Worte, die auf diese Weise der Nachwelt erhalten bleiben.” (Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 13)
Press Release 01.09.1978
“Bücher sind ein wichtiges Mittel. Jede Serie seiner morgendlichen Reden und jeder Abenddarshan werde Monat für Monat auf Band aufgenommen, getippt, als Prosa oder Versform editiert, grosszügig mit Fotos illustriert, einzeln entworfen und in begrentzer Ausgabe von 5000 in Seide oder Satin gebundenen Büchern veröffentlicht…
Während der vierjährigen Existens des Ashrams in Poona wurden 69 verschiedene Titel in English herausgebracht und 48 in Hindi. Vierzig weitere befinden sich zur Zeit in verschiedenen Stadien der Produktion.” (Haack 1984, p. 73)
Book Fair in Frankfurt 1978
“Auf der deutschen Buchmesse in Frankfurt sind die Rajneesh-Anhänger seit 1978 mit eigenen Ständen vertreten. In einem Infomationsbrief “Die Bücher von Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh” anlässlich des ersten Erscheinens auf der deutschen Buchmesse äussert sich die Rajneesh-Foundation:
“Aber wer ist dieser umstrittene spirituelle Meister denn nun wirklich? Was sagt er seinen Schülern tatsächlich? Was geschieht in seinem Ashram? Ist es ein Liebeskloster, eine Zuchtanstalt für Zivilisationsmüde, oder weder noch?
Um die Wahrheit zu erfahren, muss man nich nach Indien reisen. Auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse 1978 in Halle 8, Standnummer 2097, liegen Bhagwan Shree’s Bücher vor und umfassendes Material mit präzisen Informationen aus erster Hand…
Seine Bücher sind wortgetreue Wiedergaben seiner spontanen Vorträge. Jeder Vortrag wird auf Tonband aufgenommen, ebschrieben und zu einem Kapitel eines Buches zusammengefasst. Jedes Buch enthält eine vollständige Serie von Vorträgen und erstreckt sich häufig über mehrere Bände – einem religiösen Thema, über das er gesprochen hatte, folgend…
Jeden Monat wechselnd, spricht er die Hälfte des Jahres in Hindi – seiner Muttersprache – und die anderen sechs Monate in einem eigenschöpferischen, lyrischen English. An jedem zweiten Tag beantwortet er Fragen von Schülern und Besuchern. Er hat einen ausgeprägten Humor undillustriert seine Reden oft mit gleichnishaften Witzen. Bhagwan hat bis heute fast 2000 Bücher liefern. Davon sind bis jetzt 69 in English und 65 in Hindi publiziert…
Im letzten Jahr publizierte die Rajneesh Foundation über 100 000 Bücher für den Export nach Amerika, Kanada, England, Deutschland, Japan, Australien, Süd-Amerika und andere Länder. In diesem Jahr wird die Zahl weit über 150 000 betragen.”” (Die Bücher von Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Eine Einführung in die Arbeit dieses umstrittenen spirituellen Meisters (RF 1978))
“For long term support to the ashram it was decided to raise funds by publishing Osho’s lectures in English entitled Vigyan Bhairay Tantra, The Book Of Secrets Vol.1. As time passed English language publications of Osho proved a goldmine for the ashram. With this began an earnest search for a good printer who would be compatible with the terms and conditions. Laxmi was on a hunt for a printer and spotted Sangam Press in the Yellow Pages. Sangam in Hindi means meeting/merging. Laxmi called the manager over for a meeting to the ashram.
Laxmi discussed the project with the printer in detail. She appraised him of the terms. He would invest in the project in order to earn profits in a few months. No advance, and payment would be made after three months, along with interest. A sharp young man he had heard Osho’s discourses and was aware of the potential of publishing Osho’s maiden book in English, both inland and overseas. Based on his acumen he agreed to commence work on the manuscripts of Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. Certainty he would make profits and not only recover his investment he grabbed the project.
During this meeting Laxmi’s shortcomings and inexperience in offset printing and publishing surfaced. Prior to this all the books in the ashram were hand set and printed on small machines. Seeing it as a handicap Laxmi jumped into it in totality. Not only had Laxmi overlooked the needs of printing she was totally unaware of the need of paper. However not exhibiting her inexperience Laxmi requested the printer to proceed with composition of manuscript and informed him the required paper would reach the printing press in schedule.
As soon as the manager left the office Laxmi picked up the Yellow Pages and hunted for a paper merchant. She invited Ram Bhai Patel and company for a meeting to the ashram. Ram is a sacred name in India and the protagonist of the holy book Ramayana. A shrewd businessman Ram turned out to be a Gujarati. Laxmi and he hit off well in the first meeting. Laxmi offered the project on same terms. He too agreed to provide paper without any advances. This was Lasmi’s first exposure to details of paper and printing. In the due course of time she gathered requisite information. Thus started the era of publishing in English language at the ashram…
Within two months the first book in English entitled Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, The Book of Secrets was published. In six weeks there were substantial sales in India and abroad. A quick recovery Laxmi invited the printer and paper merchant to her office and paid their dues earlier than scheduled. They were delighted. Laxmi struck a second deal to print two more books with them, on her terms. The terms were credit for six months, and no interest. They agreed and work on the manuscripts commenced…
Osho delivered discourses in Hindi and English every alternate month. Audio recording equipment in the ashram was upgraded. New equipment was brought as gift to the trust by fellow sannyasins. Sales of books and audios increased in the overseas market.” (Laxmi 2002, pp. 22-23)
Strelley on publishing
“Up to this point Bhagwan’s books were either being published in the West, or being printed in Bombay from manuscripts prepared in the Ashram. But, in 1980, they brought printing presses and bookbinding equipment into the Ashram and built a bindery behind Buddha Hall. They did beautiful first editions, and also rebound books for Bhagwan’s personal library in red silk with gold embossing – a picture of Bhagwan with a circle around it saying ‘Thou art that’…
At the same time it was decided that no books would be published outside the Ashram, because it was too much hassle. So the book bindery was built between Lao Tzu and Veggie Villas. It handled the full production of books, as well as the rebinding of Bhagwan’s personal library books.” (Strelley 1987, pp. 255,297)
“Each 30-day series of lectures, whether in Hindi or in English, was transcribed, edited, and published. By 1980, approximately 130 English books and nearly 200 Hindi books had been published and approximately 85 English and 35 Hindi books were in some stage of being published.” (Amitabh. In: Aveling 1999, p. 122)
Vasant Joshi on publishing
“More than 2.500 discourses and darshans have been, or are being transcribed into a total of 336 books, published by Rajneesh Foundation 1981. Of these, 128 contains his English discourses, 144 his Hindi discourses, and 64 are darshan records”. (Joshi 1982, p. 199)
Vismaya on Laxmi co-ordinating in the office
“A ma arrives with a long face.
‘I keep getting it wrong in books and tapes. I’m dyslexic. I’d be much better at cleaning, Laxmi, honestly I would.’
Laxmi promotes her to co-ordinate the books section of the department.
‘Bhagwan’s wisdom is not in the words; it’s in the silences between the words. Who better than a someone with dyslexia to co-ordinate the book department!'” (Geraghty 2007, p. 162)
Arun is arrested selling Osho’s books in Kathmandu where books like ‘Women’s Revolution’, ‘Youth and Rebellion’, and ‘Beware of Socialism’ were seen as political and dangerous books. With ‘The Silent Explosion’ on their shelf the limit was drawn:
“I broke into a cold sweat. On closer inspection, I realized that the man who had come to arrest us had been visiting our stall in civilian clothes almost every day. It was my first encounter with police, and I was uncertain why we were being arrested. Naval Kishore, on the other hand, was in his element. They informed us that all the books were being seized, as they were dangerous for the state. They ordered us to pack them all up, and forced us to carry them on our backs. Naval Kishore did it with impressive efficiency and calm. But I was stupefied by the whole situation. As we carried the books along the road, ironically, I remembered a statement by Bhagwan, “For your whole life, you’ve been carrying the burden of scriptures that doesn’t allow you to roam freely beneath the skies of freedom.”…
On the fifteenth day, Mr Dawadi, the assistant zonal commissioner was appointed to read and censure the books and look into the case. He prepared a report stating he had looked through all the books and found them to be harmless and non-political.
As I found out later, Mr Dawadi was a religious person. Reading the books, he was stunned by Bhagwan’s marvellous commentaries on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’, ‘Upanishads’, ‘Shiva Sutra’ and other spiritual works. He wrote in his report that the books were purely spiritual and were not political motivated and he recommended that everybody should read them.” (Arun 2017, pp. 208,212)
Vaidya writes on transfer of copyright
“Two months before he left for the U.S., on April 1, 1981, an agreement was signed between the Chidvilas Rajneesh Meditation Center at Montclair, New Jersey, and Rajneesh Foundation, Pune, transferring Osho’s copyrights to the Chidvilas Center. This centre was established in 1973 by Sheela who later abandoned Rajneeshpuram, driving it into a ditch, and moved to Europe.
Jeevan Jagruti Kendra was the first trust established by Osho on June 11, 1969, around the time when he initiated his very first disciples in Bombay. The name of this trust was changed to Rajneesh Foundation on October 23, 1975. On July 28, 1978 Osho gave this trust the complete rights to his intellectual properties…
In subsequent years, the Chidvilas Rajneesh Meditation Center changed its name to Rajneesh Foundation International (America) which later became Rajneesh Friends International. On August 18, 1986, Rajneesh Friends International signed an agreement of assignment of copyrights to Rajneesh Foundation Europe, which changed its name to Neo Sannyas Foundation, which in turn changed its name to Osho International Foundation, Zürich. All rights to Osho’s works now rest with this trust in Europe which is being challenged by many of Osho’s sannyasins in India, with support from sannyasins in Europe who are fighting their own battles against the OIF.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 62)
Heading: The Silent Sage. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Gives Satsang
“Beginning the new phase of his work as a silent sage, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh today gave Satsang to a gathering of over 6,000 disciples and visitors in Buddha Hall at Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona. Lasting for one hour, it was a wordless, heart-to-heart communion between the Master and his devotees. It was also Bhagwan’s first appearance since March 24th this year, when he stopped giving daily discourses….
To celebrate the occasion, two books were brought out by Rajneesh Foundation. One, entitled ‘The Sound Of One Hand Clapping’, contained records of the last darshans given by Bhagwan from March 1st to March 23rd this year. The other, a book in Hindi entitled ‘Bahutere Hain Ghat’ contained the last four morning discourses by Bhagwan, from March 21st to March 24th this year.” (Chidvilas Rajneesh Meditation Center. Factsheet. 1981)
Published discourse series with Questions and Answers only:
– My Way: The Way of the White Clouds.
– Be Still and Know.
– The Goose is Out.
– Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen.
– Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind.
– Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing.
– The Wild Geese And The Water.
In Poona One, between 29.03.1974 and 01.06.1981, a total of 1.222 English Language Discourses were given. First was ‘My Way: The Way of the White Clouds’ #01 and the last one was ‘The Goose is Out’ #10. Breakdown: 1974 120; 1975 179; 1976 180; 1977 179; 1978 178; 1979 170; 1980 182; 1981 34. (Samadhan. E-mail. 07.03.2017)
A large number of those involved in the editing of Osho’s works have in great detail shared their memories on the process. Some of those are: Pratima, Sarito, Satya Bharti, Somendra, Veena, Krishna Priya, Vandana, Krishna Prem, Anand Maitreya, Chaitanya Keerti, Yoga Pratab Bharti, Narendra and Anurag. Not to forget Maneesha’s editing of the Darshan Diaries.
Pratima on editing and production
“Pratima: Bhagwan comes in the morning and he talks for ninety minutes or more and that’s where all the trouble starts! Yes, which is exactly right. Because he walks in, talks and walks out again, and what is left is a very small thing, which is just a tape, which then gets transcribed and becomes manuscript, which then gets edited by one of the six editors working at the moment. I always lose count, because half of them are group leaders or something else, and something else as well.
Anyway, that gets edited by them. And the editing consists mostly of putting in full stops and commas and making paragraphs, and very occasionally changing a word or two, mostly verb tenses or transposition of questions, as Bhagwan has said not to change his words at all, and to make it good English.
Sudha: That doesn’t go together.
Pratima: Yes, that doesn’t go together, but that’s how it has to be. And that’s the first paradox that comes out.
Chetana: “Don’t change it, but make it into good English?”
Pratima: “Don’t change it, but make it into good English!” Anyway that’s what happens. The books are not changed, but they are made into good English.
Then the manuscript gets checked by another editor, just to make sure the first editor hasn’t messed up anywhere, and then it goes to a designer who decides what size type it’s going to be done in and what spaces to leave and various other matters like that. And then the photographs for the covers are chosen, for the endpapers, and for the inside photographs; for the Darshan Books, where the designer chooses appropriate photographs for that particular darshan.
And then the book gets sent to a photo-typesetter, who types it all out onto photo-sensitive paper called bromide which comes back to us, is proof-read, and is then pasted-up onto boards in pages. The whole book, thus pasted-up onto paste-up boards in pages, is then sent to a processor to be put onto film, which is then sent to the printer to be put onto plates, which are then screwed into a very large machine, an offset machine, and then wheels go round and round.
Then the book gets printed. So, where my job comes in in all of this is just sort of following the book through from the very beginning to the very end, and just generally being available for – I don’t know – running around from place to place following bits and pieces up, and just making sure that the book keeps moving. And that’s how it gets printed and bound, and brought to the Ashram.
And once it’s in the Ashram and it’s in Vipassana, the godown, then somebody else takes over the whole thing of selling it, exporting it, and that kind of thing. So from out of Bhagwan’s mouth to a reasonable amount of the printed book in Vipassana godown is where I come in.” (Ma Yoga Pratima. Interview. In: Sannyas, 1978:6, p. 37)
“Although Pratima was the overall co-ordinator, each editor was responsible for the printing of the book they had edited. We were all involved and we put our hearts and souls into doing this wonderful task… My printing baptism by fire was getting ‘The Empty Boat’ printed – in about 1975. (Definitely responsible for early grey hairs on my head.) We had employed a new company to print ‘The Empty Boat’ and they were very hostile. They wanted our business but were not prepared to alter their ways of doing things to suit us and they were insulted that a WOMAN was dealing with them so tried to fob me off with an underlining. I had to be really insistent and finally demanded to go down to the place where the work was happening. These were pre-computer days and the ‘letter press’ process involved each individual letter being placed with tweezers in a wooden frame. As the Indian workers couldn’t read or speak English, and they were working back to front, the mistakes were multiple and I finally decided the only way to get things done was to sit with the hapless, shirtless worker in temperatures of at least forty degrees and read each line as he produced it and correct him on the spot.
Eventually the first chapter was done to my grudging satisfaction and I demanded to see the big boss to show him what it was that I was expecting of him. His face was quite something to behold as he knew that nothing that good – and it was really only norminally good – had come off his presses. Something in his pride was touched, however, and slowly he began to accept that there was a possibility of producing something of a better quality.
As the weeks progressed I was no longer relegated to the printing floor but was offered an air-conditioned office with food and cold drinks and someone to run between me and the poor guy downstairs with each page that was set. I would proofread and correct it, and down the page would go again. This would happen until I was satisfied that everything was correct and then we would move on the next page. It took me three months but finally it was published. Whew! Talk about blood, sweat and tears! (Veena 2012, p. 63)
Krishna Prem on the editing of ‘The Way of the White Clouds’
“The team has already been established – all Kailash veterans. In overall charge is Teertha. His girlfriend Jagruti is to transcribe and I’m to edit. Virag is in charge of proofreading. There’s no working space at 33, so Ma Shradha Bharti, an Indian disciple and Teertha’s landlady has donated the living room of her rambling, Raj-style bungalow a few compounds away from our flat. The book is intended for the West, and Osho has asked that we prepare a series of questions, mirroring our own concerns, and they be put to him. He is to respond spontaneously. The only thing we have been given is the title, ‘My Way: The Way of the White Clouds’…
Originally, Teertha suggested we each ask our own questions, but, deciding, the passing back and forth of the microphone would be awkward, we agreed he should ask all the questions on our general behalf…
The book is coming along beautifully. We are presenting Osho’s words in a poetic format, and I feel part of a great and glorious work as each stanza rolls out of my typewriter…
That very afternoon we’d put the finishing touches to ‘My Way: The Way of the White Clouds’ and, somewhat dubiously, I had agreed to try my hand at writing the introduction for the book that is to introduce Osho to the West… “Beautiful,” Laxmi says to me the next afternoon, smiling at the sight of my noticeable relief. “He says it’s beautiful.”” (Allanach 2010, pp. 71,72,77,80)
Maneesha’s very first editing in October 1974
“My affair with Teertha was in full swing, and I’d been introduced to two girls who were editing the English discourses – Anurag, a wispy but very conscientious grammarian from England, and Pratima, blond and plump, from Tasmania: a fellow “ocker.” They needed help with their work; I considered myself willing, they found me able, so I began poring over Bhagwan’s words, absorbing his incredible capacity to communicate, while I inserted full stops or removed commas.” (Forman 1988, p. 42)
Krishna Prem editing ‘A Bird on the Wing’
“I have elected to do the whole thing by myself, the transcribing as well as the editing, and after discourse I collect the morning’s cassette from Laxmi and hurry home, anxious to get to work. The space it puts me in is exquisite. I feel immersed in him, absorbed by him. And tremendously grateful…
I move into the final stretch of editing ‘A Bird on the Wing’… “And what about introduction?” Laxmi inquires when I hand her the completed manuscript. “Laxmi doesn’t find introduction here,” she says, fiddling with the pages. “Books need introductions! And what about weight?” she asks, prodding my still-protruding ribs with a sharp, emphatic finger. “Eat, swamiji. Eat. Eat and write beautiful introduction. For him!” So albeit reluctantly, it’s back to the typewriter. But this time nothing comes. I start and re-start again and again, but everything I write is dull and trite and stupid, doing no justice whatsoever to Osho or his words. “It’s not working, Laxmi. I’m just writing crap,” I tell her the eve of our departure. “I’ll take my typewriter with me and write the introduction in Dalhousie.”” (Allanach 2010, pp. 83,89,90)
Krishna Prem in darshan when editing ‘The Mustard Seed’
“Osho,” I say, “I worked it out this afternoon: it will take me forty days to edit ‘The Mustard Seed’ – at which everyone laughs, including him…
I’ve done two books already, one after another, and I seem to have lost the knack. Like this introduction. I just can’t get it. I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t get it. I feel I need a change.”…
“But here’s a letter for Osho. Would you give it to Mukta to give to him? It’s about editing and introductions. I don’t want to do it anymore.”…
“Here,” she says, passing it to me, “Laxmi gave it to me. It’s from Osho.”…
I open the folded paper. The message is in Laxmi’s hand. “No need to edit,” I read. “He says fine to drop books for now.” It is signed by her. And then I see the postscript. It rips into me like an arrow shot from afar. Across the bottom is written: “Enough for today?”… [When leaving, Laxmi calls] “Krishna Prem,” she calls softly. I turn to face her again. She places a square, flat box lovingly in my hands. I open it to find a large, reel-to-reel tape inside. “Take,” she says. “Gift. Twenty-one discourses. ‘The Mustard Seed’.”” (Allanach 2010, pp. 115,119,120,127)
Somendra on editing work
“I arrived in Poona in November for the first time. A year later I felt like returning to the West for a while. Bhagwan did not feel it was a good idea. In any case I had to finish the two books I was editing, involving 40 talks – a double edition on the Tao, The Three Treasures, Volumes 1 and 2. Under the most trying conditions (this is another story) I set myself a target to get the whole thing finished in a fortnight. Working night and day, under huge lamps alight outside my window as workers laid concrete for an extension of the building I lived in around the clock. And what noise! I met the deadline…
When I first went to Poona, my job was to edit the books of my teacher, Rajneesh. I am a very well-read person…
I had to listen to the talks – as people have to do now in Energy world – and I had to write them out, and edit them – because Rajneesh’s English was pretty good, but still only ninety, ninety-five percent; put in the punctuation, change a few things where it was obviously lack of knowledge of the language, and so on…
So off I go with my first talk, editing it, changing it a little bit here, putting in the punctuation, and take it along to my supervisor. She says, “You can’t do this… You can’t do that… This is not allowed… We don’t do it that way here…” The whole thing was full of red crosses. From this ninecompoop!… In the end it was her book… The book was a book of Zen stories called, And the Flowers Showered! After they were edited, the books were sent to the printer in Bombay, and usually after a month or six weeks we got the proofs, and we had to go through them and send them back, and then finally we got the book. Two months went by, three months went by, and there were no proofs coming back… “We have received no such manuscript”…It had vanished! It was never found. So I had to do it all again. But she was not my supervisor anymore; I had been promoted to be my own supervisor. So I rubbed my hands, got out the old manuscript – the one before she put all her alternations on it – ..and I did the book completely as I wanted to do it. The book now is exactly my editing. So it’s okay to read it!…
When I was a sannyasin, I not only edited about a dozen of Bhagwan’s books personally, not only supervised another forty or fifty that other people were editing, that is already sixty! I read in addition another fifty. So we are over a hundred! added to all that were all the morning talks that I went to for a number of years, which composed the books, which is probably another thirty books. So I was familiar with about a hundred and thirty books by Rajneesh before I left the sannyasin movement. Since then I haven’t read any books by Bhagwan. There is no point. I have drunk deeply from that source.”
(Barnett 2000. pp. 93,102,119)
Shanti Bhadra writes
“Bhagwan’s daily discourse was always recorded on tape, and would later be videotaped too. He alternated between one month of delivering his discourse in Hindi and one month of delivering it in English. Devout as I was, I always attended discourses, regardless of the fact that I did not understand a word of Hindi. Each month was devoted to a particular topic or theme. The recordings of Bhagwan’s discourses for each month were transcribed and prepared for publication. Every aspect of the production was carried out by sannyasins. Bhagwan attracted a large following of well-educated people from all walks of life, among them many skilled craftsmen and women. A steady stream of titles flowed from the ashram workshops to the printer, and back. The hundreds of titles published under Bhagwan’s name were all spoken by him. He never wrote a book as such. It was part of the mystique surrounding him that he spoke for two hours or more a day, day after day, year after year, without notes or prompting, except for the jokes his sannyasins sent him, the notepaper they were written on lying on his lap ready for use. (Stork 2009, p. 113)
Krishna Prem on his editing
“After discourse I’d delivered the finished manuscript of the book to Pratima, head of publications, and as had become the pattern, taken the introduction straight to Vivek. It was as if the introductions had become my way of telling Osho what’s been happening to me, of keeping him up to date with my growth. I find Vivek in the kitchen, putting together a tea tray to take to Osho. She takes the introduction straight in, telling me to wait. A few moments later she comes back down the hall, smiling, holding four little paperbacks in her hand. “I know,” I say before she can speak, “he wants me to make these into one book too. Right?” “Right,” she laughs, turning into the kitchen again.” (Allanach 2010, p. 178)
Satya Bharti on her work in Bombay and Poona
“I also co-translated into English and edited three books for mass-market publishing companies in India, which I believe were published under the titles: ‘Thou Art That’; ‘The Long, the Short and the All’; and ‘Sat, Chit, Anand’… I think Dolly Diddee’s name was on all three (pre-edited) translations, but I may be wrong. I can’t picture her and am not sure we ever met, but that’s not surprising. I was just given rough transcripts to edit – probably by Narendra, although it may have been Chinmaya or even Kabir.
What I mean by ‘co-translated’ is that a Hindi speaking sannyasin would translate, word for word, with the help of a Hindi-English dictionary, discourses by Bhagwan in Hindi. The English transcript was then given to me to: 1) make sense out of; and 2) change into Bhagwan’s standard phraseology and manner of speaking. I tried making the discourses ‘sound’ like Bhagwan’s spoken English, and, above all, make sense, as the literal word-for-word translations frequently didn’t. As I recall, I consulted Narendra for clarification when needed – which was fairly often.
In 1975, I moved to the Poona ashram where I ran the translation department in addition to being responsible for all non-Indian publishing. (This included functioning as a literary agent for Bhagwan’s books abroad and doing copyright and trademark law in conjunction with a (non-sannyas) Indian lawyer from Bombay, who came to the ashram once or twice a month to meet with me and sometimes Laxmi.) I solicited and negotiated book contracts with major publishing companies worldwide for Bhagwan’s books.” (Satya Bharti. E-mail. 18.06.2015)
Satya Bharti writes
“…the front porch of Krishna House where a few desks had been set up for the English editors to work… After a year and a half of drinking him in every morning, wallowing in him throughout the day, editing his words, proofreading them, going over them again and again till they were as familiar as a nursery rhyme, I felt as if I knew everything he had to say…
Barely coherent enough to begin work a half-hour later, I sat on my bed surrounded by piles of manuscripts. I’d been up till two the night before getting two books of Bhagwan’s ready for the printers. Three typists were working on manuscripts for me: Hindi lectures I was revising, a book of my own I was trying to finish; I had deadlines for everything…
It was the first thing he’d ever said that pressed my buttons since his shocking praise of Hitler years ago in early talks, sentiments I’d judiciously altered as I edited his books for commercial publication: he must have meant “this” even if he had said “that.” I could hardly be expected to agree with every statement made by a man who loved being outrageously.” (Franklin 1992, pp. 73,88,107)
Satya Bharti continues
“I sat at my desk on the balcony above Bhagwan’s room typing, Kavi and Sampurna were typing at desks on either side of me… One book a month starting now means I’ll expect to see…” “One book a month, Vidya?! I couldn’t possibly…”
“Start working directly on a typewriter,” she continued. “You’re wasting your time writing everything first in longhand. I ain’t no writer and I can type four pages an hour. You should be able to do better.”… There was no way in the world I could write a book a month. Bhagwan had a staff of twenty people editing every phrase he spoke, each word of his was gone over dozens of times by someone else.” (Franklin 1992, p. 151)
Veena on ‘The Art of Dying’
“At the end of the introduction to ‘The Art of Dying’ (discourses given in the mid-1970s) there are the names of two people: mine and Devesh’s. Actually there should be a third name – Osho’s!
This little story about Osho still creates a chuckle in me and, indeed, in others when I relate it.
I had just finished editing ‘The Art of Dying’ and had written the texts needed for the cover. But having composed introductions for the four previous books I had edited, I was suddenly without inspiration to write a fifth. To clear my mind I went for a walk around Buddha Hall and bumped into an old friend, English Devesh. Those of you who know Devesh know his delightful facility with the English language and his wry sense of humour, so I immediately asked him if he would like to write an introduction.
He was typically shy but said he would give it a go, and a few days later – he claimed they were agonizing days – he produced one of the most original takes on Osho and His sannyasins I ever heard and one that caused us all to explode in laughter. He started his introduction by likening sannyasins sitting raptly at Osho’s feet to truffle pigs raising their snouts in sniffing ecstasy as they sought hints of the prized and valuable truffles hidden in the woodlands. It was such a hilarious, yet very apt, image.
I loved the introduction and sent it in to Osho via Nirvano for approval – telling her that she might have to explain the truffle pig image to Osho. She came out an hour or so later laughing but told me that Osho said I must write the introduction. A faint sigh escaped me but, now feeling more creative, I duly wrote one, and handed it in the next day. I didn’t hear anything more for a few days.
When I reminded Nirvano about the intro she went into Osho’s room and came out a few minutes later with a few pages in her hand, giggling. “This should be the introduction,” she said.
I looked in bewilderment at the pages she handed to me, as they were covered in red ink – deletions, insertions, and corrections, with words here and there and lots of arrows pointing in different directions. Seeing my puzzled face Nirvano laughed and said, “Osho has taken bits from Devesh’s introduction, bits from yours, added a few words and sentences of His own, and made a whole new introduction. He says to please use this!”
I totally cracked up, enjoying Osho’s creativity and sense of humour, and set about trying to make sense out of His work. Once I had managed to decipher everything, I typed out a new and tidy version, checked it with Nirvano, and duly sent it with the final text of the book to be printed.
But it seemed like the image of the truffle pigs’ snouts was just one step too far for Osho because He had crossed out that paragraph! Nirvano said that He did, however, very much enjoy the image of the sniffing pigs so I have shared it here for everyone.” (Veena. In: Viha Connection, 2012:5)
Mann writes on editing
“Again, Rajneesh’s every word became apparently crucially important, for every address and all his darshan remarks were taped, edited and then published in book form. Sannyasins asked to do this editing, according to Somendra, felt flattered to be chosen for such important work. The editing of a book, moreover, usually required three persons to produce a finished product. A talented artist was chosen to do all the artistic drawings of Rajneesh which went into the books and the glossy magazine called Sannyas, which printed his discourses. At darshan, Rajneesh’s every move was photographed by the official photographer and all newly-initiated sannyasins were expected to buy at least one picture of themselves receiving their malas from the master.” (Mann 1991, p. 175)
Narendra writes in a letter on his early editing of Hindi books
“1. In July 1974, I reached to Pune and continued editing Hindi books. Later on I was with editing, and also co-ordinating the publication of Hindi books, Magazines and Newsletters in Hindi, Gujrati & Marathi. I still remember when the first issue of Hindi Newsletter was published, and when He saw it and immediately He throws it out because on the cover His full-size photograph was not printed. And then He sent a message that on the cover-page His full-size photograph should be printed onwards because my eyes are working more than my words. He was choosing His photographs to be printed on Newsletter magazines, books, covers, end-paper, beginning of each discourse in the books etc. Now contrary is happening – you can observe Osho Times (Hindi & English) books etc. His photographs almost disppeared in the name of His last instructions!
2. You are right He was very much concerned with the printing of His books and always showed keen interest in each stage. For example we were preparing 3 different lettering for each book and then He was choosing one out of the three or suggesting other combinations. He was always sending me coloured photographs for the covers, for the end-paper, and for the beginning of each discourse. He was sending messages almost every day through His secretary Ma Yoga Laxmi regarding publication of Hindi books. Although He was loving to all the sannyasins, but He was a very ‘Hard Master’ too. First He will ask how many books we are bringing out on any celebration (suppose Birthday), then He asks me to send weekly and monthly report about the progress of printing of each book, covers, end-paper etc. He was choosing cloth or ragazine for the hard bound. He liked yellowish paper for the hard bound books rather than white. We were bringing 2000 Hard bound copies and 3000 paperback copies of each title. Sometimes He was creating a challenge – to bring out a book of 10 discourses within a month!
3. Swami Anand Maitreya, Swami Chaitanya Keerti, Swami Yoga Pratab Bharti and myself was editing. Swami Anand Arhat (from 1972-1978) designed the covers, beginning of discourses, end-paper, book titles etc. And after that Overseas friends who were not understanding Hindi, they too were designing everything. Sannyasins and Ma’s who were transcribing from the tapes, checking are equally important to them. Editors were instructed not to change a single word or sentence – if repetition of sentence is there, then let it be there. Editors are supposed to make paragraphs, putting comma, semi-colon, full stop, ‘single & long dash’ or dots (:) or (…) etc.
4. After the breakfast I was visiting 8-10 printing presses to check the printing work and to bring proofs for checking by the editors. At least three times we were checking the proofs for the final printing. Almost every day while I was taking my lunch in my room, the message from the office of Ma Yoga Laxmi comes and then she passes on the instructions of Osho and says my work is over, now it is your turn to follow-up and finish within time-limit. Osho was also asking me to calculate the cost price and then the price of selling particular book. The night before the celebration was really very hard. Our team will select 3 copies out of 300 copies of each edition without any mistake of printing, binding, covers, end-papers etc. And then in the morning I was taking those selected books to Ma Yoga Laxmi’s room and after the celebration or discourse, He was looking at the books and it was really a miracle He was finding exact mistakes, which we have overlooked! We were enjoying His play, because Ma Yoga Laxmi brings His instructions and comments for each and every book so it is a long story beginning from the discourses and ending in the form of books.
Regarding pocket books, I was editing old discourses, compiling according to meditation camps discourses or according to subject wise and then suggesting 10-15 titles for each book. Then either He was choosing one out of those suggested by me, or He was giving a new title. In the beginning we were experimenting a book of 5 discourses, sale price was Rs. 5 to 10 only. Similarly I was instructed to compile old books (small published books) into a book of 20 discourses. I was suggesting titles and price for the cheaper edition paperback books, sale price not more than Rs. 20 to 25. Pocket books were printed in New Delhi and cheaper edition paperbacks were printed in Meerut. I have also contacted in Delhi, Varanasi & Allahabad to print translated books. Till 1981 all His Hindi books were published in one form or the other.
He left His body on 19th Jan. 1990 but He left the instruction that all his Hindi discourses must be translated into English and published, because He has spoken very deep in terms of meditation and understanding. But only few books so far translated and published!…
Now your questions:
1. To be associated with Hindi publications is simply an opportunity for my growth given by my beloved Master Osho.
2. I was a co-ordinator of Hindi publication all these years and it is a great learning directly showering on me by our Master Osho.
3. Osho was choosing mystics or Enlightened Masters and then He was giving discourses. I have asked thousands questions in Hindi and English lecture series. I was not concerned with cataloguing.
4. I was not involved in ‘book-drying-meditation. I do not have any photographs.
5. I have lots and lots to share with you, but it is not possible to write. You are most welcome to visit our commune whenever possible.” (Narendra Bodhisatva. Dehradun. Letter. 30.09.2006)
Maitreya on his work
“Right from the beginning He suggested editing work in the Hindi section. I also look after the proofreading, and I also look after the Hindi Sannyas, our bi-monthly magazine. That is a lot of work. I am doing the Hindi sutras also.” (Anand Maitreya. Interview. In: Divya 1980, p. 349)
Sarito writes on her editing
“Osho has always been very concerned that his words be preserved as they were spoken. He often talked about the misfortunes that befell people like Jesus, whose teachings have been recorded and filtered through the misunderstandings of his followers so many times that we really have very little way of knowing what he actually said. So from the very early days, all of Osho’s talks have been recorded, first on audiotape and later, as the technology became easier to use, on video as well. The job of the editors for years was to work with transcriptions of these recordings to create books. Osho’s instructions were to “make it good English, but don’t change anything.”
What he meant, at least in my understanding, was that we should fix the grammar – which suffered the minor flaws of somebody who spoke English very well, but whose mother tongue was Hindi – and in doing so, be careful not to change the meaning. Even this was an interesting challenge for the editors, who were often confronted with their own misunderstandings and assumptions as they discovered that just changing one word could alter the entire meaning of a sentence.
This essential job of maintaining all of Osho’s talks in print as they were originally spoken is still the responsibility of the editors in Pune, although in the digital age there is less emphasis on making sure this “print” is on paper. The complete archive of Osho’s transcribed and edited talks is available in a searchable database online, and a growing number of eBooks are being produced as the technology begins to settle into a set of more universal standards and formats.
Meantime, it became increasingly clear through a number of experiments that Osho’s books in their original, unabridged and hardbound form, were simply not “markatable” in the evolving world of bookshop chains and bestseller-driven publishing. So if we wanted to introduce a wider audience of readers to Osho we would have to find ways to present the material in a more commercially appealing form. For the editors this is an entirely new level of challenge, to make sure that we exercise our choices very consciously, and do our best not to compromise the message in the guise of creating a product that is appealing in the marketplace. Osho has given us all the tools we need in order to do this, really. But in many ways it requires a much deeper level of understanding of his message than simply “making it good English but not changing anything.”
I doubt we’d be doing this sort of “packaging” job at all if it were not for the advances in technology like the Internet, where we can post all of Osho’s work in its unabridged form. So even if the editors misunderstand and misrepresent the message from time to time, the original words are preserved and available for people to read.
PS There are some nice quotes from Osho related to the subject. I always treasure a little koan he gave me in response to a question I asked about words, in the last months of his speaking when there were many occasions where he seemed to be getting farther and farther away from the world of language, and would use words that (to my understanding) sounded like the word he wanted to use, but had a different meaning than he intended. He said, simply, “Think of the reader, that he doesn’t misunderstand.” Not “make sure the reader understands” – no way for any of us to do that! and a dangerous idea if we should get it into our heads that was our job. But “make sure he doesn’t MISunderstand.” Another way of saying, “don’t distort the message.” [Quotation from ‘Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega’, Vol. 4. Chapter #10]. Love Sarito.” (Sarito. E-mail. 07.06.2001).
Sarito further recalls
“My work is basically to prepare Osho material for publishers in the “marketplace” – which is slightly different from simply keeping his books in print as they were spoken. So I chose material related to a subject, and work to create a readable and “market-friendly” book out of it.
I’m also famous for being rather good at finding things on the “Osho Books” CD ROM. I seem to have developed a knack for remembering the exact phrasing of what he has said, and therefore being able to go straight to what somebody is looking for… which is understandable, since I’ve worked with his words so much.” (Sarito. E-mail. 14.05.2001)
Divya on Osho’s handwriting
“Just a few days back Vandana who’s editing the current series of lectures showed them to me. His little handwriting is so beautiful! It is compact clear and round without being circular, with generous spaces between the words. The sutra is typed out nearly in the middle of the page and around it He’s noted a few topics here and there to correspond to the parts that He has underlined and which He wants to emphasize. Nothing else. Just one page with His little words on the margins. Occasionally He’ll have filled the backside of the paper, and have pasted a typed out joke, or a story, in contrasting colors. He’s very aesthetic. He loves things done neatly and colorfully. Before He became so sensitive that He couldn’t tolerate the fumes of felt-tip pens He used to sketch with them. Every book of the period up to then was marked by a Bhagwan abstract on the front page. Beautiful stuff! Some lucky sannyasins have been gifted with personal drawings too!” (Divya 1980, p. 334)
“I have no specific memories of editing/publishing policy during Pune 1, though there were probably many. I was just head down in headphones for 5 years. I do remember accompanying Anurag to Bombay printers, doing Dynamic on Juhu Beach and having rocks thrown at us in back alleys. When gallery proofs arrived at the ashram, I always wanted to re-edit what I’d edited and Anurag had to restrain me.
Nor do I remember rules re transcribing or editing. It was a big issue of trust, hence editors were ‘screened’ and very few accepted. At one time I had the unevitable task of supervising (questioning) Swami Somendra’s editing: he took licenses which were ‘out of line’, changing Osho’s words, inserting his own into gaps, etc. Yet he was a strong group leader with strong ideas (ego) and persuasive powers, disinclined to listen to mere me…
We used dots when Osho trailed off or did not complete sentences. It was important to keep the feeling of spoken word as opposed to written text.
Frequently sannyasins with scholarly or academic backgrounds would offer to ‘assist’ with editing – offers which I would decline with territorial disdain.
While I had a tertiary background in English Lit., my musical ear was equally employed in editing Osho’s words. It is always delicate to edit/tidy anyone’s writing and maintain their unique voice and style. Editing from audio tapes brings another level of responsibility; determined to preserve vocal rhythms and inflections, nuances of phrasing and intonation. It’s obsessive work – a skill I rarely use these days though a few years ago was glad to do some more editing while visiting Pune in 2006 and continued this with a few books after returning to Australia.
I’d heard that books edited in Pune 1 had been re-edited in later phases. It was nice to hear that mine had been largely left untouched.” (Ma Vandana. E-mail. 07.03.2011)
Pratima tells on not changing when editing
“Sudha: Do you ever have to worry about editors changing too much?
Pratima: No. Most of the editors, all of the editors, have been around a long time. They’re mostly all four or five-years-old sannyasins who’ve been listening to Bhagwan for that amount of time, so any of his little quirks of speech, they know very well. And they don’t change anything. I mean all of them are totally in love with Bhagwan. They’re all totally mad. Also, none of them can speak English anymore (laughter), so they mostly just go along with what Bhagwan says.
At first we were all a bit fussy about, “Okay, we have to make this correct English.” Now we’ve all been in India so long that…
Sudha: … we don’t even know what that means any more!
Pratima: And also we feel that why should we compromise to a faraway audience, who have nothing to do with us, and change Bhagwan’s words to suit their particular literary hang-ups. So mostly his speech is just left exactly as it comes out of his mouth, which when you look at it very deeply, is exactly right. Often what he does is he goes to the root of the meaning of the word, instead of the current meaning of the word. And when you get back to the root meaning of the word, what he is actually saying, even though on first hearing sounds incorrect, is actually more correct, or it means something slightly different.
The thing I love about when Bhagwan does that, like sometimes in reading, it sounds wrong, but you have to stop – because the way he uses words… there’s such a distance. It’s something I call objective language. He talks about ‘the body’, ‘the mind’, like a process outside, and it gets further and further away. That mustn’t be changed. That kind of things is exactly what it means, although it seems like wrong or awkward word usage. It makes you stop. It tilts your head a little. The feeling behind it… wow!
When you look at things like that, you become more aware that he is totally aware of what he is talking about!
Sudha: And his vision of things!
Pratima: It is not just words coming out – even though when you see him sitting there in the morning and he’s talking and talking and talking and talking, when you go over what he’s saying, it is just mind-blowing. So all of the editors, they’re just to sit there and check that what has been transcribed is what he said, and to put it in a form that goes in a book, just paragraphs and all the rest of it. There’s no actual editing that goes on, even though they are all called editors.” (Yoga Pratima. Interview. In: Sannyas, 1978:6, p. 37)
“My small cog in this loving and harmoniously turning wheel was to become one of a small team of editors who were editing and publishing Osho’s books in English… I returned to India in 1974, took part in the great Kailash experiment and finally settled in Poona at the very end of that year. At that time Canadian Krishna Prem had just edited ‘My Way: the Way of the White Cloud’ and a team of editors – Anurag, Krishna Priya, Vandana and now myself, were working on ‘Roots and Wings’. From then onwards I became a fully-fledged editor, working on the books for the next four or five years. A Publication Department was set up with Pratima co-ordinating the whole business side of publishing, while doing some editing herself, and Yatri heading the book design department. There were three full time editors with others filling in between their other work. Maneesha’s special task was to write the Darshan Diaries. Osho did not want technology to interfere with the personal nature of those very precious meetings, so no recordings were made. Maneesha just took notes as she sat next to him and then wrote out his words.” (Veena 2012, p. 59,61)
Veena on her editing
“Fortunately for me, I had understood enough to say ‘Yes’ to the next request Osho asked of me: to open a meditation centre in London. On my return to India after running that centre for a year, Osho again asked me to edit for him and I worked with Ma Priya and Ma Anurag on the beautiful book ‘Roots and Wings’. Canadian Sw Krishna Prem (who left his body a few years ago – his book about his life with Osho, ‘Osho, India and Me’, was published posthumously) had just finished editing ‘My Way: the Way of the White Cloud’ – the second book published in English. Shortly after that the Publications department was formed, headed by Ma Yoga Pratima, in about 1975. The department now became responsible for editing Osho’s books in English and getting them printed as well. This was no small task in India at that time because printing methods were still very basic and it was difficult to get books printed at a standard we westerners – and Osho of course – thought good enough. The book design part of publications was headed by Sw Yatri, an art graduate from the UK. There was perhaps 12 to 15 people working together at that time from many different countries such as England, Australia, the USA, Germany and Italy as well as India.
But there were no fixed divisions – we all worked together to do whatever was necessary. Editors even ended up spending hours, days, in printing companies in Mumbai working with the people there to produce books to a higher and higher standard. At first we met with some resistance but when one of Osho’s books took first prize in an India-wide book competition, suddenly the Mumbai printers were eager to work with us and accept our efforts to make the books more beautiful. Both this work and the constant up and down that very dangerous road between Mumbai and Pune were quite tough but so inspired were we by Osho’s presence and his words that nothing mattered. We loved every minute of our work. In fact, we could not consider it as ‘work’! It was an honour, a privilege, an incredible joy to be a sannyasin and part of Osho’s ashram. Whatever he asked us to do felt like a gift, not a chore…
As an editor, I would choose or be assigned a book to edit. First, I would carefully transcribe the discourse from the cassette tapes that were then used, meticulously checking over and over again that I had transcribed each word correctly and had not omitted anything. Then I would start on the first edit. Not only was it a joy to have the time to savour his word again but there was the additional honour of being able to work with Osho more directly. His instructions to us were to make grammatical corrections but not to change the meaning of his words. The latter instruction was often not so easy to follow because sometimes it was not clear what his meaning was. In this case, I and the other editors would write to him indicating the passage which we were not clear about or questioning a word perhaps not used correctly (we would sometimes take a guess and supply a more appropriate word) or enquiring about facts which were perhaps not strictly correct. He would then send us messages back having rewritten the passage to make it clear, or agreeing with the word we had suggested or supplying a different one or, having checked some details via his books in his library, supplying us with the correct facts he had been meaning to use. Thus our daily task was enriched by his personal messages and the feeling that this was a wonderful and inexpressively sweet collaboration on producing his books so that more people around the world could read, enjoy and be transformed by them.
Indeed, I don’t know that even Osho could have foreseen how popular his books have become and how widely read. Due to the increased opportunities provided by the Internet, people from every walk of life all around the world have learned of his books and are now reading them, in many, many different languages.
I remain eternally grateful for the enormous honour and privilege of being able to work for Osho in this incredible way.” (Ma Prem Veena. www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/feb13)
Satya Bharti recalls
“I spent hours with Werner Erhard (who visited the ashram with Diana Ross several months later), introduced two Playboy editors to Bhagwan (articles on the Rajneesh movement eventually appearing in the magazine), lectured and officiated at the opening of several new Rajneesh centers, and met with book publishers and distributors… convincing the former to buy Bhagwans books… one letter from a German guy who wants to make a movie here; you better get down there.” Writing and editing half a day, I spent the rest of my time working on copyright matters and arranging for Bhagwan’s books to be published commercially.” (Franklin 1992, pp. 91,97)
Krishna Prem presented with a gift from Osho
“It’s a copy of my last Indian-English effort, ‘The Long and the Short and the All’, fresh off Motilal Barnarsidass’ New Delhi presses. I open the book and there, on the frontespice, I read, “To Krishna Prem, with love,” signed with Osho’s flourish. Underneath he’s penned the date: “10.10.79”. It’s my forty-first birthday.” (Allanach 2010, p. 292)
“Osho loved books and he was fascinated with the process of publishing his own. He read every word that we edited and coached us in the way he would like things done. We had to make necessary grammatical corrections but of course he was adamant that his meaning was not to be changed and we were to retain the flavour of his speaking and never try to impose our style on his words.
Needless to say, this took some doing, but he patiently guided us on every detail and monitored everything we did. We sent queries to him every day and he would tell us what he wanted. It turned into a very sweet collaborating process and I know for a fact that he was enjoying himself ‘writing’ his books through us.
