Part four

Part Four
Poona One 1974 – 1981

 

“This commune is not an ordinary commune. This is an experiment to
provoke god. You may not be aware of what is going to happen. You
may be aware only of your problems – you may have come to me only
to solve your problems. That is secondary; I am cooking up something
else! I am trying to create a space where god can descend more
and more.” (Sannyas, 1978:1, p. 20)

4.0 Koregaon Park, Poona

Osho (aka Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) made his move from Bombay to Poona on March 21, 1974, a date which coincided with the 21st anniversary of his Enlightenment. The ashram he founded in the lush greenery of suburban Koregaon Park was to expand during the 1970s into a spiritual growth centre for Westerners as well as Indians. They arrived in their thousands to have a look at it all and some chose to stay with their master ‘forever’.

In the mornings in Buddha Hall he spoke alternate months in Hindi and English introducing his listeners to most Eastern religious paths and Western philosophy in a way which hadn’t happened before anywhere on this planet. And in the evenings in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, sannyasins and visitors in darshan with their master could experience spaces of consciousness beyond the transmission of words. As if this wasn’t enough, in the daytime a variety of active meditations were offered not to mention the array of therapy groups led by therapists in the forefront of the humanistic psychology movement from centers in London and the US. They had chosen to use their skills in an atmosphere where their work became an essential prerequisite to the participants’ spiritual growth.

In this energy field of a master a communal environment was created for individuals to fulfil their need for insight into themselves and their social – including sexual – interaction with their fellow travellers. To those who didn’t have the opportunity, courage or knowing of what was happening to join the flood in those days, an impressive amount of writers have felt inclined to express how they experienced being part of an experiment breaking down the borders of a confined mind. And again and again the reader will be reminded of the inadequacy of words in these writers’ attempt to express the inexpressible.

A few comments on the publishing of his work from Poona and onwards, an issue which will be dealt with at large in the subsequent text. Few, if any, libraries or collectors worldwide will have acquired a full set of Osho’s discourses from Poona One, in English (1.222 discourses published in 128 volumes) and in Hindi (144 volumes). Each hardbound volume with its exquisite design of font and illustrations is by now a collectors’ item and their limited printing run of 5000 copies only are making them increasingly difficult to get hold of on the market. But of course, they are all available in digital format too.

Darshan diaries (64 volumes) are mostly in album format with intimate photos from the evening meetings between master and disciples. Due to the discontinuity and prioritizing caused by Osho’s years in Oregon some were never published in print but made available digitally, others happened to be printed but never made it to the bindery and are accordingly extremely rare to find in paper format.

Books on Osho and his work started to appear from the mid-1970s, with the narratives by Satya Bharti, Divya and Amitabh, all around 1980, as the most notable contemporary accounts. The landmark volume remains ‘The Sound of Running Water’ (1980) designed by Yatri and others who created a monumental tome of Osho’s early days in Koregaon Park until 1978. If you don’t believe me, do have a look yourself: a flawless copy may be bought at E-Bay for $1,500 only (2018). Osho Lao Tzu Library in Poona will on their shelves stock all published titles by Osho including translations, and Osho International Foundation has at present 2.700 publishing contracts in 48 languages worldwide, excluding 13 Indian languages (2015).

Osho writes on India’s spiritual climate
“India has something tremendously valuable: It has the longest , deepest search for truth. Many Buddhas have walked on his land, under these trees; the very earth has become sacred. To be here is totally different than to be anywhere else, and what I am trying to bring you is more easily possible here than anywhere else. India has fallen from its peaks. It is no longer in its past glory. It is one of the ugliest spots now on the earth, but still, because a Gautam Buddha walked, and a Mahavir and a Krishna, and millions of others…
No other country can claim this. Jesus is very alone in Jerusalem; Mohammed is very, very alone in the Arabian countries; Lao Tzu has a very small company, Chuang Tzu and a few others. They tried hard to create something. But India has the longest spiritual vibe: For at least 5,000 years the search has been deepening, and still the waters are flowing. Indians themselves have forgotten about them. In fact, they are no longer interested in their own heritage. They are no longer interested in those living waters; they have deserted them. But for whomsoever wants to seek and search and be, India still provides the best climate – spiritual climate.” The Secret of Secrets (1983). Vol.2, Ch.4.

Bernard Levin writes in ‘The Times’ three features on the ashram in Poona. Excerpt:
“I have described the scene as the audience waits for Rajneesh to appear and begin his daily discourse. It now falls to me to do the same for the discourse itself. This is a much more difficult task; for although I can convey something of his technique as a speaker, and of course quote his words, the astonishing effect it has – an effect which seems to bathe the hearer in a refulgent glow of wisdom and love – is something which it is easier to experience than to describe.
His voice is low, smooth and exceptionally beautiful; he has a habit of lingering on any final consonant, not just an s. His English is surprisingly idiomatic and syntactically almost, though not quite, perfect. His gestures are hypnotically graceful and eloquent; he has extraordinary long fingers, and he uses his hands, particularly the left, in an endless variety of expressive forms. At a distance, he looks far older than his 48 years; this is the effect of the patriarchal beard and hair, but from a close viewpoint, it is clear that his face is unlined, his eyes penetrating and clear.
What he says is couched in language of great power and fluency; he is one of the most remarkable orators I have ever heard, though there is no hint of demagogy in his style, and no hortatory or pedagogic feeling about the content of what he says. He uses quotations and references very freely (these seem to be written down, as are some of the jokes, but they constitute the only notes he uses); in the three discourses I heard, on consecutive days, he quoted Bertrand Russel, William James, Norbert Wiener, e.e.cummings, Nietzsche, Whitman, and others.”
(An extraordinary journey to the interior / Bernard Levin. The Times, London, 09.04.1980. See also Appendix)

4.1 Moving to Poona

In the state of Maharashtra the harbour of Bombay has for centuries been the gateway to India. For many Westerners the coastline of Bombay was their first glimpse of the vast Indian conti­nent, and through Bombay goods, people and ideas have been exchanged between East and West. No wonder in the last century Bombay has developed into the leading Indian metropolis for the intelli­gen­tsia and the media industry. Climbing up the Deccan plateau from Bombay, the road in the 1970s took many turns and curves before it made it to the city of Poona. Situated at an altitude of 1.800 feet the city was earlier used as a somewhat cooler resort during the hot season in Bombay, and it has served as a military stronghold for British as well as Indian military. In the lush greenery of Koregaon Park outside the city centre, with its wide and tree-lined streets and close to the Mutha river, Osho’s commune has had its premises since 1974.
(Note: Poona has now changed its name back to former Pune. The word Pune is derived from ‘Punya’ which means sacred in the local Marathi language)

Udgita writes in her thesis on India
“This country has never been interested in an objective research: here the goal has always been not the knowledge of otherness, but the knowledge of oneself. This is perhaps the only country that has been deeply interested only in the evolution of awareness. India has had a single purpose, a single goal: developing the awareness of man to the point where he meets the divine; bringing the human closer to the divine…
India is not a stretch of land, nor a political entity, not a part of a sequence of historical events. It is not a crazy pursuit of money, power and prestige. India is an aspiration, the longing to attain truth – the truth that dwells in each throb of ours, that lies dormant under the level of our awareness, that belongs to us, but has been forgotten by us. Remembering it, claiming it: that is what India is about.” (Ceccato 2014, pp. 12,15)
(Note: On the spirituality of India see also compilation with Osho’s understanding: India My Love. Fragments of a Golden Past (1997))

Early account of Poona
“A local hill station with its cool climate was much sought for by the British in Bombay during the hot season. As early as 1832 we have some impressions of the leisurely laid-back life of the British dwellers in Poona made by a French botanist-traveller Victor Jacquemont when he arrived there in 1832. Incurious about Indian habits and traditions their daily past time pleasures seem to include the founding of a public library and extensive reading of newspapers: “They go out riding and driving, breakfast, dine, dress, shave and undress, or meet on committees for settling the affairs of a public library where I have never seen anybody but myself. They sleep, sleep a great deal and snore hard, digest as best as they can, sin, no doubt, as much as they can and read their newspapers from Bombay, and that is their whole life.” (Trevelyan 1987, p. 140)

An 1885-account
“Horniman spent four days in Bombay, before travelling with Keily, by overnight train via Kalyan, to Poona, where he visited the market and the ‘native part’ of the town, which he described as being ‘very extensive and the buildings very old and primitive.’ An impression which manifestly differed from his view of the ‘fashionable part of town’, which was home to the European fraternity and consisted of, in his words, ‘splendid residences, all having grand entrances and fine gardens’ (Crystal Palace Times, 17.05.1885:5. Excerpt in: Oriental Visions / Nicky Levell. 2000, p. 119)

Location and importance
“The city proper extends along the Mutha river for about 1 3/4 miles inland and lies on the confluence of two small rivers, the Mutha and Mula, on the western margin of the Deccan plateau… Poona has a pleasant climate during the monsoon months, and many Bombay residents go there for a change during this time. It was the capital of the Mahrattas at the time of the Peshwas and now it is a town of considerable commercial and educational importance.” (Walter 1954, p. 27)

Arun writes on Poona
“During the seventeenth century, Pune was the main seat of the Peshwas of the great Mahratha Empire, and was one of the power centres of Hindustan, lasting almost a century, before the British invaded this land of the proud. To this day, Pune sings the glories of its warriors and rulers who inhabited it. But in 1974, it received a new guest, who was unlike all its former residents, and who changed its course forever, establishing the city as one of the major spiritual centres of the world.
Nobody knows why Bhagwan chose to stay in Pune and establish his first ashram there. Some say it was due to Meher Baba, an enlightened mystic, having made Pune his spiritual abode, and leaving behind an atmosphere of his presence and energy. But whatever the reason, it all started with one house, Lao Tzu House, which was to be Bhagwan’s new residence and the seed of the future ashram. It had been purchased from a maharaja and given to Bhagwan by Ma Mukta, a Greek disciple who was the heiress of a rich ship merchant in Greece.” (Arun 2017, p. 105)

Punya writes
“Pune came into favour with the British because of its mild climate (it is almost 600 metres above sea level) and because it is only a four hour train ride from Mumbai. A vast section of the city, which I could see from the rickshaw when I went shopping on M.G. Road, was taken up by a military facility, an area called ‘Camp’, also a legacy from earlier days. Pune is an industrial city but it is also famous for its technical institutions, medical facilities and universities. Pune, the name means ‘City of Virtue’, had previously known the presence of another master, Meher Baba, a silent Parsee, and would also become he home of the Iyengar Yoga Institute.” (Punya 2015, p. 26)

Madhuri in her ‘The Poona Poems’
“Poona is a fecund, humid, crowded metropolis on the Deccan Plateau about 160 km southeast of Bombay (now Mumbai. Poona itself is now spelt Pune, but I have left it as-is because I cannot help pronouncing the other way as ‘Pewn’!) The city was a military garrison during the British Raj and has wide streets, roundabouts, and plenty of trees. Our ashram was (and still is) a walled garden – filled with flowering, very tall trees; benches in leafy hideaways; and studded with old mansions we had renovated as living quarters and offices, meditation and therapy rooms, for an ever growing number of seekers from all over the world. It was bursting at the seams, and we with it – bursting with joy and life, youth and adventure… an adventure of the Inner.” (Madhuri 2017. Introduction)

Moving to Poona 1974
“On the anniversary of his enlightenment day, March 21st, Osho moved to Poona, a hill station on the other side of the Ghats which ran down the west coast of India. Poona had been one of the main military settlements of the British Raj because of its strategic location and a much cooler and less humid climate than Bombay. It was therefore much more comfortable to live in. Two houses had been bought in a wealthy district called Koregaon Park and Osho was setting up residence there. We were a bit taken aback. What about the new commune we were supposedly building?” (Veena 2012, p. 48)

Sam writes from 1975
“What a world it was for lovers, Koregaon Park. I’ve not described that properly, the spell of Osho’s Poona – the enchanted wood, the ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ quality to it…
In those days Koregaon Park was still separate from the town itself, still sleepy; backing up against the river on one side, and open fields on another, it was almost in the country. Once famous among all the Raj hill-stations and the resort to which Bombay high society moved in April and May to get away from the stifling heat of the pre-monsoon, it had sunk into neglect and been all but abandoned since the British left in 47. When we first got there the whole place had this overgrown, sequestered quality. It was like Sleeping Beauty. The banyans with which the narrow lanes had originally been planted had grown enormous over the years; in many places they met and joined overhead, letting through only isolated shafts of light. Hanging roots had re-rooted themselves and the bougainvillea which grew everywhere climbed up them into the trees – higher and higher until it reached the sunlight and flowered, purple, amber, vermilion, as though it were the banyans themselves which were blossoming. There was hardly anyone around. Just the occasional Indian slowly chattering by on his ancient bicycle, through the heat and science. Many of the old mansions had been boarded up for years and looked after by only a few shuffling servants. Padlocked rusty gates (the padlock itself an outlandishly huge Indian thing, already out of a fairy story) through which you could catch a glimpse of pillars, of sweeping verandas, of defunct fountains and broken arbours, lost in the depths of the greenery. Koregaon Park was the perfect set for a romantic comedy.” (Sam 1997, p. 71)

Rosciano writes
“Living in Pune was also very pleasant. It was a city of hills, known as a command centre for the Indian military, and a place for spending healthy vacations far from the hell of Mumbai… Nothing remains of that relaxed, easy-going, idyllic little city filled with gently decaying English villas and elegant parks full of trees. In a way, I guess I was lucky. Pune in the 1970s still reflected the old India with its lovable traditions and local customs. We used to travel around on bicycles, enjoying streets that were relatively free from traffic. Most of the time, we were relaxed with the Indian population and they were easy with us. Scores of parrots and other colourful birds would chatter in the trees around us, enjoying a healthy, uncontaminated atmosphere.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 103)

Next to its pleasant climate Poona had a historic and spiritual past associated with mystics and politicians, most recently Meher Baba, and Gandhi who spent some time in jail in Poona; once in hospital there he was visited by Nehru who spent a week in Poona. The Poona Pact in 1934 ended Gandhi’s fast and he stayed in Poona to recover. During one of Nehru’s many imprisonments his daughter Indira went to school in Poona. (Nehru 1949)

Poona was on the map by the early twentieth century in the fight for freedom from the British rulers to make them quit India. A nationalist movement founded by ‘Bal Gangadhar Tilak’, a lawyer and newspaper editor, strongly opposed any cooperation with the British administration and demanded that the British government give immediate self-government to India. Their strategy was ‘swadeshi’ based on boycott of British goods in favour of Indian goods, support of Indian education and religion and the wearing of the national dress. All of these issues were to be propagated all over India when Gandhi soon were promoting the very same strategy now transformed into his political vision of ‘swaraj’ (self rule).

Earlier search for property in Bombay
“My sannyasins have been looking for a beautiful house for me. Sixteen years ago they were also looking for a beautiful house, and I had chosen a house. Everything was settled, but there was some legal difficulties. The man had not all the necessary papers in his possession, so we had to wait. But the man died. His son was not interested in selling the house. I moved to Poona.” The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Chapter 4, p. 67.

Before moving to Poona early in 1974 Osho used to visit Poona once or twice a year after 1964 to deliver his discourses, always staying in the house of Sohan Baphana.

“Fortunately, after that [Lecture August 1964 in Sanghvi Tiffin Factory] Osho visited Pune quite often and I did not miss a single opportunity to meet him. A few friends in Pune had already accepted Osho as their spiritual master. Ramlalji Pungaliya, Mr & Mrs Bafna, P.K. Sanghvi and his brother B.K. Sanghvi, Dr. H.N. Phadnis and a few others took keen interest in inviting Osho to Pune. Osho’s second discourse was arranged in Vijayanand theatre and the third one in Vasant talkies in Pune. I still vividly remember the third discourse held at Vasant talkies because it again had a great impact on me… Osho was regularly visiting Pune till 1970. In the beginning his discourses were arranged at different places but towards the end they were being held at one place, Hind Vijay Theatre… On Pungaliyaji’s request, one woman volunteered to sing a melodious devotional song (bhajan)- After this, Pungaliyaji ensured that every discourse of Osho was preceded by a devotional song.” (Niranjan 2012, pp. 29,30,85)
(Note: The singing of devotional songs before discourse was to be continued when Osho returned to Bombay after World Tour in 1986)

Arun on Manik Bafna and Osho in Poona before 1974
“He said that lunch would be ready at one o’clock, and I was free to finish my work before going there for lunch. He gave me his house address, and said it was in a place called Sadal Baba. I told him I had nothing to do before lunch, so he invited me to go there with him in the car, which I did. When we arrived, Sohan ma had already prepared a Gujarati feast. Before the Pune ashram was established, Osho used to stay at their house during his Pune visits. Sohan ma had the good fortune of serving him many times. Osho had written her many letters, and so her house was filled with his fragrance. The whole place felt like a temple. I have experienced that in a place where Osho has stayed, even for one night, there is a special energy which remains. It continues to throb, creating a mini buddhafield. And all those who cooked for Osho had magic in their hands. Whatever they touched, tasted divine.
At Bafna jee’s house I was served a variety of delicious foods, and I ate to my delight. I hadn’t eaten properly for months, and I gorged on the food shamelessly. After lunch, we talked for a while, and Sohan ma showed me the hundreds of letters Bhagwan had written to her and the gifts given by him. She also told me detailed stories of the times when Bhagwan stayed at her house. When we were finished, my hosts showed me a room where I could have rest. I woke up refreshed, had a wonderful cup of tea, and walked back to the ashram for Kundalini meditation in the evening.” (Arun 2017, p. 145)

He finally moved to Poona on March 21st 1974, on the exact day 21 years after his enlightenment on 21.03.1953. (Bharti 2007, p. 276).

His early lecturing in Poona before he settled in his new ashram is reported in ‘Sannyas’ magazine 1972
“The Poona Lectures.
Bhagwan Shree sat on the platform of the open ground lecturing under a heavily shaded light. His features were barely visible, and he was surrounded by total blackness. In the dark, a crowd of about 10.000 sat listening to him talk on the eighth chapter of the “Bhagwad Gita,” on the eternal reality. Not even the moon was out. He was the only light in the total darkness.”
Such was the scene of ten days of talks Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh gave in Poona from November 25 to December 5, 1971. The national emergency had just broken out in India. Nightly, there were sirens, air raids, total blackouts. But still, when Bhagwan Shree speaks in public, there is nary a soul who would miss the opportunity to hear him.
Even in the total blackout, large crowds were there to hear him – approximately 10.000. Indians and foreign visitors alike. The open grounds were filled to capacity. Some nights there was not even the moonlight, but somehow cars drove to the grounds on the roads, inching along, people walking long distances, and all who were determined managed to find their way to Bhagwan Shree. (In India, people are not very easily discouraged by adversities and manage to do what they have to do even in the most difficult circumstances).
Poona is a popular university town about 120 miles from Bombay. Approximately once a year Bhagwan Shree is invited there to lecture. Each time he gives a series of talks, hundreds of people come to him to be initiated into Sannyas. This time, in Poona, about 300 persons became sannyasins, bringing the total number now initiated to about 1.500.
In the morning, Bhagwan led meditation on the grounds and introduced new techniques. Meditation was conducted in the following fashion:… [here follows kirtan, dancing and the rubbing of the third eye center Ajna Chakra]. (Sannyas, 1972:2, p. 27)

Ageh Bharti recalls from the 1960s
“During Jabalpur days, He was known as Acharya Shri Rajneesh, but in my poems (published in ‘Yukrand’ magazine) I went on addressing Him as Bhagwan.
Many lovers started to criticize and condemn me. Many letters were received in which they wrote that I was going against the teachings of Acharya Shri and that I wanted to make people worship Him. A young man from Bombay used to get very angry. In his letters, he almost threatened to kill me if I called Him Bhagwan again. Another Osho devout from Vadodara had serious objection to this form of glorification…
Lastly, one day I enquired Osho, ‘I am being opposed by lovers continuously. Am I committing a mistake by calling you Bhagwan?’
Osho observed, ‘You are doing the right thing. Let them oppose, you continue writing as you have been writing.’
Hearing this, I felt unburdened reverted to writing with greater punch and confidence.” (Bharti 2007, p. 44)

But it was not until May 1971 in Bombay at a time when his work was entering a new dimension, that the epithet Bhagwan (The Blessed One) was proposed by Chinmaya and accepted by Osho. This month was also the time when Osho for the first time publicly acknowledged his enlightenment. (See also section 2.2 in volume I / Jabalpur).
(Note: Relating to his name change and the honorific Bhagwan, the Sanskrit word Bhagwan may also be translated ‘the Exalted One’, in Arabic, Balauhar. Derived from this is the name Barlaam, who was canonized as martyr by the Roman Catholic Church in 1583).

Laxmi was looking for property in Poona while Osho was still living in Woodlands, Bombay. You may notice some inconsistencies in the various accounts on the correct sequence and numbering of the properties, but Laxmi may be the most reliable witness on this matter.

Proper-Sagar writes
“However, the missions remained unsuccessful – something was always not right – until once more in Pune Laxmi and Mukta visited various sites in Koregaon Park, including one that was not on the list and not even for sale. As Laxmi told it, she was prompted to enter the garden and, standing under an almond tree by the side of the house, was hit by a falling almond. Moved by her intuition, she picked up the almond and joyfully declared to Mukta that the search was over. On returning to Bombay, Laxmi presented the almond to Osho, who took it into His hands and declared, “Laxmi, you have done well.” The building turned out to be No. 33 Koregaon Park. And lo and behold, it was soon purchased. On March 21, 1974, it became Osho’s new residence, and together with other adjacent properties saw the unfolding of His vision, which continues to this day.” (Chaitanya-proper-Sagar. Viha Connection, 2003:4)

The almond tree
“This almond tree is not just an almond tree; it is a Himalayan almond tree. It is a universe of glorious and powerful light streams – at least under the full moon it seemed that way to me.” (Divya 1980, p. 145)

4.1
20141105 005.jpg
Fig. 1. Sketch of ashram. (Sannyas, 1980:4)
set fra air skråt

Laxmi telling Maneesha
“Sitting in her room before darshan began one night, I asked Laxmi if she might tell us the story of how the Almond tree played a part in the choosing of this house as the new ashram, when Bhagwan moved from Bombay to Poona four years ago.
She’d looked at other properties, she explains, and then in her Laxmi-English cutely says, When coming happened (to Lao Tzu House, then 33 Koregaon Park), she strolled over to the Almond tree situated by what was then the entrance driveway. Standing under it an almond fell plonk onto her foot.
Now, Laxmi doesn’t seem the superstitious sort, yet something made her pick it up and it was brought back to Bombay and given to Bhagwan. He looked at it, she recounts, and said,
You like the place? – then put your energy there!
Laxmi felt “If the nut fell, then..” she grins and leaves the sentence incomplete, her hands uptuned as if it is self-evident!” (Maneesha. In: The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao. A Darshan Diary. 1981, p. 267)

Laxmi writes
“The next morning amongst the properties visited and examined, Laxmi visited a mansion called Himalaya, in Koregaon Park. Built on one and a half acres of land the property included a large house and vast gardens. It drew Laxmi’s attention but she was informed so far it had not been offered for sale… Osho approved of beginning negotiations with the owner of the building. The owner was contacted. Laxmi found out the owner was a former maharaja who had attended Osho’s meditation camps at Mt Abu. Soon a deal was struck with him… Osho chose a large room on the ground floor as his bedroom… Osho renamed the house Lao Tzu House. Several changes were made to the layout… Always hard pressed for money to maintain the ashram, Laxmi borrowed seven thousand Indian rupees from a bookseller in Poona who was known to her family. The trust was renamed Rajneesh Foundation and the trustees of Jeevan Jagruti Kendra were dropped [they withdrew support after the move]. New trustees were elected and Laxmi was appointed Managing Trustee of Rajneesh Foundation. The trustees decided all activities would be executed at Pune, including book sales. The first floor apartment in Woodlands was sold and an adjoining house in Poona purchased. This house was called Krishna House… There was a large open area in the rear of Krishna House known as Radha Hall that faced Lao Tzu House… Chuang Tzu Auditorium was reserved exclusively for Osho’s discourses. However during festivals Osho gave darshan to his lovers in the Chuang Tzu Auditorium. All meditations including kirtan were conducted in Radha Hall… In no time both Chuang Tzu auditorium and Radha Hall proved too small to accommodate the overflowing turnover of visitors to the ashram, especially during the period Osho delivered discourses in English. Eventually, a large hall was built to hold a minimum of seven thousand people. It was called Buddha Hall… Yet more properties were taken over and altered to meet the ashram’s needs… In the process of expansion several properties near the ashram were rented. There were office areas for accounts, meetings, video and audio departments, press and publication departments, libraries etc. on the premises.” (Laxmi 2000, pp. 21,22,24,25)

Niranjan on finding the right property in Poona
“For this, in the beginning of 1974, Osho’s secretary, a woman in her middle age, Ma Yoga Laxmi, came to Pune and called ten of us to tell that she had come to find a place for an Ashram, a permanent place for meditation. I was also present in that meeting. My joy knew no bounds because Osho had chosen Pune to establish his Ashram.
That day, we visited six places to choose a right place for his Meditation Center. The first bungalow we saw was in Koregaon Park [No. 33], the poshest area of Pune. This bungalow was a holiday resort with lush green gardens spread on about 1.75 acres of land. Near the porch of the bungalow there is a big almond tree. After seeing the property, we were standing under this tree to have a final look at it. At that time, an almond fell from the tree near Ma Yoga Laxmi’s feet. She picked it up and kept it in the pocket of her orange robe.
After this, we saw five other properties. We all felt that one property at Mundhwa, located in the area adjacent to Koregaon Park, was the best.
Ma Laxmi left for Mumbai on the same day and came back within a week and said that the property at Koregaon Park is to be finalized. We were all a bit surprised because all of us, including Ma Laxmi, had liked the other property at Mundhwa. But Ma Laxmi said that she described all the properties in detail to Osho. She also showed the almond that she had taken from the property at Koregaon Park. Looking at the almond, Osho told her to finalize this property. Ma Laxmi insisted that Osho himself should come and see the other property before finalizing it. Osho simply said he had seen the properties through her eyes. There was no need for him to come personally and see them. He only said, ‘Purchase this very house in Koregaon Park’…
In due course of time, more adjacent properties were purchased and today, the Osho International Meditation Resort is spread in about forty acres of land. The house no. 17 in lane no. 1 of Koregaon Park, which is adjacent to house number 33, was purchased within three months. The main office of the Resort is in this house no. 17.” (Niranjan 2012, p. 124)

Laxmi on the properties
“Laxmi has news. Last night number 17 happened!… Number 17 Koregaon Park!” she shouts, tapping her temple at my stupidity and indicating the adjoining property with a grand wave. “From today number 17 is with us. Now commune is going to happen. Gate at 33 will be walled up, and in-coming will happen through number 17. “And in back of bungalow, space is also there for meditation camp,” she adds. “No more Empress Gardens. Now camps, just like Mount Abu, can happen here. So, on tenth June night, he will introduce camp and from eleventh morning, discourse, Dynamic Meditation, kirtan, whirling, everything!
“He is speaking on Zen and title for book he has already given Laxmi: ‘A Bird on the Wing’. He says Krishna Prem should be editor. So, swamiji,” she laughs, slapping her knees in delight, “those are Laxmi’s news!”” (Allanach 2010, p. 78)

Milne writes
“Apart from this, it seemed as if Poona was suiting Bhagwan’s ‘body’ after all. After much hunting, Laxmi had found this mansion, situated on the hill station the British made famous during their occupation of India. Laxmi had offered the owner eight hundred thousand rupees for the house before she knew the asking price, promising him a cash deal. Back in Bombay, she could not find the enormous stash of thousand-rupee notes she had buried in the front garden, but the rich disciples – mainly Mukta – donated the money, and the deal went through. It was only later that we learnt that the asking price had only been seven hundred thousand rupees. Though Laxmi thought she had made a bargain, she had in fact overpaid by at least a hundred thousand rupees. That was Laxmi for you!” (Milne 1986, p. 110)

On the setting in Koregaon Park
“Ma Yog Laxmi then made a trip to Poona to find suitable and of course larger premises. While she was being shown around the grounds of No. 17, Koregaon Park, (now christened Krishna House) an unripe almond fell on her toe. It was a sign from existence. She knew at once this was the spot existence had ordained the first brick be laid. Equally miraculous was the way how all adjoining plots, one by one, fell vacant for the Osho Foundation to acquire. It is to be borne in mind, that Koregaon Park, Poona comprises just 4 lanes designed by the British in far gentle times as a ‘park residence’, the bye-laws framed in 1922, which, amazingly apply to this day. The land laws stipulate that each property must be a minimum of an acre, a one storey residence with garage and a outhouse. It has to be mentioned that this is an area where a few elite, former princes and other honorary princes, i.e. the Parsis have summer residences sprinkling the area with an aura like no other area for a full square mile in India. And most importantly, their treasured properties are certainly not up for sale. Despite these factors, the Osho Foundation had all the luck providentially, in finding 40 hectares, pieces of land closely hugging one another to facilitate the growth of a lush sprawling headquarters – as seen today.” (Fali Heerjee. In: Keerti 2000, p. 180)

Shunyo recalls
“Lao Tzu House (Osho’s house) used to belong to a Maharaja. It was chosen because of the gigantic almond tree that stands over the house, changing colors like a chameleon, from red, orange, yellow, to green.” (Shunyo 1991, p. 19)

The Jamnagar family was the owner of the first house bought by Osho in Poona. (Devi Singh Bikaner. Interview. Bikaner Palace Hotel, Mt. Abu. 30.07.2006)

Although his name is forgotten, Mukta (Catherine Venizelos, Greek) remembers the maharaja and former owner who used to come with his family and visit the ashram during Poona One. (Mukta. Interview. Poona. August 1999)

Rosciano writes on Mukta
“Among these women, I remember Mukta, who always stayed near Osho. She had purchased Lao Tzu House for him and spent most of her time caring for the gardens and trees surrounding the building. Mukta came from a wealthy Greek family that had homes in Europe and the USA, but she’d willingly abandoned the comforts of her former lifestyle to be with Osho, with whom she always remained in devoted harmony. (Rosciano 2013, p. 87)

Punya on Mukta
“Mukta had bought a bungalow in the most elegant residential area of Pune. She was the divorced wife of a Greek shipping magnate who was – in my imagination of course – like an Onassis and I was so pleased that with this kind of money she could buy such a beautiful place for Osho.

The entrance from the road to Osho’s residence had already been blocked off, to give Osho more privacy, and the house could only be accessed from the one which had been bought soon afterwards and was already housing Laxmi’s office. To identify the two houses we would call them by their postal numbers – 33 and 17 – until Osho gave them the names Lao Tzu House and Krishna House. But the number ’17’ is still the one in the ashram’s address: 17 Koregaon Park, Pune, Maharashtra.” (Punya 2015, p. 25)

“They bought a six acre estate at 17 Koregaon Park, Poona, in which the Shree Ashram grew and flourished.” (Storr 1996, p. 55)

Laheru writes that first #33, a 1.5-acre plot, was purchased
“The new name of the Bungalow no. 33 at Koregaon was kept ‘Lao Tse House.’ Whole bungalow was decorated beautifully with flowers and lighting. Osho entered his new bungalow, gave darshan to all the friends present there, and paid obeisance. He inspected the whole bungalow, gave some necessary instructions, and then went to take rest in the bedroom on the ground floor. When Osho was asked, whether to keep his bedroom on the ground floor or on the first floor, he said to keep it on the ground floor…
There was bungalow no. 17 adjacent to Lao Tse House. Negotiations were going on about purchasing that also. Some hundred to three hundred and fifty friends were expected from Mumbai, so Pune friends had requested the owner of the bungalow to allow to use his place for one day, which he had accepted. All arrangements was made in bungalow no. 17…
After about six to seven months, the flat at Woodland was sold and bungalow no. 17 was purchased. It was named Krishna House. In that building, office of Shree Rajneesh Ashram was made. The management of Osho’s work in the whole world was done from there.
Lao Tse House was Osho’s private residence so main door to it was closed and all traffic was kept from the main door of Krishna House. A beautiful strong gate of carved wood was constructed there. The new address of the Ashram was now 17, Koregaon Park, Pune.
After that, on Osho’s instructions, gradually, other bungalows in the vicinity were purchased. In Mumbai, the name for Osho’s work was Jivan Jagruti Kendra.That was changed and after going to Pune a trust was constituted in the name of Rajneesh Foundation and the name of the Ashram was decided to be Shree Rajneesh Ashram.” (Laheru 2012, pp. 94-95)

Milne remembers from December 1974
“After driving all night through the meteor storm, I arrived very early the next morning and made my way to Bhagwan’s house, 33 Koregaon Park, only to be told by the Nepali servant that it was now permanently closed. It was clearly open. I was instructed instead to go to another house, number 17, which Laxmi had recently purchased for Bhagwan as an extension to the original property.
Teertha was there, waiting for me. He accepted the gifts from Scotland, but seemed unusually depressed. He told me that Bhagwan blamed him personally for the collapse of the Chuang Tzu auditorium. As Teertha was clearly in no mood for a friendly conversation, I went to have breakfast in Poona. When I returned later in the day I saw that the Poona ashram had doubled in size while I had been away. Laxmi had bought the house adjoining the original mansion, and Bhagwan had named it Krishna House. About ten disciples were already living semi-permanently in this new house, and all the rickshaw and taxi drivers now knew where ‘Bhagwan’s Ashram’ was. Previously they had not heard of Koregaon Park, let alone of Rajneesh.” (Milne 1986, p. 111)

Sheela writes
“Als Bhagwan noch in Bombay wohnte, gab es fünf Personen, die mit ihm in seiner Wohnung lebten und für seine physischen Bedürfnisse sorgten. Der Umzug nach Poona erhöhte diese Anzahl. Er wohn nun in einem grossen Haus. Er brauchte mehr Personal. Die Organisation, die er in Bombay hatte, war nicht mehr passend…
Laxmi wurde beauftragt, so viele Grundstücke in der Nähe seines Hauses zu kaufen, wie möglich war. Schon einen Monat nach seinem Umzug hatte sie ein zweites Haus, gleich hinter dem ersten erworben. Bhagwans Haus hiess Lao-Tzu-Haus. Das zweite Haus, beim Haupteingang des Rajneesh-Ashrams, in dem die Büros untergebracht wurden, bekam den Namen Krishna-Haus. Innerhalb kürzester Zeit wurde der Ashram zu einem abgeschssenen Gelände von fast 25.000 Quadratmetern mit drei Hauptgebäuden und weiteren legal und illegal errichteten Bauten.” (Sheela 1996, p. 137)

Radha writes
“Koregaon park was an elegant, sprawling, tree-shaded suburb filled with gently-decaying mansions that had been built by India’s wealthy princes and maharajas in the 1920s and 30s, mainly in order to have somewhere to stay while enjoying the horse-racing season in the monsoon. The racing habit had been picked up from the British, the conquerors, whom they idolised and imitated, and who had used Pune as an important military base until India became independent… so we walked in towards the bungalow, which is now called Khrisna House and is the main office.
Here, I must explain the ashram geography. It consisted basically of two large suburban houses: Khrisna house [Errata] in the front, where Osho lived. He gave darshan every evening on a porch at the back of the house and a discourse every morning on a large balcony on the first floor. Between the two houses there was a tiny canteen and a space for daily meditations. There were about twenty Western sannyasins and thirty Indian sannyasins – altogether maybe fifty people living in and around the ashram, and the whole feeling was quite simple… [Lao Tzu House:] The red corridor was named after the square red tiles with which it was floored. It began modestly enough, at the side of the house, close to Lao Tzu Gate, with a door, a mat and a shoerack. But after that the red corridor gained spiritual merit with every metre, passing by a couple of rooms occupied by resident sannyasins, then Osho’s kitchen, then his enormous personal library, then his private apartment, and ending finally at the porch where he gave evening darshan. Few indeed were those allowed to pass down the red corridor, and those who did were sure to tread softly and go in silence. Almost no one went further than the library… it was very narrow, no more than a metre wide… Someone would come out of the kitchen and give the signal – “Vivek is coming” – and this would cause considerable commotion in the corridor, since librarians, cleaners and others had to be out of the way. Nobody wanted Vivek, with her large silver tray, to have to negotiate her way round a library ladder, or risk tripping over a mop or bucket.” (Radha 2005, pp. 31,33,60,65)

On Osho in Poona
“No other religious personality in India perhaps, possesses a more brilliant intellect than does Rajneesh, and yet, no one is more militantly anti-intellectual than he is. With his superb oratory, penetrating parables and courageous critique of our cultural and religious traditions he “has begun to hold a commanding historical significance in India today”… Recently (in 1974) he moved to Poona and has bought a huge bungalow in a rich, residential area.” (Mangalwadi 1977, p. 125)

Jyoti remembers leaving Bombay and driving to Poona 1974
“After the celebration is over Osho takes his lunch and rests for a while. At 2:30pm his car is ready, decorated with garlands of flowers all around. Many friends have gathered again to say good-bye to him. Osho comes down, namastes everyone and slowly walks towards the car. Some friends burst out and start crying loudly. The whole scene is heart breaking. The beloved of their hearts is leaving them.
Laxmi is already sitting in the driver’s seat and Osho sits in the back seat. There are five more cars of friends waiting to follow Him. I get a ride in Swami Krishna Arup’s new Fiat car and coming with us is Osho’s uncle. One car is for the camera people taking video films of this historical event. In a few minutes all the cars are on the road trying to overtake other vehicles.
Bye Bye Bombay!…
By the time we reach Poona the whole function arranged by Poona friends to welcome Osho is over. His enlightenment day celebration has started in front of bungalow #17. Osho is sitting cross legged on a big square table which is covered with a white sheet. Kirtan is going on and people are coming in line to touch his feet. It is quite crowded… After the celebration is over, Osho gets up, namastes everyone one more time and walks with Laxmi to bungalow #33.” (Jyoti 1994, pp. 119ff)

Let us now turn to how the ashram was working and growing.

4.2 The Making of a Buddhafield

Osho is speaking on the growing commune. From a discourse in Buddha Hall, September 1977, reprinted in Darshan Diary:

“This commune is not an ordinary commune. This is an experiment to provoke god. You may not be aware of what is going to happen. You may be aware only of your problems – you may have come to me only to solve your problems. That is secondary; I am cooking up something else! (laughter)
I am trying to create a space where god can descend more and more.
This commune will become a connection. The world has lost connection; god is no more a reality. The connection is broken, and god can only be through the connection. God may be there, we are here, but there is no bridge so how do we know?
This commune is an experiment to create the bridge…” Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 224. (Sannyas, 1978:1, p. 20)

Ashram energy
“The Master simply means a certain Noosphere. The word “Noosphere” is coined by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin… we are acquainted with the word “atmosphere”. Atmosphere means the air that surrounds you, the climate that surrounds you. “Noosphere” means the world of subtle vibes, thoughts, feelings that surround you… the Master carries a noosphere around himself… I call it the Buddhafield.” I Am That (1984). Chapter 1.