Some of the kinds of queries I would make would be as follows. If I couldn’t make sense of a sentence he had uttered I would have a shot at writing it as I thought I understood it, send it to him, and he would either say OK or rewrite the sentence or even the paragraph. Sometimes I would query a word which I felt he had not used correctly, and hazard a guess as to what really was the word he wanted to use. Often he would consult a dictionary and then either agree with me or substitute another word. Sometimes he got his scientific facts wrong (for example he got himself tied up in knots once on hereditary genes) at which point I would research the topic in the library, send in the correct facts and ask him what he wanted to do. Invariably he would rewrite the whole thing – sometimes it was as long as half a page – and I would delete the words from the original script and insert his corrected version.” (Veena 2012, p. 64)
Veena further on editing
“Usually someone else did the original transcribing as I couldn’t type very well. By the time I or the other editors finished checking and editing this typed script it was quite messy so Osho liked to wait till we got the first proofs back from the printer before checking what we had done. On receiving the proofs he would take up his red pen and go to town – altering things, deleting things, rearranging sentences, even crossing out paragraphs. Sometimes he would write a whole page, in red ink, to be inserted, as he thought of other arguments to use to make his point clear. I would get the proofs back from his room and chuckle because he was just like a teacher making a student’s composition with a red pen.
In those early days Osho read nearly every final proof before it went to press and we simply did not print it until he was satisfied. His attention to detail was so great that he even found typo errors which we had overlooked, much to our embarrassment.” (Veena 2012, p. 65)
Blank verse format
“About the books written in ‘blank verse’… One day, when I was transcribing a discourse I found myself editing his words in a ‘blank verse’ format (like Shakespeare uses). This seemed to be the way he was talking – the words seem to flow poetically. I was bemused and went on doing it for a while and it seemed rather beautiful. So I typed out the bit I had done and sent it to him and asked him what he thought. He liked it and said to go on doing it. When the proofs came back from the printers, Laxmi got to hear of it and was upset. She said this style would make the books much thicker and therefore more expensive and that western people wouldn’t like the poetic style. I said that the expense shouldn’t be an issue and that the westerners were more able to judge what westerners liked than she. In the meantime, I had shown another editor what I was doing and she really liked it and started to edit in the same way.
Because Laxmi wasn’t happy, we both wrote to Osho asking what to do and he, seeing a split in the ranks, told us to come to darshan. Then, like a judge, he heard our points of view and Laxmi’s. I chuckled to myself thinking how like a trial this was. Considering both sides he finally ruled in our favour. And the ruling proved to be the correct one because of the first five books published abroad, by Sheldon Press in England, three were written in the ‘blank verse’ style.
Later, I suddenly found that this style didn’t work anymore – he was speaking in a slightly different way. Maybe his English had improved and he had become more fluent and was therefore using more involved expressions and sentence patterns which no longer lent themselves to this simple poetic style. Again I wrote to him and told him what was happening and he replied that it was fine and to edit in the way I felt was right.” (Veena 2012, p. 66)
“When I came back from the West Bhagwan had me rewrite old books that were originally delivered in Hindi and then translated into English by Indians, and they were very difficult to read. So what He had me do was rewrite them into good English. So I did about five or six.” (Divya 1980, p. 208)
“Sampurna, who was well-known by this time through her published commentaries on Bhagwan’s work [in Poona One]…” (Franklin 1992, p. 354)
“He suggested to start translating his books [in Italian] while in Pune and find a publisher when Veda was back home in Italy. He also gave specific instructions that the publishers should get a contract from Laxmi’s office before going ahead with the printing…” (Punya 2015, p. 51)
“Over 350 books are attributed to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh addressing his views on all facets of human and cosmic existence. Virtually all of these are compilations of “discourses” usually listing a “compiler” and another person as “editor”. (Carter. In: Aveling 1999, p. 182)
“Technically, these are tape-recorded discourses of Bhagwan’s “utterances” which are edited into books by others. To maintain tracking of different “editors and compilers” at different stages of the movement, I have generally included the names of these in references to Bhagwan’s books.” (Carter 1990, p. 298)
“Rajneesh’s ‘writings’ are edited transcriptions of his oral discourses. While I assume the editors have done their job well, the print medium nevertheless inevitably fails to capture the special nuances of “live” presentations (facial expressions, gestures, vocal intonations, etc.) that are frequently important for an accurate interpretation of the intended communication.
Rajneesh’s teaching style is highly atomistic and situational. The content of his discourses is shaped always by his perception of the specific needs of his audience at a given moment. This accounts in part not only for the inconsistencies that abound in his published works, but also for the bizarre and/or outrageous remarks that the reader occasionally encounters. Rajneesh does not play the role of a metaphysician or philosopher seeking to elaborate a coherent conceptual system.” (Clarke 1983, p. 1)
“Urmila took sannyas in 1976 and became one of his Hindi editors and translators, contributing to several collections.” (Savita 2014, p. 249)
Krishna Prem’s editing
“He was assigned various books to re-edit, “From Sex to Superconsciousness’, ‘The Path to Self-realisation’, and began to feel that Bhagwan was working on him through the books. When he began to work on his third assignment ‘Earthen Lamps’ and ‘The Seeds of Revolution’, he came in touch with a sense of emptiness.” (Maneesha on Krishna Prem. In: The Open Secret. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 103)
“On front flap: This is the third volume of the series on the Yoga Sutras of Rishi Patanjali. The talks were given by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in the presence of disciples and friends in his ashram in Poona, India.
The material has been transcribed and edited by disciples, with awareness of the dangers involved in ‘editing’ the words of one who is enlightened. The wording of the original spontaneous lectures has been followed throughout, except in cases where the grammar was obviously interfering with rather than helping the flow of meaning. Because of this, you may find the English strange at times. However, read deeply, and you may have your first taste of objective language.” (Yoga. The Alpha and the Omega. Discourses on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (1976). Vol.III. Front flap)
Editing various presentation formats
“Every morning Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh talks for an hour and a half on the central themes of religious traditions throughout the world. In them he shares his knowledge of the techniques and methodologies of each of these traditions, varying his talks each month between English and Hindi.
These publications are the direct transcriptions of the taped lectures. Each book conveys in differing ways the unique flavour of listening to the spontaneous responses of a living Master.
The editors, in transposing the words to print, have been careful to retain the flow of his morning talks. Each attempts to give life to the printed page by using various presentations. Some flavour a poetic format, others simply prose, while some combine the two.” (Just Like That. Talks on Sufi Stories (1975). Back flap)
Sarjano on editing
“Try to understand this simple thing: when he was speaking to his disciples he was not reading a written discourse, neither was he thinking about the posterity that one day would read his words; he was just chatting with a few thousand friends that had come to listen to him. Hence it’s natural that his discourses are repetitive and fragmented by long pauses and infinite repetitions, because – I repeat it – his intention was not to make a nice book, but to manage to communicate to some thick heads like ours his simple truth!” (Sarjano 2016, p. 12)
Some title changes:
Yoga: the Science of the Soul to Yoga: the Alpha & the Omega
The Way of the White Clouds to My Way: the Way of the White Clouds
Neither This Nor That to Hsin Hsin to Ming: the Book of Nothing
Only One Sky to Tantra: the Supreme Understanding
Straight to Freedom to Until You Die
Come follow Me to Come Follow To You
Med.: the Art of inner Ecstasy to Meditation: the Art of Ecstasy
The Book of the Secrets Vol.1-5 to Vigyan Bhairay Tantra Vol.1-2
Roots and Wings to A Bird on the Wing
The Book of the Books Vol.1-6 to The Dhammapada Vol.1-12
All title changes are in: Volume III / Bibliography.
Somendra on editing
“Two editorial notes. Firstly, English is not Bhagwan’s native language. This has many advantages. He gives dead words and phrases a twist that often makes them jump up and become alive again. But we are used to the dead and the known, so if you baulk here and there as you read, is it not your structures causing it? If we can drop the grammarian in us we can enter new dimensions here.
Secondly, the talks have been edited into blank verse. It is not my verse but his. The words come through him as such. All I have used is an ear. I trust it has not been too untrue.
So, because this book is of words it is only a moon – a full and brilliant moon (Rajneesh means moon, king of the night), but still a moon. It reflects a sun. Where is that sun? Behind the words of the speaker in Poona. And after a year basking in it I am beginning to suspect it may be behind the words in the listener and the reader too.” (Somendra. In: Just Like That (1976). Introduction, p. vii)
Somendra’s handwritten notes from Osho
“Michael Barnett (aka Somendra) came to Pune for the first time in November 1974 and the first job he received from Osho (known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in those days) was that of editing his books. The first was the Zen book And The Flowers Showered. During that time Osho passed some notes to him and these notes are still in his possession. He feels now that they need to find a new home and offers them for sale. Michael has asked me to help with this. You can contact me, Rajen, through our contact page.” (www.rajneeshpuneone.com 04.11.2011)
The Translation Department was over the years trying to catch up with the steady flow of published discourses in English as well as in Hindi.
Nirvano on his translating work into German
Heading: How I Started Translating Osho into German
“From my very first taped Osho lecture in London back in January 1976, I found myself translating him into German as he spoke. This had a magical effect: Everything went in deeper as I repeated to myself everything he said in my mother tongue. This way, I probably missed a sentence or two, but I felt I was understanding him from my depth – at the same time bursting with joy. There seems to be a mystique about one’s mother tongue that no foreign language can have. And I certainly did speak English fluently at that time: I had spent one year as a high school student in Michigan, USA, one year studying at Edinburg University, Scotland, and two years teaching German at St. John’s College, Cambridge – including giving translation classes; and throughout my English studies I had loved translating English poetry: once even, while writing a paper about Jonathan Swift’s ‘Gulliver’s Travels’, I translated a whole chapter as I just saw no other way how to express my awe and admiration for that author!
Small wonder, then, that after becoming a sannyasin, this urge to do simultaneous translations of Osho became overpowering. I was then a German grammar school teacher with several holiday spells a year, so I could visit Pune quite often, sitting at Osho’s feet rather than at home listening to a tape. During one of these visits, I came to know Swami Prasad, whom I told about this secret ‘addiction’ of mine. Prasad, who at the time was himself working on the German translation of an Osho Zen book, just listened attentively; all he said was that Osho was looking for a German translator. He must have passed this on to Osho, as he lived in Lao Tzu House and had easy access to him…
However, I was given work right away. Prasad, who had translated one of Osho’s early Zen series, gave me his manuscript to check. I enjoyed reading it for a couple of days; it was unique, true – but not German. When I hinted this to him and suggested alternatives, he just laughed his head off and, without batting an eye-lid, threw the whole typeset into the waste paper bin. I was stunned – what an act! Brushing aside weeks and weeks of work just like that! But all he said was: “What do I know? I translate Osho like those trees out there.”…
This is all history now, but I’m still translating Osho today. Just can’t get enough of it! And so many books are still waiting to be translated…” (Swami Nirvano. www.oshonews.com/2010/11/)
“Most German friends know Prem Nirvano as the translator of Osho’s discourses into German. He was first asked to translate one of Osho’s discourses in Pune One, and Nirvano immediately had the feeling that he would be translating Osho for the rest of his life. And so it happened! The first complete book he translated was’ Hammer on the Rock’. Now, at 71, he can’t remember how many Osho books he has translated so far: “I never counted them. The one I’m doing just now is always my favorite.” At the moment that’s ‘Letters to Lighten Your Path’, the one hundred letters Osho wrote to Indian Ma Yoga Sohan in the mid-sixties.” (Viha Connection, 2012:5)
Translating into Japanese
“Nartan, a japanese sannyasin, talks to bhagwan about translating his books into japanese. One book has already been published, but nartan says that she finds difficulty with some words. For example there is no word in japanese for ‘mind’; they use a word that means ‘not heart’.
Bhagwan suggests that nartan not translate too literally, but rather put more effort into conveying the sense of what is being said. He says the language should be simple, uncomplicated, so that the book is a flow and easily understandable…” (For Madmen Only. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 404)
Sarjano on translating into Italian
“I started to receive some books of this ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’, some in English, some translated into horrible Italian. I immediately thought that this guy should have a better translator, because his way of thinking was quite interesting. I would have called him, at that time, an ‘organic philosopher’, or a ‘holistic thinker’.” (Sarjano. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 396)
“His style of expression had been represented here as faithfully as is possible, with all repetitions and all reiterations, because I certainly do not wish to get another stick from him! Once, during my job of translating one of his books from English to Italian, I had started to cut a little here and there, to erase all his repetitions, the most redundant sentences, and even modifying lightly – but only for the peace of mind of the reader – his more risky statements! Osho got to know about it – I can’t even imagine how – and he slammed me openly, saying that Sarjano was trying to make his words more digestible!” (Sarjano 2016, p. 11)
Sarjano writes from Saswad
“The entertainer for that evening was one Pramod, who – besides being in charge of the Translation Department – was also his crazy accomplice, sending to Osho most of the jokes that he recited during his discourses.” (Sarjano 2016, p. 106)
Published translations in 1980
“Many of Bhagwan’s books are also available from other publishers, in several languages. For further information contact the following publishers:
20 books in English:
Harper and Row, USA
De Vorss and Co, USA
Grove Press, USA
Routledge and Kegan Paul, USA and UK
Sheldon Press, UK
Thames and Hudson, UK
7 books in Japanese:
Merkmal Ltd, Tokyo
11 books in Dutch:
Mirananda Uitgevers BV
10 books in Italian:
Il fiore d’Oro
13 books in German:
Buchvertrieb Ingelin Wich
Fachbuchhandlung für Psychologie
Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag
1 book in Danish:
Borgens Forlag A/S
6 books in Spanish:
4 books in Portuguese:
3 books in French:
Les Editions A.T.P. Paris
Epi S.A. Editeurs
(Sannyas, 1980:3, p. 35)
“A vast amount of work at the ashram is in Hindi – transcribing, editing, manuscripts for the books, correspondence – and it is all done by hand! We do not have a Hindi typewriter. If you have one you could give or lend, or you would like to buy us one, it would speed up the Hindi side of Bhagwan Shree’s work considerably.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:12)
Chaitanya Kabir ‘Mahmud’ recalls
“I was blessed to start understanding Osho’s exquisite Hindi on 3/21/77 and continue in tears at such beauty for years: to complete this blessing I translated two books from Hindi to English: Die O Yogi Die and the first book of the Mahageeta of Ashtabakra/Janak…
As a Sufi, I’m more interested in the Urdu poetry Osho quoted than in the history of his discourses. Years ago my dear friend Lalita was Osho’s librarian and she used to invite me to catalogue his Hindi books. Many Hindi and Urdu poetry books had pages cut out for his use in discourses. Some day it might be of interest to someone to trace his poetry sources thru these missing pages.” (Chaitanya Kabir ‘Mahmud’. E-mail. 18.10.2010)
Osho’s father checking transcription of Hindi lectures
“Bhagwan’s own parents – both in their sixties – are currently living in Francis House in the grounds of the ashram. Bhagwan’s father is engaged in checking the transcription of Hindi lectures, while his wife helps in the preparation of food when she is not meditating. Bhagwan’s mother had taken sannyas two years ago and in October of last year, Bhagwan’s father suddenly felt moved to become a sannyasin too. He described it not as a decision that he made, but something that happened through the strength of some meditative force.
He is grey-haired and walks with the assistance of a stick, but like his wife seems sprightly and energetic, thriving in the company of friends and, whenever kirtan happens, dancing and singing as wholehearted as the rest. On Guru Poornima day, when Bhagwan’s father came forward he danced and turned about, arms raised – to the applause and laughter of everyone present – then bent down gently to touch Bhagwan’s feet. He was followed by Bhagwan’s mother who, dancing as gracefully as a young girl, stretched her arms out to her son, her guru, her head tilted to one side, an expression of indescribable tenderness setting her whole body aglow with something not of this world.
Bhagwan spoke of his father soon after he had taken sannyas, in reply to a question in a lecture as to why prasad [food blessed by Bhagwan] had been distributed on the occasion of his father’s sannyas…
‘My father is rare – not because he’s my father; he’s simply rare. As human nature goes, there is every possibility that a father cannot come and bow down to his own son. It is almost humanly impossible. He has done that. You will not find a parallel in the whole history of man – and it may not happen again. Just think of bowing down to your own son, coming to the feet of your own son, being initiated. A tremendous humbleness, a tremendous innocence is needed.'” (A Rose is a Rose is a Rose. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 367)
Prem Maneesha was the prime mover in the publishing of Darshan Diaries, also subtitled: Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple.
Maneesha on the editing of Darshan Diaries
“At one point during those early darshans days [March 1976], I asked if I might take notes of the conversations Bhagwan was having with people. They were so unique, those interchanges, and it seemed a great pity to me that they were being witnessed by only a few people and then lost forever. Bhagwan agreed to my suggestion, and so when I was not rubbing third eyes or laughing at the moon, I would sit scribbling notes into a pad. Later, when darshans were recorded, I decided not to keep the notes. As they were only the paraphrased speech of Bhagwan, I didn’t imagine they could ever be printed. I whish I’d trusted my original intuition – which was to preserve them; sadly, they have been destroyed.” (Forman 1988, p. 53)
“So now you start recording the meetings here, Bhagwan said. You bring a tape recorder and make notes if you need to. And you tell Shiva what photographs you would like for the book – he will take them. Bhagwan paused, then – You would like this work?
As it dawned on me what Bhagwan was offering – the opportunity to continue to be at darshan every night, and not only that, but to work with his words – I promptly nodded and burst into tears.
– Good, Maneesha! he chuckled.” (Forman 1988, p. 60)
“Thus began, the following evening, the most creative and exciting period of my life so far. In preparation for darshan we set up a tape recorder and a small mike; Shiva brought his camera, and I equipped myself with book and pen. From the darshans I had attended, I knew I want to write descriptions of people – of their faces, their backgrounds, perhaps – and of Bhagwan, in an attempt to try to convey something of the extraordinary evenings I witnessed.
For me it was like attending a play, some existential drama in which actors were continually changing, and the dialogue was totally spontaneous. The compilation of the diaries became my love, my almost sole preoccupation. I began to develop different themes for each book, writing commentaries on, perhaps, surrender, the master’s devices, or the life of the ashram, which would be interspersed between the dialogues. Incredibly, the darshan diaries continued, at a rate of one a month, for over five years – a total of sixty-three books.
For the first few weeks, during the morning of the following day I would play back the previous evening’s darshan, and type out every interchange, tape-check my work, edit it, and add commentary when it felt called for. Later, “Big Prem” – a tall, solid-looking American with a lively sense of humour – took over the typing, freeing me for the other aspects of the work. I worked fast and furiously; by the end of each day I wanted to have the previous night’s darshan ready for its final read-through; otherwise I would never be able to catch up again. Sometimes I saw Bhagwan’s words like a gigantic snowball which continually pursued me: to pause, to look behind me, was to waste precious time and only gave ground to that ever-approaching apparition.” (Forman 1988, p. 63)
“Perhaps two years later, Savita – English, and formerly a psychotherapist, not the one who later was known as “accountant Savita” – joined us, and the three of us made up a team. Invariably, Prem, plugged into her typewriter and earphones all day, would burst into uproarious laughter as she reached a particularly hilarious exchange in darshan, or would stop to exclaim with us over something that touched her. Savita and I had great fun tossing ideas back and forth; we began to interview people whom we thought would have a particularly interesting story to tell, and I continued to play around with new ways of giving expression to those enchanted evenings.” (Forman 1988, p. 65)
“I type this on a balcony that overlooks Bhagwan’s garden. To my left is his beloved Almond tree. It is the essence of octoberness… and of tao…
My day is working on our balcony, my relationship, relationships and… darshan. In the auditorium he called Chuang Tzu, nestled in a corner not far from the Almond tree, we meet each evening with him around whom all our individual and collective lives revolve.” (Maneesha. In: The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 1)
“It is so beautiful to be compiling, live, the experiences of these evenings with Bhagwan, to witness as each darshan unfolds and becomes a chapter in a book. I have a sense of writing about and being part of a huge novel or play in which thousands of characters come and go, their lives intertwined with eachothers’ in a multitude of ways, on a multitude of levels. There is such exhilaration in being part of this profoundly vital, moving adventure called sannyas, the joy of dancing to the tune of this pied piper….” (Maneesha. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 236)
“I edited over sixty of Bhagwan’s darshan diaries, sat at his morning discourse and evening talks for seven years in Poona, attended the discourses given to a small group in Lao Tzu House in Oregon when Bhagwan first resumed speaking in 1984, and then the subsequent discourses in Rajneesh Mandir, later I was present as the reader of the discourse questions each day on Bhagwan’s nine month-long world tour in 1986…
In the past, when I was working on the darshan diaries in Poona, I had worked fairly independently and tended – rightly or wrongly – not to defer much to others for a second opinion, once it was seen that I had retained the rudiments of grammar from school days and understood what “editing” Bhagwan’s words actually meant. And because I was also writing commentary to accompany Bhagwan’s words, I had worked at a frenetic pace, so I couldn’t afford to umm and ahh too much over each comma and semicolon.” (Forman 1988, pp. 269,395)
Early Darshan Diaries
“Each night’s darshan is transcribed and photographed to create a series of beautiful, invaluable books, lavishly illustrated and with copius commentaries describing what it is like to live in the constant presence of a Master. So far, two have been published: Hammer on the Rock and Above All, Don’t Wobble. Each is available by sending a check for $15.00 (postage included), made out to Rajneesh Foundation. Better yet, come to darshan!” (Sannyas, 1977:2, p. 46)
Ma Anand Savita (Savita Brandt)
“… writer/editor for the book series the ‘Darshan Diaries’… Back in Poona Two she was a Sufi Dance leader and a writer for Osho Times International.” (Savita 2014, p. 247)
“Most of the Darshan Diaries of the period were lavishly produced with interviews, articles, commentary and pictures of ashram life. According to Osho’s direction, cut-back versions of the first two published, ‘Hammer on the Rock’ and ‘Above All, Don’t Wobble’, are still being reprinted. The rest are collectors’ items.” (Savita 2014, p. 259)
“As needed, I am continuing too to work as Osho’s editor – work that ignites me as much today as it did [when] I first began it, 23 years ago.” (Maneesha. Interview. In: Keerti 2000, p. 15)
Maneesha talks in an evening session 2006 on her editing work:
It was like Alice in Wonderland, with different dynamics blossoming. I worked as a cleaner in Lao Tzu House in November 1974, and Darshans started in the porch December 1974. Mukta was the one who managed the admission to Darshans, and for six years I was recording and editing the Darshan Diaries, as well as adding commentary and interviews to and selected photos for. ‘I adored my role as Osho’s editor: it was never a chore: I was on fire with it, yes, unremittingly for all those years.’
The meditation music for Nataraj, Nadabrahma, Devani and Gibberish, the Prayer method, Latihan, laughter etc. were all created at this time. When Osho wanted to explain a new method to someone, Maneesha was called on stage to demonstrate it, as he described it.
Darshan Diaries was ongoing from 1974 with one book published each month. And lectures too came out with the speed of one books each month, so two books were simultaneously in progress for six years, summing up to 68 books. With many parallel running processes in the speedy organizing of production it was like a growing snowball of words that kept on running…
The Darshan Diaries were very intimate talks with his followers, and many still remain unpublished. 400 meditation techniques from Darshan Diaries, e.g. No-meditation. The number of people involved in the publishing of Darsan Diaries was up from zero to fifteen people.
Title changes in reprinting were made also to promote the sale of books. No dates on the lectures as they are not old, but timeless. Translations from Hindi to English is a continuous process.
Discourse series were discontinued in Oregon and restarted in December 1985 in Kulu Manali with Questions/Answers. Osho selected the questions to be read by Maneesha. Only a few persons were with him there, four to five. Osho was looking closely at Maneesha all through discourse, while Maneesha remained from behind her eyes like in Tratak.
In Bombay the series ‘Beyond Enlightenment’ (1986) was opened with a question from Maneesha, “What is Enlightenment?” Very touched and full of him also there. (Maneesha. Evening session at RISK, Denmark. 29.09.2006; A Passion for the Possible, sannyasnews.com 25.10.2006)
“It’s the first evening of the new month and the beginning of another darshan book. Several of us are making preparations for darshan now, thirty minutes before bhagwan is due. Haridas is setting up the tape-recorder and the p.a. system. He records darshan and doubles as a translator. Krishna bharti (commonly known as kb), photographer, is checking his equipment, then joins shiva, bhagwan’s body guard, at the gate to take orders for photography.
It’s a new book tonight, I tell the three of them, and bhagwan always mentions the title of the book at the first darshan. Who’s going to guess it?
Some twenty-five minutes later we are sitting – thirty or so people – buddha-like, in the auditorium. I sense haridas behind me, mukta by bhagwan’s chair, shiva next to me and kb opposite, right near the door through which bhagwan comes. Kb suddenly raises his hands in the familiar gesture of greeting – bhagwan is coming, everybody! I watch the wall by which bhagwan will walk, spot his white shadow on it, and close my eyes for a moment. Then I’m looking at him.
Hi, bhagwan! I call out silently, you look beautiful! Outwardly I limit myself to a luke-warm smile (it feels false but I don’t want to not smile). He looks at us all, glances at me as he sits so I swoon and die, then am revived and poised with pen – all in a split second.” (Maneesha. In: The Further Shore. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 4)
“Most of these sessions were recorded and subsequently published as “Darshan Diaries.” Books from the diary series are so designated in the bibliography, because these give special and contemporaneous insight into the concerns of followers as well as clues about their nationalities and prior occupations… Readers should be cautioned that the series is promotional and cases were selected for attraction or to illustrate a point.” (Carter 1990, pp. 51,278)
Krishna Prem writes from darshan
“But before there’s a chance to start on my latest assignment, a very special treat comes along. Maneesha, Teertha’s girlfriend and the editor of the new one-a-month darshan diaries, asks me to attend darshan one evening and write my impressions. I hardly bother to say yes – all I want to know is when!…
“I liked your commentary very much,” Maneesha tells me a few days later. She holds out a bulging file to me. “Into writing an introduction for the book as well?” I write it that very evening. The next day Maneesha finds me once again. “I thought you’d like to know how much I enjoyed your introduction,” she says. “And Osho liked it too. Vivek told me after he read it he said, ‘He writes very well.’ Just thought you’d like to know,” she adds, turning into Lao Tzu driveway, leaving me standing there, grinning from ear to ear. Words like that from Osho are even better than the gold stars I used to get on my report card as a kid.” (Allanach 2010, p. 178)
(Note: The Introduction is in: ‘The No Book. No Buddha, No Teaching, No Discipline’ (1981). See also: Darshan Diaries in Volume III / Bibliography / Darshan Diaries)
Unrecorded darshans in Hindi
“While there are many Indian sannyasins living and working in the ashram, along with Westerners, their darshans go unrecorded as their dialogues with Bhagwan are in Hindi, or, more often than not, are non-verbal. While the majority of Westerners, particularly newcomers, tend to use darshan time to ask Bhagwan questions about meditation or experiences in groups, Indians prefer to use the time to simply sit and savour Bhagwan’s presence.” (Maneesha. In: The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 394)
Pratima in interview on Darshan Diaries
“Sudha: Could you talk a little bit about the Darshan Books, because that seems to be in a class by itself?
Pratima: Yes, that’s something that started at the end of 1975, and before that, darshan went unrecorded. Then one day a message came that darshans will now be recorded. Maneesha, who was then in charge of recording the material and making notes on the physical activities that happen at darshan, has been doing that as her work ever since, plus writing the commentaries of what happens at darshan, plus other activities around the Ashram. Most of the longer and in-depth interviews get included in the books, along with the photographs for that particular darshan. Plus now, in the last six months, more people have been invited by Maneesha to come to darshan and share their views of darshan. So there’s a lot of other people’s feelings about what happens in darshan, which is a totally indescribable space, as every sannyasin knows. But people’s descriptions of that indescribable space are different.
Also, there are interviews with people. A lot of people who come here are very well known in the West, even though once they come here, nobody knows or cares really what, who or how anybody was in the West. But many people who come are very famous, well known writers, doctors, therapists, actors and multitudes of other interesting people. These people, Maneesha also interviews for the darshan books. So now the later darshan books have put quite lengthy interviews with people who talk about their growth, how they came here, what happened to them. So the darshan books are more sort of family books.
The lecture books consist just of Bhagwan’s lectures, and then an introduction written by a sannyasin. The darshan books are more fluid in the format – there are pictures of people, and things happening, and nature photographs, and it’s got all the lovely little bits and pieces of gossip and things that happen in the Ashram, and people’s affairs and people’s meditations.
Pratima: Yes. Bhagwan said gossip is gospel, so you know, these are the gossip books of the gospel, or whatever.
But they’re sort of a line in themselves. And there are a lot of them because one month makes one book, and one book is about five hundred pages of print and photographs, and there are about one hundred to two hundred photographs in each book. They’re just quite amazing books.
One thing about the photographs in the books, what happens is when a manuscript is ready to go to the typesetter, we send a message in saying, “Okay, pictures for this book.” So then all the pictures for the book are chosen. When photographs are taken at darshan, or special events, always the contact sheets go in and certain ones are marked and kept. So there are a whole stack of contact sheets and bits and pieces to do with the photographs. And often, because we get books from the West, our own reading books, we’ll see something in those books that catches the eye, so we say, “Okay, we do this” – which is not always easy in India! They have different ideas of printing, or binding or embossing, or something. But this is continually feeding the creative aspect of it, and also making it a lot easier for the designers. They just look, see that “Okay, this is how it’s wanted” – choom, choom, choom, and they do it.
Suha: Choom, choom, choom!
Pratima: Well it’s not always quite choom choom choom. Sometimes chooma chooma choom choom.
The titles for all the books are chosen, such titles as: FOR MADMEN ONLY (laughter), THE SHADOW OF THE WHIP, BLESSED ARE THE IGNORANT, THE PASSION FOR THE IMPOSSIBLE, GOD IS NOT FOR SALE – the darshan books we all have real fun with.
We’re having secrets for the next year. We’ve started now with this one: this series happening currently is THE SECRET OF SECRETS. Then there’s going to be THE SECRET, which is all Sufis. And Bhagwan is the Master designer, speaker, author, trouble-maker, behind it all… He takes real interest in details of all the books, as well as all other things he doesn’t do!” (Ma Yoga Pratima. Interview. In: Sannyas, 1978:6, p. 37)
A few more examples of Darshan Diary titles:
* Nothing to Loose but Your Head
* Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle.
* Get Out of Your Own Way!
* For Madmen Only. Price of Admission: Your Mind.
* Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There
* Only Losers Can Win In This Game.
* Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast.
* Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing.
* The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment
* Don’t Look Before You Leap.
* Snap Your Fingers, Slap Your Face and Wake Up!
* Don’t Let Yourself Be Upset by the Sutra, Rather Upset the Sutra Yourself.
Samudro writes on his listing of sannyas names
“However, I wanted to do it more thoroughly. Initially I began researching all the Darshan Diaries on the Oshobooks CD-ROM, to check which names Osho had given and with which meaning. Soon it became obvious that there were numerous editing errors. Possible because, Maneesha (or rather, Big Prem) was given just one day to transcribe the tape of the darshan. To keep the nature of the darshans as an intimate meeting between master and disciple, Osho had given the instruction that the tapes be erased immediately after the transcription. So there is no way now to double-check on audio tapes.
Also the book editors were overwhelmed with work, and as there was no internet in those days, it would have been difficult to get all Sanskrit names transliterated correctly. It was also not an easy task to decipher Osho’s pronunciation on some words even with the tape recordings of regular discourses. Add to that the flimsy quality of audio cassette tapes in India in 1974-1981!
Urged to find the correct spelling of Sanskrit names I found a couple of Sanskrit dictionaries. The main one I use to check the sannyas names is the Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary from the late 1890’s. Leafing through the 1333 pages of this tome, I came across many other Sanskrit words that could have also made very interesting names. And thus I started to compile a new list of sannyas names and also corrected the gender of the names.
I have also double-checked all the other names given by Osho which are in other languages, like Hindi, Urdu or Arabic, i.e. not of Sanskrit origin and all those names which the Academy staff have added over the years. Thus I have expanded the 1550 names I found from Osho’s published books to approx 24.000 names in what will be the final list. As I only have extra time for it on occasions, it has taken me about 7 years for a compilation in the form of an Excell file. I am also making it available as a downloadable pdf file. It is preferable to search within the file for the meanings, rather than the name spelling.” (Samudro. www.oshonews.com. 20.03.2015)
Unpublished Darshan Diaries
“The Commune research library has copies of all Poona One unpublished Darshan Diaries. If you would like to have a transcript of your darshan with Osho, you are welcome to look it up by month and date and make a copy for yourself. If you can’t get to Poona, maybe a friend will do it for you. It’s a fairly simple process. However, there is no record of darshans that were not included in the published diaries, so if your darshan was edited out, it is unfortunately not retrievable. Love, Ma Tantra. Poona.” (Viha Connection, 1994:1)
As of 1997 60 published discourse books are out of print, not including the Darshan Diaries which are not going to be reprinted but will be compiled; with the limited publishing of Darshan Diaries they are now collectors items. Unpublished Darshan Diaries and Compilations, see: Volume III / Bibliography / Darshan Diaries.
A list of Sannyas Names compiled by Swami Samudro can be found at
http://www.oshonews.com/2014/03/sannyas-names/ For download: Full List all Names (PDF); First Names only (PDF); Full List all names (Excell).
Ever since his early days in Jabalpur Osho has been deeply involved in the production and design of his own books.
On Osho’s books
“Osho’s books are just that – Osho’s books. He chooses the subjects and speaks the words that make up the books. He coins the titles. He chooses the photos and artwork for the covers and the insiders, and the color and placement of the title lettering. He selects the sizes of the books, and used to supervise every stage of their production. He was constantly coming up with ideas for new books, and in fact was still giving instructions for revamps of some of his older works on the day he left his body.
So he leaves us a tremendous legacy with his books – not just the amazing words he spoke, but a beauty of quality that comes from his own personal care of all the details of the book’s production. For example, he has always insisted on the highest quality hardbound editions of his books, even when the experts said that paperbacks were the future. He says his books are not novels to be read once and then thrown away. They are to be read over and over again, because there are so many layers that people will find new insights each time they read.
Since he stopped speaking in April 1989, Osho has said consistently that he wants people to buy and read his books – that they are his last words. He even sent a message to the Multiversity group leaders that they should use his books in their groups for people to gain a greater understanding of what is happening there.
And he said that after he left his body his books would become even more popular, a prediction now being confirmed by the sales reports from distributors around the world. (Osho on His Books. In: Distribution advice. 20.08.1990)
Shivananda on designing
“When I designed books in English Publications in Pune I was lucky enough to have Osho as my art director. For every book, He chose His own photograph for the front cover, the title, the subtitle, a painting for the back cover, and the end papers (the first and last two pages glued to the hard cover of the book). Sometimes He gave instructions about the size of the book and the typeface. With these guidelines the designers made a mock-up, which went to Osho for approval. It was always an exciting moment for me to receive His comments. However it turned out, I never felt criticized or judged. My feeling was that He always went one step further to create something more beautiful and rich.
I remember one incident, when Ateet, Premda and I were designing a photo book. It was a big project; we spent months selecting His photographs and making a layout with quotes and different-sized pictures of Him. When it was finally shown to Him, He said it would be good to make three photo books. He also said that the layout looked beautiful, just to make all His pictures all the way to the edge of the page. One book He named A Man of Many Climates, Seasons and Rainbows. This book was published [in Poona Two], and it was finished during the time when He changed His names a few times. The two other books, The Language of the Eyes and The Language of the Hands, are still unpublished”. (Shivananda. In: Viha Connection, 2002:4)
Laxmi on Osho’s emblem
“Osho personally designed an emblem and suggested it be set in marble. It consisted of a dot in a triangle in a nine-sided shape set in a circle. The circle held it all together. The dot symbolized oneness. The triangle symbolized satyam shivam sundaram or Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh that is the creator, the preserver and the destroyer respectively, according to Hindu mythology. The nine-sided shape was symbolic of nine planets. This logo also symbolized the inner journey. This symbol decorated the top center of the gate. Thus emerged a symbol for the ashram that was later adapted to all stationery and gift item [including book bindings].” (Laxmi 2002, p. 25)
Veena on designing
“Osho also enjoyed being in on the designing process and, being artistic himself, often made suggestions about the designs and sketched in a few alternations to the design work shown to him.” (Veena 2012, p. 66)
Introduction made for Book Fair in Frankfurt 1978
“An der künstlerischen Gestaltung dieser Bücher arbeiten viele von Bhagwan Shree’s Schülern mit soviel Enthusiasmus und Feingefühl, dass die Endprodukte wegen ihrer hohen ästhetischen Qualität immer wieder mit dem nationalen Preis Indiens für hervorragende Gestaltung und Ausstatung ausgezeichnet werden. Innerhalb des Ashrams werden Korrekturen gelesen, Farbfotos entwickelt, Zeichnungen und Schriften entworfen. Die Umschlagtaschen werden ebenfalls dort im Vierfarben-Siebdruckverfahren hergestellt. Alle Bücher werden in Seide gebunden und haben Titel mit Goldprägung. Das Drucken und Binden der Bücher muss zur Zeit noch ausserhalb des Ashrams übernommen werden, aber sowie der Ashram auf ein entsprechend grösseres Stück Land umgezogen ist, um eine eigene autarke Kommune zu gründen, wird auch diese Arbeit von seinen Schülern übernommen.” (Quoted in: Haack 1984, p. 75)
Shiva writes on Yatri
“More professional people started arriving. A graphic artist and layout man came from England, and he was immediately given the task of producing the first English darshan diary, a book to be called ‘Hammer on the Rock’. This was intended to be an image for the difficulty Bhagwan had in getting his disciples to understand things without metaphorically banging them on the head…
The next morning we arrived for the session. Bhagwan came in and sat down in his chair, carrying an air of urgency with him. Yatri was summoned to his side, and Vivek was despatched to fetch a huge Salvador Dali publication, a book with an impressive solid gold cover. Yatri knelt down to hear Bhagwan describe exactly how he wanted the book. Bhagwan went on for a full forty minutes as Yatri began sweating profusely from the tropical heat and the concentration Bhagwan was demanding of him. Yatri looked more and more desperate as Bhagwan meticulously detailed his wishes for five new books, never wavering or changing his mind once.
Then, as Bhagwan finished and got up to leave, he turned to Yatri and said: “By the way, forget everything I have told you, OK? Do whatever you like!” As soon as Bhagwan was out of sight Yatri collapsed on the floor, exhausted.
All the time that Bhagwan had been speaking I had been taking pictures, and three weeks later I showed Yatri the photographs I had taken of him gnawing his fingernails in anguish. Yatri sent a framed set of them to Bhagwan, who returned them, signed ‘To Yatri with love’. This incident was typical of Bhagwan’s methods.” (Milne 1986, p. 123)
Yatri on book publishing
“Osho’s personal involvement was a major factor. He outlined virtually everything and all books and images were either vetted or chosen by him.
Between 1975 and 1978 I was seeing him at least once or even twice a day or being given very precise instructions as to how the books should be from Vivek (Nirvano to the later generation. I still like Vivek as her name… discernment PLUS).
During that period many sannyasins without any experience would turn up being sent by Laxmi. Few had any publishing experience but we would set them to work it all out by themselves… the typesetting, the images, the general ambience. And they all seemed to flourish.
Then came a few real technicians over to the darkroom and they also began to learn how to prepare for printing.
There really was no policy… just mayhem when approaching deadlines and dealing with printers who hadn’t been paid for years! I once complained to the old boy that it was almost impossible to get any printing done as there were so many outstanding bills. He giggled and said that soon they would be boasting that they were the ones who printed his works. It turned out just this way, but it still wasn’t too much fun at the time.” (Yatri (Malcolm Godwin). E-mail. 02.03.2009)
“Later she was given design work in the graphic department and worked on stationary featuring her drawing of Osho. Magdalena said it was a long process for the drawing and the stationary to be final (and sold in the boutique), because Osho approved all illustrations and was very particular about them. She also enjoyed hand-binding some of Osho’s books as special gifts and was in charge of binding ‘The Sound of Running Water’.” (Viha Connection, 2016:5)
Pratima recalls designing books
“Just sometimes – it especially happens with Laxmi – suddenly I’ll be thinking about something, and then suddenly, in that day a lot of energy will go into that particular project from Laxmi, or maybe a designer will come up and say, “Oh, I was just thinking about such and such book. Why don’t we…?” or a message will come out “Please use this color. Here’s a color for this book,” or “What’s happening with this book?” It seems even when it’s not collaborated with somebody else’s idea, coming from another designer or something, just suddenly one day it’ll be the day to get all the jackets sent off to the printer. It just feels right, as if that’s the day it’s supposed to happen.
Yesterday was the day to get all the jackets together. Now, it just… I don’t know why. I didn’t have it down on the list. Okay, it had been sitting there in my mind: jackets, we should work at. How thick is the book going to be? – all this kind of things. Then suddenly, yesterday was the day to sit down, with all the pictures that had been chosen for the jackets, and go through them all and work out which ones should be printed with which one, and call Yatri, and call the designers and just do the whole thing. That way it’s no strain. If I had decided beforehand, “Okay now, on this day we do this, on this day we do this, on this day we do this,” that kind of schedule freaks me out. And the other way it seems to work. I feel that the times when it falls through is when I get involved in some way in the process, if I start thinking about things and just getting in the way of it. The more I trust, the more it works.” (Ma Yoga Pratima. In: Sannyas, 1978:6, p. 37)
A silkscreen department started in February 1977 to help the book production and printing titles on the book jackets, a technique soon to be used also for publishing brochures and in the creative design of new titles.
“The Silkscreen Department is perhaps the most dramatic expansion example in the ashram. Less than a year ago there were four workers in a corner of the Jesus House hallway. Today there are about fifty people in two-thirds of the space in Radha Hall, printing letterheads, postcards, all invitations (for the press conference and for the pottery exhibit, for example), and everything connected with book jackets, etc.!” (Divya 1980, p. 341. 07.11.1978)
“Photography was completely in house. The studio had a darkroom for processing and developing. Later a rich photo library evolved. Books, magazines, publications and stationary were designed in house. A silk-screen print unit churned out a lot of commendable quality work. Several national awards were covered as more and more books were published.” (Laxmi 2002, p. 26)
“From Switzerland I arrived with rolls of high quality nylon fabric for the silk-screen department. For a few years we have been printing the titles on the full-colour jackets of Osho’s books by ourselves – on a rooftop for extra ventilation – and fabric is what the department needed. I also brought a big roll of colour enlargements of Osho’s photos which were quite cheap if ordered from Migros.” (Punya 2015, p. 83)
Book Binding Department is on the roof of Lao Tzu. The binding of magazines are made outhouse. Earlier silkscreen prints for book jackets were made in the ashram, now also made outhouse. (Rabya. Interview. Poona. 1999)
“Up to this point Bhagwan’s books were either being published in the West, or being printed in Bombay from manuscripts prepared in the Ashram. But, in 1980, they brought printing presses and bookbinding equipment into the Ashram and built a bindery behind Buddha Hall. They did beautiful first editions, and also rebound books for Bhagwan’s personal library in red silk with gold embossing – a picture of Bhagwan with a circle around it saying Thou art that.” (Strelley 1987, p. 255)
“At the same time it was decided that no books would be published outside the Ashram, because it was too much hassle. So the book bindery was built between Lao Tzu and Veggie Villas. It handled the full production of books, as well as the rebinding of Bhagwan’s personal library books.” (Strelley 1987, p. 297)
Veena on cover photo
“So, if there was to be a photograph on the cover of a book, why go for the same old portrait over and over? Why not appear as a Zen calligrapher, a musician, a chess player, a sultan, a sheik? If there are sannyasins who can sew, take photos, design books, why not use their talents, be creative and have fun? As an attention-getting device it was also brilliant! When one considers how many thousands of seekers from all over the world were captivated by him and his ‘teachings,’ his ability to sustain the interest and love of so many diverse human beings was a pretty awesome feat.
In fact, the guise he was shown in was not, in the end, important. What seemed to be important was his face on the cover of each book. Over and over and over again sannyasins were to say that their very first experience of Osho was seeing his face on a book on a shelf in a bookshop. For many this seemed to be an experience of recognition or knowing and it was that book, which they invariably bought, that set them on the path to his presence. I have heard people say so many times, ‘It was his eyes that touched me.’ (Veena 2012, p. 106)
Shiva on photo design
“We had our own monthly in-house magazine at Poona – the Neo Sannyas. Bhagwan was always very concerned about his public image, and when the Indian photographer used a picture of sannyasins meditating in the monsoon mud on the front cover, Bhagwan immediately summoned Laxmi. From now on, Bhagwan stipulated, only pictures of himself were to be used on the cover. Two months later the same Indian photographer was in trouble again for publishing a centerfold of the wedding of two of Bhagwan’s most famous Indian disciples, the movie actor Vijayanda and his beloved, the revishingly beautiful actress Goldi. Laxmi called the photographer in, and told him that on no account was he to publish any photograph in any publication whatsoever unless Bhagwan had expressly approved it. The only full page photographs that were to appear were those of Bhagwan himself. No ordinary disciple could take up more than a third of a page. From then on Bhagwan maintained total control over editorial and artistic matters.” (Milne 1986, p. 122)
Clarke quotes Milne in Aveling
“These observations lend plausibility to Hugh Milne’s contention that Rajneesh once stipulated at Poona that only pictures of himself were to be used on the covers of the movement’s publications, and that “the only full page photographs that were to appear were those of Rajneesh himself. No ordinary disciple could take up more than a third of a page” (Milne 1986, p. 122)… In light of such evidence, Milne’s contention that Rajneesh always insisted on carefully posed photographs and scrutinised and edited all photographs seems quite credible.” (Milne 1986, pp. 121,146). (Clarke. In: Aveling 1999, pp. 67,76)
“Mostly they tell people where to work, so I feel that I am lucky, but I do not know what to choose at all, so I ask her advice. She suggests the silk screen printing shop, where the covers for Osho’s books are printed. This is creative work, and I enjoy it for a couple of weeks, mixing paint and colours, and then I find that I am allergic to the chemical fumes of the paint so I decide to look for something else.” (Devika 2009, p. 51)
Satya Bharti recalls
“Could you take this in with you?” Premda asked, handing me the art work for one of the Bhagwan’s books. “Tell Laxmi I’ll have the other two cover designs ready by 5:30.” Several people were hovering around Premda’s desk; she was even busier than I was.” (Franklin 1992, p. 111)
“After a brief nap following lunch – it was needed; a full belly and the heat of the midday sun were not conducive to work – I was back at my typewriter, or visiting the darkroom to fool around with K.B., as we discussed photos for the darshan diary due to be published; or with Yatri and Govinddas, designers, to talk about layout and typefaces, and so on.” (Forman 1988, p. 164)
Divya on designing
“I just received the press kit with Somendra’s, Satyananda’s and my biographies, plus the write-up on the groups and what Bhagwan is doing here. The cover and the materials were beautiful and the whole thing was tastefully done! The two photos of Bhagwan at the microphone were stunning! We really have the most talented and best trained professionals here from all over the world, in every conceivable area of specialization… Like the calibre of the book covers being designed and produced here – Yatri’s work and genius at graphics. They’ve even won prizes at book fairs!” (Divya 1980, p. 359)
Anand Arhat (Vinod Sharma) worked as a graphic designer
“In Pune 1, Osho spoke alternatively in Hindi and English. And the book cover design was always a matter of prestige, both for the Hindi and the English book department. Laxmi always used to play with the designers from both languages, putting both departments against each other! The English department consisted of a team of 30-40 artists and Arhat was alone in the Hindi department! Arhat’s work was excellent. Osho liked each book cover design he made. Books, as we all know, were Osho’s favourite anchor in the world.