Ashram energy
“[Wilhelm] Reich didn’t know about meditation. That was the missing ingredient in his recipe for human fulfilment. It was Osho who added the missing spice. Meditation in Pune went far beyond techniques like Dynamic and Kundalini. It was present in the silence in Buddha Hall, as we waited for Osho to come and give discourse. It was in the air after darshan, as we walked silently along the ashram pathways. It was in those magical moments I experienced, as a participant and as a guest medium in Osho’s energy darshan phase, when we would all disappear into inner cosmic spaces, vast and empty, yet pulsating with an ecstatic energy that filled us with awe and delight.” (Aneesha. In: Svagito 2014, p. 128)

Swami
“I call my sannyasins Swami. The word swami means the master. Swa means the center of your being and swami means one who has found it. Finding one’s center is the beginning of a divine dimension – than all is peace, then flowers of peace go blossoming, endlessly.” The Sound of One Hand Clapping (1981); The Book (1984). Volume III, p. 310.

Ma
“I call a woman “Ma” because if she flowers and comes to the seventh – ‘saharsrar’ – she will become a mothering force. I call the man sannyasins “Swami” because when they come to their ultimate flowering they will simply feel that they have become masters of their own being. Both are the same – but one is a male interpretation of the same experience, another is a female interpretation of the same experience.” The Divine Melody (1978); The Book (1984). Volume II, p. 169.

Aveling writes
“In March 1974, Rajneesh left Bombay and moved to the hill town of Poona in the Maharashtra State. The Rajneesh Foundation was established in 1975 under the leadership of Ma Yoga Laxmi, who was also credited not only with the first wearing of orange robes but also the design of the one hundred and eight bead necklace (mala) with Rajneesh’s picture on it which all his disciples wore. The Jeevan Jagriti Kendra was wound down; its members were asked to wear orange all the time and call themselves swami or ma while continuing to lead their normal daily lives. In ordinary Indian society, this was asking a good deal, and the movement soon became predominantly European in its membership.” (Aveling 1996, p. 75)

Punya recalls
“The daily programme was: Dynamic at 6am, Osho’s discourse at 8am, Whirling in the late afternoon and then the darshan, the interview with the master – at 7pm. The discourses and the darshans (for which we could sign up with Mukta maybe once a week) were held on the porch of Osho’s residence. The meditations were in the still barren garden in front of Krishna House which was now covered by a tin roof to protect us from the sun and the monsoon rains. Everybody came with their own roll-up bamboo mat as if we were going to the beach.
Now we could have intensive meditation days – they were still called ‘camps’ – every month without travelling anywhere. They started on the eleventh of each month and lasted for ten days. The meditations followed each other with intervals of fifteen minutes and with an hour for lunch break. It was very intense; it felt sometimes like going from one movie to the next but, instead of getting a headache by the end of the day, we would feel lighter and brighter.” (Punya 2015, p. 29)

Vaidya writes
“Initially, there was no place to do group meditations at his residence and these were done in a public botanical garden…
Dynamic Meditation would be held in the mornings at the Empress Botanical Gardens and Sufi meditation in the evenings.” (Vaidya 2017, pp. 42,44)

Veena remembers
“Now that Osho had a permanent place to stay we all settled down to work and meditate. He spoke often about the fact that soon there would be many people coming and we needed to prepare. It was hard to imagine this but there was a very real sense of an infrastructure – in the usual chaotic Indian style – being created. Buildings were built, the canteen was set up, gardens were cultivated and creativity flourished. Chuang Tzu Auditorium was built for the morning discourses and the evening darshan, where small groups of people gathered to talk to Osho personally about whatever issues were concerning them.
Within two years Osho’s prediction proved to be correct and people started to arrive in their thousands from all over the world. Chuang Tzu quickly became too small, except for darshan, and so an adjoining property was bought and the Buddha Hall Auditorium was constructed for discourses and meditations. ” (Veena 2012, p. 59)

Osho on sannyas
“Sannyas means, “I will try to become an individual while alive! I will live my life in my own way. I will not be dictated to, dominated. I will not function like a mechanism, like a robot. I will not have any ideals, and I will not have any goals. I will live in the moment, and I will live on the spur of the moment. I will be spontaneous. And I will risk all for it!” Sannyas is a risk.” (Sannyas, 1978:2, p. 29)

“It is a discontinuity. It is not a growth; there is no bridge between the past and the future. The mind functions as a bridge: it carries the past into the future, it contaminates, poisons, the future. It doesn’t allow the future its own being, its own saying. It goes on playing the old tapes. It does not allow that which is happening; it goes on covering it up.
Sannyas is the risk of losing the known for the unknown. It is a gamble, but in that very gamble something is born… something for which one was waiting without knowing, something for which one was searching and seeking without knowing…” Don’t Look Before You Leap. Intimate Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 311.

On the Ashram
“Somebody coming from the outside for the first time may start feeling: What is happening here? In fact, never has such an Ashram existed. Sometimes efforts have been made on a very small scale – some Sufi schools have existed, but on a very small scale. Twenty, 25 persons working in a closed world… nobody knowing what was happening there. Now this [commune] is an open university. Almost the whole world is participating in it: You can find every nationality, every race, every religion represented. It is an open phenomenon. Never has freedom been experimented with on such a big scale.” Tao: The Pathless Path (1979). Vol.1, Ch. 12.

Sam writes from 1975
“All that winter there was a sense of creative power being steadily and implacably stepped up. As soon as you went through the ashram gates you could feel the raw surge of it, and it was a wonderfully exhilarating feeling. Something new seemed to happen every day. Another house was bought adjacent to Osho’s, and work started to convert it into a residential block. Then a large empty field next to the original ashram building was bought (the whole now forming a solid rectangle of territory) and the foundations for a new meditation hall dug out. There were cement mixers, electric cables, queues of Indian labourers carrying tin scoops of earth on their heads. Bits of Western equipment started to arrive, a lot of it smuggled in. Someone donated a brand new land rover, which another sannyasin (as Osho, helpless with laughter, recounted during discourse) promptly stole and drove off somewhere to the south.” (Sam 1997, p. 45)

The ashram
“The Shree Rajneesh Ashram is situated in Koregaon Park, a quiet graceful suburb of Poona. In the ashram’s six-acre site sub-tropical plants luxuriate everywhere: poinsettia and hibiscus, coral-flame and papaya trees, burgeoning bougainvillea, frangipani. Buildings are named after the enlightened ones: Lao Tzu House (where Bhagwan lives), Buddha Hall, Chuang Tzu Auditorium; the main office is called Krishna House, while residents live in houses named after Jesus, Eckhart and St. Francis. As Bhagwan’s reputation spreads abroad, more and more seekers are attracted; more and more come to feel that this is home and ask to stay. Since the establishment of the ashram in 1974 the resident community has risen from a score or so to over three hundred. To accommodate the many sannyasins waiting to move in and to facilitate the next phase of Bhagwan’s work the whole ashram is shortly to move to a very much larger new site.” (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend. RF, 1979)

Shambala in Tibet
“Shambala is a well-known name. It is a mythological city somewhere in Tibet, where only enlightened people can enter. To the unenlightened it remains invisible. No such city exists – it is a beautiful myth – although many foolish people have been in search of it. Still people go on searching, thinking that somewhere in some deep hidden valley of the Himalayas the city must exist.
But it is a beautiful myth and of great meaning. There are a few spaces in existence where only enlightened people can enter. To the unenlightened those spaces remain invisible – not that they are hidden somewhere in the deep valleys of the Himalayas: they are just by the corner. They are within you. You are the valley where they exist. They exist in the Himalayas of your inner being. But unless your inner world becomes full of light you will not be able to see them.” Don’t Look Before You Leap. Intimate Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 341.

Osho’s former incarnation
“Details are not clear, but it is said that several hundred years ago Osho was a Master with many disciples, living somewhere in the Himalayas. He didn’t indicate the place in which he lived, but there is a legend that his body along with the bodies of other great Masters, is preserved in a hidden chamber in the Potala Palace, formerly the winter residence of the Dalai Lama, in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 106)

Glossary: Lao Tzu House
“Lao Tzu House: the name Osho gave to his own residences; in Poona, a large sprawling villa situated in a jungle garden originally known as Number 33, Koregaon Park. He lived in a single room with bathroom and came out twice a day for discourse and darshan and, later, only once a day; usually also inhabited by about 20 other people, including his care-taker Vivek, who occupied the neighbouring room. On the Ranch, Lao Tzu House was a triple-wide trailer home surrounded by lawns, fir trees and peacocks. Unlike Poona One and Two, on the Ranch, only his direct support people shared the house with him – his cook, cleaners, doctor, etc.” (Savita 2014, p. 265)

Veena is shown Osho’s room in Lao Tzu House by Vivek
“I started to tremble as she [Nirvano] lead the way to Osho’s room, opening the door and gestured to me to enter, again one of those devilish grins flitting lightly across her face.
The shock was enormous. Firstly I was almost knocked flat by the wave of energy hitting me – I know my knees buckled. I had already had many experiences of the energy field surrounding an enlightened master, but never as concentrated as this. With nowhere to be dissipated, the energy just builds up inside the room and to someone not used to such a force, the impact is enormous.
Once I had pulled myself together and could take a breath I registered that Osho was not in the room and that the room itself was a nightmare! The walls were made of sections of patterned marble (I hate pink as decor) with the slabs separated by bilious green strips of tile which culminated in a kind of Islamic arch over each slap. The remaining wall and ceiling was patterned with pink and yellow stucco – the colour of vomit, if you have just eaten or drunk something red. Two plastic imitation chandeliers completed the Liberace effect. Knowing my interior design sensibilities, Nirvano giggled and gestured me to sit down near the window.
‘Awful, isn’t it?’ she said and went on to whisper that her biggest freak-out ever had been when she had been shown the room which Osho was to occupy – one hundred percent Bollywood decor! Neither she nor he had any say in the decoration – it had been prepared for him while he was still in Bombay… Osho’s room was joined to Nirvano’s room by a corridor with a green curtain so it was always referred to as ‘The Green Corridor’. Osho walked down this corridor to the veranda outside Nirvano’s room where he ate all his meals so there would not be a smell of food in his room.” (Veena 2012, pp. 112,121)

Glossary: Lao Tzu Balcony above the car porch
“Lao Tzu balcony: the large two-sided terrace on the first floor of Lao Tzu House overlooking Osho’s garden that over the years served to accommodate, first, morning discourse, and later, writers, tape duplicators and seamstresses; it is now enclosed and used for groups.” (Savita 2014, p. 265)

Writer’s balcony
“In 1979 Devateerth Bharti, or Dadaji, as his father was affectionately known, became very ill and on one of Osho’s very rare outings from the ashram. he went to visit his father in hospital.
I recall the day, sitting on the ‘writer’s balcony’ above Osho’s car porch in Lao Tzu, when the new yolk-yellow Mercedes – the predecessor to his first Rolls Royce – rolled out along the driveway, emitting a distinctive scrunching sound as the tires hit the gravel. We few pulled away from our desks near the balustrade and stayed silent and invisible, always in awe of any extremely rare moment when Osho stepped out of his regular routine of morning discourse and evening darshan, especially, as on this occasion, to drive out through the ashram gate to see his sick father.” (Savita. In: Savita 2014, p. 111)

Osho’s dress
“I’d seen him do it every session: he’d wrap his lungi around his lower body, and holding his arm out, with incredible speed and dexterity, he’d rapidly flick the extra length of fabric backwards and forwards to make pleats and in no time at all the top was tucked into his waistband and the rest hanging perfectly neatly down to the ground. Then I took him by his hand, because that’s what Nirvano had always done, and from the balcony I walked with him across the room… He came out a minute later holding a beautiful gold and diamond fountain pen. “This is for you!” he said.” (Satyarthi. In: Savita 2014, p. 227)

Krishna Prem writes from the ashram in early 1977
“Number 17 Koregaon Park has also changed. Beyond recognition, in fact. Where once a scraggly hedge of crimson lantana sprawled, a massive teak gate stands, brass-studded, a white marble kiosk flanking either side. And looming majestically above it arches a great white portico, crowned with a Kremlin-style cupola and Osho’s name emblazoned in chiselled black lettering. And smack in the centre I detect Laxmi’s hand. Hanging there, pure glitz and glitter, is a tear-drop crystal chandelier, looking for all the world like she’s purloined it from the lobby of some Beverly Hills hotel…
The transformation inside the front gate is as un-bargained for. The original four-bedroom bungalow that was 17 has mushroomed into an edifice the size of a residential hotel and the newly acquired next-door property now boasts a gigantic oval lecture hall, roofed in a tarpaulin befitting a massive circus tent…
But the commune itself? When we left there had been numbers 17 and 33 and a bare patch of earth between. Now there are four compounds on six acres and a thriving community bubbling with activity, bursting at its seams. The bookstall, the boutique, the cafeteria, the residences, the darkroom, the design studio, the warehouse, the group rooms and therapy chambers – it’s all too much to absorb! And Osho named everything. Number 17 is Krishna House, 33 is Lao Tzu House, and the path in between has been roofed, floored, and renamed Radha Hall. And all the new names! Jesus House, Francis House, Eckhart Village, Buddha Hall, Chuang Tzu Auditorium, Vrindavan – I’ve no sooner heard them but forgotten not only which is which but also which is where. It’s a bewildered, bedazzled Krishna Prem they lead to Laxmi.” (Allanach 2010, p. 149)
(Note: Eckhart Village is the former servants quarters for Jesus House)

4.2
20170309_019
Photo 1. Osho on the lawn. 1974.

Nirgun remembers when cleaning in Lao Tzu House
“Only Bhagwan’s care-giver, Vivek, entered his room when he was there. He never went out of his room alone. She escorted him to meals in his small dining room, to discourses and to darshan, guarding his privacy with the fierce devotion of a lion mother. None of the rest of us glimpsed him by day or night, except his secretary, doctor, dentist, and robe makers, who saw him by appointment…
One day when buds were beginning to burst out on the huge trees inside the gate, Vivek asked me to help spring-clean Bhagwan’s room. The stark simplicity startled me. An enormous bed with three great pillows, an exquisite rosewood stereo cabinet, a desk and chair. That was all…
I looked around the kitchen. Black and gray granite slabs covered the floor and the counter that ran the full length of the room. Huge papaya trees in the driveway shaded the windows. Through the branches I caught a glimpse of the orange Fire of the Forest. A cool, serene room – a single question came to me and it was anything but spiritual: for God’s sake, where’s the equipment?
The only stove in evidence was an old four-burner gas plate on the counter. An antique refrigerator stood near the door, a grinding machine in the far corner, a sink under the windows. Rows of pots and pans with rounded bottoms and flat covers sat on shelves under the counter, china cups and saucers on a wall shelf, and on the counter a thali, a huge round silver tray, held eight small dull silver bowls. I grabbed a cloth and started rubbing them.
Astha came in. She was young, tall, strongly built and couldn’t have been more friendly. She told me the kitchen routine: Vivek takes Bhagwan’s meals in at eleven in the morning and six at night. Always the same: a thali of dahl and vegetables, chutney and curd and chapatis, salad, fruit juice.
“That’s it?” I asked incredulously.
“Vivek takes him a cup of tea every morning at six and a snack at bedtime,” she told me. Astha had been working in his kitchen for years. I was impressed by the salads she made for Bhagwan; they were works of art – dramatic, showy.” (Hamilton 1998, pp. 63-66)

Arun recalls the school in the commune
“He called the school in his commune the No-School where children were allowed absolute freedom to choose and study what they wanted to study and when they wanted to study. A teacher could only teach a child when the child was ready for it. His vision for this neo-education system is compiled in his book ‘Siksha Mai Kranti’ which has been translated into ‘Revolution in Education’.” (Arun 2017, p. 354)

Renu remembers from 1977
“Later that first afternoon we decided to look in on what was called Kundalini Meditation. We were directed back through the garden to Radha Hall where all the meditations took place. We were looking all around but couldn’t see anyone meditating anywhere… all we saw were a bunch of people dancing in wild abandon. We stood next to that scene and asked some people, “Where is the meditation hall?” They cracked up and told us that this was it. We tried to join in… I tried to move in front of someone like, signalling them to see if they wanted to dance with me. The meditation leader, Christ Krishna had to come up and tell me that this is meditation and we dance alone.” (Renu. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 495)

Meditation camp in ashram
“The Programme: From the 11th to the 20th of every month an intensive meditation camp is run with five meditation techniques held daily. These are usually: dynamic meditation, Sufi dancing (Rajneesh Ashram style), nadabrahma (humming), kundalini meditation and nataraj (dancing) or gourishankar.
Between camps when the therapy groups are running, dynamic, Sufi dance and kundalini take place, plus open classes in t’ai chi, karate and hatha yoga.” (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend. RF 1979).
(Note: ‘Samadhi Sadhana Shibir’, was the name of the meditation camps in the ashram. The Empty Boat (1976), p. 8)

Four major celebrations
“In addition to this daily routine, four major celebrations were held each year when the numbers at the ashram would swell still further. These were held on the day of Bhagwan’s enlightenment (21 March), on Guru Purnima Day, a traditional day of celebration when disciples in India acknowledge their relationship with their Master (6 July), on Bhagwan’s birthday (11 December), and on Mahaparinirvana Day (8 September). This last was to celebrate all those sannyasins who had died, special attention being paid to sannyasins whom Bhagwan declared had become enlightened on dying. These included his own (biological) father and Prince Welf of Hannover, who had been among his first sannyasins.” (Thompson 1986, p. 21)

Satyananda recalls from December 1978
“Neben der Buddhahalle sind zwei Grossraumbüros in Japanischem Stil entstanden: Strohdach auf Holzpfeilern, innen mit Tuchbespannung und Neonröhren. Keine Wände, sondern brusthohr Bastmatten. Schreibtische auf Zementboden. In dem einen Büro arbeiten die Übersetzer – Deutsche, Italiener, Franzosen, Japaner, Holländer, Inder. Viele hübsche Mädchen. In das andere Büro ist das Presse-Office eingezogen.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 211)

Aneesha recalls
“The Pune ashram, as I kept discovering, wasn’t a normal kind of ashram. Meditation was the backbone of what was happening, but celebration came a close second. In Osho’s vision of life, meditation without celebration is too dry, while celebration without meditation lacks depth. A synthesis is needed, so the ashram’s daily program offered many opportunities for singing and dancing… Every night there was singing and dancing in the Buddha Hall… If someone were to ask me what I got out of those early years in Pune I’d have to say that the lifestyle, as a whole, was far more important than any single experience or point of understanding. Osho called this collective phenomenon a “buddhafield” – where a group of seekers enhance each other’s growth process simply by being together with an enlightened master in the same energy field.” (Dillon 2005, p. 179)

Satya Vedant writes on arriving Westerners
“Many from this new generation who were identified in general as “hippies” or “flower children” had a sense of direction, but they did not have the needed guidance. Their search brought them to the East. They were the first ones to come in touch with Bhagwan, not the academics, the sophisticated, the highbrows. Only the wanderers came in that early contact. Only the rebels, revolutionaries, radicals, all those who were searching for an alternative to their conditioned way of living, came to Bhagwan.
So these “mad people,” whom Bhagwan calls “my people,” were the first ones to approach him, to fall in love with him. They were accepted and unconditionally loved by him, without exception. They received some initial energy from Bhagwan and then went back to their own countries and began spreading the news about Bhagwan. They assured others like themselves that there was someone who could bring them out of their misery, pain, and frustration. On one hand, these early Westerners functioned to spread Bhagwan’s message to others, and on the other, they functioned to bring feedback to Bhagwan. They provided him with firsthand understanding of what was occurring in the social as well as psychological realms of the West. It was only subsequent to this initial work done by the “hippies,” “flower children,” and “drop-outs,” that more educated, refined, and sophisticated people started to be drawn to Bhagwan. It took several years for the intellectuals, the academics, the rationalists to realize that there was someone who, instead of answering their questions, was able to bring about such a radical change in their perspective that the very questions dropped away and evaporated, and they felt deeply relaxed, almost ecstatic.” (Joshi 1982. Epilogue, p. 175)

Prem Gayan remembers
“People came from all corners of the world, we merged and mingled and lost all sense of time… a new life had truly begun. We were immersed in a sea of orange, red and maroon colours, the lectures every morning were inspiring, enlightening, and made us aware of our deep seated conditionings. Yet letting go of the old and familiar was not easy; we clung to our past, as if our lives depended on it.
But Osho just kept hammering anyway. After some time our old lives appeared more and more hollow and just simply untrue. Our dogmas and beliefs crumbled and our old thought patterns, that had kept us imprisoned for so long, disappeared in the silence of his presence. His wonderful stories and jokes made us roar with laughter. He made us laugh and he made us cry and slowly we relaxed into the present moment; listening to him every morning was of an incredible intensity. The wisdom and love that poured into our minds and hearts is indescribable. The inner freedom we felt, to finally be ourselves, was expanding our beings. So we listened, we danced and we worked, seven days a week; time was standing still…” (www.oshonews.com 12.02.2014)

P1A, section 4.2, ca. p. 25.
Video 1. The Blessings Times. Footage made by an Indian filmmaker for the national German TV in 1978. Collected by Manik for Osho film festival 2005. Music by Laz Luiz: ‘Mythologize Yourself’. 4:30 min. Color.

Sarmad recalls
“Arriving at his Poona commune in the late-seventies, I walked down a country lane of walled estates dating from the British era. Behind a beautiful wooden gate out of an Arabian Night’s tale, a lush garden courtyard led to several smaller houses and a large, tent-covered, outdoor meeting hall where women in flowing red gowns were twirling, dervish-style, and dancing in free-form bliss and play. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Coming from the uptight west, the atmosphere of the commune was, in a couple of words, blissful and enchanting.
The next morning I attended my first discourse. Due to Osho’s back trouble and asthmatic condition, his attendants drove him a few hundred yards from a rear house to the side of the open-air meeting hall. When I first saw Osho emerge and float-walk towards his famous chair, I sensed there was something absolutely different, unique, and mysterious about this man – something I had never sensed with any other human being.” (Sarmad. http://zorbathebuddha.net/21.09.2005)

Indira Gandhi reading Osho’s books
“Even a courageous woman like Indira Gandhi wanted to see me, wanted to come to the ashram, and at least six times the date was fixed and just one day beforehand, it would be cancelled: “Some urgent work has come.” Finally her secretary came and told me, “There is no urgent work. The problem is that her political advisers prevent her. They say, “Going to Bhagwan can affect your political position; so it is better not to go to him, because the old traditional Indian mind is so much against him that if you go to see him, you may lose votes.” Even the prime minister of the country is afraid to come and see me – she wants to, but her own vested interests prevent her.” The Razor’s Edge (1987). Session 29, p. 334)
(Note: Indira Gandhi first became Prime Minister in 1966 and had a landslide victory in the 1971 election. Her popularity declined during many crises in early 1970s and she was defeated in the 1977 election following the curfew. She had one more term as PM in 1980, and was killed by her Sikh body guards on 31.10.1984 in response to the Blue Star operation in the temple in Amritsar. Sanjay Gandhi, a pilot, was killed in an aircraft accident in 1980. Her second son Rajiv became a PM and was killed in 1991)

Arun writes on Mobos Hotel and meditations in Poona 1974
“Hotel Mobokos itself was also once part of a princely state. This double-story hotel was a huge complex, but had only a few bedrooms. These rooms, however, were king-sized, with luxurious en-suites. The rent per room ranged from forty to sixty rupees a day, which was quite expensive. When more and more sannyasins began arriving and requesting cheap accommodation, the hotel management decided to convert a considerably big drawing room into a dormitory. They charged each person three rupees per day, and provided a mattress and pillow for each of us, but we had to use the servants’ bathroom, which was crowded and not very comfortable. Any other provisions we had to manage on our own. Outside the hotel, there was a cafe where we would buy inexpensive treats. Many of my roommates from that dormitory later became famous group leaders, gurus and therapists. I remember Radha, the pretty Italian ma living with us in the dormitory, who later became Bhagwan’s medium. She was very popular among the sannyasins…
I would try to rest for a while, despite the noise there, then I’d shower and get ready for Kundalini meditation. In those days, we didn’t have a meditation hall; meditation was done in any open space available in the ashram. So every day I would go to the ashram, and have to find the place where the meditations were happening for that day. Teertha, who was the meditation coordinator then, would come with the tape recorder, and we would all follow him. Construction was in full swing in the ashram. Some days, we would come to the lawn, only to find heaps of bricks had been unloaded there, so we would have to go and find another space…
One evening, after Kundalini meditation, I fell into a trancelike state. I remained in that state until late into the night. At that time, we were doing Kundalini meditation on a lawn at the ashram, where they built Radha auditorium later.” (Arun 2017, pp. 131-136)
(Note: Mobos Hotel appears on Swami Bindu’s cd ‘Plain Tales From Poona’ (LC 0760. 2014) which presents an incredible vivid portrait of what it was like being around in Poona One)

Satyananda shares his understanding of Osho’s work
“Ich liebte es, meine indische Entdeckung in grossen Zusammenhängen zu sehen. Ich sah Osho (so nannte Bhagwan sich später, kurz vor seinem Tode), ich sah in diesem Inder den Mann, der die Brücke schlug zwischen Materie und Geist, zwischen Macht und Bewusstsein, zwischen Ost und West, zwischen spirituellem Know-how und technisch-wissenschaftlichem Fortschritt. Ich sah ihn in einer Linie mit Buddha, Mohammed, Heraklit, Sokrates, Jesus und Lao Tse. Er woillte keine neue Religion begründen, aber er war offenbar im Begriff, das spirituelle Vakuum des Westens dadurch aufzufüllen, das er die angeborene Religiosität der Menschen entfachte, die mit ihm in Berührung kamen. Der modus operandi dieses modernen Buddhas schien mir genial. Fasziniert beobachtete ich, wie souverän er mit der Psychologie der Massenmedien umging und wie elegant er die Möglichkeiten der modernen Kommunikationselektronik nutzte…
Bhagwans Aschram war kein Kloster, in dem man sich in frommer Stille dem Gebet hingab und Selbstverleugnung übte. Er war auch kein Modell für eine neue, bessere Gesellschaft. Der Aschram von Poona war ein Laboratorium, in dem sich der Wahnsinn unserer Welt wie unter einem Brennglass konzentrierte – alle unsere passionen, Ängste, Perversionen und Lügen, unsere Illusionen, unsere Gier und Wut. Die Art und Weise, wie Osho mit diesen verrückten Energien umging, erschien mir oft rätselhaft manchmal sogar unheimlich. Dabei konnte ich täglich beobachten, wie viele Menschen, die sich ihm anvertrauten, offener, freier, authentischer, herzlicher wurden.” (Elten 1992, pp. 216,220)

Organizing the Ashram

During the 1970s the ashram was gradually expanding into a internationally recognized growth center based on Osho’s understanding and a therapy programme within the framework of humanistic psychology.

Osho on the ashram
“The ashram is my polar opposite. I have to have a polar opposite. If you love me, you will tolerate the ashram. That’s the price to be paid. One who loves me by and by forgets about the ashram and starts accepting it. The ashram is part of the world. It cannot be like me… It is not possible. But you should be grateful towards it because it helps my work, that’s all. It makes me comfortable. It helps things to happen, that’s all. But it is just an organization. Don’t be worried about it. Forget it and just remember me, mm? Good!” At the Feet of the Master. Darshan compilation (1992), p. 323.

“I can manage the ashram in such a way that nobody will be offended, that is so simple, but then I will not be of any utility to you. You can find those kinds of ashramas everywhere in India. They give you consolation, they never offend; they give you comfort, they never annoy.
I am here to annoy and offend because that is the only way to destroy you and the only way to create you anew. So it is going to be uneasy; but one thing has happened in you – that you know, you have recognised me, so all else is not important. That feeling is there in your heart that you have found me and I am going to help you. That is essential; everything else will drop by itself. If that is not there you will be disconnected with me.
The ashram has two functions; it connects people with me, it disconnects people from me. If the people are worthwhile, it connects them with me; if the people are not worthwhile, it disconnects them from me. It has to serve a double function. It is just as a gate is both an entrance and exit, it has a double function: it allows people to enter in, it throws people out too. But if you meditate, slowly slowly you will see the reason for everything that looks so irrational. The rational is there, deep, hidden; it is not on the surface. And in finding it you will become deeper, you will become more profound.” Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1982), p. 33.

Ashram described in guide to ashrams in India
“The Ashram: A modern, suburban centre, originally residential for around twenty ashramites and the staff of ‘Sannyas’ magazine (which is published here) and now housing several hundred at a time. Even now, with more land and more accommodation, the number of students is usually way out of proportion to the space available and the ashram is generally filled to overflowing. Many students therefore prefer to share flats outside (which is expensive in Poona) and come in for sessions.
The ashram canteen serves very good Western or Indian-style vegetarian food, with fruit curd or milk. Tea or curd is served between meditation sessions. Breakfast consists of tea, curd and porridge. Lunch costs five rupees and supper four.
Meditation camps are held for ten days each month in a huge marquee in the garden, holding about one hundred participants.
The Neo-Sannyas International organization, which propagates the teachings of Bhagwan, produces many attractive books from his taped lectures, also cassettes and the glossy magazine ‘Sannyas’. Lists available from the ashram and affiliated centres.” (Murray 1980, p. 239)

Gateless gate
“The ‘Gateless Gate’ is the name lovingly coined by ashramites for the antique Burmese teakwood gate which is the main entrance to the ashram.” (Sannyas, 1977:3, p. 51)

Arun writes on early days in the ashram
“As more and more sannyasins came, the ashram needed more staff, and Laxmi decided to use the Press building as a dormitory for the newly-appointed ashram staff. My first room-mates were Swami Chaitanya Keerti and Ma Krishna Priya. One Muslim sannyasin joined us later. Keerti immediately got the job as the editor of ‘Rajneesh Times’, which meant he received all the facilities of a resident including food pass. The other two also had food passes, as they were working in the ashram; I was the only one who didn’t. I had a free-entry pass and free ashram accommodation, and so was treated as a half-ashramite. Pune ashram was not very financially stable in those days. All the staff members were given a cup of tea in the morning after Dynamic meditation. They had to work from ten until eleven o’clock, when they were given brunch. They were always served chapati, rice, daal and a curry for both brunch and dinner. After brunch, they would go back to work, and meet again at three o’clock for a cup of tea. Dinner was served after Kundalini meditation in the evening. Apart from the camp days, we only had Dynamic meditation in the morning and Kundalini in the evening. The ashram did not have enough funds for breakfast or to expand the menu in any way. But as I didn’t have a food pass, I couldn’t even eat the food or drink the tea in the ashram.” (Arun 2017, p. 143)

Vidya writes on the Office
“I’d like to tell you a bit about the Office, since it keeps coming up here and there, and it is such a centrally important place in the ashram.
The office is a place of fear and trembling, and fun, depending on which side you are facing. It can be the Bloody Tower itself, or the palace portals through which all must pass when seeking audience with Him. The organization’s heads reside there. Women, of course. The chief head is Laxmi, tiny-little-powerful Laxmi, who after Bhagwan, knows the most of what is happening around here. She is Bhagwan’s right-hand man. She’s a combination of softness, intuition and pure potency. Her two secretaries are Arup and Sheela. Arup handles Western affairs, primarily anything having to do with groups and darshans. Sheela handles domestic affairs with the Indians and the work distribution of the entire ashram, together with Vidya, secretary to both Sheela and Arup. These are pretty heavy ladies, incredibly competent and direct in manner and in work.” (Vidya 1980, p. 190. Excerpt in: Sannyas. 1979:2, p. 29)

Sheela writes
“Nachdem Bhagwan nach Poona gezogen war, änderte er einige Dinge innerhalb seiner Organisation. Er schlug eine klarere Richtung ein. Er definierte seine Arbeit neu und änderte einige grundlegende dinge in seinem privaten und öffentlichen Leben. Mit Hilfe seiner Sekretärin Laxmi isolierte er sich mehr. Er entledigte sich während dieses Prozesses aller Leute, die nur nutzlos herumhingen. Er machte sich exklusiver, sorgte dafür, das er geheimnisvoller wirkte. Jetzt traf er sich nicht mehr so bereitwillig wie früher mit allen, die ihn sehen wollten. Private Treffen hörten völlig auf.” (Sheela 1996, p. 118)

Women in power
“There is evidence that women have sometimes been historically significant as the power behind a prophet’s throne. This was certainly the case with Osho, whose main emotional support in the first phase of his teaching was his devoted cousin, Kranti. The most important single follower from 1969 to 1981 was Laxmi, the daughter of a prominent Jain businessman and member of the Indian National Congress party, and herself secretary of the All-India Congress Women’s Conference. Osho’s biographer Joshi describes how ‘First as Bhagwan’s secretary and later as managing trustee of the Rajneesh Foundation in Poona, Laxmi has been largely instrumental in the expansion and growth of Bhagwan’s work’… The woman with the greatest power in the history of the Osho movement was Sheela, who took over from Laxmi as Osho’s personal secretary in 1981 and ran Rajneeshpuram until she left in September 1985.” (Puttick 1997, p. 164)

Bodhena on organization
“All this had to be organized, and that it was, in the form of a charitable trust (“Rajneesh Foundation”), responsible largely for running the therapy groups and meditations, and a non profit company (“Rajneesh Foundation Limited”) that was more or less taking care of the media work, books, audio tapes, etc. It was Laxmi who was “managing trustee” for the former as well as “managing director” for the latter.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 56)

Krishna Prem writes on Laxmi in the office 1977
“I stand for a moment in the doorway of the new administration office, watching this woman I love, just savouring the sight of her. She sits in a high backed chair at the centre of a cyclone of activity, dealing, as she’s always done, with everything at once. She’s tinier than before, even more frail and bird-like, but still, an energy of dynamic proportions emanates from her – mercurial and volcanic, but at the same time, centered and alert…
“Have you visited commune?” she asks. “Much growth has happened, hmm?” She spreads her hands to include the women seated on either side of her, one Indian, one European, each dealing with someone. “And now, you see, secretary has secretaries!” She introduces me. “This is Ma Arup,” she says, turning to the statuesque European. “Dutch lady.” Arup flashes me a toothy smile. “And this is Ma Sheela,” she adds, her voice all at once motherly. Sheela returns my gaze directly with a straightforwardness rare in an Indian woman. “Gujarati,” Laxmi whispers. “From Baroda.” I’m not quite sure what Sheela’s native state and city have to do with anything, but to Laxmi they seem as significant as university degrees.” (Allanach 2010, p. 150)
(Note: Ma Prem Arup’s legal name was Maria Gemma Kortenhorst).

Divya remembers Laxmi
“Laxmi deep down is Indian. By Indian I don’t mean the Indian of the society, I don’t mean the Indian mind, but the motherly Indian. I have known her since 1972 and the Laxmi from then is not there any more. That person does not exist any more. She is mysterious now, she is totally changed. Now she is becoming very very soft and I enjoy her energy very much. Sometimes when I don’t feel good I just go into her office for a few minutes and, sitting by her side, I feel very good again. It’s almost the same as being with Bhagwan. She is very straightforward. If she has something to say to you, she will say it, she will even shout at you, but after two minutes she will have forgotten that she shouted at you, that you should be thrown out of the ashram or whatever. You come back after two minutes and everything is okay and she is as loving to you as if nothing had happened. I find that quality really beautiful in her.” (Divya 1980, p. 124)

Krishna Prem on Laxmi’s telepathy
“She leans back in her chair, her eyes half-closing. And I swear she’s checking with Osho. I’ve never seen this happen before, but I get the distinct impression she’s waiting for him to tell her what to say. It’s as if there’s some kind of telepathic hook-up between them, some sort of psychic radio connecting her and him, linking her office in Krishna House with his room in Lao Tzu. And she hasn’t done this with anyone else! While we’ve been sitting here, she’s dealt with everyone quickly, easily, on her own. It’s as if she wants to tune in to him first before replying to us.” (Allanach 2010, p. 177)

Laxmi and her work
“… when Laxmi was in with Osho doing Ashram business (she saw him twice a day, in the afternoon and after darshan. Incidentally, if a sannyasin had written a letter to him with a question, this is when he read and answered it)…” (Veena 2012, p. 115)

Osho answers letters
“At that time, the Master was answering personal written questions, sending his replies on small yellow sheets of paper. His answers were usually telegraphic. When they required more detail, he sent verbal responses through his secretary, Laxmi, who would either deliver them herself or pass them via her own secretaries, Arup and Sheela.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 208)

Osho occasionally produced questions in peoples names, like he had been doing ever since ‘Prayas’ in 1944. (Anando. Personal information. August 2011)

The Office interior
“We were shown into a long room with large glass windows overlooking the front gate and the promenade. There was a long desk along one wall with three women sitting side by side behind it. In the middle was an Indian woman wearing a headscarf; she was so tiny she was practically swallowed by the chair she sat on. On either side of her sat more substantial European women, one with long wary blonde hair, the other with somewhat darker straight hair.” (Stork 2009, p. 95)

Arup on library and office work
“And then I heard that they were looking for a typist for the Lao Tzu library. That was right in Bhagwan’s house, so how could I resist that one? I came running and they said, ‘Yes, you can do it. It’s four hours a day.’ So, I came every day to the house and sat there and typed… A few days later as I was walking through the corridor she says, ‘Come on, let Laxmi show you now.’ And she pulled out those [photo]albums and she spent maybe two hours with me! (There is affectionate softness in her voice, still touched by ‘the little giant’s’ attention). Just like that, in the middle of the day! I don’t know what happened to the office in those days. And she gave me this incredible energy! She was telling me all about her life, about Bhagwan, how she met him and what had happened, and this and that…
I was waiting, you know. By that time the library job wasn’t happening any more and I had to type manuscripts – because they’d found out I was a really good typist. So when I started doing the letters for Laxmi, that was my opportunity of being in contact with her all the time! The letters were just an excuse – it was the closeness that I was interested in.
So I would do that work in the early morning or in the evening whenever she wasn’t around. And then I’d started hanging out with her in the office, and because I was there the whole time, she started giving me things to do, so I started seeing what needed to happen and I started helping her. And then it just grew. Then part of the time I’d be doing the letters and the rest of the time I’d be in the office, and I’d be in all the meetings and all that. She’d come out every night and I’d wait till everybody else was gone and then either we’d sit till two o’clock in the morning – and night after night she’d be talking – or sometimes we’d go home early. But it was like there was my total life! And that lasted for a long time until Sheela came.
Oh god! (She looks up in mock horror!) Then I went through an incredible rejection trip and jealousy when Sheela came. I knew all along, of course, that I was attached to Laxmi and that wasn’t good. It was incredibly painful for me, especially because Sheela’s personality and my personality just clash! Really!” (Arup. Interview by Divya. In: Zorba the Buddha. A Darshan Diary (1982), p. 159)

4.2 organizing
20170309_017
Photo 2. Inauguration of the Gateless Gate. 1978.