His designs were simply unique, masterpieces! Whatever he designed was appreciated by everyone. His best, I feel, was the old Geeta Darshan for which he designed a chariot with horses and merged Krishna with Osho. It was excellent! Other great artworks were for the Mahageeta, many Sannyas Magazines, as well as a Calender of Osho’s portraits where he is wearing a hat…
I adored Arhat who designed so aesthetically the first editions of Osho’s books in Mumbai and later on in Pune. Osho loved his designs and blessed him. He was a blessed one indeed! Those books are a wonderful treasure…
Arhat designed the cover page of the Sannyas Magazine in English and also worked on the Osho Hindi books. He designed the cover pages, layout and inside settings of all Hindi books as well as magazines.” (Asang, Keerti and Ageh Bharti in obituary 2018. www.oshonews.com/2018/04/14)
4.11 Audio-Visual Media. Photos
The dissemination of Osho’s message was supported by the advancing technical development offering a steady flow of new audiovisual products and recording technologies. For all those who could not, or dared not, come and see the face by themselves.
Osho in The Sound of Running Water on seeing the face
“… the modern media have never existed before. But Christ did perfectly well without any printing, without any newspaper, without any books, without any television, radio; he did perfectly well. With a small group of people, Buddha did perfectly. Although he never went outside a small part of the country, Bihar, the whole of Asia turned Buddhist. This is the ancientmost way to work, and it is still relevant. Rather than people seeing me on the tv, it is far more alive if you are lit by me and they see you.” (Asha 1980, p. 398)
Jalal on recording technicalities 1991:
In the professional worlds of audio work there is a tendency to remove all background noise that occurs when recording public speaking. Hasibo and I both came to the same conclusion that such conventional methods did not work so well for Osho’s voice. There is a beautiful flow to his voice and we made every attempt to keep that flow, which meant reducing the background noise but not so much that the ‘silence’ sounded out of place.
In fact with Osho’s discourses the ‘silence’ is very rarely total. For example, early Bombay discourses have taxis and rickshaws in the background, even the occasional fruit wallah. Osho’s discourses started at seven in the evening. Listening to those early recordings it seems that the pace with which he speaks gradually slows down as he progresses – taking people more deeply into a receptive, meditative space – and, in accompaniment, the background action outside also slows down as the Bombay rush-hour ends, so the discourses often end in a genuine silence.
Few people have heard his voice in a ‘natural’ context, without microphones and loudspeakers. It is an incredible rich voice, with that full sound that comes from a relaxed body, and the distinctive ‘ssss’ at the end of certain words. Trying to record it has always been the greatest challenge, and we have found it important not to disturb that balance when working with the recordings.
In the later years of Poona Two the full range of his voice covered 60-70 decibels, far greater than most recordings of today – almost as great as an orchestra.
Since 1974 ten different kinds of microphones have been employed, first using standard models that were attached to the end of a stand, then one mounted on Osho’s clipboard, and later two mounted in his chair.
In the very early days, before 1974, recordings were done on whatever was around, including normal cassettes inserted in standard cassette players. In Poona, after 1978, recording was done on a professional reel-to-reel-recorder. During Osho’s World Tour many recordings were made on a Sony professional Walkman, easy to carry around!
It is surprising that the short time that Osho was visiting this planet and speaking, recording technology advanced so much. For example, in 1977 it was almost unknown to record in video – the earliest known video footage of Osho was taken in Bombay in 1972 – yet by 1980 video became the favorite medium worldwide with huge leaps in quality and availability. Audio was a hit and miss affair in India in the early seventies, with variable tape quality. In those days it was an achievement just to get a recording! Yet twenty years later recordings were made in full digital which reproduces everything with pinpoint accuracy.
Hindi Archive Project
About a year ago Swami Devendra started the project of remastering Osho’s Hindi discourses – about 3000 in all.
His job is complicated by the fact that most of the recordings are older than the English discourses – nearly all before 1981. Some of these recordings go back to 1965.
Those done in the very early days were recorded by whoever happened to have a machine available. So recordings are still found in many places in India.
Some of the recordings are so old that they use obsolete tape speeds and sannyasin technicians have difficulties finding a machine on which to play them back! Occasionally one is found in English. The earliest English recording is probably from 1968 – an encounter in Kashmir between Osho and the disciples of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a transcript of which was recently reproduced in OTI.
The very early English recordings will be available to purchasers of the English archives. These have not been releases before.
With a few of the very old audio recordings there are occasionally bits missing – for example when the tape was turned over during a discourse, or a second part that disappeared. This involved a fair bit of detective work to find the missing pieces, including checking original masters in Switzerland, old tapes in Poona, and recordings that Indian disciples had made, to see if any missing sentences could be ‘patched in’. In many cases they can.
Transfer of film footage to video
Swami Devaprem in England is transferring film footage to video format for preservation. This involves 8mm and 16mm films that date back to the Sixties. He is interested in any film that others may have which can be added to the collection.
Announcements for the entire audio archive are being redone, using Swami Amrito’s voice. This involves about 6.000 announcements.
None of the archive tapes will be dated. It is Osho’s wish that the discourses be timeless.
The term ‘image enhancement’ refers to the process of sharpening a picture and reducing the ‘snowy’ effect that is sometimes seen. As videotapes get older they start to lose high frequencies and the picture get fuzzy. Much of this can now be corrected.
Early video cameras were hard to keep in alignment, with the result that colors easily shifted away from the correct spectrum. This will also be corrected.” (Jalal. Osho Times International, June 1991)
Osho on listening to audiotapes
“Sometimes it happens… sometimes when you are listening to the tape it is only the word that you are hearing. When you are listening to me directly, the word becomes secondary, my presence becomes primary.
It is very simple to listen to the word, it is very difficult to listen to the presence. Because with the word you are in absolute control; with me you are not. The tape you can turn on and turn off.” The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 252.
“The tape department had sophisticated recording equipment and sound engineers to ensure that Osho’s discourses and his interactions with sannyasins were recorded without a hitch. In his early years, Osho insisted on having his talks recorded with a tape recorder. He went to the extent of halting his discourse briefly to give enough time to change sides of the cassette or stopping entirely when the recording stopped due to a power breakdown. Eventually, alternate stand-by arrangements were made for recording at his discourse venues. The meticulous recording of his discourses and their laborious transcription to enable the publication of various titles soon became a standard practice.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 45)
“We are delighted to announce that we are now up to date with our cassette recording orders. Orders for cassette tapes of any of Bhagwan Shree’s discourses, in Hindi or English, can now be processed immediately if you have your own blank cassettes. The cause for this blissful state is that the arica sannyasins clubbed together and bought, and brought, a high-speed copying machine. The machine copies both sides of the cassette, rewinds and pops up – all in 4 1/2 minutes. And the quality is excellent. All we need in that department now is a high-speed spool-to-spool copying machine. And remember, if you bring one into the country the Indian customs will ask you to pay 150% duty. When the arican who brought in the cassette copying machine was asked if he had to pay duty he said, ‘Yes US$ 600 – but it is worth every dollar just to see the joy and relief on everybody’s face at the sight of it.’ Well, we were a long way behind on our orders before it came. What we are short of in the cassette copying department now, is cassettes. We can’t get enough to fulfil the orders. So if you were wondering what to bring the ashram when you come – cassettes, good quality C-90’s. And remember if the customs find you with a quantity of new cassettes they will charge 150% duty.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:12)
Sambodhi recalls from October 1976
“Pratibha worked in the Tape Department booth near the main gate; we didn’t get to see each other much. She was as busy with her work as I was with mine. Each of Bhagwan’s discourses was taped and reproduced for purchase, another major income source for the ashram. A booth at the main entrance made it easy for orders to be placed and picked up… In mid-April  a Music Department was established… And although the main office wasn’t issuing official assignments, musicians (identified from cards on file in Central Records) were called in and “encouraged” to participate.” (Clare 2009, pp. 87.88)
Audio recordings from Buddha Hall
– First discourse in an unfinished Buddha Hall is ‘Es Dhammo Sanantano Bhag’ 4 #01, 21.03.1977 am. Only audio available.
– First regular discourse in Buddha Hall is ‘The First Principle’ #1, 11.04.1977 am. Only audio available.
Full page advertisement for Tapes with Bhagwan’s discourses. From Akshya Upanishad (17 discourses) in January 1974 to Tao the Path Less Path (28 discourses) in February/March 1977. Also available are Dynamic/Kundalini, Nadabrahma/Nataraj, Devavani/Gourishanker, Mandala/Dervish Whirling, Kirtan (11 December 1975), Sutra (Sanskrit slokas), Enlightenment Day (21 March 1976) and Vipassana Lecture (12 March 1975). (Sannyas, 1977:3. Inner front cover)
Maneesha on amplifying system
“Chaitanya Hari, ashramite, professional musician and composer of the ashram’s meditation music, sits on one side of me, Haridas on the other. We’re on the cool tiled floor of Chuang Tzu auditorium, ten minutes before darshan is due to start. The amplifying system isn’t functioning too well and Chaitanya has some ideas about how to improve it. The main concern is with the picking up of sannyasins’ voices when they come forward to talk to you.
On the few occasions I’ve been in the hot seat my vocal chords have immediately been reduced to a state of semiparalysis. Anything I do manage to mumble comes out at least one semitone higher than usual and is always so squeaky and disjointed that I never recognise it as being anything to do with me.” (Maneesha. In: The Ninety-Nine Names of Nothingness. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 369)
“Haridas has to leave darshan for a few moments to mend something in bhagwan’s room (he is the ashram electrician when he is not recording darshan). I move over to his place, some distance from where bhagwan is sitting, to look after the tape recorder. I glance at the knobs and dials and hope the p.a. system won’t do anything tricky. Anything vaguely technical makes me panicky. I mentally pat the machine (to reassure it and me) that everything is under control, and try to concentrate on something else.
Everything looks different from back here – rather beautiful, moving. I pretend I am a moth or a martian and gaze at the scene before me: a grey-and-white bearded gentle man who looks very like god, is sitting in a comfortable-looking yellow chair. He’s is in white, rather, he is whiteness itself. He glows grace, emanates a coolness that is flowing, spilling out from him all over the small group of beautiful men, women and children sitting at his feet. They are shining, gorgeous in orange and reds and russets. They look fun… and they look, in love, at the presence before them.” (Maneesha. In: This is It. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 510)
100 songs of Osho listed by Sarlo, Vancouver. Words, chords, vintage, artist/author, links at: globalserve.net~sarlo/songs/home.htm. (Viha Connection, 2007:5)
Video recordings of discourses from late 1970s:
– First video available is The Beloved, Vol.2 #10, 10.07.1976 in Chuang Tzu Auditorium.
– First video-taped discourse in Buddha Hall is Unio Mystica, Vol.2 #1, 11.12.1978 am.
Osho on video
“Books are old ways of reaching people. New methods have evolved. A video is a far better way to reach people because just hearing the word without seeing the person is one thing; seeing the person also makes a lot of difference. It is totally different because when you are listening to me on a tape recording or on records you will not be able to see my hand, which says more than I can say with my words. You will be looking at my eyes, which have much more to say than words can convey. Something will be missing, something of immense value – the person will be missing. I will use films, television, video, every modern technique to spread the message.” Osho International Newsletter, 22.12.2008.
Bodhena recalls videotaped discourses
“The books could be bought at the Ashram bookshop, along with audio cassettes of the discourses and music by sannyasin musicians, produced by our own tape department. In late 1978, the Ashram started to explore yet another medium by videotaping Osho’s discourses. At first this was done occasionally, and by early 1981 had been expanded to the point that, typically, every other question of the Q&A discourses was taped.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 57)
Satyananda on the introduction of video
“Die Musik jubelt, heizt ein, wird von einen halben Dutzend Lautsprechern verstärkt. Am Vortage ist eine neue Super-Verstärker – und Mischanlage per Luftfracht aus den USA eingetroffen. Auch die neue Videofilm-Kamera ist zum erstenmal in Betrieb.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 225)
Video department 1979
“Sila [Sheela] called me into her office and told me to start a video and film department to document Bhagwan’s life and work in case he was assassinated. I had no idea how to start such a thing. With no prior experience in film and half-blind, being told to do this seemed ridiculous. The ashram was a little like Alice’s Wonderland: some things were upside down. An Australian sannyasin, who happened to be a cameraman, came to help me, offering his own camera and tiny cassette recorder. From then on, every word that Bhagwan spoke was recorded.
By the fall, I was told to film a one-day procession to Kutch, a small village, about fifty miles away. It was a potential relocation site if things got too dangerous in Poona. It was to be a 35mm movie production, complete with five cameras and a 23-man crew, with equipment from a Bombay studio, where we also did the editing. Once editing was in progress, the daily videotaping of discourses continued. Bhagwan’s daily routine and ashram life were covered by audio, video and film. I was directing, producing, editing and mothering my crew.” (Longo-Disse 2006, p. 134)
Osho on controversy in India
“In a recent discourse, Bhagwan answered a question related to the newspaper article in which the reason given for foreign TV companies being banned [by Government] to film the Ashram was that a ‘Rajneesh film won’t reflect the real image of India abroad.’ Bhagwan said that Morarji Desai and his ministers were ‘Hindu chauvinists’ and ‘utterly sexually frustrated repressed people’, who did not represent the real India. The real India tolerated all spiritual paths, including Tantra. He went on to say that he couldn’t be pigeon-holed by these politicians. He belongs to the future and their vested interests is in the past: ‘The real means that which is happening. I am happening. Any image of India that does not include me will be unreal. What is happening here is the soul of India. Real India is a quest for the innermost soul of man.'” (Chetana. In: Halleluja! A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 293)
(Note: Government officials were visiting meditation centres around the country and asking for lists of Indian sannyasins. Personnel at the army barracks in Poona had been told they’ll be discharged if they dared to visit the ashram in Koregaon Park)
Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“While Desai and his Janata government remained in power, bureaucratic obstacles prevented the ashram’s efforts to buy land where a new commune could be established according to Bhagwan’s vision. The Indian government also instructed its foreign embassies to deny visas to anyone who wanted to visit the Rajneesh Ashram in Poona. Furthermore, the government also denied permission to television and film companies from England, Italy, Germany, Canada, and the United States to film the activities at Shree Rajneesh Ashram. The BBC in London was one of these. Their application was turned down in April, 1978. A senior spokesman for the BBC said in his letter to the Rajneesh Foundation:
“It is incredible to me that after all the protestations we had about a free press and allowing journalists access to anything they wanted in India, that the first time we put in an application for something as unpolitical as the Ashram, we get held up.”” (Joshi 1982, p. 132)
“There was a request after discourse for anyone with video camera experience to report to the main office. Sujan had and went along. Soon he was filming Bhagwan during discourse and darshan. The video department was in Lao Tzu House, the Holy of Holies where Bhagwan lived, you needed a special pass just to get through the gates. Sujan was now hanging out with the spiritual elite, which included the women of the long straight hair, serene receptivity and rarefied energy from living so close to the Master. Then Vivek invited him for tea.” (Geraghty 2007, p. 138)
“Videotapes in both NTSC and PAL and a 16 mm 25 minute color film of Bhagwan’s morning discourses are available from Chidvilas. And: If going to Poona do enquire if there is anything you can take to Poona with you.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1980:16)
Film on Ashram in Poona
“Re: Veet Artho’s film “Ashram in Poona.” We would like everyone to be aware that Veet Artho (Wolfgang Dobrowolny) is no longer a sannyasin. The reason is that when he was a sannyasin, he was given the opportunity to film the activities at Shree Rajneesh Ashram but he missed this opportunity. He showed us one film for our approval but released another one which had not been approved at all. He has broken all contracts that he had made with Rajneesh Foundation. In interviews with newspapers and magazines he has spoken against Bhagwan and against Shree Rajneesh Ashram. He has earned large profits on the film, but has not fulfilled the terms of the contract. The mutual trust between us has been broken, He had only taken sannyas so that he could film the ashram and as soon as the filming was over he dropped sannyas. All centers and sannyasins are requested to be aware not to support him or his film in any way as he is portraying a completely wrong picture of Shree Rajneesh Ashram and its activities.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1981:7)
Roshani Shay states in her chronology 1982
“First showing of “Ashram in Poona” scheduled in San Francisco at the Lumiere Theatre; film made by former sannyasin (Rajneeshee) Wolfgang Dobrowolny in 1978-79 and reported to depict sex and violence in an encounter group (The Bulletin, Bend 8-31)… Nov 18: “Ashram in Poona” opens in Portland at the Fifth Avenue Cinema and in Ashland… Nov 20: RFI withdraws the Multnomah County Circuit Court motion to halt the showing of “Ashram in Poona”, saying that they merely wished the contract for release and profit-sharing to be abided by; the film said to be playing to packed houses in Portland… Dec 4: “Ashram in Poona” begins one week showing in Bend… Dec 10: “Ashram” begins showing in The Dalles.” (Shay 1990)
Urban on “Ashram”
“Many of the seeming contradictions in the early Pune community were even further highlighted with the release of the film Ashram by a former German sannyasin named Wolfgang Dobrowolny in 1978. The film included a fifteen-minute sequence that showed explicit violence during a seven-day nude encounter group held in a padded room. Soon major newspapers in the United States, such as the Los Angeles Times, reported that the path to enlightenment at the ashram involved not simply Neo-Tantric sexual freedom but also “broken bones, black eyes, bloody noses, and shattered egos.” (Urban 2015, p. 97)
FitzGerald on Ashram
“The film “Ashram,” made by the German filmmaker Wolfgang Dobrowolny in 1978, documents some of the risks they took with cathartic techniques, group groping, and so on, for at the time the Rajneeshee thought of these therapies as advertisements for the ashram. (They went as far as to stage some of them for the film.)” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 83)
Carter on movie
“..Wolfgang Dobrowolny’s movie Ashram… The Janata government refused several foreign press requests to film activities at Shree Rajneesh Ashram on the grounds that it would reflect badly on India’s image abroad. Unio Mystico, in which Rajneesh attacked Desai, was later classified by the Rajneesh Foundation as “for sale in India only.” (Carter 1990, p. 63)
“A book with an orange cover showing a mala appeared in the stores and became a scandalous bestseller. A film called “Ashram in Pune” was shown all over the country. (Anasha, Austria. In: Keerti 2000, p. 117)
Sagar on the Osho Film Festival and Osho movie 1975
“Sagar in Freiburg told us about the Osho Film Festival, which recently took place in several German cities. The festival was organized by Manik and featured, among others, the hour-long film Bhagwan – Poona 1975. Sagar was intrigued with how it came to be made. Robert Hillman was a young filmmaker in San Francisco, who received a gift of several thousand dollars from a mysterious donor to go and film Osho in Pune. It was his first assignment, and he simply bought the equipment and traveled to the ashram. There he started filming and captured the whole atmosphere of the ashram at that time. At the end of the film he says that he was confused by the whole experience, but that he was aiming to be the filming and not the filmer (i.e. the dancing and not the dancer, to quote Osho). (Viha Connection, 2004:6)
“Speaking of movies, the annual Mill Valley Film Festival took place here in October, and I was surprised to see that the Consul General of Switzerland sponsored the movie ‘Guru: Bhagwan, His Secretary & His Bodyguard’. The movie was announced as “an illuminating, multilayered exploration of guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s teachings and followers” and “a fascinating portrait of the 1970s, when people in the world over sought spiritual and sexual freedom and an answer to the age-old question, ‘Who am I?’ I enjoyed the beautiful footage from Pune One days shown in the movie, but did not get exited about what Sheela and Shiva had to say.” (Viha Connection, 2012:1)
“In addition to six hundred books He is the first enlightened being to have not only His words, but His gestures, movements and expressiveness preserved in an archive of thousands of videos which can be accessed throughout the world via the magic of the internet… Osho envisioned the techno-explosion, and now our progeny will in fact see those gestures, will be able to lose themselves in the infinity of his eyes. (Keerti 2000, p. 34)
Satyananda on filming in December 1978
“Ein deutsches Sannyasin-Filmteam aus München dreht einen Film über den Ashram und interviewt mich auf dem Rasen vor dem Jesus-Haus.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 210)
“..an Italian sannyasin, Lakshen, is planning a new movie production: Osho’s first 21 years.” (Viha Connection. 2004:4)
BBC in darshan for Whicker’s World
“Two members of the BBC are among the group before you tonight. They’re the director and the producer of the documentary series, ‘Whicker’s World.’ Tomorrow they will be joined by the other five members of the crew plus Mr. Whicker himself to ‘shoot’ you in darshan.” (Maneesha. In: The 99 Names of Nothingness. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 535)
“He seems totally oblivious of the fact that he’s surrounded by the cameras and bright lights of the seven-man crew, (which actually has two women in it) of the BBC. They’re her to film darshan as part of the documentary series, ‘Whicker’s World’. Mr Wicker himself is sitting in the front row (Scarf and all! They all passed through the pre-darshan ritual of being checked for overly strong shampoo smells.)” (Maneesha. In: The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 2. 01.06.1978)
“Alan Whicker, a British TV personality who globe-trotted with his travel program, ‘Whicker’s World’, spent several days at the ashram. When Whicker commented on a general atmosphere of ‘suppressed hysteria’ among the community, Krishna Prem, my colleague in the press office, immediately replied, “Oh no, Alan. It’s called love.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 48)
“Tonight I’m seeing things with new and love-tuned eyes. A night or so ago a few of us saw the video film that Alan Whicker made while he was here in June.
When it showed Bhagwan walking into darshan, his familiar and beloved hands in namaste, white serene, and our silence to welcome him, I burst out crying… don’t know why.” (Ma Prem Maneesha. In: The Sacred Yes. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 193)
TV crew at darshan, September 1978
“Since the brief visit of German actress, Eva Renzi, and her sensational reports of ashram going-on, the popular press has expressed a most ardent interest in us. Some television station in Germany has commissioned their team in India to come and shoot the ashram. So a five-man crew is here tonight first to peruse the setup for tomorrow’s filming (among them a youngish man who used to be a student of philosophy – his professor, one Rajneesh!)… As Bhagwan slips the tiny mala over her head, the camera crew (who sat in on darshan last night) rolls into action.” (God’s Got a Thing About You. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), pp. 125,147)
Film on ashram
First showing of documentary on ashram in Berlin 1978 made by the American director Rodger Hillman (Samvada) who has also made an earlier film on Vietnam. (Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 19)
Heading: The Emperor’s Topee. The Tropical Hat
“Exactly ten years ago, back in 1979, there was a period when our beloved Master was presenting numerous disciples with a variety of classical hats, which I presumed at the time mirrored a certain quality, sometimes hilariously, of the recipient’s personality.
Thus, one day, I was asked to come to Lao Tzu gate to receive a huge tropical hat, of the sort known as a solar topee, which had become the trademark of the British sahib in India. This particular model had originally been made by a famous London firm of hatters for the Lion of Africa, the late Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, who, I got the impression, must have been making up for his diminutive stature with the extraordinary size of his hat.
The topee was a spectacular example of its kind, not merely because of its sheer size, but also because of its fine workmanship, its classic aerodynamic styling and advanced engineering, which allowed for maximum ventilation. In short, it was a state-of-the-art tropical hat, fit for an emperor.
After parading the gift from the Master around the ashram a few times while enduring predictable comments from my fellow seekers, the hat finally found a grateful resting place of honor on top of my cupboard.” (Proper Sagar. In: Osho Times International (India), 1989:21)
Video 3. (in progress) Erinnerungen aus Poona (Memories from Poona). Filming and editing: Swami Ananda Siddharta, Germany. Music: Prem Joshua. Scenes from daily life in the ashram around 1979. 19:51 min. Color. 78,2 MB.
“At the end of 1980, one of my friends, a thirty year-old sannyasin, who also had been a German prince, died suddenly of a cerebral haemorrhage. Just prior to his death, I was told to make a film of him, a memorial to the first sannyasin that Bhagwan had declared enlightened. At the time, there were only three of us in the film studio: my cameraman, music composer and me. For three days and nights, grief drove us. We created an extraordinary documentary; going beyond anything we had ever done before. Our beloved friend had given us a gift by his death, and the powerful reaction to the video film catapulted us into a new dimension of art. We were no longer merely recording events; we were now creating a picture of history. Sales of the video to centres around the world skyrocketed. All my previous suffering dissolved into the exhilaration of what was being accomplished: a legacy of immense value for future generations. For the first time in history, enlightenment was on film.” (Longo-Disse 2006, p. 134)
Leaving for US
“In March 1981, I was told to pack up and move all the equipment, film and videotapes, and seven non-Americans to the U.S. Reluctantly, I did what I was told, sad to leave my dream world. Bhagwan’s words echoed in my head as I packed: “drop the past as if it never existed, always start fresh, from scratch…”
I was not allowed to tell anybody – not even my own department and the people who were supposed to be coming with me, lest the press be alerted.
How do you pack up everybody without telling them?
March brought the end of a fairyland… The move meant dismantling the video studio, which was located in Bhagwan’s house. As his personal filmmaker, I had a close and intimate connection with him, which I craved along with the status it brought me in the community… I was scheduled to arrive in New York on Memorial Day. There would be a skeleton immigration crew at Newark airport because of the holiday.” (Longo-Disse 2006, p. 135)
For audio/video recordings and movies, see: Volume III / Sources.
Given the number of photographers following Osho in his daily meetings with followers and elsewhere, he may indeed be the most photographed figure on the planet.
Shiva writes from early days in Poona
“One of Mukta’s three daughters would follow Bhagwan around with her camera as he made his tours of inspection, taking photographs all the time. Bhagwan still wanted as much publicity as possible. An Indian disciple took pictures of Bhagwan for Indian publications, and while I was acting as bodyguard I also took some photographs with my little Instamatic of Bhagwan as he wandered through the garden. It was typical of India that I got photographs back from my uncle in Scotland faster than the professional photographers could have theirs processed in Bombay. When I showed Bhagwan my pictures he was impressed, and asked Mukta’s daughter to provide me with a ‘real camera’ for my next session. Before long, I had the job of photographer added to my list of official positions, and soon had my work published in Bhagwan’s books.” (Milne 1986, p. 120)
Maneesha on photos of Osho
“His photographs on our malas, the countless beautiful prints of him in our work spaces and homes, were reminders not of a “hero” we “worshipped,” but a space we aspired to, a reality we constantly needed reminding of. As Bhagwan put it, his photographs was not of him, but of nirvana – enlightenment.” (Forman 1988, p. 136)
Divya writes on photos in ‘Stern’ October 1978
“Satyananda had told us how the photos happened to be there. They were taken by the same Indian correspondent photographer friend of his, Jaywant Ullal, who took sannyas with him, but was one of those closet-sannyasins who wears the locket under the clothes, and who took all the other photos already published in the ‘Stern’ magazine article. The magazine has hundreds of photos like these. These photos (seven altogether) were a mixture of the published and unpublished ones. The unauthorized ones that appeared there now (three) had been sent to Delhi and the person they were sent to claim that he never received them. The already published ones had appeared in magazines in France and India under, some say, penalty of copyright violation. Nothing could really be done about it, especially in India where lawsuits can take centuries. Besides, the damage had already been done.” (Divya 1980, p. 404)
Sarjano writes on his early photography
“What happened instead was that he became a good friend of Vivek, Osho’s companion, the woman who was taking care of him almost like a real wife, and in fact she was sleeping in his room and taking care of all the necessities of the Mater.
One day he made some portraits of her, asking her to sway her arms as if she was dancing and to show to the camera some kind of blissful feeling, if not ecstatic! Naturally he had previously prepared the film in the usual way; that day he had photographed a variety of skies: early morning, later with some clouds, then at sunset, so now his film was full of small swatches of sky, and with this base he shot several portraits of Vivek.
The pictures were in black-and-white, and the result was truely poetical, because it gave the total impression that she was floating and dancing in the sky! After he printed some of the best shots he presented them to Vivek, who liked them very much and was absolutely happy about the unexpected gift.” (Sarjano 2016, p. 89)
“Mein Freund, der indische Fotograf Jaywand Ullal, hatte mich auf meiner Reise nach Poona begleitet und Sensationsfotos geschossen. Schon zu Beginn unseres Besuches im Ashram war er zu Bhagwan in den sogenannten “Darshan” gegangen, die täglich stattfindende Begegnung zwischen dem Meister und seinen Schülern. “Wie geht’s?” hatte Bhagwan gefragt, und Jay hatte geantwortet: “Schlecht, Bhagwan!” Bhagwan hatte erstaunt und belustigt die Stirn gerunzelt: “Schlecht? Warum denn das?”
“Weil Laxmi mich bei meiner Arbeit behindert”, maulte Jay. “Sie lässt mich nicht fotografieren, was ich fotografieren muss.” Laxmi war Bhagwans Sekretärin und leitete den Ashram.
Bhagwan schmunzelte. “Du kannst überall im Ashram fotografieren und so viele Fotos machen, wir du willst”, sagte er leise und gab Jay damit die Erlaubnis, die ganze Gruppentherapiezene zu fotografieren, die bisher hinter verschlossenen Türen abgespielt hatte. Der Weise von Poona legte es offensichtlich auf einen Skandal an, und ich ahnte damals schon, dass mich seine publicityfreundliche Offenherzigkeit in arge Schwierigkeiten bringen würde, wenn ich Henri Nannen erklären musste, was es mit den Fotos von Jay Ullal für eine Bewandtnis hatte.
Nun war es so weit. Jays Fotos waren ein Schocker. Nackte Menschen im Zustand kathartischer Entladungen, Schreikämpfe, Tränen, Faustkämpfe und innige Unarmungen auf schweissnassen Matratzen… Aussenstehenden mussten die Bilder bizarr erscheinen, wie Szenen aus einem Hieronymus Bosch-Gemälde, grausam, faszinierend, angstmachend.” (Elten 1992, p. 212)
“Krishna Bharti was the ‘court’ photographer, and had the chance to be in darshan every night to take the photographs of the newly initiated. He also photographed the energy darshans when the lights came back on. The photographs, taken in black and white, were developed and enlarged in the darkroom where he was to be found during the day. The photographs could be ordered the day after the darshan from contact sheets.” (Punya 2015, p. 190)
Shiva writes on picturing Osho
“As soon as I started taking pictures of Bhagwan, I realised that his ‘photographic’ face was quite different from the one we usually saw. Mukta’s daughter, who had up to that time been his ‘official’ photographer, told me that Bhagwan thought his nose was too long, and that he did not like his baldness. He was very emphatic that he wanted his body kept out of the photographs; he was only interested in carefully-posed portraits. As he explained to me later, it was really only his eyes that he wanted to have photographed, and his eyes were truly extraordinary: huge, hypnotic and lustrous. I discovered that a telephoto lens had the effect of foreshortening Bhagwan’s nose. He thoroughly approved of the resulting portraits, and this revelation earned my promotion to being his personal photographer. I began to work in the darkroom when Laxmi did not need me.
Mukta’s daughter wore a wide-brimmed straw hat to one of her photographic sessions, and this took Bhagwan’s fancy. We took a few shots of him wearing it, and this started the hat craze. He ordered a variety of hats to be bought to the next session, and from that day on he was always photographed wearing a hat. This new addition pleased him immensely – he had finally discovered an effective way of hiding his bald pate. Later on a sannyasin was employed full-time to create these photogenic props.
Almost imperceptibly the rules started tightening up. One of the earliest changes was that Bhagwan no longer wanted more than three people photographing him in any one session. An American sannyasin who was also a photographer had recently returned to Poona. His name was Krishna Bharti, always shortened to KB, and was sharing an apartment with me about half a mile from Bhagwan’s house.” (Milne 1986, p. 121)
“Also included was a Chinese straw hat that Deeksha carried on her back with its string around her neck. Osho had started wearing hats for photography sessions and as soon as the news spread, people started bringing him hats from all over the world. Deeksha’s was one of the first in this trend.” (Punya 2015, p. 61)
Satyananda as ‘Stern’ reporter
“Andererseits hatte sie [Laxmi] erzählt, dass Osho den ganzen Tag in seinem Zimmer sässe – bei einer für tropische Verhältnisse arktischen Raumtemperatur von 17 Grad Celsius. An die frische Luft ginge er nur zwei Mal im Jahr, wenn er sich im Garten seines Hauses den Fotografen zu Foto-Terminen stelle. Für den “Stern”-Fotografen würde er jedenfalls keine Ausnahme machen. Der nächste Foto-Termin sei in drei Monaten. Und auch ein Exclusiv-Interview mit mir käme nicht infrage.” (Satyananda 2013, p. 302)
For websites with photos, see: Volume III / Sources.
4.12 Books on Osho
From Poona One onwards the amount of published biographies, accounts and chronicles on Osho and his work is on a scale that might lead to some considerations. Within 25 years after his passing in January 1990 we may indeed face the greatest number of published books on a single human being since the invention of the printing press. The number of book titles on Osho have now exceeded 500 as documented in Volume III / References, including refereed scholarly papers. If, by chance, this amount of commemorative biographies, life-stories by sannyasins and reports by academics should be surpassed by any other historical figure, I would be most grateful if anyone could inform and correct me on this point.
These works will be presented in the following subsections: Core Biographies, Contemporary Works, Rajneesh Foundation Publications, Selected Later Publications, and last but not least, ‘The Sound of Running Water’ (SORW).
Osho on writing what is happening in the ashram
“Yes, you can make them; there is no problem. In fact that is one of the ways to get rid of experience. If something is heavy in your mind the best way is to release it. Write it down and be finished with it, say good-bye. It is perfectly good. In fact I tell people sometimes to keep diaries only so that they can go on putting their mind garbage in the diary. It can be of some help to somebody but it is not going to be of any help to you. It is not going to be of any help to you; it can be a hindrance to you.
So I say to people to write the diary, but I also say never read it. Because you have lived it – it is finished! In fact writing it is the funeral, mm? – you have done all that you could do. You lived the experience; now you have recorded the experience. If others want to use it, they can; you are finished with it. It can be of some use to others – sometimes of much use because others may not have passed on that way. Others may not have seen that space; others may be completely unaware that things like this exists. That may create an enquiry, a thirst, a longing. That may call a few people to that dimension which you have described… but it is of no use for you!
So if you keep records for your own use, then don’t keep them. If you are keeping records for somebody to use then it is perfectly good; go on keeping. It is good for you, it is a way of getting rid of things, it is closing something, otherwise it remain hanging. You can go on keeping records, and it will be useful for others.
That’s how millions of people are benefitted by the experience of others… but not just by reading. Reading simply gives an enquiry, it does not give you the experience.
If you have experienced me here and you write about it, that writing is not going to help anybody to experience me but can create a desire. It can put someone on the path towards me. To experience me he will have to come to me. He will have to invite me into his heart; there is no other way. It cannot be borrowed; your experience cannot become his, mm? But your experience can open a door that may have remained closed for him up to now. He may not have looked at this possibility.
So it is good – keep the record… and forget. Once you have written forget about it. It has nothing to do with you; you are completely out of it. You have given the finishing touch and let that be the full point.” Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 26.
Osho talks on writing format for ‘Life of Osho’ (Sam 1997)
“PARITOSH: I would like to speak about the book that I started. I made it personal and alive, but then it changed from what I had planned in the beginning into almost a daily journal of events. The only thing is that I don’t know how to stop (laughter). And I’ve got quite a bit of material now.
No, I think it has taken the right shape. A journal is the right shape. And there is no need to stop it. It can go on – first volume, second volume. That is the beauty of a journal – it can continue. So there is no need to end it.
No book in fact has a natural end, cannot have, because life has no end. It goes on and on and on. It is always in the middle; there is no beginning and no end to it. Somehow we have to manage to end it, but that end is abrupt, artificial and arbitrary. That’s the beauty of a journal – that it need not end. It can continue to the very last day of your life. It will become very rich and very useful.
A book is like a child. You can give birth to a child but you never know what the child is going to turn into. Nobody knows – not the father, not the mother, nobody. Once you have given birth to the child, the child takes its own course. A book is always like a child.
You can start it but you have no power over it. By and by, it starts dictating its own terms. It happens sometimes when people are writing novels that a certain character will start dictating his own terms and the writer will have to write it down. The character will become very stubborn if you don’t take note. So a writer can open a door, that’s all. What will come out of it, even the writer never knows. Then the book is alive; otherwise it is dead.
If you can manage everything that you want, the book will not have its own life. The child will be a dead child.
A journal is a good shape. I was going to say to you to let it be a journal but I was waiting for the day that it would take that shape. It is growing every day, and nothing is definitive. Things are growing, you are growing. And with me, nothing is certain. I go on changing, so I am not predictable.” The Cypress in the Courtyard. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 151.
Osho on writing as autobiographical experience
Bhagwan to Prabhu: “What did you start writing?… You have a copy of the book with you? Find a copy for me… But I will find a way. Just let the book come. It will be helpful to understand you, because a book is never out of the blue. It grows out of a person. And each book, knowingly, unknowingly, is autobiographical. Whatsoever you write, whatsoever you sing, whatsoever you do, is going to be autobiographical. It comes out of you. It is you expressed.” The Cypress in the Courtyard. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 167.
Books on Osho
“Just the other day I received a book a man has written against me. In the book he writes that he agrees with me about ninety-nine percent things, but disagrees only about one thing: about my attitude towards sex. But he has not written a book for me, although he agrees about ninety-nine percent things. And he has written a book against me because he disagrees about one percent.
This is how the mind works: it is attracted like towards a magnet whereever it finds something negative. He is enraged against me. He himself confesses that only about one single thing he is against; otherwise he is absolutely with me, for me. But that’s all that he writes in favour; the whole book is against me.
Looking at his book I remember that this is how everybody’s mind functions. We only count the thorns in life; we don’t count the flowers. They may be ninety-nine percent, but we don’t count.” Snap Your Fingers, Slap Your Face and Wake Up! Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1984), p. 37.
Vasant Joshi (Swami Satya Vedant) and Juliet Forman (Ma Prem Maneesha) I do not hesitate to underline as the two most authoritative and insightful writers also on the Poona One phase. Vasant Joshi as an ‘official’ biographer of Osho and Maneesha as the socalled ‘ashram bard’. When reading Vasant Joshi’s biographies of Osho we may bear in mind not only that he is Indian by birth, but he also has worked professionally as a scholar in USA; meaning that his background and life experiences have provided him with insights most suitable for his writing.
* The Awakened One. The Life and Work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Vasant Joshi. New York, Harper & Row, 1982. (Joshi 1982)
Appendix A: Meditations. Appendix B: Chronology. Notes. Bibliography. Books on Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Rajneesh Meditation Centers.
On back cover:
“‘The Awakened One’ is the first complete biography of one of the world’s best-known, most controversial spiritual leaders, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
Vasant Joshi – chosen by Bhagwan – draws on candid interviews with Rajneesh’s parents, friends, and disciples in an unprecedented, insider’s account spanning Bhagwan’s precocious youth in India, tempestuous university career, remarkable enlightenment, and emergence as a revolutionary spiritual teacher with a world-wide following.
Blending solid information on his life and teachings with a selection of rare photographs, ‘The Awakened One’ achieves a fully rounded portrait of the man who synthesizes Eastern mysticism and Western psychology, science and religion, and a fully physical yet deeply spiritual life in one of our time’s fastest-growing religious movements.
At its heart, ‘The Awakened One’ celebrates Bhagwan’s life as the embodiment of his teaching that everyone should live in freedom – live totally, joyfully, authentically.
Vasant Joshi (Swami Satya Vedant) holds doctorates in literature and education. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been Chancellor of the Rajneesh International Meditation University.”
“I had my first darshan (audience) with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh at Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Poona, India, on January 11, 1975. Ever since that time I have experienced his continuous flow of love and compassion for me. In the same darshan Bhagwan initiated me into sannyas (discipleship) and then asked me to write a book on him. The offer came as a complete surprise to me. I nodded, however, in affirmation, with awe and deep gratitude. I returned to Chicago after attending the ten-day meditation camp.
In 1979, Bhagwan asked me to come and stay in the Rajneesh Ashram with my family – an opportunity I had longed for since the initiation. During the two-year stay I immensely enjoyed working on the biography as well as carrying out my other assignments at the ashram.
I am very grateful to the Rajneesh Foundation International for extending to me all the necessary assistance to tell this story of the first fifty years of Bhagwan’s life in my own way. Neither Bhagwan nor anyone else from the Shree Rajneesh Ashram has approved or even looked at the text – it is strictly a personal and independent account of Bhagwan’s life and work.” (Page ix)
“This is the official biography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh written by one of his devoted disciples. Bhagwan is an enlightened master who lived his life in India until coming to America in 1981. Although I have called it a biography, much of the material for this story consists of Bhagwan’s own words faithfully tape-recorded by his disciples – a total of four thousand hours of discourse, transcribed and edited from lectures delivered every morning by Bhagwan from 1974 to 1981. Although Bhagwan has used autobiographical vignettes in these discourses to illustrate and communicate his spiritual message, he finds no use in writing an autobiography. Once, when asked, “Why do you not write your autobiography?” Bhagwan answered: “… truly speaking, after self-knowledge there is no autobiography. All autobiographies are ‘ego-biographies.’ What we call an autobiography is not the story of the soul. As long as you do not know what soul is, whatever you write is ego-biography.”
This is an attempt to communicate the truth of Bhagwan’s life and the truth of his experience. But while the external facts of his life do contribute to communicating this truth, they can only convey a shadowlike picture of an enlightened person. As Bhagwan himself has explained, one who has known himself as a soul and not as a person.
‘… changes into something so formless that what we call the facts of his life, facts like the date he was born, the date a particular event happened, dissolve. What happens is that all these facts cease to have any meaning. The awakening of a soul is so cataclysmic that after it occurs, when one opens his eyes he finds that everything is lost…
After one has known one’s soul, an autobiography seems to be a dreamlike version of oneself. It is as if one were writing an account of his dreams: one day he saw this dream, the next day that dream, and the day after that a third dream. Such an autobiography has no more value than a fantasy, a fairy tale.’
Despite this view expressed directly from my Master, I have found it valuable to know about Bhagwan’s life, for his life is his teaching. Once in centuries comes such a being who by his own living creates an energy that brings individuals to a point where they begin to see a new vision, feel the richness and beauty of existence, and enjoy the mysteries of life…
My purpose, however, is not to evaluate Bhagwan’s teachings critically in any historical context, or against a background of any particular school of thought, philosophy, tradition, or movement. My aim is to present the story of Bhagwan’s life as it became available to me from various sources.
It is my hope that his biography will serve as an introduction to Bhagwan for those who are interested in him and in the spiritual path. But it can be no more than that, One must experience Bhagwan through his books, taped lectures, video tapes, or best of all – in person. Only then will this story really mean something to the reader.” (Page xi-xiii)
(Note: Quote is from ‘Dimensions Beyond the Known’ (1979), p. 30-31)
“The following chapters present the life story of a man who has experienced the death of the ego, the transcendence of mind, and the realization of that which is real. His compassion for his fellow human beings is as strong and pervasive as his passion for truth. He goes to extraordinary lengths to share the experience and joy of his own awakening with anyone who is ready to listen, anyone who is tired of sleep and disillusioned with dreams.” (Joshi 1982, p. 8)
On his interview with Osho’s father one week before he died. It turned out that Dadda was too weak to say anything more than already had been said
“Just a week before I had met with Dadda in his hospital room. I had an appointment with him. In fact, it was agreed that we would talk about Bhagwan’s childhood. He looked as cheerful as ever and also seemed to have greatly recovered from an attack of paralysis.” (Joshi 1982, p. 138)
“Satya Vedant, brother-in-law of Sheela, ashramite and Laxmi’s left-hand woman, is back from the States. Mm, so you have come! I was waiting for you! Bhagwan greets him with special warmth. 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!
Vivek sort of gasps and closes her eyes at that. I gaze at Vedant with renewed interest, half expecting him to disappear right before my eyes. Bhagwan calls him close for blessing. Good! So dissolve in the work…” (Ma Prem Maitri. In: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1984), p. 216)
Satya Vedant in interview 2013
“My earliest contact with Osho was when, while I was on the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1967, I received Osho’s earlier books in Hindi from my friends in India and reading them I was impacted by his words and his vision. I would refrain from comparing Osho with anyone else since all are unique individuals and when you compare A with B you misunderstand both. For me, I found a distinct freshness, an exciting clarity, a divine power in Osho’s message.” (Joshi 2017, p. 221)
Vaidya writes on Vasant Joshi
“Poona-1 was the period when Indian-American scholar Prof. Vasant Joshi took sannyas as Swami Satya Vedant in December 1975. He had not heard of Osho when he completed his PhD in English Literature from M.S. University, Baroda, and headed to the United States in 1966. This was the period when, attracted by the Hare Krishna Movement, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the Hippie Movement, several Westerners were flocking to India. Prof. Joshi was invited by the University of California at Berkeley to look at these social upheavals closely and conduct a course on the cultural and literary traditions of India. That was when he received some booklets on Osho’s discourses in Hindi which he found very illuminating. The interest in Osho continued as he undertook his second PhD in Education at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1973. He was deeply touched by an audio recording of one of Osho’s discourses on Mahavir, and two years later, took leave and came to visit Osho at the Poona Commune. He arrived on December 10, 1975 and the next day “while I was sitting in front of Osho, I was initiated with the name Satya Vedant.”” (Vaidya 2017, p. 55)
“It was during my early years with Osho, after I had been initiated by Him into sannyas in 1975, that I received a short reply from Him to a letter I had mailed to Him from Chicago. The most significant line in that short message (written in Hindi) was: “Float like a dry leaf in a river.”” (Satya Vedant. In: Viha Connection, 2008:4)
Vasant Joshi writes in Epilogue
“Finally, Sri Aurobindo once wrote to his biographer disciple, “Neither you nor anyone else knows anything at all of my life, it has not been on the surface for men to see.” Bhagwan has expressed a similar view, and I feel little hesitation in admitting that in spite of writing this story, I know nothing about Bhagwan, simply because he is not just a person, he is a phenomenon.” (Joshi 1982, p. 176)
Osho has said
“Vasant Joshi is writing a biography of me. The biography is bound to be very superficial, so superficial that it is not worth reading at all. No biography can penetrate to the depths, particularly the psychological layers of a man – especially if the man has come to the point where the mind is no longer relevant to the nothingness hidden in the center of an onion. You can peel it layer by layer, of course with tears in your eyes, but finally nothing is left, and that is the center of the onion; that is from where it had come in the first place. No biography can penetrate to the depths, particularly of a man who has known the no-mind also. I say “also” consideredly, because unless you know the mind, you cannot know the no-mind. This is going to be my small contribution to the world.” (Sarito 1990, p. 321)
“You are really going to be in a mess when I am gone because there will be so many stories from each disciple – and you will not be able to make any end, head or tail out of them because I am talking to each individual as an individual. The system is growing through him and is growing in many, many directions. It is a vast tree: many branches, many sub-branches are going in all directions.” (Asha 1980, p. xviii)
Mistlberger on ‘The Awakened One’
“This book was, according to my knowledge, the first attempt at a complete biography of Osho’s life up to that point. It was written prior to the Oregon years, so it is naturally missing the highly dramatic final decade of Osho’s life. The author is a devotee, a term usually given to the most loyal and committed disciple of a guru. The book is out of print and I long ago lost my copy but as I recall it was certainly written in devotee fashion: in this case, intelligent, well crafted, and deeply supportive throughout.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 658)
* Osho The Luminous Rebel. Life Story of a Maverick Mystic / Vasant Joshi (Sadhu Satya Vedant). New Delhi, Wisdom Tree, 2010. (Joshi 2010)
This is an enlarged second edition updated with the events in Osho’s life during his years in Oregon, during World Tour and in Poona Two.