Tim Guest writes on Vismaya, his mother
“As part of my mother’s training she was sent each week to work in a different part of the Ashram administration. She spent her first week in the filing department, where, in a row of tall filing cabinets against the black wall, index cards were filed, along with summaries of letters asking for sannyas, and any other information on each disciple. As letters were received, my mother saw some of the women in the main office writing comments on these cards; she couldn’t resist looking up her own. On the back, scribbled in the wide margin, there was just a single-phrase summary of her first heartfelt letter to Bhagwan: ‘Flowery blurb’. She spent the day in fury, but she got over it. For the rest of that week she amused herself by looking up the cards of everyone she knew. The second week she spent in the books and tapes department, where she helped organize the stream of new recordings and publications. Bhagwan’s every word was transcribed and published; by 1981 here were over three hundred books already in circulation. There were just as many tapes of his discourses. (Even though he believed history was an illusion, he clearly believed in posterity; if the recording equipment stopped, Bhagwan would pause the lecture until power could be restored.) The books and tapes department arranged mail-order sales of these discourses – a major source of income for the Ashram.” (Guest 2005, p. 48)

Sheela in darshan July 1978 on her moving to the ashram
“It seems you had invited Sheela, Indian sannyasin, to become a part of the ashram, and she is undecided. I don’t think my parents will let me come, she says, then explains something more in Hindi.” Don’t Look Before You Leap. Intimate Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 204.

Satyananda remembers Sheela in office
“Zur linken von Laxmi sitzt Sheila, die hübsche indische Sekretärin. Schwarzes Glanzhaar, rundes Gesicht, dunkle Augen, die in ständiger Rundumbewegung sind, denen nichts entgeht. Extrovertiert, mit einer affronthaften, etwas auf die Nerven gehenden Lebhaftigheit. Stahlhart, wenn es darum geht, die geschäflichen Interessen des Aschram zu vertreten. Sie hat eine durchdringende Stimme, die all anderen Laute in den Rang von Nebengeräuschen verweist.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 219)

Sheela becoming Osho’s secretary
“Unter diesen Umständen war es schwierig, in Indien Land zu kaufen… Bhagwan wurde ungeduldig und wollte nichts mehr von diesen Schwierigkeiten wissen. Seine Laune wurde jeden Tag schlechter. Er wollte nicht mehr in diesem stagnierenden, erstickenden Ashram leben. Er wollte aus. 1980 erklärte er seine Sekretärin Laxmi für unahig und feuerte sie. Sie hatte versagt.
Kurze Zeit später ernannte er mich zu seiner neuen Sekretärin, einen Job, den ich nicht wollte. Ich traute mir diese Aufgabe nicht zu. Ich war darfür nicht ausgebildet. Das einzige, was für mich sprach, war meine Liebe zu ihm.” (Sheela 1996, p. 173)

Press Office
Press Office was opened December 1977 and provided press kits, press releases, photographs and slides of Osho and the commune, videos on Osho and his work in various languages. Further videos or selected film footage in broadcast quality, updated articles on Osho and the commune life, discourses, quotations by Osho on a variety of subjects and press archive information from 1974 onwards.

Keerti recalls
“I am bad with grammar and word choice in English, as I did not have an education in English. Another Indian, Swami Satya Vedant, was proficient in English and a significant contributor to the Press Office. But we preferred to have Australian Krishna Prem, British Subhuti, and American Veeten write the press releases in British and American English, although we were mostly working in India or from India. (Keerti. In: Viha Connection, 2002:5)

Osho answers question on Press Office
“Why not? I am a modern man. In fact, a little ahead of my time. I am going to use every possible means to spread the truth: newspapers, video, tape recorders, film, radio, television, satellite transmission, everything. Buddha had to go to every village. You didn’t ask him, ‘Why do you go on walking from one village to another village?’ That was a primitive way of spreading the message. For forty-two years he was travelling and travelling: to do that now would be foolish. I can be in my room, and I can fill the whole world with my message… The press office creates a question in many people’s minds. They think truth need not be declared. It needs to be declared! Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Go in every direction and shout from the housetops! Only then will people hear, because people are deaf.’ I will not tell you to go and shout from the rooftops. Better means are available. Man has invented great technology. Everybody else is using that technology, but when it is used for truth, questions start arising. If you use it for politics, good; if you use it for evil, perfectly right – but if you use it for God, then questions start arising. I’m going to use all kinds of media. It pays to advertise. And this is not a new thing either. Krishna Prem has been with Moses too. He is an ancient pilgrim; he is not with me for the first time only.” (Allanach 2010, p. 283)

Krishna Prem recalls
“Before getting into bed that night I write to him, outlining what’s been happening, telling him what I did in Canada and asking if I’m right in feeling there’s something in the area of public relations or publicity he wants me to do. Running into Vivek on my way to the balcony the following morning, I hand her the note. A bit later I look up from the typewriter to find her standing beside my desk, a big grin on her face. “He said to tell you, you got it. He said that’s what he was trying to tell you. Journalists are starting to come and more are on the way. He wants you to set up a press office to handle them.” And I knew that if I hadn’t understood his non-verbal message, I wouldn’t have been ready to do what it is he wants me to do…”Hey, you guys!” I shout the moment I catch sight of them. “Guess what! I’ve got a new job! I’m going to do PR for God!”” (Allanach 2010, p. 187)

Niranjan on press coverage
“If one takes a look at the newspapers, magazines, and periodicals of those days, they will come to know that almost daily, false and highly provocative matter was being published against Osho and the Meditation Centre. In one very prominent newspaper of Rajasthan, a news item was printed that thousands of naked people sat with Osho in an underground hall every morning to listen to his discourse. There was one other news printed in a very popular Pune newspaper that Osho has raped a Japanese girl and police were enquiring about it. Such baseless and vile news was continuously being published by the media. There would be no follow up on such serious allegations after the news was published. They would simply print it and leave it and then find some other thing to malign Osho. Obviously, vested interests like the priests and the politicians were behind it.” (Niranjan 2012, p. 172)

Articles
Ageh Bharti has an incomplete listing of published articles
“All the periodicals in the languages of the entire country would quite often publish excerpts from His lectures, books, and interviews. Several Osho-lovers used to contribute articles to the magazines on demand. Today I do not have the records to testify except some periodicals that brought out articles of His message presented by me alone.” (Bharti 2007, p. 283)

The articles are listed by Ageh Bharti with name of magazine / paper and place of publishing. The number of articles are: 1967:3; 1968:4; 1969:30; 1970:21; 1971:16; 1972:9; 1973:2; 1974:2; 1975:6; 1976:2; 1977:2; 1978:2; 1979:6; 1980:5; 1981:14; 1982:1; 1983:1. Total: 126.

Article in STERN
“Once long before the press office began, she [Laxmi] had allowed a STERN photographer to shoot in Teertha’s Encounter group. The journalist with him, STERN’s Andrees Elten, had done the group to write an article, and both he and the photographer, Jay Ullal, had taken sannyas. When this happened, she agreed to the photos. But after the article had been through the hands of STERN editors, the photos, inadequately explained, just looked bizarre, frightening to anyone who didn’t understand what was going on. And a decision had been reached – no journalists or photographers in cathartic group. Apart from the obvious risks of misinterpretation, this one experience showed Laxmi it wasn’t fair to the participants either, being put on display like monkeys in a zoo… In full-colour spread, albeit off-register in typical Indian style, the STERN photos, plus a few others so horrific even the Germans rejected them, are laid out for all the country to see [in New Delhi magazine]. And the editor’s been clever. Under the simple title, Total Love, there are just a few words: “The Poona Acharya allows disciples in his community to practice what he preaches. The group therapy ‘sessions’ are a means to achieving the ultimate bliss and freedom.”” (Allanach 2010, p. 224)

Press conference in Bombay October 1978
“… a press conference has been called in Bombay and in New Delhi. Just yesterday a photographic series appeared in a new magazine, ‘The New Delhi’, depicting sannyasins naked in a group at the ashram. There was no verbal counterpart, no story with it, only the caption that Acharya Rajneesh’s disciples practice what He preaches!… The photos were obtained by illicit means and taken at angles which insinuated something other than what actually happened.
The press conference, then, is to answer all questions directly and lovingly, attempting to convey to people what is really happening here. Somendra and I have been selected to talk, together with Satyananda, the German reporter from Stern magazine.” (Divya 1980, p. 270)
(Note: Subhuti had for the conference prepared a press kit ‘The Role of Therapy Groups in the Great Experiment of Osho’ (Allanach 2010, p. 229))

Contacting Bombay magazines
“Up and down filthy staircases strained betel-spit red and crammed into elevators reeking of hair oil and sweet talcum powder, we see ‘Indian Express’, ‘Free Press Journal’, ‘Bombay Samachar’, ‘Navbharat Times’, ‘Maharashtra Times’, ‘United News Of India’ – all the Bombay biggies… We secure the publication of a couple of discourse excerpts in the two biggest weeklies, ‘Current’ and ‘Blitz’ – on sex, naturally – and others for special material from ‘Youth Times’, the girlie-mag ‘Debonair’, and ‘Mirror’, a kind of sub-continental ‘Reader’s Digest’. We arrange a visit to the commune workshops with ‘Eve’s Weekly’, a national rag for the ladies, a let’s-see-it-for-ourselves report in the magazine ‘Onlooker’, and score amazingly well with the Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati press. The rest nibble – curious, interested, but wary and somewhat apprehensive.” (Allanach 2010, p. 213)

Krishna Prem on Larry Malcolm article in TIME magazine
“You know how TIME works – reports come in from correspondents and then they’re rewritten in New York to suit the magazine’s style… But the article in TIME shows me one thing – in the game of religion, negative publicity attracts more than positive does. Within the next week I met dozens of people who’ve come to Poona as a direct result of the snide, sneering, smart-ass TIME report.” (Allanach 2010, p. 203)

Subhuti joins Press Office
“There is a journalist around, a thin, balding, former House of Commons reporter, but Laxmi told me not to touch him with a barge pole. He’d apparently written a couple of pieces so negative and awful that Osho, after he’d read them, had sent him a message, saying he could drop sannyas if he wished. But Subhuti, distraught yet tenacious, had tried again – this time with an article for ‘The Guardian’ on Pramod, a one-time British diplomat and EEC official. He’d sent it in to Osho. And it must have been his redemption. When I ask for him again, Osho agrees, making it clear that he still has reservations but that the decision is mine. Subhuti joins us on the balcony. And now we’re four.” (Allanach 2010, p. 201)

Krishna Prem on BBC
“His program is a big one, Laxmi, ‘The World About Us’. It’s shown in England first, then syndicated worldwide – America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, all over. It reaches millions and millions of people. “What he wants to do is go back to London, put together a proposal and submit it to the Indian government. You know, ever since that 1969 Louis Malle documentary on Calcutta, permission to film in India is needed…” The BBC’s application has been turned down!” (Allanach 2010, pp. 202,209)

Subhuti writes on the first Press Statement from Rajneesh Foundation dealing with the refused application from BBC to make a film from the ashram:
“Indian government Vetoes Foreign Filming at Osho Commune.” The government later on made a statement that “Foreign television and film units have been refused permission to document the activities of the Osho commune at Poona as ‘It is felt that a film on activities there would not reflect favourably on India’s image abroad’ the Lok Sabha was informed.” (Allanach 2010, pp. 209,218)

Subhuti in Press Office
“Being in the press office was hectic and fun. My main task was to attack people who wrote articles attacking us, which, given Bhagwan’s notoriety, certainly kept me busy. But I don’t know if it did any good. I rather think that our greatest protection was the natural fear and awe with which most Indian regard their spiritual mystics. They have a centuries-old habit of steering well clear of such people while they are alive, then praising and worshipping them when they’re safely dead.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 42)

Bernard Levin and Peter Jenkins in ashram
“A few days ago he had arrived. In mid-conference. “Much more interesting here,” he said. And he had a journalistic bonus in tow – Peter Jenkins of ‘The Guardian’. “Not bad,” Subhuti commented, “getting London’s two biggest papers at once.” I handed Jenkins over to Subhuti. One of Subhuti’s old House of Commons cronies was now news editor at ‘The Guardian’ and had given Jenkins Subhuti’s name. I like Levin at first glance. I don’t mind having him to myself at all.” (Allanach 2010, p. 250)

Bernard Levin returned to Poona almost a year later before his articles for ‘The Times- were eventually printed. Peter Jenkins never had the guts to fight his family and editors at ‘The Guardian’ and desisted from writing anything on his visit to the ashram. Krishna Prem in 1980 also met with William Rittold from ‘Der Spiegel’ and his wife Heike. He was writing his article from the Blue Diamond pool, reading Satyananda’s ‘Ganz Entspannt im Hier und Jetzt’. Joseph Kammer from ‘Bild-Zeitung’ and Conrad Zander of ‘STERN’ both were among the reporters coming to the press office. Christopher Hitchens, writing for ‘The New Statesman’, but now in 1980 visiting the ashram on behalf of the BBC who has asked him to make a show for ‘The World About Us’. Being fed up Satyananda stopped dealing with journalist and focused on writing his second book.
(Note: Hitchens’ somewhat alcoholic visit to the ashram is reported in his book ‘God is Not Great’ (2007), chapter 14)

Krishna Prem seems in 1980 to have had his share
“I wish I know how to handle my situation. Except for Bernard Levin and a few Indians like Bachi Karkaria, I’ve been faced, for the last couple of years, with an unending parade of total journalistic assholes, of phoneys and liars and manipulating cheats. And somehow the combination of Rittold and Hitchens is the straw that, I feel, is about to break my back.” (Allanach 2010, p. 310)

Divya writes
“The German part of the Press Office is being shifted around again and those people are being put to do translations, as Germany is now eager for more information on us and German publishers are interested in Bhagwan’s books…
This week has been a foreign press visitor’s week. After the Rajneesh wave (as Bhagwan calls it) hit Germany, it went to Holland… Television and magazine people are also arriving from France. Rajneesh appears now on the front covers of big newspapers. A profound article on Bhagwan’s work just appeared in the International Herald Tribune. Next to be hit by the Rajneesh wave is Italy. The Press Office here is preparing. New departments for every language are emerging as a consequence of this worldwide interest.” (Divya 1980, pp. 379,136)

Press work 1980
“So far, I’ve been pretty much bypassed, not interfered with, left alone to watch my buddies getting the chop. For the most part, in press office affairs, I’ve been dealing directly with Osho, via Laxmi, or with Laxmi herself. And we’ve grown: the staff’s over twenty now. We’ve just had two great new additions – Lalit, a wild young Canadian photographer, and Vadan, a lanky Libra from New York. Vadan has joined Madhura and me in dealing with journalists. And he’s good at it: he’s light and funny and has a terrific mouth. Everything’s going fine. Madhura gets the Indians, I take the English and the Yanks and the French, and Vadan, thanks to a ‘STERN’ cover-girl wife and a few years sculpting in Sicily, is handling the Germans and the Italians with ease. Everything’s running smoothly.” (Allanach 2010, p. 275)

Group booking office and bank
“By early 1979 I was working in the group booking office and it would remain my place of work until Bhagwan escaped from us and the ashram dissolved. When I began working there it was a small room tucked into a back corner, but it grew considerably and eventually occupied a key position on the main thoroughfare, between the main gate and Bhagwan’s house. A kind of bank was incorporated into the office which allowed people to deposit their rupees for safe keeping, and then draw on them as needed. As with all ashram businesses, it was open seven days a week. All sales were in cash, in rupee, the Indian currency. Every sale was recorded in a register. Each salesperson had a cash box and two sets of books. Sales of most groups and sessions were recorded in the one register, but certain specific sales were recorded in the second one. I never thought to ask why, but then it was of no interest to me. I mindlessly did what I was told. In the evening we counted the cash and balanced our books, before filling out Bhagwan’s group ‘vacancies’ in time for darshan.” (Stork 2009, p. 117)

Gayan remembers
“Krishna House had underground chambers where various therapy groups were happening and during the breaks many sweetly apprehensive looking participants wearing ‘in silence’ badges on their orange gowns and hugging stuffed animals in all sizes were hanging around. The meditations were being held in the big Radha Hall at the back of Krishna House. Taking a right turn in front of Krishna House we came to Vrindavan, the kitchen and restaurant that catered for the visitors, a place where Rahna and I would later hang out a lot, and where we made our first contacts with future friends.” (Gayan. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 47)

Number seventy
“Number seventy was a large house surrounded by tropical gardens, combining a restaurant, sauna, session rooms, a medical center, a large bamboo hut for the kids whose parents lived in the ashram, a few craft shops, as well as residential rooms for workers. The environment was lively, teeming with Italians and French… To eat at number seventy was a rare privilege, as the menu was prepared with imagination and taste, European style (Lyra 2005, pp. 105,107)

Caretakers
“Apart from one Italian and one Greek, most of the other people who were close to Osho in order to take care of his physical needs were English. I suppose, in a way, it was a kind of karmic justice: a reversal of the recently-departed British Raj. In the colonial days, the Indians had served the English. Now it was payback time!” (Rosciano 2013, p. 87)

Divya writes from Lao Tzu House
“Everything is spotless in the house, especially the kitchen. No sooner is something used or spilled than it is washed and dried and put away. The tiles, the floor, the utensils, shine. It’s a large spacious kitchen, midway between an Indian one and a modern western one. On the far wall to the left hangs a beautiful collage with bright multi-shaped and multi-colored pieces done by Bhagwan himself. Baskets of fruits and vegetables line the wall on the left-side floor, next to the door. Two simple, long marble shelves hold Bhagwan’s tea sets (three, each for a different time of the day), His thali (Indian dish), His glass and assorted dishes. Next to them are Vivek’s dishes, and below are those for general use.
There’s a way to do each thing and a particular place for everything… and Bhagwan’s dishes are dried with a towel used only for that purpose. I started washing His thali, a beautiful large sterling-silver bibbed tray with ten small bowls and a chappati plate, three delicate Japanese-made bone China plates, and one lovely, tall, simple but exquisite cut-crystal glass to hold His soda water.” (Divya 1980, p. 450)

Osho’s family
“The family, which includes cousins, nephews, and a variety of other relatives, creates a small and colorful tribe inside the ashram. They have their own kitchen, from where at all times the aroma of chai drifts from, mixed with the smell of chapattis, making the place appear like an ancient and pastoral island amid the cosmopolitan and technological trend of the commune.” (Swami Svatantra Sarjano. Interview with Osho’s father Babulal. At: www.oshonews.com/2010/11)

FitzGerald on Westerners pouring into the ashram
“By 1976, the Shree Rajneesh Ashram had become one of the major stopping points along the guru route. In “Seeking the Master” – a kind of Guide Michelin to spiritual India, published in 1980 – it rated the longest entry and the equivalent of at least three stars.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 80)

Vismaya writes on the ‘mommas’ running the departments
“The ashram is these days one of the largest ‘tourist attractions’ in the sub-continent, even in the early eighties it was the largest ashram in India. I am to work in the entrails of the engine that drives the international machine of the ashram. Two weeks each in the records department, books and tapes and the main office. And I was to learn to be like them.
But I knew I could never be like these women, or like Deeksha, Susheela, Puja and the other ‘mommas’ who ran the various departments. These are the women who hold together the world. The women who in all communities are the gravitational force that maintains the tribal integrity, that stops its many factions splitting off into outer space, who manage the multitude of detail and demand, from babies’ nappies to strategies of war. These women were the powerhouse that made the whole project to create a thousand Buddhas viable. Without this terrible and wonderful matriarchy, a few mystics would have jumped up and down in a field somewhere and had a few satoris.” (Geraghty 2007, p. 158)

Satyananda moves to Lao Tzu balcony for writing April 1979
“Ich ziehe um. Mein Schreibtisch wird auf die Lao-tse-Haus-Terasse gebracht. Chef-Wächter Krishna empfängt mich am Tor, um mich einzuweisen.
“Das erste, was du wissen musst”, sagt er, “kein starker Geruch am Körper oder in den Kleidern. Also kein Tigerbalsam, Kerosin oder ähnliches.”
Er fürht mich durch einen Seiteneingang ins Haus. Ich stelle meine Sandalen ab, und Krishna bittet mich, ein zweites Paar mitzubringen, das ich nur im Haus tragen soll. Er geht voraus durch einen Korridor. Zu beiden Seiten verglasste Bücherregale, die bis zur Decke reichen. Zur Linken ist die Küche. Die Tür is geöffnet. Prasad sitzt auf den Fliesen, Vivek kocht Tee, und die blonde Yoga Astha, die schon als Achtzehnjärige zu Bhagwan stiess (die einzige Astha ausser der “meinen”) bereitet Bhagwan’s mittagessen vor. Die Küche is gross un hell. Peinliche Sauberkeit.
Wir gehen an Laxmis Zimmer vorbei und am Zugang zum Lao-tse-Auditorium, wo jeden Abend die Close-Up-Darschans stattfinden. Im weiten Rund des Terrakottabodens sitzt ein Wächter auf einem Klappstuhl und liest. Der Korridor führt um eine Ecke. Dahinter beginnt Bhagwans Wohnbereich. Ich sehe von weitem den grünen Vorhang, hinter dem sich die Tür zu seinem Esszimmer verbirgt. In dem Esszimmer wohnt Vivek, die sich Tag und Nacht um Bhagwans persönliches Wohl kümmert. Die zierliche Engländerin mit den intensiven blauen Augen und dem langen braunen Seidenhaar ist ausser Laxmi der einzige Mensch, der jederzeit Zugang zu Bhagwan hat.
Krishna und ich biegen links ab un klettern über eine Wendeltreppe auf eine offene Terrasse. Es gibt noch einen anderen Weg, der an Bhagwans Esszimmer vorbei führt, aber der ist den 24 Bewohnern des Lao-tse-Hauses vorbehalten. Ich bin hier nur Gast…
Durch zwei weitere Türen und ein Treppenhaus führt der Weg schliesslich auf die etwa hundert Quadratmeter grosse überdachte Terrasse., auf der inzwischen mein Schreibtisch aufgebaut ist. Ich bin hier nicht allein – Niranjana, die österreichische Millionärstochter, sitzt an der Schreibmaschine. Sie tippt für das Übersetzerbüro. Ihr Zimmer liegt gleich um die Ecke. Ma Suvita, eine sanfte Schönheit aus England, arbeitet an Darshan-Büchern. Divya tippt auf einer elektrischen Schreibmaschine ein Aschram-Journal.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 371)

Urban on the expansion of the ashram
“The Koregaon Park neighbourhood grew into “a huge multinational camp of seekers,” with orange-clothed sannyasins wandering everywhere. By the late 1970s, there were at least 6,000 sannyasins living in the Pune area, though only about 600 actually lived on the ashram’s grounds. Meanwhile, some 25,000 to 35,000 visitors came each year, filling the meditation halls, therapy sessions, and local restaurants – a seemingly endless flood of enthusiastic, orange-clad young people… Meanwhile, money began to pour in from seekers eager to enrol in classes at the new Rajneesh International University, which claimed to be “the largest and most innovative growth center in the world,” offering over fifty different group offerings by 1977 and attracting some 1,000 to 2,000 people a week. At the same time, the ashram added a publishing house, a press office, a clothing boutique, a carpentry shop that made musical instruments, a bakery, and studios for making jewellery and pottery and for weaving, essentially becoming its own small city with a thriving bazaar.” (Urban 2015, pp. 69,72)

4.2
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Fig. 2. Plan of Shree Rajneesh Ashram. 1978.

FitzGerald writes on the ashram
“By January of 1979, the Poona ashram had changed decisively in character. In the first two or three years of its existence, it had an Indian flavour. Westerners would meditate side by side with Indian sannyasins, and on Master’s Day the gates of the ashram would open to a procession of men in white robes and women in colorful saris leading white heifers with garlands around their necks. Because ashrams in India tend to be for people with the leisure and the maturity to reflect, a lot of those who came were middle-aged and eminently respectable people from the business world in Poona. There were many ashrams in the city, and for the first few years the Shree Rajneesh ashram seemed not very different from the rest. As time went on, however, more and more Westerners came to the ashram, and fewer and fewer Indians. Finally, the balance tipped, and by 1981, when the guru left for the United States, there were four to six thousand Westerners in his audience every day, and only a few hundred Indians.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 84)

Change of colours
“At this point we all start wearing red as well as orange. Later Osho changes the colour of our robes to all sunset colours, which include a softer shade of orange, red, pink and maroon. With Osho, nothing is static. There are different phases of his work which help our growth and our meditation, and help us not to become set in our ways, or ritualistic.” (Devika 2008, p. 60)

Change of name to Rajneesh International No-University
“Rajneesh International No-University will function in freedom and will not seek recognition from any state, country, government, nation or educational authority. It is not prepared to compromise its revolutional approach to education in order to gain official recognition. Nor does it need to do so…
The function of Rajneesh International No-University is to create an intelligent human being who responds to life spontaneously: one who is capable of living in the world without being attached to it, and one who is free from the past. It is a rebellion against formal education.
While not seeking any recognition itself, the No-University will recognize certain schools, colleges, institutes and universities around the world. Hitherto known as Rajneesh International Meditation University, the university has changed its name beginning with the date of this announcement.” (Press Release. 15.04.1981. No Compromise Declaration From Rajneesh No-University. Swami Krishna Prem. Nr. 190)

Therapy Groups

The chapter on Therapy Groups is only a short presentation of sources to the comprehensive programme carried out by leading therapists from the west who had chosen to use their skills in a spiritual setting. For a fuller understanding of these activities see: Osho Therapy. 21 well known therapists describe how their work has been inspired by an enlightened mystic. (Svagito 2014)

Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“The encounter and primal therapy groups began in April 1975. Bhagwan has explained the need for therapy in great detail. “Therapy is needed,” explains Bhagwan at one point, “because people have forgotten how to be religious. Therapy was not needed in Buddha’s time; people naturally knew how to be religious. Therapy is a modern need.” And, keeping this need in mind, Bhagwan made it essential for his sannyasins to go through these therapies. “In my commune I have made it a must, “he says, “that everybody should pass through therapies. They will help you to unburden the garbage that you have repressed within yourself. They will clean you, and only in a clear, clean heart is prayer possible. And when prayer arises, the miracle has happened.” (Joshi 1982, p. 124)

“My therapists are not only therapists, they are meditators, too. And therapy is a superficial thing. It can help to clean the ground, but just to have a clean ground is not to have a garden. You will need something more.” Light on the Path. Talks in the Himalayas (1988). Ch.14.

“My emphasis here is on therapies which don’t go on for years and years; just a few days of therapy to clear the ground for meditation.
We are running here almost one hundred therapy groups, for every possible human being. But his therapy is not the end; therapy is a preparation, clearing the ground for meditation.
This is the only place in the world where therapy is being used as a clearing of the ground for a tremendous transformation from mind to no-mind.” Zen. The Mystery and Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Ch.1.

The ashram as a lab
“My ashram is a lab, we experiment here. That is creating great trouble because man has forgotten to experiment. We are experimenting in a multi-dimensional way. We are experimenting with Sufism, we are experimenting with Jainism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity; we are experimenting with Tao, Tantra, Yoga, alchemy. We are experimenting with all the possibilities that can make the human consciousness whole and a human being rich. So this is a new experiment; it has never been done before in such a way. This is a synthesis of all the paths.” The Secret of Secrets (1983). Vol.2, p. 137.

Love and therapy
“Love is the best growth group. No Encounter, no Gestalt, no Primal Therapy, can be compared with it; it is incomparable. In fact Encounter, Gestalt and Primal are needed because people have forgotten how to love. Otherwise in the ancient days love was enough – that was the only therapy. And it is a natural therapy: it wounds, it heals, and finally it brings you to a point where you become so aware of the agony and the ecstasy that you see the whole game – that both are going to remain together, you cannot choose one. Either you have to choose both or you have to drop both.
And the day one becomes so alert that he can drop both, a great silence descends, a silence that is not of the earth. That silence is freedom, that silence is absolute freedom. You can then love a woman or a man with no attachments, with no possessiveness. You can simply share your love energy, but it creates no trap.” Snap Your Fingers, Slap Your Face and Wake Up! Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1984), p. 170.

Mistlberger writes
“Osho was unique in being the first Eastern guru to deeply embrace Western psychotherapy. In his ashram in the 1970s a number of 1960s-style therapies were used, led by several experienced therapists. At that time the Pune ashram where Osho’s experimental approach was unfolding rivalled the famous growth center in northern California known as Esalen.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 161)

Tratak and kirtan
“It was an experiment in all the techniques that could possibly be used to pursue Buddhahood. New ideas were being introduced all the time. Some, like Dynamic Meditation, were adopted as valuable on a permanent basis. Others were seen as having a place in the ashram as short-term measures, such as tratak and kirtan meditation techniques. Once their usefulness was considered to be at an end they were discarded.” (Thompson 1986, p. 20)
(Note: Tratak is ‘fixed gazing or staring’. Kirtan is an Indian devotional song involving repetitive chanting)

Dwari on therapy
“Osho encouraged his therapists to create processes for human development and growth in consciousness – often with his personal input – but it was always clear that meditation was his essential vision. Therapy functioned mainly as a bridge to meditation.” (Dwari. In: Svagito 2014, p. 196)

Therapies in the ashram
“One of the rare things about Bhagwan is that he is as much at home with modern therapies as with traditional spiritual paths, as familiar with the work of Reich, Perls, Rogers and Assagioli as with the Vedas and Upanishads, Zen, Sufism and Tantra.
He began to use therapy groups in the middle of 1975 and with seventy groups happening every month with one and a half thousand participants, the ashram is now easily the largest growth centre in the world. Group leaders are trained and experienced therapists, many from well-known centres in the West like the Esalen, Radix and Arica Institutes in the U.S.A., Kalptaru, Quaesitor and Community in London and Zist in Munich. All are sannyasins working under Bhagwan’s guidance.” (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend. RF, 1979)

Margot Anand writes
“I had been told about Arica by John Little, who, together with a group of people from the Esalen Institute in California, had participated in a lengthy spiritual training in South America with a Bolivian mystic named Oscar Ichazo. Ichazo named his school Arica after the town of Arica, Chile, where the initial training had been conducted. Now Ichazo had relocated to New York and I had begun to investigate – this was my second visit.” (Anand 2017, p. 85)

Sarjano writes on Fritz Perls and Wilhelm Reich versus Osho
“Sta vo cercando di descriverla con parole che potrebbero essere di Reich, perché è stato l’approccio seguito i terapisti reichiani che l’hanno fatta entrare a far parte delle loro terapie, pur allievo di Fritz Perls ch si è trasferito nell’ashram di Rajneesh, una rivista di psicanalisi ha chiesto: “Che differenza c’è tra Reich e Rajneesh?” Risponde Allen Lowen (Swami Rajen): “Rajneesh è Reich + Buddha!” (Sarjano 1979, p. 143)

FitzGerald on Alan Watts
“In fact, it was Alan Watts who constructed what would be the intellectual bridge between the therapists and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. In his “Psychothrapy East and West,” published in 1961, Watts proposed common ground between the therapists and the sangha, or Buddist clergy. His opening paragraph read, “If we look deeply into such ways of life as Buddhism and Taoism, Vedanta and Yoga, we do not find either philosophy or religion as these are understood in the West. We find something more nearly resembling psychotherapy.”” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 76)

On Alan Watts
“FitzGerald argues that it was Alan Watts who constructed the intellectual bridge between the Eastern mystical traditions as being closer to psychotheraphy than to philosophy or religion. He thus influenced many people to travel to India to discover meditation”. (Puttick 1997, p. 15)

Quaesitor in London
“The first ‘growth centre’ in Britain was Quaesitor, founded in London in 1970 by Paul and Patricia Lowe (later Teertha and Poonam)… In 1972 the Lowes discovered Dynamic Meditation… Shortly after this discovery, the Lowes went to India to meet Bhagwan and became two of his first western disciples… Poonam ran Kalptaru, the London centre, from 1972 until she set up the ‘city’ of Medina in Suffolk in 1981, which ran until 1984 when she was invited to Rajneeshpuram”. (Puttick 1997, pp. 18,169)

FitzGerald on Teertha
“He had, he said, no academic training in psychology; he had studied at Warwickshire University and had worked at a variety of jobs, one of them in photo advertising. On a trip to the United States, he had wound up, somewhat by accident, at the Esalen Institute at Big Sur – then the center of the growth movement. He spent a year there and then returned to London… in the spring of 1972, Teertha – then Paul Graham Lowe – went to Bombay to see Rajneesh… He became a disciple and went back to London to turn his center into a Rajneeshee meditation center. A year later, he moved his entire center to Bombay. After Paul Lowe came Leonard Zunn and then Michael Barnett, another English therapist and the author of a book called “People Not Psychiatry,” and after them a steady flow of growth-movement therapists… According to Teertha, Rajneesh showed immediate interest in what the therapists were doing, and promised to incorporate some of their therapies into his own enterprise. Teertha took the promise for mere politeness at the time, but three years later Rajneesh did just that. The Westerners in his ashram first taught primal-scream and encounter-group therapies, and later, when there were more of them, branched out into Gestalt, bioenergetics, rolfing, and so on.” (FitzGerald 1986, I pp. 73,78)

Satyananda on Teertha
“Bhagwan hat schon zweimal in der Lecture davon gesprochen, dass Teertha nicht mehr von der Existenz getrennt sei – ein Mann ohne Ego. Deshalb, meinte Bhagwan, könnte er direkt durch Teertha arbeiten. Teertha sei “ein hohles Bambusrohr”.
Im Aschram spielt er die Rolle eines “Chef-Jüngers”, wie Ananda, der Buddhas Chef-Jünger war. Zu seinen Sonderaufgaben gehört es, morgens vor der lecture die Sutren über Lautsprecher zu verlesen. Er lebt mit Maneesha, der schönen, dunkelhaarigen Australierin, im Lao-tse-Haus direkt über Bhagwasns Zimmer.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 368)

Teerthas’s encounter group
“Of the therapies, however, Teertha’s Encounter groups had the reputation of being among the best and certainly among the toughest. Each ran for seven days. Under the guidance of Teertha, ‘the angelic Rasputin’, participants confronted each other, confronted themselves, acted out fantasies and guilts, fought, made love, catharted, sulked, resisted, and surrendered. The emphasis was very much on spontaneous action rather than on carefully thought out and verbalized interchange. Thus Teertha began each group with the injunction, ‘The way to do work in this group is to do it. Not to talk about it, but to do it.'” (Thompson 1986, p. 53)

Festival in London
“Bhagwan in London” Letter dated May 11, 1977 from Poonam, Kalptaru Rajneesh Meditation Center in London, on The Festival of Mind and Body with 50.000 people passing through during the six days. (Sannyas, 1977:4, p. 43)

It will be hard to argue against the fact that Swami Ananda Teertha and Swami Anand Somendra were the most prominent figures in the vast sea of therapists in Poona. They are to be mentioned here also due to their involvement and work with Osho’s publishing. Teertha was the first English editor of ‘Rajneesh. Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter’ (1975-1981) and of the discourse series ‘The Way of the White Clouds’ (1975), not to mention his daily reading of questions and sutras at morning discourse. Somendra is an editor and author of introductions in a number of discourse series published in the mid-1970s.
(Note: This author has participated in several intensive therapy groups with Teertha and done energy work with Somendra. He is most thankful to both of them for their gifts).

Teertha met Osho in Bombay and was initiated 03.10.1972
“And so he arrived in bombay late at night on the 1st of october on bhagwan’s first english lecture, which was the first of the tantra series. It was 1972, at woodlands, laxmi told him to attend the discourse in the evening…”
Teertha: “So I came (sigh). I came to the discourse… and I hadn’t really seen a picture apart from on the locket, which was very small. So, I didn’t really… I didn’t know what to expect. But as he walked down the corridor, I was just stunned by… just incredible (voice breaking). Oh I had a dream about some eyes and I’d some psychic readings and several people had mentioned that a man was with me with dark brown eyes and a long beard, very beautiful and very loving and, ah… as soon as I saw him, everything connected.
When I saw him… something really happened…
[The following morning, on the 3rd] I went into his room (pause) and sat down and it was as if I’d come home. He was everything! He was all these people that had helped me. He was the father and parent. It was just as though I’d been relieved of something… I remember he said: And then you leave the rest to me (sigh)… Right now, I can’t think how I understood and I am sure I didn’t understand (swallowing his tears)… I just feel that he really meant it. He wasn’t one of these people I had met before. He had it, and I don’t know even what ‘it’ was either – it was just, ah well, I knew I was there forever. There was no conflict, no anything.” (Divya. Interview with Teertha. In: Only Losers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 453)

Teertha’s library goes to the ashram
“Rajneesh, though his disciples never knew it, learned a great deal from the Westerners he met in Bombay and in Poona. Teertha brought him his entire library, and many other sannyasins brought him books. Rajneesh was a voracious reader, and quite a good listener as well. His English became colloquial, and he learned how to do the more profound work of translation.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 78)

Divya interview with Teertha
“I never met paul lowe (teertha’s old name), though I’d heard a lot about him and his then wife, paticia (now poonam). It was they who introduced the whole growth movement trip to england… It was at that time that quasitor, the first growth center in the british iles and the continent, really started. (Quasitor means seacher. Teertha has settled on this name because it conveyed something which could not be pinned down or put into a box)…
The next time I saw him was in bombay, during the first days of the year 1974. I had arrived with shiva to take sannyas. We saw him outside woodlands. I noticed his beautiful silken hair which flew with the breezes that blew over the open grassy slope by the driveway. He had a manuscript under his arm. He was wearing a sleeveless robe. He talked and looked and moved so carefully! I felt terribly self-conscious in his presence (something I was to feel for many years)… Then, a few days later, we happened to have our reserved seats in the same cabin as he had his reserved seat on the express train to mount abu; we were on our way to the january meditation camp. All I remember here is my own self-consciousness…
A few months after the move [to Poona] maneesha arrived and it was then that the era of teertha-and-maneesha started.
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. Today [1977] teertha leads two encounter groups a month. The rest of the time he councels – one can see him at all hours, floating through the ashram gardens with a weeping damsel in distress, or between two heavy-set faces of a he and she…
Teertha sitting before me on a white textured double bed. We are surrounded by bare white walls. I recognize bhagwan’s old bookcase from woodlands, to one side. We are inside a peaceful, almost-precious quality of emptiness and silence. It is darshan time and we are alone. I love him, but I don’t know him. I have no idea if or how he will reveal himself. He begins in a feather-soft voice…” (Divya. In: Only Losers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), pp. 442-52)
(Note: Other interviews with Teertha (Paul Lowe) are in: Sannyas magazine, 1978:3; New Frontier (USA), January 1988; ‘The Experiment is Over’ in: Here & Now (GB), February and March 1988; Esotera (Germany), 1988; Magazin 2000 (Germany), August 1988; International Academie of Meditation. Newsletters, January, February and Spring 1988. In an unpublished excerpt from tape Paul Lowe is in Bavaria Easter 1988 talking on Shree Rajneesh. Two pages.)

Teertha
“By the time his Encounter group was over Roger [Sw. Prem Riten] had bonded with the group leader. This man was like the high priest of Bhagwan’s temple. He lived in Bhagwan’s house on the first floor in a room above Bhagwan’s bedroom. He placed his bed so that it was exactly over Bhagwan’s bed, no doubt the better to receive the energy transfer from the master as he slept. The high priest was well known for his charms. Women fell in love with him all the time and he had his pick of the loveliest of them… Bhagwan once said of his high priest that he was enlightened in his first chakra.” (Stork 2009, p. 101)

Teertha’s encounter groups
“In the first phase of this work in Pune in the 1970s, the more dramatic groups, especially the Encounter group run by Paul Lowe (Ananda Teertha), became renowned for representing both the possibility of ego-shattering breakthroughs into higher states of consciousness, or, on occasion, bone-shattering exercises in experimental totality. It was not uncommon for bruises, black eyes, and occasionally a broken limb to occur.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 169)

Divya writes on Somendra
“A quick note on Somendra. I met him years ago in London when he was directing the growth center called ‘Community’ which he’d taken over as ‘Kaleidoscope’ from Bill Grossman (now Swami Deva Ashoka). He was one of the most popular group leaders around, with dancing turquoise eyes and a fiery-energetic disposition. He was good at Encounter, aggressive, firm and daring. Then he took sannyas at the end of 1974 and stayed in Poona by the master for about eight months. Much happened to him, physically, psychically and emotionally. He never wanted to do a group again, not in the old way.
He returned to London where he stayed for approximately eight months. He went through a very intense period of isolation and deep subjective experience. When he returned to work he found himself working more and more with healing methods of moving subtle energies – something which he’d done only occasionally before. He always had that ability; now, with Bhagwan working through him, groups really took off in an entirely new manner.
He returned to live in Poona shortly afterwards and is leading the Leela and the Awareness groups. Bhagwan has called him one of his ‘horses’ (like ‘knight’ in chess). His groups are very, very powerful. So, although he can be quite eccentric, everyone understands that Somendra must be going-through-his-thing.” (Divya 1980, p. 284)

Interview with Somendra
“She had some photographs of Bhagwan, and my first impression when I looked at them was that he looked like a member of my family – kind of very cozy and familiar… Well, I thought I’d be coming some time, but I didn’t think any more about it. Then in early 1974 I had a letter from Teertha (a friend who was living in Poona). I’d sent him a copy of the book that I’d published in England and Bhagwan had read it. According to Teertha, he had connected to me through it, enjoyed it, and asked Teertha to write to me and ask me to come. So I had this letter saying, ‘Come… Bhagwan wants you to come.’ Now it’s even more shattering than it seemed then because of Bhagwan’s stature, but then it was very flattering, and I felt a very definite pull to drop everything then – but I didn’t. I guess I still didn’t feel quite ready to come… It was at a hindi lecture, and when he finished talking, he stepped off the dais and walked over to me instead of walking towards the door, and said, ‘So you’ve come. I’ve been waiting for you.’ I made a gesture as if to say something like, ‘Okay, old chap.’… when I first came [nine month ago] I felt that nothing had essentially changed. The atmosphere seemed to be the same as when I left. Then I began to find a lot of changes which upset me. Suddenly I found him to be inaccessible, because last time at the hindi lectures at this time of year there’d be maybe only twenty-five people or so, so there was always tremendous work going on. I wasn’t my illusion. He used to spend a tremendous amount of energy working on me in lectures. He used to have this whole process of looking and coming into me. I realised that that wasn’t going to happen this time with two or three hundred people in front of him – and my mind missed that.” (Somendra. In: The Passion for the Impossible. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 174)
(Note: Somendra is the author of ‘People Not Psychiatry’ (1973) and he writes in his ‘Time is an Illusion’ published around his 70-year birthday (Barnett 2000, p. 11): “In 1974 Michael Barnett visited the Rajneesh Ashram in Poona for the first time, and within hours became a sannyasin. He stayed for eight years, with periods in London and Brussels, but in 1982 he left the sannyas movement under a cloud, moved to Germany with his girlfriend and started all over again. Slowly his seminars began to flourish and in 1984 he founded the Wild Goose Company in Switzerland, and moved to Zürich… After a six month break in Spain he moved to the Villa Volpi, on the shore of the Lago Maggiore in Italy.” Michael Barnett is included in Rawlinson 1997, pp. 175-78. See also: Mistlberger 2010, p. 178)

Devapath on breath therapy
“Osho talks about his psychology as Parapsychology, or The Psychology of the Buddhas. This psychology moves from the known to the unknown and ultimately to the unknowable – from the body-mind into the mystery of life. Our breath is the most precious tool in this journey. Nothing else works without it. It is the essence of life. If we cleanse our body-mind from all its tensions we can ride on the wave of breath from sex to super-consciousness. (Devapath. In: Svagito 2014, p. 273)

Vasumati on therapy
“When I went to see Osho and asked what approach I should adopt in my new group, he said, “Do nothing. I am leading the group and you are just in the room. So just be present and I will take care of the rest. And remember if it is a bad group, it is my group, but if it is a good group, it is also my group”… My understanding about Osho therapy is that we are vehicles for a greater energy to come through us. Sometimes we called it ‘Osho’, sometimes ‘Existence’, sometimes ‘the Whole’, but it alludes to the fact that we need to be empty. It is our emptiness, not our fullness, that has value and this allows a deeper truth and healing to manifest… Changes happen quickly, often on an energetic level rather than in a cognitive way. In other words, changes to people in the groups occur in the form of expression, release, transformation – maybe simply as a radiance, a glow in their faces, or a sudden wave of heartfelt love – and only later are we able to figure out what this means on a psychological level. The energy itself has a power and rawness that dissolves stuck patterns.” (Vasumati. In: Svagito 2014, p. 258)

Radha on Tantra
“Second, I want to keep my secrets. There is great power in keeping a secret – or ‘the secret’ as I like to call it. In the several meetings I had with Osho in the privacy of his room, in his whispered transmission to me, he told me to keep ‘the secret’ and this gave birth to a much bigger experience of Tantra inside me.” (Radha 2005, p. 217)

Divya interviewing Arup
“Arup is a remarkable groupleader. Anyone who’s done a group with her will rave about her insightfulness and the kind of clarity and energy-field which she will seem to emanate during the process. Her speciality was the Enlightenment Intensive. When Bhagwan started the therapy programs in August of 1975, first with the Primal group and then with the Encounter, Arup was asked to follow with the Enlightenment Intensives. Like all the rest of us group leaders, she’d thought that her group-leading days were over and was quite taken aback by the developments – which happened, incidentally, during one of her short trips back to the West.
Whenever I had gone off on a trip, something devastating would happen. The first time I came back to find that the library work was finished and the second time it was the group thing!” (Arup. Interview. In: Zorba the Buddha. A Darshan Diary (1982), p. 161)

Osho on Enlightenment Intensive
“So in fact the question ‘Who am I?’ is a koan. Maharshi Ramana used to give that to every disciple, to go on thinking ‘Who am I?’ But man is so foolish that those disciples are still repeating ‘Who am I?’ They think that some day the answer is going to come. There is no answer! That question is such that by asking it continuously again and again, you go on getting deeper and deeper into yourself. One day you suddenly see that the question is absurd. ‘I am!’ and there is no way to answer who you are. All answers are false. Then there comes great relaxation, and in that relaxation is knowing… An answer never comes; there is no answer. Life is a mystery: not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived.” Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1982), p. 44.

Divya interviewing Arup on Enlightenment Intensive
“It was around this time that she wrote to Bhagwan a long letter, listing the various points of the Enlightenment Intensive and suggesting some ways of intensifying it here. Those were the days when we would get personal and sometimes detailed advice from him, and specific answers to our questions – through letter or in darshans. After a few months, when groups became too numerous and the whole thing was taking off on its own, he came to answer us less and less verbally and encouraged us instead to tune into him more from the inside by following our feelings. Arup’s letter, which she showed me, contains one of the few samples around of his handwriting! He has commented on the margins, paragraph by paragraph, things like, ‘Follow the same’, ‘Push as much as you can’, ‘Follow the original cycle…’, and many little pointers like that. The prize, however, is the two or three times he said, ‘You leave everything to me and become just a medium!” (Arup. Interview. In: Zorba the Buddha. A Darshan Diary (1982), p. 162)

Ganga on Enlightenment Intensive
“The most famous and well-known life koan is “Who am I?” which grew out of ancient Indian spiritual traditions. It was popularized and attracted global attention in the mid-[20th century] through the teachings of an enlightened mystic living in South India called Ramana Maharshi.
The actual structure of the process, originally called Enlightenment Intensive, was created by American therapist and spiritual seeker Charles Berner in 1968. In a stroke of genius he put together three elements:
The Question “Who am I?” which, as I say, came from India.
The Western method of co-counseling, developed by American psychotherapist Carl Rogers.
The discipline of working on a koan in the Zen Sesshic tradition facing the wall in silence.
Berner’s intention was to evoke in his client the ‘sense of self’ – as he called it – without having to face a wall in meditation for endless years. His observation was that people who acquired this sense of self made faster progress in a therapeutic situation than those who didn’t. Looking for a solution, he came up with the Enlightenment Intensive structure.
When I arrived in Pune, the process was renamed Intensive Enlightenment by Osho and was one of the first groups to be introduced. From 1976 onwards, hundreds of people arriving at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram (as the Osho Meditation Resort was then called) took part in the Intensive Enlightenment process on Osho’s recommendation.
Ashram facilities were very limited but the number of participants in the group kept expanding. The biggest one took place with two hundred and fourteen people who had access to only six showers. Yes, you might say, we were dedicated to the search!
In the late 90s, Osho replaced “Who am I?” with the question “Who is in?” and there is a story about how this happened, which I will relate shortly…
Another historical nugget happened in 1989, during a series of discourses given by Osho called ‘Yahoo! The Mystic Rose’. In one of these discourses, Osho hammered “Who am I?” as the most stupid question ever asked. This was very surprising to many listeners, since on another occasion Osho had made it clear he was very fond of “Who am I?”
Anyway, next day I sent him a question, asking if I should look for another job, since I was working in a process where we did nothing else but asking this ‘stupid question’ all day long. His answer came back: the new question is “Who is in?”
A new ball game altogether.” (Ganga. In: Svagito 2014, p. 431)
(Note: Rajneesh has spoken on the koan ‘Who Am I?’ in his answer to questions several times, e.g. in ‘The New Dawn’ (1989). Session 10, p. 106. Next to the koan also the mondo was a much used device in Japanese practice of Zen: a brief, sharp and to-the-point dialogue between the master and disciple. Enlightenment Intensive is further presented in Avikal 2016, p. 56)

American Prageet was giving sessions in Rolfing and bodywork. She arrived in the ashram Summer 1975. (Punya 2015, p. 58)

Medical team Feb 1978
“Navanit heads the group of five doctors/therapists who form the ashram’s medical team. The care they give is pretty special, and there are those unique touches to whatever they do that you could only find in such a place as this. Bhagwan promises Navanit tonight that in the ‘new place’ he’ll have a crew of at least twenty. It’s growing, enthuses Navanit, but sometimes I have doubt in my ability.” (Maneesha. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 30)

4.2
Darshan-in-garden
Photo 3. On the lawn with disciples. 1974.
Sepia

Richard Price, director of Esalen growth center in Big Sur
“In 1977 Dick announced much to the confusion of his closest friends and colleagues, that he and Cris had become devotees of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, a charismatic Indian guru who was at that time synthesizing Tantric philosophy and Western psychology in a particular potent mix… Dick received the name Geet Govind from the guru (through the mail) and began planning what would become a month-long trip to Poona… Dick spent the first two weeks in the ashram’s meditation facility, where things went reasonably well. Then he moved into the encounter group sessions and participated in a session with an English psychotherapist who had studied with Will Schutz in London. Still well enough. Then in a session next door, a woman got her leg broken in a fight, apparently generated by the group session. This upset Dick deeply. What sealed his rage, however, was a second scene involving Rajneesh himself. Shortly after the broken bone, a woman stood up in the question-and-answer session and asked the guru about the violence. She questioned whether this was really necessary. According to Dick, Rajneesh not only did not respond the question, he turned on the woman and tried to intimidate and shame her into silence. That was it for Dick. Disgusted, he left the ashram in Poona, much as he had earlier left Ichazo’s Arica retreat in New York.” (Kripal 2007, p. 364. See also: Time magazine, January 1978)

Satya Bharti on Richard Price
“When Richard Price, the director of Esalen (the well-known growth center in Big Sur, came to the ashram for the first time and did the encounter group – he’d taken sannyas through the mail two years earlier after reading some of Bhagwan’s books – he was so outraged by the sex and violence in the group that he dropped sannyas, writing to Bhagwan about what he called dangerous, irresponsible therapy.” (Satya Bharti 1992, p. 109)

Subhuti on Esalen
“But when Price came to Pune and joined the Encounter group, he soon freaked out and left. He couldn’t handle the paradigm of no limits and the possibility of violence.
Esalen was well known in America, which is why Time magazine used it as a way of introducing the public to Bhagwan – hence the headline ‘God Sir in Esalen East,’ which I already mentioned. Both places offered a wide range of therapies for self-discovery.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 36)
(Note: “God Sir” at Esalen East. (No author). Feature on ashram therapies. Time magazine, 16.01.1978. Page 57-59.

Richard Price later wrote to ‘Time’ magazine to correct any notion the Esalen East was Esalen at all, or that Esalen itself was about to become Poona West. ‘Time’ never published that letter, but it is reproduced in ‘The Upstart Spring’. It reads:
“Rajneesh is well worth reading… He can speak brilliantly of the transformative possibility of human life. His “meditations” I find worth practicing. However, the ashram “encounter” group is an abomination – authoritarian, intimidating, violent – used to enforce conformity to an emerging orange new order rather than to facilitate growth. Broken bones are common, bruises and abrasions beyond counting. As such it owes more to the S.S. than to Esalen. Until the compassion Rajneesh speaks about with such eloquence is reflecting in his groups, I am content to be known as “Richard Price” rather than as “Geet Govind.” (Kripal 2007, p. 365. Quoted from: The Upstart Spring, p. 302)

Richard Price, famed founder of Esalen, later repudiated his sannyas status and wrote the ashram a private letter (23 Feb 1978) that was to be published in Indian and American media. (Brooke 1986, p. 145)

Rachel Storm writes
“Several leading figures of the Human Potential Movement made their pilgrimages to the ashram. Among them were Gerda Boyesen, founder of Biodynamic Therapy, a development of Wilhelm Reich’s teachings, Richard Price, founder, with Michael Murphy, of Esalen, Bernie Gunther, a body-centred therapist who gave workshops at Esalen, Paul Lowe, co-founder of Europe’s Esalen-modelled therapy centre Quaesitor and Michael Barnett, another European group therapy leader and author of ‘People not Psychiatry’. Richard Price later repudiated the ‘authoritarian, intimidating, violent’ methods used in the ashram’s encounter marathons, recounting examples of limbs being broken in the disciples’ efforts to break through to enlightenment. But many sannyasins were prepared to take the risk: ‘I have always known that discipleship is not a safe process,’ says one. ‘If it is real it is dangerous.'” (Storm 1991, p. 101)

On violence in therapy groups
“Most people’s deepest inhibitions revolve around sexuality, aggression, and violence because it is here that the deepest taboos lie. One guru utilized “workshops” where various expressions of sex, rage, and intimidation were used to break through people’s boundaries. Bones were broken and group, impersonal, and even forced sex occurred. This is indeed a fast track to breaking down personality. By telling people this was a path to liberation, deep taboos could be broken without initial guilt.” (Kramer 1993, p. 96)
(Note: Kramer’s writing of ‘The Guru Papers. Masks of Authoritarian Power’ first appeared in a limited edition 1984 while Bhagwan was in Oregon. It says on page xvii: “Given that the view much of the abuse of authoritarian power as essential structural, ‘The Guru Papers’ was never meant to be critical of specific individuals – leaders or followers. Thus we do not name names, though those familiar with some of the occurrences may be able to glean the identity of the figures involved.”)

Puttick on therapists
“Osho delegated very few spiritual powers to any disciples. This was partly because he was profoundly anti-clerical, seeing priesthoods as the ‘source of all kinds of ugly institutions’ and the root of all misery and repression, instilling obedience through fear and guilt. Nevertheless, his therapists performed certain priestly functions. The catharsis and breakthroughs experienced by group participants were comparable to the experience of absolution produced by the confessional.” (Puttick 1997, p. 178)

Outside reactions
“A general convergence of religion and psychotherapy has been happening during the past few years creating various psycho-religious therapeutic methods. In this cohesion, special attention must be given to the movement around Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh… The psycho-religious movement around Bhagwan is the most outstanding and influential within the broad range that has been developing during the last decade.
Bhagwan creates an image of Jesus that is enriched with the features of an Indian Yogi and Master….” (Central Office for the Ideological Questions for the German Protestant Church. June 1980. Germany. In: I Say Unto You. Talks on the Sayings of Jesus (1980). Vol.2. Back flap)

Amitabh on therapy in the ashram
“At the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona, India, a provocative laboratory in consciousness that is unique to the world is unfolding. As if rising out of nothingness, an existential center of transcendental psychology is emerging, bringing together Western therapeutic and humanistic growth movements with Eastern esoteric teachings and meditative practices. The unique, revolutionary feature of this melding of traditional with modern, East with West, love with meditation, is that it is interwoven on the fabric of the Master-disciple relationship…
In the manner of a Master Magician, Bhagwan creates from apparent nothingness, and in a wink presents the world with a stage upon which a new level of human actualization is now possible.
In short, now in Poona, India, is the most flourishing, broadest-based therapeutic community and Growth Center in the world today.” (Robert M. Birnbaum (Swami Prem Amitabh), Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist; Associate Professor, San Francisco State College. In: The Wisdom of the Sands. Discourses on Sufism (1980). Vol.1. Back flap)

Mistlberger on therapists
“The chief therapists at the ashram during the 70s, or ‘group leaders’ as they were generally called, acquired a fame and prestige within the community that at times would rival Osho’s. Some of the more notable ones over that time were Michael Barnett (Swami Anand Somendra), Paul Lowe (Swami Ananda Teertha), Allen Lowen (Swami Anand Rajen) and Robert Birnbaum (Swami Prem Amitabh). By the early 1980s some of these therapists (such as Barnett and Lowe in particular) eventually left Osho, either believing themselves to be sufficiently awakened as to not need him anymore or simply feeling that their time with the master was complete.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 87)

On managing the therapy groups
“A couple of years later I would work in the booking office where people registered and paid to attend groups and individual sessions. Most people came to make their bookings with the small slips of paper they had been handed at darshan the night before. When the shutters were lowered at the end of the day, we went through all the group cards and filled in a pristine white card with the number of places still empty in each therapy group, and whether women or men were needed to balance and fill the group. The white card was for Bhagwan, and had to be ready for him before darshan each evening.” (Stork 2009, p. 98)

Therapies and meditations
“Group therapies on offer included encounter, neo-Reichian bodywork, polarity balancing, primal therapy, hypnotherapy, bio-energetics, the Samarpan group, the awareness group, the Anatta group, Enlightenment Intensive, the Centering group, the Leela group, and the Tantra group. Formal meditations included the famous Dynamic Meditation, and the Kundalini, Nadabrahma, and Gourishankar meditations. Therapies were put on for two weeks in every four. Meditation camps ran from the eleventh to the twentieth of every month, five different meditations being performed daily. Therapies cost up to 1000 rupees each. A one-hundred rupee book of tickets sufficed for the ten days of the camps.” (Thompson 1986, p. 52)

Amitabh writes
“Groups. The therapy groups at the ashram took place from the 21st of each month to the 10th of the following month. Trained Western professionals, all Sannyasins, led the Western therapies and the Eastern methods: from primal, encounter, gestalt, bioenergetics, neo-Reichian, rebirthing, and enlightenment intensive to zazen, Vipassana, and tantra. Over 80 such groups took place each month, accommodating 200 participants.” (Amitabh. In: Aveling 1999, p. 112)

Osho’s discourses on masters and psychology
“The talks in English will be on anything from India, China, Japan, Israel, Greece or the West, from Patanjali to the mad Bauls of Bengal, from Lao Tzu to Heraclitus and Jesus and… You name it – from anywhere or any time in the history of the world, and Bhagwan has either talked about it or has a scheduled talk on it in 1981! However, one constant during the English series seems to be His references to psychology. That is western man’s keenest interest in this age, which is also why there are so many psychotherapy groups here open to westerners. It is through them that He works on the western mind!” (Divya 1980, p. 111)

Jayapal recalls
“A couple of days later I happened upon an acquaintance of mine from New York, a successful, elegant and urbane psychiatrist whom I had met through a lover of mine. He was sitting in the garden looking horrible. This once handsome man resembled the skull and crossbones warnings on bottles of iodine. Drained, hollow cheeks, eyes glazed. Gingerly I approached him to say hello and asked if everything was o.k. He simply mumbled “Encounter Group.” He had been figuratively stripped naked and attacked throughout the group.
He pointed to a woman with bandages around her head. “Encounter,” he mumbled once again. He nodded at a man with a cast on his arm. “Encounter,” came from his lips this time, barely audible. Fear raced through my body. This was much more that I had bargained for.” (Jayapal. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 142)

Susan Palmer writes in 1992
“The therapy groups were a major source of income for the movement. ‘Time’ (16 January, 1978: 57) reported that between 1975 and 1978 more then fifty thousand “seekers” had visited Poona to try out the famous groups. According to the lengthy study in the ‘Oregonian’ newspaper, “For Love and for Money” (1985), they drew from one to two thousand participants a year, and claimed in a financial statement filed with Maharashtra state charity officials in 1980 that therapy accounted for $188,253 of the movements savings.” (Palmer. In: Aveling 1999, p. 269)

Vasant Joshi writes in the Epilogue to his biography
“Bhagwan’s study of the human mind and psyche has made him a forerunner in a field he calls “the third psychology” or “the psychology of Buddhas.” Freud, Jung, Adler, and other psychologists gave birth to the first type of psychology, the psychology of the pathological mind. Maslow, Fromm, Janov, and others concentrated more on the growth of a healthy mind. Their approach was “holistic” and they gave birth to the second type of psychology, humanistic psychology. The third type of psychology, says Bhagwan, never existed before. Buddhas – who were beyond the pathological and the healthy mind, who were just “no-mind” – lived before, but none of them ever tried to make a scientific study of the awakened mind, except, as Bhagwan points out, Gurdjieff… But P.D. Ouspensky, upon whom Gurdjieff depended for communicating his insights in a scientific way, left him in the middle…
In view of the difficulties faced by Gurdjieff, Bhagwan took upon himself a double role. He has described the nature of his work in creating the third psychology:
“I am trying to work in the third dimension and I have not taken the risk that Gurdjieff took. I am not depending on anybody. I am Gurdjieff plus Ouspensky. It is hard work to live in two different dimensions. It is very hard, but anyway, it is good. Because nobody can betray me and stop my work – nobody. So I am continuously moving, in the world of no-mind and in the world of books and analysis… I have been working continuously on both levels; there is every possibility that the effort can succeed.”” (Joshi 1982. Epilogue, p. 172)

Turiya remembers Vipassana
“When I came to Pune in 1975 with my husband and daughter I was twenty-seven-years-old and within a short time Osho told me I should work with Teertha (Paul Lowe) as co-leader of the renowned Encounter Group.
This was after he’d told me: “Do Vipassana meditation. You don’t need anything else, you don’t need to do groups.”
Vipassana is an ancient meditation technique that requires the meditator to sit in silence with a straight back and watch his breath for forty minutes, then walk in silence for twenty minutes. This cycle is repeated continuously from 5:30 am until 11:00 pm.” (Turiya. In: Svagito 2014, p. 299)
(Note: When Osho after World Tour returned to Poona in January 1987 Vipassana was the first group meditation to be offered).

Alan Atkinson writes
“The development of the Poona techniques of Western psychotherapeutic methods combined with meditation appears to be unique and shows that, whatever one might think of Rajneesh, he certainly has at least some special flair for attracting people to Poona, that reveals how far the ashram appears to have been from just another soul-sop or haven from the world for disillusioned youth or ageing hippies. Some of the most ardent disciples and co-workers in the Rajneesh movement are doctors, teachers, former clergymen.” (Alan Atkinson. Amended from reprint in: The Citadel. Poona City Magazine. February 1991. Also as Press Release. Digital press echo distribution. 1991).
(Note: First appeared in ‘Saturday Review’, Adelaide, Australia. 01.08.1981)

Margot Anand writes from the very first Tantra group
“The date was set for my first Tantra group. I was informed of the basic rules: All participants had to have a darshan with Osho first. No one could come to this group if Osho had not sent them personally. The Tantra group was reserved for those who had already done inner work and had enough maturity to tackle the delicate issue of sexuality in a group setting.
Everyone, including me, had to go through a medical check to make sure we had no viruses or infections, from a common cold to herpes. Participants would be freely touching each other and sexuality might also be involved, so basic measures of hygiene were in order.
The group was to be held in Chaitanya Chambers, a series of specially built underground, soundproof rooms with padded walls and mattress-covered floors. These had been designed for primal therapy, so sannyasins could shout and scream at full volume – all day long if need be – without alarming our neighbours in Koregaon Park, the residential area in which the ashram was located…
The first few Tantra groups I led at the Poona ashram happened around 1978. Imagine those days: life with new freedom given by the invention of the pill – the first truly liberating birth control method – and the openness to explore sex before the advent of AIDS.
It was easy to focus on the here and now because there was no Internet, no emails, no mobile phones, no Facebook, etc. It was an ideal environment in which to explore an open, wild, and free sexuality. It was a revolution that began in the sixties in the United States and then, for me, flowered in the seventies in Osho’s ashram in India. I’m glad I could experience it.
However, telling this story on paper for the first time has taken a huge effort on my part. In my mind’s eye, I can see the readers of today judging those no-holds-barred methods of therapeutic work as naive, amateurish, dangerous, and reinforcing trauma rather than healing it.
In those days, we did not have the gentle therapies that have been developed since, such as Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing or the Theta Healing process. This was a time of encounter groups, primal therapy, bioenergetics, scream therapy, and radical confrontational work…
Tantra, as Osho has said many times, is a ladder reaching from sex to superconsciousness. Sex is the first rung. Superconsciousness is the last. The folly of most spiritual disciplines is that they try to remove the first rung of the ladder – condemning it – and then urge people to climb to the top of the ladder.
Osho changed all that. He put the first rung back in the ladder and showed us how to honor it, and use it to begin the climb to higher states of consciousness.” (Anand 20017, pp. 144,159,151)

Amitabh writes
“To his disciples, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh offers what the Masters before him offered. The potent difference is that he is alive, so rather than a dependence on commandments, dogma, or method, we are able to have a personal experience, a communion, a love interconnection, and in so doing, directly touch the transcendent space within.
Further, he is a man of our time. Thus, the targets he aims at are those he sees are at the root of the modern person’s dilemma: sexual and aggressive repression, being controlled and controlling, convention, living for the future, attachments to physical and psychological survival. In fact, any position at all, even being caught in the choice between a meditative and worldly life, comes under scrutiny as just one more subtle form of entrapment.
This article, written in 1980, covers my experience with Bhagwan at his ashram in India during the previous six years, and affords some glimpses of the way Bhagwan works with his disciples.” (Amitabh 1982, p. 19)

On Osho’s therapy
“Soon after he first settled in Pune and a community of seekers had begun to gather around him, Osho began to integrate new Western therapeutic approaches into his work. Known broadly as ‘Humanistic Psychology Movement’ these methods had evolved in the West as a response to the limitations of Freudian “talk therapy” and B.F. Skinner’s behaviourism.
Osho combined a wide variety of these therapy groups and processes as stepping stones, with his revolutionary ‘active meditation techniques’, which soon earned the community a reputation as “the world’s finest growth and therapy center.” It attracted those in search of personal transformation, some of the most innovative therapists and bodyworkers in the West, and people interested in meditation. Osho worked closely with both therapists and group participants to ensure that these offerings were in tune with his vision of a psychology that aims not to restore people to the functional neurosis society defines as “normal,” but to open the doors to a radical transformation of consciousness.
This book, ‘Enlightenment is Your Nature’, lays out Osho’s approach as he explains that therapy is used only as a cleansing process, that it is only a preparation for meditation. In his vision, therapy has a different function from that used in the “outside world” where therapists and councellors try to bring the person back into the mind so they can function efficiently in society instead. Osho uses therapy only to prepare the ground, cleaning out the weeds of neurosis in order to plant the flowers of meditation. Rather than trying to “fix” the neurotic mind, the person is supported to be courageous enough to take a step beyond the mind – and that happens through meditation.” (Promotional marketing. Osho 2017)

4.3 Lao Tzu Library

Osho Lao Tzu Library houses Osho’s book collection in Lao Tzu house where also his private quarters are located. In fact the house is more like a shell around the library, as the whole interior is dominated by library matters with packed shelves along the corridors. In a corner a door is leading to Osho´s privacy, and in the former Chuang Tzu Auditorium a samadhi has now been constructed for the ashes of Osho. Already in Gadarwara he wanted his whole house full of books as we have heard, and a similar process seems to have been the case in Lao Tzu House. Also here the library has taken over the whole house and ‘corridor library’ with attached rooms and wings may be the proper term to identify the physical design of Lao Tzu library.
His personal library was moved from Bombay to Poona around Enlightenment Day in March 1974, and the books from Osho’s apartment in Woodland were first kept in boxes in Lao Tzu before being unpacked and then shelved in the new library. Even before unpacking Osho would require certain books to be retrieved from the boxes for his excessive reading.

Tim Guest writes
“When Teertha, Poonam’s husband, first discovered Bhagwan in the early 1970s, he shipped his entire library of philosophy, religion, and self-development books over to Bombay as a gift to Bhagwan. Bhagwan was a voracious reader (among his sannyasins, tales about his literary appetite were rife: he read fifteen books a day, a hundred books a week).” (Guest 2005, p. 39)

Teertha interviewed by Divya on moving Rajeesh’s library to Poona
“When the move to poona happened, it was teertha, with astha, who stayed behind to clear, label and ship bhagwan’s entire library to poona. A few months after the move maneesha arrived and it was then that the era of teertha-and-maneesha started… Teertha sitting before me on a white textured double bed. We are surrounded by bare white walls. I recognize bhagwan’s old bookcase from woodlands, to one side.” (Divya. In: Only Losers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), pp. 443,446)

The first librarian after the move to Poona 1974 was Italian Lalita who had the initial task of working out the interior design of the library. She was involved in managing the library until 1987 when she moved to Boulder in the US Midwest.

Lalita remembers
“During the move from Bombay to Poona, I was at Kailash so i can’t say anything about it. When i started working in the library with Krishna Priya (around 1974 or 75) all the books were stored in boxes in Lao Tzu (in the old servant’s quarters – which are now the office) and were moved only when the bookshelves in the main library were finished.
All the books were catalogued by author and by title. The catalogue was started in Bombay. In Bombay, Vivek was taking care of them while other sannyasins were going out to buy them.
Maitreya, Narendra and Asha were some of the Indian sannyasins i remember taking care of the Hindi collection.
For your information, Krishna Priya could be a good person to interview – she started working in the library before moving to the Lao Tzu kitchen. Also Narendra and Asha (Indian sannyasins) maybe? Or Rabya, or Gayan (if she is in Poona) or… my brain cells are failing… can’t remember any other names of people who might be in Poona.
We were providing Him with a selection of about 10 to 30 new titles per day (the subject matters were religion, philosophy, psychology, sociology, humour, arts etc. – no novels). He would choose some of them and the others would be returned to the bookstores. He would go through a few books per day. However, if He had a book He really liked, He would spend more time reading it and would annotate it with dots on the margins. Sometimes He would copy an anecdote, a poem, or a paragraph to use during discourse. At times, He would remember a particular section in a book He liked and would ask if we could find it… not knowing the author or the title we had to fall back on our sixth sense!!!
Let me know if these answers are too brief… i could go on and on with precious remembrances…” (Lalita. E-mail. 08.11.2000)

Gayan writes on her years in the library
“For me the first thing in the day was taking up the new books to the roof (which was a flat tiled place). There I spread out a sheet and put the books on top – standing up and opened up. The last thing in the afternoon was to bring the books back down to the library. The books needed to be aired because pretty much all of them had a strong smell and the sun and wind were taking the smell out, which was important because of Osho’s allergies to Smells.
When Osho needed new books to be read, His bookcase was rolled out to the library and stacked with clean new books and returned to the room while He was in the shower. Read books that came back from Osho’s room (normally brought by Vivek) were now signed by Osho in the front and in the back had the date of reading. Now the books got new file cards, were filed in the file system and put away on the shelves. There was no system for sections by subject or anything – they went into the shelves as they came and got put in so their top ends would create a wavelike line and their colours would change and create a beautiful coloured image.
There was always some movement of books, either old shelves or the glass doors needed some repair or we got new shelves like the wooden ones in the corridor end close to Osho’s room and the ones in the entrance hall to His room. These shelves were made by sannyasins in the Ashram. These books were if needed aired, cleaned, repaired and if they didn’t go back to their old shelf filed into a new place. We pulled all the books with drawings together and made an area for Osho’s books and all His translated books, as well as all publications which were written about Osho or mentioned Him. The same with the magazines.
We found some bookworms in some books and we thought in some shelves as well. (It might have been 79 or 80. I might have a way to find out when I am back in Brazil). After a little research we decided to “bake” the books. We brought a small electric oven and started baking the books by ca. 50 degrees Celsius for maybe 15 to 20 min. The shelves with the holes we wouldn’t use again.
I went to Bombay about once a month together with a small group of sannyasins in an Ashram van. We started early in the morning and returned the same night. I went around in town myself in a taxi. “Strand’s” was one of the places where I regularly stopped by and had a look at the books. The people there were really friendly and helpful and you could feel the respect they had for Osho and likewise for me as the “helping hand”. They packed up the chosen books, made a list and off I went to the publishers. “Strand’s” had normally the most interesting selection of books and the latest editions. – I went to about 3 different publishing houses (I don’t remember the names) where I looked around in the warehouses and chose whatever I thought suitable. Here too they would make a list, pack up the books and have someone carry the parcel for me to the taxi. If there would be many books and heavy parcels I would leave the parcels at the publishers and do a collecting trip after I finished going round choosing the books.
Back in the Ashram I cleaned the books and send them in to Osho (via Vivek). He would look through them and choose the ones He wanted to keep. I packed up the rest into separate parcels for Strand’s and the publishers, marked the lists and sent it back with the next transport to Bombay, where it was returned and paid.
There were also shops in Poona where I went. There was “Manney’s Bookstore”, which was the most interesting. Then there was one shop on MG Road and one on Deccan Gymkhana, but I forgot the names.
Ma Lalita read through the “Books in Print” etc. and marked books Osho might be interested in. He looked through it later and marked the ones he wanted her to order. The same she did with the joke books: she marked the jokes and Osho ticked off the ones he wanted her to type out. He had two wooden boxes in His room where He kept the jokes He hadn’t used yet – these boxes are now in the library. The jokes He used in the discourses went after the discourse to the editor.
Lalita ordered the books in USA and UK through sannyasins. They took care of getting the books and sending them through other sannyasins that were visiting Poona or they mailed to the library in the Ashram. It was Ma Sushila in the US and [?] in the UK. – You need to find Lalita. She will be the best to tell you all the details and I think she has a better memory for names too! Osho wanted her to be the librarian of the library in Rajneeshpuram, but it never came to the point; the books were never unpacked.” (Gayan Anand. E-mail. 12.10.2006)

Gayan remembers from working in the library
She went on her own to Strand bookshop in Bombay to buy new books for the library, where Narendra was the librarian taking care of the collection in Hindi. She remembers two file cabinets with lined cards, one cabinet according to authors, the other according to titles. At the bottom of the cabinets there were a smaller system for books in Hindi. Cards also had ISBN numbers, but no subject classification was made. This may have been done later on by Kavisho.
In the spring of 1981, before moving to Oregon, Gayan was sick at that time but she remembers that Lalita did all the packing of the library with a few helpers. The file cards were at that time put into the books before books were placed in containers.
Back in January/February 1987 Osho wanted some books before the unpacking to be placed first on the shelves for his walking into Lao Tzu Auditorium. Kavisho became the key important figure during Poona Two, and Gayan has in Brazil kept some photos of the old cabinets, the drying on the roof after rainy season and of other daily routines. Krishna Priya was working in the library too, in 1974-75. (Gayan Anand. On phone from Hamburg. 23.08.06)

Gayan recalls
“I was not in tune with the Hindi publications etc that were in the library. I think Sw. Narendra did that (he is now leading the center in Dehradun), if not him it must have been some other swami, Narendra might know or Lalita for sure.
In the library there must be all the leaflets etc. Maybe Swami Pratabh from the translating dept. could help and translate for you or Swami Amit, Osho’s brother, who is also working with translating.
About numbers of the whole library stock I don’t remember much. When I started to work in the library, that was somewhere spring of 1978, I sort of remember that it were 32,000 or 35,000 volumes at that time. But there should be records in the library computers. Maybe Lalita has a better memory for numbers.” (Gayan Anand. E-mail. 03.04.2011)

Maneesha on library work
“When not translating [Italian] Lalita is Bhagwan’s chief librarian. She works in his house and goes twice a week to Bombay to hunt through and haunt the shops there, and in Poona every other day, to purchase books for him. Ten a day he reads, it’s said! Catalogued the way he likes, in special Bhagwan order, you can see next to ‘The Last Hours of Jesus’ something called ‘Intestinal Fitness’. New books that smell too strongly of printer’s ink she faithfully collects each day to lay on the terrace upstairs to sunbathe and to air…” (Maneesha. In: The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 94)

Krishna Prem on Osho’s reading and library
“The balcony, accessible only through the library, runs along the front of Lao Tzu House, overlooking the gravel drive we used to walk, years before, towards darshan – in the days when a half dozen or so would gather around him on the lawn or during monsoon, under the covered car port leading to the main entrance of the house.
Osho, Laxmi told me, reads up to ten books a day. As food was for Ramakrishna, my feeling is that books are Osho’s anchorage, his grounding, his way of staying in the body, something, he’s told us from time to time, that becomes more and more difficult for him as time passes. I also recall him saying once that his reading, his books, had helped him prepare for the deluge of Westerners he always seemed to know would one day come. “Your authors,” he’d say, “are the mirrors of your minds.”
There’d been a lot of books in Woodlands, but compared to the Lao Tzu library the Bombay bookshelves had been bare. There must be thirty thousand books at least, from Freud to Raymond Chandler, Sri Aurobindo to Mark Twain. Long ago, the original library had spilled over into floor-to-ceiling cabinets that line the corridors of the house, inching, with each new shipment, down the hallway, closer and closer to the back door. The books are arranged helter-skelter by the colour of their bindings, and located through a complex card system – the Master’s device, swears the Italian librarian Lalita, to short-circuit her once ordered, logical mind.
Half the balcony is used by her to air the books before Vivek takes them in to Osho. The allergies again…
One afternoon something starts to register. A gift arrives for him – a block of English cheddar and a big, glossy art book… [Vivek] tells Laita to put the book away for the time being. “I’ll save it until he’s ill,” she decides. “About the only way I can keep him in bed is with picture books.” (Allanach 2013, p. 179; Viha Connection, 2014:2, p. 19)

Abhiyana writes
“When Osho moved to Poona in 1974, a library was set up for his huge collection of books, some 150,000 volumes, just a stone’s throw from his bedroom. He had read every last one of them, and signed his name on the first page. He had also colored more than 600 of the volumes, 900 books in which he painted the endpapers and 3,500 of them in which he colored his signature. Osho was not only a rebel, poet, mystic and intellectual par-excellence, but a contemporary as well!
The only instructions for his Italian librarian was to place the books in no logical order, but to put different sizes and colors together to make a wavelike pattern. No two similar books were to be next to each other. What a headache for Lalita to catalog! Every so often, she would get a request for a particular book, and she had to find it ASAP. When I lived shortly in Osho’s house, I enjoyed looking at the books lining the corridor; just standing in his library was a treat, as the tomes seemed to radiate energy.” (Abhiyana 2017, p.153)

Maneesha remembers Lao Tzu library
“In its entirely the collection of books numbered, by 1981, a staggering fifty thousand. Some passages in books from his student days had small, neat comments written in them. On every book in his library Bhagwan wrote – or drew – his signature and the date. I had seen some examples of Bhagwan’s signature as it evolved over the years; it was written in different colored felt-tip pens, and changed from a small inscription to a bold flourish, into which were interwoven many different patterns, often quite decorative.
I’d also had the opportunity to use the catalogue system – unique in a way that only Bhagwan could dream of! His preference, Lalita explained, was for colors and sizes to be mixed together to create a rainbow-colored wave effect. So I found that ‘The Secret Life of Jesus’ had its place alongside ‘Intestinal Fitness’, and so on!” (Forman 1988, p. 89)

Each section of Osho Lao Tzu Library has been given a name by Osho: Ramakrishna, Kabir Balcony, Sanai Corridor, Rabiya Corridor, Vimal­kirti Wing, Devateertha Wing and Maitreya Wing. During the reconstruction of Lao Tzu House in Poona Two, Zarathustra Archives were turned into the Dentist Room, and Mansoor archives into the Chair Room, from where Osho’s chair every evening was taken to Buddha Hall for the Evening celebration. Wings and corridors were in 1998 renamed as sections.