In Preface Vasant Joshi writes
“I am immensely grateful to Osho’s loving parents, relatives, friends and disciples for their help and cooperation in putting this life story together. I am also very grateful to my friends and fellow travellers, Jayesh, Amrito, Neelam, Anando and Chaitanya Keerti who spared their precious time for giving invaluable feedback reading the manuscript. I am, in particular, greatly indebted to Prem Amrito (Dr George Meredith), Osho’s personal physician and one of his caretakers, for allowing me to include his observations, particularly the details of Osho’s health are entirely based on his account.
I have incorporated in this book the account of Osho’s life which was covered in the earlier work, The Awakened One: Life and Work of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The book was published by Harper and Row, San Francisco 1983.
It has indeed been a highly rewarding experience writing this story – it carried a feeling of both joy and blessing. The book is not really a biography of Osho. The intent was never to bring every piece of detail from Osho’s incredible oceanic life – that would have been foolhardy. The effort was more like weaving a piece of cloth with threads from my heart. It never escaped from my mind the challenging reality that writing this story was more like… as so beautifully expressed by William Blake:
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the Palm of your Hand
And Eternity in an Hour.
* Bhagwan. The Buddha for the Future / Juliet Forman (Ma Prem Maneesha). Poona, Rebel Publishing House, 1988. (Forman 1988)
In Appendix: List of Sources. About Bhagwan and his Movement.
This volume includes Poona One and Rajneeshpuram in Oregon and two more books in the trilogy are covering later phases: World Tour and Poona Two (Forman 1989 & 2002).
On back jacket:
“Before coming to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Juliet Forman was involved in traditional Psychiatry and the Humanistic Growth Movement. Because of her training, she was led to the home of Anna Freud – the youngest daughter of Sigmond Freud – and attended her as nurse during her last days. From this background, one that intimately connected her with an important figure of the Psychoanalytic Movement, the author was to find herself drawn to India and to Bhagwan, and coincidently into the company of other seekers who were to become disciples or sannyasins of Bhagwan – the great-granddaughter of Machiavelli, the granddaughter of Nietzsche, the great-niece of Nikos Kazantzakis, the great-grandson of the late emperor of Germany, the Marquis and Marchioness of Bath, the chaplain of Churchill College, Cambridge University, the well-known English actor Terence Stamp, Bernard Gunther, the American writer, and countless others.
Not since the time of Gautam Buddha twenty-five centuries ago had such an illustrious gathering of people sat at the feet of an enlightened master…”
On front flap:
“As this century comes to a close, leaving the debris of lost hopes, shattered dreams and total disillusionment in its wake, not only is time running out, but options too. With the odds on our survival starting to narrow, it would hardly do justice to human intelligence if we went down without examining what few choices still remain open to us.
By way of response to this same dilemma, Fritjof Kapra has pointed out that we have two alternatives: the path of the bomb or the path of the Buddha. To begin, or to supplement, the exploration of the latter option, what better source to turn to than Bhagwan: The Buddha For the Future – an intimate and well-informed story that centers around a contemporary mystic, the most controversial figure of his time, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.”
(Cari Shay, M.A., Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Poitical Science, Western Oregon State College)
On back flap quote from ‘Listen, Little Man’ by Wilhelm Reich.
Introduction by George Meredith. Excerpts:
“… This book, Bhagwan: The Buddha for the Future, is the most fascinating, revealing, and important book yet to be written about this extraordinary man. It is the first book told by someone who has lived with him in his household for the last thirteen years, through the days of the phenomenal growth of the ashram in Poona, the days in America when a city literally grew up around him out of the desert, to the time of his dramatic arrest by a modern day posse of fifteen government agents bristling with weapons.
How could a man who for thirty-five years has done nothing but sit in his chair, talk to his friends, take his food and go to bed, manage to drive the world’s most powerful nation to this absurd and violent reaction? As this extraordinary tale unfolds, we see how just one man, his words and his ideas, could shake the confidence of the most entrenched establishments.
In 1974 a young Australian nurse, beautiful, intelligent and successful, dropped into the Poona ashram just to look. She became a disciple and remains with Bhagwan to this day. In this book she recounts with a delicate clarity the intimate details of the world around Bhagwan, against the backdrop of increasing world recognition of Bhagwan as the most radical man of our time…
Bhagwan is in a category unto himself. To Bhagwan even a man like Gautam Buddha is left far behind. Perhaps out of the whole of the past Buddha was the most enlightened person, but twenty-five centuries have not gone in vain. “I can see beyond enlightenment,” Bhagwan recently explained.
Gautam Buddha himself acknowledged this possibility in the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters, where he described a state even “beyond knowledge, onesidedness, discipline and enlightenment,” a state that would render that person more worthy of love and respect than “one hundred billions of buddhas of past, present, or future.”
To those who have taken the trouble to look through the haze of propaganda directed against him, it is clear that Bhagwan might well be the very man that Gautam Buddha envisions. In a recent book on Nostradamus’ predictions, ‘Millennium’, just such an interpretation is put on those quatrains. Nostradamus outlines eight features that will identify a man he sees as being at the center of a new religiousness. That new religiousness will be born in the midst of the death and destruction that will characterize the final years of this century. Only Bhagwan satisfies all the criteria, which not only include a description of one who is outcast by the establishments of the world, but states that the name of the last master of the old world and the first of the new will mean “moon.” But even ‘Millennium’ is not quite complete on the question of Bhagwan’s name.
His name, Rajneesh, is very rare. It seems never to have been used before – and it is a mystery where his parents got it – although now a few people have copied it. “Rajneesh” means “moon,” or more precisely, “the king of the night.” The quatrain says also that the second to last name shall also mean moon. Of the rest of Bhagwan’s full name, Rajneesh Chandra Mohan, “Chandra Mohan” means not just “moon” but “hypnotic moon.” (Page xiii-xx)
“Words that are from tape-recorded passages of Bhagwan’s discourses are indicated by quotation marks. When I have used speech I only recall being said to me by Bhagwan, it is preceded by a dash and is without quotation marks.” (Page xxi)
“[Ms. James] tells so much about the nature of enlightenment, the expectations of disciples, betrayal, and the working of power, politics and spirituality, that the overall effect is startling.” (Body, Mind and Spirit. USA)
Interview with Maneesha on her book, preliminary title: Bhagwan – the God that succeeded
“Q. What are you aiming for in writing your book?
A. Very simple. I want to tell my story. To do this I need to fill in the background so I will start with my birth and how eventually I got to Bhagwan. It is essential for me to spell out when I made some decisions illustrated by quotations from Bhagwan. I want to show it this way. How a sannyasin can take in Bhagwans words and show how she loves them. I love his words – they are immensely fascinating. This month I will have been a sannyasin for 12 years and still he can say things that shock me! – even when I have heard them many times before! They are still shocking me and they still have not lost their incredible radiance…
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of these people who after many years with the Master sit in the wheel chair and write their memoirs. I am enjoying the continuous challenge to express what Bhagwan is, how we experience him or don’t experience him. And even if it is only possible to express minute fragments of the experience, I still find this an immensely exciting and creative affair.” (Sannyas News, 01.11.1986)
Maneesha says on her trilogy
“”In 1985, after he returned to India from his world tour, Osho suggested that I write a book that would be, as he termed it, “the historical documentation” of his work and the movement that grew up around him. “Having at that point been with him for fourteen years, I found it impossible to squeeze all that needed to be said within the confines of one volume. So triplets emerged… an entire trilogy! (Curiously enough, each book did take nine months to complete).
‘Bhagwan: The Buddha for the Future’ describes the evolution of Osho’s first commune – in Pune, India – where I was to find myself (literally and figuratively) in October 1974. Those seven years were, simply, awesome.” (www.maneeshajames.com)
Maneesha and Osho on writing
“Maneesha, the ‘ashram bard’ who writes the commentaries to the twelve darshan diaries that are published every year, wrote to Bhagwan recently, saying that the more filled she felt by him, the less she was able to write about him. The more there was to share, the less she was able to write it, to share it. ‘Superficial feelings can be expressed easily,’ Bhagwan answered, ‘Words are adequate for them. But deeper feelings can’t be expressed adequately. When the feeling goes deep, it can’t be put into words. You can try, but you’ll always feel that you’ve failed. When you put it in words something very tiny comes out, and it was so huge when you experienced it. When you were feeling it, it was an ocean. When you go to put it into words it becomes a drop.
“But go on trying to express what you’re feeling,” he continued, “because even if it can’t be expressed it has to be expressed. Even if you can’t put the ocean of your heart into your words, it’s nothing to be worried about. Even a few drops will be good, because those few will lead people to me, even those few drops will give them a taste of the ocean. It may be small, but it has the same flavour, the same secret as the whole ocean. If someone can understand a single drop of water, he will be able to understand water whereever he finds it, whereever he sees it.” (Bharti 1981, p. 143)
Maneesha reflects on her writing
“I want to tell you, to share with you, all at once and right away everything that Bhagwan is to me, to us. But I cannot. I know that in the saying something is lost. That which I wanted to convey evaporates and only traces of it remain as words on the page, and they’re not it at all. And besides, how to describe, define, that which has no definition? Any word, any idea… and a form, a shape immediately arises and simultaneously invalidates itself. You can’t describe the ocean but you can describe what it feels like to dip into it. Perhaps you will find reflected in our sannyasin eyes, see on our lips, hear in our voices and sense in our silence, something of him, and of our love…” (Ma Prem Maneesha. In: The Sacred Yes. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 2)
Forman’s books 1988, 1989 and 2002
“Of all the books written by disciples and ex-disciples describing Osho’s life and work, these three books are the most ambitious. Taken together, they amount to 1,500 pages and half a million words… Juliet Forman, who went by the name Maneesha, was a close disciple of Osho’s and one of his most faithful. That said, she was no mindless follower but an intelligent woman and dedicated chronicler and her books are worth reading for one willing to invest the time. She, in all likelihood, gives the most technically accurate account concerning the ‘who did what’ of the highly controversial days leading to the collapse of the Oregon commune in 1985 and its immediate aftermath. That said, she may have been too close and too attached to her master to be able to write in a purely objective fashion. Nevertheless, I recommend her books if for no other reason than the fascinating account they give of a life in the immediate inner circle of a profound and deeply controversial figure… Forman captured a very large chunk of Osho’s story.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 662)
Afternoon drive-by at the Ranch
“Maneesha, who had been one of Osho’s mediums and was to become His “recorder” (as Plato was to Socrates), would be there with her small group of celebrators. Osho would stop opposite her, and I could see her disappearing into a wild, ecstatic cyclone of colored tamborine ribbons and joy. Her long dark hair would fly around her face, her body leapt in the air, and yet her dark eyes were fixed silently and still on Osho’s.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 88)
A new digital edition of Maneesha’s trilogy is expected in 2018.
* The Ultimate Risk: Encountering Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Ma Satya Bharti. Wildwood House, England, 1980. (Bharti 1980)
Translated into German ‘Wagnis Orange. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’ (1980), Dutch ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: De laatste gok’ (1979, Italian ‘Il Grande Esperimento: Meditazione E Terapie Nell’ Ashram Di Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’ (1980), Spanish ‘Il Riesgo Supremo’ (1980). American edition ‘Drunk on the Divine’ (1980).
Also by Satya Bharti: Death Comes Dancing. Celebrating Life With Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Satya Bharti. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981. Published in USA and UK. (Bharti 1981).
And later: The Promise of Paradise. A Woman’s Intimate Story of the Perils of Life with Rajneesh / Satya Bharti Franklin. New York, Station Hill, 1993. (Franklin 1993)
A review of ‘The Ultimate Risk’
“This book might be more aptly called, “All you ever wanted to know about the Rajneesh ashram and never dared to ask”, and, in fact, the sub-title is, “An intimate look at one of the most powerful spiritual and psychological growth centers of this century”. Satya, the author, has written a semi-fictional, semi-factual account of Bhagwan and his world as seen through the eyes of thirteen people, both new-comers and sannyasins. For a period of several months she interviewed scores of people and followed their progress through the intricacies of the ashram: meeting Bhagwan, taking sannyas, doing groups, meditating, falling into and out of relationships, going back to the West, returning, working in the ashram. The thirteen characters are composites drawn from these interviews – hence the fiction. The events happening to the characters, their transformation, their flowering are real – as anyone who has been here can vouch…
Through the whole book Bhagwan is glimpsed. He has a finger in every pie, a finger on every pulse of his Buddhafield. Seeing him at work on these thirteen egos, mirroring them, creating devices for them to grow, relating to them with love, wit and compassion, is a heart-warming delight. This is the first book to be published about Bhagwan which reveals the Master-disciple relationship in all its subtleties. If you are still asking why a Master is needed, here is the answer…
Satya used to be a poet. Her perceptions, her sensitivity, her empathy is that of a poet. Her narrative is dramatic, her style simple and compelling. Each story is developed in juicy morsels, juxtaposed and intertwined with the others, until, like separate ivy vines growing around a house, they mingle and become part of this crazy orange family growing around Bhagwan.
‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: The Ultimate Risk’ will be published in the UK by Wildwood House in January/February 1980, in Holland by Mirananda in December 1979, in Germany by Fachbuchhandlung für Psychologie in the Spring of 1980 and in Italy by Armenia in 1980. The book is under option to American and French publishers too.” (Sannyas, 1979:6, p. 26)
Bhagawati writes on Satya Bharti’s books
“Satya Bharti (aka Jill Franklin) was one of the editors of Osho’s discourses, and a prolific writer of several books about Osho and life in the ashram during the seventies. They were published between 1980 and 1981, entitled ‘The Ultimate Risk’, ‘Drunk on the Divine’, and ‘Death Comes Dancing’, describing her own experiences, life at the ashram, and the therapy groups. After her experiences in Rajneeshpuram, she wrote ‘The Promise of Paradise’, which resulted in an appearance on ‘Larry King Live!’ and other radio and TV programs. The book has been optioned twice for a movie, but Satya ultimately turned down the scripts as being sensationalist, not realistic, nor sympathetic to Osho.” (www.oshonews.com/2011/05/books-about-osho/)
Satya Bharti writes on her publishing
“Other than Bernard Gunther’s book ‘Dying for Enlightenment’ (for which Rajneesh Foundation did not receive royalties) my books were the first sannyas-written books available in English. Divya was running primal therapy groups at the ashram while I was editing Bhagwan’s books and writing my own. Satyananda initially came to the ashram to write an article for ‘Stern’ magazine in Germany, then became smitten with Bhagwan and took sannyas. I don’t believe RF owned the rights to the book he subsequently came out with about his experiences with Bhagwan. It’s my impression – and I may be wrong about this as I wasn’t handling foreign publishing rights at this point – that he found a publisher himself, negotiated (or had his agent negotiate) the contract, and was personally paid royalties (and perhaps an advance) for his book. I never received a penny for any of the books I wrote. The contracts were signed by RF, not me personally, and all monies were paid to them.
I should also point out that (like Satyananda) I was a professional writer before I took sannyas. Grove Press, Harper & Row and other American publishers were aware of my pre-sannyas work. (I’d been published in literary magazines, for example, and was Shirley Chilsohm’s speechwriter in her campaign to become the Democratic Party nominee for the US Presidency in 1972.) I wasn’t ‘just’ a sannyasin of Bhagwan’s; I had publishing credentials.” (Satya Bharti. E-mail. 18.06.2015)
“A devoted account by a close disciple at the time; the title [Drunk on the Divine] is self-explanatory. (This book was published by Wildwood House in England with the title ‘The Ultimate Risk’.)” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 658)
FitzGerald meets Satya Bharti in September 1983 on the Ranch
“Satya Bharti had become a sannyasin in the United States not long after getting divorced. She had married a New York stockbroker when she was in college, and had three children. Though she had been a math student in college, she had always wanted to be a writer, and while she was married she had written a market newsletter and, later, speeches for Congresswoman Shirley Chrisholm. In the sixties, she had become “radicalized,” she told me; she had gone back to college – to Sarah Lawrence – and had worked in politics and taken up yoga. Finally, she had rebelled against the conventional life she and her husband were leading, and against all his conventional views. She started doing meditation informally with some Rajneesh disciples in New York and took sannyas after that. She decided she had to go India to live, even though it meant leaving her three young children with her ex-husband.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 81)
* Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt. Tagebuch meines Lebens mit Bhagwan in Poona (Totally Relaxed in the Here and Now. Diary from my Life with Bhagwan in Poona) / Swami Satyananda (J.A. Elten). Rowolt, Reinbek, 1979. English Edition entitled ‘The Cosmic Madhouse’ forthcoming (2018). (Satyananda 1979)
Also by Satyananda:
– ‘Im Grunde ist alles ganz einfach. Gespräche mit sieben Bhagwan-Jüngern’ (Basically Everything is Easy. Conversations with Seven Young Followers of Bhagwan). (1981)
– ‘Alles ganz easy in Santa Barbara’ (Everything is Totally Easy in Sant Barbara). (1990)
– ‘Karma und Karriere. Das Märchen von tausendundeiner Angst’ (Karma and Career. The Fairy-tale of thousandandone Anxieties). (1992)
– ‘Sprung in die Freiheit. Raus aus der Komfortzone’. (Jumping into Freedom. Leaving Your Zone of Comfort). Essays und Reportagen 1999 bis 2013. (2013)
Satyananda preparing his book
“Satyananda is back from Germany, very orange energy – flowing soft and warm. He’s weathered quite a storm; as a journalist with ‘Stern’ he’d come last year to write about Bhagwan, did the Encounter group, fell in love and took sannyas. He returned to Germany and to his job, giving the ashram a large and positive coverage in a several-paged article. In the midst of all the recent publicity in Germany he remained orange and a journalist, then recently felt to leave… and is here open-endedly, he is telling Bhagwan now.
Yes… first you have to finish your book (about his experience here).
I want to do something about myself first, and then the book.” (Maneesha. In: The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 145)
Satyananda on the writing of his book
“Ich habe in Poona jeden Tag im Korbstuhl under einem Banyam-Baum gesessen und Tagebuch geführt. In der mächtigen Baumkrone schatteten die Papageien, von der Buddhahalle wehte Meditationsmusik durch den Aschramgarten. Im Schatten ihrer breitkrempigen Strohhüte machten sich junge Mädschen in den Blumenbeeten zu schaffen und missachteten die lebhaften Geräusche, die durch die offenen Fenster der umliegenden Häuser drangen. In den Gruppentherapieräumen explodierten unterdrückte Gefühle in befreienden Katharsen…
Ich schrieb an meinen Tagebuch “Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt”. Der Titel bezichnete eher das Ziel, das ich vor Augen hatte. Am Anfang war ich nur verwirrt und erschreckt, und eine unheimliche, aus den Tiefen meines Wesens aufsteigende Traurigkeit überwältigte mich. Monatelang schwamm ich in Tränen und klammerte mich an meine Tagebuch fest, wie ein Ertrinkender and den rettenden Balken.” (Elten 1992, p. 228)
Satyananda to Maneesha
“In the beginning I read bhagwan’s discourses and he said that a disciple has nothing to do but to come here, to open up, to listen and to learn… Satyananda modestly envisages masses of ‘stern’ readers clambering aboard all available flights to poona as soon as his article hits the print. He said he felt the movement would appeal not to everyone but mainly to ‘sensitive bourgeois kids from the west’… Satyananda’s thinking of writing a book about bhagwan, the ashram, the groups. The most ingenious of script writers would have nothing on the kind that went on in the encounter group! he enthused.” (Satyananda to Maneesha. In: Far Beyond the Stars. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 79)
Osho commenting on Satyananda in Bombay 1986
“Perhaps Satyananda is here. He came as a journalist from ‘Stern’ magazine in Germany. He was one of their topmost journalists, but he wanted to feel it – the meditations, the groups, silent sittings with me, discourses… he remained there for a few weeks. He wanted an inside story, not just a story from an outsider. He collected so much material and he was so happy when he went… before leaving he became a sannyasin. But as he reached the ‘Stern’ office they started laughing. They said, “He is completely hypnotized! Look at his red clothes, his mala… he is not the man we sent.”
When they saw his report they simply said, “Not a single word from this report can be published. You have been brainwashed, you don’t know what you are writing. You are under hypnosis, you are being used as medium; you don’t know what you are doing.” He said, “What nonsense are you talking? I have not been hypnotized.” But what can he do? The report belongs to ‘Stern’, not to the writer. The writer is paid for it. He went on struggling, negotiating – “This much you can cut… this much you can cut…” And finally only one sixth remained. They distorted his whole beautiful article.
But he was disillusioned completely – this freedom of expression, all these democratic values are just words. He resigned his position on the grounds that they had been printing things which were not true, and because they had inserted whatever they wanted into his article. He told them, “I cannot serve here like a slave anymore. You have not purchased my mind.”
He wrote a book, which became a best seller in Germany. He came back to live in India, and then he was in America with me.” Sermons in Stones (1987). Chapter 11, p. 254.
Osho on Satyananda in Poona Two, January 1989
“But Satyananda became so interested and involved that he became a sannyasin – I don’t know what his German name used to be. He became a sannyasin. He thought, “It will be far better to write the story from the inside, joining all the meditations, joining all the groups. I will be reporting more intimately, honestly. Just being a spectator from outside is one thing, but to be a meditator…”
So he became a sannyasin and he meditated and he joined the groups and he really became involved. In the beginning it was just to have an inside view. But once you are inside, it is very difficult to get outside! He wrote a beautiful story about the commune and what is happening here, and when he went back, the ‘Stern’ owners simply refused to print anything because, “He has been hypnotized. Otherwise how can he write such a story? He has been completely brainwashed.” And they asked him, “Why have you become a sannyasin?”
He said, “I wanted to write honestly, and to write honestly was possible only if I became an insider. In the beginning it was just a show that I was a sannyasin, so I could get in. But as I experienced meditation and groups and the change that came to me, now I am really a sannyasin. And I am not hypnotized and I am not brainwashed.”
But they would not publish his story. He simply renounced his post – and he was their best journalist – and came back to India. And he lived here, he lived in the commune in Germany, in America, and he is making money to come back here so that he can be here forever.
This man writes that all the magazines that go on propagating against me in Germany are owned by the Christians, Catholics or Protestants. So they cut out anything that will strike a sympathetic note in people’s minds. They just go on creating antagonism; on any point, they invent something. And it is very easy to invent lies.” Communism & Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 6, p. 273.
Avinasho interview with Satyananda on the 30 years anniversary of the publishing of his book in 2009
“Ich habe das Buch mit Herzblut, Schweiss und Tränen geschrieben. Das hat die Leser getroffen und emotional bewegt. Tausende wollten Bhagwan – so hiess er damals – kennen lernen und machten sich auf den Weg nach Indien… immerhin habe ich 1977 eine Reportage über Osho und den Aschram von Pune geschrieben. Es war der erste und auch der letzte positive Artikel, der im “Stern” über Osho erschienen ist… Ein Jahr später hängte ich meine Karriere an den Nagel, gab meinen Dienstwagen in der “Stern”-Garage ab und kehrte nach Pune zurück – für immer. So glaubte ich damals jedenfalls…
OT: Kamst du mit dem Vorsatz nach Pune, ein Buch über Osho und seinen Aschram zu schreiben? S: Ja, das dachte ich jedenfalls. Osho hatte mich eingeladen und ich fand, dass es höchste Zeit war, über diesen unglaublich interessanten Mann, der seiner Zeit auch heute noch um Jahrzehnte voraus ist, und über sein Kommune-Experiment ein Buch zu schreiben. Osho war einverstanden. Also zog ich in den Aschram ein und notierte jeden Tag meine Eindrücke und Gedanken in mein Tahgebuch… Ich sass jeden Tag irgendwo im Achram in einem Korbsessel und schrieb so vor mich hin. Oft kam es mir so vor, als ob mein Kugelschreiber sich von selber bewegte. Die Worte formten sich nicht in meinem Kopf. Sie regneten sozusagen an meinem Kopf vorbei aufs Papier. Ich schrieb und schrieb und manchmal fragte mich irgendeiner, der mich beim Schreiben beobachtet hatte: “Mann, was schreibst du denn da alles? Und ich sagte: “Keine Ahnung!”…
Als mir mal bei der Reinschrift des Tagebuchs das Schreibmaschinenpapier ausging und ich die Leiterin der Presseabteilung fragte, ob sie mir mit ein paar Blatt aushelfen könnte, sagte sie; “Dein Buch ist dein Ego-Trip, Satyananda. Wenn du Papier brauchst, kannst du in die Stadt fahren und dir welches kaufen!” So war man sich im Aschram stets gegenseitig behilflich, das Ego abzubauen. Und es dauerte eine Weile, bis ich darüber lachen konnte.” (Satyananda 2013, pp. 300-305)
(Note: Compilation of essays mostly from the magazine ‘Osho Times’ (German edition) 1999-2013)
Satyananda on final editing
“Kurz bevor ich mit der Reinschrift des Manuskripts fertig war, kam von Osho die Einladung, auf der Terrasse seines Hauses weiter zu arbeiten. Dort arbeiteten schon ein paar andere Sannyasins in feierlicher Stille. Es gab strenge Verhaltensregeln und es war tierisch heiss. Aber es war der schönste Arbeitsplatz meines Lebens.
Eines Tages kam ein deutscher Swami und sagte, er habe von Osho den Auftrag bekommen, das Manuskript zu lesen und Bericht zu erstatten. Osho konnte ja kein Deutsch. Ich gab dem Swami die ersten hundert Seiten. Am nächsten Tag kam er wieder und war total begeistert. Ich gab ihm die nächsten 100 Seiten. Er kehrte zurück und war entsetzt. “Das kann man unmöglich veröffentlichen”, stöhnte er. Das sei ein durch und durch negatives Buch, voller Spott und destruktiver Kommentare. “Nun halt mal die Luft an”, schlug ich vor, “und lies das Manuskript zu Ende, bevor du Urteile fällst!” Er verswand also mit dem restlichen Drittel des Manuskripts.
Zwei Stunden später rief mich Laxmi, Oshos Sekretärin, in ihr Büro und machte ein Gesicht, als sei der Aschram gerade von einem Erdbeben verwüstet worden. “Satyananda, ich höre, dass du ein ganz negatives Buch über Osho geschrieben hast.”. – Alles Quatsch!” sagte ich, “der Swami soll doch erst mal fertig lesen, bevor er ein Urteil fällt!” Und sie sagte: “Er hat an Osho geschrieben, dass dein Buch unmöglich ist. Wie is denn der Titel?” “Das kosmische Irrenhaus”, sagte ich spontan und hatte das Gefühl, dass der Titel gut zu dem passte, was ich gerade erlebte. Die arme Laxmi wäre beinahe in Ohnmacht gefallen.
Ich war fest entschlossen, das buch so zu veröffentlichen, wie ich es geschrieben hatte. Noch nie hatte ich als Autor Zensur akzeptiert. “Wenn die das hier versuchen sollten, werde ich das Manuskript unter den Arm nehmen und mit dem nächsten Flieger nach Deutschland zurückkehren!” Das war mein fester Entschluss. Meine Beziehung zu Osho stand auf Messers Schneide.
Am nächsten Morgen rief mich Laxmi zu sich. Ich setzte mich vor ihren Schreibtisch und atmete durch. “Hier ist eine Nachricht von Osho”, sagte sie und las vor: “Negativität is auch wichtig. Lasst Satananda in Ruhe. Er weiss, was er tut!”
“Er vertraut mir!”, dachte ich und war gerührt. “Wie wunderbar. Wir vertrauen uns gegenseitig!” Und dann musste ich plötzlich lachen, als mir der Gedanke kam:”Wie gut, dass es wenigstens zwei intelligente Menschen in diesem Aschram gibt!” (Satyananda 2013, p. 306)
Punya writes on Satyananda’s book
“We heard that he was keeping a diary of his life in Saswad (I wish I had his notes now!) and that a book about his first years with Osho was going to be published. His ‘Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt’ eventually became a best-seller and all of the German speaking sannyasins gulped it down as soon as it came out.” (Punya 2015, p. 181)
Huth writes at length on Satyananda’s book. They have been meeting each other for more than ten years. (Huth 1980, p. 5).
Bhagawati writes on Satyananda’s book
“Also in 1979, another book created a furor in the German-speaking parts of Europe, to the extent that thousands of people packed their suitcases and made their way to see Osho in Poona. This book, ‘Ganz Entspannt im Hier und Jetzt’ (Totally Relaxed in the Here and Now), was written by Swami Satyananda (aka Joerg Andrees Elten) and presents a riveting and revealing honest account of his life at the ashram.
Satyananda had arrived at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in 1977 to write an article for German STERN magazine about Osho and the ‘orange people’. He had been their star reporter for many years and had covered most important incidents all over the world. Once Satyananda met Osho it was clear to him that he would become a sannyasin. His article, which was a very positive report of what he had seen and experienced, was heavily edited yet the gist of it was undeniable to many readers; something inexplicable was happening in Pune and the first wave of Germans knocked on the Gateless Gate.
Satyananda quit his job and moved to Pune. After the first book, he compiled ‘Im Grunde ist alles ganz einfach’ (Basically Everything is Easy), which was published in 1981 and later, after Rajneeshpuram, he wrote two more books, ‘Alles ganz easy in Santa Barbara’ (Everything is Totally Easy in Sant Barbara), and ‘Karma und Karriere’ (Karma and Career)… His latest project is the preparation of an audio book of ‘Totally Relaxed in the Here and Now’. (www.oshonews.com/2011/05/books-about-osho/)
Strömsdörfer on Satyananda
“… Zitat erschien in der Illustrierten “Stern”, die Monate später der Schauspielerin Eva Renzi Gelegenheit gab, ihr Indien-Abendteuer zu publizieren. In seinem Bericht kam der Verfasser, der nach einwöchigem Aufenthalt im Ashram von Bhagwan den Namen Satyananda (Selige Wahrheit) erhielt, zu dem Schluss: “Ich habe nicht das Gefühl, dass ich der Erleuchtung nähergekommen bin, aber das Abendteuer hat gelohnt. Ich habe manches über mich erfahren und glaube mich besser zu kennen als vor wenigen Tagen…
Von einer Wochenzeitschrift wurde ein Hamburger Journalist und Psychologe nach Poona entsandt, um Angaben für einen kritischen Bericht über die Seelenmassage des Bhagwan zu recherchieren. Erst nach Wochen kehrte der junge Wissenschaftler zu seinen Auftraggebern zurück. Er betrat die Redaktion in einem orangefarbenen langen Gewand, trug des Medaillon mit dem Bildnis des Gurus auf behaarter Brust und wurde bestaunt wie ein Abgesandter von einem anderen Stern.
Der als kritische Analyse geplante Bericht geriet dem Psychologen zur Lobeshymne auf Bhagwan. So mochte der Chefredakteur den Bericht nicht drucken. “Beim besten Willen – ich finde keinen Ansatzpunkt für eine gerechtfertigte Kritik” – “Das is das letzte Paradies auf Erden”, verteidigte der Schreiber seinen Artikel und kündigte zugleich das Ende seiner Mitarbeit bei der Radaktion an. “Sobald ich meine persönlichen Angelegenheiten geregelt habe, kehre ich für immer in den Ashram zurück. Mich hält hier nichts mehr.” (Strömsdörfer 1978, pp. 57,89)
Satyananda on his work as ‘author’
“Über meine Erlebnisse und Erfahrungen in dieser Lehrzeit habe ich zwei Bücher geschrieben, die ich heute schon aus einem grossen Abstand betrachte, so als wäre ich gar nicht der Author. Tatsächlich existiert dieser Autor nicht mehr. Wenn ich auch seinen Namen führe und so aussehe wie er, habe ich doch nichts
mehr mit ihm zu tun. Ich wundere mich nicht mehr über das, was ich in Poona oder in Rajneeshpuram erstaunte, ich teile seine Nöte nicht, ich schmunzele über seine Ängste, ich lache über seine Verwirrung.” (Elten 1992, p. 250)
Dhiren writes on English edition entitled ‘The Cosmic Madhouse’
“But first, the book. It really is a fascinating story, and significantly impacted the zeitgeist of the seventies when it first came out, introducing generations of seekers to Osho. It is written in the form of a diary, an intimate and honest account of how the well-known German journalist, Jörg Andrees Elten, becomes a sannyasin. As the pages turn, we realize that the reporter is becoming the reported; the outsider becomes an insider, is invited to live inside the ashram, and roller-coasts through the vivid inner and outer landscapes of those days. The detail never gets lost, and the shimmering, volatile experience of working and living in the ashram close to Osho will be familiar to many, and an eye-opener to others. Sitting on the cold marble floor of Chuang Tzu auditorium listening to Osho, the early morning mists in tranquil Koregaon Park, the mango-pulps and chai by the roadside, the love affairs and the dramas, the joy of music groups and wild dance, the trips to Mulshi lake and the sights and smells of India, the turmoil of intense therapy groups, the ashram gossip, and the whole joyful abandon of the ‘cosmic madhouse’: all of it sparkles into life through the pages of this book. I think it deserves a place amongst other great spiritual autobiographies.” (Dhiren. www.oshonews.com 31.03.2017)
Dhiren on his translation work and Satyananda’s passing
“Satyananda told us that at the end of Pune 1, a sannyasin had offered to translate it, and so he asked Osho, suggesting the title, ‘The Cosmic Madhouse’. (It’s a phrase that appears a few times in his diary – a joke that has a double meaning as it refers not just to the divine madness of the ashram but also to the insanity of the outside world.) Satyananda got the answer a few days later: “Now is not the time.”
Over the next few months [from October 2016] we had meetings and phone calls, and he answered my questions as they came up about the text, before the cold winter started weakening him. I would pass by his house, sit with him in his room where he was working for a few hours each day on his memoirs. I sent him sections of the work as it became ready; somehow it all just seemed to flow and we got a good way through it before the lung infection took him into hospital. Not long before that, a proud moment for me; he called me up and said that he had just been reading over a particular section of the translated text:
“… and you know, I think at times it reads better than the original German! Keep going just like that!”
I laughed it off, but I was touched that he made the effort to say that to me, and I became even more determined to do it justice.
Satyananda would have been 90 on March 30th . He inscribed my copy of the original book with typical wry humour, knowing better than me what I was getting myself into: “For Dhiren, good luck my friend!” (Dhiren. www.oshonews.com 31.03.2017)
Bhagawati on Dihren’s translation
“Notably, over the last year, Dhiren translated Satyananda’s book that had been a bestseller in Germany in the seventies and will have the title ‘The Cosmic Madhouse’. It was actually Pankaja who triggered that project when she visited Stellshagen about 1.5 years ago. Over ‘masala dosas’ Pankaja wisecracked, “So when shall I finally be able to read your book, Satyananda? Why don’t you get Dhiren to translate it?” In the typical way energy moves among us, the ball indeed rolled to Dhiren. I read a sample chapter and was impressed with his gifted translation. The book sounds as if Satyananda had written it in English himself. Presently negotiations with publishers have not come to fruition but we trust it will be only a short time before we get to read it.” (Bhagawati in: Viha Connection, 2018:3)
* Dying for Enlightenment. Living with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Bernard Gunther (Swami Deva Amit Prem). Harper & Row Publishers Inc., New York, 1979. (Gunther 1979)
Also by Bernard Gunther:
* Neo-Tantra. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on Sex, Love, Prayer and Transcendence. (Gunther 1980)
Preparing his book in January 1978
“Amit prem, formerly groupleader and author, bernard gunther, is back too. He has had plans in the bud for some time now to complete a book about bhagwan and the ashram but it hasn’t yet happened.
Tonight bhagwan encourages him to make a start on it, saying that krishna bharti, darshan photographer, can help him. Make it as comprehensive as possible, bhagwan says, so that everything is covered – groups, meditation, everything that is going on. And because we will only be here three or four months, finish it. This book will be one, and then after two years… We all laugh. Bhagwan is referring to the new ashram of course!” (Maneesha. In: The Sun Behind the Sun Behind the Sun. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 468)
In darhan February 1978
“Amit Prem, formerly Bernard Gunther, is coming tonight for a silent darshan, just to observe. He’s the author of several rather beautiful books and is compiling a book now on Bhagwan and the ashram.” (Maneesha. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 82)
On his own writing
“Amit Prem: ‘At some point I would like to speak to you about the book… maybe another time’… Mm. You can talk to me about it another time or you can say today if you want… It seems to me that your books are one way of letting people know what you have to say. But there are going to be some who are not open. And my function in the past has been to open doors. I would like to serve in that way.” (The Shadow of the Whip. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 256)
Excerpt from book review
“The message of this beautiful picture-book is immediate and overwhelming: it is an open invitation to life, to life lived in its totality. The faces in the pictures tell the story. In ecstasy, agony, joy, bliss, peace, rage, playfulness and despair, they bear witness to Bhagwan and his celebration of life in all its moods.
No one who picks it up will be able to ignore the fact that somewhere on the face of this planet, life is being experienced with an intensity and dynamism that makes ‘normal’ living suffocating and stagnant…
This book has been created by Swami Deva Amit Prem (Bernard Gunther) in cahoots with Swami Krishna Bharti and has been published by Harper & Row in the United States. It begins with poetic prose, a description of Bhagwan and life at his ashram, and this leads into more than a hundred pages of black and white pictures that trace an ashram day from Dynamic to darshan.” (Sannyas, 1979:2, p. 48)
Review reprinted in Newsletter
“‘Dying for Enlightenment’ is a book that has been created by Swami Deva Amit Prem along with Swami Krishna Bharti, and has been published by Harper & Row in the USA. It begins with poetic prose, a description of Bhagwan and life at the ashram, and this leads us into more than a hundred pages of black and white pictures that trace an ashram day from Dynamic to darshan. The message of this beautiful picture-book is immediate and overwhelming: it is an open invitation to life, to life lived in its totality. The faces in the pictures tell the story. In ecstasy, agony, bliss, peace, rage, playfulness and despair, they bear witness to Bhagwan and his celebration of life in all its moods.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1979:6)
Bhagawati and Anatto remembers Gunther’s book
“This book is ‘Dying for Enlightenment’ and was compiled by Deva Amit Prem (aka Bernard Gunther, Ph.D.), with photos by Krishna Bharti (aka Cole), and published in 1979. It has remained youthful, showing to this day the radiance, intensity and spontaneity of sannyasins in various ashram situations and group experiences, interspersed with short quotes by Osho. It is a historical picture book that brings joy to every visitor who comes to us and usually people immediately want to know more about Osho if they haven’t heard about him before.
A second book, ‘Neo Tantra: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on Sex, Love, Prayer and Transcendence’, also compiled by Amit Prem, was published a year later. It has a collection of beautiful sensuous photos of Anubhava and Gayan, also taken by Krishna Bharti, interspersed with quotes by Osho, celebrating tantra and love.
An early member of the Esalen Institute, he took sannyas in 1976 and has since written numerous books, conducted hundreds of workshops and collaborated with Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell, Jack Kornfield and Ram Dass (Richard Alpert).” (oshonews.com/2011/05/books-about-osho)
“A rather ironic title in retrospect. Most of the books written on Osho did not come until after the Oregon commune demise; during the late 1970s, the atmosphere of his movement was full of promise and excitement about the future. This book was written by a disciple and describes in detail some of the deep transformational work going on in the Pune ashram at that time.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 658)
Anatto remembers his search for spirituality in India
“Günter was also fed up and he told me about a visit to an ashram in Poona he had made two months before we met. He showed me a book entitled “Dying for Enlightenment” that contained black-and-white photos of people who lived at that ashram. I was fascinated by the faces of the people, they all looked so happy, relaxed and beautiful; I was intrigued, especially by the fact that the book contained barely any words but just photos. I considered the possibility to visit that magic place one day in the future, and left it at that.” (Anatto. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 266)
* Oorspronkelijk gezicht. Een gang naar huis (The Original Face. A Home Coming) / Jan Foudraine (Swami Deva Amrito). Amboboeken, Baarn, 1979. (Foudraine 1979)
Written by the Dutch psychotherapist and author of the bestseller ‘Wie is van hout’ (Not Made of Wood: Psychiatrist Discovers His Own Profession. 1974).
On colophon: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. Robert Frost”
From Voorwoor. Excerpts: “Op 11 augustus 1978 werd ik discipel (sannyasin) van een Verlicht Meester in India. Zijn naam is Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Op 13 augustus 1978 kreeg ik van mijn Meester de opdracht een boek te schrijven over mijn ervaringen. De beschrijving van wat mij er uiteindelijk toe bracht de tocht naar deze Verlichte Meester te ondernemen maakt het eerste deel van dit boek uit [Deel I. Verdwalen]…
Over mijn ontmoeting met hem en wat er in de Ashram-tuin van deze Meester met mij gebeurde, gaat het tweede deel [Deel II. Op weg naar hius]. Waarom hij mij vroeg een boek te schrijven, blijft een raadsel voor me. Verlichte Meesters kunnen erg raadselachtig zijn. Zij scheppen situaties voor de discipel, die voor zijn groei de noodzakelijke uitdaging zijn…
Dit boek wordt geen abstract betoog over ‘de toekomst van de psychiatrie’. Het werd geschreven door iemand zoals u, een zoeker die zich van zijn zoeken nauwelijks bewust was. Ik zal blij zijn als u voor dit boek geen etiket kunt vinden. In ieder gevall heeft het met de mens te maken, en verder is het een getuigenis van het bestaan van een Verlichte, voor wie ik met liefde en ontzag heb mogen neerknielen. Zijn rorpstem is er voor iedereen en ik verbijsterd en dankbaar zijn instrument te hebben mogen zijn. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is het belangrijkste dat me in mijn leven is overkomen. Hij is de deur naareen andere wereld en wenkte mij om in vertrouwen door die deur te gaan.
Lezer, dit boek gaat over God, die om ons en in ons is en die ons plotseling zal bezoekenals wij bereid zijn ons daarop voor te bereiden.” (Page 7)
* L’Incanto D’Arancio. Il Viaggio a Poona e la Conversiona di un Militante Crisi (The Orange Enchantment. The Conversion and the Journey to Pune of a Militant in Crisis) / Swami Swatantra Sarjano (Carlo Silvestro). Rome, Savelli, 1979. (Sarjano 1979)
Preface signed Carlo Silvestro on page 7-9.
Sarjano’s diary from Poona 23.02-24.08.1978 is on pp. 13-110.
Then follows a second part on pp. 113-174: Ma l’Oriente ci incanta davvero? Un dibattito fra Sarjano, M. Sinibaldi, R. Venturini e P. Verni (Is the Orient really magical? A discussion with Sarjano, Sinibaldi (left wing activist), Venturini (ass. prof. in Psychology at Rome University) and Verni (writer on History of Religion and Anthropology). Sarjano was in the seventies himself a left wing activist and co-editor of Italian underground magazine Re Nudo.
When asked how his book came to life Sarjano writes
“I think you should track the piece where Osho explain the meaning of my name… “Sarjano in Sanskrit means “creativity”, and that’s why I have given this name to Sarjano, because he is the most creative person you can think of…” This will answer to all your questions! Thank you.” (Sarjano. E-mail. 28.05.2015)
Here is from his initiation darshan in March 1978
“In quel momento ascoltavo il dissolversi in un attimo di tutto il mio passato, ascoltavo tremante le sue parole: “Questo sarà il tuo nuovo nome: Swami Swatantra Sarjano. Swatantra significa libertà. Sarjano, creatività. La libertà è vera solo se crea. La creatività è l’indicazione della vera libertà, e la creazione è vera solo se nasce dalla libertà. Ci sono persone creative che non solo libera, che non hanno conosciuto la libertà della non-mente. Continuano semplicemente a ripetersi; tutto quello che fanno è più o meno une nuova combinazione di vecchie cose.” (Sarjano 1979, p. 25. 03.03.1978)
Sarjano tells from darshan where Osho suggested his book
“Sera. Con tutta l’energia che me è venuta dai sì del gruppo, decido di scrivere a Bhagwan, per sciogliere un altro sì, poicheè la lecture del mattino mi ha veramente impressionato.
Scrivo a Bhagwan: “Oggi, sentendoti parlare alla lecture sulla carenza di informazione che esiste in occidente sul tuo lavoro e sull’ashram e sulla repressione in atto contro i sannyasin e contro la nascita del nuovo ashram, mi sono trovato a pensare di scrivere qualcosa e vorrei che tu mi pulissi per bene, mi svuotassi, così che la tua parola potesse passare attraverso di me… almeno in italiano! Che fare? Te la prendi tu questa responsabilità? Hai detto che tu sei responsabile per tutti i tuoi sannyasin! Te la vedi poi tu col mio ego, ma se mi dici di cominciare a scrivere qualcosa… io comincio.”
Bhagwan risponde: “Vai a vedere Laxmi – e scrivi un libro sull’ashram.”
Adesso svengo! Mi ha detto di scrivere un libro sull’ashram, a me… wow!
“Adorato Bhagwan, ho preso con grande commozione la tua decisione di farmi scrivere un libro e mi sono già messo a lavorare con grande intensità. Per adesso ho cominciato a pensre a qualche titolo, che umilmente ti sottopongo: ‘The Orange Enchantment’… che te ne sembra?”
Bhagwan risponde: “The Orange Enchantment… prendilo come titolo!” Non c’è niente da fare… ecco cosa vuol dire essere con un Maestro: qualunque stronzata gli scrivi lui ti risponde! Mo io volevo solo giocare…” (Sarjano 1979, p. 57. 24.04.1978)
Sarjano reflecting on his book project
“Ma Bhagwan saprà che lavoro in cucina, che faccio ormai parte dell’ashram? Decido di scrivergli un rapido bigliettino.
Se uno non è mai stato con un Maestro, veramente, non può sapere cosa vuol dire, non può sapere che metodi usa per farti uscire pazzo. Viverci insieme è l’insegnamento più grande, pigliare le sue bastonate, che arrivano sempre in forme diverse, inaspettate… Ed io mi son trovato con questo scemo, ancora non mi raccapezzo, lo devo rileggere perché non ci posso credere: “Grazie… Grazie” vi è scritto in italiano e a mano!” (Sarjano 1979, p. 89. 28.06.1978)
Osho and Arup to Sarjano
“Il messaggio di Bhagwan è questo: “Tu finirai il tuo libro, poi tornerai in Italia”… Arup è lì che mi dice: “Se vuoi ascoltare, questo è il suo messaggio: “tornerai in Italia, comincerai a traddure i suoi libri, e a scrivere altre cose, e aiuterai la gente a venire qui. E quando ci sposteremo nella nuova commune, riceerai una chiamata, e potrai tonare!”” (Sarjano 1979, p. 100. 25.07.1978)
Years later Sarjano writes
“On day, after he had been working in the kitchen for about a month he was called by the secretary of Osho, that he had a message for him from the Master. When he sat in front of her, she told him simply that Osho had expressed the wish that he, Sarjano, should write a book about his sannyasin adventure!…
He was writing usually during the night, before going to sleep, and he managed almost every night to write at least a couple of pages. He calculated that with this rhythm it would take about six months to complete the book, but there was no hurry, and he could easily relax and continue with calm, without thinking of any deadline…
Once they left Sicily, instead of going back to Rome, he and Terry flew to Milan, where he wanted to meet a couple of publishers seemingly interested in his book, even if according to him the book had a title a little embarrassing, because it was in fact ‘The Orange Enchantment’ and this bizarre title – if not too obvious – had been chosen by nobody else than the Master in person…
It was too bad that this Savelli, to remain in the theme of ’68 and to sell some more copies, added to that title, already ridiculous by itself, a sub-title even more pathethic and according to him risible, namely ‘The conversion and the trip to Pune of a militant in crisis’!” (Sarjano 2016, pp. 41,42,55,56)
In Sarjano’s last darshan with Osho before leaving for Italy
“Dal libro dei darshan” (Page 106. 29.07.1978) the book project is further discussed.
See also Sarjano’s story: When Does a Love Story Start? In: Bhagawati (2010), pp. 390-413.
Interview in: ‘The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment. A Darshan Diary’ (1980), pp. 200-217.
* Flowers of Emptiness / Sally Belfrage. London, The Women’s Press, 1981. (Belfrage 1981)
On front cover: ‘An extraordinarily fascinating and informative excursion into Guru-land told with incomparable wry humour.’ (Jessica Mitford)
From back cover:
‘A serious adventure, described with impeccable taste., (New York Times)
‘An altogether remarkable essay on gurus and disciples… personal in tone, present in tense, instantly likable, worldly and witty.’ (Newsweek)
Opposite title page:
‘A clear-eyed, personal, sensitive exploration of the world of Indian mysticism and those who are enveloped by it – a real tour de force which is equally revealing of Sally Belfrage’s ability to confront herself as well as the complex world around her. And her Indian experience includes some of the most vivid writing about another culture we have seen in a long time.’ (Harrison Salisbury)
‘A remarkable psychological study of individual conformity and resistance to group pressure.’ (Library Journal)
Bhagawati writes on Belfrage’s book
“Just recently I read the book Flowers of Emptiness by Sally Belfrage – a little late, as this book was written in the ’70s. Nevertheless, it was a very enjoyable read about Sally’s journey to Pune, together with Pankaja and Judith (who was to become Ma Anand Savita).” (Bhagawati. In: Viha Connection, 2006:2)
“Last but not least there’s Sally Belfrage’s book ‘Flowers of Emptiness’ which was published in 1981. After meeting sannyasins in London, she traveled to Poona for one month, gathering material for her “reflections on an ashram.” The book is written with wry humour, and at times very critical; a marvelous sensitive time piece. She does not become a sannyasin, nor does she necessarily agree with the actions of her sannyasin friends, but comes to the conclusion, “… when people react to Bhagwan as a threat to their rational existence, I would rather say that you get from him what you take. You can ignore or discredit him, use what is illuminating in his words, have a good laugh, or give your life. Whatever the decision, it’s yours and yours alone.” (www.oshonews.com/2011/05/books-about-osho/)
* Priester der Liebe. Frauen im Bann der indischen Liebeshexer (Priests of Love. Women under the Spell of Indian Love Sorcerer) / Lars Strömsdörfer. Baden, Erich Pabel Verlag Kg-Rastatt, 1978. (Strömsdörfer 1978)
An early paperback illustrated with numerous colour photos. The author may have had an insider’s photo-opportunities with his keen preference for naked female meditators during meditation camps etc.
On back cover: “Ein indisscher Guru verheisst seiner Anhängerschaft neue Wege zur erfüllten Liebeslust. 70.000 Menschen – Mehrzahl davon Frauen – folgten bereits seinem Lockruf. Sie berichteten später von einem Besuch im Paradies der Liebe. Andere aber wussten von Folter und Seelenqualen zu erzählen, die sie in dem Kloster des ehemaligen Professors und selbsternannten Gottes erleiden mussten.
Der Author dieses Dokumentarberichtes ging der Sache nach. Er sprach mit denjenigen, die in Poona, der indischen Guru-Hochburg, ihr Glück gesucht hatten. Er redete mit Enttäuschten und Enthemmten. Er interviewte die Vertrauten des Gurus und beschäftigte sich mit dessen Lebensphilosophie. So entstand ein erschütternder, aufregender Report über ein Sex-Phenomen unserer Zeit.”
“70000 Männer und Frauen – daunter allein 30000 Deutsche – sind vor ihr diesen Weg gegangen, aber nur selten hatte es einer gewagt, über die Erlebnisse bei dem Guru offen zu reden.” (Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 8)
The characters of German actor Eva Renzi and top-model Sylvie Vinter have a prominent role in the book’s narrative of ‘sex-in-the-ashram’
“Eva Renzi, die deutsche Schauspielerin mit Schweizer Pass, war zur Kripo von Bombay gekommen, um Anzeige gegen einen selbsternannten Gott zu erstatten.
“Man hat mir Gewalt angetan. Ich bin gefoltert und geschlagen worden”, gab sie zu Protokoll. Das alles sei im Namen des Gurus Shree-Rajneesh geschehen, den seine riesige Anhängerschar Bhagwan (Gott und Gesalbter) nennt und der in der 120 Kilometer von Bombay entfernten Stadt Poona ein Meditationszentrum unterhält. Dieses Kloster – auf indisch Ashram – is eine Art Hospital für kranke, verwirrte Seelen, die unter anderem durch Sex geheilt werden sollen.” (Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 7)
Eight weeks after her return to Germany Eva Renzi took part in a television talkshow on Radio Bremen ‘III nach Neun’ with Jobst Freiherr von Hanstein, aka Swami Prem Gunakar, who was representing the Bhagwan movement. Among other things he said, “Frau Renzi, Sie haben überhaupt nicht verstanden, was da in der Gruppe vorgegangen ist.” (Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 187)
Subhuti on Eva Renzi incident
“Bhagwan became famous in Germany because of the Encounter Group. A well-known movie actress called Eva Renzi came to Pune, signed up for the group and soon got her face slapped by a Dutchman for being a ‘phony bitch.’
Distressed, she ran to the nearest telephone, contacted dpa, the German international press agency, and told her story – or maybe sold her story, I’ve forgotten which. Anyway, next morning, her dramatic ‘beating’ in Bhagwan’s ashram was on the front page of Bild Zeitung and all over the German media.
Pretty soon the Netherlands press heard about the incident and wanted to know the identity of the Dutchman. To their surprise, it was a well-known author, Jan Foudraine, who had written a best-selling book about alternative psychiatry called ‘Not Made of Wood’. He spent days on the telephone, giving long-distance interviews, explaining what had happened.
For me, the best moment in the saga came a couple of days later, when the press asked Eva Renzi’s ex-husband for his reaction. He’d never been in Pune, but he knew her character. On the rebound from a messy divorce, he simply laughed and said, “She deserved it.”
I followed the story step-by-step, or rather, slap-by-slap, because it had become my job to do so. Before the Renzi incident, I’d asked for permission to live and work in the ashram. Bhagwan said ‘yes’ and put me in his press office.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 19)
Sylvie Winter (Ma Prem Gayan) was a German photo model and actress. She later published her book on Bhagwan entitled ‘Die erwachende Göttin’ (Winther 1988). A tv-film ‘Sylvie’  was produced by her friend Klaus Lemke. (Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 41)
Prem Gayan on her first book
“Finally [in 1981] I ended up in the South of France, in Grasse, in the home of French sannyasins, where Chaitanya Hari had relocated to and was composing new music. It was there that I wrote my first book based on the diaries I had kept over the years – on a small Olivetti, with two fingers! Starting with 600 pages, I later edited it down to 250. ‘When the Heart is Free’ was published in 1982 in Germany, with a big party at the Munich Centre where many sannyasins dressed in orange and reds mingled happily with the publishing world, who were dressed for the occasion in dark suits. A few weeks later, now with some money in my pocket, I landed in Portland, Oregon. I was on my way to Osho’s new commune.” (www.oshonews.com, 12.02.2014)
Laxmi on Renzi and Winter
“Jeder neurotischen Schauspielerin und jedem anderen skandalsüchtigen Individuum steht es frei, hierher zu kommen, um eine Reklamesensation auf Kosten unserer religiösen Kommune zu schaffen.” (Laxmi. In: Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 105)
In October 1978 Teertha had to appear at the Poona police to testify on the Eva Renzi case, accompanied by Prasad. (Divya 1980, p. 199)
* HU-Meditation og Kosmisk Orgasme. En Antologi (Hoo Meditation and Cosmic Orgasm. An Anthology) / Klaus Gormsen, compilation and translation. Copenhagen, Borgens Forlag, 1975. (Gormsen 1975)
Published in Copenhagen as early as 1975 we find sections on Meditations, Lectures, Glossary and References on books published in English from Bombay 1972-73 up to ‘The Book of Secrets’, Vol.I, from Poona 1974. Refers also to Anand Niketan, the Rajneesh Meditation Center in central Copenhagen and Swami Yoga Arvind. Not really a biography of Bhagwan the compiler translates his very early lectures and interviews from Woodlands in Bombay and makes them available exclusively to a Danish audience already in 1975. In ‘The Sword and the Lotus. Talks in the Himalayas’ (1989) is mentioned: Danish edition only.
On back cover: “Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. HU-Meditation og Kosmisk Orgasme – En antologi af forelæsninger og samtaler.
HU-meditation indeholder en total udløsning af undertrykte, ubevidste følelser. Dens formål er at fremkalde en bevidsthedsudvidelse hos udøveren. Bhagwan Shree Rajneeshs grundtanke er, at udløsningen af de undertrykte følelser er en renselsesproces, der er nødvendig, før man kan begynde på den stille meditation.
‘HU-meditation og kosmisk orgasme’ er en fremstilling af den tantriske seksualitets vej, hvor man gennem meditativt samleje undgår den almindelige orgasme og derved når frem til en langt dybere oplevelse, “kosmisk orgasme”.
Bhagwan forener i sine metoder elementer fra vestlig psykoterapi (f.eks. reichiansk terapi og primalterapi) med den østlige meditative tradition.”
– HU-meditation – Rajneesh Dhyana Yoga. A description of the four stages in Hu-meditation.
– Bhagwan talks on the science behind HU-meditation in the meditation camp at Mt. Abu, Rajasthan, July 1973.
– Interview with Bhagwan by Ma Yoga Bhasha from New York, in Bombay 20.01.1973.
– Interview with Bhagwan by foreign seekers, in Bombay 23.12.1971.
– Questions and Answers from the discourse series on Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, in Bombay 29.01.1973. Also in Paul Reps: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones entitled ‘Centering’.
– Discourse from Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, in Bombay 22.02.1973.
– Questions and Answers from the discourse series on Vigyan Bhairava Tantra, in Bombay 23.02.1973.
– Interviews with Bhagwan by Dr. C. Guinbert, Paris, France, in Bombay 25-26.07.1970.
All texts were compiled and translated from English. They had been published in six early publications, from ‘I Am the Gate’ (1972) until ‘The Book of Secrets’, Vol.1, (1974).
The compiler, author and therapist Klaus Gormsen remembers his involvement in the project back in 1974: “At that time I was already translating for Borgen publishers (Janov, Grof etc.), and I suggested to publish an anthology of Rajneesh’s lectures. I knew him from the English ‘Sannyas’ magazine, where his talks could be found. Also I had a connection with Swami Yoga Arvind [coordinator of Anand Niketan Rajneesh Meditation Center in Copenhagen, now Torben Blond]. Hu-meditation I had tried for some time, but I found it too overwhelming and exhausting to continue practising.
The lectures I chose were those I myself found most exciting and comprehensive in their covering of what I already knew from my therapy practice. The translation process wasn’t any more difficult than my other translation work, and I had a fairly good understanding of what Rajneesh was saying.
Later on I heard that Rajneesh when presented with the title I had suggested in Danish to Borgen publishers, [Hu-meditation and Cosmic Orgasm], he asked someone what they felt and got the answer, ‘No doubt a bestselling title.’ Rajneesh then asked some of his sannyasins ‘Who is the translator?’ and then he added, ‘Let him come!’ But I never happened to follow up on his invitation.” (Klaus Gormsen. E-mail. 04.11.2014. Own translation)
* Sjælens oprør. Et Signalement af Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh og hans Arbejde (Rebellion of the Soul. A Presentation of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his Work) / Swami Deva Satyarthi. Copenhagen, Borgens Forlag, 1982. (Satyarthi 1982)
A captivating introduction in Danish to Osho, his work and life in the Poona ashram. Including interviews with five Danish sannyasins: Swami Anand Rahasya, Ma Prem Nidhi, Swami Govind Vedant, Ma Devadasi, Swami Anand Subhadra. In Danish only.
Rajneesh Foundation Publications
* Lord of the Full Moon. Life with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh / Ma Prem Divya. Poona, Rajneesh Foundation, December 1980. 488 pages.
First comprehensive description of the life and work of Osho published by Rajneesh Foundation. Composed as a collection of journals from 24.09.1978 to 16.11.1978. Author of Preface not mentioned (possibly Maneesha). Introduction by Ma Prem Divya.
In Appendix: Stars in His Eyes: The Astrology Chart of the Master (exoterically explained) by Swami Prem Kabir. Page 456-68.
“To My Mother My First Teacher My First Love and to Maneesha, little flower, Bhagwan’s ‘lovesick bard’, without whom this journal-chronicle-diary-outpouring would not have been possible. His Love.”
On back cover:
“Your being a disciple and my being a Master is a drama. Play it as beautiful as possible…”
“Lord of the Full Moon is a delightful journey into Ma Prem Divya’s life with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh – a diary of discovery into the confusion and struggles, the joy and mystery, that is the process of inner awakening. The Lord of the Full Moon is Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an enlightened Master, and this journal is one disciple’s account of living in His Buddhafield.”
“My work here is to make you aware of your inner potential of your infinite possibility of the heights that you can reach and the depths that you can penetrate.”
The Disciple. Ma Prem Divya is a writer and a Primal therapist. She is also Dean of Occultism of the Rajneesh International Meditation University.
She was born in New York City in 1943 of Puerto Rican parents and named Zulma. Her mother was a full-trance medium; her upbringing was heavily steeped in spiritualism and the occult. This was virtually her religion, blending with the traditional Spanish Roman Catholicism… Zulma majored in French at New York University, taught in an exclusive Manhattan school and married an upper-class New Englander, an editor in a major New York publishing house… She trained as a therapist with Arthur Janov. He came into her life via a manuscript her husband was reading for publishing approval called The Primal Scream…
Then Zulma separated from her husband, and she and her son moved to England. It was her intention to create a Janovian institute of Primal Scream therapy in London, but she found herself rapidly drawn into the Growth Movement – a group of people developing group sensitivity techniques. It was during this period she met a sannyasin. Through him she was introduced to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his unique methods. Eventually, she made her way to India and to Bhagwan and sannyas. It was in 1973. Bhagwan gave Zulma the name, Ma Prem Divya – it means divine love. He told her, This is your sadhana: love.
‘Lord of the Full Moon’ is an edited version of Divya’s journals. It is the story of a seeker’s struggle to awaken, to reflect things on her own, to become an integrated individual and leave behind her borrowed life. It is one disciple’s subjective account of life with an enlightened master – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
Introduction by Ma Prem Divya. Excerpt:
“I’ve lived here in the ashram for almost four years now, and I’ve seen it go through many many changes. Of course the physical premises have changed a lot, but that isn’t what interests me primary, nor does a history of external events. The evolution of our inner consciousness as a group soul – that fascinates me; the nature of man and the development of the being. Openness. Expansion. Light. That is what I seek. I see the whole reason for my living, for my life, as movement – like a light spiral whirling through the air. So many times I’ve stopped and become distracted here and there, and even tried to pull the light back, only to find that I had to rush on and on and on. It has nothing to do with decision any more; it’s as if I were compelled to ‘follow that star’, as the song goes. And that star happens to be Bhagwan. Bhagwan… and He’s so beautiful! Everything about Him is so lovely, pleasing and pleasurable!” (Page xxv)
Divya offers her contemporary and intimate account on the life around a spiritual master in Poona. First edition was printed in 1000 copies only and is now a collectors’ item. The book has a photo section on 16 pages showing 28 sepia photos of life in the ashram. And a number of poems written by Divya.
The journals included are dated from 25.09.1978 to 15.11.1978, organized in three parts:
Part One. 25.09-08.10.1978. Page 1-74.
Part Two. 09.10-04.11.1978. Page 75-300.
Part Three. 05.11-16.11.1978. Page 301-454.
– Swami Christ Chaitanya, leader of monthly ten days meditation camps. Page 112-16.
– Swami Vairagya, former leader of one of the wandering kirtan groups. Page 122-26.
– Swami Divyananda, Lao Tzu gardener from Denmark. Page 181-91.
– Swami Krishna Prem, head of Press Office. Page 208-14.
– Ma Prem Karuna, groupscoordinator and therapist. Page 217-24.
– Ma Krishna Radha, Lao Tzu cleaner. Page 251-58.
– Swami Anand Maitreya, 62-year old Indian of Brahmin caste, former member of parliament and journalist. Page 346-55.
– Amrit, Devaraj and Hamid, all swamis and Health Center staff.
Divya has conducted further interviews with sannyasins in the published darshan diaries. See: Volume III / Bibliography / Darshan Diaries.
Maneesha writes on Divya arriving in Poona early 1975
“His [Shiva’s] girlfriend, as Zulma, had worked as a primal therapist in London, renting a room at Kaleidoscope growth center in Swiss Cottage. She was now Divya. This was her second visit, having met Bhagwan and taken sannyas in “Bombay days” – when Bhagwan lived in an apartment building called “Woodlands.”
We were such a diverse collection, from many different backgrounds and cultures. Divya was a lover of the esoteric, and would often talk – her hands weaving themselves into exotic patterns – about the influence of this planet on that star, about astral bodies and auras, and of who Bhagwan really was. Love under her dissection sounded awfully complicated; and meditation whiffed of deep, dark spaces as wirl with dazzling lights and meaningful images that it was never my privilege to be party to.” (Forman 1988, p. 56)
Sudha interview with Divya
“Sudha: What was your process like, Divya, while you were writing the book?
Divya: There was a tremendous sense of excitement. All of a sudden a thought occurred to me that we are living in this time with this Master, and how unique it is. Often the thought has come to me that we’re living incredibly pregnant, beautiful, rich lives. In fact it’s a turning-point in history, really – at least of this history, our recorded history; it’s just a turning-point…
It had to express itself in words, and I had to capture some of the beautiful things that are happening around here. I had to try and capture him, which is impossible – but the delight of playing with words, of getting it into some form on paper! I would sit at the typewriter and just love him, this feeling, and the words would come and the imagery would come. And I couldn’t type fast enough! It’s going faster than I could ever even type, could even think it. But it’s all there, it’s just absolutely all there, so there’s nothing to create. It’s just an allowing, you know, like a bubbling through. It’s all given, and there’s just nothing, nothing to be tense about or to worry about…
He’s given me a pen; that was one of the gifts he gave me. It was a pen, and somehow the message didn’t get through. Now, together with the loving, it is almost the whole function of this vehicle, Divya. This is the kind of juice it gives, this is the fruit of it – the words combined with the feeling.
Sudha: When I read the book I couldn’t put it down, and I really love it. I couldn’t remember any of it; it was almost like a Bhagwan lecture. I sat back, and all I had left was a taste, and it was just love. Bhagwan really came through – the whole feeling of love and openness. It was a complete and total open-handedness…
There is just not enough that I can do or show or be or breathe or move or just somehow exrude, of what he is giving to us. This was the thing: it was torrential! I wrote to him and said if I had a staff of nine people right now, I could write nine books. It’s like a flood, this torrential flood just coming through.” (Ma Prem Divya. Interview. In: Sannyas. 1979:2, pp. 26-28)
Maneesha on Vivek and her interviews with Divya
“Vivek, Bhagwan’s closest disciple and companion for the past eight years or so, is as usual by his side tonight. She seems perhaps a little subdued, and I wonder if it is because of this mention of her in this morning’s discourse. Bhagwan had talked of how some famous people find their most inspiring moments to be when they are in the bath. Apparently it is so with Vivek too, and Bhagwan had suggested she conduct the current series of interviews she is giving with Divya, in the bathroom! But ‘she couldn’t gather courage’ Bhagwan commented.” In her ‘close-up’ darshan Bhagwan is calling Divya to assist. (Maneesha. In: Turn On, Tune In and Drop the Lot. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 265)
Savita interview with Divya
“She’d always written for him, hadn’t she? How is it different now?
Divya: I’ve had bouts, periods. Now I see that it’s been always when I’m very loving. Intense love that just pours out of me that has got to express itself in some way. There’ve been two kinds of writing but it’s always been motivated by love. The cathartic one, trying to understand… a lot of my growth has happened in my writing. In seeing myself. The other has been poetry which is really an over-brimming of emotion, and when I’ve written about him it’s been fairly easy. What’s happening now? Again it’s this drive towards the flame, this mo-men-tum, this ur-gency (speaking rapidly with that urgency now…) this urgency like like like the very breath that you breathe and the very next breath and this is full of a kind of thundering vibrancy! Within this there’s need for expression. And the word is a material that get chiselled away. The unveiling of the words is just happening, it just seems to be happening.
At first it was a devotional thing. They were only poems to him expressing my love for him. They were the feeling of, What can I give him? there is nothing to give him! all I can give him is impurity, is my garbage. I felt the need to give him, to show him my gratitude somehow…
Then, after the Mukta interview, it just gushed like a torrent! This body can hardly contain even the energy that came through. A welling up. And it’s of love and joy and celebration. And humour.” (Savita. In: The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 283)
Divya writes on Savita’s interview
“In the afternoon Savita came for the second part of her interview of me. Maneesha hadn’t felt that she had ‘got’ the real me in the first one, so we set this one up. It was soft and spacious. She wanted to know about my relationship with the master. That did it! In talking of the old days, when I first set eyes on Him… I cried and cried. And then I talked of my love for Him and Savita too was crying! It’s like the link with Him was so instantaneous and direct, but all these years I’ve been falling into these dark holes of anaesthesia! I told her that the pull towards Him was so strong now that everything in me was impelled forwards, like a moth to the fire – to be consumed!
Then she wanted to see my journal and I showed her the part that I was working on. More tears from Savita. She’s been a writer in England and really heavily identified with that label. Now she feels that she cannot write a word. She works for Maneesha and the darshan books and so she has a bit of creative leeway in the interviews and occasional commentaries, but she feels unable to express her emotions through words.” (Divya 1980, p. 263)
* Love is God. Published by Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 1975. 4 pages. Handmade paper. With Osho’s signature.
Not far from Bombay, in the hills of Poona, a silent explosion is today taking place. The outcome of this explosion, in these global village days, could be farreaching and chattering, could lead to a change in human consciousness. At the heart of this explosion lies a man flowing in love and radiance, a man with God-consciousness, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.”
* Shree Rajneesh Ashram. Published by Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 1976. Printed by Kirloskar Press, Poona. 10 pages. Illustrated with b&w photos.
“All of Bhagwan’s discourses are recorded and are available in cassette tape form. From this form they are transcribed, edited and produced as beautiful hardbound and paperback books designed in the ashram and printed on fine quality paper, lavishly illustrated with photographs of Bhagwan and the ashram. Rajneesh Foundation also produces a fortnightly newsletter in English, Hindi and Gujarati, and a bi-monthly magazine, Sannyas, available in English and Hindi. Subscriptions to these periodicals are available either by post or here at the ashram.
Many of Rajneesh Foundation’s publications, including back issues of the newsletter and Sannyas magazine, are available at the bookstall by the main gate. Also available are some foreign language translations of these books and a wide variety of stationery, posters and beautiful colour and black and white photographs.”
* Rajneesh Foundation. Published by Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 1976. 24 pages. Stapled. Booklet on Shree Rajneesh Ashram.
* My People: A Community to Provoke God. Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 1978. 68 pages. Illustrated with many b&w photos. Album format.
“The Master has said that the Preparatory years are over and that we now enter a new phase of his work. This small booklet is offered as a celebration of the event. It contains short selections from those talks in which Bhagwan Shree shares with us his vision, both of what is happening at this moment and what is yet to come.”
Contents: The Master. A Short Biography pp. 4-17. Love and Meditation. Master and Disciple. Sannyas. Master of Masters. Psychology of the Buddhas. Buddhafield. The Commune. Meditations. Groups and Therapies.
About the same text is presented in: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Diary 1979 (1978). The booklet was available for an press conference in Bombay November 1978.
“The booklet My People: A Community to Provoke God was published in Poona in 1978. It announces the plan for “Rajneeshdham”, a community to be built near Poona starting the following year.” (Clarke 1990, p. 66)
“Picture album of the ashram activities” mentioned in Divya 1980, p. 433.
* The Role of Therapy Groups in the Great Experiment of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Die Rolle der Therapiegruppen in dem grossen Experiment um Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) / Swami Anand Rajen. Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 1978. 8 pages. For press conference in Bombay 1978.
Subhuti had for the conference 1978 prepared a press kit ‘The Role of Therapy Groups in the Great Experiment of Osho’ (Allanach 2010, p. 229))
* The Books of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. An Introduction to the Work of the controversial spiritual Master (Die Bücher von Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Eine Einführung in die Arbeit dieses umstrittenen spirituellen Meisters) / Rajneesh Foundation. Poona, 1978. Prepared for the Book Fair in Frankfurt 1978.
* Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend. Published by Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 1979. 32 pages. Illustrated with b&w photos. Album format.
Introduction to Osho and life in the ashram illustrated with b&w photos. With quotes from discourses.
Contents: Bhagwan’s Enlightenment. The Master. The Morning Discourse. Darshan: Communion with the Master. Sannyas… and Sannyasins. Therapies: Groups, Individual. Meditation. Bhagwan’s Meditations. The Programme. The Shree Rajneesh Ashram. A Working Community. A Self-Supporting Community. A Creative Community. A Celebrating Community. Celebration Days at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram are: Enlightenment Day March 21. Guru Poornima on the first full-moon day in July is the traditional day in India for the celebration of the master-disciple relationship. Bhagwan’s Birthday December 11. The New Commune. The New Man.
* Shree Rajneesh Ashram. Made by Rajneesh Foundation Limited. Poona. No year [1980?]. 8-page folder with text and b&w photos.
Every morning throughout the year, Bhagwan delivers a discourse to a large gathering of sannyasins and visitors. He takes as his texts the sayings and teachings of all the great spiritual Masters of the past, including Buddha, Mahavir, Krishna, Mohammed and Jesus.
Each discourse is much more than a verbal communication, it is a transmission of energy from the Master to all those open to receive it. It is a communication of love.
Bhagwan’s discourses last approximately two hours each and are delivered in English for one month and in Hindi for one month, alternately. If you would like to come to discourse, please arrive at the ashram before 7.45 a.m. Please note that it is not possible to leave while the discourse is in progrss.
When coming to discourse please be freshly bathed and avoid using any perfumes, hair oil, after-shave, powder, strong-smelling soap, face creams, etc., and please don’t wear woollen or fluffy clothes.”
“Publishing and photography
The books of Bhagwan’s discourses that are published by Rajneesh Foundation Ltd. are the finest quality hard-back books available in India today. The editing, design, photographic work and lay-out of each book is all done at the ashram by Bhagwan’s sannyasins.
A tremendous amount of love and care is poured into this work, so that the finished product can reflect the beauty of Bhagwan’s message. Each book is lavishly illustrated with black-and-white and colour photographs from the ashram’s own photographic studios, which also furnish a pictorial record of ashram life.
When the community moves from its existing site in Koregaon Park, Poona, to a larger rural one, the entire printing and publishing process for all Bhagwan’s books will be done by sannyasins.”
* Waking the Buddha. Published by Rajneesh Foundation, Poona, 1980. Hectographed.
* The New Commune. Published by Rajneesh Foundation, Poona. No year. One page hectographed factsheet.
Selected Later Publications
A few titles on Osho and life in the ashram may be highlighted due to the quality of their contents. They are all first-hand reliable devotional narratives, and they may help the reader to get an idea of Bhagwan’s work during Poona One. They are supplementing books already mentioned in previous subsections.
* My Diamond Days with Osho. The New Diamond Sutra / Ma Prem Shunyo. 2nd revised edition. Delhi, Full Circle, 1999. First edition: Diamond Days with Osho. Published by Rebel Publishing House, Poona, 1993. (Shunyo 1999)
Her personal high energy diary as a close devotee but also a thriller telling about Osho’s treatment in US. An intimate report of her inner and outer adventures. In first edition Epilogue with fairy tale story and watercolours.
* Bhagwan. The Most Godless Yet The Most Godly Man / George Meredith (Swami Devaraj/Swami Prem Amrito). Cologne, Rebel Publishing House, December 1987. (Meredith 1987)
Personal physician and close associate for many years he offers an insightful look into Osho’s life and events in the ashram. The author is a member of the Inner Circle.
* Past the Point of No Return. Inner and Outer Journeys / Ma Anand Bhagawati (editor). Delhi, Osho World Foundation, 2010. (Bhagawati 2010)
A carefully edited collection of 46 narratives by disciples of Osho. They are presenting their first-hand insights in meeting and being with their master, from Bombay and Poona.
* Osho, India and Me. A Tale of Sexual and Spiritual Transformation / Jack Allanach (Swami Krishna Prem). Published by Lulu.com, 2010. (Allanach 2010)
First-hand and compelling unique storytelling of his experiences around Osho. His observations mixed with humour captivates the reader throughout the book.
* Im Grunde ist alles ganz einfach. Gespräche mit sieben Bhagwan-Jüngern (Basically Everything is Easy. Conversations with Seven Young Followers of Bhagwan.) / Swami Satyananda (Jörg Andrees Elten). Frankfurt, 1981. (Satyananda 1981)
By Satyananda, reporter of Der Stern in Germany, who chose to stay in Poona and share his impressions from the ashram.
* My Life with Osho. Seven Doors to Self-Realisation / Azima V. Rosciano. Delhi, Diamond Books, 2013. (Azima 2013)
A devotional account of adventures and dramas experienced around Osho by a disciple with a M.D. in medicine and author of two books on homeopathy (1995 & 2007).
* Encounters with an Inexplicable Man. Stories of Osho as Told by his People / Savita Brandt (Ma Anand Savita), compiler and editor. Pune, Dancing Buddhas Publishing, 2014. (Savita 1014)
To compile this chronological collection Savita talked to scores of devotees over 15 years and edited together their intimate memories of being with Osho. The design of the book is a delight.
* Bodhena’s Adventures in Samsara. A Sannyasin Memoir / Swami Deva Bodhena (Michael Grosse). New Delhi, Niyogi Books in association with Osho World Foundation, 2016. (Bodhena 2016)
Initially a doctoral thesis later to be aborted and published with this title. Interviews with ashram visitors, questionnaries and in-depth interviews with several key management persons. His findings are briefly presented.
* In the Dark and Still Moving. A Different Version of What is Gained When a Paradise is Found and Then Lost / Anne Geraghty (Vismaya). Whitehaven, The Tenth Bull, 2007. (Geraghty 2007)
An honest and very moving account of the author’s personal journey from childhood through feminist movement to Poona. Her son is Tim Guest: ‘My Life in Orange’ (2005).
* On the Edge. Living with an Enlightened Master / Ma Yoga Punya. Editor: Ma Prema Veena. California, San Bernardino, Create Space, 2015. (Punya 2015)
In her musical and calm prose Punya narrates from her many years in Osho’s communes based on her impeccable research. Parallel sequences of past and present are interlacing in the text making it a very enjoyable read.
* The Long Reach of the Dharma. Tales of Divine Adventure / Abhiyana Robert Abrahamson. Editor: Sangeet Duchane. www.DharmaReach.com, 2017. (Abhiyana 2017)
Compelling account of his years with Osho including his treatment when Osho’s health was declining.
* My Dance with a Madman. Tales by a British Journalist about his Life with a controversial Indian Mystic / Anand Subhuti (Peter Waight). Cambridge, Perfect Publishers Ltd., 2010. (Subhuti 2010)
Published by an extremely well informed figure engaged in Press Office work and the publishing of newspapers. His pen is flowing making it a most readable book.
A full listing of published books on Osho and ashram life in Poona One is to be found in: Volume III / References.
The following less than comprehensive listing of references from Carter, Wallis and Gunther may serve as a reminder of how disorganized an information retrieval may turn out even when made by prominent academics. It looks more like their retrieval are depending on what they accidentally may locate on their own shelves than a thorough retrieval in bibliographic sources.
“There is a growing literature on Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers. Some of this has been written by Sannyasins and constitutes devotional work, among the more revealing of life in the Poona Ashram, and the thought of Sannyasins and those in the process of becoming Sannyasins, is Bharti (1980). The most insightful account of one Sannyasin’s transition into and out of the movement is by Belfrage (1981). A useful, but entirely hostile work is by van Leen (1982). There is also the meretricious “sociological” study of Mullan (1983).” (Wallis. In: Aveling 1999, p. 161)
“At the time of writing this account, works by others included a celebratory biography by Vasant Joshi (1982) and an attempt by Ram Chandra Prasad (1970, revised 1978) to systematize the thought of Rajneesh. Prasad’s admiring treatment was useful in organising major themes developed by Rajneesh, but should not be viewed as objective assessment. Accounts of the Ashram life in Poona include a poetic portrayal with photographs of therapy and ceremony by Bernard Gunther (1979). The only systematically developed book in counter-point was ‘Flowers of Emptiness; Reflections on an Ashram’ (Belfrage, 1981). Ms. Belfrage detailed her scepticism, subsequent recruitment to the Ashram, and resulting ambivalence… Extremes of existing reports were anchored by Aubrey Menon’s (1974) spectacular description of a mass meditation conducted by Rajneesh and by Gita Mehta’s (1979) acerbic ridicule of Rajneesh.” (Carter. In: Aveling 1999, p. 198)
“The manifesto of this period [Poona One] was the booklet entitled ‘The Rajneesh Foundation’.” (Gussner 1993, p. 50)
One sannyasin, named Eckart Floether, was a senior editor of German magazine ‘German Business Week’ and ghost writer for the German Prime Minister, as well as business consultant and leader of popular seminars. After an Osho marathon session in Germany he resigned his job with the business magazine and went to Poona and were later to write two critical accounts of his experiences with Osho: ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his New Religious Movement in America’ (1983) and ‘Der Todeskuss’ (1985).
On Haack’s book on Osho (1980)
“F.W. Haack, bis Anfang 1991 der bekannte Sektenbeauftragte der Evangelischen Landeskirche in Bayern, hat Rajneesh das Buch: “Die ‘Bhagwan’ – Rajneesh – Bewegung” gewidmet. Erschienen ist es in der Münchner Reihe, einer von deutlich apologetischen Interessen bestimmten Schriftenreihe, die der Abgrenzung von Strömungen dient, die nach Meinung der Verfasser der evangelischen Kirche gefährlich werden könnten.” (Huth 1993, p. 4)
On Tanner’s book on Osho (1986)
“Ähnliches gilt von Dr. Fritz Tanner und seinem Buch: “Bhagwan – Gauner, Gaukler, Gott?” Tanner ist evangelischer Theologe in der Schweiz und beschäftigt sich vor allem mit Kirchengeschichte und vergleichender Religionswissenschaft. Er kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass Rajneesh weder Gauner noch ein Gott sei, sondern ein Gaukler, mit allen hellen und dunklen Seiten, die solch eine zwielichtige Gestalt aufweise.
Der Barthianer Fritz Tanner lässt bei aller Sorgfalt der Untersucung doch auch so viel Sympathie für Rajneesh erkennen, dass er schon zu den Sympathisanten, wenn nicht Jüngern Rajneeshs zu zählen ist.” (Huth 1993, p. 6)
On Priskil (1987) and Hoevels (1987)
“Der Historiker Peter Priskil vergleicht Rajneesh mit Jesus, der Psychoanalytiker Fritz Erik Hoevels weitet seine Untersuchung der “Bhagwan – Religion” zu einer Psychonaalyse der Religion allgemein aus. Die Tendenz dieser beiden Augsätze ist unverkennbar: Die Rajneesh-Bewegung wird als idealisierte Gegen-Bewegung gegen die etablierten Kirchen gestellt, im Hintergrund steht die marxistische Religionskritik. Andererseits bemüht sich Hovels, die “lebensfördernde” Funktion der Rajneesh-Bewegung, die sie von allen etablierten Religionen der Gegenwart unterscheidet, herauszuarbeiten. Er betont dabei vor allem den Verzicht auf eine eindeutig negative Tendenz, nämlich die Erzeugung von Schuldgefühlen, die nach seiner Meinung sonst fast alle Religionsgemeinschaften auszeichnet.” (Huth 1993, p. 7)
On Zeisberg (1987)
“Auch Angelika Zeisberg ist in ihrem Buch “Die Sannyasins in Bad Bhagwan” um eine möglichst objektive Darstellung der Bewegung bemüht. Sie verfolgt vor allem soziologische Interessen. Die Tastsache, dass ihr Buch in der Reihe des Instituts für Politische Wissenschaft der Universität Hannover erschienen ist, zeigt die Hauptstossrichtung ihrer Untersuchungen auf, die in der Tat mehr gesellschafttswissenschaftlich und politologisch als im engeren Sinne religionswissenschaftlich ist.” (Huth 1993, p. 7)
“There have been books written on what is affectionately known as Poona I, many of which may be better crafted than this one. Perhaps the best way to convey the milieu is through stories, and everyone who participated in this experiment has a lot of stories…
One morning I was listening to Osho’s first talk on Sufism in the series ‘The Secret’, a whole “download” came word-for-word inside. Right after discourse, I wrote it down and brought it to the main office. I told Laxmi (Osho’s secretary), “Here is the introduction for this series.” She was not surprised, and it was published in its entirety. I am honored that at least part of this memoir came through the same way.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 121,123)
On Klosinski (1985)
“Dem Ideal einer objektiven Darstellung kommt Gunther Klosinski am Nächsten. In seiner Befragung von fünfundzwanzig Anhängern und fünf Ehemaligen der Neo-Sannyas-Bewegung mittels biografischer Interviews kommt er mit Hilfe gängiger psychologischer Untersuchungs-Methoden (z.B. Selbstschilderung der “Bekehrung”, Eigen-Interpretation, Fragebogen zur Erfassung biographischer Daten und eine psychologische Testung – Selbstbeurteilung im Giessen-Test) zu den vor ihm dargestellten Ergebnissen.
Die Studie von Klosinski ist zudem als Vergleichsuntersuchung angelegt: Sämtliche Untersuchungsschritte wurden mit der gleichen Anzahl von Anhängern und ehemaligen der Gesellschaft für Transzendentale Meditation (TM) durchgeführt.” (Huth 1993, p. 8)
Henkel in his ‘Narziss und Goldstein’ reviews in the chapter ‘Tagebücher: Intimität und Exhibitionismus’ critically the following books on Osho:
– Warum Poona? (Frank 1981)
– Ich will nicht mehr von dir, als du mir geben magst (Pantho 1983)
– Der Todeskuss (Flöther 1985)
– Ganz entspannt im Hier und Jetzt (Satyananda 1984)
(Henkel 1988, pp. 94-147)
FitzGerald on books on Osho
“Many accounts exist of life in the Poona ashram, for the visitors included a number of writers, filmmakers, and journalists. The accounts of those who took sannyas and those who did not often differ quite sharply in certain respects, but they are consistent in describing a madhouse-carnival atmosphere.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 80)
Satya Vedant writes
“Swami Anand Rishi has done an excellent study of these Sutras [Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras] with a painstaking and scholarly approach. By making a comparative preservation of various insights and interpretations, he has made the reader aware of the multidimensionality of Patanjali’s celebrated work and has succeeded in bringing out the various subtleties and nuances of Patanjali’s yoga darshan. Having Osho’s insights included in this in-depth study, the author has made the Sutra contemporary. Because Osho is one who has attained the ultimate goal of yoga and from that space he has responded to Patanjali’s science of the inner journey. He has responded only as one can who has himself gone through the methodology and has seen the beyond – the transcendent. I congratulate Swamiji for his successful effort in making Patanjali available to the scholars as well as seekers on the spiritual path.” (Joshi 2000, pp. 71ff.)
Neo-Tantra by Amitprem
“Amitprem has just finished putting together his second book related to sannyas (the first one about Bhagwan and the ashram, this one on Neo-Tantra). He’ll be back in the fall or sooner… whenever it happens, he says. Find a publisher first, Bhagwan says, then. And when you come back the third project is there so you have to start it! No hints? Amit’s blue eyes search Bhagwan’s impeccably calm brown eyes. No… no hints!” (Ma Prem Maitri. In: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1984), p. 208)
Anand Prem’s writing on Osho
“Anand Prem is hastening home to the States as her father is very ill and may be dying. He is old and any day may leave the world, so be with him, Bhagwan tells her gentle as she murmurs there is some resistance to having to go. Her book is nearly finished, she tells him; there is just one chapter to go and it’s been tremendous therapy for her. So finish it and find a publisher there. What title have you chosen for the book? ‘Towards the New Psychology of Buddhahood’ she says, a little shy, and he chuckles, Very good… and help my people there.” (Maneesha. In: The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 296)
Geet Govind to write on Osho
“Geet Govind, a writer from Italy, heard about Bhagwan in the course of his travels in India, while gathering material for a book and in pursuit of a master. He met several sannyasins and was immediately interested, but felt that Bhagwan represented the final stage of the journey and he was but at the beginning. Having spent many months visiting gurus and pundits in many parts of India, he returned to talk, write and have his book published. Having returned to India to write a book on Westerners in India, he then made his way to Poona.” (Geet Govind. In: The Passion for the Impossible. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 423)
Gita Mehta writes in ‘Karma Cola’ (1979, p. 30):
“God sat in a cushioned swivel chair with a blue denim hat on his head and spoke about the revolution. As the discourse gathered momentum it became clear that God was an intellectual snob. He dropped only the heaviest names. Jesus, Marx, Mahavira and Fritz Perls. His two-thousand-odd devotees inhaled, writhed, or listened in an ecstasy of being.” (Brooke 1986, p. 133)
“I remember around 1976 an American sannyasin visited the Dalai Lama, the head of Tibetan Buddhism. His comment to the sannyasin, on learning that he was a disciple of Bhagwan’s, was, “You are fortunate – you are at the source.” (Forman 1988, p. 139)
Ma Dhyan Sourabh’s Foreword to ‘Osho, India and Me’
“The book you are about to read has its own interesting story. Thirty years ago Jack, then known as Krishna Prem, lived in India, at the commune of the enlightened mystic Osho, where he was head of the press office. In 1980 Osho asked him to write “a little book” about his experience in Poona. Relieving his search that would lead him to India and the challenges of embarking on the spiritual path, the excitement of discovering meditation and the early years with Osho – all became part of a growing manuscript that was typed on a red Olivetti Valentine. When the Osho commune moved to the USA, the manuscript was left behind and forgotten. During a visit to Poona in the early nineties Divyananda, by serendipity, came across the “forgotten” work and returned it to Krishna Prem. Several years later while preparing ‘Osho, India and Me’ for publication he scanned the text page by page into the computer and started his edit, finishing three weeks before his death in September 2007… When finalizing the manuscript, Krishna Prem’s voice, his incredibly acute observations and his humour, his ability for poetry and his unique storytelling gift have led us, time and time again, in waves of laughter, tears, and delight.” (Allanach 2010. Foreword)
Michael Mann reading Krishna Prem’s manuscript
“I have just finished reading your manuscript. I have to confess it is now in a complete mess as I have been reading it in the bath, in bed, on the train and so on. I was gripped. Many of the pages are very wet – either from bath water or tears. It’s been a roller coaster ride, funny, tragic and awe inspiring. I have really enjoyed reading it and vicariously sharing your life – a privilege I have to say. (Michael Mann. Watkins Publishing).”
(Allanach 2010. Back cover)
‘Der Feind in deinem Kopf’ by Krishna Prem
“His second book, ‘The Enemy in your Head’, was published in German by Goldmann Verlag (a division of Random House Germany) under its Arkana imprint. The German title, ‘Der Feind in deinem Kopf’, was fundamentally a spiritual memoir and has been completely rewritten and restructured for a North American audience. This has not been published to date.” (Allanach 2010, p. 355)
“Osho, mein Guru, war eine wunderbare Quelle von verborgenen Gesetzen und Prinzipien, die wirksam den Prozess unterstützen, sich aus den Klauen des Feindes im eigenen Kopf zu befreien.” (Allanach 2005, p. 32)
Bodhena’s book ‘Bodhena’s Adventures in Samsara’ (Bodhena 2016) was initially a doctoral thesis later to be aborted and published with this title. 200 semi-standardized interviews were carried out with Ashram visitors and questionnaries handed out to everybody going into Buddha Hall one morning and in-depth interviews with several key management persons. The outcome of Bodhena’s research in 1979 on age, origin, education and profession of the visitors is on page 48-49 in the chapter on Poona One.