Lacie Poona Two: laotzu(2)
Fig. 3. General plan/layout of Osho Lao Tzu Library.
Not to scale. In progress.
– al ovenstående tekst medtages.

General plan of Lao Tzu Library 1999:

  1. In entrance from portico, Virmalkirti wing with cupboards of dark brown wood, archive of English and Hindi editions plus trans­lations. Mirrored entrance to Osho’s private rooms.
  2. Where corridor starts: Archive of books on Osho, including publications mentioning his name. 11 shelves of books by sannya­sins on Osho, mostly nonfiction, also a few fiction. Theses too, and spare copies of biographies.
  3. In Ramakrishna: Most valuable material: Old signatures, new signatures and paintings. Dictionaries and reference works behind the glass table.

4: Sanaii corridor with its 26 sections is next to Ramakrishna the oldest part of the library, shelves with second oldest material. Photo session took place here. Latest signatures; Osho’s earlier kitchen, now archive for slides and video, Sanaii was earlier double packed with paperbacks. Also in Sanaii, Hindi bookmarked books and four copies of all discourses published. In earlier kitchen now archive, including video and slides. In Mansoor at end corner of Sanaii Corridor we find unpublished darshan diaries and full sets of Rajneesh/Osho magazines internationally.

5: Rabya Corridor shelves books bought by Osho.

  1. Now Meditation Academy in Devateerth. Hindi books shelved along the walls.
  2. In Maitraya Osho’s discourses in Hindi. Also Anando’s office. (Rabiya. Interview and own observation. December 1999)

Satyananda on Lao Tzu Library
“Die beiden grössten Räume der Villa liegen im Erdgeschoss und dienen als Bibliothek: 33.000 Bände in Regalen [1977], die bis zur Decke reichen. Eine junge Ma sitzt auf einem Kissen auf dem Boden und sortiert Karteikarten, Amerikanerin, gelernte Universitätsbibliothekarin.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 26)

Sheela on Lao Tzu Library
“Jahrelang hatten wir Tausende von Dollars für Bücher ausgegeben, die Sannyasins aus dem Westen mitbrachten. Er hatte eine eindrucksvolle Bibliothek, sowohl was die Qualität als auch Quantität betraf. Ich hatte viele Sannyasins über seine Lesegewohnheiten reden hören. Sie sagten beispielsweise: “Er liest so viel, damit er in seinem Körper bleiben kann…” Ich hatte nicht viel davon verstanden. Ich war mir jetzt aber sicher, dass sein Schweigen mit seiner Gesundheit zu tun hatte.” (Sheela 1996, p. 147)

Veena on Guiness Book of Records
“Initially, when a photo session was scheduled, Osho suggested something for me to make – a hat, a hood, maybe a cloak or something. After a while, however, he started to ask me for ideas, and I spent many hours poring over costume and historical books in the library. I was lucky, I had, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest private library in the world to browse through. I was trying to be a little prepared… if that were ever possible with a Master like Osho.” (Veena 2012, p. 124)
(Note: When later on Veena asked Lalita she heard that the entry in Guinness Book of Records was but a rumour)

Veena on Gayan working in the library
“Gayan was a beautiful German woman who was working in the library helping Lalita, the librarian. Gayan was later to be the dancer dancing around Osho on the podium in Rajneeshpuram. She could knit. She was one of those people who tucked the left-hand needle under her arm and flicked the right-hand needle in and out at the rate of knots. I thought the problem was solved until Lalita said she needed Gayan to help with the books because they were packing up the whole library to ship to the USA.” (Veena 2012, p. 136)
(Note: Later on Gayan was engaged in a project in the Brazilian jungle in the 1990s. With Nivedano, the Brazilian drummer, in the jungle at Val de Lua she was working on The New Man Project).

Satyananda recalls
“Gajan (das deutsche Landkommunemädchen) ist für den Nachschub verantwortlich, fährt mehrmals im Monat nach Bombay und kommt mit grossen Bücherkisten zurüch. Bhagwan schaut sich alle Bücher an und entscheidet, welche gekauft werden sollen. “Wenn er viele zum Ankaufen auswählt”, sagt Gajan, “dann freue ich mich. Dann habe ich gut gewählt.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 171)

Strelley writing on Nandan
“After a few weeks the message came that she [Nandan] was to begin working in the library. Bhagwan had an extensive library inside Lao Tzu. If books came in that were too scented, they would be rebound and put out in the auditorium for a time to air. Previously this had only been done by Lalita, an Italian woman” (Strelley 1987, p. 184)
(Note: Nandan remained engaged in library work until she left the Ranch later on)

Deeksha in library
Laxmi: “‘Bhagwan says you’re to work in the library.’ So for three months she worked alone in the corridors of Lao Tzu house filing and cataloguing Bhagwan’s thousands of books.” (Maneesha interview with Deeksha. In: Halleluja! A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 209)

Statistics for Lao Tzu library are impressive. It contains an official figure about 100.000 books, mostly English non-fiction, but also books in Hindi, adding up to two kilometres of shelves. The author’s estimate is less than 80.000 volumes. Earlier figures for the growth of the book holdings are: 1974 20.000 volumes; 1977 33.000 volumes; and by 1981 50.000 volumes. Valuable parts are the four copies of all Osho’s published discourses in Hindi as well as in English, translations thereof, darshan diaries published and unpublished, theses, and full set of international Rajneesh/Osho magazines. There are also numerous biographies and secondary works on Osho or mentioning him. (Evald 2005)

All books have been read, signed and dated by Osho, except about 10.000 titles which have been accessed from 1987 onwards (‘Osho Times International’, 01.08.1991). Some 3.500 books contain various styles of his signature in colour or as part of a painting. A full-page painting of Osho inside the cover is found in 900 books. These special books are kept in the library’s best protected hall, Ramakrishna.

Only a minor part of Osho’s total reading throughout the years is now in Lao Tzu Library. Figures for his total reading over the years are uncertain, but must be in the region of 150,000-200,000 books, based on 5,000-10,000 books each year between the 1950s and 1980. A kind of speed-reading had been developed by him which allowed him not only to remember what he had read with a photographic memory, but also to underline and add special coloured dot in the margin in his dialogue with the text. (See Fig.3 Osho’s bookmarks, in Volume I / Part 3. Bombay)

Each day new books were brought to him. Following Eastern tradition his reading never took place in the library itself, but in his private room. It constituted the major part of his daily schedule in Bombay and Poona until 1981, when his eyes were so weak he had to stop reading.

Fig. 4. Special library codes (Attributes)

These are the explanations for the codes used for the Special books in the library:

OS – OLD SIGNATURE

‘Rajneesh’ or ‘Rajneesh Chandra Mohan’ etc, or three-part hieroglyphic style with color inside

NS – NEW SIGNATURE

Regular signature with color inside (many of these are exhibited around the commune as silkscreen prints from Gatasansa (Japan))

PA – PAINTING

Signature with color outside the signature. (Often is a full page painting done on the end page(s) of the book).

LS – LATEST SIGNATURES

Signatures from 1988 onwards (after the World Tour). New books only.

LP – LATEST PAINTING

Airbrush paintings done in 1988 (after The World Tour).

As of 9 May 1994 this is our count of: Additional Codes:

Old Signatures(OS) 844BM – Bookmarked

New Signatures(NS) 1487BS – By Sannyasin

Paintings(PA) 645BO – Books On Osho

Latest Signatures (LS) 180BZ – Osho Mentioned

Latest Paintings(LP) 13SA – Signed by Author

Fig. end

– slettes

Categories in the library also include: Books I have loved, and Sutra-books for discourses, etc. (Kavisho. Interview. Poona. August 1999)

As a book connaisseur his whole life Osho was giving specific instructions for the style and character of the library’s inter­ior design and for the various techniques to be used. Among other features the books are arranged on the shelves according to size and colour. Two books of the same size or colour are not to be placed next to each other, so the effect is that of waves going up and down, adding a much lighter impression of the packed shelves than usually seen in libraries.

His priorities for the library were aesthetics combined with cleanliness. This general aesthetic approach also influenced his choice of materials and colours. In early days Ramakrishna was arranged more like a study, with all wooden shelves and cupboard doors in cream colouring, a colour used throughout the whole corridor library.

4.3
music-group.darshan2
Photo 4. Music Group.

The acquisition of books was based on requests from Osho supplemented by the librarians. He was going through ‘Books in Print’ and his marginal notes are to be found in the volumes. Books were ordered in hundreds in one order from Bowker, later using cd-rom for book selection. After he stopped reading in 1981, the acquisition of books continued until 1989 only, whereas the accession of new editions and translations of his own books is still ongoing.

Early Hindi books were sometimes dated in both Hindi and English. Dates were changed from front to back. According to some interviewees, even encyclopedias were read by Osho. At least they were signed and collated when brought to him and later on referred to.

Solid works of reference are lined up on the airy glass shelves: Two full editions of ‘Encyclopedia Britannica’ (14th ed.1968 & 15th ed.1974), ‘The Oxford English Dictionary’ (12 Volumes), ‘Encyclopedia of Religion’ (16 Volumes) and as mentioned: ‘Books in Print’ (1967-89). Also ‘The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi’ (30 Volumes) are included. According to some interviewees, even encyclopedias were read by Osho. At least they were signed and referred to.

The co-dependency of access to a physical library and spiritual development is of intriguing nature. In Norbulinka in Lhasa, a physical combination of library and meditation room is found in the private quarters of the 13th and 14th Dalai Lama. The meditation room of the 13th Dalai Lama is placed on first floor above his library on ground floor in Tuzin Palace, and the meditation room of the 14th Dalai Lama is adjoining his library room on the secluded top of the New Summer Palace. In Lao Tzu House no specific meditation room was needed as the resident’s enlightenment made this arrangement unnecessary. An enlightened state of consciousness no more requires a specific setting for meditation, and the library comprises, as we have seen, most of the interior space in his residence.

Meredith in library
“The first time I went to Vivek’s room, I was considerably more agog than I might otherwise have been at such an amazing moment. It was further into his house than I had ever been before. Every inch of the walls of the passageway was covered with books… I was soon in the long corridor to his rooms, past those beautiful books. (Meredith 1987, pp. 102,156)

Satyananda in Lao Tzu House
“Er führt mich durch eimen Seitengang ins Haus… Er geht voraus durch einen Korridor. Zu beiden Seiten verglasst Bücherregale, die bis zur Decke reichen. Zur links die Küche… Wir gehen an Laxmis Zimmer vorbei und am Zugang zum Lao-tze-Auditorium, wo jeden Abend die Close-Up-Darshans stattfinden. Im weiten Rand des Terrakottabodens sitzt ein Wächter auf einem Klappstuhl und liest. Der Korridor führt um eine Ecke. Dahinten beginnt Bhagwans Wohnbereich. Ich siehe von weitem den grünen Vorhang, hinter dem sich die Tür zu seinem Esszimmer verbürgt. In dem Esszimmer wohnt Vivek, die sich Tag und Nacht um Bhagwans persönlicher Wohl kümmert… Krishna und ich biegen links ab und klettern über eine wendeltreppe auf eine offene Terrasse… Durch zwei weitere Türen und ein Treppenhaus führt der Weg schliesslich auf die etwa hundert Quadratmeter grosse überdachte Terrasse, auf der inzwischen mein Schreibtisch aufbebaut ist. Ich bin hier nicht allein – Niranjana, die österreichische Millionärstochter, sitzt an der Schreibmaschine. Sie tippt für das Übersetzerbüro. Ihr Zimmer liegt gleich um die Ecke. Ma Savita, eine sanfte Schönheit aus England, arbeitet an Darschan-Büchern. Divya tippt auf eine elektrischen Schreibmaschine ein Ashram-Journal… Zehn Mädchen sind in der Bibliothek und in diesem Haushalt beschäftigt, der mit der Geräuschlosigkeit und Präzision eines Schweizer Uhrwerks abzulaufen scheint.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 171)

In Poona One a large part of Lao Tzu House was occupied by residents, a space which later on was to be changed into library premises:

“Lao Tzu added another six rooms [1980] and people were moved into these. The Lao Tzu personnel included Laxmi; Vivek (…); Chetana, who did Bhagwan’s laundry; Savita, an Englishwoman who did proofreading (…); Pratima, who ran book printing and distribution; Hamid (…); Shiva (…); Haridas (…); Teertha, a right-hand to Bhagwan on the esoteric side of things, whose girlfriend Maneesha, another proofreader, also taught in the children’s school; the seamstresses Veena and Gayan; Asta, who cleaned Bhagwan’s rooms; Nirgun, who cooked for him; Nandan, who worked between the library and cleaning; Lalita, who ran Bhagwan’s library; a woman named Anurag, who did writing for the press office; Christ Chaitanya (…); Champa (…) and Daniel.” (Strelley 1987, p. 297)

“While Lao Tzu residents didn’t see Bhagwan any more than everyone else – he never left his room except for lectures, darshans, and an occasional dentist appointment – his energy and vibe permeated the atmosphere, turning it into holy ground, sanctified.” (Bharti 1992, p. 114)

During the 1970’s the book drying procedure following the rainy season continued the old tradition from his father’s house in Gadarwara, now taking place on the flat roof of Lao Tzu House. This was of importance as no smell was to be in the books due to Osho’s allergy. On the roof we find equipment for disinfection of library books, and the whole Lao Tzu House, including all library facilities, has been airconditioned and humidity control provided for all rooms containing books.

Satyananda recalls from May 1979
“Auf einer nicht überdachten Terrasse werden jeden Tag Hunderte von Bhagwans Büchern hochkant aufgestellt und in Richtung Sonne aufgeblättert: in den Regalen hat sich der Holzwurm eingenistet, und nun soll die Sonne Bhagwans Bücher säubern. Auch wurden zwei Sterilisationsapparate für medizinishe Instrumente angeschafft, in denen die Bücher entkeimt werden, bevor sie zum Meister gehen. Gayan (das deutsche Landkommunemädchen) ist für den Nachschub verantwortlich, fährt mehrmals im Monat nach Bombay und kommt mit grossen Bücherkisten zurück. Bhagwan schaut sich alle Bücher an und entscheidet, welche gekauft werden sollen.” (Satyananda 1984, pp. 171,375)

Ma Prem Usha
“She took sannyas in the late 1970s in Pune where she lived with her husband, also an Osho disciple. For some time she worked in Osho’s library and wrote out Hindi poems, Sanskrit ‘slokas’ and Urdu couplets for Osho for his discourses and embroidered small towels for Osho that he carried all the time… Later she took to Tarot and started her horoscope column in the Osho Times.” (Kul Bhushan. Obituary at www 23.07.08)

Savita on Madhuri
“In Osho’s communes she became librarian to his thousands of books…” (Savita 2014, p. 243)

Madhuri lived in Lao Tzu, Osho’s residence
“In 1976 Vivek came to me where I was cleaning books in the library.” (Osho News, 20.10.2013)

“Madhuri, author of several books and one of bhagwan’s librarians… Vandana, Anurag and Maneesha – all editors.” (Blessed are the Ignorant. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 288)

Madhuri writes in The Poona Poems
“poem while cleaning in the master’s house

near you in silence
I sit forever
mosquitoes dance
the lord lives in my hands

1974, Lao Tzu”
(Madhuri 2017, p. 42)

In the early days in Poona Japanese sannyasins were to a large extent supporting library activities, an activity corresponding with their cultural heritage and a general lack of English language needed for other more social work in the ashram.

The Hindi part of the collection was mainly taken care of by Swami Maitreya, the former member of the Parliament in Delhi, now serving as his master’s librarian.

Gayan Anand, working in the library from 1977-1981, writes
“Here are some people I remember:
Sw. Chinmaya (is living now in Pokara, Nepal, running an Osho Center) – he was doing the first Sannyas Magazine (don’t know if it is the right name, as I am travelling in Europe and can’t look it up) in the Bombay times and he was working with it also in Poona when I came there in 1976. He is also one of the early translators from Hindi into English. He didn’t take part in the commune in America, but came back when Osho returned to India. Then he was only translating to my knowledge. He is a beautiful man and must be knowing many things.
Sw. Pratab (is living in the Osho Resort, Pune) I guess he is the only translator in the moment from Hindi to English.
Ma Lalita (living somewhere in USA) is the best source of information for the time until we went to America, that means until Osho stopped reading, and for the time we spend there.
We had in Poona 1 an Indian Sannyasin looking after the Hindi books – I am not sure anymore, but it might have been Sw. Narendra (He and Mukti are having an Osho Center in Dheradun, India). I guess Lalita for sure would remember. We had sannyasins in America and England sending us books.
After returning to Poona Ma Kavisho and Sw. David (Sedona) were looking after the library. There was also a separate joke department which collected and composed jokes for Osho. That were Sw. Satyadharma, Sw. Chetan and Sw. Vimal. Vimal made a joke book out of the jokes Osho used.
There were also sannyasins looking after book fairs – for India I seem to remember Sw. Keerti from oshoworld.com (Delhi).
I was working in the library from 1977-1981. Then I was sewing His clothes, that meant I was around in the house until 1991.” (Gayan Anand. E-mail. 19.08.2006))

Maitreya on his reading of newspapers
“I am the only sannyasin here who reads the newspapers! Because of my past association – I was associated not only with politics, I was also associated with journalism – my past conditioning, a hangover is there. I am perhaps the only person who reads newspapers here. I have this advantage – I can ask political questions.” (Interview with Swami Anand Maitreya. In: Divya 1980, p. 355)

On marking the books
“In his Ashram he has an enviable library of books. He advises his disciples which of these they should read, and to which passages they should pay attention. He marks these passages with scholarly neatness: one dot for a notable passage, two dots for those which are very notable. He has one of my books [The Space Within the Heart, 1970] on his shelves. I value the fact that I have several dots, single and double, and I feel that it is generous of the Swami to give me this ‘nihil obstat’.” (Aubrey Menen. In: Aveling 1999, p. 233)

Shunyo remembers
“Lao Tzu house is mostly library. The marble corridors are lined with glass-covered bookshelves. I remember on the day I moved in I crashed into them with my suitcase, and by some miracle, nothing broke. Still to this day, every time I pass that spot in the corridor I remember the time I moved in.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 34)

Veena sewing on library floor
“In Poona 2 we had a huge sewing table for tasks such as this, but in the early days I had to use the library floor which involved huge cleaning routines… My face must have been pretty white too as I followed Priya and Nirvano to the veranda outside the library where there was a cupboard with some cloth and an old sewing machine… With a forehead bathed in sweat not just from the heat, I cleared a table in the library and started cutting.” (Veena 2012, pp. 114,103)

Devageet in Lao Tzu House and Osho’s room early 1979
“My first impression of Lao Tzu House was its immense silence. Then I took in its shining cleanliness. As I walked, I saw thousands of books neatly standing in bookcases that lined the walls from floor to ceiling. I followed as Vivek led me along a red-tiled corridor, passing several doors along the way. Through one open doorway, I noticed gleaming stainless steel pots and pans, and marble counters. I guessed it was Osho’s kitchen. Passing another door, almost opposite the kitchen, I saw the household entrance to Chuang Tzu Auditorium, where Osho gave nightly darshan, and occasionally public morning discourses, when he wasn’t using the newly-built, but as yet unfinished, Buddha Hall Auditorium… [Bhagwan’s] room was like none I had ever seen before. The first glance showed me floor and walls made of warm pinkish marble, tiger-striped with deep, thick veins of grey. The only furniture was a very large, immaculate bed with two beautifully designed bedside lamps. On the left was a complete wall of rosewood-fronted, fitted wardrobes. Vivek was standing on my right in a large, square, bay-windowed part of the room. Osho was next to her, sitting in a high-backed armchair… I noticed that Osho was seated next to a revolving wooden bookcase of a Victorian design exactly like one I had owned in England. I was strangely delighted – I had loved that bookcase. The bookcase was full of books. On top of it, next to a round, lacquered wooden pot full of exquisite fountain pens, were three beautiful wristwatches, and a pile of a dozen or more books that appeared to be in current use.. Opposite where he was sitting was a state-of-the-art Bang and Olufsen music centre in a cabinet of deep, shining rosewood… Vivek brought the small silver penlight that I had often seen Osho using as an energy-moving device on some people during darshan. He would shine it on their third eye centre, or occasionally on their throat centre.” (Devageet 2013, pp. 49-52)

Osho comments on physical shape
“If there is a disruption between these two – the body we see and the spirit which is not seen – living is impossible. I also realized that Ramakrishna Paramahansa’s being afflicted with numerous diseases and the death of Shri Ramana Maharshi of cancer were not due to physical causes but due to the break in adjustment of these two things. It is thought that saints and yogis are always hale and healthy but in truth it is just the contrary. In fact yogis die young, and as long as they live, they are mostly ailing because the adjustment is disturbed and as a result a discord is created.” Tao. The Three Treasures (1976). Vol.1.

Osho’s younger brother Nikalank has come forward with his considerations on the preservation of artefacts from Osho, including books. His understanding is that text reading is only one dimension, other dimensions and approaches are as valuable. Everything Osho has said is important. We are dealing with multidimensional ways of perception, including sensitivity to the energy field of things, a matter which is best to be achieved in India, as this does not belong to a Western tradition. (Nikalank. Interview. Poona. 28.07.2001)

4.4 Osho’s Reading

In Lao Tzu House during Poona One each day 5-10 books were brought from the library to his private room where also a small bookcase was found. His reading never took place in the library itself, but in his privacy in Lao Tzu. It constituted the major part of his daily schedule in Bombay and Poona until 1981 where his eyes had become so weak that he had to stop reading. This was a major change of habits throughout his life, but he continued his passionate involvement in the design and production of his books.

He is said to have read almost 200.000 books over a 40 years period of time. His reading was during Poona One 3-4 hours of reading in the morning after discourse and again from 1 p.m. until midnight, interrupted by his meals, his afternoon nap and evening darshan, summing up to maybe 3-400 volumes in a month.

“Books are very old media. The days for books are gone. People don’t have that much time to read, because reading is active; you have to do something. Television is perfectly okay. You have nothing to do; you simply sit and see. So something that is active is not going to spread very fast – rather, something that people can simply sit and see.” Get Out of Your Own Way. A Darshan Diary (1977), p. 1.

Osho on Rabindranath Tagore
Saturday March 27th 1976. “… this will be your name: Ma Geetanjali. It means an offering of the songs. You can offer God flowers, or you can offer your songs. So Geetanjali means offering God your songs. It is the name of one of the most famous books in India. Have you heard the name of Rabindranath Tagore? He is the only nobel-prize-winning Indian poet, and it was for this book ‘Geetanjali’ that he was given the nobel prize. Read the book… you will love it. It is one of the very rare books…
An Indian poet, Rabindranath, whenever he writes poetry, he closes his door – no food, no bath, no tea, nothing. For three days, four days, five days, he will be mad, just manic – shouting and singing and dancing and writing… he will not sleep. And his whole family will be worried about what is going to happen. He will not even open the door, because any disturbance is enough to bring him down… A frenzy of creativity… as if he has become possessed. And then for months he will not write anything; he will be just a normal being.” Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle. A Darshan Diary (1977), pp. 184,214.

Osho speaking on the study of philosophy in darshan
“It is good to continue and finish it. It will be helpful. Philosophy cannot give much, but it can give you a framework. It can give you a certain language to understand things, a certain clarity about concepts. It cannot give anything existential, but it can give you an intellectual clarity. And it is good training. One should not think that anything is achieved through it, but it can clear the ground for something to be achieved.” A Rose is a Rose is a Rose. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 61.

“I was reading just the other day about a Sufi mystic; Malik-bin-Dinar was his name. He would pray and meditate the whole day and then at night he would sit and pray – sometimes for the whole night.” The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 138.

Osho on nun’s book on meditation, Sadhana
“Once it happened: A Jaina nun wrote a beautiful book on meditation, a really beautiful book on meditation. When I passed through the book I was surprised. I was surprised because there were a few faults in it which are possible only if the person has never meditated. Just a few – three, four faults – not much in a book of four hundred pages. Otherwise, it appeared as if the person who had written it knew what meditation was experientially, not just intellectually; but those four faults were enough. Then I forgot about the book.
While I was traveling in Rajasthan, in one town the num came to see me. I had completely forgotten about the book and the name of the nun; and she asked me how to meditate. Looking at her face I remembered that I had seen a picture somewhere, and then the memory came, and I asked her, “Have you written a certain book on meditation?” She said, “Yes, I have.” I said, “How could you write that book if you have come to ask me how to meditate?”
She said, “I have been studying meditation. I have studied all the books that are available on meditation, your books too, and that was a kind of thesis. I have accumulated material from every source; whatsoever looked beautiful, I chose it and I made a consistent whole of it. But as far as I’m concerned, I don’t know what meditation is because I cannot get rid of thoughts.”
This is not sadhana – this is philosophy… Just as science experiments in the outside world, Sadhana experiments in the inside world. Sadhana is the inner science of the soul. One becomes one’s own lab.” God’s Got a Thing About You. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 8.

Gayan interviewed by Punya on purchasing books for Osho
“You said you were working in the library, Osho’s library. How was it working there?
One of my jobs was to go and buy books for Osho in bookstores in Pune an Bombay. Lalita, who had done the job for years, didn’t want to go out anymore – it was actually quite tiring – and so passed it on to me when I joined her in the library.
I remember going to Bombay in the Ashram van – with Veetmoha as the driver – and others who also had errands to do in town. There was for instance Pratima, who always had a lot of publishing work to do. I went off on my own to bookshops and publishers and, at the end of the day, we all met at the Taj Mahal for coffee and snacks and then drove back together.
Did you get a list of the books that Osho wanted to read?
No, I had to choose the books for him. We had an agreement with different bookshops and publishers – in Poona and in Bombay – that I could take as many books with me as I wanted. They made a list of what I took. Osho would look at the books, make his choice and then whatever he didn’t want was returned and the ones he kept got paid.
I tried to feel, to sense what Osho liked. I had a rough idea, because working in the library and taking care of the filing system I had come to know the books we already had. So I could see what he liked and what he was interested in.
One day I got a message through Nirvano only to get the books that are of interest to Osho and if there were none available, not to get any. Sometimes it was frustrating not to be able to present anything worthwhile, but I understood that bringing uninteresting books was wasting his time unnecessarily.” (www.oshonews.com/2018/04/23)

Kavisho, librarian in Poona Two, recalls
“Osho has read nearly 100.00 books. He had to absorb the world’s intellect in psychology, philosophy, religion, sociology, mysticism, only in order to catch us via his discourses. He had to do this huge work just to keep us busy with words to listen to, while he was actually giving us an initiation into silence and stillness.
This library is so much the Heart of the Master, he did not need to read any of this for himself, it was only for us. The library is an invaluable gift of the Master to us, his giving his life for us to wake up to our true being.
Slowly slowly I came to understand and feel what this library means, how much of Osho is in it.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)

Amrito on Osho’s daily schedule
“In spite of this it always felt like an intrusion into Bhagwan’s space whenever anybody entered his room. He simply had no need of “company” or human contact in the way the rest of us do. He delighted in his own aloneness – loneliness was something unknown to him. Basically no one ever went into his room unless absolutely necessary. Either Vivek would go in when something was needed, like his food; or his secretary would go in with her work. Other than that no one entered regularly, for years on end – and apart from discourse or darshan, he would rarely leave his room.” (Meredith 1987, p. 301)

Sam writes from 1975
“At the same time the first big rush of Osho books started to come out. There was one on Christ, ‘The Mustard Seed’; another on Zen; but it was the one on Tantra, a lecture series on Tilopa called ‘Tantra – The Supreme Understanding’ which I remember as being the one we were all reading. Tantra was very much the buzzword at that time: that seemed to be the central message he was trying to get across, that there was no contradiction between meditation and a life lived intelligently and passionately in the world.
Personally I suppose that’s what really got me about him: that he was at once so creative – and I don’t just mean lecture and write books, Osho was creating real life – and yet at the same time so still and utterly empty. So intensely in the world, and yet so open to the Void. I mean, in one sense, he hardly did anything at all. Cool as a cucumber, he’d come out in the morning and give his lecture – and even that had this unnerving quality as though he was reading it off the autocue – namaste gravely, and go back to his room. Later in the morning he was said to answer some letters with Laxmi; but otherwise, that was it. He just sat there on his own all day. He only had the one room, a bedroom, and though he spent the whole day shut up in there it was empty. According to most stories there was just a bed and a chair. And it was freezing cold in there, that was another thing everyone said. Osho disliked heat, and air-conditionling was his one luxury.
“But what does he do in there?” I asked.
Osho read a lot, everyone told me that. He read everything that came out on psychology, philosophy and religion; he had developed some kind of speed-reading of his own and read ten to fifteen books a day. He had an enormous library. It filled a large part of the house.
“But what else does he do?” I would say.
“Nothing” people answered.
“You mean he meditates?” I’d ask.
“No…” and here a sort of bleak look would creep across sannyasin’s faces.
“He just sits there. He doesn’t do anything at all.”
Longer pause.
“He just sits there.”
(Sam 1997, p. 46)

Maneesha recalls Osho’s reading
“Bhagwan was said to read ten to fifteen books a day in those early Poona years; the library in his house was certainly immense. It was a large, marbletiled room which was lined with glass-fronted bookshelves and opened out onto a beautiful balcony. When the library had first been set up, it was with the books that Bhagwan had collected as a student and later as a professor – in the region of twenty thousand.
Lalita, the Italian sannyasin looking after the library, would visit bookshops in Poona and Bombay, and collect titles from which Bhagwan would make his choice. Other books were selected from catalogues, and many sannyasins sent books to Bhagwan in which they thought he would be interested. Not a few non-sannyasins writers had dedicated their books to him – Ronnie Laing among them – and had sent Bhagwan a signed copy.
Bhagwan’s tastes were eclectic, ranging from philosophy and religion, to psychology, literature, history, the arts, politics and poetry. In its entirety the collection of books numbered, by 1981, a staggering fifty thousand.” (Forman 1987, p. 89)

Mistlberger on Osho’s reading
“Osho was the quintessential modern master. His enormous breath of reading kept him fully up to date with cutting edge psychology. He was the equivalent of a top notch doctor who actually bothers to read the latest journals submitted by his peers (even if it is critical of most of what he reads).” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 469)

Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“One may ask: How did Bhagwan read the Western mind? How did he feel their pulse? In order to discover the answer to these questions, we shall have to probe a little deeper into the nature and dimension of the contact that occurred between Bhagwan and the seekers from the West. It is quite clear that apart from his voracious reading (about one hundred books per week, according to Bhagwan’s librarian) and thus being greatly informed about the world he is living in, his direct contact with thousands of people from the West made it possible for him to study Westerners, the Western mind, very closely and intimately. Hence, this is not just a contact between a seeker and a seer, or between a master and a disciple. Far more than that, it is a meeting, a union between the East and the West.” (Joshi 1982. Epilogue, p. 170)

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Fig. 5. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend. 1979. (RF 1979)

Shunyo recalling
“In those Poona years His days were busy. He read one hundred books a week. I use to see them going into His room on a trolley each day and every book was signed by Him and in many of them Osho painted exquisite enlightened art. He did work with His secretary, Laxmi, and, apart from discourse at 8.00 a.m. there was always ‘darshan’ at 7.00 p.m.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 43)

Veena remembers
“I mention later that my sewing room in Poona 1 was on the veranda which led off Osho’s library in Lao Tzu House where he lived. Osho’s reading was prodigious and Lalita, the librarian, had a hard time keeping him supplied with books.
Preparing the books for him to read was also arduous. Most of the books arrived with a strong paper or printing odour and, because of Osho’s extreme sensitivity to smell, we had to ‘deodorise’ them by standing them open in the sun upstairs on the flat roof of the house until the smell went away. They were then piled on a trolley for Nirvano, the person who looked after him, to wheel into him. For a few years, until his smell became too acute, he drew on the inside pages of the books with coloured felt pens and we were always agog to see his latest art work when the books came out of his room to be catalogued and put away. That was always such a joy.
One day Nirvano came out holding a huge book with her finger on an open page. The book was a very large coffee-table type of book with many coloured photographs of the Himalayas. No doubt someone had sent it to Osho knowing his great love for mountains, particularly the Himalayas. Nirvano called us to come and have a look. ‘Look here,’ she said and pointed. ‘Osho says this is where we will eventually end up living.’ It was a beautiful photograph and needless to say we were awed and thrilled at the idea that this would be our final destination.
Instead we ended up in a dusty desolate ranch in the United States of America.” (Veena 2012, p. 76)

Satya Bharti writes
“Bhagwan reads approximately seventy books a week – books on philosophy, psychology, religion, science and the best jokes of 1977, or the best jokes from ‘Playboy’. He quotes Heidegger, Socrates, Heraclitos, Sartre, Einstein, Maslow and Bob Hope. People are always bringing him new joke books and sending him jokes they think he may like. Many of them find their way into the morning lectures, illustrating some esoteric point or some deep truth about human nature, that whoever first made them up probably had no idea was hidden within them.” (Bharti 1981, p. 8)
(Note: Osho had a joke box made of mahogany with a lid. Inside the jokes were written on yellow cards and he selected and drew his jokes from this box during Poona One).

Osho’s reading
“Was Bhagwan lese? “Alles, was mit dem Menschen zu tun hat”, sagt sie. “Geschichte, Philosophie, Psychologie, Soziologie… Aber nur ganz wenig Bellestritik, von den Klassikern einmal abgesehen.
Prasad: “Bhagwan liest so zwischen fünf bis zwanzig Bücher am Tag.”
Als die Bibliothekarin mein verblüfftes Gesicht sieht, lacht sie: “Ja, ich weiss, das ist schwer zu glauben, aber es stimmt.”
Wie sie das so sicher behaupten könne?
Sie sagt: “Ich gebe ihm die Bücher hinein, und wenn sie wieder herauskommen, sehe ich, dass er an die Seitenränder Bemerkungen notiert hat. Auch sind überall Stellen angestrichen, die wir für ihn als Zitate herausziehen sollen.”
Ich versuche, mich vorzustellen, wie lange ein Schnelleser für eine Seite Text braucht. Prasad unterbricht, als hätte er meine Gedanken gelesen.
“Das hat übrigens mit Schnellesemethode nichts zu tun”, sagt er. “Ich glaube, Bhagwan hat ein photographisches Auffassungsvermögen. Er schaut eine Buchseite an und speichert ihren Inhalt im gleichen Augenblick in seinem Gehirn. Er hat noch nie ein Buch zweimal gelesen. Er hat alles auf Abruf in seinem Kopf parat. Sein Gedächtnis ist phänomenal.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 26)

Early account of his reading
“Wenn er nicht gerade wieder eine neue Methode zur Seelenheilung entwickelt, die dann später von seinen Psychologen in die Praxis umgesetzt wird, betreift er so etwas Ähnliches wie Weiterbildung. Rund 100 Bücher soll der Meister mit dem Computer-Gedächtnis pro Monat verschlingen, und was ihm für seine Lebensphilosophie brauchbar erscheint, gibt er an seine Jünger weiter: alte indische Weisheiten, die Erkenntnisse moderner Seelenforschung, die Lehren Buddhas und Mohammeds. Er zitiert Jesus und Friedrich Nietzche (1844-1900) und greift im gleichen Atemzug auf die umstrittenen Thesen des Wiener Psychoanalytikers Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957) zurück.” (Strömsdörfer 1978, p. 16)

Purpose of reading
“The purpose of the words is only to help us move inside ourselves. The master, whether it’s Bal Shem Tov or Krishna or Christ or Bhagwan, uses words as a technique to help us to move within, but then we cling to the words, we use them as an excuse not to move within. We miss. For lifetimes we’ve gone on missing.” (Bharti 1981, p. 70)

The reading of Osho versus Krishnamurti
“In one important respect at least, the contrast between Rajneesh and Krishnamurti is admittedly tremendous. While the former is a profound scholar, a voracious reader, and a philosophical cormorant, the latter has repeatedly declared that he has not ‘read any books on psychology or any religious books, fortunately.'” (Prasad 1978, p. 67)

Chinmaya on reading versus experiencing
“If you have any idea of what this book is all about,” Chinmaya wrote in the introduction to one of Bhagwan’s books, “you’ll drop the book. You won’t bother reading it. You’ll come here instead. The book has served its purpose only if you don’t read it, if you say, “The hell with words, the hell with reading “about”,” and come here to experience for yourself what it is that’s here.” (Bharti 1981, p. 105)

Sam writes
“Osho read a lot, everyone told me that. He read everything that came out on psychology, philosophy and religion; he had developed some kind of speed reading of his own and read ten to fifteen books a day. He had an enormous library. It filled a large part of the house.” (Sam 1997, p. 47)

Anando recalls
“As I recall, He used to read 10-14 books a day in Pune 1, speedreading, but remembering everything. He even managed to underline bits that particularly impressed Him.” (Anando. E-mail 28.04.1999)

Divya writes on his symbols in margin when reading
“I was able to have one more starlighted magic-wand-look at the master’s handwriting and the numerous notes in multicolored paper (according to the day), and the symbols that He uses next to the sutras that He is commenting on. Seeing His handwriting a few days back had stirred something willowy inside of me, but seeing these symbols today really hit some supraconscious level in me: like a kind of communication beyond words! He uses the upward pointing triangle, the downward pointing triangle, the circle, the circle (solid) within the circle, the square, solid and empty, dots (two, three…), triangles on top of triangles (up to three), an upward and a downwards triangle together, two triangles in the Star of David symbol, two solid squares side by side, a grill-like configuration of straight lines, a kind of asterisk-star, thicker and thinner straight lines… like a whole universe of supra-intelligence! A knowing without knowingness triggers off a light bulb inside me somewhere (I understand now the comic-book sign of the light-bulb for an idea!).” (Divya 1980, p. 383)
(Note: See also Fig. 3. Osho’s bookmarks, in Volume I / Part 3. Bombay)

Carter writes
“Milne notes that Rajneesh requested that his followers bring him books which were popular in the west and which they found especially appealing.” (Carter 1990, p. 113)

Satya Bharti on Osho’s reading
“All Bhagwan had ever done in the eight-plus years I’d known him was lecture, read books, and listen to corny Indian movie music… Reading every book on pop psychology and religion that he could get his hands on, Bhagwan developed a repertory of powerful meditation techniques that opened people up to mystical experiences.” (Bharti 1992, pp. 172,325)

One biographer writes
“Most gurus acknowledge a debt to previous teachers, living or dead; but Rajneesh though clearly influenced by Gurdieff, did not admit owing anything to anyone. He said that he had never had a master, although he claimed to have studied a great deal in past incarnations. His remarkable range of reading ensured that his teaching was a pot-pourri of all the great religious leaders of the past, including Lao Tzu, the Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. He could quote – not always accurately – from every well-known western thinker from Plato to Freud. When Bernard Levin visited his ashram in 1980, he reported that Rajneesh talked for an hour and three-quarters without hesitation, repetition, pause, or notes. His voice was ‘low, smooth and exceptionally beautiful’. He leavened the seriousness of his discourse with parables which were often funny. He also told sexually explicit and scatological stories of a rather childish kind… From about 1979, the quality of his addresses deteriorated..” (Storr 1996, pp. 51,55)

On reading from a lecture on Krishnamurti
“Osho asked the man [a businessman who had been on the same plane as K.] why he was so concerned about this. Well, the man wondered, how could the great Krishnamurti be reading a detective novel? His image of the enlightened man was crushed. Osho responded to him with a graceful wave of His hand, and as His eyes twinkled He told him not to be worried. He said that in Krishnamurti’s hands a detective novel is like the Bible, and in the businessman’s hands the Bible is like a detective novel!” (Viha Connection, 2006:4)

Osho on reading
“One of the great Jewish philosophers, Joshua Learman, has written a book: ‘Peace of Mind’. And I don’t think anybody will object to the title. It has been sold all over the world, in many languages, in many editions. But when it came into my hands I wrote a letter to Joshua Learman, returning to book and telling him: “I cannot start reading the book because your title essentially indicates that the book is written by a man who knows nothing beyond mind. ‘Peace of Mind’ – in fact there is peace when there is no mind. Therefore, peace of mind is not possible. Mind is the problem. Mind is your anxiety, mind is your anguish. The Messiah (1987). Vol.1. Ch.17, p. 327.

Krishna Prem on Rajneesh’s reading habits when he was ill
“One afternoon something starts to register. A gift arrives for him – a block of English cheddar and a big, glossy art book. I hear Vivek tell Veena we’ll have the cheddar for tea. “If I give it to Osho and he likes it,” she says with a laugh, “I’ll have no peace. He’ll want it all the time.” And she tells Lalita to put the book away for the time being. “I’ll save it until he’s ill,” she decides. About the only way I can keep him in bed is with picture-books. When his body is sick it’s like taking care of a little child. He can be so stubborn,” she adds, her green eyes suddenly dewy and maternal.” (Allanach 2010, p. 180)

A mirrored entrance had been made to his privacy in Lao Tzu House, and in his room where he spent most of his day a bookcase for the books he was reading could be found.

Designing bookcases for Osho
“Or the time he sent out the specifications for two bookcases and some measurements went wrong – but Vivek said, “No, he drew it up himself.” So I made the cases and they went in and were too large. So Bhagwan told Vivek and Vivek told Priya and Priya told me to cut them down – which took twice as long as to make them and destroyed the symmetry and so on. But I was finally almost done when the word came down that after all I was to design and build two new bookcases from scratch. So then I did that. Then he said, well, finish the cut down ones after all. So I did and he’s using one of them and the two others. What to do? – pull out all your hair or surrender… Or the time he told me to design the new locket, and I made about twenty five designs and sent them in, and Bhagwan sent out the one he chose – which he had designed himself!” (Swami Prem Asheesh. Interview. Sannyas, 1978:1, pp. 35-37)

Maneesh recalls Osho’s reading in his room
“At the appointed time, Vivek ushered me into Bhagwan’s bedroom-cum-sitting room. Sunlight filtered gently through the curtains onto a figure sitting in an armchair in the corner of the room. Bhagwan was reading a newspaper, just as if he were Joe Bloggs in his living room on a suburban Saturday afternoon. He looked up at me, and said – Hello, Maneesha! while he put the paper aside.” (Forman 1988, p. 100)

Osho’s favourite bookshop in Poona
Among his favorite bookshops in Poona was ‘Manneys Booksellers’ at 7, Moledina Road, Poonas’s largest bookstore until later Crossword was opened near RLY station. (Nikalank. Interview. Poona. 1999)

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Photo 5. Manneys Bookshop. In Poona since partition 1947.

Present owner of Manneys Booksellers since 1970 is Manik Mani. The bookshop was founded in Punjab, but his father V.G. Mani left at the partition in 1947 and started Manneys with an anglicized new name in Poona. Osho came here also before 1974, when lecturing in Poona or passing through to meditation camps. In those days he used to come in the morning with a few sannyasins to select new books, later on when he was staying in Poona, he sent his secretaries. (Manik Mani. Interview. Poona. 1999)
(Note: The front cover of ‘Viha Connection’ 2005:2 has a painting with stamp from Manneys Booksellers)

Osho stopped reading in 1981 when his extensive reading throughout the years may have caused too much strain to his eyes. From then on he listened to music tapes, later on he got a cd-player, and he watched TV and videos on the Ranch in Oregon.

From Immigration interview 1982
“Sein Wissen, so wurde seitens der Foundation behauptet, beziehe Rajneesh zu einem wesentlichen Teil aus den über 70 Büchern, die er pro Woche (!) lese und deren Informationen er alle in Seinem Gedächtnis speichern könne. Seine Bibliothek in Poona soll sehenswert gewesen sein. (Allerdings sagte Rajneesh nach einam Protokoll der Einwanderungsbehörde bei einem Verhör am 14. Oktober 1982: “Ich lese nicht, seit zwei Jahren habe ich nichts gelesen.”)” (Reller 1985, p. 575)

“So I have stopped reading books. And the library is so rich, and so big, containing all that is great. But it no longer matters to me, I have gone beyond the words.” Notes of a Madman (1985), p. 77.

Kavisho recalls
“Actually Osho stopped reading around 1980. Often I heard Him say, that He is a lazy man, and he could read more than 200 books a week in His reading days. But the moment it stopped, it stopped completely. He left it to his secretary to inform him of the latest world news. And in the library [1987-89] when we started to buy new books, we could make a synopsis of the most interesting ones, and give it to His secretary.” (Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)

Laxmi remembers from Woodlands and Poona
“For the rest of the day he sat in his room alone.
On the contrary in Mumbai he stepped out of his room more often: for discourses, or to occasionally visit a bookshop. In addition Osho went out to conduct meditation and group meditations in the hills once in three months for ten days… Also in Mumbai Osho read a lot, nearly thirty books each month. As a result he had an incredible library that everyone marveled. In Pune he stopped reading and instead would listen to audiotapes of classical, instrumental or bhajans, devotional music.” (Laxmi 2000, p. 26)

All titles from ‘Books I Have Loved’ (1985) are included in the Appendix to Volume One.

4.5 Discourses in Chuang Tzu Auditorium

Osho had caught pneumonia in Bombay early in 1974 just before moving to Poona. He was not well but still recovering after the change so he had a slow start and fairly low energy the first weeks in Poona where satsangs, darshans and discourses all took place at small interim locations before the construction of the Chuang Tzu Auditorium was finished in March 1975.

Divya recalls
“It was rumored that when the move to Poona first happened, Bhagwan announced that He was moving back to Bombay. Chaos ensured. The three women closest to Him, Laxmi, Vivek and Mukta, had all been given different stories and had different points of view. These in turn circulated around the ashram and hit mammoth proportions causing great upheaval and confusion. We were going to the Himalays, we were staying here, we were going back to Bombay, we were going here and there and everywhere to do this and that and the other. The result was that about two-thirds of the old sannyasins left. Then He could begin the new work and get the operations for Phase Two started.” (Divya 1980, p. 142)

Arun writes
“When he first moved there from Bombay, his body didn’t respond well to the climate in the city; he fell ill and couldn’t talk for a few days. There was a rumour he would go back. So after years of waiting for an ashram, and now having one just in its infancy, the people around Bhagwan were uncertain of its fate. But after a few weeks of rest, one fine evening he asked the residents to gather on the balcony of Lao Tzu House, and he commenced the evening discourse, ‘My Way, the Way of the White Clouds’, one of my favourite books, was then begun. The house had been purchased, the master had settled in, and so began the great Orange Revolution. Bhagwan started giving daily discourses, at first in the evening, and later, in the morning, initiating new sannyasins on the porch of his carport, designing new meditation techniques, and conducting darshans flavoured with his blazing energy. He was giving his total energy as the midwife for the new man, while his ashram became the womb.” (Arun 2017, p. 106)

FitzGerald on the move to Poona
“After that “death,” [Enlightenment in March 1953] Rajneesh entered into a period of great activity. His depression was gone, and his psychosomatic headaches vanished. But exactly twenty-one years later, in March of 1974 (his biographer reports this but does not seem to attach significance to it), Rajneesh announced that he was withdrawing from all activities, “just as the sun withdraws its rays in the evening, as the fisherman withdraws his fishing-net.” He moved to Poona on March 21st, suffering from allergies and acute asthma – illnesses often thought to be psychosomatic in origin. After giving a course of lectures on the Bhagavad Gita in Hindi, he went into almost complete silence and, to everyone’s amazement, asked to be returned to Bombay. At the end of April, however, he recovered and began to stroll in the Poona gardens, seeming to like his new surroundings. But he stopped giving meditations in person and thereafter gave only lectures and darshans.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 87)

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Photo 6. On the lawn with disciples. 1974.
Color

Savita recalls
“… he told her [Divya] to be near him. It was around this time, when Bhagwan fell seriously ill with pneumonia,… The next day [December 1974] she got her shots, bought a ticket and was on the plane to Poona. It was December. The ashram had moved from Bombay almost immediately after Bhagwan’s recovery from pneumonia – ‘Poona’ had been in existence nine months.” (Savita. In: The Tongue-Tip Taste of Tao. A Darshan Diary (1981), pp. 279,281)

Milne writes
“Though Bhagwan had started to attract many Westerners in Bombay it was in Poona that he was to become world-famous – and notorious. He moved to Poona in March 1974, taking up residence in a large and handsome house that had been designed by a Western architect with tropical needs in mind. The house had five bedrooms, and sat in two acres of dark brown soil. There was scarcely a tree or shrub growing in this soil, apart from a huge almond tree.
As soon as I had recovered my money and airline ticket, I went to this new house, where Bhagwan was due to give me my morning darshan out on the lawn. His brown velvet chair, an elaborate chaiselongue, was out on the grass already. Laxmi was bursting about, giving orders as usual. “Bhagwan is due to come out,” she said, “so we must hide inside until he has sat down. Then he will call you.”
Five minutes later Vivek came in to fetch me, her eyes squinting from the bright early morning sun. “He wants to see you now,” she said excitedly. “It’s your turn.” I went outside. Bhagwan sat languidly in the chair, dressed in one of his new pure white robes. I thought he seemed tired and world-weary. A small group of Indian and Western sannyasins sat around him. I sat down on the grass to one side of Bhagwan’s chair. The dew on the grass dampened my clothes to a dark orange.” (Milne 1986, p. 106)

Laheru writes on first discourses in Poona
“On March 30, 1974, Osho started giving discourses in Hindi on Geeta, Chapter 16, in the New Ashram of Pune. At that time, for some time discourses happened on the first floor of Lao Tse House. Then an open hall was made on the backside of the bungalow, where arrangement was made for five hundred to six hundred people to sit and listen to his discourse. The name of that hall was kept ‘Chuang Tzu.’ In that hall Osho started giving discourse for one month in Hindi and one month in English alternatively.” (Laheru 2012, p. 96)

He met with his followers in the garden on the lawn where satsangs and darshans first took place. Discourses were first set on the porch, then in the first floor covered balcony room on 100 square meters open to the outside (now reconstructed with windows). After some time the newly reconstructed Chuang Tzu Auditorium was in March 1975 ready to receive the listeners (also part of his residence in Lao Tzu House, now his Samadhi), and finally from 1977 the construction of Buddha Hall had been finished as people were coming to the ashram in growing numbers. In January 1987 Chuang Tzu Auditorium once again was to be the scene for Bhagwan’s daily discourses, now held in the mornings as well as in the evenings after Bhagwan had returned to Poona following his World Tour and his staying in Bombay for a few months. And as soon as the new – and second – Buddha Hall was finished with its Japanese pagoda-like podium, discourses were moved to here for the final period of his discourses during Poona Two.

From Vasant’s biography
“It also seemed that the change of climate had further disrupted his fragile health. His body suffered from acute asthma and it had become very sensitive to allergies. In spite of his delicate health, he continued to hold darshans on the lawn in the mornings. He talked only to those disciples who were either arriving or leaving. The meetings were informal and Bhagwan would sometimes remind his disciples:
“… When near me on the lawn, be sincere and true. Don’t bring questions which are intellectual. They are useless. Don’t bring any metaphysical questions. They are not true; they don’t belong to you. Bring your nonsense out, whatever it is. And don’t try to manipulate it, don’t try to rationalize it and polish it, let it be as raw as possible, because before a Master, you must be naked: you should not wear clothes and you should not hide yourself.”” (Joshi 1982, p. 121)

Punya on early settings
“Way of the White Clouds (Talks given from 10/05/74 am to 24/05/74 am) was 99% spoken on the porch, because Osho had just arrived in Pune. I do not think there were ever discourses in the garden. There was once a satsang in the garden (you must have seen the photos) but that was in silence.

That Summer, when I arrived in August, we moved to the terrace (which later became the sewing room). I remember we were very tight up there and we must have moved to the new Chuang Tzu hall fairly quickly. Not sure if it was the same year though.” (Yoga Punya. E-mail. 27.04.2015)

Christo writes
“I arrived, having spent several months alone in the mountains, in Pune the day before Osho’s birthday in December 1974. The following evening I was sitting with a few others in my first darshan in a state of awe and bewilderment… At that period the morning discourses were held in the upstairs balcony room in Lao Tzu House.” (Prem Christo. Viha Connection, 2017:3)

Niranjan on early discourses
“In 1974 when Osho came to stay at this place, he started giving discourses in Chuang Tzu auditorium. In the beginning the discourses were happening in the evening at 8 p.m. But after a week or so, Osho changed the timing to 8 a.m. when people are fresh and more receptive for meditation. These discourses were attended by only about thirty people. A small half-circle podium was created where Osho’s chair was kept for the discourses.
A few days after Osho started giving discourses in Chuang Tzu, he asked to charge rupees five per person for the discourse. Somebody said ‘Even without payment there is such a small gathering, what will happen if we start charging Rs 5?’ Osho said ‘Don’t bother about that. I don’t want a crowd here. Only sincere people should come.'” (Niranjan 2012, p. 129)

Punya recalls August 1974
“On the same day I arrived [August 1974] I made an appointment to see Osho. I was shown into his garden and there he was, sitting on a recliner, already surrounded by a few sannyasins. His physical appearance had changed so much from last time I saw him that I was taken aback for a second. His black hair and beard had turned grey and his whole form – which in Mt. Abu was that of a muscular young man, he was only 43, just about ten years older than me – had become that of a frail, much older man. His outer appearance had changed but the feeling of him and the twinkle in his eyes were the same as before… Before we stepped onto the lawn, where we left our sandals, there was a sign “Do not pick the grass”! Yes, we do get nervous in front of him, our hands become fidgety and we pull out bits of the poor, innocent grass. I do not remember our conversation. Maybe Osho just asked me how long I was going to stay and maybe my reply was: “For the rest of the month.” And probably his answer to this was his usual “Very good!” (Punya 2015, p. 24)

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Photo 7. Two photos of Osho 1974 and 1975. (Yatri 1988).
” Two photographs taken only 18 months apart which show the dramatic effects of changes in the body of mystics and enlightened entities. In 1974, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh ended a powerful outward going phase of Rajas energy and by 1975 had entered a new Sattvic stage in which the energy is likened to that of the moon.” See also text below. (Yatri 1988)
to fotos, side by side med ovenstående tekst…

Milne writes
“When I first met Bhagwan [in 1973] he had jet-black hair, and there was a rumour that is was Mukta who dyed his hair and beard in secret sessions at his flat [In Woodlands, Bombay]. Mukta’s own hair was as black and shiny as his, and I conjured up to myself a scene of messy black puddles and blotchy towels, with Vivek looking on. I have no idea what really happened, but quite suddenly, in 1974, Bhagwan stopped dying his hair, and silver streaks started to appear almost overnight. Mukta immediately followed suit, and soon a fine train of silver threads appeared in her abundant head of hair. For Bhagwan, the new silvery hair made for the most dramatic change in his appearance, and I privately nicknamed him ‘The Silver Guru’.” (Milne 1986, p. 63)

The discourse on Osho’s forty-third years birthday 11.12.1974 was given for three or four hundred people who sat in and around the darshan porch area. (Forman 1988, p. 44)

At the time Satya Vedant was receiving his sannyas initiation in January 1975 Osho was starting a Hindi discourse series given on the balcony. (Satya Vedant. E-mail. 16.05.2015)

Pankaja remembers from the spring of 1975
“Went to Hindi discourses, which were still taking place in a big upstairs room in Lao Tzu, the house where Bhagwan lived. This was already getting too crowded – which added an extra hazard to rushing out with the shits – one had to climb over the hordes of people sitting on the stairs.
None of the auditoria like Buddha Hall or Chuang Tzu had been built then; meditations took place on the lawn – well, dusty patch of ground, in front of Krishna House… The cafeteria consisted of a couple of friendly ladies squatting over a kerosene stove on the floor, as did most Indian kitchens at that time. Tucked into a little room by the gate of the house where Bhagwan lived, known as Lao Tzu House, they cooked chapattis and vegetable curry to order.” (Pankaja. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 464)

Krishna Prem recalls the balcony and the lawn
“The balcony, accessible only through the library, runs along the front of Lao Tzu House, overlooking the gravel drive we used to walk, years before, towards darshan – in the days when a half dozen or so would gather around him on the lawn or during monsoon, under the covered car port leading to the main entrance of the house.” (Allanach 2013, Ch.4; Viha Connection, 2014:2)

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Photo 8. Morning discourse on the porch.
– hentes på punya.eu, Photos, Chapter 1.

Punya remembers
“When the porch became too small because many more people had arrived, Osho gave his morning lectures on a large upstairs veranda of his house. It was roofed and had a marble mosaic floor and trees nudged up against the ceiling. We had to walk up a flight of steps to the first floor – and I liked the cool, silent feel inside the house. But the veranda also became crowded only after a few months. We sat cramped with our knees under our chins, touching each other front and back. The discomfort was soon forgotten when we saw Osho enter the door, almost floating, in his white robe. With folded hands he greeted us, letting his eyes wander over the gathering and then sat down in his chair. I always enjoyed watching the way he slipped his left foot out of his sandal and lifted his leg to gross it over his right leg. It was the same movement every day but it had such a beautiful quality to it. It was not automatic, but carefully done. I came back to myself when he addressed us through the microphone with “The first question…” (Punya 2015, p. 41)

Satyananda on editors’ balcony
“Krishna und ich biegen links ab und klettern über eine wendeltreppe auf eine offene Terrasse… Durch zwei weitere Türen und ein Treppenhaus führt der Weg schliesslich auf die etwa hundert Quadratmeter grosse überdachte Terrasse, auf der inzwischen mein Schreibtisch aufgebaut ist.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 171)

Chuang Tzu Auditorium inaugurated March 1975
“Chuang Tzu Auditorium had been inaugurated on the 21st of March 1975, which had coincided with my second Pune visit. Bhagwan began giving morning discourses and evening darshans in Chuang Tzu. Once the morning discourse was over, a sannyasin would come and mob the floor. We we supposed to leave the hall before the cleaning started.” (Arun 2017, p. 157)

Birthday satsang December 1975 on the lawn
“The next day we are filed into the garden for a special birthday meditation. Behind his house is a large lawn. His chair is placed under the trees. We gather round and sit. When we are all still, he enters. I’m watching. He is in a long white gown, with a small towel over his arm, his hands in Namasté, as he bows to us all. Gently he sits, and closes his eyes. The garden is filled with birdsong. In the distance the trains are shunting in the station, the sounds of India are floating away… Suddenly, I’m awake. I’ve opened my eyes to see that the garden is nearly empty. He’s gone, and many people have left. ‘But I thought we were to be here for an hour!’ I say to my neighbour, stunned. ‘We were,’ she says, with an understanding smile. Now that was meditation!” (Wills 2009, p. 60)

In ‘The Sound of Running Water’ (2nd edition 2010) information on early discourse and darshan settings has been retrieved by Bhagawati:

“The initial talks are given in an open area outside the Master’s own verandah with about 50 disciples present (May 1974, p. 85)… The series of discourses in Hindi has an almost identical format to the English talks which preceded them (Way of the White Cloud. May 1974, p. 91)… the lecture auditorium under construction will eventually bear the name Chuang Tzu (October 1974, p. 108)… A path is created in Osho’s garden and the works are to take until the Enlightenment Day celebrations of the following year (viz March 1975)(November 1974, p. 112)… The Birthday darshan is held in the evening under the back porch overlooking the garden (11.12.1974)… The first anniversary of the arrival in Poona celebrated on Enlightenment Day. A lecture is held in the newly-constructed auditorium although it is as yet unfinished (Photo caption, p. 145)… ‘An insert shows the same lecture area as it was one year before at the first English lecture series (should say actually in Pune, and which was White Cloud in 1974)’ (p. 144)… Osho leaves a darshan held in the front porch area of the Lao Tzu residence Spring 1975 (Photo caption, p. 154)… ‘Photo of six musicians in darshan’ The location is the front porch of Lao Tzu residence (October/December 1975, p. 174)… A silent darshan is held on the lawn which was the first site of the early darshans held years before (p. 193)… The gate has been completed and the site for the projected new auditorium has been prepared (21.03.1976, p. 221)… ‘Work on Buddha hall was completely abandoned’. A tent structure is erected to cover the entire floor of Buddha Hall… Buddha hall site is to be used… for meditations and discourses with similar temporary roof structures (21.03.1977, p. 332)… ‘I also read something on page 67 which I didn’t know at all, namely when Osho was feeling so unwell after moving to Pune (and went into silence) that he wished to return to Mumbai and instructed sannyasins to search for an alternative site in the Mumbai area. Pune was to remain a meditation centre and camp site.'” (Bhagawati. E-mail. 26.05.2015)

Discourses in Hindi on the Bhagavad Gita, were the first to be held after his arrival in March 1974. He had spoken at considerable length on the ‘Gita’, beginning in November 1970 and ending only in August 1975, more than on any other book.

Krishna Prem writes from 1974
“One night there’s a message from Osho. He is going to begin a series of eight discourses, in Hindi, on Bhagavad Gita, and we Westerners should also attend the discourses. We should sit at the back, eyes closed, and meditate on the sound of his voice. The first morning’s turnout is disappointing – only a handful of Indians. Poona, it appears, isn’t yet interested in its new godman. But Osho is in rare form. He looks fit and healthy again.” (Allanach 2010, p. 67)

In the words of Harry Aveling
“These discourses are not scholarly discussions. Osho was not concerned with the questions of who the author was, when or where the text was written, whether it is a single or composite work, how the various parts relate, or what others have said about it in the past. He did not work from the Sanskrit ‘slokas’ but from Hindi translations of them, which he called ‘sutras’, and seldom took time to analyse the meanings of particular words (‘yogamaya’ and ‘yagna’ being significant exceptions in this volume). He believed that Krishna was a figure like Buddha, Mahavira, Jesus and Mohammad: human beings who had reached the goal of human existence and merged with “supreme consciousness”, as we all can…
This gentle approach can be understood from some remarks in Dimensions Beyond the Known, where Osho explains, somewhat surprisingly no doubt, that he has “not read the Gita even once”. After reading eight or ten lines, he says that he always closes the book because he already knows from his own experience what it is saying, and later:
“When I speak on the Gita, I am really hearing it for the first time… When I speak on the Gita, I do not actually speak on the Gita, it is only an excuse. I start with the Gita but I speak only about what I want to speak and only about that which I can speak. If you feel that I have dwelt a lot on the Gita, it is not because I am influenced by Krishna, but because Krishna said the same things I am saying.” (Second edition, Rebel Publishing House, Cologne 1990, p. 9)
He felt that the ‘Gita’ was “an extraordinary book” because it spoke of so many paths to the truth and it therefore allowed him to follow each of these paths in speaking to his friends.” (Osho on the Bhagavad Gita. Introduction by Harry Aveling in third volume of his Bhagavad Gita translation. Forthcoming by Full Circle. Preprint to this author dated 07.03.2015)

Vasant Joshi writes on first discourses in Poona
“During April, 1974, Bhagwan gave eight discourses on the Bhagawad Gita (Chapter 16) in Hindi, in spite of his illness. After the series was over, Bhagwan went into almost complete silence. He did not seem interested in giving further discourses. He also appeared uncomfortable in Poona and astonished everyone by asking that an alternative site be found near Bombay. His plan was that while the ashram in Poona was to remain a meditation center with residential facilities, Bhagwan himself would reside in the alternative site.” (Joshi 1982, p. 122)
(Note: On these Hindi discourses see: Asha 1980, p. 64)

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Photo 9. Osho and listeners in Chuang Tzu Auditorium on Guru Poornima Day. 1976. (Sannyas, 1976:3)

Vasant Joshi on meditations
“Meanwhile meditations began at a place called the Empress Botanical Gardens, located about three miles from the ashram. The place was found suitable for the two main group meditations: Dynamic Meditation at six o’clock in the morning and Whirling (Sufi) in the evening.
To everyone’s delight, Bhagwan slowly began to recover. He often strolled in the garden and seemed to enjoy the surroundings. It was announced on April 30 that Bhagwan would stay in Poona after all, and the negotiations went ahead to acquire the property adjoining the ashram. There was a new energy, joy, and a sense of direction in the air.
Bhagwan’s withdrawal, however, continued, and after June, 1974, he stopped directing meditations in person; instead, an empty chair was brought in and placed on the podium. It marked the beginning of a new phase of his work. The Master was present – but now his disciples had to feel him on a more subtle level.” (Joshi 1982, p. 122)

In May Osho launched his first series of English dis­courses to be published entitled ‘The Way of the White Clouds’ (1975).

Krishna Prem remembers how Teertha got him involved
“He considers a moment. “Look,” he says, “Virag tells me you used to write. We need some help. After this Hindi series Osho is going to give fifteen talks in English. They’re to be published in a book especially to introduce him to the West. I’m supposed to edit it. I’m not a writer; I’m a therapist. We could use your help.”… I nod again. Sure. Why not?… As I turn to leave, Teertha touches my shoulder gently. He looks at me intently for a moment, his gaze direct. Then he starts to laugh. “Surrender,” he says, “Just surrender.”” (Allanach 2010, p. 68)

In the introduction Krishna Prem takes the reader by the hand
“In one talk in this book, Bhagwan says: You are fortunate. Whatsoever I am saying to you is just at the source. That’s why I say you are fortunate. It happens only once in thousands and thousands of years that you are near the source. It will not be so again.
Even with my ideas it will not be so again. Sooner or later, the logicians will enter. They are bound to come. They are already on the way. They will systematize everything, they will destroy everything, and the opportunity will be missed. Then it will be dead.
Right now, it is alive and you are near the source. That’s why I say you are fortunate.” (The Way of the White Clouds (1975). Introduction)
(Note: First edition ‘The Way of the White Clouds’ (January 1975). Change of title in second edition: ‘My Way. The Way of the White Clouds’ (May 1978), with introduction also by Krishna Prem. See Volume III / Bibliography. The introduction is on 11 pages. “For interested readers, the full introduction can be requested at info.allanach@retreatspace.com. It is not included in the current published version, but comes from the author’s personal records.” (Allanach 2010, p. 80))

The start of the series experienced by Krishna Prem
“Suddenly the door to the house swings open and there is Mukta, her salt-and-pepper mane lifting from her shoulders as she sails to her seat. For a few breathless seconds the archway is empty – and then Osho fills it, white and light and smiling, his hands folded in namaste. Vivek follows him, cool and mysterious, sitting to his left, facing inwards towards him.
Palms still meeting in greeting, Osho arcs a slow half-circle, his gaze caressing us, taking us all in. When he sits, crossing one leg and leaving the usual single sandal behind, Laxmi moves from the doorway, eyes downcast, and sits to his right. He looks at Teertha and nods. Laxmi’s recorder clicks on.
“Osho,” we hear Teertha’s voice over the speaker, “why is your way called ‘The Way of the White Clouds’?”
His eyes drop from Teertha’s face and there is a delicate, almost imperceptible turning inwards, as if he is moving towards some source that is hidden from the rest of us, available only to him. The air is charged, expectant, like the gap between lightening and thunder. And then, in a single motion of fluidity and grace, he opens upwards and outwards towards us, his hands lifting, index fingers touching, poised, ready for the coming illustration. He breathes in, and the sound is as soft and as faint as the murmur of a butterfly’s undulating wings.” (Allanach 2010, p. 71)

From Amsterdam
Audio 1. The Way of the White Clouds. 10.05.1974 am. Lao Tzu balcony. First English discourse in Poona. Words of the first question and first few words of Osho’s answer are missing. See text below. Clipping: First 4 min.
In progress.

Opening discourse, by Osho, ‘The Way of the White Clouds’, on the first morning, 10.05.1974. Excerpts:
“BHAGWAN.
Why is your way called The Way of the White Clouds?

JUST BEFORE BUDDHA DIED SOMEBODY ASKED HIM:
When a Buddha dies where does he go –
does he survive,
or simply disappear into nothingness?
And this is not a new question;
one of the oldest, many times repeated and asked.

Buddha is reported to have said:
Just like a white cloud disappearing.

Just this very morning
there were white clouds in the sky.
Now they are no more there.
Where have they gone? From where do they come?
How do they evolve, and how do they dissolve again?

A white cloud is a mystery –
the coming, the going, the very being of it.

That’s the first reason why I call my way
The Way of the White Clouds.
But there are many reasons,
and it is good to ponder, to meditate upon them.

A white cloud exists without any roots –
it is an unrooted phenomenon, grounded nowhere,
or, grounded in the nowhere.
But still it exists.

The whole of existence is like a white cloud –
without any roots, without any causality,
without any ultimate cause, it exists.
It exists as a mystery.

A white cloud really has no way of its own.
It drifts.
It has nowhere to reach, no destination,
no destiny to be fulfilled,
no end.
You cannot frustrate a white cloud
because whereever it reaches is the goal.

If you have a goal you are bound to get frustrated.
The more goal-oriented a mind is,
the more anguish, anxiety and frustration there will be –
because once you have a goal
you are moving with a fixed destination.

And the whole exists without any destiny.
The whole is not moving anywhere;
there is no goal to it, no purpose.”
(Page 1)

From ‘The Sound of Running Water. A Photobiography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His Work 1974-1978’:
“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’. 1975] which can be considered the blueprint of what was to come in the following four years.” (Asha 1980, p. xviii)

Krishna Prem recalls from first meditation camp in ashram
“Another new thing,” he is saying. “I will not be there… Only my empty chair will be there. But don’t miss me, because in a sense I will be there. And in a sense there has always been an empty chair before you…” I nod, understanding, remembering when I looked into his pupils that day on the lawn.” (Allanach 2010, p. 82)

Radha writes
“I was sitting on the terrace in Lao Tzu House in the early morning, listening to a disciple recite the sutra on which Osho was about to comment… silently meditating with fifty sannyasins… Misty beams of sunlight sliced through the branches of the trees outside, creating a mosaic of greenery, while I was surrounded by a sea of orange. Osho, in his plain white robe, was sitting before us in his chair, eyes closed, listening with us. It was the beginning of a series of talks on Tilopa’s Song of Mahamudra… published as a book titled Tantra, the Supreme Understanding.” (Radha 2005, p. 42)

Punya remembers the construction of Chuang Tzu
“Fortunately a new auditorium was already in the process of being built. We could see it while walking past the house on our way out. Twisted poles at funny angles held up (in Indian fashion) the planks for the concrete roof to come. One afternoon the roof collapsed and Osho commented, according to what my friends told me, that it happened because of our negative minds. “Each time when you walked past you thought that the roof would collapse and so it did.” The debris was cleared and the roof rebuilt. I could not believe that thoughts could be as strong as that – but maybe they are…
The morning discourses were now in the new auditorium which was rebuilt after the roof had collapsed. Osho named it after Chuang Tzu – Lao Tzu’s most well-known disciple. We would wait at the Lao Tzu gate for our turn to enter. There were two lines: the one on the right was for the workers and residents of the ashram who would enter first and take the first rows in front of Osho. The line on the left was for common folks like me. Tall American Bhakti used to get up really early to be the first in line…
When the gates opened we took the path to the right, along the construction site of the new library for Osho’s books (about 16.000 at the time), around its corner between the house and Muktas’s beautiful ever growing garden. We left our shoes along the path and memorized the spot where we left them. The auditorium was attached to the back of Osho’s house, a semicircle built into the garden covered by a flat roof supported by round black marble columns. The floor was a mosaic of marble pieces of different colours laid in green grouting. During the discourse I would let my eyes wander over their patterns as I did as a child on our bathroom floor. Two doors opened from the house into the auditorium: the one on the left I saw being used by Haridas, Osho’s electrician, when he dashed into the hall just before discourse after an urgent repair; the one on the right was the door Osho would come out followed at a distance by his secretary, Laxmi, and Nirvano, his caretaker.” (Punya 2015, pp. 42,54)

Parijat writes from 1975
“On October 21 I went to my third discourse. In those days they happened in the back of Lao Tzu where we later had darshan. He was talking about Jesus. The way He talked about Jesus was at best incendiary, and at worst pure fabrication! This guy was crazy. My mind had been arguing with Him for three days, and I wanted to escape. This place was a madhouse! A moment came where my mind stopped dead. My body started trembling with energy, and my heart overflowed with pure bliss. I finally looked up but could no longer see or hear Him. Where He was sitting was just a golden light that permeated the whole auditorium. I could hear the birds singing, and the trains going by. After discourse, in ecstasy, I ran to find Greek Mukta, who was in charge of the sannyas darshans. There was a little doubt in my mind: Would He refuse to give me sannyas? Maybe I was not worthy?
Mukta asked, “Can you come tonight?”
It was almost a shout: “Yes!” (Swami Prem Parijat. Viha Connection, 2017:3)

Milne writes
“During the time I had been away, many alternations had been made to Bhagwan’s house and gardens in Poona. A huge lecture hall had been erected, which Bhagwan had named after the Chinese sage Chuang Tzu, and the wealthier sannyasins had been putting money into designing and planting a prolific new garden. A few hours before I arrived, however, this new lecture hall had collapsed in a thunderous roar of cracking concrete and severed steel. The new beautifully-planned garden was enveloped by a thick layer of white dust. Thankfully, nobody was in the hall at the time. Bhagwan was furious, and in a message to Laxmi pointed out at great length that the auditorium had fallen as a result of the many dire predictions made about it by the Western disciples, particularly those, like Teertha, who had engineering backgrounds. It was all due to their ‘negativity’, he kept saying. In his message, Bhagwan made no mention at all of the patently deficient architectural design, nor that in the absence of adequate cement the hall had been built with a mixture of sand and cement that was not much stronger than a child’s sandcastle…
I asked Laxmi what work she had in store for me, and found it was to be tape copying. I was to make duplicate cassettes of Bhagwan’s lectures. This work was carried out on a large balcony on the first floor of Lao Tzu House, where Bhagwan gave his discourses each morning. His intention was to move to the larger Chuang Tzu auditorium as soon as it was rebuilt.
Every morning, just before eight o’clock, about a hundred people, two-thirds Indian, would file into Bhagwan’s house to hear him talk. A raised dais had been made by covering two coffee tables with an attractive Indian print cotton quilt. A small step had been put there to make Bhagwan’s ascent easier. He had changed his style of dress from the lunghi and shawl, and was now wearing pure white robes that were very tight-fitting, and made it difficult for him to walk more than a short step at a time.” (Milne 1986, pp. 110,113)

Krishna Prem writes on discourses in Chuang Tzu early 1977
“A half hour later, seated cross-legged on the sleek mosaic floor of the new Chuang Tzu Auditorium, at the back of a crowd of at least two hundred sannyasins, I look around at what has happened during my absence to the tiny patio and barren yard I remember. An enormous, semi-circular lecture hall has been built, huge marble columns supporting a curving roof, in the centre of which, I observe with amusement, Laxmi has plonked another of her ghastly chandeliers. Mukta’s touch is also apparent. Ringing the auditorium are tall, stately ashokas, Osho’s favourite tree, and spreading casuarina pines lean inwards, in the evening breeze, as if they too are expecting him at any moment.” (Allanach 2010, p. 157)

Satya Bharti writes on the morning scene in Chuang Tzu
“Every morning at Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona, India, the privilege, the gift. By seven o’clock, the lines outside Lao Tzu House begin to form. By seven-thirty, the orange-robed disciples and others who have come to hear Bhagwan’s morning discourse are allowed to enter. They filter into Chuang Tzu Auditorium in silence, find themselves a vacant spot on the marble floor – touching people in front of them behind, on either side – and wait quietly for Bhagwan to enter.
At eight o’clock he enters in his long white robe, his hands folded before his face in prayer position, bowing his head from time to time in greeting, smiling. He seems to be acknowledging each one there, though there are hundreds present. Yet each person feels he has been greeted, welcomed. Hundreds of pairs of hands are raised prayerlike, before their faces or hearts in silent greeting back to him. He seems to be bowing in reverence to the holiness within each person present, to the holiness of the jungle of foliage that surrounds the auditorium, to the holiness of the birds that are singing in the trees and that will fly, throughout the discourse, directly over the heads and shoulders of those who are sitting closest to Bhagwan, undisturbed by the human presence, undisturbing. Bowing back to him in reverence, one bows to the intrinsic holiness of life that this twentieth-century enlightened master, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, is so expertly and uniquely capable of helping so many thousands from so many diverse backgrounds, to experience.
The lecture begins. For an hour and a half, there is silence. Only the sound of Bhagwan’s voice, only the sound of the birds singing – punctuated from time to time by exhuberant laughter as Bhagwan tells one of his famous stories. “I have heard, once it happened…” But not even the laughter disturbs the silence. No one coughs, no one moves. It’s an hour and a half suspended in time as though it were a moment. Bhagwan may be speaking on Hindu or Tibetan tantra, on yoga, on Zen, on Sufism, on the sayings of Jesus or the sayings of Hassidic enlightened ones. He may be speaking profoundly; he may be telling uproariously funny jokes to illustrate some point he is making; he may be dealing with the secret, the esoteric; he may be looking with piercing insight into the redundant problems that we all seem to spend our lives creating for ourselves. Bhagwan is an enlightened master, a master psychologist and a master of the outrageous. His daily lectures are a daily gift. A teaching, an entertainment, a meditation.” (The New Alchemy to Turn You on (1978). Ma Satya Bharti: Introduction, pp. viii-x)

Satya Bharti writes
“Laxmi floated in. Gliding behind her, hands in prayer position before his face, Bhagwan followed; Vivek a few paces behind him. As Shiva closed the door and Bhagwan sat down, Laxmi handed him a copy of the religious sutra he was lecturing on and sat on the marble floor beside him.” (Franklin 1992, p. 69)

Subhuti recalls from early days from a visit in 2013
“We walk down memory lane together, passing where the old Lao Tzu gate and guard hut used to be, along the side of the house, around by the Rolls Royce and into Osho’s garden.
Here the ‘No Entry’ sign has been removed, so I feel free to show her Osho’s dining room, his bedroom, and then we tiptoe through the plants – “watch out for snakes” – and peer through the tinted glass into Chuang Tzu Auditorium. At this late hour in the afternoon, I know it’s empty.
“Up there…” I point to Lao Tzu’s upstairs group room. That was an open balcony. Osho gave his first discourses there, in 1974, before this auditorium was built…” (Subhuti 2014, p. 84)

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Photo 10. Morning discourse in Chuang Tzu Auditorium. 1976.