Subhuti on press coverage
“Journalists have special talents. They can write about events without actually being there – this happened many times when reporting about Bhagwan and his sannyasins. They can also be there, without writing about actual events – one German reporter for ‘Bild Zeitung’ made up most of his stories in his Pune hotel room.
There is also a third option: journalists can, occasionally, be there and also write about what happens. When they did this at our ashram almost all of them mentioned the orgasmic hug. I don’t blame them. It was a remarkable phenomenon…
The freelance Indian photographer was depressed. He knew there was a gold mine there, but he wasn’t being allowed to get to it. So he complained to Bhagwan that Laxmi wasn’t allowing him to take ‘interesting’ photos. Obligingly, Bhagwan overruled his secretary, saying any therapist who wished to do so could invite the photographer into groups.
Several did so and instantly the veil of social conformity was ripped away. Photos of naked sannyasins – screaming, shouting, hugging, massaging each other – soon appeared in a Delhi magazine, then in ‘Stern’ magazine in Germany. Bhagwan certainly knew how to hit the headlines.” (Subhuti 2010, pp. 20,22)
“Journalists from all over the world are arriving constantly – Germans, Japanese and Russians – sent by their newspapers to find out what’s happening here. Alan Whicker makes a film, Stern magazine comes, and the Daily Express sends Bernard Levin. I always liked Bernard Levin, because he once gave me a good review – actors never forget! He is marvellously perceptive, joining in with the Sufi dancing, listening to a discourse, hanging out with the Sannyasins. He writes a brilliant article called ‘Dying for Enlightenment.’ Others would write negative stuff that their editors wanted, mostly focussed on sex but many of them take Sannyas and never go back to their desks.” (Wills 2009, p. 106)
“For us, inside the commune, it was like a grain of sand that disappeared after the first article in ‘Bild Zeitung’. There was too much distance between us and a world that lived within the prison of its own fixed attitudes and sexual obsessions.
Nevertheless, during these years, some journalists arrived in Pune, initially expecting to be critical and cynical about Osho, but then experiencing the space of love and joy in which we lived and feeling personally attracted to the energy of the Master. Many of these journalists became disciples, sending out articles that were more realistic about the commune. Predictably, however, such articles were rarely published because it was more sensational and commercially appealing to present Osho as a ‘sex guru’ rather than an ‘enlightened Master.’ Sex sells newspapers. Meditation doesn’t.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 149)
Article by Niranjan
“Some weeks after his performance at the ashram, Niranjan approached a local paper, ‘Current’, his visit resulting in the publication of an article entitled ‘Bhagwan Shree challenges Satya Sai Baba’, the bulk of which was an excerpt from one of Bhagwan’s recent discourses.” (The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 30)
Article in ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ 1979
“Bachi Karkaria’s suppressed article has finally surfaced in ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’. It’s intelligent, honest, impartial, light-hearted, and the first thing published in the country that comes close to portraying us as we are.” (Allanach 2010, p. 248)
Vismaya on press coverage in the UK
“Discussion programmes on TV and radio analysed the attractions of these dangerous cults with their harmful ‘pseudo-therapies’. There was a question in Parliament about whether such things ‘should be allowed’. Fortes, the owners of the Café Royal, banned all sannyasins from entering any of their premises for life. No more TV appearances, invitations to Downing Street or tea breaks on the motorway then. Only good old Bernard Levin agued that something profound and significant was going on. But then he had visited the ashram, listened to Bhagwan and actually talked with us. He knew there was more happening than met the jaundiced media eye.
Clearly our project to turn on the world would take longer than planned.” (Geraghty 2007, p. 168)
Satyananda on press coverage
“In der Redaktion sickerte allmählich das Gerücht durch, ich sei in Indien der “Bhagwan-Sekte” beigetreten. Die Kündigung wurde immer unvermeidlicher, aber ich konnte mich nicht entschliessen, Farbe zu bekennen. Inzwischen hatte meine Reportage über Bhagwan die Boulevardprese alarmiert. “Bild” schickte einen Reporter nach Indien. Er berichtete, er habe im Morgengrauen an das Mahagonitor des Aschram geklopft und Einlass begehrt. Sphäenmusik sei erklungen, zwei schöne nackte Mädchen hätten ihm geöffnet und ihm eine exotische Frucht dargereicht: “Esse sie, Fremder! Sie wird deine Liebeskraft stärken und dich glücklich machen!”
Das war der Auftakt. Fortan tobten sich beim Thema Poona die Phantasien und die Vorurteile kleinbürgerlicher Intellektueller aus, und es wurde kaum noch ein wahres Wort über Bhagwan geschrieben.” (Elten 1992, p. 216)
Krishna Prem to write his book in 1980. Arup says
“I talked to him [Osho] last night and told him what you’d said. First of all, he asked me in what press office areas I thought you were indispensable. I told him my feelings and this is what he said. He says you should stay on as head of the press office, but you just guide Leela. Go in, mornings, guide her, give her the benefit of your experience – and you can spend the rest of the day in your room, writing a book about your experience here in Poona.
“And a couple of other things,” Arup continues with a smile. “He says you should contribute ideas, that you should help the writers and be available to deal with important journalists – just the important ones. The rest of the time is yours, for the book. Nice, isn’t it?”…
With the major part of my day spent writing, my mood had improved a hundredfold. Perched above the garden in my pine-sheltered aerie, I tap away, hour after hour, reliving Bombay, Lonvala, Mount Abu, Kailash, the early years with Osho. I’m even enjoying the time in the office with Leela.
To my surprise, my mind is hardly involved at all. There’s a deep silence inside, and the words seem to pop forth, almost audibly, from the centre of my chest. All I have to do is put them onto the page. I love the feeling: it’s rich and tremendously rewarding.
More and more I begin to sense Osho’s presence. Laxmi’s told me he said he wanted this book done, and it’s as if he’s here with me, in my room. The day it hits me in the morning I suddenly realize I’ve given no thought whatsoever to the structure of the book. I’ve never written anything but PR stuff, I have no novelist’s craft, yet it’s happening. And I notice the structure’s there, available to me, like a presence in the atmosphere – and all I have to do is plug in. It’s him. My mind tells me I’m nuts, but my heart knows it’s him.
And it seems to be progressing well. Evenings, I give what I’ve written to Vasumati, the toughest critic I know. She lies on Divy’s bed, reading, murmuring little cooing sounds of approval as she goes through the pages.
[Later when in hospital] Suddenly I hear someone call my name. It’s one of the nurses. “I have a message for you from Osho,” she says. “He sent you a tape recorder and a microphone. He says that while you can’t sit at your typewriter, you should tape your book.” (Allanach 2010, pp. 324,332,339)
Osho and Karmapa, head of the Karma Kargyu sect, Gangtok
“That Osho was a force of nature is undeniable, and that he was brilliant, equally so. Inevitably however, his stature was at times overblown. A good example was a strange legend that began circulating in the 1970s that Osho had been recognized by he 16th Karmapa of Tibet, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje (1924-1981). A disciple of Osho’s, Swami Goving Siddharth, claimed to have had a private audience with the Karmapa (who is head of the Karma Kargyu sect and roughly second in overall stature to the Dalai Lama in Tibetan spiritual hierarchy). According to Swami Siddharth, the Karmapa had recognized Osho from his photo in Siddharth’s locket as being the ‘greatest incarnation in India since Buddha and a living Buddha’, adding that ‘Osho speaks for the Akashic records also, records of events and words recorded on the astral planes.
It sounds dubious – Tibetan Buddhism does not recognize terminology like ‘astral plane’ or ‘akashic records’ – these are Theosophical and Hindu terms. A close disciple of the 16th Karmapa, Lama Ole Nydahl, commented on Swami Siddharth’s claim:
“Disciples of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh [Osho]… had just published a book with a few humble claims that were new to us: that Karmapa had pronounced him the greatest Boddhisattva of all time, the man to bring Buddhist Tantra to the West. Karmapa who did not even know him, was as diplomatic as possible, but the guru’s disciples were not pleased with his reply. Once again I could only shake my head at the enormous naiveté of people in spiritual matters. It is shocking how readily they give up both discrimination and common sense.”” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 433)
(Note: Swami Siddharth’s account can be found at www.sannyasnews.com/Articles/Lama%20Karmapa.html. The quote is from: ‘Riding the Tiger. Twenty Years on the Road’ / Lama Ole Nydahl. ‘Nevada City’, 1992, p. 127. For more on this event see also ‘The Silent Explosion’ (1973))
The Sound of Running Water
* The Sound of Running Water. A Photobiography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Work 1974-1978 / Editor: Ma Prem Asha. Composition and Design: Sw. Anand Yatri (Malcolm Godwin). Poona, Rajneesh Foundation, 1980. First edition in 1.000 numbered copies. New edition 2010. (Asha 1980)
This photobiography (SORW) of the golden years in Poona is brilliantly designed by Swami Anand Yatri and a team of most talented workers in the ashram. The charts and diagrams with time sequence in the front are showing development of meditation, therapy work and discourse series held during this period in Chuang Tzu Auditorium and Buddha Hall. This is definitely the first time a spiritual figure has been portrayed in such a vivid and inspired document while he was still working and talking to his followers. Weight: 4,560 g.
The 2nd edition published in 2010 does not quite live up to the original standard of binding, but makes once again this photo-biography available in the market. The first edition – hand-bound in silk – is surely a collectors’ item as can be seen in the quotes that follows. Two more photobiographies covering the phases 1979-1990 have later been published. They all contain exquisite photo- and design work making them beautiful coffee table editions for interested readers. And yes, they do need a table for reading.
From Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter
“The Sound of Running Water. This is the first volume in a series of photo biographies of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his work, covering the early years of the Master’s life before coming to Poona, and a detailed account of the growth of the ashram and the emergence of the Buddhafield, from March 21 1974 – March 21 1978.
The book also contains one excerpt from every lecture series given over these four years, and many of the more memorable darshans when Bhagwan gave advice on individual sannyasins’ problems. There are also charts to indicate the early experiments in meditation, the rise of groups and the beginning of the work situations.
This album-size book has 550 pages on high quality paper, 250 of which are photographs. Most of the photos have never been published before: 120 of them are in full colour with 5 double page signatures, and also 64 rare unpublished photos of Bhagwan’s early life.
Only one thousand copies have been printed – each hand-bound in silk in the ashram. On receipt of your order, your numbered copy will be reserved for you.
The following is taken from the flap material of the book:
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh has, in four years, become the most controversial mystic known throughout the world.
Even those who profess no interest in religion or mysticism acknowledge that the greatest growth and therapy centre is not in the West but in Poona, India; that the largest and most successful experiment in community living ever attempted has sprung up around this charismatic figure.
But the popular images of both the Master and the activities around him are pale compared to the actual wild and exotic flowers which have grown in these few years.
It is the story of a Buddha, an enlightened being, gathering together a huge family of sannyasins and creating with them a mystery school, a place of love and meditation, of music and dance, of creativity, laughter and foolery.
Chronologically, this volume covers the four years between 1974 and 1978. It begins with the opening of the ashram in Poona and the new phase of the Master’s work. It traces the arrival of seekers from all parts of the earth who are drawn, often unaccountably, to this magnetic centre. In their search for truth, or God, or the meaning of existence, or their spiritual awareness… all paths lead to the remarkable man in India.
The story ends in 1978 with the birth of a Buddhafield, the like of which has not been known since that of another Master, Gautam the Buddha, twenty-five centuries ago.
As the book unfolds an expectant hum of energy can be felt from its pages, a vibration which herald something utterly new. It is a beginning, a great experiment of energy to provoke the very stuff of existence itself – a community to provoke God.
‘It is a beginning, a birth and you are near a birth process. And it is most beautiful when something is born because it is most alive. A tradition is freshest when it is born. It has a beauty of its own that is incomparable, unique.’
This is an account of what it is like to be actually in the presence of an enlightened Master. It is as if we are on the shores of Galilee with Christ, at Sravasti with Gautam the Buddha, riding on a water buffalo with Lao Tzu, in ecstatic prayer with Rumi or being soundly beaten by the Zen Master Ikkyu.
But this is first-hand stuff – the camera has been invented, news travels fast – it is still happening..NOW.
‘In psychological circles, Poona has become known as the most important “growth centre” in the world… The therapists must be among the most able in the world.’ Marcel Meier: Pol Magazine, Australia.
‘The ashram looks like an earthly Garden of Eden.’ Peter dem Haring:Algemeen Dagblad, Holland.
‘He quotes Jesus, Buddha, Mahavir, Lao Tzu, Sufis and old Zen Masters with stupendous memory, interpreting them with a freshness and directness as if they were speaking today, as if they wore jeans.’ Heiner Boberg:Die Zeit, West Germany.
‘He is now, without question, the most inspired, the most literate and the most profoundly informed speaker I have ever heard anywhere. Everything in his philosophy of life has the unmistakable ring of truth: a new experience.’ Vogue, USA.
‘Rajneesh is currently drawing European seekers to India as much as Ramana did in the Twenties… Down to earth, practical and free of pseudo-pity, his insights come across effortlessly, often in rakish metaphor.’ Evening News, India.
Price US$ 315.00. RS. 2500. 15% discount to Rajneesh Meditation Centers. Airmail postage US$ 22.00-42.00.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter 1980:9)
Advertisement on double page in ‘Sannyas’
“This is the first volume in a series of photobiographies of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his work, covering the early years of the Master’s life before coming to Poona, with a detailed account of the growth of the ashram and the emergence of the Buddhafield.
The volume is organized according to four phases or movements 1931-1978:
1. The Biography: 1931 – 1974
Birth, Childhood, The Outsider, The Search, Enlightenment, A Time of Settling, The Revolutionary Years, The Years of Invitation
2. The Gathering: 1974 – 76
Excerpts from memorable lectures and darshans
A new phase of the work
Experiments in Meditation
The Growth of Groups
3. The Coming Together: 1976-77
Devices – the work situation
Body work – East meets West
The community at work
4. The Vision: 1978
The Growth of the Buddhafield
The Master’s World
This book is a rare treasure – a glimpse into the mysterious, the miraculous, the hilarious, the incredible… a manifestation of the whole spectrum of living near an enlightened being. Never before has there been such a vivid and dynamic document of the unfolding of a vision, the sharing of the gift of enlightenment.
Here, in Poona, is the biggest growth centre in the world. East and West are converging and exploding into unimagined heights of loving consciousness: a tremendous gathering of creative energy with the potential to transform the whole quality of life on this earth – to move us from darkness into a new age of light.
A vital turning point in history is captured in this book – don’t miss it!
A limited edition of 1.000 copies has been printed. Album size, 550 pages on high quality art paper, 250 of which are photographs: 120 full colour, plus 64 rare unpublished photos of Bhagwan’s early life. Compiled, numbered and hand-bound in silk in the ashram.
Price: US$ 315.00 Rs.2500
are the Pure Body of the Buddha.
And the Sound of Running Water
his Great Speech.
Dogen – Zen Master”
(Sannyas. 1980:4, pp. 46,47)
Following Yatri’s charts and diagrams on the first pages:
“While these diagram and shapes are as chronologically accurate as possible it would be a wise reader who could see them as more musical than factual.
This book falls quite naturally into the four separate and symmetrical sections, or movements, as shown in this diagram.
The First Movement (11.12.1931 – 10.6.1974) follows the early years from birth to the Master’s enlightenment in 1953. This then continues up to the move from Bombay to Poona. A ‘Prelude’ to the formation of the ashram covers the Master’s illness and the subsequent change of energy which gave us the beautiful discourses [‘The Way of the White Clouds’. 1976] which can be considered the blueprint of what was to come in the following four years.
The Second Movement (11.6.1974 – 12.3.1976) follows the slow gathering of the disciples around the Master. It shows the intense period of experimental meditations which finish abruptly as the groups begin. This section ends precisely in the middle of the four-year period with the death of a young ashram sannyasin, Vipassana.
The Third Movement (21.3.1976 – 29.9.1977) heralds the sudden expansion of the ashram and the arrival of many new residents. Throughout this movement there is a slow build-up of work within the community in which meditations is to be found in the work situation itself. This section ends with Bhagwan’s announcement in September of 1977 that the preparatory stage of his work is over.
The Fourth Movement (October 1977 – 21.3.1978) gives the major themes of the Master’s work as he shares his vision of the community as an experiment to provoke God. (Asha 1980, p. XVIII)
“It is evident that as this book progresses, any sense of historical sequence drops away. It is less and less possible to arrange these multidimensional happenings page by page in linear form. The place where master and disciple now meet is one in which time and sequence, cause and effect, is no longer meaningful.” (Asha 1980, p. 460)
“The sound of running water, and the wind passing through the trees, and a single bird on the wing, and two lovers just sitting silently by the side of the river… it is so sacred, it is so holy!” (Just Around the Corner. Initiation Talks Between Master Disciple (1984), p. 156. May 1979)
“The Infinite Journey.
1931 – 1938 THE FIRST SEVEN YEARS
1939 – 1946 THE SECOND SEVEN YEARS
1947 – 1953 THE THIRD SEVEN YEARS.”
(Sannyas. 1980:5, pp. 8,19)
The falling was endless
The final explosion
The benediction, the blessedness
The unknown host.”
(Sannyas. 1980:6, pp. 28,36)
Quotations from discourses were selected by Bhagwan and Sarita for this first volume including the Zen saying: ‘Better to see the face than to hear the words.’
“This was evening darshan with Osho, on the porch of Lao Tzu House, in early 1974. Yatri was a recently arrived artist from London, who had his works hanging in the Tate Gallery. [38 years old].” (Ma Anand Sarita. In: Viha Connection, 2005:4)
Yatri writes on his on compiling and designing
“At the time of the first mention of SORW I was measuring the old boy’s head and making a first sketch for a sculpture of him. At the end of the session he casually mentioned that an illustrated biographical Big Book might be a very good idea and that it should, of course, be started immediately. Knowing the amount of work on at that time (both English and Hindi editions coming up for a deadline) the sculpture was dead in the water.
The research for material facts prior to Poona was often difficult to unearth simply because Indian eyewitnesses have a curiously different perspective to westerners of what might be designated a fact. Luckily most of the material unearthed from Osho was given by Vivek (Nirvana) with descriptions of some photos (like the one in which he resembles a sumo wrestler shot before he embarked on his marathon Rajas period. This was his favourite picture).
While I concentrated on the early years my wife at that time, Ma Ananda Sarita, collected texts from the lectures to illustrate some of the later themes he devised.
Every now and then spreads were sent into him to approve or change. Curiously he seldom did but that was not altogether unusual. If he gave someone a job he often let well alone. However, we had a sort of game over many of the images he chose. When in my infinite wisdom a photo just didn’t seem to work my strategy was to suggest that the photo would not reproduce well, while his response was to send out something far worse knowing I would be stuck with the first.
A third option was seldom forthcoming but on some hilarious occasions he might offer a number and then say he would leave the choice to me.
So many of the images you now see in the book are a subtle mix of what might work as a design element and what he somehow needed to be seen. He once explained that a very particular image must be used and years after someone turned up in Poona saying that the reason he or she came was because of seeing that particular image. As a ‘client’ he was certainly an enigma, but I think he enjoyed the interplay. Not much fun for the guy if everyone is a yea sayer.
The production of SORW is a complex story in its own right.
We had slowly developed a fantastic team, most of whom had had no previously know-how of printing or of colour separations, who ranged from the typographers to the photographic and film technicians. We had been so disappointed with much of the work done by the Indian repro houses that I felt we should try to do everything in-house, at least for this coffee table edition, so we formed a very impressive darkroom and repro group.
Remember these were pre-computer days. No handy Adobe Photoshop or QuarkXpress for designs and layouts, only handmade creations from oddly uneven Indian materials. Everything was hand drawn with Rotring pens. Typographic layout stuck down with Cowgum… even full stops, commas and quotation marks… on boards which were then filmed on a rostrum camera.
All of it was absurdly complicated and time consuming. Even with the most modern techniques a book like that would take maybe 9 months. Using our antiquated methods it was a marvel how the team managed in about two years. In order to keep costs down we decided on some parts to be printed in two colours rather than four so we devised a complex technique of using either the Cyan or Black of the four colour separations (CMYK to the afficionardos) and either the Yellow or Magenta to be the separations for the sepias you find in the final book.
The entire project was overseen by Osho but with minimum of interference and Vivek told me that he was really pleased (and surprised in some cases, like the time sequence in the front) with the result…
I worked on the second “Paradise” volume in the early ranch days, but had some delicious battles with Sheela (who seemed to consider it a personal biography) in which she took to her bed and I was shown where the ranch gates were. The old boy saved me from such a fate and sent me to the Siberia of the pipe crew to dig trenches, lay pipes and wallow in sewage. It was marvellous!! Not quite what Sheela had intended.” (Yatri. E-mail. 02.02.2009)
Yatri on the editing
“Ma Prem Asha worked in Osho’s kitchen with Vivek and helped clean his rooms at times. She did not actually contribute to SORW but there again many names found their way into many strange nooks and crannies. Like many things history, especially around the commune, tends to be a little cavalier.
I am not sure who really was the editor… the memory of a dementia candidate… For all I know there was another Prem Asha although they were not thick on the haloed soil at that time. Once the mss was ready I just sent it to Pratima (Yoga Pratima by that time had taken over most of my administrative roles. I was hopeless and she was even more beautiful than Asha and a lot more efficient). She then parcelled it out to various editors and might have done some herself. We were all spending too much time dealing with the graphics and preparing for print.” (Yatri. E-mail. 02.03.2009)
Pratima to Krishna Prem on Yatri
“That afternoon Pratima tries. “Having a rough time with Laxmi, huh? Let me tell you a story,” she says. “Once Yatri took in this book design to show her. I walked by the office and saw the pair of them in there, screaming at each other. I went in. She was telling Yatri what he’d done was garbage and to do it again. He was yelling back at her, telling her she had no taste, all sorts of things. I grabbed him by the collar and pulled him out of there. A half hour later, I went back in myself, laid the same layout on her desk – untouched, unchanged. ‘Beautiful,’ she said. ‘Send it to the printer.’ Get the point?” (Allanach 2010, p. 294)
Yatri bringing Veena Chinese brocade from Singapore
“He did brilliantly, bringing me back six pieces of exotic Chinese brocade.
It was just in time because the word was out that Yatri was going to produce a huge picture book called ‘The Sound of Running Water’. Many new photos would be needed… The title of my book [A Seam for the Master. 2004] was inspired by the words of a fellow sannyasin, Yatri, book designer supreme, to whom I was one day bemoaning my rueful frustrations at trying to surmount the latest rock on the path. He laughed and said, ‘It is amazing how many devices a Master can create out of the sewing of a simple seam.” (Veena 2012, pp. 125,89)
“… as I took the lemming-like plunge over the edge, I still feel more of a lucky survivor than a true disciple. It is not easy to be around this remarkable yet unpredictable mystic with his partiality to experiment with the very stuff of us.” Swami Anand Yatri. (Wright 1985. Back cover)
Subsequent volume mentioned
“This book is the first of a number of projected volumes. The second volume which immediately follow this in the series is the ‘Lotus Land of Paradise’ which covers the Master’s work from 2nd March 1978 to 21st March 1980.”
On the last page of SORW
“The Lotus Land of Paradise will be the second volume in the series covering the Master’s work from 22nd March 1978 to 21st March 1980”.
“Like the calibre of the books and book covers being designed and produced here – Yatri’s work and genius at graphics. They’ve even won prizes at book fairs!” (Divya 1980, p. 359)
“People often ask me how they can buy The Sound of Running Water, the beautiful Osho photobiography that has been out of print for many years. Well, I have found a seller: you can buy it from Amazon for $2.475, which is the advertised “low price” They offer ‘The very place the Buddha paradise’ for the same price.” (Viha Connection, 2005:2)
Kul Bhushan writes
“A similar attempt [referring to Sarito 2000] to present Osho in one volume was made over 20 years ago resulting in ‘The Sound of Running Water’. Obviously, it did not cover his entire life but what it presented in terms of words, graphics, photographs, layout, design and print production has never been equalled so far. Today, this priceless volume is cherished and preserved as an heirloom by those who had the courage to invest in its high price at that time.” (Swami Kul Bhushan. www.meditate-celebrate.com 01.06.2001)
Review by M.V. Kamath, editor of ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’
“… There has been no other man like this before. One may criticize Rajneesh, but it is impossible to ignore him… Like Whitman, Rajneesh is an iconoclast, a maverick, a hater of cant, superstition, snobbery and holier-than-thou’ism and a lover of the good things of life. He will make a most remarkable statement of purpose and philosophy and illustrate it with the most outrageous joke or story picked straight from ‘Playboy’ or ‘Penthouse’. There is no way one can compartmentalise this man. It would almost seem that he is not one man but many men.
… Rajneesh is Moses, Walt Whitman, Buddha, Jesus Christ and Ramana Maharshi all rolled into one. Every individual has a little of them but Rajneesh seems to have more of them than the rest of us.
… It is ridiculous to try to define this man. He challenges definition. His technique is to put everything upside down on its head, so to speak, and make you look at the world from that vantage point. He is a disturbing man because he makes you question the validity of all tour principles…
… Shakespeare may have had him in mind when he said: ‘Take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again’. Take him all in all or not at all, Rajneesh leaves no choices.” (Joshi 1982, p. 177)
(Note: From book reviews of ‘The Sound of Running Water’ and ‘The Wisdom of the Sands’, Vol. 2. In: ‘The Illustrated Weekly of India’ (Bombay), June 7, 1981, p. 70)
Now let us turn to the publishing of newsletters and magazines in Poona One. New was ‘Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter’, a fortnightly in English and Hindi issued from December 1974. And the bi-monthly magazine ‘Sannyas’, published since January 1972 from Bombay and continuing from Poona until 1981 when Osho left for Oregon.
Keerti recalls the publishing scene around 1974
“In 1973 I moved to Patna in Bihar, to the Indian heartland you can say, where Buddha lived 2500 years ago. And here it was such a welcome. All the old issues, the leftover copies [of Anandini], were sold in the very first day, and I had brought all the suitcases and trunks with me. I said, “Oh, my God!” I may have been in the wrong place in Punjab. Here they are dying with hunger, but they will read literature. That was the quality of that place. Any rick-shaw kuli would also read, because they are into knowledge.
Then I published 3-4 issues of ‘Rajneesh Sandesh’, and I realized that I’ve changed the name without checking with Osho, and I wondered if I was a true disciple and whether he would like the name or not. So I decided to make a trip to Poona after 2-3 issues in October 1974, and I asked him, “Bhagwan, I’ve changed the name without your blessings. Can I continue with this name ‘Bhagwan Sandesh’ or get a new name?” He had started the ashram in Poona in March 1974, and he said, “Keerti. Now there is no need to publish it from Patna. Do it from Poona, from the commune here. We plan to start a fortnightly newspaper from Poona itself. So you pack up there and come to the commune.” I said, “Yes, I’ll have to make one more visit to Patna to tell my magazine readers that we are pulling out there, and they will continue getting the copies from Poona itself. So all the memberships will be shifted over to Poona, in the new name of the magazine, to where the master and the magazine are located.
The new name was ‘Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter’, fortnightly. I became a kind of founder or editor of that, and he clearly gave me guidance with Teertha. We were both sitting in. He said, “Keerti. On the front page of the magazine in tabloid size will be a full page photo of me. And inside one complete discourse. And also all activities from this place, like forthcoming camps, or any other publicity and anything. Plus the activities of the centers around the country. In Hindi and in an English edition both. Two separate editions, with Teertha doing English edition and you doing Hindi edition.” Anand Teertha was doing encounter therapy or whatever, so he and me were together in that darshan, and Bhagwan explained to me how it should be. It wouldn’t be much of a work, just every fortnight we had to go and publish this. I said, “I’m sure I can do it. I have started and edited myself, and published and even designed the paper also.”
There was not much of a start there. Sitting on the back, there was no office, then start the tape-recorder, stich, stich, stich. I was not a typist. I didn’t believe so much in getting it typed, because you could instead take it directly to the press in good handwriting, to the letter-press as there was no off-set or anything.
Already when I was living in Punjab I had one name of a printing press on my mind. I used to receive Krishnamurti Foundation Newsletter and the name of their printing press ‘Sangam Press’ in Poona. I found this press to get it printed from, in tabloid seize, 8 pages, one page taken by a whole seize photo of Osho. And then Laxmi tells me, “Yes, you edit this paper every fortnight. Plus you edit some books also.” Then I was given sheets also for book editing. Two things simultaneously, and every 2-3 months you would bring out a book, and every fortnight a newspaper.” (Chaitanya Keerti. Interview. New Delhi. 01.08.2006)
“In 1973 Osho blessed me to start his magazine from Punjab and he provided the title: ‘Anand’. This was mainly a one-man show, I played the roles from a peon to a publisher to bring out this magazine and distribute it nationwide. In October 1974 Osho invited me to Pune to start his ‘Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter’ and the first issue of this fortnightly appeared on his birthday, 11 Dec 1974. Since then, my task was to edit his newsletter and his Hindi books. He was very appreciative of my work and often autographed the books that I edited. His blessings kept inspiring me to keep doing this work with more and more passion. He often told me to send the excerpts and one-liners to various newspapers regularly on different occasions like the birthdays of Buddha, Kabir, Meera, Nanak and many other mystics, because he had delivered awesome talks on all the great spiritual masters and their teachings. Ever since, I have been doing this job delightfully.” (Chaitanya Keerti. Interview. 14.10.2000. In: Citadel. The Pune City Magazine. Also on www.sannyas.net)
“Then in 1974 Osho established His ashram in Pune, and I was asked to edit the Hindi edition of the Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, starting with the first issue on Osho’s birthday, December 11. Swami Anand Teertha, who was British, was the editor for the English edition. Osho would call us together and give instructions about this publication.” (Chaitanya Keerti. In: Viha Connection, 2002:4)
“Right from the beginning [in Poona One] He suggested editing work in the Hindi section. I also look after the proofreading, and I also look after the Hindi Sannyas, our bi-monthly magazine.” (Interview with Sw. Anand Maitreya. In: Divya 1980, p. 349)
“All of Bhagwan’s discourses are recorded and are available in cassette tape form. From this form they are transcribed, edited and produced as beautiful hardbound and paperback books designed in the ashram and printed on fine quality paper, lavishly illustrated with photographs of Bhagwan and the ashram. Rajneesh Foundation also produce a fortnightly newsletter in English, Hindi and Gujarati, and a bi-monthly magazine, Sannyas, available in English and Hindi. Subscriptions to these periodicals are available either by post or here at the ashram.
Many of Rajneesh Foundation’s publications, including back issues of the newsletter and Sannyas magazine, are available at the bookstall by the main gate. Also available are some foreign language translations of these books and a wide variety of stationary, posters and beautiful colour and black and white photographs.” (Rajneesh Foundation. Poona. No year)
* Rajneesh Darshan. Bimonthly. First issue: January/February 1974 – 1976:2-6. Edited by Ma Yog Kranti and Krishna Kabeer. Anand Shila Prakashan. Publisher Chandrakant Desai. Bombay. In Hindi.
* Rajneesh Darpan. January/February 1973- . Bimonthly. Editor: Sw. Anand Maitreya. Published by Rajneesh Foundation Prakashan. In Hindi.
Periodicals shelved in Osho Lao Tzu Library (July 2001):
– Sannyas (English). 1972-81.
– Sannyas Darshan (Hindi). 1974: no.1 (first issue), no.2-3. 1975: no.1. 1976: no.2-6.
– Sannyas Magazine (Hindi). 1977: no.1-3. 1978: no.1-6. 1979: no.1-6.
Sanjay on early Hindi periodicals:
– Anandini [The Bliss Provider]. Early 70’s.
– Rajneesh Newsletter. 1974-81. Hindi/English.
– Sannyas. Hindi/English.
– Rajneesh Times. Hindi. Poona 1982- . Later: OTI.
– Rajneesh Buddhafield Newsletter. Delhi 1982-
– Bhagwan Magazine. 1983-85. Bimonthly.
– Rajneesh Darshan/Osho Darshan. (Interview. Poona. July 2001)
Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter
* Rajneesh. Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter. January 1st 1975 – November 1981. Fortnightly. Published by Ma Yoga Lakshmi, Rajneesh Foundation, Poona. Initially with Keerti as editor of Hindi edition and Teertha of the English edition. Each issue containing one lecture and having Foundation News on last page.
On Bhagwan’s birthday 11.12.1974 an issue Vol.0, Nr.0 seems to have appeared. A3 format. 8 pages.
From 1977:23 with new title omitting Rajneesh. From now on: ‘Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter’
Vol. II, No.4: Edited by Sw. Christ Chaitanya. Printed and Published by Ma Yoga Laxmi.
Featuring Yatri’s cartoons from 1975:12.
Also published in Hindi and nine other languages.
November 16th 1981 is last issue published from Poona.
Continued in ‘Rajneesh Newsletter’, published in Oregon 1982-1985.
Hindi edition of the Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, starting with the first issue on Osho’s birthday, December 11, 1974.
“It was (on 11 Dec. 1974) called Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter (in Hindi) and in English [From January 1975] both twice a month. It was probably next year some month we started Rajneesh Darshan in Hindi and Sannyas in English every two months.” (Chaitanya Keerti. E-mail. 17.04.2013)
Teertha editing Rajneesh Newsletter
Teertha’s job in those days was to lead the meditation camps and the regular on-going meditations: dynamic and kundalini. He also started the newsletter. When groups started happening in august 1975, christ chaitanya took over both the meditations and the newsletter editorial. (Divya. In: Only Loosers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 443)
– Issue 1. January 1975. Fortnightly. 8 pages. Size: 35,5×21,5 cm. Contents: The second discourse from When the Shoe Fits, October 1974. Editor not mentioned. Usually on last page of each issue: Rajneesh Foundation News.
– 1975:2. 8 pages. Format change: 43 x 28 cm. Contents: The Turtle. The eighth discourse from When the Shoe Fits. Published by Ma Yoga Lakshmi, Secretary, Rajaneesh Foundation, 17, Koregaon Park, Poona 411 001. Printed by B.G. Thorat, Sangam Press Ltd., 17, Kothrud, Poona 411 029. Copyright: Rajaneesh Foundation.
– 1975:3. Edited by Swami Ananda Teertha. Registered Number: P.N.C. 196. Contents: The third discourse from The Mustard Seed. On page 8: NEWS… from the ashram: The Prayer Meditation. The Mass Prayer. Happenings. Meditation Camps. “Meditation camps are held every month from the 11th to the 20th. One month the camp is in English, and the next in Hindi. Instructions for the meditations are in both languages at both camps, and there is always a taped lecture in the other language. The contribution for the camp is Rs. 100.” Discourses by Bhagwan Shree.. “Every meditation camp is followed by twenty days of discourses in the same language. So the English camp starting on February 11h. will be followed by the twenty days of discourses in English. The daily entrance contribution is Rs. 5.” Daily Programme… “8.00 – 9.30 a.m. Discourse by Bhagwan Shree. Kirtan Mandali. Programme..With discourse series mentioned. Subscriptions… “The yearly subscription for the twenty-four issues of ‘Rajneesh’ is Rs. 24. Abroad $12 or £5, including postage.” The Rajneesh Ashram… his blessings
– 1975:4. Contents: The ninth discourse from Returning to the Source. News… beloved friends… The Flame Meditation. Sannyas Magazine. “During the big move from Bombay to Poona, the production of Sannyas magazine got out of gear, and fell behind schedule. So to put things right, issues 5 and 6 of Volume 3 are to be cancelled (issue 4 is due out about now), and everything will start up-to-date for 1975. If you have a 1974 subscription, worry not, you will get the first two issues of the 1975 free of charge. So all is well.” New Publications. “Several new books will be out on the anniversary of Bhagwan Shree’s enlightenment day – March 21, and one of them will be ‘No Water, No Moon’ – discourses on Zen. We have a scheme called VPP in India whereby new books are sent straight from the printing press as soon as they are published. If you would like to join this scheme, then please send us your name and address. If you live abroad, then please send us a bank draft for £5, or US $12, and we will keep this in your account here, adjusting as the books are sent.” Office Re-organization. Discourses by Bhagwan Shree. Meditation Camps. Daily Programme. Programme. Subscriptions. The Rajneesh Ashram. … his blessings.
– 1975:12. With drawing by Yatri. Contents: From The Supreme Understanding. Page 7: Meetings with the Master. “On Drug Taking In darshan recently Bhagwan Shree has been asked about some problems encountered by people who have been, or are, on drugs. Bhagwan has talked on drugs many times, but here he answers directly three people according to their individual needs.” NEWS. Cassettes… “We are delighted to announce that we are now up to date with our cassette recording orders. Orders for cassette tapes of any of Bhagwan Shree’s discourses, in Hindi or English, can now be processed immediately if you have your own blank cassettes. The cause for this blissful state is that the arica sannyasins clubbed together and bought, and brought, a high-speed copying machine. The machine copies both sides of the cassette, rewinds and pops up – all in 4 1/2 minutes. And the quality is excellent. All we need in that department now is a high-speed spool-to-spool copying machine. And remember, if you bring one into the country the Indian customs will ask you to pay 150% duty. When the arican who brought in the cassette copying machine was asked if he had to pay duty he said, ‘Yes US$ 600 – but it is worth every dollar just to see the joy and relief on everybody’s face at the sight of it.’ Well, we were a long way behind on our orders before it came. What we are short of in the cassette copying department now, is cassettes. We can’t get enough to fulfil the orders. So if you were wondering what to bring the ashram when you come – cassettes, good quality C-90’s. And remember if the customs find you with a quantity of new cassettes they will charge 150% duty.” In Hindi. “A vast amount of work at the ashram is in Hindi – transcribing, editing, manuscripts for the books, correspondence – and it is all done by hand! We do not have a Hindi typewriter. If you have one you could give or lend, or you would like to buy us one, it would speed up the Hindi side of Bhagwan Shree’s work considerably.” Rolfing. Deep Contentment. By Swami Deva Paritosh. Editors. “If you are in the process of editing or publishing or translating any of Bhagwan Shree’s work, would you please contact the ashram before proceeding any further. Several large publishing houses have approached us regarding publishing Bhagwan Shree’s work, so there is now the question of copyright to consider. Please contact us soon so that we can get a full picture of what is happening everywhere.” La Rivoluzione Interiore… “Bhagan Shree’s book ‘The Inward Revolution’ has now been translated into Italian. Other books are also in the process of translation. The book, which is entitled ‘LA RIVOLUZIONE INTERIORE’, is available from the the publisher: Armenia Editore. V. le Ca’ Granda, 2 – 20162 Milano. Italy.” Indian Centers… Dhar. Roomi. Surendranagar. Veraval. Programme… his blessings.
– 1975:13. Contents: Second in a series entitled ‘Song of Songs’ based on Tilopa’s ‘Song of Mahamudra’. February 12th, 1975. Page 7: Meetings with the Master. From darshans. NEWS. Guru Purnima Day. 23.07.1975. “During this time two new English books are going to be released: ‘No Water – No Moon’ and ‘Roots and Wings’, and a new Hindi book, Geeta Chapter Ten’, will also make its appearance.” ‘No 18 parcel now included. New guest house founded with basement for book publishing activities next to the meditation area.’ Kirtan Mandali. Brazil Center. Kalptaru Center. ‘Run by Poonam and Nirvana’. 47, Lonsdale Square, London N.1. Massachusetts. Programme. Ashram Information. ‘The foundation’s bank is: Central Bank of India, Yerwada Branch, Poona-6, Maharashtra… his blessings.
– 1975:14. Contents: From The Grass Grows by Itself. Page 7: Meetings With the Master. NEWS. Switzerland. Ashram Activities. Nadabrahma Meditation. Lost for Words? Programme. Ashram Activities… his blessings.
– 1975:15. Contents: From The Grass Grows by Itself. Meetings With the Master. On Sexual Identity. I. NEWS. Denmark. ‘Swami Yoga Arvind writes from Anand Niketan Center in Copenhagen. Ashram Therapies. Blissful Moon. By Rakesh. The Word… “The time has come to spread the word of Bhagwan Shree, in a big way. Thames and Hudson are publishing ‘The Book of the Secrets’ in London, and it is being published in the states as well. Other books are also under offer. And sannyasins are asked to write articles for magazines. Depending on the type of magazine it is going to, the articles can take any form – personal experiences, subjective views, or approaches through the channels of science, politics, religion, ecology, woman’s liberation – Bhagwan Shree talks on practically everything, so almost any approach is possible. It is usually good to quote something Bhagwan Shree has said on the subject, and get a picture published of him if you possibly can. So if you have written something, or you would like to, or you know of journals who are interested, then please contact the ashram, or one of the two centers in the west who are acting as clearing houses for this project: Ma Yoga Susheela. Paras Rajneesh Center… San Francisco..and Ma Prem Punita. Nartaj Music and Meditation Center… London… And our periodical library, that we try to keep in Poona for the purpose of writing articles, is very undernourished. We need lots of magazines – old or new. Love.” Programme. Ashram Activities… his blessings.
– 1975:16. Contents: ‘Until You Die’. Meetings With the Master. On Sexual Identity. II. NEWS. Guru Poornima Day . “However, so many hundreds of people began to queue for the discourse, at 8 A.M. that speakers had to be erected outside the lecture hall so that those who could not have seats within view of Bhagwan were at least able to hear him. Although the discourse was in Hindi, the auditorium was so ‘charged’ with Bhagwan’s presence that even the Westerners felt there was something special about what he spoke… The Ma Yoga Laxmi, in her ‘floating’ way, presented Bhagwan-signed copies of the three books that came out on Guru Poornima day to the editors and cover designers. The two English books were ‘No Water/No Moon’ (Rs. 65) discourses based on Zen stories and ‘The Mustard Seed’ (Rs. 105), discourses based on the sayings of Jesus. A Hindi book ‘Gunge keri sarkara’ (Sugar for the Dumb) (Rs. 50) was also made available, along with the new Sannyas magazine, and two special issues of ‘Rajneesh’ newsletter.” Nine month intensive. Theraphy at Kalptaru, London. Programme. Ashram Information… his blessings.
– 1975:17. Contents: From Until You Die. Meetings With the Master. On God. On India. “But the real urge in wanting to come to India is an urge to come to yourself, to face yourself… The word India is very symbolic – it means an inner journey.” NEWS. Nikash. Translating? Loving Seer. Tempo, Gong, Hindi Typewriter. Centres. Programme. Ashram Information… his blessings.
– 1975:18. Contents: From Just Like That. Meetings With the Master. NEWS. Beloved friends. Ashram Therapies. In Japanese. “Rajneesh published in Japanese.” Addresses. Write on… How you came to Bhagwan. Berlin. Programme. Ashram Information.
– 1975:19. Contents: From The Three Treasures. Meetings With the Master. NEWS. Japan. “We have sent you the first issue of our monthly magazine which contains our introductory note about Bhagwan and our experiences with him, the first lecture on Tilopa, and an introduction to the dynamic meditation (translated in Japanese – ed.). It’s quite a job because it’s all hand written, but we really enjoyed making it.” Programme. Ashram Information…his blessings.
– 1975:20. Contents: From the Three Treasures. The First Question. From The Three Treasures. NEWS. Beloved friends. Ashram Therapies. Happy Birthday. Nairobi Center. Lost for Words? Programme. Ashram Information…His blessings.
– 1975:21. Photo graphics of Bhagwan. On front page: Chuang Tzu Auditorium, b/w photo. Contents: The Tree Treasures? The First Question. From The Three Treasures. NEWS. Beloved friends. Let the World Know. “Thames and Hudson of London has just given the American rights to ‘The Book of the Secrets’, Volume 1, to Harper and Row of New York. Dutton Paperbacks in America are interested in Tantra: ‘The Supreme Understanding’ and a contract is now under negotiation. Many other publication houses in both England and America have communicated their interest in a number of Bhagwan’s books. So… very soon through mass distribution… POW!” New Book. ‘Roots and Wings’, beautiful discourses on Zen, will be coming out in book form any day now. The cost of this hardcover edition will be Rs. 65, plus postage in India. Abroad, £5 or U.S.$ 12 (air mail postage included). When ordering from abroad, please include a bank draft in the name of the Rajneesh Foundation. German Newsletter. “For all German friends who have difficulties in understanding Bhagwan in English, there is very good news (if you can understand this). The first ‘Rajneesh’ newsletter in the German language has come out. So, if you are interested in a subscription, please write to: Shreyas rajneesh meditation center… Munich.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:21)
– 1976:4. Edited by Sw. Christ Chaitanya. Printed and published by Ma Yoga Laxmi. A3 format. 8 pages.
– 1976:21. October 1976. Rajneesh is now published in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Danish, German and Japanese. Yearly subscription for 24 copies: India, Rs. 24, abroad US$ 12.
– 1977:23. New title omitting Rajneesh. From now on: ‘Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter’, new front page with better photo b/w. Also brownish tinted photos inside. Foundation News. Editor Swami Christ Chaitanya.
– 1978:16. (16.08.1978) Zorba the Buddha.
– 1978:19. (01.10.1978) Dogs and Politicians not Allowed.
– 1979:2. Now List of Discourses is called Songs of Bhagwan. Trust in the Master.
– 1979:3. Foundation News. More Ashram Music. * Singing Group: joy and ecstasy, recorded live in Buddha Hall (November-December 1978), on both sides of a C-90 cassette. The following three pieces are through Chaitanya Hari, and are recorded only on one side of a C-90 cassette. Any other meditation or music can be recorded on the other side. * ‘Silence is the Answer:’ 45 minutes of going deeper and deeper into yourself and coming out again. Helpful for meditation, therapy groups or healing. * ‘Flowers of Silence’: for mellow listening. * ‘Sea and Silence’: ocean waves for 20 minutes, then ocean waves with music as background for allowing the inner silence as background for allowing the inner silence in the listener.” “BOOK PRICES. Book and postal rates have been revised. Sea mail orders will now be charged postage and airmail postage will be higher. For more information, contact us so that the latest booklists can be sent.” Neo-Sannyas; a Dephypnosis.
– 1979:4. Foundation News. Books in the Americas. Rajneesh Center Publications have now taken over Sagaram rajneesh meditation center’s entire holding of books. They will carry the full holding of titles beginning in May, including all new titles. They carry all Rajneesh Foundation books including books in French and Spanish. At South Dahlia, Denver.
– 1979:6. Foundation News. “Fly-A-Tape. If you can’t yet fly to Bhagwan… let him fly to you. It is now possible to send tapes (cassettes or spools) to us by air through the post. Upon receiving them, we will record what you wish (Bhagwan’s discourses, meditation or ashram music) and re-export them back to you airmail. Please do not send C-120, ferrochrome or chrome dioxide cassettes. Only the following brands (C-90, new, unused) are acceptable: MAXELL, SONY, TDK, HITACHI, BASF, AGFA.”
“Dying for Enlightenment. ‘Dying for Enlightenment’ is a book that has been created by Swami Deva Amit Prem along with Swami Krishna Bharti, and has been published by Harper & Row in the USA. It begins with poetic prose, a description of Bhagwan and life at the ashram, and this leads us into more than a hundred pages of black and white pictures that trace an ashram day from Dynamic to darshan. The message of this beautiful picture-book is immediate and overwhelming: it is an open invitation to life, to life lived in its totality. The faces in the pictures tell the story. In ecstasy, agony, bliss, peace, rage, playfulness and despair, they bear witness to Bhagwan and his celebration of life in all its moods.”
– 1979:10. Foundation News. “Sannyas. The latest ‘Sannyas’ magazine, entitled ‘A Taste of Sufism’, is a treasure. Contents: A discourse on Sufism based on ‘The Haddiqa’ of Hakim Sanai. Questions on education, Bhagwan’s vision of the commune, love and mysticism. An editorial on the Buddhafield. And… a touching, moving interview with Vivek, which includes pictures of Bhagwan when he was fifteen and seventeen, and a recent one of Bhagwan while he is asleep.”
– 1979:14. Rajneesh Foundation News. “The Sound of Silence. For ten days, from June 11th to 20th, Bhagwan did not speak to us in discourse. For the first three days of this period, Bhagwan’s physical presence was not with us in Buddha Hall. Instead, we experienced alternating periods of live music and silence. From the 14th to the 19th, Bhagwan’s physical presence was with us, but he did not speak. The first twenty minutes we sat, eye closed, in silence with Bhagwan. Then live music began; with eyes remaining closed we swayed and hummed to the music for forty minutes. This was again followed by twenty minutes of silence. At the end of this period we opened our eyes and blissfully gazed at Bhagwan, coming out from within. It was so moving, so very beautiful. On the 20th, the final day of Bhagwan’s silence, there was a celebration to end the ten days’ silence with Bhagwan. As Bhagwan sat in silence on the podium, Anubhava and the music group sang and played, while sannyasins lined the periphery of Buddha Hall and danced. Said Bhagwan in the discourse of the 21st about the ten days of silence:
‘I am immensely glad, because after these ten days of silence I can say to you that many of you are now ready to commune with me in silence…
…And let the news be spread to all nooks and corners of the world: those who want to understand me only through words, they should come soon, because I may leave speaking any day…'”
“Tape Library. The Rajneesh Tape Library has been set up so that members in India may enjoy a regular flow of Bhagwan’s discourses to listen to at home, or in the case of meditation centers, to use as part of their program of activities. Please note: The following schemes are valid only in India.” Annual Scheme: ten lectures a month. Rs. 240 annual. Half-Yearly Scheme: Five lectures a month. Rs. 60 for six months. Three Month Scheme: Five lectures a month. Rs. 30 for three months. Plus postage and a refundable deposit.
– 1979:16. Foundation News. Chidvilas rajneesh meditation center opened in Maplewood, New Jersey. Rajneeshdham neo-sannyas international commune coming up.
– 1979:17. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Diaries and Calendars 1980: The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Executive Diary. The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Diary. The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Pocket Diary. The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Calendar. The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Colour Calendar.
– 1979:18. “Buy 10 Books and a beautiful 1980 diary and calendar and receive 10 more books free. A Unique Rajneesh Book Club Offer… To make his presence, his fragrance, his teachings, available to as many people as possible the birth of the Rajneesh Book Club is happening. It aims to provide club members with a regular supply of the latest titles by Bhagwan at special advantageous prices. To celebrate the Book Club’s birth we are making the following exceptional offer, giving you a discount of 45% on the value of all the books which you receive. This offer is available only to club members. Order 10 new titles to be published during the coming year and receive free 10 titles of your choice from the enclosed list. As an integral part of club membership your order will also contain: The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Diary for 1980.. and.. The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Calendar for 1980.” Then follows a list of 10 new English titles to be published over the next two years. And a listing of existing publication on 84 numbers, priced Rs. 65-125, and $9-16.
– 1979:19. Foundation News. Swami Devateerth Bharti, Osho’s father, died 08.09.1979. Born 1908. Enlightened morning 08.09.1979. Obituary. Bhagwan on Video. Questionnaire to those interested. Send to: Ma Anand Sheela. “Book Distribution. For India Only. If you are interested in the distribution of Rajneesh Foundation Ltd. publications, the following terms are now available: 50% on orders of 600 or more Hindi titles. 45% on orders of 600 or more English titles. If an order on 600 books or more includes Hindi and English titles, the discount will be 45% on English and 50% on Hindi.” Discount only applicable on titles of Rs. 20 or over. Kalptaru rajneesh meditation center is a distributor of books by Bhagwan published by Sheldon Press.”
– 1979:20. Foundation News. “For the Record. Polydor of India, Ltd. has come out with two records: THIS IS IT! NOW OR NEVER. (excerpts of discourses by Bhagwan) and KUNDALINI MEDITATION MUSIC. * Individuals may purchase these records directly through record stores at rental prices. * Rajneesh Meditation Centers in India and abroad may order these records from Polydor at a trade discount.” Polydor of India, Dr. Annie Besant Rd., Worli, Bombay 400 018. Publications by Bhagwan in foreign languages: 5 titles in Dutch, 1 title in Japanese (Tao: the three treasures. Vol.1), 2 titles in Italian, 2 titles in German (Was ist Meditation? and Ich Bin der Weg), 2 titles in Spanish.
– 1979:21. Rajneesh News. Shree Rajneesh Theatre Group Premiere. A Midsomer Night’s Dream at Bhulabhai Desai Auditorium, Bombay, 16th and 18th of October at 7 o’clock 1979. Excerpts from reviews in 1979:23, p. 8.
– 1979:22. Rajneesh News. “Bhagwan is able, as nobody else, to help us in finding the answer to the fundamental questions of life and death. In his discourses he goes beyond the knowledge of philosophers and scientists of our century pouring out his own experience. His insight transforms our questions into the real quest: how to realize our own being.” Theo C.C. de Ronde, Ph.D., Doctor of Theology, former Franciscan monk, Secretary of National Council for Adult Education, Holland.
– 1979:23. Rajneesh News. Foreign publications recently released abroad or late 1979. In US, England, Dutch (Satya Bharti: Ultimate Risk), Japanese.
Volume 6. 1980
– 1980:1. Drawings by Yatri. “‘Rajneesh’ is now published in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil (monthly) Bengali, French, Danish, Italian, Dutch, German and Japanese.”
– 1980:2. Quotes by Bhagwan on Rajneesh Foundation News. Rajneeshdham, inauguration ceremony on his 49th birthday, 11.12.1979. 49 aspects of the new commune for 10.000 sannyasins outlined, including library, publishing house, book storage and dispatch depot.
– 1980:3. Stop Press: All orders now to Rajneesh Foundation, only Book Club will continue to be dealt with by Rajneesh Foundation Limited. Tape Library, now also monthly scheme with 10 lectures/month. And local scheme, available only in Poona, no limit on number of cassettes, for those who can collect cassettes from the ashram and return them within two days.
– 1980:4. Photo quality improved.
– 1980:6. The Secret. Reviews. “Rajneesh, who is drawing many Europeans to India, expounds the theme of personal evolution with traditional Sufi unsentimentality, but also with a twinkling sense of humour.” The Evening News (London).
Rajneesh Symphony Orchestra in Buddha Hall 20.01.1980. All titles can be ordered from Rajneesh Centre Publications, Denver, USA. Mailing list of all sannyasins in the western hemisphere is in process.
– 1980:7. The Fourth World Book Fair. New Delhi, 29.02-09.03.1980. 3.000 books of Bhagwan’s words will be on display in English and Hindi and translations. This is the 2nd fair in which the ashram has participated. Also tapes of discourses will be played.
– 1980:8. “Bhagwan, Why did you decide to speak instead of writing your philosophy? My spelling is far worse than my pronunciation!” Recent foreign publications, in Japaese, German, USA, UK, Dutch and Spanish.
– 1980:9. Comprehensive advertisement for the publishing of ‘The Sound of Running Water’. See: 4.12.
– 1980:10. A Cup of Tea. “These are excerpts from 350 letters written by Bhagwan from 1964-1971, which have now been compiled in a beautiful, hardbound 12″x9″ volume, complete with over 125 duotone photographs and drawings of the Master. Only 2.000 books have been printed, and as the number of available copies is limited you are advised to order as soon as possible. Price: US$ 56.00. Rs. 500.” Chidvilas in new location, Montclair, New Jersey.
– 1980:13. Page 7-8: “This is the final opportunity to take advantage of the 1979-80 Book Club offer which will be expiring shortly.” “The tape library scheme run by Rajneesh Foundation is now being discontinued. No new subscriptions will be taken. For people who have subscriptions already, the scheme will continue until the subscription expires.”
– 1980:14. Swami Prem Chinmaya dies. Bhagwan quote on him.
– 1980:15. Excerpt from beautiful discourse The Golden Gate, 30.06.1980 on Bhagwan as the ‘master of masters’. Those not wearing their malas outside home are requested to return those and the paper with their sannyas name. And: No need to go underground without mala when going to India anymore. Visa problems have been solved.
– 1980:16. Videotapes in both NTSC and PAL and a 16 mm 25 minute color film of Bhagwan’s morning discourses are available from Chidvilas. And: If going to Poona do enquire if there is anything you can take to Poona with you.
– 1980:17. Recent publications by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Including The Song Book, reprint, Rs. 45, US$7. Book exhibition in Kanpur and Lucknow.
– 1980:18. Foreign publications: Holland, including ‘Bhagwan… notities van een discipel’ by Swami Deva Amrito (Jan Foudraine) and Japan.
– 1980:19. Discourse from Theologica Mystica 16.08.1980, on going soon to Kutch. Ex-sannyasins can not lead therapy programmes at centers worldwide (Somendra?) says Arup, assistant to Laxmi. And: Chain-letters with the words ‘Capital for Poona’ are not from RF. And: RF has no knowledge of who may be involved in sending parcels with drugs to the West.
– 1980:20. Three fine pencil drawings of Bhagwan; continues into 1981. 1981 diaries and calendars can be ordered. Order form for Rajneesh Newsletter (English, Hindi or Gujarati) and Sannyas (English or Hindi), language required, cf. 1980:22.
– 1980:21. Four drawings. “Shades of Sannyas. The right shades of colour for sannyasins’ clothes are fiery and dark orange, and fiery and dark red. Pinks are out, and also the light shades of orange.”
– 1980:23. Four drawings. “Rectification re departed sannyasins. Further to the information given in Newsletter Vol. VI no.21, these are the up-to-date guidelines for when a sannyasin dies: The mala is to be kept with the body and can be either cremated or buried with the body. If the sannyasin had a ‘leaving’ box, then the box can also either be cremated or buried with the body, or if the family or close friends would prefer, then they can keep the box with them in memory of the departed sannyasin.” Dr. Shyam Sings (Shyam Bodhisattva) is no longer a sannyasin, centers in London and Suffolk are now closed.
– 1981:1 Subscription to Sannyas Magazine (6 issues) in English or Hindi. Rajneesh Newsletter (24 issues) in English, Hindi or Gujarati. First two students from Rajneesh International Meditation University; diplomas presented by Swami Satya Vedant Ph.D.
– 1981:3. New videocassettes: Evening Darshan (October 22, 1980), Guru Purnima Celebration 1980, Shree Rajneesh Ashram: This Commune, the Buddhafield, God is the Musician, and we are his Music (The Birthday Celebration, December 11, 1980).
– 1981:4. On Vimalkirti. His last poem written to Bhagwan (p. 7).
– 1981:6. “Tape Duplicating and Tape Libraries. Bhagwan’s discourses, meditation music from the ashram are all copyrighted by Rajneesh Foundation, and unauthorised reproduction of this material is illegal. Anyone who would like to duplicate our cassettes should first contact Rajneesh Foundation as a contract needs to be signed. Anyone wishing to run a tape library should also get in touch with the Foundation for the necessary permission and contract.”
– 1981:7. “News from Poona. On the evening of March 10th, after darshan, a video was shown in Buddha Hall of a series of programs which were telecast on American TV. The first was a broadcast from Montclair, New Jersey where residents of the Chidvilas Rajneesh Meditation Center were interviewed. Then on to Channel 4, NBC, in a telecast from January 19th – complete with commercials – where Ma Amrita Pritam, the former Shannon Jo Ryan, daughter of Californian congressman Leo Ryan, who was murdered at Jonestown, Guyana, was interviewed. She spoke about her experience as a sannyasin and her first meeting with Bhagwan. This was followed by ABC, Channel 7 World News, which broadcasts from New York at 6.30 pm to over 40 million viewers. This program, telecast on March 1st, gave news of everything from a firemen strike in Milwaukee to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans to Ronald Reagan – and to an interview with Ma Pritam. Both NBC and ABC, the largest networks in the US, showed footage from our videotapes of Bhagwan, darshan, a celebration, meditations etc. Then, as a finale, New Jersey local news broadcasted Ma Amrita Pritam with Ma Anand Sheela at Chidvilas. They both answered beautifully and spontaneously; the interviewer tried to link Bhagwan with Jonestown and even called in William Goldberg – a mind control specialist who helps keep young people out of ‘cults’!”
“Re: Veet Artho’s film “Ashram in Poona.” We would like everyone to be aware that Veet Artho (Wolfgang Dobrowolny) is no longer a sannyasin. The reason is that when he was a sannyasin, he was given the opportunity to film the activities at Shree Rajneesh Ashram but he missed this opportunity. He showed us one film for our approval but released another one which had not been approved at all. He has broken all contracts that he had made with Rajneesh Foundation. In interviews with newspapers and magazines he has spoken against Bhagwan and against Shree Rajneesh Ashram. He has earned large profits on the film, but has not fulfilled the terms of the contract. The mutual trust between us has been broken, He had only taken sannyas so that he could film the ashram and as soon as the filming was over he dropped sannyas. All centers and sannyasins are requested to be aware not to support him or his film in any way as he is portraying a completely wrong picture of Shree Rajneesh Ashram and its activities.”
– 1981:9. “Special Note to all Rajneesh Meditation Centers. Please note that the word RAJNEESH and the Foundation’s emblem are the registered trademarks of Rajneesh Foundation and may not be used without permission by any other body or person to label or advertise any products, business undertakings, groups or other activities. This does not include the word Rajneesh in the name of your center.” Rajneesh Theatre Group: Hollywood Musical Night and Peter Pan. Rajneeshdham at Saswad, 20 km from Poona.
– 1981:10. “The Sound of One Hand Clapping. The following are excerpts from the last darshan diary, the Sound of one hand Clapping. These were Bhagwan’s last words sung in English. Bhagwan has now entered a new phase of his work where the communion with his disciples is happening in silence.”
The editor is asking for material on scientific research and reference sources like bibliographies and journals which carry the latest research likely to be helpful.
“To All Rajneesh Meditation Centers. We suggest that all the Centers start arranging SATSANG, silent heart-to-heart communion, regularly. The format of the Satsang as done here in Poona is explained below so that you can do it exactly in the same way: It is a celebration of music and silence during one hour and everyone is to remain with closed eyes, except during the greeting. If you feel to, you can sway and move, and you can raise your hands, but there is to be no sound – keep the sounds inside. Those who would like to get up and dance, can be at the periphery of the meditation room from the very beginning – the others can sit in the middle of the room. There is to be no noise; be absolutely silent and the atmosphere should be as if nobody is present – be ecstatic and joyful.” Then follows the various phases in singing the greetings of Buddhan Sharanam Gachhami.
– 1981:11. Research mentioned, Swami Krishna Deva’s 1980 questionnaire survey of a random sample of 300 American sannyasins in Poona based on a standard Maslow inspired test called the Personal Orientation Inventory (POI). Including chart on Self-Actualization showing a comparison of American Sannyasins in Poona with selected samples in the U.S.A. (Page 5-6). “Rumour has it… Many rumours are going around all over the world and we suggest that you do not pay any attention to them. Sannyas is still given, malas are still being given and all sannyasins are still completely in orange and red! No need to feel worried by all these rumours – just enjoy them for what they are worth.” Sheela before morning Satsang on May 11, announcing that ‘We are going up North!’ The commune would still be in India, the move could begin to happen in eight weeks and nobody would be left behind. Until July 1 we will be carrying on here in Poona as usual. We will only be able to let you know after July 1 where to join us in the north. Chidvilas is now handling all media distribution for the western world.
– 1981:15. For a short time it will not be possible to subscribe to the newsletter or Sannyas magazine, but single issues will be available. In India all orders to: Ma Anand Mrudula, Sagar Deep Rajneesh Sannyas Ashram, 52 Ridge Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay 400 006.
– 1981:17. No Foundation News on page 8. Still Printed and Published by Ma Yoga Laxmi, Managing Trustee, Rajneesh Foundation, Poona.
– 1981:20. Sarjano research: 52,387 female disciples and 53,949 male sannyasins as of December 1979.
– 1981:22. November 16th 1981. Last issue published. Continued in ‘Rajneesh Newsletter’ published in Oregon.
Yoga Hansa on printing and naming
“Yoga Hansa lives in Maui. He met Osho in Bombay when he was nineteen and has been around the sannyas circuit for years. He told me that after Osho initiated him into sannyas, “He said he had a lot of work to do and asked if I would help him. I of course said yes and as my brother had a print shop in Bombay, we printed His first major English book, ‘I Am the Gate’. Osho said to me that this book would go to America for the Western people, and to make sure it would come out looking good. Besides his largest Hindi book, ‘The Bhagvad Gita’, he also gave me the Sannyas magazine to print. I suggested the name for his first English newsletter to be ‘Rajneesh’. He had not used his own name for anything before but after that, everything became Rajneesh this and Rajneesh that!” (Personal information from Yoga Hansa to Bhagawati)
“In “Pune One” I recall contributing a few articles to Sannyas magazine and perhaps to the Rajneesh Newsletter, but I was not functioning in any editorial or managerial capacity… I was working in the Press Office, responding to outside newspapers, magazines and other publications that talked about Osho. We were also issuing press releases to Indian media about what Osho was saying in his daily discourses.” (Anand Subhuti. E-mail. 23.12.2016)
* Rajneesh Newsletter. 1975 – 1981. German edition.
“For all German friends who have difficulties in understanding Bhagwan in English, there is very good news (if you can understand this). The first ‘Rajneesh’ newsletter in the German language has come out. So, if you are interested in a subscription, please write to: Shreyas rajneesh meditation center… Munich.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:21)
Newsletter widely published
“‘Rajneesh’ is now published in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil (monthly) Bengali, French, Danish, Italian, Dutch, German and Japanese.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1980:1)
“Yes, there was Rajneesh Newsletter in German during Poona 1.” (Ramateertha. E-mail. 07.03.2017)
“For a short time it will not be possible to subscribe to the newsletter or Sannyas magazine, but single issues will be available. In India all orders to: Ma Anand Mrudula, Sagar Deep Rajneesh Sannyas Ashram, 52 Ridge Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay 400 006.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1981:15)
* Rajneesh Nieuwsbrief. January 1st 1978 – December 1st 1980 (Vol.3, Nr.4). Holland.
* Rajneesh. Alt.t: Buddhafelt. Rajneesh Dansk Newsletter. 1976 – 1984. Danish edition of Rajneessh Foundation Newsletter. Published by Anand Niketan, Rajneesh Meditationscenter, Copenhagen. Editor: Swami Yoga Arvind, editorial board 1981, with Varta and later Parigyan as editor. Translation: Ma Yoga Sandhya & others. Lay out: Swami Govind Vedant & others. Monthly; from 1981:2 quarterly. 8 pages. Illustrated. Tabloid format. From Vol.4 in magazine format. In Danish. ISSN 0107-7996.
Rajneesh. Selected articles:
– “I januar 1975 begyndte man fra Bhagwans ashram i Poona at udsende “Rajnesh Newsletter” på engelsk. Bladet viste sig hurtigt at blive meget udbredt, hvorefter det også blev udgivet på de tre indiske sprog hindi, gujarati og marati. Senere er så fulgt en tysk og en japansk udgave. Og med dette nummer, i format og udseende ligesom de øvrige, begynder vi en dansk udgivelse.” 1976:1.
– Workshops at Karen Merete Kjærulff-Schmidt, Charlottemnlund. 1976:6.
– Move of ashram from Poona to Gujarat 04.12.1977. Forthcoming.
– ‘Rajneesh’ is published in English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telegu, French, Danish, Italia, Dutch and Japanese. 1978:8.
– Dhyan Sadan Meditation Center in Århus. 1979:8.
– Change of name: Rajneesh Buddhafelt dansk tidsskrift . 1981:1.
– Last phase in Bhagwan’s work: Silence. “Mornings will be celebrated with music and silence each day from 8:30 am to 8:30 am. Bhagwan will be with us in silence at this time. There will be ‘Satsang’, heart-to-heart communion, starting May 1st. Bhagwan had stopped his daily discourses on May 24th. From this day until May 1st music meditations were held in the mornings where Bhagwan had given his discourses continuously for seven years. On May 1st Bhagwan again came to Buddha Hall to have Satsang with an audience of over 6000 disciples and visitors.” 1981:1.
– New editorial board with Ma Prem Varta as editor. 1981:2.
– Change of location to Strøget, Frederiksberggade 15,3. 1982:3.
– Ma Anand Parigyan coordinator after Ma Prem Varta. Zorba the Buddha restaurant. Noisy meditations and music moved to Rosenvængets allé and meditation center at Christiania. 1982:4
– Interview with Swami Anand Nirvana. 1982:4.
– Easter energy group with Somendra. 1982:4.
– Parigyan writes from First Annual World Celebration. 1982:1.
– Premda Rajneesh Meditations Center, Fredensgade 34, Århus. SOL SERVICE, repairing and cleaning, Anand Niketan. 1982:2.
– Satyarthi writes from Second Annual World Celebration. 1983:1.
– Fønix Musik, Fredensgade 34, Århus. 1983:2.
– Bhagwan on Rajneeshism in interview with Kirk Braun, September 1983. 1983:2.
– We want Bhagwan in America. Demo in Copenhagen, 14.02.1983. Two pages with 16 photos. 1983:3.
– Zorba the Buddha Rajneesh restaurant. Klostergade 6, Århus. 1984:3.
– Sheela in Copenhagen 06.03.1984. 1984:8.
– Prejlerup, location for therapy workshops. 1984:4.
– Swami Anand Rajen on therapy programs at RIMU, Oregon. 1984:4.
* Rajneesh. Discorsi di Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. September 1978 – 1984. Monthly, irregular intervals. Milano. Published by Edizioni Re Nudo, 1983-1984 by Editrice Psyche. 52 pages.
* Sannyas. January 1st, 1972 – November 11th, 1981. 1st issue: Jan-Feb 1972. Bombay. Bi-monthly magazine. The International Spiritual Magazine of Rajneesh Foundation. From colophon: Founder-Inspirer: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Editors: Ma Ananda Prem, Ma Veet Sandeh. Designer: Arhat. Editorial Commitee: Swami Ananda Vitrag, Ma Samadhi Meera, Swami Sardar Gurudayal Singh. Publisher: Ma Dharma Jyoti. Published bi-monthly by Ma Yoga Laxmi for Rajneesh Foundation. “Manifesto: Sannyas is an exclusively spiritual journal dedicated to the following: 1. To bring to the world the revolutionary spiritual teaching of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, an Enlightened Master of our time. 2. To spread the aims and objectives of Rajneesh Foundation: a) teaching the meaning of spirituality; b) experimentation with various techniques of meditation that exist in the Hindu (yogic and tantric), Jain, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic (Sufi), Hassidic and other schools of mysticism. 3. To create a living dialogue between Sannyas and Sansar (the world).”
(Holding: 42 issues)
* Sannyas Magazine. Hindi edition. 1977 – 1979:1-6. Bimonthly. Edited by Keerti and Maitreya. Poona.
Sannyas. Editors and publishers of English edition:
1973:1. Editors: Ma Ananda Prem. Ma Veet Sandesh. Publisher: Ma Dharma Jyoti. Designer: Swami Ananda Arhat. Photography: Swami Chaitanya Bharti. Editorial Committee: Swami Amrit Pathik. Art Committee: M. Lui Kham.
1976:1. Editor: Ma Ananda Prem. Designer: Swami Ananda Arhat. Art Assistant: Swami Prabhu Prem.
1977:1. Editor: Ma Yoga Sudha. Design: Swami Anand Arhat. Swami Anand Yatri. Production: Swami Anand Bodhisattva. Photography: Swami Krishna Bharti. Swami Shivamurti. Swami Anand Yatri.
1978:1. Editor: Ma Yoga Sudha. Design: Swami Anand Yatri. Production: Swami Anand Subhadra. Ma Prem Tushita. Ma Yoga Pratima. Photographs: Swami Shivamurti. Swami Krishna Bharti. Ma Yoga Vivek.
1979:1. Editing: Ma Yoga Sudha. Design: Ma Prem Tushita. Coordination: Ma Yoga Pratima. Ma Deva Ritambhara. Production: Ma Deva Weechee. Ma Prem Upasana. Swami Anand Prashanta. Swami Nijananda. Photography: Swami Krishna Bharti. Ma Prem Champa.
1980:1. Editing: Ma Yoga Sudha. Coordination: Ma Yoga Pratima. Design: Ma Prem Tushita. Swami Deva Anuragi. Typesetting: Ma Yoga Rabiya. Production: Photographers, Darkroom Staff and Proofreaders.
1981:1. Editing: Swami Devas Anudas. Coordination: Ma Yoga Pratima. Ma Deva Ritambhara. Design: Swami Govind Vedant. Production: Photographers, Darkroom Staff, Proof reader and Screen Printers.
1981:6. Editing: Swami Das Anudas. Swami Anand Nirgrantha. Design: Ma Prem Namra. Ma Anand Katyayani. Production: Swami Premdharma. Swami Samantbhadra. Swami Deva Jayena. Swami Anand Michel. Photographers, Darkroom Staff, Proofreaders and Screen Printers.
(Note: Editor Ma Ananda Prem was first Western sannyasin)
Sannyas. Preliminary indexing:
– Swami Prem Amitabh. Interview. 1976:1, pp. 40-41.
– Swami Prem Prasad. Interview. 1977:6, pp. 40-43.
– Ma Yoga Sudha (editor of Sannyas magazine). Interview. 1977:6, pp. 44-47.
– Ma Yoga Mukta. Interview. 1978:2, pp. 35-38.
– Swami Rajen (Alan Lowen). Interview. 1978:2, pp. 41-43.
– Swami Ananda Teertha. Interview. Sannyas. 1978:3, pp. 19-23.
– Swami Deva Paritosh. Excerpts from his journal. 1978:3, pp. 40-43.
– Swami Prem Chinmaya. Interview. 1978:3, pp. 45-46.
– Ma Yoga Laxmi. The Little Giant. By Ma Prem Divya. 1978:4, pp. 40-43.
– Ma Prem Pradeepa. Interview. 1978:4, pp. 48-52.
– Ma Yoga Pratima, Interview. 1978:6, pp. 37-41.
– Sagarpriya (Roberta De Long Miller). Two chapters from her book ‘Bhagwan’. 1979:1, p. 41.
– Ma Yoga Vivek. Interview. 1979:1, p. 33-40. Also on Sannyas.org
– Ma Prem Divya. Interview. 1979:2, pp. 26-28.
– A Look at the Press Office. 1979:2, pp. 24-25.
– Mosquitoes are small. Guarding Lao Tzu House. By Swami Deva Abhinandana. 1979:2, p. 44.
– Bhagwan and the Band-Aids. By Swami Anand Subhuti (Peter Waight. Political correspondent at the House of Commons, U.K.) 1979:3, pp. 28-29.
– Swami Prem Muktesh is founding Deeva Rajneesh Meditation Center in Stockholm. 1979:3, p. 30.
– The Energy Darshan. A new phase of the work By Ma Prem Maneesha. 1979:3, pp. 34-35.
– My Beloved Bodhisattvas. Discourse. The Book of the Books. June 21st, 1979. 1979:5, p. 28.
– Bhagwan on the new commune. The Book of the Books, July 8th, 1979. Quote: This Very Body The Buddha, This Very Earth The Lotus Paradise (Later title to be used in Oregon). 1979:5.
– Advertisement: “A unique offer: Buy 10 books and a beautiful 1980 diary and calendar & receive 10 books free. Join the Rajneesh Foundation Limited Book Club.” 1979:5, p. 47.
– In Sacred Memory of Swami Devateertha Bharti, the father of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. 08.09.1979. Interview with Bhagwan’s father and mother. Excerpt from lecture 09.09.1979. 1979:6, pp. 41-48.
– The Birth Chart of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. 1980:5, pp.6-7.
– Swami Anand Vimalkirti: The Blessed One. 1981:2, p. 26.
– The March Event. Sannyas. 1981:3, pp. 18-21.
– Chidvilas RMC. An Oasis in New Jersey. 1983, pp. 42-46.
– Rajneeshdham: the Commune in a Castle. 1981:4, pp. 26-31.
– VIVEK RMC: Bhagwan alla Milanese. 1981:4, pp. 42-45.
– California RMCs – A Directory. 1981:5, pp. 32-33.
– Bhagwan Down Under. Shanti Sadan RMC. 1981:5, pp. 42-45.
– Centers in the German Buddhafield. VIHAN RMC. 1981:6, p. 42-45.
Satya Bharti on Sannyas
“I should explain that I was a published poet and author of two books prior to taking sannyas at Samarpan in upstate NY. I went to see Bhagwan for the first time in December 1972, arriving right before his birthday celebration on Dec 11th. Later that day, I was asked by Bhagwan (via Laxmi, to write an article about the celebration for ‘Sannyas’ magazine, which I did… Bhagwan then asked me to interview his cousin Kranti about what happened on March 21, 1953 (the date of his enlightenment), and write a second article for ‘Sannyas’ based on this… My article, I believe, was the first public acknowledgement of Bhagwan’s enlightenment.” (Satya Bharti. Personal information. 11.06.2015)
Sannyas behind schedule 1974
“During the big move from Bombay to Poona, the production of Sannyas magazine got out of gear, and fell behind schedule. So to put things right, issues 5 and 6 of Volume 3 are to be cancelled (issue 4 is due out about now), and everything will start up-to-date for 1975. If you have a 1974 subscription, worry not, you will get the first two issues of the 1975 free of charge. So all is well.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:4)
Majid involved in Sannyas
“Majid is back from Italy. A sannyasin of one year, he is involved in the publishing of underground politically-oriented newspapers. Since his return to Italy he has been responsible for the publishing of ‘Sannyas’ magazine, newsletters and several books of discourses, and runs a meditation centre too.” (Ma Prem Maneesha. In: The Sacred Yes. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 159)
Brooke on Sannyas
“I had spent hours in the ultra-modern bookstore [January 1981] where they had most of Rajneesh’s 350 books and stacks of the ashram magazine, ‘Sannyas’. This periodical quotes Rajneesh more brazenly than many of his books and interviews which the ashram Public Relation department releases to the public after careful editing. I bought a large stack of the magazines, which were expensive glossy affairs with color photos and Western sophistication. That was part of my fact finding contribution for the evening.” (Brooke 1986, p. 100)
Neerava on Sannyas
“Back in Kathmandu I came across some Nepalis dressed in bright orange, selling a magazine called “Sannyas” in the streets. It was glossy and I refused to buy it, as it was expensive, compared to the cheap books available in Kathmandu itself, and I was outraged at the price! However, some days or weeks later I did buy a copy, because it contained extracts of the ‘guru’s’ (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) discourses on the “Vigyan Bhairav Tantra” which I had been reading. I was mildly outraged again that, although I liked what he was saying, generally, he took ten pages to explain what the original had summarized in 15 words! Talk about long-winded!” (Neerava. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 6)
* Sannyas. German edition. 1974 – 1984. Published at irregular intervals by Sannyas Verlag, Cologne. No volume numbering. A4 format.
“Jedes SANNYAS enthält eine Auswahl von Antworten Bhagwan Shree Rajneeshs auf Fragen seiner Schüler zu jeweils einem Thema.”
“Yes, there was also a German Version of the Sannyas Magazine. They [with Rajneesh Newsletter] were published by the Purvodaya Rajneesh Meditation Center near Munic, and it was the Centerleader Swami Siddartha who was very much behind these printing materials to come out in Germany.” (Ramateertha. E-mail. 07.03.2017)
“Die erste deutschesprachige war das “Sannyas-Magazin” (deutsche Ausgabe), das vom Purvodaya-Meditationszentrum herausgegeben wurde.” (Haack 1984, p. 75)
This section on the publishing of periodicals continues in: Part Five. Oregon / 5.11 Periodicals
4.14 Satsang in Buddha Hall
One fine morning in April 1981 it is announced to department heads to join an afternoon meeting on Krishna House roof. Main item on the agenda: Osho is now to enter the ultimate phase of his work. He will stop delivering his morning discourses in English and Hindi, and from May 1st he will speak only through silence.
Announcement on April 10th
“April 10th – The announcement is made that Bhagwan is entering the ultimate stage of His work and that from that date he will speak only through silence… This was the last discourse the Master gave in English. He gave four additional discourses in Hindi from March 21-24, 1981 entitled “Bahutere Hain Ghat.” (Madyapa 1984, p. 208,216)
“We are happy to announce that a new and ultimate phase has started in Bhagwan’s work. Bhagwan was waiting for the right time and number of his people to get ready and that has happened, so now he can start his invisible work. It is time for him to be silent so that he can approach us more deeply.” (The European Buddhafield, 17.04.1981)
“The last discourse book in Poona was called ‘The Goose Is Out’, and that became something of a catchphrase. At one point Teertha confided to Rafia, while they were still at Geetam [in California], “My words for this phase are, ‘The ‘juice’ is out.'”” (Forman 1988, p. 230)
“Finally, in March 1981, he did just that. He began satsanga, or silent discourse, wherein he sat with his Sannyasins for an hour each morning while musicians played meditative music interspersed with silent periods.” (Amitabh. In: Aveling 1999, p. 123)
Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“The discourse the next morning also turned out to be his last. It so happened that on the twenty-fourth several cases of chicken pox were spotted in the ashram, and extra precautions were taken and the persons affected by the disease were immediately quarantined. Evening darshans were cancelled, and instead of morning discourse, silent music meditation began in Buddha Hall from the twenty-fifth on…
Despite the cases of chicken pox, the cancelling of the darshans, and absence of early morning discourses of the Master, the ashram activities continued smoothly. Everyone expected Bhagwan to come out on April 11, when the next meditation camp was to begin and Bhagwan was to start the lecture series in English. However, on April 10, Ma Anand Sheela, one of the trustees of Rajneesh Foundation, called a meeting of all department heads of the ashram and announced over a glass of wine that Bhagwan was entering into a new and ultimate state of work – he was entering into silence. She was among the first ones to hear of Bhagwan’s decision. Sheela was shocked to hear the news from Bhagwan. She said:
“But Bhagwan said there was no need to be shocked, he said we should all be happy, celebrate. And he asked me to convey it to the others with the same feeling of joy which he felt.”
In the ashram, the news spread like wildfire. It came as a genuine surprise to many. But within a few hours everyone in the ashram was singing and dancing. The disciples soon realized that the time had come for them to go into a deeper level and have a real communion with the Master.
In a historical declaration, the Rajneesh Foundation announced that Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had begun the ultimate stage of his work. Also, it was announced that Bhagwan had stopped giving morning discourses in English and Hindi. From May 1, 1981, on Bhagwan would speak only through silence, which he had described as “the language of existence.” Instead of verbal communication there would be a ‘satsang’, a silent heart-to-heart communion, it was announced. It was stated further that a certain number of disciples were ready to receive Bhagwan in silence; hence, he would make himself available only to them. The disciples were now able to enter into a silent spiritual communion with the Master, on a deeper and more profound level. Satsang would take place every morning in Buddha Hall from eight-thirty to nine-thirty.” (Joshi 1982, pp. 156-57)
Press Release on the ultimate stage of his work
“In an historical declaration from Rajneesh Foundation, it was announced today that Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh has entered into a new and ultimate stage of his work. He has now stopped giving morning discourses in English and Hindi, and from May 1st will speak only through silence, which he has described as ‘the language of existence’. Instead of a verbal communication there will be ‘satsang’, a silent heart-to-heart communion.
Over the past few years, Bhagwan has said many times that truth can never be expressed in words, and that his verbal discourses were simply a method of preparing his disciples for silence. “Because you cannot understand silence it has to be translated into language, otherwise there is no need,” he explained, in a discourse in 1979.
Now many of his disciples are ready, and so Bhagwan is making himself available only to those who are able to enter into a silent spiritual communion with him, on a deeper and more profound level. ‘Satsang’ will take place every morning in Buddha Hall, at Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona, beginning at 8.30 a.m. and ending at 9.30 a.m. Members of the public wishing to participate can also attend.
A new phase has also started for the evening darshan at the ashram. Bhagwan himself will no longer be physically present. Ma Yoga Laxmi, Rajneesh Foundation’s Managing Trustee, and Swami Ananda Teertha, one of Bhagwan’s western disciples, will become the mediums for his work. When Ma Yoga Laxmi is away, Swami Satya Vedant, Chancellor of Rajneesh International Meditation University will take her place.” (Press Release. 11.04.1981. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Begins Ultimate Stage of His Work: Now He Will Speak Only Through Silence. Swami Krishna Prem. Nr. 189)
Sambodhi recalls the beginning of satsang
“It wasn’t unusual for department heads to hear an announcement about an afternoon meeting at morning discourse. The peculiar part was learning about it through a written notice delivered by a runner after discourse. This unlikely format set tongues moving at warp speed. Key staff members were also invited, and since I was now considered “key,” I went. We met on Krishna House roof, the only place away from the public part of the ashram large enough for a gathering of this size. Two banquet tables greeted us as we stepped onto the roof, each elegantly draped with long white linen tablecloths. One table had several bottles of expensive champagne and a gigantic cake on it. The other grandly displayed two large, delicately constructed pyramids of plastic champagne glasses.
Sheela to her credit, got straight to business after everyone’s glass was filled. Using the format of a toast, she announced in an upbeat and energetic manner that Bhagwan would be going into silence. From now on, instead of giving lectures each morning, Bhagwan would come to Buddha Hall and sit with us for an hour, silently. He felt that words were no longer necessary, that we had progressed enough to be guided in a new way. This new form of communication, or more precisely, communion with the master was called satsang, and it would begin tomorrow (exactly at the end of his two-week absence).” (Clare 2009, p. 118)
Amrito writes on Osho’s health and first satsang
“A few days before Dr. Cyriax’ visit, an announcement had been made that Bhagwan would now go into a period of public silence. Beginning on May 1st, instead of his morning discourses, he would now be present in silence for morning satsang, literally, “sitting silently with the master.” At about the same time it was announced that Sheela was now Bhagwan’s personal secretary.
Satsang would obviously be easier for Bhagwan, as he would only have to sit still without moving his arms, minimizing any chance of aggravating his back pain. But would he be able to walk to the podium on May 1st? He certainly could do it, but at what cost in terms of pain? It was a great shock to us that he would no longer be talking. He used to call those morning discourses our “spiritual breakfast.” And now, with them gone, and perhaps forever, it felt like a great hole in our lives.
Already the whole podium and Bhagwan’s entrance area to Buddha Hall was being rebuilt. With the announcement of silent satsangs the architects redesigned half the hall, raising the road up to the height of the podium – which was now remade in marble. Large wooden doors were placed behind Bhagwan’s chair so that he could get in and out of the car, however painfully, without being visible to those seated in the hall. Unlike all the major, so-called religions of the world, Bhagwan does not make a virtue of suffering…
Then suddenly a reader was needed for satsang. Lots of people were invited to read a short piece into a tape recorder. Finally, somebody would listen to them all and choose a person to do the readings. I was amazed to hear it was me – and then almost as quickly disappointed to hear that it wasn’t…
I vividly remember that May 1st satsang. Bhagwan would have to walk about five yards from the car, through the wooden doors we would open for him, onto the dais. Asheesh, the carpenter and upholsterer, had completely redesigned his chair with wing-like arms so that Bhagwan could support himself while sitting down or standing up. Vivek was to walk on the dais with him and would be able to help him if needed…
Then the car was coming. Every eye was turned to watch as Bhagwan was slowly driven from Lao Tzu House, round the top end of Buddha Hall, to make his first appearance in six weeks. He had never been absent from his disciples for so long before. Seated in the back of the car, his head slightly tilted towards the faces namastéing him, he smiled, his own hands in namasté.
It was a moment indeed. The anticipation in the hall was electric. Slowly the car came up the newly-made road towards us, and then stopped at the door behind the dais. I opened the door, and with difficulty, Bhagwan stepped down. He namastéd, and walked very slowly, favoring his back. Nirupa opened the doors in front of him, and suddenly he was in the midst of the thousands gathered to see him…
The whole hall bowed down in the ancient greeting given to Gautam Buddha. ‘Buddham sharanam gachchami, Sangam sharanam gachchami, Dhammam sharanam gachchami’. Taru’s rich voice would sing each line and then the reader would give the English translation: “I go to the feet of the awakened one”; “I go to the feet of the commune of the awakened one”; “I go to the feet of the ultimate truth of the awakened one.” After each line was spoken in English, the whole hall would sing the original line together: ‘Buddham sharanam gachchami’… Sung by thousands of disciples, starting with the low, almost humming vibration of the Buddha…, it is a truly moving experience, the sort that makes the hair round the back of your neck go all strange.
Satsang lasted an hour with periods of silence, music, and readings from Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. Then again the “gachchamis,” as they were quickly called. Bhagwan lifted himself out of his chair, namastéd, and turned unsteadily to the door which opened in front of him. As that door closed he was gone from the hall. I openend the car door, he climbed in slowly, sat, namastéd, and was gone.” (Meredith 1987, pp. 302-07)
Heading: The Silent Sage: Bhagwan Shree Rajnesh Gives Satsang
“Beginning the new phase of his work as a silent sage, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh today gave Satsang to a gathering of over 6,000 disciples and visitors in Buddha Hall at Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona. Lasting for one hour, it was a wordless, heart-to-heart communion between the Master and his devotees. It was also Bhagwan’s first appearance since March 24th this year, when he stopped giving daily discourses.
The hour of Satsang began with the chanting of a mantra first used by the commune of sannyasins who gathered around Gautam Buddha 2,500 years ago: “Buddham sharanam gachchami, Sangham sharanam gachchami, Dhammam sharanam gachchami…” which translated means: “I go to the feet of the Awakened One, I go to the feet of the commune of the Awakened One, I go to the feet of the ultimate truth of the Awakened One.”
Then soft, meditative music was played, interspersed with periods of silence. At the end, the mantra was repeated and Bhagwan left the hall. Bhagwan has described this ultimate stage of his teachings as “a secret transmission outside the teachings, not standing on written words or letters, direct pointing to the human heart, see into its nature and discover it.” (Press Release. 01.05.1981. The Silent Sage: Bhagwan Shree Rajnesh Gives Satsang. Swami Krishna Prem. Nr. 192)
Heading: The Silent Sage. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Gives Satsang
Reprint of Press Release 01.05.1981 with information on books:
“To celebrate the occasion, two books were brought out by Rajneesh Foundation. One, entitled ‘The Sound Of One Hand Clapping’, contained records of the last darshans given by Bhagwan from March 1st to March 23rd this year. The other, a book in Hindi entitled ‘Bahutere Hain Ghat’ contained the last four morning discourses by Bhagwan, from March 21st to March 24th this year.” (Chidvilas Rajneesh Meditation Center. Factsheet. 1981)
“Then I learned that Bhagwan had stopped speaking, thus carrying out his often repeated warning that he “would go into silence”. This was for me as if I had learned of his death, and must learn to live in pure inner communion with his eternal being beyond his words, however precious these still were. I found out later that it was still possible to write to him, but I had no more questions worth breaking this silence that I had come to love.” (Berthout 2001, p. 53)
Krishna Prem recalls Sheela’s coup d’état
“After so many years, it’s almost impossible to believe. He warned us for years, but my mind can hardly absorb that the day has come. Leela appears in my room to tell me Sheela has called a meeting of all department heads. Although there is no reason to, I feel odd. But, still, I never expected this.
Sheela delivers the bomb directly: “Osho is going into semi-retirement. He says that now we are ready, and now he is entering the final and ultimate phase of his work. Beginning May first, he will come out intermittently – not every day; just when he feels to – and sit with us in silence. He’s not going to speak any more.
“And he’s not going to give darshan any more either,” she adds. “Swami Anand Teertha will give sannyas blessings and energy darshans to Westerners, and Ma Yoga Laxmi will do the same for Indians. I’ll be in charge of the commune.”…
I’m not too thrilled with the idea of Sheela running things: I don’t trust that woman for a second. She’s addicted to power and will do anything to get it. And when I run into my old friend Pratima, what she tells me makes me angry. She tells me how, in Laxmi’s absence, Sheela managed to usurp the reins of power for herself.
“She was very cunning,” the Old Lady explains. “I’ve found out she told Osho that the sannyasins were very unhappy with the way Laxmi was running things, and that many of the department heads felt that she – Sheela – was more modern, more in touch with the world and would do a better job.”
“You’re kidding,” I say. I found the level of betrayal hard to imagine, let alone swallow.
“Apparently he told her to bring him letters from the department heads to support her statement. And that she did. She went to all her friends that run departments and got them to write letters. But you’ll notice she didn’t approach department heads like you or me, people she knows love Laxmi and would be loyal to her.
“I’ve heard that when he read the letters he said ‘Okay’ and told Sheela she could take over Laxmi’s job.”
I’m shocked and saddened by what I’ve heard. And it would have been nice had Sheela been courageous enough to tell the truth. “Not a good omen,” I mutter to myself, “for a new beginning.” (Allanach 2010, p. 338)
(Note: Krishna Prem was head of Press Office and Pratima head of Publications. For obvious reasons these events have never been disclosed by other department heads in writing)
“Osho gives His last discourse on March 24, 1981 and stops coming out March 25. His lower back has started hurting and there is some problem in His spinal cord. No treatment seems to help. He needs to rest completely.
Sannyasins start renovating the path which leads to the podium. The path needed to be levelled to the height of the podium in order to make it more convenient for Osho to walk the few steps and reach the podium instead of climbing up.