Niranjan recalls Swami Anand Maitreya, whose daily job was to make the clipboard ready for Osho’s morning discourse
“Each morning I prepare the clipboard for Osho’s discourse and send it to his room by 7.30 a.m. Osho then goes through the pages, attaches the jokes and poems relevant to that page and arranges them in the order he wants to talk. This he does in fifteen minutes i.e. by 7.45 a.m, after which he goes to the bathroom to get ready and from there he comes directly for the discourse at 8.00 a.m… Today I prepared the clipboard arranging the questions to Osho and sent it to his room at 7.30 a.m. as usual. But afterwards a sannyasin named Divya Bharti came to me with this question: ‘Why do we celebrate Guru Poornima on the day of Ashad Poornima?’
Maitreyaji stopped for a moment and then continued, ‘I was in a great dilemma. The question was very relevant for today’s discourse but the board was already sent to Osho. I waited up to 7.45 a.m. and then rushed to his room. As expected Osho was not in the room but had gone to get ready for the discourse. Nirvano, (Osho’s caretaker) was in the room. I told Nirvano that one more question was to be added on the board. But she refused saying that Osho had already gone through the pages and arranged them… Out of respect for Swami Anand Maitreyaji, Nirvano reluctantly agreed to do so.
Maitreyaji stopped here but the whole scene of the morning discourse stood in front of my eyes. Now the mystery behind Osho unusually referring each page of the board till the end, and the surprised expression on his face when he saw the last page, was revealed to me.” (Niranjan 2012, p. 150)
(Note: Four or five clipboards were used during Poona One and Two. One of them with a leaf on backside is now in Osho Lao Tzu library. Another one has been given to Swami Teertha in Meera Nagar, Poona, Printed on backside: “OSHO used this pad to read out questions and jokes during discourses in Buddha Hall. After OSHO left his body on January 19, 1990, OSHO’s secretary Ma Deva Anando gifted this pad to Swami Yoga Teertha who was working in Zarathustra Department at that time.”).

Anado remembers Taru singing
“Chuang Tzu was shaded and almost hidden by many trees, shrubs and other tropical vegetation where birds were singing beautiful songs; the silence of all those people sitting and waiting for the chair on the podium to be filled was palpable… Once seated, one foot slid out of its sandal as He crossed His legs. One foot! I couldn’t stop staring, like it was the most incredible sculpture I’d ever seen. Compose yourself and close your eyes.
A low feminine voice started to sing; is that His voice? My eyes were closed. A beautiful long note and then another, one of those wailing-like Hindi songs, full of sadness and strength. I had heard about the voice of the Master, but I didn’t expect a song, or such a female voice. I was mesmerized…
It wasn’t His voice. Nobody had told me about the Sutra that Taru the opera singer would sing before Bhagwan’s lecture. I had to giggle to myself and my naiveté. But I was also really shook up, too much was happening to my mind and my senses. It was hard at this point to stay still and I doubted that I could endure in this position for more than another minute. Then Bhagwan started to talk and all fell into place.” (Anado. In: Bhagawati 2010, pp. 35,36)

Sniffing procedure
“Early next morning we stood in line to be sniffed before being allowed through the gate into Bhagwan’s enclave. As each person walked through the gate they were sniffed by two women standing face to face to form a narrow arch through which everyone passed. Should perfume, smoke and other smells be detected, you would be turned away. Alas, we were sniffed out, apparently still too fresh from the west. I almost cried. The next morning was the same, and I did cry.” (Stork 2009, p. 96)

Listening in Lao Tzu
“After a while all activity ceased. The door opened and the tiny Indian woman from the office came through. Her appearance was the signal for everyone to join their hands and raise them in greeting, for as she sank to her place on the floor Bhagwan stepped through the door. His hands were joined and raised in greeting. He wore the same simple style of white cotton gown I had seen in photos of him. It was an austerely cut, long-sleeved white robe that reached to his ankles. The long sleeves had perfectly ironed creases from wrist to shoulder. On his feet were wide-strapped thongs. He walked slowly, almost floating, as though his feet did not touch the ground. His long grey hair wafted in the gentle breeze created by his forward movement. His liquid eyes shone and he smiled faintly. He approached the chair and sat down, an apparition in white. I was light-headed and overcome with emotion. I pressed my hands, still joined in greeting, to my lips and cried silent tears of joy. I no longer remember what he said, or whether he spoke Hindi or English. It didn’t matter. I was there, sitting at his feet.” (Stork 2009, p. 96)

Milne writes from Chuang Tzu
“Just over a year after the original Chuang Tzu auditorium collapsed, the new one was finished. It held six hundred people comfortably, and as I now felt rather nervous at being the sole bodyguard, Laxmi granted me an assistant. As ever more people came to sit in at the morning lecture, so did the rules and regulations begin to tighten up. The acoustics of the place meant that coughing at the back of the hall could be heard quite distinctly, so the ‘twenty second rule’ was instigated. This was the time permitted for a brief spell of coughing. Anyone who continued for longer that that would be asked – or forced – to leave, by myself or my assistant.
Rows of robes were laid down to separate the genuine disciples from the visitors – and the visitors got the worst seats, at the back. Anybody who had a ‘cartharsis’ – flailed about, shouted or shrieked – had, according to Bhagwan’s instructions, to be sat with for twenty seconds and calmed down. If they did not respond, they had to be carried out. This system worked fairly well, and soon I had an ‘army’ of five guards per lecture, which meant that we could carry people out and still have some guards in the hall.” (Milne 1986, p. 145)

Bodhena on sitting in Chuang Tzu
“And that was Buddha Hall; the situation in Chuang Tzu Auditorium was much more grim. Since the place was often packed to the max, almost like a can of sardines, it was not permitted to bring in anything that you could sit on. Often we were almost literally breathing down the neck of the person in front of us, and on chilly winter mornings the terracotta floor was freezing cold. To avoid getting hemorrhoids or other physical ailments, which quite a few people did through this exercise, seasoned discourse goers would pad the seat of their pants with a lunghi or a small towel as a preventive measure, or to at least take the edge off the worst of the discomfort.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 73)

Bird resting on his mike while speaking
“During the mid 1970s, Osho used to give his morning discourse in Chuang Tzu auditorium, where there was nothing separating the open-sided circular hall from the jungle garden surrounding it. The birds were able to fly in and out freely, with sparrows occasionally perching on the long arm of Osho’s microphone.
He always spoke using expressive hand gestures to illustrate his points – and what elegant hands they were. One morning, towards the end of his discourse, he was talking and gesturing with elbow bent and hand extended when a sparrow hopped onto his index finger and simply sat there.
Osho didn’t stop speaking for a moment. Without any hesitation, his right hand simply froze to accomodate the seated bird and the other hand continued its gestures in harmony with his talk. A moment later, as soon as the bird flew off, Osho resumed gesturing with the right hand as if nothing had happened.” (Nirgun. In: Savita 2014, p. 86)

4.5
Amsterdam
Video 2. First video available from Poona is ‘The Beloved’, Vol.2 #10. 10.07.1976 am. Chuang Tzu Auditorium. Clipping: 5 min.
In progress

Sambodhi recalls from 1975
“”I am a drunkard. I am drunk on Jesus.” These words began the first lecture in a series entitled ‘Come Follow Me’. As the lecture progressed, I took in my surroundings with wonder. I was now a member of this sannyasin community, an assembly of people from countless countries, all sitting on the floor crosslegged, wrapped in orange shawls against the early morning chill, attuned to the master’s voice penetrating a profound, thick silence. Ground moisture, evaporating in the crisp dawn air, mingled with smoke from neighbourhood cook fires to create a thin, mildly acrid smell, noticeable but curiously undisturbing. Ribbons of sunlight, muted by the morning haze, streamed through the tropical greenery that surrounded the auditorium, casting misty beams across the seated, silent figures on the floor. Birds flew through the auditorium at its perimeter, with an occasional bird landing on the arm of Bhagwan’s microphone, seemingly curious to either hear what was being said or discover what caused the stillness of this place to be so alive.” (Clare 2009, p. 1)

Margot Anand writes
“The time came for Osho’s discourse. It was happening in a picturesque auditorium, with a polished, black-and-white marble floor and large white pillars to support the oblong roof, opening out into a garden with such thick vegetation that you couldn’t see the end of it.
I was seated in the back row. Osho walked in, light as a cloud, surrounded by silence. He had a small, delicate build, his frame disappearing in a simple white robe and his round face surrounded by grey-white hair that blended with a long beard falling on his chest. His lips disappeared under a thick moustache and the crown of his head was bald.
His intense, dark brown eyes were the most striking part of his face. They were set wide apart, enhanced by strong eyebrows that gave him a rather fierce look, tempered by well-designed eyelids that added a lazy, sexy, movie-star touch and softened his gaze.
He looked like a holy man straight out of the Bible, so silent that he was almost transparent. Slowly, delicately, he greeted us all with a namaste, turning to face each part of the auditorium, then sat in a big armchair with high arm rests. He took one foot out of his flip-flop sandals and crossed it over his other leg, then settled back, gently running his fingers through his beard as if to position it correctly.
Before he spoke, his hands formed an unusual sort of mudra: both hands folded so that the tip of the middle finger touched the tip of the thumb, with both hands resting against each other in such a way that the tips of the thumb and middle finger of the left hand rested against the tips of the thumb and middle finger of the right hand. Only much later did I discover that this mudra (which is called the Mudra of Inspiration), so habitual to him before speaking, was the hand position most conducive to opening the inspiration for teaching.” (Anand 2017, p. 114)

Maneesha recalls a moment with silence
“One day when discourses were still in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, right in the middle of a discourse – literally in mid-sentence – Bhagwan stopped talking. His head had been tilted slightly upwards and his eyes were not directed at any of us but were, in a characteristic way of his, gazing out beyond the periphery of the auditorium, beyond the garden. Was one of his hands raised in a gesture at that particular moment? – I can’t remember, but I do recall how electrifying those few moments were when he simply stopped speaking and just sat absolutely still, as if suspended in time and motion.
Sitting only feet away from him, I caught my breath, watched, and waited. After what seemed an eternity, but must have been just a few moments, Bhagwan seemed to slowly return to himself, as it were. His look turned to the sea of expectant faces in front of him, as if wondered who we were and what we might be doing there. It was an oddly, awesome sensation, watching him. Then he looked up at the large clock on the wall, then down at the clipboard on which the sutras or questions were – looked at it as though for the first time – and resumed speaking words that didn’t seem related to those he’d last uttered.” (Forman 1988, p. 137)

Lining up for discourse late in 1976
“It is half an hour before the daily discourse. Sannyasins and visitors purchase their tickets and sit, stand and meditate in the queue that sprawls its way almost the length of the ashram… By eight o-clock the Chuang Tzu auditorium is a pool of orange people. Bhagwan, clothed in a dazzling white that would gladden the heart of any ‘surf’ promoter, smilingly greets the faces uptuned before him, and commences an hour-and-a-half of cosmic gossip.” The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 221.

Devika recalls from July 1976
“There was a chair at the front of the auditorium and a door in the wall. After a while Osho came in and greeted everyone. He wears a long white robe and his hair is black, nearly turning white. He turned slowly, looking into all our eyes as he put his hands together in ‘Namaste’ – this is an Indian greeting with both palms together, as though in prayer.
He has such charisma and wonderful eyes. I was sitting a few rows from the front but he looked at me immediately, perhaps because I am new. Then he sat down and started speaking.
I studied Religion and Philosophy at college as my main subjects, and he used to be a Philosophy lecturer, a professor in an Indian university, but I have never heard a lecture like this before. The words were so beautiful, so meaningful, and spoken with such authority and love, that tears came to my eyes almost immediately…
The thought came to me as we were all sitting there in spellbound silence – all of us who might be thought of as hippies and drop outs by some in the outside world – that this is what it must have been like in the times of Jesus. Followers gathered around Jesus in the same way and were not respected by the society and the religious leaders of the time.” (Rosamund 2017, pp. 158,159)

All published discourse series are presented in Volume III / Bibliography / Poona One, where bibliographic data as well as excerpts from introductions and opening discourses are to be found. Lectures and Discourses 1964-1990 are listed in Volume III / Sources.

4.6 Discourses in Buddha Hall. English

During these seven years 1974-1981 in Poona he gives a ’90 minutes’ discourse nearly every morning, alternating every month between Hindi and English. His discourses offer insights into all the major spiritual paths, including Yoga, Zen, Taoism, Tantra and Sufism. He also speaks on Gautam Buddha, Jesus, Lao Tzu, and other mystics. These discourses have been collected into over 300 volumes and translated into 20 languages.

Discourses were totally spontaneous and open to the public. It has been estimated that from 1974 to 1981 Osho 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.

While daily discourses were continued in Chuang Tzu Auditorium the construction of the new Buddha Hall auditorium was happening nearby. English discourses were to be given here from the Guru Poornima celebration in July 1977 and onwards until Osho stopped speaking in early 1981. The first discourse series to be held in Buddha Hall is accordingly: Zen. The Path of Paradox. Talks on Zen (1979). Volume 3 of 3. Period: 01.07-10.07.1977.

“COMMENTARIES AND RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS. From July 1974, Osho continues to give discourses every morning until 1981, speaking alternate months in Hindi or English. He comments on the teachings of enlightened mystics in many spiritual traditions: Tao, Zen, Christianity, Hassidism, Sufism, the Bauls, Hindu mystics, Tibetan Buddhism, Tantra, etc. On alternate days he answers questions submitted to him by his audience. Each series of ten days is published as one book – over two hundred and forty books in seven years. (Sarito 2000, p. 235)

Glossary: Discourse
“Discourse: aka lecture, talks; in Poona One daily morning event in Buddha Hall where Osho publicly, extemporaneously addressed his community. In his last year on the Ranch, they were intimate evening events, followed by much larger ones addressed to the entire community; on his world tour he spoke to his people daily whenever he could; in Poona Two discourses took place in both morning and evening, but ended up as evenings only. Towards the end, he once or twice spoke non-stop for four hours. He ceased public speaking altogether a few months before he left his body. Every discourse has been transcribed and most are published in book form.” (Savita 2014, p. 263)

Glossary: Buddha Hall
“Buddha Hall: the ashram’s large open-sided auditorium where Osho gave his morning discourses and where meditations and other events took place during the Poona One years of 1977 to 1981. It had a smooth concrete floor and a temporary corrugated roof lined with fabric. Osho renamed it Gautama the Buddha Auditorium in the late 1980s, when it was marbled over and given a massive PVC roof, but even he continued to use its Buddha Hall nickname. The small marbled podium within it from where he delivered his discourses in Poona Two was flanked with air conditioners and had an Oriental pagodalike copper roof. The hall now lacks both roofs, so forms a large open marble platform, used for dance meditations and known a Buddha Grove.” (Savita 2014, p. 260)

Tim Guest writes
“Soon after Chuang Tzu was built it collapsed in a heap of metal and concrete – a calamity blamed by Bhagwan on the ‘negativity’ of those sannyasins with architectural experience, who had commented there was not enough structural support to hold up the roof. A year later Chuang Tzu was rebuilt; by 1976 the hall was no longer large enough to hold the swelling number of disciples and visitors who wanted to hear Bhagwan speak. Plans were drawn up for a new, larger auditorium. After receiving numerous unsuitable designs from a young Pune building contractor, Bhagwan sent him a sketch – a black circle with a blue halo – and the subsequent designs were approved by Bhagwan in person. Inaugurated on Enlightenment Day – 21 March, the anniversary of Bhagwan’s enlightenment at the age of twenty-one – this new auditorium, ten thousand square feet of marble floor, open to the elements on all sides under a domed canvas canopy, was named by Bhagwan ‘Buddha Hall’.” (Guest 2005, p. 44)

A rotation schedule was to be seen with change of setting between English discourses in Buddha Hall and Hindi discourses in Chuang Tzu Auditorium was introduced in the early days after Buddha Hall was inaugurated as Westerners used to leave at the time the monthly schedule switched to Hindi discourses and the number of listeners accordingly was reduced considerably.

Bodhena on discourses
“And all the while, Osho was delivering. Morning after morning, he came out to give one marvel of a discourse after the other. While for the time being he continued to give the Hindi discourses in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, he had started in March 1977 to give the English discourses in the newly constructed Buddha Hall, so that the growing number of seekers could be accomodated.
Initially, it hadn’t been much of a hall. When I first came to Poona, it had been merely a large, oval concrete slap, the central part of which was covered by a roof of corrugated tin of a more temporary character, and it was open on the sides. The wooden posts holding up the roof were simple, unfinished and crooked. The ceiling was covered with saris that were stretched out side by side so that you wouldn’t be able to see the corrugated tin when inside the hall. There was a simple cloth screen, maybe seven feet tall, behind Osho’s podium at the center of the north side of the hall. Only a couple of years later did the hall get a larger and more permanent roof consisting of corrugated asbestos sheets, held up by square wooden posts and proper horizontal supporting beams, all painted white.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 71)

Osho says
“This is not only a discourse, this is your spiritual breakfast, this is your nourishment – it will keep you ticking for twenty-four hours. It keeps you connected with me, it keeps you related to me. You come every day and participate in my being; you are nourished, strengthened. This is a subtle phenomenon. On the surface I am talking and you are listening; deep, underneath, something else, of far greater importance and significance is happening.” The Sun Rises in the Evening (1980).

On answering questions
“No question is to be taken seriously. I never take any question seriously, but each question has a certain meaning: it shows something about you. Howsoever ridiculous it is, howsoever absurd it is, it shows something about you. It shows something about your unconsciousness. Just because it has arisen in your mind it shows some quality of your mind.” Guida Spirituale (1983); The Book (1984). Volume II, p. 530.

“Questions arise out of something wrong. When one has innocence there are no questions. Innocence wonders, it does not question. It experiences the awe of existence and life, the beauty of it. It is constantly wondering what it is all about, but it is not a question. It is a heartfelt feeling. One is surprised every moment. One is always in for a great surprise.” Guida Spirituale (1983); The Book (1984). Volume II, p. 531.

“You have to be freed, completely freed from question and answer, both. But the mind feels very worried when there is nothing to ask; the mind feels very happy when there is something to ask, something to worry about; some irritation and the mind enjoys it. When there is silence and nothing to ask, one feels at a loss. But you have to learn to be in that space of being at a loss. That is very spacious. You are unacquainted with it, that’s why you feel so shaky when that unknown space surrounds you, otherwise it is the most ancient space possible. Just start enjoying it!
When there is no question, dance, sing. Feel happy that you are fortunate in having no questions left. It happens only to fortunate people!” The Open Door (1980); The Book (1984). Vol. II, p. 531.

“There can be no serious answers to questions about the meaning of life, for to ask about life is to stand back from life and pretend one is not it. And from there you have taken a false step from the very beginning . And the first step wrong, and all your steps will be wrong. Questions at best are a form of play and may be enjoyed as such. And there are no right answers, only light ones. Let me repeat it: And there are no right answers, only light ones, given and taken lightly by those who know that they play. That is the game between a Master and a disciple.” The Revolution (1979); The Book (1984). Vol.II, p. 531.

On his English
“I don’t know English at all. In fact, I don’t know any language really. That’s why I can go on speaking so easily, unafraid, unworried, undeterred by language, grammar, et cetera. I am not a great orator, I simply go on saying to you whatsoever happens in the moment.
That’s why sometimes Napoleon turns into Nero, Nero turns into Napoleon; Greek becomes Latin, Latin becomes Greek. You are listening to a drunkard. It is a miracle that I can utter a few sensible words and you can make some sense out of it. Sometimes even I laugh at what I have said to you. Just the other day… whenever I see Pradeepa bowing her head down, then I know that I must have said something wrong. Just a few days ago, I was saying ‘cropping the reap’ instead of ‘reaping the crop’. Pradeepa is my criterion: then I just look at her and I know I have done it again.
But what more can you expect from someone who is utterly drunk?…
Fortunately I don’t know much English. Hence I can talk, undeterred by any linguistic barriers. This is not English English, this is not American English, this is not even Indian English, it is simply Rajneesh English. It has to be strange. And what about my Italian!…
I am neither Italian nor English nor Indian nor Chinese, and I have to talk all these languages. So I go on ‘winging the wong number!'” Be Still and Know (1981). 06.09.1979. (Sannyas, 1979:6, p. 3)

On knowledge and scriptures
“To be wise is not to be knowledgeable. To be wise means to realize something of your consciousness, first within and then without; to feel the pulsation of life within you and then without. To experience this mysterious consciousness that you are, first one has to experience it in the innermost core of one’s being, because that is the closest door to God.
Once you have known it within, it is not difficult to know it without. But remember, the wise man never accumulates knowledge; his wisdom is spontaneous. Knowledge always belongs to the past, wisdom belongs to the present. Remember these distinctions. Unless you understand the difference very clearly between knowledge and wisdom, you will not be able to understand these sutras of Gautam the Buddha. And they are tremendously important.
Knowledge comes from the past, from others, from scriptures, and Buddha has said: My transmission of truth is beyond the scriptures. What I am saying, what I am imparting, what I am communing, is not written anywhere, has not been spoken anywhere – in fact, cannot be spoken at all, cannot be written at all. It is transferred in deep silence between the Master and the disciple. It is a love affair. Wisdom is contagious. It is not taught, remember; you can receive it, but it cannot be given to you. You can be open and vulnerable to it, you can be in a state of constant welcoming, and that’s how a disciple sits by the side of the Master – ready to drink, ready to allow the Master to penetrate his very heart. In the beginning it is painful, because the Master’s consciousness penetrates you like a sharp arrow; only then can it reach to your very core. It hurts.
Knowledge satisfies the ego, wisdom destroys the ego completely. Hence people seek knowledge. It is very rare to find a seeker who is not interested in knowledge but is interested in, committed to, wisdom. Knowledge means theories about truth, wisdom means truth itself. Knowledge means the secondhand, wisdom means the firsthand. Knowledge means belief – others say and you believe – and all beliefs are false, no belief is ever true. Even if you believe in the word of a Buddha, the moment you believe, it is turned into a lie.
Truth cannot be believed. Either you know or you don’t know. If you know, there is no question of belief; if you don’t know, again, there is no question of belief. If you know, you know, if you don’t know, you don’t know. Belief is a projection of the tricky mind: it gives you the feeling of knowing without knowing…
Wisdom is a totally different phenomenon: it is experience, not belief. It is existential experience; it is not ‘about’. You don’t believe in God – you know. You don’t believe in the immortality of the soul, you have tasted it. You don’t believe in reincarnation, you remember it: you remember that you have been here many times, and if this has been so in the past, this is going to be so in the future. You remember you have been in many bodies: you have been a rock, you have been a tree, you have been animals, birds, you have been man, woman… you have lived in so many forms. You see the forms changing but the inner consciousness remaining the same; so you see only the superficial changes, but the essential is eternal. This is seeing, not believing.
And all the real Masters are interested in helping you to see, not believe. In believing, you become a Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan. Belief is the profession of the priest.” The Book of the Books. Discourses on the Dhammapada of Gautam the Buddha (1983). Vol.II. 11.08.1979. (Sannyas, 1979:6, p. 10)

4.6
puna1_DD 001.jpg
Photo 11. Buddha Hall under construction. 21.03.1977.

On scriptures
“I enjoy reading books, but I read the Bible, the Gita, the Koran just as one reads novels; they are ancient, beautiful stories. Krishnamurti says he never reads any scripture; he reads only detective stories. I read the scripture, but I read in the scripture just the detective story and nothing else. And I would suggest to Krishnamurti that it would be good if he should look into the Bible; you cannot find a more beautiful story – full of suspense. Everything is there: love, life, murder; everything is there. It is very sensational.
Scriptures, to me, have nothing special. Scriptures are as sacred as the trees and the rocks and the stars – or as secular. I don’t make any distinction so I am not very serious about scriptures. The only thing I am serious about is jokes. So when I quote the scripture I quote from memory, when I quote a joke I have it written here in front of me. I never want to make any mistake about the joke – I am really serious. About everything else I am absolutely non-serious.
So it is very obvious. Listening to me you must have misunderstood it, that my emphasis is not on what the scriptures say – that is not the point; my emphasis is on what I am saying. If you go to a Christian priest, he quotes the scripture, his emphasis is on the scripture. He is very literal, he has to be – he himself is secondary, the scripture is primary. He is a witness to the scripture. With me it is just the opposite; the scripture is just a witness to me. Whatsoever I have to say, only that have I to say. If I feel the scripture can be a witness to it, I use it.
And I go on playing with the scripture, sometimes in one way, sometimes in another. Remember always, I am not trying to prove the scripture – that the scripture is right – I am simply using it as an illustration. It is secondary, you can forget about it; nothing will be lost. Whatsoever I am saying is direct. Just to help you, because you are not capable of listening to the direct truth, you need a few witnesses. So Jesus, Krishna and Buddha and Lao Tzu and Lieh Tzu – they have to adjust with me.
And this should always be so: the dead should exist and adjust with the living and for the living. Why should the living adjust with the dead? Lieh Tzu has to adjust with me, because only in adjusting with me can Lieh Tzu again have a little life. Jesus has to adjust with me, I am not to adjust with Jesus. The past has to adjust with the present, not otherwise. So I go on playing.
These are all just stories to me and, deep down, this is the approach: the whole of life is a fiction, it is maya, it is a dream. Jesus and Buddha and Krishna and I and you are parts of a big dream – God is dreaming. Don’t be too serious about it.” Tao. The Pathless Path (1979). Vol.I; The Book (1984). Vol.III, p. 145.

On scriptures
“Everybody’s life contains a scripture, a bible. The outside Bible is not the real Bible. The word “Bible” means the book of the books. It is not the book of books, the book of books is within you; it cannot be outside. The outside Bible may have a few reflections of the inner but they are only reflections. The moon reflected in the waters of the lake is not the real moon – don’t be deceived by it. Although it is a reflection of the real moon, so it has a certain resemblance to reality, don’t be deceived by it and don’t jump into the lake to find it, otherwise you may get drowned. And you are not going to find the moon in the lake; you will get into unnecessary trouble.
People have jumped into lakes. Into the Bibles, into the Vedas, into the Gitas, into the Korans, they have jumped. These are just lakes, beautiful lakes, certainly, and capable of reflecting something of the real. But a reflection is a reflection. The face in the mirror is not your real face. You will not find it there – the mirror is empty. So is the lake, so are all the scriptures – empty. They are beautiful words but empty.
Unless you find the inner scripture that is within you, you will not be able to understand the outer Bibles, Korans and Vedas. Once you have found the inner then there is a possibility; then doors open up, then suddenly there is a great opening. Whatsoever was closed and hidden becomes available, slowly the curtain is removed. You can see that which is. And once you have found it inside you will find it in the words of Jesus, in the words of Buddhas, very easily. The man who knows the real moon is bound to know the moon in the lake. He will understand and he may even rejoice because he is not deceived; he knows perfectly well it is a reflection but a beautiful reflection. Sometimes when the lake is utterly calm and quiet, when there is no disturbance on its surface, it becomes a mirror of tremendous beauty. One can enjoy the scriptures, but not before realizing the inner truth.” Just the Tip of the Iceberg. Unpublished Darshan Diary; The Book (1984). Vol.III, p. 148.

On lecturing
“My lecture is a song. It is not against the birds that I am singing here; it is in symphony with them. This is my way of singing. And trust me… when birds sing I feel happy; when I sing they feel happy. It is a bargain.
What I am saying to you is not a lecture. “Lecture” is an ugly word. How can I lecture? This is a song, this is a spontaneous outflowing, it is an overflowing. I feel happy; that’s why I say so many things to you. In fact, it is not to explain anything to you. I am not explaining. It is simply to convey my joy, my delight in life; that’s the way I can dance. These words are my gestures.
And listen to me as you listen to a poet or to a bird. Never listen to me as you listen to a philosopher: it is not a lecture, it is not a sermon. I am not pouring morality into you. I am not giving you any “shoulds”, “oughts”; I am not giving you any ideals. I am simply conveying that I am tremendously happy… can’t you see it? I am simply conveying that I have arrived. You can also arrive. I am simply making so many gestures so that if one gesture is missed, another may not be missed; if another is missed, I will make a thousand and one gestures. Some day, in some moment, you may be ready and ripe, and suddenly it will happen.
Listening to me is just a way to commune with me. I am speaking, you are listening – there can happen a great communion. When the listening is perfect, total, when you have just become ears, suddenly there will be an upsurge of energy, a lightning, a satori. You will have understood. And I will not have been trying to explain to you, and you will have understood. I am simply transferring understanding. These are not explanations…
These are not lectures that I am delivering to you. This is my being that I am sharing with you. Become more sensitive, become more loving, become more receptive, become more feminine, become a womb – and sooner or later you are bound to get pregnant with me.” The Path of Love (1978); The Book (1984), Vol.II, p. 125.

On silence
“I have never spoken except in utter silence. You know, for years you have heard me. You know the silence in Buddha Hall. Only in that silence… Your English phrase is meaningful: that the silence is so profound that you can hear even a needle drop on the floor. So I know, but I am just accustomed to silence.” Glimpses of a Golden Childhood. 1990, p. 164.

Aveling writes
“The morning discourses lasted some ninety minutes. They were delivered one month in English, the next in Hindi. (The Hindi discourses were always given to much smaller audiences, as the English speaking population around the ashram tended to move to Goa.) On one day Rajneesh would deal with a few verses from a particular religious scripture; on the next he would answer questions, which were sometimes related to the scripture but more often not. Between 1974 and 1980, the English discourses covered Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras; the ‘Isa’, ‘Atma Pooja’, ‘Akahya’,. and ‘Mandukya upanishads’; the ‘Dhammapada’, ‘Diamond’ and ‘Heart Sutras’, together with some tantric Buddhist texts; various Zen stories and writings; the ‘Tao Te Ching’ and anecdotes about Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu; Sufi tales (but never the ‘Koran’); Kabir and the wandering Bengali mystic poets known as Bauls; the Sermon on the Mount; the gnostic Gospel of Thomas; Jewish Hasid stories; Heraclitus, Pythagorus and Dionyius the Aeropagite; Mabel Collin’s ‘Light on the Path’; and even the ‘Desiderata’. In Hindi, Rajneesh spoke at length on the ‘Bhagavad Gita’; Mahavir; and on various Hindi devotional (‘bhakti’) mystics. In form the discourses invariably consisted of a long preamble, followed by commentary on the selected verses. They were delivered spontaneously, on the basis of a few notes Rajneesh had on a clipboard which he held in front of him as he sat comfortably on a lounge chair, and were punctuated from time to time by the jokes he laboriously read. After 1979, the number of jokes rose rapidly and many appeared to have been drawn from ‘Playboy’ or similar sources.
Evening Darshan was always conducted in English once the few Indian disciples present had been dealt with in Hindi and dismissed. The quality of interaction between Rajneesh and his disciples also declined visibly during 1979. Written records of both his discourses and ‘darshans’ were published. Joshi (1982:199) counts one hundred and twenty-eight volumes of English discourses, one hundred and forty-four of Hindi discourses, and sixty-four darshan “diaries”. (Aveling 1996, p. 76)
(Note: Aveling writes on Osho’s approach to religion on pp. 78-85. Excerpt: “No one book by Rajneesh is considered the essence of his teachings of which sannyasa is an integral part. Rather, those teachings appear again and again throughout his different works, now as commentary on these verses, then as commentary on those verses from quite different religious traditions. In order to examine his teachings in some depth, an analysis will be made of one work, selected more or less at random, The Path of Love: Discourses on Songs of Kabir (1978).” (Aveling 1996, p. 78)

Buddha Hall
“The whole community comes together at the end of the day for the music group in Buddha Hall. As Lao Tzu House is the heart, this large oval-shape space is the womb of the ashram. Silent host to the day’s activities, it witnesses the raw energy of the early morning dynamic meditators, followed by the alchemy of Bhagwan’s discourse and the disciplines of t’ai chi, karate and yoga, earthing the exuberant energy left in the wake of the Sufi dancers.” (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend. Booklet. 1979)

Satyananda recalls from 1977
“Zur Linken des Haupteingangs ist in monatelanger Arbeit die neue “Buddhahalle” entstanden – ein ovaler Zementplafond mit einem von innen mit weissen Baumwollplanen bespannten Wellblechdach auf Holzpfosten. And den Seiten is die Halle offen.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 32)

Shiva writes on the construction of Buddha Hall
“Expansion was rapid throughout this period. By 1978 Laxmi had completed the building of an imposing gateway complete with a massive pair of brass-studded fake teak gates, which were to become famous in pictures which appeared all over the world. Above the gates was the sign; ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Ashram’. Everything had to look as palatial and high-class as possible. Laxmi had a weakness for ornate chandeliers, on which she spent tens of thousands of rupees, and these went up everywhere. New departments proliferated. There was now a bookshop, and a thriving public relations department. A large new apartment block became part of the ashram, and was now named ‘Jesus House’. Laxmi bought up more and more land round the ashram, and started building on it. Some of the land belonged to an Indian woman who, although nothing to do with the ashram, wanted to sell it. For complex family reasons this was proving difficult, but that didn’t deter Laxmi, who started building on it anyway.
This was to be the site of the new ‘Buddha Hall’, an enormous auditorium with a seating capacity of six thousand, since the numbers of people had already outgrown the Chuang Tzu lecture hall. Alongside our splendid new buildings a workers’ shanty town sprang up. It was a long line of tawdry hovels, reminding me of an endless string of black dead fish. There was constant activity as the coolies carried cement and bricks in iron baskets on their heads, intermingling with three thousand sannyasis. The place was alive from 5.30 in the morning, when the gates – named by Laxmi ‘The Gateless Gates’ – were opened for dynamic meditation, until 10.30 in the evening, when the music group finished.” (Milne 1986, p. 150)

Buddha Hall is still under construction on Enlightenment Day, 21.03.1977. His first preliminary discourses in Buddha Hall are held here in the mornings of 20-21.03 followed by darshan in the evening.
“Then there is buddha hall. Conceived to hold five thousand-plus people when finished, it is now a rough foundation of cement with iron rods sticking up in the air everywhee. Nevertheless, bhagwan wants no one to miss this special darshan, so instead of the usual chuang tzu auditorium, he says to prepare buddha hall. People giggle somewhat madly, but laxmi, bhagwan’s secretary and personal mountain-mover, says her usual ‘It will happen’. Now that’s surrender! And, it does happen.
A million indian workmen descend and erect scaffolding – a wooden base for a giant canvas tent. They put canvas on the rough ground too, and mattresses on top of that. All the wood is covered with swirls of coloured material, as are the iron rods. Pathways are build, mountains of rubbish removed, hundreds of lights put up- It all looks like a gigantic spaceship has landed out of nowhere…
Then suddenly it’s the twentieth and bhagwan is having the morning discourse in buddha hall. Six a.m. – lecture two hours away and workmen are still at it, putting the final touches to the hall. I am there, one of the security people. It’s like a riot squad – to stop over-excited people from mobbing bhagwan. The whole thing seems so unreal as we stand about yawning and drinking tea. Now the people are being slowly ushered in. We are trying to protect a mellow, meditative atmosphere, not so easy as some of us have been up all night and are on the eighteenth cup of tea.
It’s almost eight and everyone is seated, waiting expectantly for his arrival. Suddenly his toyota comes barrelling out of lao tzu house, laxmi at the wheel, and after making several hair-pin turns, comes to rest. Bhagwan climbs out, palms together greeting everyone, and walks to his chair. There has been a rush of excitement as the car was sighted, but now, no one moves.
Bhagwan begins to speak, to spin his web of music, his dance of words. Everyone, save the one photographer and the video-cameraman, is very still. The next thing I know he’s getting up to leave, a huge grin on his face. An hour and a half has passed. Everything went perfectly; of course, how else could it go?
The following morning it is again repeated. For some reason they are still putting final touches on the hall. Two days later it will all be totally taken down and away. The spaceship will disappear.
Bhagwan seems to really like speaking in the unfinished hall – the acoustics are cruder than in his regular hall, and his voice thunders, echoes and bounds all over the place. He plays his voice like a rock and roll guitarist, with his ‘wah-wah’ pedals, echo, distortion, feedback – all intricate parts of the show…
Now it’s just a few hours before darshan. People are already filing into buddha hall, coming early to get a good seat. Usually the set-up has been different. A few hundred people would sit in the smaller chuang tzu auditorium, and the rest would file through in a chain, each person going up to surrender at the master’s feet. As the numbers increased though, more and more people were being turned away because of lack of time.
So this time everyone would just sit, no one would file by bhagwan, but a huge ring of dancers would constantly encircle the outside of the hall – round and round, to keep the energy in and building up.
In the past, I had been stationed somewhere near Bhagwan. The last celebration, I stood beside him throughout to help carry people out that would occasionally faint or would be too exuberant in front of him. And to be close to him at a time like that is really an incredible experience. He is bathing everyone in energy and it is totally overpowering…
Just an hour before darshan was scheduled to begin, out of nowhere comes a huge storm. It hasn’t rained at all for months and now it’s pouring! The high winds are threatening to tear the canopy right off the hall, thunder and lightening fill the skies. It’s weird and beautiful.
Rumour comes that we’re going to have to shift the whole thing back to the old hall, which is an almost impossible task. Then, as quickly as it came, the rain and wind is gone, to be replaced by sun and beautiful crisp fresh air. A blessing from the gods!
Now it is almost time. Everyone is seated in the hall… The actual darshan is really not meant to be described in words. It has to be lived, experienced live. At one point someone relieves me for a while, and prem (who has been working as an usherette) and I go up and into the hall. We join the line of dancers and do one whole circle of the hall. Then we step out and just watch…
Bhagwan just sits, sometimes looking around and beaming, tapping his pearly fingers in time with the music, sometimes with his eyes rolled back, sitting totally still, his hands falling into a mudra. Constantly, his being seems to radiate an indescribable transmission – bliss.” (Swami Anand Rakesh. In: The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), pp. 453ff)

One year later Sarjano writes from darshan in Buddha Hall
“Primavera e altro…
Celebrazione di Bhagwan nel giorno della sus Illuminazione, venticinque anni fa. Darshan in Buddha Hall e danze, e canti mer tutti. Da una parte il music-group, lamusica dell’occidente, dall’altra il gruppo di Kirtan, la voce dell’oriente… Danzavamo tutti “come pazzi”… uscendo ed entrando in queste due anime… al principio fu il suono… diceva qualcuno con l’avvallo di McLuhan! Al principio fu il movimento, l’energia.
C’ere tutto il mondo in Buddha Hall: c’erano indiani e africani, giapponesi e italiani, americani, tedeschi e arabi, christiani e maomettani, indù e protestanti, geni e mentecatti, qualcuna delle “menti migliori della mia generazione”, ricchi, poveri, giovani, vecchi, bambini, ex-prostitute, ladroni, ingegneri, musicisti e professori, ex-marxisti, gruppettari, coca-cola fans, polentoni, peracottari, mistici, piccoli scrivani fiorentini, Madame Tussaud, zombie e statue di cera…” (Sarjano 1979, p. 45. 21.03.1978)

According to Krishna Prem the new Buddha Hall auditorium was used for English discourses from the Guru Poornima celebration in July 1977 and then onwards until Osho stopped speaking in early 1981.