On May 1, 1981 Osho starts coming out and sits silently with us in Buddha Hall. In Indian tradition it is called satsang, which means sitting silently in the presence of the master. It is a unique experience for me. Music is being played by sannyasins at intervals which deepens the silence more.
Satsang continues for a month. All other work in the commune is happening as usual. Then on May 31, 1981 at 12:30pm, I come out of the office to go for lunch and see many sannyasins hugging each other; some crying, some laughing and some standing silently with closed eyes. I enquire and find out that Osho has just left for Bombay and will be flying to the United States for His treatment. His leaving was kept secret from all of us for His security.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 122)
Ma Anand Yashu
“At one point during that time Yashu became very ill and was admitted into the hospital. Osho sent her a message that it was not yet her time to leave the body, and when she recovered she took her place as Osho’s coordinator for the music played during satsang. Osho started giving satsang on May 1, 1981, and He wanted only her flute for that first morning satsang. He invited her to sit and play near His podium in Buddha Hall. Yashu invited Yoga Krishna to accompany her on the tanpura for this beautiful occasion.” (Viha Connection, 2008:2)
Arun on Raman Maharshi and silence
“People don’t change even after listening to hours of spiritual discourse. They return without any meaningful change in their being. But if they just sit silently in the presence of a saint a certain purity seeps into their being. Silence is the most powerful action and initiation.” (Arun 2015, p. 45)
From discourses to satsang
“In a historic declaration, the Rajneesh Foundation announced that Bhagwan had begun the ultimately stage of his work. From 1 May 1981 onwards Bhagwan would ‘speak’ only through silence. Instead of verbal communication there would be a satsang, a silent heart-to-heart communion which would take place every morning in Buddha Hall from 8.30 to 9.20. This first satsang took place in front of 6.000 followers and visitors, and began with the chanting of a mantra which was used once before around Gautama Buddha by his disciples 2.500 years ago: ‘Buddham sharanam gachchami, sangham sharanam gachchami, Dhammam sharanam gachchami (‘I go to the feet of the Awakened One, I go to the feet of the commune of the Awakened One, I go to the feet of the ultimate truth of the Awakened One’). Soft, meditative music followed, interspersed with silence. In between, passages from the ‘Ïsa Upanishad’ and Kahlil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’ were read, the mantra repeated and Bhagwan left the hall.” (Mullan 1983, p. 30)
“Then Osho went into silence. At first it did not even appear to be that. On March 10, he had given the last discourse of the series, “The Goose Is Out”. The next morning he did not come out – supposedly his body was not well – nor were there discourses during the weeks that followed. Nobody really knew what was going on. Then, on April 10, he sent a message through Laxmi that he would from now on speak only through the language of silence, and that this would be the ultimate phase of his work.
It was also announced that, starting on May 1, Osho would be giving silent satsangs. (By definition, satsang means to be in the presence of an awakened being. From Sanskrit “sat”, meaning truth, being, and “sangha”, meaning community.) This got the Ashram really humming. Buddha Hall was completely remodeled, a new podium was built that was a bit higher than the old one, and we even raised the elevation of the driveway behind Buddha Hall by about two feet, so that Osho would be able to leave his car and get onto his stage without having to climb any steps. From what I heard it was his back pains that were the most serious of his health problems, so we were making it as easy and comfortable for him as possible to come out and sit with us…
Every morning he came out and sat with us, and it was very obvious that his body was not well. Once, he needed three attempts until he was able to get up from his chair that had been designed especially for him. Between periods of silence, there were readings of Kahlil Gibran’s “Prophet”, and the Ashram musicians, led by Yashu, Chaitanya Hari and Govinddas, played some of their best music ever. When I listen to some of those tunes today, they still invoke the magic of those days for me.” (Bodhena 2016, pp. 91-93)
Audio 5. First silent satsang. 01.05.1981 am in Buddha Hall, Poona. Instrumental music #7 (last track 10). Artists: Ma Anand Yashu: flute, Ma Yoga Krishna: tanpura. See quote above.
Punya writes on the setting
“It was intoned by Taru. On the repeats we bowed down towards Osho’s podium. This was followed by a passage of music – which changed every day and which was maybe improvised that very morning. This helped deepen the silence of the silent phase. Amrito’s deep voice and soft-spoken manner gave a very new dimension to the passage read from one of Osho’s books or from Khalil Gibran’s ‘The Prophet’. Then there was another period of silence, intensified by the squawks of the crows.” (Punya 2015, p. 195)
Announcement in Newsletter
“To All Rajneesh Meditation Centers. We suggest that all the Centers start arranging SATSANG, silent heart-to-heart communion, regularly. The format of the Satsang as done here in Poona is explained below so that you can do it exactly in the same way: It is a celebration of music and silence during one hour and everyone is to remain with closed eyes, except during the greeting. If you feel to, you can sway and move, and you can raise your hands, but there is to be no sound – keep the sounds inside. Those who would like to get up and dance, can be at the periphery of the meditation room from the very beginning – the others can sit in the middle of the room. There is to be no noise; be absolutely silent and the atmosphere should be as if nobody is present – be ecstatic and joyful.” [Then follows the various phases in singing the greetings of Buddhan Sharanam Gachhami]. (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1981:10)
(Note: Press Release: The silent sage: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh gives Satsang, by Swami Krishna Prem, was issued by Press Office on 01.05.1981)
Satya Vedant writes
“On 1 May 1981, Osho gave his first satsang as a ‘silent sage’ to an audience of 10,000 disciples and visitors in the Buddha Hall. This was his first appearance since he stopped giving the daily discourse on 24 March 1981. The satsang lasted for one hour – it was a wordless, heart-to-heart communion between the master and his devotees. The satsang began with the chanting of a mantra which was used once before by the commune of (disciples) bhikkus who gathered around Gautam Buddha 2,500 years ago:
Buddham sharanam gachchami
Sangham sharanam gachchami
Dhammam sharanam gachchami.”
(Joshi 2010, p. 151)
“Early in 1981 Osho developed severe back problems and a specialist from England came to treat Him. His back was not healing though, and He could not give discouses or darshans for several weeks. This was the beginning of a three-year period of silence.
When he could move comfortably again He sat with us each morning, while musicians played.
People tell me that the music was beautiful and it was a very special time. But it was lost on me. I was filled with fear and dread that something terrible was going to happen.
It did. Osho went to America. (Shunyo 1999, p. 56)
Subhuti on new ‘Voice of Bhagwan’ department
“A few days later, Bhagwan stopped giving discourses and went into silence. Simultaneously, he created a new commune department called ‘Voice of Bhagwan’ and appointed me as its head… A few more people were chosen for the department – about four of us in all. Our job was to ‘channel’ new books, writing as if it was Bhagwan himself speaking. This was surprising, to say the least, but not totally bizarre, because I’d already acquired some experience in this field.
Writing letters to newspaper editors – attacking people who had attacked Bhagwan – was like that. I’d tune into what Bhagwan might say to them, then use my journalistic skills to shape it into a stinging rebuke. Also, on a couple of occasions, when magazines asked for Bhagwan’s comments on specific issues, he turned the job over to me, telling me to write it for him. I’m not sure if he ever read what I wrote, but he never once objected to the finished product, so I assumes I was doing a good job…
Our department was given a beautiful place to work: upstairs in Bhagwan’s house, on a big balcony overlooking his garden, which was over-flowing with trees and lush greenery. In the ashram’s early days, this was where he’d given his morning discourses. We sat at our old-fashioned typewriters – this was long before PCs and Windows – banging away, producing our channelled Bhagwan books. Predictably enough, I favoured politics and got busy trashing the political mind and its lust for power…
Not a single book was completed. Nothing was published. As suddenly as it had been born, our department vanished, but not because we’d done anything wrong.
One morning, a member of Bhagwan’s personal staff came up onto the balcony and said, “You’re invited to come downstairs and watch Bhagwan leave.” That was the first we knew of his departure for the United States.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 70)
Savita on the new phase with satsang
“… A few weeks after that, Osho went into silence. He stopped giving morning discourses, which was replaced with satsang, and abandoned the darshans he’d been leading every single night of the year for seven years.
Still up in Saswad, along with a couple of others, I was now given the job of ‘medium writer’ – with instructions to write discourses “as if Osho’s words were coming through you.” And I graduated from cleaning showers to cleaning bedrooms.” (Savita 2014, p. 125)
Heading of Press Release:
Journey Into Silence: The Seven Year Cycles Of Bhagwan’s Work
Ever since his enlightenment on March 21st 1953, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s total effort has been directed to the task of helping others to experience the same state.
During this period of 28 years, which spans four seven-year cycles, he has used words and ideas as stepping-stones. Now the final step is into silence.
1981: Satsang.” (Press Release. Journey Into Silence: The Seven-Year Cycles of Bhagwan’s Work. Press Office. No date, number or subject. [April 1981].
From 01.05 to 31.05.1981 a total of 31 daily satsangs with Osho were held in Buddha Hall. Vasant Joshi mentions that Osho’s last satsang took place on the morning of June 1, 1981. Then he bid goodbye to his disciples that very afternoon and left Poona, where he had arrived seven years earlier, and traveled to America aboard a Pan Am jet. (Joshi 1982, p. 162)
4.15 Leaving for the United States
His leaving from India to USA was commented upon by Osho in a discourse early 1981:
“It is difficult for me to leave India. India has something tremendously valuable. It has the longest, deepest search for truth, Many Buddhas have walked on this land, under these trees; the very earth has become sacred. To be here is totally different from being anywhere else. And what I am trying to bring to you is more easily possible here than anywhere else…
But I cannot leave. There is a hidden India, too, an esoteric India too, where Buddhas are still alive, where you can contact Mahavira more easily than anywhere else, where the whole tradition of the awakened ones is like an undercurrent. I can’t leave that. For me, there is no problem – I can leave; I will be the same anywhere – but for you it will not be the same.” The Goose is Out (1982); (Joshi 2010, p. 154)
The last years of Poona One with its growing number of visitors and some controversies with authorities, had seen Laxmi working incessantly on finding some new and more suitable location for the ashram. Quite a few project sites were considered in India but none of them turned out to be successful.
“Meanwhile Laxmi was travelling in Gujarat and the Himalayas, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh looking for the long awaited ‘new commune.’ At every turn she was impeded by Moraji Desai’s government of India. It had taken personally Osho’s criticism of the corruption and hypocrisy of their politics. Now they passed a law to justify a huge, retrospective tax upon the ashram.” (Maxwell 2012, p. 166)
(Note: On the tax issue, see: Income Tax Tribunal Decisions. Volume IV, Part 7. Published by Mukesh Bhargava Taxman. New Delhi. 16.05.1983. (Flöther 1985, p. 148))
Gordon writes on tax issues
“The Indian government was harassing and persecuting the ashram – it had revoked the tax-exempt of the Rajneesh Foundation, Ltd. (incorporated in 1978 as the successor to the Jeevan Jagruti Kendra), and was moving ahead, though with typical Indian lethargy to collect $4 million in income taxes and several hundred dollars in sales, import, property, and export taxes”. (Gordon 1987, p. 94)
Last years in Poona
“In Pune, sannyasins whispered about death threats to Bhagwan by members of various Indian sects and they shared terrifying descriptions of his growing emotional stress and his declining health. There were also reports of violent incidents between sannyasins and some Indian opponents of the Shree Rajneesh Ashram.
The Indian government investigated allegations of Rajneesh-sanctioned prostitution, international drug trafficking, gold smuggling, money laundering, and tax evasion. This first period of extreme controversy, 1976 to 1980, created an impetus for Rajneesh to relocate to the United States. In June 1981, the founder and his inner circle flew to New Jersey and the Ashram was shuttered.
The movement migrated from India because of the growing external pressure, as the host society confronted Rajneesh’s hostility to traditional rules and values. This confrontation with convention reflected the tensions that are commonly associated with spontaneous, innovative charismatic leadership. Rajneesh could have minimized friction and risked losing some of his charismatic appeal, or he could have held his ground in India and faced painful sanctions against him and his sannyasins. Instead, he fled, in order to build his movement in North America.” (Goldman 2014, p. 182)
Arun writes on Osho’s periods in silence
“In between 1977 to 1981, during the Pune I days, Osho suddenly used to go into silence. During such times, Osho wouldn’t appear for morning lecture or evening darshan. We were told that Osho was in seclusion because of his poor health but later I realized that whenever he had to do some deeper and esoteric work on his disciples spread across the world, he used to go into seclusion and silence. So, the period of silence was not only because of his health but had an inexplicable esoteric purpose.” (Arun 2017, p. 289)
Heading: Rajneesh Left India For Health Reasons Only
“Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh left India for health reasons only,” said Ma Prem Arup, a spokesman for Rajneesh Foundation, in a statement today. She declined to say where Bhagwan had gone when he left on June 1st this year. “It’s a secret because we do not wish him to be disturbed,” she said.
Ma Prem Arup categorically denied newspaper reports in India, America and other counties which alleged that Bhagwan had left because of tax problems. “He has no property, no income and no money, so it is absolutely impossible for him to have any tax problems whatsoever,” she added.
She explained that Bhagwan has ‘totally and categorically’ donated all royalties from the publication of his discourses to Rajneesh Foundation trust. “The Foundation is a trust and therefore tax exempt,” she explained, “so neither Bhagwan nor the Foundation can have any tax problems.” (Press Release. 10.06.1981. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Left India For Health Reasons Only, States Rajneesh Foundation. Swami Krishna Prem. Nr. 210)
The new commune
“It is just to create a Buddhafield that we are moving, away from the world, far away, so that a totally new kind of energy can be made available to you. ‘Buddhafield’ means a situation where your sleeping Buddha can be awakened. ‘Buddhafield’ means an energy-field where you can start growing, maturing, where your sleep can be broken, where you can be shocked into awareness: an electrical field where you will not be able to fall asleep, where you will have to be awake, because shocks will be coming all the time. A Buddhafield is an energy-field in which a Buddha matures beings, a pure land, an unworldly world, a paradise on earth, which offers ideal conditions for rapid spiritual growth.” (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend, 1979. Booklet. RF 1979)
“Most of us are thinking of the current political problems being faced by the ashram these past few months while trying to purchase land for the new ashram. And now there is the very recent matter of the court-case against Bhagwan, where he’s been accused of planting the seeds of dissention amongst religious sects in India!
Bhagwan has been summoned to appear at the Poona magistrates’ court in three days time, and everyone is wondering just what will happen. The whole issue seems so absurd and grossly unfair to us.” (Divya. In: Zorba the Buddha. A Darshan Diary (1982), p. 263. 23.01.1979)
“Kavindra says he’ll be back in six months. That’s good! By that time the new commune will be ready (It was announced yesterday, on Enlightenment Celebration Day, that the ‘Rajneesh Dham’ had been born!) so you will not have discomforts! Vivek has slipped into the house and returns with… a Bhagwan robe! which Bhagwan hands over to Kavindra. He looks appropriately bowled over. Whenever you need me just put it on and sit silently… Next time you come it will be a paradise!” (Ma Prem Maitri. In: You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1984), p. 209. 22.03.1979)
New ashram in Kutch
“As it happens, govind, our architect, is leaving tonight for gujarat to begin work on the construction and organization of the new ashram…
The announcement was to be made the following morning just before the discourse that we would be leaving for the new ashram in gujarat, on the bay of kutch, on december 4th. Those wishing to travel by the specially hired train and requiring accomodation at the new ashram, were requested to obtain and fill in the forms provided. Twelve hundred forms were printed, and by the end of the day they were all gone!
Predictably there was the usual chaos and more than usual excitement around the ashram with people wanting to know all sorts of details about what life at gujarat would entail. The excitement is understandable when you remember that this was the first official confirmation that we would move since rumours began in march!…
Govind, our german architect who was supposedly bound for gujarat some weeks ago, is still with us.” (Maneesha. In: Only Loosers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), pp. 316,347,532)
Krishna Prem writes on Kutch
“The castle in question, a rather rococo Moghul affair, lay a little inland from the Arabian Sea on a two-mile stretch of sea near the Pakistani border, in the quasi-peninsula of Kutch. It was the result of a long and arduous search by Laxmi and Sheela. Both Gujaratis, they were thrilled with the find. The rest of us weren’t quite so sure. According to Veetmoha, Laxmi’s driver, it was barren, treeless, waterless and resplendent with flies. But it was isolated. And it would be private. The two ‘Ranns of Kutch’, the Great and the Little, would see to that. Except for a single road through the walled city of Bhuj to the main part of Gujarat, it seems we would be pretty well separated from the rest of the world – in summer by a desert of parched earth, during the monsoon an ocean of waist-high mud.” (Allanach 2010, p. 175)
On moving to Kutch, September 1977
“This weeks rumours were made reality when laxmi took possession of the key to the former summer palace of a maharaja, in kutch, gujarat. Our new ashram is set on the sea, has accommodation at the moment for two hundred residents, and vast surrounding grounds… Govind, a German architect, accompanied laxmi a few days ago to the newly (and finally!) acquired new ashram at gujarat. He came back full of it all. You’ll love it! he told us. You’ll want to dance when you see it.!”” (Maneesha. In: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. A Darshan Diary (1980), pp. 270,318)
Osho on moving to Kutch
“These Kutchi people residing in Mumbai could manage to send 65 protest letters to Gujarat government after making great efforts, after hard labour. I have not gone to Kutch so far. My sannyasins have not gone to Kutch and have not made any effort. But three hundred fifty organisations have written in my favour to Gujrat government that they are ready to welcome me… The fourteen saints/head of religious organisations have appealed that I should not be allowed to enter Kutch, this will cause destruction of religion. You are fourteen together. I am alone who never comes out of his room, whose religion am I going to demolish?… But I have never got perturbed. Others are perturbed. This proves one thing: Always weak is perturbed. Someone is always perturbed who knows that he is hollow within. Otherwise these fourteen saints/heads of the religious organisations… I invite them, I come to Kutch, let you come to my commune and try to understand me, let you try to make me understand. You are fourteen, I am alone. We shall come to a settlement. What is the need of getting perturbed. Why are you getting so much upset? And if possible, let you call sometime from outside – you may call Shankaracharaya of Puri, you may call Karpatriji Maharaj. There are many Shankaracharayas, there are many world teachers, this country is full of such people everywhere, you may call all of them. I am ready to accept the challenge with everyone. But prove my opinion wrong. But you can not prove my opinion wrong, with this fear you have only one choice that stop me, not to allow my view to reach, not to allow my view to reach the people.
Are these the signs of religious persons? Are these the signs of cultured persons? Is this the indication of civilization? Good culture, civilization means only that I am free to express my view, you are free to express your view. And then whosoever will be truthful, that will win. You have been repeating throughout your life, since centuries – the truth is always victorious. What makes you perturbed? Whosoever is truthful will win. The truth neither belongs to me nor to you. But I know that whatever I am saying is true. Your perplexity is revealing that that is true.” Jyun Macchali Bin Neer, #9. (In: Laheru 2012, pp. 136-141)
Maneesha on the new ashram, February 1978
“The English ‘camp’, the ten days of meditation and lectures, is about to begin, and many sannyasins are returning from the West for it. Many too, are coming back to be part of the commune. A feeling pervades the ashram more and more, that within the next few months before our planned move to the new ashram in Gujarat, a sifting is happening: some people suddenly decide there are things that have to be lived out in the West, others know that for them there is no going back, that their life-line is irrevocably linked with Bhagwan.” (Maneesha. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 13)
A Press Release from 26.11.1978 gives a picture of the situation and the obstacles from political levels in India:
“For Immediate Release
Rajneesh Foundation Demands Justice, Not Help
Contrary to reports in India Today and other journals, the Rajneesh Foundation is not asking for any help from politicians. The following statement explains the true situation: The Rajneesh Foundation is not asking for help from the prime Minister, Morarji Desai, or from any other politician, in its effort to build an international religious commune on a rural site in either Gujarat or Maharashtra. The Foundation is simply insisting on justice and the implementation of its legal rights in a free and democratic society.
The Foundation asserts that the procedure involved in granting permission for construction has been flagrantly abused by politicians and bureaucrats in both States who do not have the courage to take decisions either for or against the proposed commune.In the case of the proposed site at Jadhavwadi in Saswad, permission to use agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes has been delayed for over three months with no explanation given. Normally, such permission is granted easily and routinely by tahsildar without reference to any higher authority. This is particularly true of barren land such as the proposed Jadhavwadi site, where not a blade of grass is grown.But in the case of the Foundation’s application, no authority is willing to take any kind of decision. Ma Yoga Laxmi, Managing Trustee of the Rajneesh Foundation, has twice met the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Sharad Pawar, and has received his verbal promise that permission will be given, but nothing has been done.”They are all afraid, and everyone is throwing the burden on everyone else,” said Ma Laxmi in a statement today. “They are not answering ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ and in a democratic country at least that much courtesy must be shown; otherwise it is simply a dictatorship. If they said ‘No’, then we could fight that decision in the courts, where we would be sure to win.
“In Gujarat we tried for 12 months to get permission and did not even receive an answer – and there the land is also barren. Here we are meeting the same interference with our legal rights. All we are asking is that justice should be done.”
Information: Ma Prem Mangla for Swami Krishna Prem Press Office
26/11/78.” (Divya 1980, p. 445)
“The presence of the ashram proved a boon to the local economy and despite some who objected to the content of Osho’s teachings and the presence of so many ‘hippie-like’ Westerners, the community was by and large tolerated – until around 1980, when the inevitable problems began to arise as the number of disciples swelled.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 85)
“When Mrs Gandhi was returned to office, in January of 1980, Laxmi went to her for help with the national-security regulations. But by now the reputation of the ashram was such that the Prime Minister refused to intervene on its behalf.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 86)
“Some people whispered about a power struggle between Bhagwan’s personal secretary, Ma Yoga Laxmi, and her assistant, Ma Anand Sheela (Fitz Gerald 1986, p. 300-308).” (Goldman 1999, p. 151)
“The previous year, on Osho’s Birthday, many of my friends had joined the caravan of buses heading for Saswad to inaugurate a new commune – I had still felt too weak to venture off on a hot and dusty ride. On their sides the buses wore white cloth banners saying: ‘Rajneeshdham – Neo-Sannyas International’. The logo, bearing a drawing of Osho in the middle, said at the bottom ‘This Is That’ and what I think was the Hindi original on top. People told me of an abandoned fort in the hills and a few acres of dusty land. The whole project fell into oblivion, at least in my mind. I was unaware that a group of Indian sannyasins – headed by an old disciple of Osho, Swami Yoga Chinmaya – was now living there.” (Punya 2015, p. 173)
On fires in the ashram
“[Milne] points to insurance collected on the book depository fire and to removal of all English language books from it shortly before the fires [in 1981 Spring].” (Carter 1990, p. 71)
On fires in the ashram
“An interesting note here is that while in Poona two firebombs were exploded within the ashram, burning the library which had housed the Bhagwan’s many books. The inspector general determined that a Poonite hadn’t cast the bombs, but someone had from within the ashram. The Rajneeshes filed an insurance claim for the loss of the books, but collected nothing. The insurance company found that those books were in transit to the U.S. at the time of the fire!” (Quick 1995, p. 86)
“There was a fire at Saswad. Someone set. And another fire at the book ware house in Bombay. Arson. Many bad things.” (Franklin 1992, p. 167)
Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“And the threats began to be carried out. A fire occurred at Rajneeshdham, Jadhavwadi Fort, Saswad, in the early morning hours of May 27. Twenty-four hours later, on May 28, arson destroyed a Rajneesh Foundation book storage warehouse located near Poona. Several explosions were heard in rapid succession and fire spread quickly through the stacked books. The blaze started at around three o’clock in the morning. At about the same time an explosive device detonated at the Foundation’s medical center. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
In spite of the attacks, the morning satsang with Bhagwan took place as usual in Buddha Hall. Before satsang began, a gathering of over three thousand disciples and visitors raised their arms in a demonstration of protest and condemnation against the outrage. Ma Prem Arup, one of the Foundation officials, issued a statement in which she said:
“Our only concern is for Bhagwan. But whatever the risk, what he is offering to humanity will continue to be offered. His message to the world is so important that it cannot be stopped by fanatics.”…
Bhagwan’s last satsang took place on the morning of June 1, 1981. He bid goodbye to his beloved disciples the same afternoon and left Poona as quietly as he had arrived seven years earlier.
A group of sannyasins accompanied Bhagwan on the journey to America aboard a Pan Am jet. He was brought to the Chidvilas Rajneesh Meditation Center, Montclair, New Jersey, where all the necessary arrangements were made for his medical care and rest.” (Joshi 1982, p. 162)
“Late in May 1981, a warehouse used to store books and another building belonging to the Ashram were set alight by petrol bombs. Ashram officials blamed their landlord once again, and declared the loss to be some thirty times the amount later set on the damage by a police valuer. A report in ‘India Today’ (15th June, 1982: 137) alleged that, “A year later both police and CID officials in Pune (Poona) are unanimous in their charge that the incidents were rigged by Rajneesh followers.” (Roy Wallis. In: Aveling 1999, p. 147)
FitzGerald on outside threats
“In the last few weeks before Rajneesh left Poona for the United States, there was, according to his biographer, an alarming increase in the number of threatening letters and phone calls to the ashram. (Most of the threats were apparently anonymous, but, according to an ashram press release, one was signed “Roman Catholics of Bombay and Poona.”) Four days before Sheela put the guru on the plane, a fire broke out in a castle that Ma Yoga Laxmi, the secretary to the guru at that time, had leased for a “new commune” outside the town. The next day, arson destroyed a Rajneeshee book warehouse, and at the same time an explosive device was detonated at the ashram’s medical center. No one was hurt in these incidents, The Indian police never discovered who or what caused the fires. The company that insured the warehouse contested the Rajneeshee’s claim and, in the end, paid out only a minimal sum.” (FitzGerald 1986, II p. 96)
Hindi books destroyed by fire 1981
“On the night of May 28, a series of mysterious fires took place on ashram properties; in one of the fires, all Hindi versions of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh’s books were consumed. The Rajneeshees tried to blame the arson on the already sexually entrapped landlord. “The purpose of the arson,” the U.S. government later asserted, however, “was to create public sympathy for Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.” It later turned out that the English versions of these books had already been packed and shipped to the United States.” (McCormack 2010, p. 261)
Heading: Blown-Up Case
“Much of what happened last month at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram might have gone unnoticed but for a pair of petrol bombs which exploded, 20 km apart, around three in the morning on May 28. One of the identical incendiary devices fitted with alarm clocks exploded harmlessly outside the gates of 70, Koregaon Park, a bungalow which serves as a medical centre and subsidiary work area to the main ashram. The other, going off inside a warehouse hired by the Rajneesh Foundation to store books, caused a fire which took almost three hours to put out. “This is a clear case of fanatics trying to suppress a minority religion…” said a Foundation spokesman, “This is not the first time that fanatics have tried to destroy us”…
While investigations are in progress in all three cases [Third case: Jadhavwadi fort], certain preliminary facts are already known. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in its investigation at the Pimpri warehouse, has found that ashram officials grossly overstated the extent of damage to the books. While Prem Leela, of the ashram press office, claimed that the loss of books was in the region of Rs 150 lakh, CID valuers place this figure below Rs 5 lakh. The two petrol bombs, too, have been revealed to be fairly simple incendiary devices capable of burning but not exploding. While bomb demolition experts and the forensic department are still trying to work out the precise method of detonation, they have so far been unable to find a connection between the alarm clocks mounted on the devices and the actual detonation. Experts admit the possibility that the alarm clocks may have been placed there to mislead investigators, and the actual lighting of the petrol was done manually.
Furthermore, eyewitness accounts reveal that an all-night guard was mounted at the Pimpri warehouse only a few days before the blaze. At 70, Koregaon Park too policemen are puzzled how the bomb could have been planted unnoticed by the all-night guard posted at the gate. While the police are unwilling to comment at this stage, the investigations are likely to end soon. Meanwhile, as the ashram makes preparations to shift out of Pune, it seems unlikely that the sannyasins will be concerned with the findings. By all indications, the ashram will be deserted by the time the story is out.” (Chander Uday Singh. India Today, June 16, 1981)
“I had resumed my editing work in Lao Tzu House, although I now had my living quarters outside the house. One morning – May 31st – someone arrived, breathless, in our workspace and said there was a “surprise” downstairs of we wanted to be in it. I thought it was a party of some sort, and joined the dozen or so others who’d gathered on the balcony of the library that overlooked the driveway. The realization dawned on me, although I couldn’t quite grasp it, that Bhagwan was about to leave.” (Forman 1988, p. 197)
“For quite some time Sheela had been a secretary to Laxmi, Osho’s secretary, together with Vidya and Garimo. I could often see her in Deeksha’s private dining-room behind the kitchen where special food was served. Walking by, I had heard a lot of laughter and a lot of what sounded like gossip. Laxmi was away from the ashram and the Saswad project was under Sheela’s management.” (Punya 2015, p. 187)
“Towards the end of his stay in Pune, the Master had begun to suffer intensively from lower back pain and sciatica… problems exacerbated by his preferred lifestyle of doing nothing, remaining seated for long periods of time without moving his body except when coming to discourse, or to darshan, or during infrequent walks in the garden of Lao Tzu house.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 200)
“But perhaps most worrying of all was the condition of Osho’s health. His physical body was paying the price of thirty years of continuous travel, crisscrossing on trains the whole of India. The pain and various allergies and other symptoms were a hindrance to his work and contributed to his withdrawal into silence and seclusion. So bad was the pain in his back that the then foremost Harley Street orthopaedic specialist was flown in from London. I heard this story of his visit. During the examination of Osho he asked him to touch his toes. Osho slowly bent down and touched them. ‘Ah’ said the Doctor, ‘not so bad if you can do that.’
Osho replied, ‘That was the worst pain I have ever experienced.’
For me and many of us at the time the fear was that he could leave his body at any time so tenuous were the threads connecting him to it. In America there was the possibility of the best medical attention. It was time to move on.” (Maxwell 2012, p. 167)
“I gathered that Osho had left India and gone to America because of ill health – his back was getting so bad that he could hardly lift himself out of his chair at the end of morning discourse, and he was also suffering from chronic asthma and diabetes… I didn’t think Osho wanted to leave India. Not that he was a patriot – far from it, he hated nationalism of any kind – but he was aware that India is one of the very few countries in the world with an all-pervading meditative ‘vibe’ or atmosphere. Perhaps Tibet and Nepal are the only others. Many times in discourse he mentioned the fact that hundreds of people have become enlightened in India, including Krishna,…” (Radha 2005, p. 121)
Krishna Prem writes
“Osho’s health is deteriorating rapidly. Whatever success James Cyriax had with me, he didn’t have it with my Master. Vasumati and Civy bring home stories of his difficulti standing and sitting, of him bumping into his chair, of his needing help to get back to the car.” (Allanach 2010, p. 341)
Parmartha on why Osho went to America in 1981
“In late 1980 Osho began to suffer very severe back pain, and in parts of 1981 until he left, he was supine, even sleeping, so some say, on the floor to try and relieve the pain… However something happened with Devaraj at that time. He was obsessed, as I suppose he should have been by Osho’s back pain – and his inability to treat it. At some point in early 1981 he took initiative. In Devaraj’s book, “Bhagwan: The most Godless yet most Godly man” he describes (Chapter 19), Osho’ interface with a Doctor who Devaraj describes as a mentor, sent for from London, called Dr Cyriax, who he called the “Armenian Hammer”, due to his departures from “normal” osteopathy and success with quite powerfully applied pressure. (Cyriax was a famous specialist and originator of this form of spinal manipulation. He was about 80 when he met Osho). Basically he confirmed Devaraj’s diagnosis of disc disease, but even Cyriax’s methods seemed not to relieve the pain.
That is how Devaraj fell in with Sheela’s plan to take Osho to America, because at that time back surgery was most advanced in New York. Actually Osho never did have surgery, and for some reason later in the desert air of Oregon, both his back and his asthma improved considerably. I myself think that his back improved because of daily swimming in his private pool, and his asthma improved because of the desert air…
Sheela’s love of the States, and Devaraj’s utter frustration in not being able to even relieve Oho’s back trauma… At the time Devaraj clearly thought that this would only be relieved through surgery – and that done in the States, and according to his old friend Cyriax, that was the best place to have surgery. In fact Cyriax advised against having surgery in India.” (Parmartha. In: Sannyasnews. Archieves 5718)
Osho’s physician Devaraj writes on Dr. Cyriax
“He was against surgery at that stage and recommended that we just put up with it for a couple of years if possible! But what was clear was that if an operation were needed we should move Bhagwan to the West. Even an expert surgical team brought out to India from the West would be operating in unfamiliar surroundings, he said, and might be the worst solution. Dr. Cyriax also confirmed that if he were to have a back operation, he would not choose to have it done in India…
The big advantage of New York was that there were at least half a dozen centers to choose from, and we could find a top unit very fast if we needed one. On top of that, New York had the best diagnostic facilities available at the time.
In the end, Bhagwan was reluctant, Vivek hesitant, and Sheela adamant: Bhagwan should be taken to America. Sheela seemed to have a dewy-eyed view of the States as the land of milk and honey. She had been a student in New Jersey, had met her first husband there, and in her view everything American was the best.” (Meredith 1987, pp. 302,309)
“Osho gives His last discourse on March 24, 1981 and stops coming out March 25. His lower back has started hurting and there is some problem in His spinal cord. No treatment seems to help. He needs to rest completely.
Sannyasins start renovating the path which leads to the podium. The path needed to be levelled to the height of the podium in order to make it more convenient for Osho to walk the few steps and reach the podium instead of climbing up.
On May 1, Osho starts coming out and sits silently with us in Buddha Hall. In Indian tradition it is called satsang, which means sitting silently in the presence of the master. It is a unique experience for me. Music is being played by sannyasins at intervals which deepens the silence more.
Satsang continues for a month. All other work in the commune is happening as usual. Then on May 31, 1981 at 12;30pm, I come out of the office to go for lunch and see many sannyasins hugging each other; some crying, some laughing and some standing silently with closed eyes. I enquire and find out that Osho has just left for Bombay and will be flying to the United States for His treatment. His leaving was kept secret from all of us for His security.” (Jyoti 2004, p. 122)
“Late one morning, about forty handymen, technicians, musicians and samurai were called to a meeting with Sheela and Deeksha in an upstairs laundry room. A guard was posted outside the door. Sheela announced that we were going to America with Bhagwan. We were all astonished, amazed and incredulous. Anybody who was not ready and willing to work twenty-four hours a day from now on should leave the meeting immediately, as they would be of no use in America, and so should anyone who felt they could not keep their mouth shut about the plans. Nobody outside the meeting was to know what was planned, not even our nearest and dearest. I thought of Isabel, at that very moment in distant Kashmir with Laxmi, looking for a suitable site. Finally, those who were not willing to surrender totally to Sheela and Deeksha could bid their farewells right now, Sheela added menacingly.
Everyone stayed put. Next the basic details of the plan were outlined. An advance party of handymen would get their hair cut and leave first to get everything ready for Bhagwan, and the rest would follow at a later date.” (Milne 1986, p. 185)
Krishna Prem remembers
“Laxmi wants you!” I can hardly believe my ears. It’s been so long since I’ve heard that familiar summons – she’s been in Delhi for the past four months. I rush to the office, but by the same time I arrive she’s preparing to see Osho. “Come tomorrow, swamiji, she says. “Laxmi has much to tell you.”…
Vasumati’s standing inside the gate, as if she’s been waiting for me. Her eyes are wet with tears. “He’s gone,” she says softly, taking my hand. “They just drove him out the front gate. The word is he’s been taken to America for medical treatment.
“It’s over, Krishna,” she cries. “Poona is finished.” (Allanach 2010, p. 343)
(Note: Laxmi was out of office February-May 1981 when Sheela had her Coup d’Etat. See: 4.5 Discourses in Buddha Hall. English; and Allanach 2010, p. 338)
“Even though I knew that Osho was silent because he was unwell, still I had no idea that I was saying good-bye to Osho that morning. I feel so blessed that I was able to sit so close. Many people start crying, but I have already cried my tears in front of Osho and I feel so grateful. However, I will cry many more tears before I see Osho again. We carry on with our work and I go back to the Bakery. Teertha, a group leader, speaks to us all in Buddha Hall. He says that we have to be patient and can return to our own countries for a while if we like. It is still not certain where the new Commune is to be, but for myself, I am afraid that Osho will be persuaded to stay in America, and I hope with all my heart that it is not going to be there.” (Devika 2008, p. 96)
“On June 1, 1981, Osho departed from Pune. After taking rest for a little time at Swami Manu’s house in Juhu, Mumbai, in the late night, Osho left from Santacruz International Airport for America, with his personal doctors and some caretaker friends. The news of Osho leaving India and going to America was kept extremely secret keeping his security in the mind… I waited outside Manu’s house in my car. In the late night when Osho left Manu’s house I saw him. I started the tape recorder in my car and played the Hindi song of his choice, ‘Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paaoge.’ And I gave him farewell, weeping. Then I came back home and sat silently for hours. At that time, I felt darkness everywhere after Osho had left India.” (Laheru 2012, p. 135)
Audio 6. ‘Tum Mujhe Yun Bhula Na Paaoge’. Classical song enjoyed by Osho as sung in the movie ‘Pagla Kahin Ka’ (1970) by Mohammed Rafi. See quote above.
Sheela on visa for USA
“Rose [in der amerikanischen Botschaft in Bombay] war in Indien geboren, gehörte aber dem christlichen Glauben an. Sie hatte keinen Bezug zu Ashrams oder Gurus. Trotzdem war sie bereit zu helfen. Ohne Rose hätten wir dieses Visum nie erhalten. Um ihre Bemühungen zu unterstützen und ihr einigen zu nehmen, hatten wir organisiert, dass ein Fax vom Aussenministerium in Washington D.C. an die amerikanische Botschaft in Bombay gesandt wurde. Er stammte von einem wichtigen Lobbyisten, der das Visum befürwortete. Unterschrieben war der Fax vom damaligen amerikanischen Aussenminister Alexander Haig. Wir mussten diesem Lobbyisten 7.000 Dollar dafür bezahlen.” (Sheela 1996, p. 180)
Tim Guest writes
“Among those close to his inner circle there had been a growing sense that Bhagwan would soon be leaving the Ashram. His departure happened too quickly for most sannyasins to notice, but those in the know spotted the signs. Certain members of the inner circle had their hair cut: a sure fire indication of a visa application. That morning the usual slices of breakfast bread were absent from outside the Lao Tzu bedrooms; the ovens had been used to burn financial records, not dough, the night before. The guards at the Ashram gate who saw Bhagwan leave stood on the road in tears.” (Guest 2005, p. 69)
John Hogue writes
“I understand that around 1980, Osho may have publicly warned his disciples that if they chose to move the new commune to America, his vision of the future, of religiousness without religion, would see him arrested and murdered. I recall seeing that quote over 20 years ago. To verify that my memory is correct, I am currently tracking down Osho’s exact words on this important and prescient statement. The prophecy, apocryphal or true, may have found its mark five years later thanks to a slow death by Thallium poisoning by the US government.” (Hogue 2017, p. 79)
“Some sannyasins from India also reached to Rajneeshpuram to be with Osho. There were very few friends left to take care of Pune Ashram. Whole Ashram had become almost empty. All the activities of Ashram had stopped. The situation there was like a poet has said, “The caravan has passed and we are left watching the cloud of dust.” The incomes were stopped so it was difficult to carry on the daily activity of the Ashram. The managers of Ashram were selling a few things of the Ashram to carry on the dealings and to manage the expenses. The managers of the Ashram kept on changing. Nobody was easily becoming ready to take responsibility of taking care of the Pune Ashram. Out of eleven trustees of Shri Rajneesh Foundation, some friends went to America. The work of recording of discourses and publication of book had stopped. Many friends felt that, now slowly the Pune Ashram would be closed.” (Laheru 2012, p. 142)
Leaving for USA
“In early 1981 Laxmi was overthrown in an internal ashram coup by Ma Anand Sheela (also known as Sheela Silverman, an Indian woman who had gone to college in Montclair, New Jersey, and had been married to an American named Silverman), and the focus on the search for land turned to America… That April, according to the wording of a U.S. government exhibit accompanying a guilty plea by Rajneesh to charges of immigration fraud four-and-a-half years later, “Ma Anand Sheela met with approximately thirty trusted followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. At this meeting she announced that the decision had been made by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh to move the ashram permanently to the United States… and that this matter was to remain secret… The purpose of the secrecy was to conceal from officials of the Department of State and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) that Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, his followers and the ashram were moving permanently to the United States.” (McCormack 1987, p. 201)
“While filling out some forms in Sheelas’s office to take extra luggage, I saw a clipboard with a flight manifest. On the list, were the legal names of a few people close to Osho – his cleaner, caretaker, bodyguard and cook. On the top of the paper was written the same airline and flight number as my ticket! It struck me: I am going to fly with Osho to America – what an incredible stroke of luck! My heart was pounding, yet I knew without being told to keep quiet; what a panic it would create among his people if they knew the day he was leaving! Perhaps more importantly, the Indian authorities could use the intel against us. There were always tax issues related to the different organizations affiliated with the Ashram.
At 2 a.m. the night before the flight, I was awakened by a loud knock: “Abhiyana, get all your things together, and bring them to Lao Tzu gate now!” I quickly packed, and brought my lone suitcase to an incredible scene: The area was flooded with light, and a huge moving van was backing into Osho’s house. So, it was true: I was travelling with the Master, and this was happening in the middle of the night so no one would know! I stumbled back to bed, but could hardly sleep in anticipation of the next day’s events…
Our flight was for 1 a.m. the next morning. I left on my own for Bombay and the airport, assuming I could pick up my suitcase and the luggage I would be carrying for Osho there. As I sat in the waiting room at the gate, I looked eagerly around, expecting to see familiar faces. There were one or two sannyasins waiting to check in, but none of the people I would recognize as part of Osho’s entourage.
It was getting late. I called the Ashram, and got Sushila, Sheela’s secretary, on the line: “Where is everyone! What’s going on?” Sushila: “Oh we decided to go later. You just go ahead!”…
I was sitting numbly in my seat, when a stewardess came down the aisle and casually picked up the mala from around my neck: “Who is that?” “That’s Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, my master.”
“Hmm, Rajneesh, that name is familiar,” and she pulled out the flight manifest to show me the whole first class upper deck reserved in the name of Rajneesh Chandra Mohan (Osho’s legal name). She said: “He’s supposed to be on this flight. We’re waiting for him.” “Tell the pilots not to wait,” I bitterly laughed. “He ain’t coming.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 268-70)
Shiva recalls leaving India
“The day we planned to leave, Isabel, who had come down from the north to see Bhagwan off, told me that an informer had tipped off the ashram that a warrant for Bhagwan’s arrest was about to be issued on the grounds of inciting religious rioting. If Bhagwan was still in India to be arrested, it would mean certain confinement for two years at least. For this reason I was to be especially alert when we reached the airport. We left India on a Sunday, especially so that Bhagwan could not easily be served with the subpoena.
The day we left Bhagwan was driven in one of his two Rollses to what was to be his final appearance in Poona. Meanwhile, in the cloistered privacy of Lao Tzu House, I filled the other Rolls, the specially lengthened model which had been nicknamed ‘The White Elephant’, with petrol, oxygen bottles, ice coolers and towels. After the satsang a ramp was swung into place for Bhagwan to walk down into the White Elephant, and after closing the door for Bhagwan, Sheela got in too. The second Rolls had been stationed behind the first, and my four chosen samurai were in an anonymous brown van outside the gate to Bhagwan’s house. I joined them in the van, and with two back-up cars the five-vehicle convoy set off.
The secrecy had been so effective that by the time the two white Rolls Royces swung into view and passed out of the Lao Tzu gate, nobody outside was remotely aware of what was happening. Even the gate guards had not been told. Some of the guards thought we were taking Bhagwan for another hospital visit, but the more experienced, like Sant, knew otherwise. Tears sprang to his eyes as he realised that he was being left behind.
We swept out through the deserted midday streets of Poona, the only Rolls Royces in the city, and sped off towards Bombay…
We used an Indian sannyasi’s house in the suburbs as a hideout until two the next morning, when everybody except Bhagwan, Sheela and Vivek was ferried to the airport. After passing through customs and passport control, I glimpsed Bhagwan’s Rolls draw right up to the nose wheel of the 747. He had made it! A route had been engineered to get the car onto the airport apron and right under the aircraft, without any need to go through check-in, immigration, police or passport control. The baksheesh system had worked wonders. Apparently very large sums of money had changed hands.
I rushed on board the aircraft and met Bhagwan as he walked up the spiral staircase to the upper deck. Sheela had reserved the entire forty-seat first class section just for herself, Bhagwan and Vivek. A small team of sannyasi cleaners had been standing by to clean the upper deck, but the incoming flight from Australia had been delayed, and they had not been able to come aboard until after Bhagwan was already installed. White sheets were thrown over the seats, and the multicoloured cabin became a busy white workroom, a strangely surrealistic-looking morgue…
Suddenly, on instinct, I felt the need to go downstairs. I found two policemen who wanted to know if one of Sheela’s Indian assistants was upstairs. They tried to go up but I barred their way, telling them that their man was not there. Much to my relief they went away.” (Milne 1986, p. 187)
Leaving and dismantling ashram
“The booking office closed for lack of group leaders to run groups and visitors to participate in them. The myriad temporary structures that had been erected throughout the ashram were dismantled and the timber and iron sheeting sold. Buddha Hall was dismantled, and returned to the great oval concrete slap it had been when I had seen it for the first time. The carpentry and jewellery shop where the malas were made, the shop that sold robes and shawls and flat cushions and Bhagwan’s books, vanished as though carried off by an army of ants. My world was literally being dismantled before my eyes. It was the most uncanny feeling.” (Stork 2009, p. 129)
“For the time being, though, we had to concentrate on the business at hand; we couldn’t just pack up and leave in a day or two. Demolition crews were working 24 hours a day to take down all the structures we had build illegally. Buddha Hall was torn down, leaving only a bare, oval concrete slab. Other crews were working around the clock to pack tens of thousands of Osho’s books and his whole library into wooden crates to be shipped to the US. On my late-night rounds through the Ashram, I’d see them taking breaks, standing in circles and giving neck. and back-massages to each other. There was a big sale going on of Ashram property like sound- or electronic equipment, as well as all kinds of stuff from individual sannyasins that were leaving. Particularly at night the Ashram emanated an almost eerie feeling, which was accentuated by the monsoon rains and by the ensuring dampness.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 95)
That is how Osho finished his seven years stay in Poona and left for a new phase in Oregon. A phase which turned out to be a most crucial one.
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