Krishna Prem recalls from the new Buddha Hall
“Since the July Guru Poornima celebration, a whiz-bang wingding of Indian kirtan and Western rock, we’ve been using the new auditorium for English discourses. After the close confines of Chuang Tzu, where darshan and the smaller Hindi lectures are still held, the space in Buddha Hall is wonderful. It’s just so nice to be able to sit with Osho, listening to him, without a pair of knees poking me in the back.
They’re cold, these end-of-November mornings, and everyone’s huddled under cotton shawls, edges carefully secured under cushion corners as extra protection against the cement chill of the floor. What’s happened during monsoon to the plant and trees that ring the oval hall is remarkable – things have doubled, tripled in height and lushness, filtering the early sunlight and sheltering us from the cool winter breezes blowing in across the high Deccan plateau.” (Allanach 2010, p. 184)
(Note: First discourse series to be held in Buddha Hall is: ‘Zen. The Path of Paradox. Talks on Zen’ (1979). Volume 3 of 3. Period: 01.07-10.07.1977)

Abhiyana writes Buddha Hall was under construction in the months after February 1977 and during that period only disciples were to come into the smaller Chuang Tzu auditorium for discourses. (Abhiyana 2017, p. 207)

Bernard Levin writes in The Times
“The scene is a huge makeshift auditorium, roughly oval in shape, a marquee with a flat stone floor; it is open all round but has simple roof of matting and corrugated iron, supported on slim, crude wooden pillars. On the floor some 1,500 people are sitting; the frailer among them (including me) have thin cushions. They all face a raised marble platform set midway along one side of the hall; on it there stands a plain swivel chair (it looks a good deal more comfortable than my bit of the floor, cushion and all); a microphone on a stand projects over the chair’s arm. The time is a quarter to eight in the morning. We are in Poona…
The silence is broken by the crunch of a car’s wheels and the accompanying purr of an expensive engine. A large, gleaming, yellow Mercedes [later replaced by a white Rolls Royce] comes into view, being driven round the perimeter of the hall. (I was to see the car later, being washed, and to gain the distinct impression it is washed several times a day). As the car approaches a covered walkway just behind the platform with the chair, I experience the third surprise: mine is the only head that turns.
An orange-clad attendant, on the watch for this moment, moves forward to open the car door; out of it steps, with unhurried graceful movements, a figure dressed in a white robe, beneath which his feet are clad in simple sandals. He walks slowly into the hall, his hands together in the traditional Indian greeting, and mounts the steps in the marble platform. He stands in front of the chair and turns through 180 degrees, extending the silent greeting to the whole hall: it is returned by the orange audience. He is tall, though not exceptionally so, bald on top but with long hair hanging down behind, and luxuriantly grey-bearded. He smiles, and sits down in the chair. Another attendant steps forward and hands him a small folder. He puts it on his lap, opens it, takes a slip of paper from it, and speaks for an hour and three quarters without pause, hesitation, repetition or notes. This is Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Or, many in that hall believe, God. (Bernard Levin. The Times (London), 08.04.1980)
(Note: Bernard Levins three features are all in Appendix)

Krishna Prem on Levin
“Trim and neat in his beige cotton twills and plain white skin, Bernard Levin, at forty-odd, still has the air of an English schoolboy. Walking him around the commune, the clear brown eyes behind the donnish horn-rims missing absolutely nothing, I feel like I’m escorting David Attenborough on one of his zoological expeditions, touring him through the hitherto-unexplained habitat of newly discovered species of yeti or yak. He says little and asks less. The star writer of ‘The Times’ hasn’t come from London to ply us with questions. “I’ve read your press kit and some of Osho’s books,” he tells me. Bernard Levin is here to observe… Throughout his visit, I sense, more from his demeanour than from his words, that Bernard Levin knows exactly what is happening here, that he is observing a twentieth-century buddha’s mystery school at work. I feel he understands Osho – as much as anyone can understand a Christ or a Buddha or a Lao Tzu.” (Allanach 2010, pp. 249,253)

Subhuti on Levin
“Bernard Levin, elegant and erudite columnist for ‘The Times’ of London, was sufficiently impressed by his visit to write three feature articles. Levin compared the silence preceding Bhagwan’s morning discourse to ‘the Bayreuth hush,’ which I found puzzling until someone explained that Levin was a devotee of composer Richard Wagner and a regular visitor to the annual opera festival in the town of Bayreuth, Bavaria. The ‘hush’ happens just as the curtain goes up.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 48)

Punya recalls
“Osho was talking in Buddha Hall. Its temporary roof had meanwhile been taken down by the rental company which usually builds these structures for huge wedding ceremonies. It had been a rusty tin roof – though from underneath decoratively hidden by a white cloth – supported by wobbly-looking, gnarled wooden poles wrapped in strips of multicoloured fabric. Deeksha’s handymen replaced the roof with white boards and glossy white four-by-four pillars. A new warm brown backdrop behind the podium gave the discourses a sunny feeling.” (Punya 2015, p. 131)

Bodhena writes
“At the entrance, you were greeted by a sign, “Shoes and Minds are to be left at the Gate”, next to which would generally be a rather unruly pile of shoes and sandals, until in later years a top-of-the-line shoe check was built. Once inside the hall, there was often a rather undignified rush for the best seats. The first ten rows or so were already taken by the cushions of the people who had reserved seats, and it was pretty much predetermined where those people would sit. And for those lucky ones there was no hurry to get to discourse, it was sufficient to show up just a few minutes before eight. For the rest of the all, it was first come, first served. With a bit of luck you got a decent seat, hopefully behind a person that was not too tall, and next to people who were “good sitters” and had a friendly energy…
The outer form of the discourses followed a very simple and very strict routine, any deviations from which were so rare that they were practically nonexistent. It started with the pre-discourse ritual. Maybe ten minutes before eight, two berobed swamis would bring in Osho’s chair that was covered with a dust cloth, and with precise, carefully choreographed movements set the chair down so that it would be in the exact position where it needed to be. Then the dust cloth was removed, carefully folded and taken out. Following that, another swami brought in the microphone on its stand and, measuring the distance to the chair with the help of the width and length of his hands, set up the stand in such a way that the microphone was precisely where it needed to be for Osho. (I have never seen Osho touch the microphone, either intentionally or accidentally. It was always exactly in its right place.)
During that whole time, there was a pin-drop silence in the hall, from the time the first people were let in until Osho started speaking. The only exception was an announcement at about five to eight asking everybody to remain in the hall for the whole duration of the discourse (“…until the car has left the compound”.), and please not to cough.
One of the cardinal sins at the Ashram was coughing during discourse. If your throat was in a condition where you might not be able to contain your cough during that time, it was advisable to listen to the discourse outside of the hall, or at least to come prepared, with a couple of Hall’s menthol candies in your pocket. If you were even wiser, you freed those of their wrappers before the discourse started… you’d never believe how much noise it could create if you try to do that while the discourse was in progress. I have sat next to people who had a whole row of four or five Hall’s lined up in front of them, all neatly placed on their opened wrappers, ready to be popped whenever the need should arise.
Now, when that non-coughing-announcement was made, you knew that this was your last chance for a final throat-clearing effort that, hopefully, would be good enough for the next hour and a half. And there were times when seemingly everybody else had the same idea, and for the next minute or so being in Buddha Hall was reminiscent of being in a TB ward.” (Bodhena 2016, pp. 72-74)

Azima in Buddha Hall
“I got in line for discourse [May 1978], together with about 3000 other people, and left my shoes outside ‘Buddha Hall’ – the enclosed space where the master would be speaking and where all daily meditations took place. The hall was open on all sides and the roof was a temporary affair of corrugated steel sheets supported by wooden poles, covered on the underside by colourful Indian cloth. At the front of the hall was a small marble platform that hosted the armchair on which Osho was to sit.
I sat down, pressed between thousands of people who had come from all over the world, waiting for him – the Master. Everybody was now inside the hall, including the guards who took care of ashram security. Thousands of people were closing their eyes and going into meditation, their consciousness expanding… The silence was intense, broken only by bird song from the trees surrounding the hall, with the occasional distant, mournful train whistle from the railway tracks at the far end of Koregaon Park.
He arrived in a Mercedes, driven by a disciple, accompanied by a woman who, I later learned, was his caretaker and companion. From somewhere on the other side of the hall, I could hear the sound of his car approaching, slowly and meditatively, like everything else in this place. Seated a good distance from the platform, I opened my eyes and watched as his car arrived behind the podium. Everything stopped. Time became very subjective, no longer the same for everyone. I was open and ready, yet I didn’t expect anything. Nor did I think anything. I was simply here.
Silent, like a wild animal, he suddenly appeared, walking towards the podium with a very slow gait that seemed to take an infinite amount of time, as if in slow motion… And at that time I no longer saw only the man but also an intense dazzling light around his physical body, extending several meters in all directions. Light, so much light, like the white colour of the moon shining like the noon day sun.
Standing on the podium, greeting us all with a traditional Indian ‘Namaste,’ he turned his face in my direction and my heart literally exploded. Suddenly, all mechanisms of control were lost and my body convulsed in a centuries-old cry. My mind disappeared and I found myself curled up on the floor, crying in a foetal position. I felt as though I was coming out of a very ancient tunnel, like the babies I’d helped to birth as they passed through the narrow passage of the maternal pelvis. Now I was going through the birth canal of my previous existence, strewn with pain and suffering, and was entering a new world that was my home.
I didn’t understand anything. Although he had begun to speak, the words didn’t reach me. Instead, the heat of a pure energy radiated out to me, an enveloping energy like the embrace of a mother, with so much warmth and love that I could allow myself to fully let go into this amazing feeling of having arrived home. This being was my home. He was the goal that had been sought from time immemorial. He was the pure essence of love. What I had always felt in the depths of my soul had suddenly appeared before my eyes. I cried throughout the entire discourse.
At a certain point, I was aware that people were getting up and leaving Buddha Hall. Space was being created around me. Other companions on this journey were moving towards the ‘outside.’ The Master had been talking for two hours, then stood up and left.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 70)

Somendra writes
“Bhagwan would be sitting on the dais, and on the other side there was a clock on a post.” (Barnett 2000, p. 124)

Devika writes on early mornings in Buddha Hall
“The next morning I get up very early and go to morning Discourse. It is so lovely to be back in Osho’s Commune again. There are so many new people here that a huge new Auditorium has been built for morning Discourses and Meditations. It is named Buddha Hall. It has a tent roof held up by wooden poles painted white. They remind me of the white candles in my dream of the Temple…
Every morning I wake up at half past five so that I can be first in the queue for Discourse when the Commune gates open at six o’clock. I put my cushion on the wall to save a place in the queue and then I go and take a shower and wash my hair quickly. The showers are always cold at this time in the morning, in these early days, but I do not mind, and I accept that this is India and nothing is luxurious here. I then go back in the queue – it is still very early.
At seven o’clock, Vrindavan (the canteen) opens and sometimes I take it in turn with other people to save our places in the queue and bring chai; I do not eat breakfast before Discourse. The Discourse begins at eight o’clock, and in this way I manage to get a seat fairly near the front, a few rows back from the podium behind the Commune residents.
I always manage to sit in the same place and Osho sees me there. I meet the same people in the queue every morning, as we all come early, and they all sit near me in discourse. Osho’s Discourse is the most important event in the day for us. Osho must be used to seeing the same faces in the same rows. He gives us a lot of attention. After the Discourse I am always one of the last to leave as the experience is so profound for me, and the musicians go on playing for a while after Osho has left the Hall.” (Devika 2008, pp. 42,46)

Amitabh recalls
“Every morning, 365 days a year, after Dynamic Meditation from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., a bath, and a cup of chai (Indian tea), Bhagwan’s disciples, along with visitors, congregated in an open-air auditorium to listen to Bhagwan deliver a spontaneous two-hour discourse clarifying and revitalizing, from his inner experience, the words of the Enlightened Ones who had come before him – the sayings of Buddha and of Jesus, the yoga sutras of Patanjali, the songs of the Vedas and of the Upanishads, the poems of the Baul mystics, of Meera and Kabir, the keys of the Taoist, Zen, Sufi, and Hassidic Masters. Or he might talk on the aphorisms of Werner Erhard, or on the tonal purity of the message of Krishnamurti.” (Amitabh 1982, p. 36)

Mornings in Buddha Hall
“The ashram´s mornings are etched deep in my memory. Crisp and dewy as they were, with lisping bamboo groves, laden boughs licking the winds, twitters of birds. And then the eagerly awaited crunch of gravel as Osho´s car approached the podium. A reverential silence greeted the master as he entered Buddha hall in all his divinity. I always heard him enraptured, drinking in the poetry of his presence. Never before in history has one Enlightened Master spoken on so many others. Osho´s vast sky includes Zen masters such as Sosan, Rinzai, Ma Tzu, Nansen, Dogen. The Taoists, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Lieh Tzu. Lesser known Tibetan mystics Tilopa, Atish, Milarepa, Marpa. Sufis, Sanai, Junaid, Farid, Al Bistam, Mansur. The Hassids, the Bauls. And many many others.” (Ma Prem Fatima. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 488)
(Note: In 1978 his old Impala car was shifted to a new Dijon mustard coloured Mercedes bought by Laxmi for ten-lakh rupees to take Bhagwan from Lao Tzu to Buddha Hall, later again to be replaced by a white Rolls Royce)

Deva Peter writes from the sale of the Rolls-Royces in 1985
“Osho’s limousine is a major attraction in Dallas. I’d painted the limousine at the Ranch, using a green and gold metallic lace pattern over a pearl white base coat. This is the limo that had first been used to drive Osho to his daily discourses in Poona. It was originally purchased in the U.S. and shipped to the Indian ashram in 1979.
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith II stretch limousine is customized to be bombproof and bulletproof. It is fitted with dual electrical systems, and outside speaker system, sealed windows, multiple alarm systems, oil and tear gas dispensers and gunports. The original leather seats are re-covered with red velour cloth. No expense is spared for our Master.” (Haykus 2016, p. 76)

Osho on media coverage in 1978
“I have been working in India for twenty years continuously. Thousands of people have been transformed, millions have listened to me and many more have been reading what I am saying, but the Times of India – the most conventional newspaper of India, still the most British – has not published a single article about me or my work. But the day Laxmi purchased the car there was a big article – on the car, not on me!” (Sarito 2000, p. 153)

On his Rolls Royce
“Before we continue, a word about Osho’s cars, a subject that to many people has been of more importance than anything else he’s said or done… or been. Originally, it had been a beige Chevrolet Impala, one of those big, gas-guzzling dinosaurs, in which he was driven every morning from Lao Tzu House to Buddha Hall, a distance that might have taken him about two or three minutes to walk. Already that fact drew many comments… what kind of guru was that?
In 1978, Osho upped the ante and told Laxmi to go and purchase the most expensive car that she could find, which turned out to be a late-model, yellow Mercedes. He said that it would help her to obtain loans at the bank (which reportedly it did), and besides, he had found out that in America, a Chevrolet is a plumber’s car, and he didn’t want to be driven around in something like that.
It was in December 1979 that we got our first Rolls-Royce, and its plain white color did nothing to diminish the overall impression that this was one very expensive set of wheels. For India, this was nothing short of sensational. It didn’t take long before Osho also became known as the “Rolls-Royce Guru”, besides “Sex Guru”, “Rich Man’s Guru” and several other titles. When he showed up at Buddha Hall in the Rolls for the first time on his birthday, there was a ripple of laughter that went from one end of the hall to the other. And if we thought we’d seen everything, we were wrong. Just wait a few more years…
At the end, he would close with, “Enough for today” (or, “Aj itna hee”, a the end of a Hindi discourse), get up, namaste, and get into the car. The car would then slowly drive around Buddha Hall, the three quarters of the route that were needed to complete a full circle, proceeding counterclockwise, and then head back home to Lao Tzu House. (Years later, on the Ranch, he’d be following the same procedure – circling Rajneesh Mandir in a counterclockwise direction, and there, as in Poona, his podium would be in the center of the northern part of the hall, so that he would be speaking from that direction. Coincidence or esoteric design?)” (Bodhena 2016, pp. 74-76)

First Rolls-Royce in 1980 brought back to the US
“When the Rajneesh acquired their first car in 1980 – a Rolls-Royce Corniche – it was clear they would not be an ordinary customer. The car was purchased in Florida and immediately sent to Texas where it was covered with armor plate. Next, the car was delivered by boat to India, but just weeks after it arrived, the guru flew to the United States, and the car was immediately air-shipped back.
In New Jersey it underwent extensive modification at Imported Motors Inc., a Rolls-Royce dealer in Montclair. The vehicle was cut in two and extended three feet into a limousine model. Bullet-proof tires brought in from California were mounted. The upholstery was changed. Special wood with inlaid jewels was installed in the interior. A television, video cassette recorder and telephone were hooked up.” (Peter Schroeder. In: Business Journal of New Jersey, May 1987, p. 97)

Subhuti writes on Buddha Hall
“Flashback; for much of its 35-year-old existence, this floor was protected from natural elements. It was built in the late 70s and christened ‘Buddha Hall’, a meditation space where Osho arrived every morning at 8:00 am to give his daily discourse. It had a simple roof of corrugated metal sheets, supported by wooden posts – all covered with white cloth to make it look nice.” (Subhuti 2014, p. 25)

Satyananda on the setting
“Bhagwan lässt sich auf dem Sessel nieder. Eine zierliche Inderin mittleren Alters, das dunkle Haar unter einen straff gewundenen Kopftuch, beugt sich in respektvoller Haltung vor und reicht Bhagwan ein flaches Etui mit Notitzen. Der Meister würdigt Ma Yoga Laxmi keines Blickes, als er das Etui nimmt.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 20)

Divya writes
“Every morning over three thousand disciples and visitors gather in Buddha Hall, the ashram’s main meditation hall. At eight o’clock Bhagwan arrives and shares his religious vision in a two-hour discourse. Speaking for one month in Hindi and the next in English, Bhagwan reveals the essential core of religion that is hidden in the sayings and scriptures of all the great enlightened beings of the past. He also answers questions on a wide variety of topics, including meditation, psychology, spirituality and personal relationships. Discourse is a far cry from being a dry dissertation – Bhagwan punctuates his talks with outrageous jokes, topics of interest and anecdotes.” (Divya 1980, p. xii)

Meditation camps and discourses
“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.” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1975:3)

From Rajneesh Foundation booklet ‘Shree Rajneesh Ashram’
“Bhagwan’s discourses.
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 progress.
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.” (Shree Rajneesh Ashram. RF no year)

Radha recalls
“After a few weeks, I went to morning discourse and was given a new place to sit. I was always given a place in the third row, but normally this was towards the side of the hall, whereas on this day I was given a spot right in front of Osho’s chair… Osho entered the auditorium, gave his usual namaste greeting and sat down. A disciple in the front row began to read the sutra on which he would comment… [Osho comments in darshan:] Then he explained, saying that when he is listening to a sutra before discourse, it is just like an airplane taking off. He is going toward a very high space, getting ready to share his insights with us from that space, and even a little distraction in front of him is enough to disturb his flight.” (Radha 2005, p. 92)

Maneesha writes
“We were led through those years from Buddha – clear, pristine, cool – to Heraclitus, from Pythagoras to Pantanjali, from the Hassids to the Baul mystics, to one of the most memorable series of all – that on the fifteenth-century Indian mystic, Kabir. Like Jesus, Kabir was of the marketplace – a weaver of cloth, illiterate; in fact Bhagwan was to call Kabir “the Christ of the East”… This then, was our daily diet, “our spiritual breakfast”: for all those years, every morning with only a very occasional exception, Bhagwan talked and breathed, and we imbibed, the outpourings of those who had attained the peaks of consciousness.” (Forman 1988, p. 114)

Teertha reading the sutras
“The rest of the time he tends to the sutras. The sutras!… Teertha is what in american slang is called, bhagwan’s ‘main man’. At all english series, he is the one who reads the excerpts of the master on whom bhagwan will base his lecture… the sutras! His reading is impeccable, his english being precise with the tone just right – not too cold, not too hot, but cool. ‘Impeccable’ is a word that describes, I think, this quality in teertha, this purity that everyone senses about him. Everything must be perfect…” (Divya. In: Only Losers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 443)

Shiva on Teertha’s typing
“Once Teertha ordered a smart new IBM typewriter, explaining that he needed it to type up the notes for Bhagwan’s daily lectures, and since it was for Bhagwan the type had to be clear and easy to read. It was far better than anything Laxmi had in her office, and she was furious. Teertha explained that Bhagwan had admired the professional quality of the notes prepared on the new typewriter, but Laxmi was not mollified. “Child!” she exploded. “Bhagwan does not either need or like anything! He does not care about these petty, petty things, fool. Bhagwan does not like, is that clear? He is. In is-ness there is no like or dislike. Bring that IBM here to Laxmi immediately, we have better uses for it. And never order such a thing for him again.”
Teertha obliged, and the IBM was installed in her office, yet another example of Laxmi’s ability to get what she wanted under the guide of total loyalty to Bhagwan. In this instance, however, Laxmi’s wiliness failed her. Bhagwan complained to Teertha that his lecture notes were not as clearly typed as before. What had happened to that lovely clear typeface? Teertha had the IBM back the very next day.
One day Bhagwan suddenly announced in a morning lecture that he was going to stop carrying a clean towel with him wherever he went. This may seem a small thing, but it had become one of his trademarks – he had had a small embroidered towel over his arm the first time I had met him in his Woodlands flat…
At his lecture the next morning Bhagwan came without his towel, and his discomfort was very apparent. The day after that the customary towel reappeared, but nobody said a word. The day after that he arrived twenty minutes late, but minus the towel. It was all very strange.” (Milne 1986, p. 157)

Maitreya remembers ‘the towel incident’
“What did catching the last towel in discourse mean to you? (This refers to a discourse a few years ago, when Bhagwan was asked why he always carried a hand-towel, and why he didn’t ‘drop’ it. Bhagwan’s response was to playfully throw the towel to his audience. Maitreya caught it).
When Bhagwan announced that He was going to throw it, a strong desire arose in my mind that I should have it. For no reason, but just a strong desire arose in my heart that I should have it. I wanted it to fall before me or over me, and it actually fell not on me but just in front of me. And you know, He had asked people to close their eyes but I hadn’t done so. I was so possessed by my desire to have it that my eyes were open and I saw it falling in front of me and I just – if I may use the word – grapped it (laughs). And when in the evening some friend told me, Maitreya, you grapped it, I said, yes it was worth grapping! If there is anything worth grapping, that was it! (laughs)
There was a lot of discussion and argument going on in the ashram around this towel for days together. People took it as if Bhagwan was using His towel to find His successor. Just see! How can I be Bhagwan’s successor? Bhagwan will survive me, and He should survive me. He should have the rest of my years also. He will do so much good for the world. What am I good for?” (Divya 1980, p. 350)

Reading the sutra
“If it was a “sutra day”, it was now Teertha’s turn to read them out (or Taru’s to sing them, if it was a Hindi discourse); if it was a “question day”, Osho would bring his head just a tad forward towards the microphone and start with, “The first question”, and the discourse was on.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 75)

Divya writes
“The car is coming. One can hear the engine pulling out of Lao Tzu and the tires crackling over the gravel as Laxmi makes the left turn into the far path of Buddha Hall and stops under the awning. Door clicks open. Our hands all go up in namaste as He seems to just float in and blow up – like a bubble of glass from a master glass blower emerging into form. The whiteness of His robe is almost blinding and contrasts sharply with the darkened morning, fall of thin smoke clouds. His pace is quick, His steps are small and short, His smile is wide and His eyes seem to spill effervescently onto the air around Him. He climbs up the little steps to His chair and Laxmi follows to hand Him His exquisite ashram-made clipboard made of ebony and teak, which contains His notes for the discourse.” (Divya 1980, p. 334)

Shunyo tells
He was never using any notes for his lectures and the discourses were always spontaneous with only the sutra, jokes and questions written down. He does not know himself what to say before it happens. In the beginning he read the questions himself, later on Teertha or his secretaries until finally Maneesha and occasionally Shunyo (Chetana). (Shunyo. E-mail. 05.08.1998)

Shunyo on reading the sutras
“Osho came to talk to us every morning at 8.00 a.m. I was always amazed that He did not need to prepare His talks, in fact I read the sutra or questions to Him about fifteen minutes before the talk began. He would simply choose the question and pick some jokes. Reading the questions and sutras I would sometimes get so touched that I would cry. He said of me once that I was the perfect crying and weeping type.
On a few occasions Maneesha, who always read the sutras and questions to Osho in the discourse, had been sick, and then Vimal, her stand-in, also got sick. although at a loss for who should read the questions (Osho always liked an English voice for the reading), Osho said, “Not Chetana, and not Vivek – they always cry.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 41)

Longest question
“Three years after I had left London “forever” to live in Osho’s ashram, sometime in the late 1970s my 67-year-old mother Joyce had come to visit me in Poona. Although she came ostensibly to see me, within two days she was asking Osho what turned out to be the longest actual question in the history of all his 700 books: “Today I heard you in the flesh and found myself in accord with and moved and inspired by you…. Why are you so much against the mind? Surely we all use it and need it…” The question went on and on in this vein.
In fact, read out loud, her question continued for over a minute and originally covered a full page of the book in which it was actually published.” In endnotes: “This “longest actual question” can be found in the early editions of ‘The Book of Wisdom’, Ch.2. It appears to have been abridged in later editions.” (Savita. In: Savita 2014, pp. 231,258)

On setting and rituals
“In contrast to his orange-clad disciples, Osho would appear white-robed. In Rajneeshpuram, when sannyasins wore jeans and work-clothes, he would appear in sumptuous satins and velvets. His chair was specially made for him (officially because of his back condition), and two highly privileged sannyasins would carry it into discourse, under wraps, and place it upon a podium. His audience would await his entrance in strict silence, even coughing being prohibited… Religious organizations are experts in the fabrication of charisma through elaborate trappings and ritual, the Vatican being perhaps the supreme example.” (Puttick 1997, p. 37)

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Photo 12. Osho entering the podium in Buddha Hall for morning discourse. (Sannyas, 1981:4)
B/w photo.

On his discourses
“Belfrage describes the discourses as a combination of rhetoric, comedy, analysis, allusion and exhortation, insult, and says that the gentle force he employs is his own and ‘not really describable’. She adds that his ‘voice is his perfected instrument. He can stroke and lash with it, joke, denounce and almost sing.” (Mullan 1983, p. 25)

Atta remembers discourse
“My first chance to see Bhagwan was in a morning discourse where I had to sit way in the back as I didn’t pass the sniff test, and I had to wrap my hair in a red scarf. When he entered the hall, he appeared small in the distance and this amazing man seemed not to walk, but to float. I was instantly in love seeing him approach and take his seat. Here was pure Grace.” (Atta. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 18)

An early account from his biographer
“He never writes himself, his discourses are taped. Each and every word spoken by him drip of self-realisation and Universal Love. He is a ‘cul de sac’ on this strife-torn existence of ours. A therapeutic influence he creates in the agonized, bewildered men. His discourses sprinkled with stories, parables, koans and examples go straight to the heart of the listeners, revising the definitions and connotations of many a worn-out terms, producing new notations, a serene music – a vision of ecstasy.” (Vora 1970, p. 21)

In his English discourses, Osho has during Poona One devoted eighteen volumes to Gautam Buddha, seven to Jesus, eleven to Taoism and t­wenty-one volumes to Zen masters and their stories.

Osho on Lieh Tzu’s way of telling parables
“His approach is that of an artist: the poet, the story-teller – and he is a master story-teller. Whenever somebody has experienced life, his experience has flowered into parables: that seems to be the easiest way to hint at that which cannot be said. A parable is a device, a great device; it is not just an ordinary story. The purpose of it is not to entertain you, the purpose of it is to say something which there is no other way to say. Life cannot be put into a theory – it is so vast, it is so infinite.” Tao. The Pathless Path. Talks on Extracts from ‘The Lieh Tzu’ (1977). Vol.I, p. 3.

Osho on the Koran
“Now one friend goes on asking every day why I don’t speak on the Koran. I don’t speak for a certain reason. The Koran is a beautiful song, the music of it is ultimate, but there is nothing in it to discuss. In that way it is poor. You cannot sing Buddha’s message, but you can discuss it. In that way it is rich. Buddha’s message can be discussed. You can go, layer upon layer, deeper and deeper and deeper, and there is no end to it. But you cannot sing it. In that way it is dry. You cannot put it into music, you cannot make a melody of it, but it has a great philosophical insight. The Koran is beautiful as a song. It has to be sung to be known. But as far as insight is concerned, it is poor. There is no insight in it. That’s why I don’t discuss it, because there is nothing to discuss in it.
And if I have to discuss it I will have to say many things against it, because the Koran is not a pure religious book. It has politics, it has sociology, society, law, marriage. It is the whole code! Only five per cent of it is religious; ninety-five per cent is about other things, because it is the only book of the Arab people.
It is just like the Vedas. Only a few sentences here and there reach to the peak, other sentences are ordinary – because that was the only book the Aryans had, it was their all. Their science was in it – whatsoever of science existed in those days, their religion was in it, their philosophy was in it, their poetry was in it, their business was in it, their economics was in it, their agriculture was in it. There was everything: it was their Encyclopedia Britannica.
And so is the Koran. It is the only book. The Arab people had no other book, so the Koran functioned as their all. It talks about marriage – how many wives a husband should have; it talks about food – what you should eat, what you should not eat; it talks about prayer, the ritual – how you should do it.” I Say Unto You. Talks on the Sayings of Jesus (1980). Vol.1, p. 336.

On his commenting on Lieh Tzu’s stories
“I have just given you a few indications. These are not fixed rules. I am not an interpreter – remember always, I am not an interpreter. I love these stories and I try to share my love with you. It is not an interpretation. I am not a commentator. Commentary is an ugly job – why should I comment? I am not commenting. I love these stories, I feel the fragrance of these stories and I like to share that fragrance with you.
Maybe through that fragrance you also become interested. Maybe listening to me a great desire in you arises to go deeper into the waters. If that is done then my effort has been fruitful.
So don’t take my interpretations as rigid interpretations and don’t think that I have done the job for you. I cannot chew for you, you will have to chew for yourself. I can simply seduce you. These are seductions, not commentaries – just seductions so you become interested in a different dimension. And each Taoist parable opens a dimension, opens a new door. If you go through it, more doors will open and if you go into those doors, even more will open. It is a non-ending mystery.” Tao. The Pathless Path. Talks on Extracts from ‘The Lieh Tzu’. Vol. II. 1978, p. 473.

Osho on Jesus
“As for the rest of Christ’s teachings, Bhagwan said Jesus learned most of it from Buddhist and Hindu mystics during his long stay in India, between the age of 12 and 30 – the gaping hole left in the Bible’s account of Christ’s life. He said that records of Jesus’ visit to India still exist in the library at Hemis Gompa, the Buddhist monastery in Ladakh.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 29)

Editor on discourses
“Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is an enlightened Master who, in speaking to us about the world we live in, speaks to us about ourselves in this world with all the wisdom of the sage, which is something we have long forgotten to expect from those who speak. His discourses are spontaneous gifts delivered every morning at eight o’clock. One needs to stop and ponder this fact a moment to appreciate its implications. Here lives this being who appears at the same time each morning, year after year, to talk to those who want to hear him. He speaks usually for over an hour and a half, and every time he speaks, before a gathering of anything from six hundred to three thousand listeners, he brings his audience into the experience of meditation, giving them the taste of enlightenment at the same time that he fascinates with his intellectual virtuosity and relaxed openness of heart. To see him speaking is to witness the personification of consciousness and love without need. To hear him, not explaining like a teacher what Sufism is, but being Sufism for us from the inside – as in other months he is the Zen Master, the Hassidic sage, the Taoist, the Buddha, the Christ – is to feel the Sufi within oneself, here and now on the path of one’s own pilgrimage in life.” (Sufis. The People of the Path (1980). Vol.II. Front flap)

Mistlberger writes
“This manner of reading seemed to be reflected in Osho’s discourses, which while vast in scope and breadth of knowledge, were not particularly specialized. He delivered talks that were intended for wide audiences of intelligent spiritual seekers but not for esoteric specialists. However, his talks were generally recognized as brilliant. He had a particularly strong ability, in many ways similar to the mythologist Joseph Campbell, to weave many strands together, from religion, mysticism, philosophy, psychology, and science – and like Campbell he would do it without notes and without pause in his delivery. He was a superb and mesmerizing orator.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 86)

Krishna Prem writes
“Intelligence becomes your meditation,” he’d said… Why I reacted so strongly to those few words evades me, yet I can’t shake the sense that they have struck some very old, once-familiar chord. And I recall something else he’d once said. He is speaking for millions of people, he’d told us in one discourse. “But one day,” he said, “you will hear something that is exactly right for you.” Today, I know, that’s happened.” (Allanach 2010, p. 172)

Satya Bharti writes
“Bhagwan’s lectures had been getting progressively more powerful over the last year as if he was preparing us for a new stage of his work. Separating the wheat from the chaff, the gold from the dross, the lions from the camels… The long white bullet-proof Rolls Royce that Sheela had recently had sent over from the States – a stretch limo for hundred yards; I thought it was ridiculous – drove slowly around Buddha Hall. As Shiva opened the car door for Bhagwan, dozens of samurai stood by attentively. Bhagwan climbed the stairs to the dais, namasteing in each direction and smiling at someone in the first row. Vivek handed him his notes and then walked sedately to her place in front of me and sat down. Unchanging rituals. Part of every morning’s pageantry.” (Franklin 1992, p. 140)

Discourses cancelled due to chickenpox epidemic in late Poona One
“This interim period gave Deeksha the opportunity to re-make the podium. As Osho’s back had been troubling him more and more, he found it difficult to climb the few steps leading up to his chair. All handymen available were gathered to build a ramp for Osho’s car to park on a raised level behind the podium and – while they were at it – they broke down the old podium and replaced it with a larger and higher one… The newly-built podium was also broken down [mid-1981] and many of us kept a piece of the white marble – a tangible piece of Osho to take home.” (Punya 2015, pp. 184,200)

Name change
“From today on Bhagwan officially is no longer referred to as Bhagwan Shree, or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, but only as “Bhagwan,” as this is more intimate.” (Divya 1980, p. 164. 18.10.1978)

Maneesha recalls
“Bhagwan hadn’t appeared to be too well on the morning of october 24th [1977], and by the evening it was felt darshan should be cancelled as he had contracted a cold. The following two mornings the discourse was a silent one, and darshan did not re-commence until this evening [27th].
When Bhagwan appeared tonight, smiling, warm, it seemed as though we hadn’t seen him for weeks. Suddenly the time with him seemed even more precious…” (Maneesha. In: Only Losers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 473)

Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“In June, 1979, Bhagwan’s health, which had been fairly good since he arrived from Bombay, gave way, and Bhagwan had to stop giving discourses and darshans. Sannyasins participated in a silent music meditation with him in Buddha Hall from June 11 to 20, 1979.” (Joshi 1982, p. 134)

Osho in silence
“This phase was probably precipitated by Bhagwan’s failing health, for in June 1979 he was forced to stop both darshans and discourses for a short time. During this time sannyasins attended silent meditations, accompanied by music, reputedly experiencing for themselves what Bhagwan meant by their having heart-to-heart communion with them. The period lasted ten days. By the ninth day, ‘The energy had mounted to a crescendo in his eloquent presence. It was as if he were entering each one of us, feeling and sensing who could be with him without the need of words’ [Joshi 1983, p. 135]. On the eleventh day, Bhagwan resumed speaking.” (Thompson 1986, p. 22)

In silence June 1979
“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…'” (Rajneesh Foundation Newsletter, 1979:14)

Krishna Prem writes
“When the quarantine is over and Osho’s ready to come out again, it’s announced that instead of resuming the Hindi series, we’ll sit in silence with him for ten days – a prelude to a six month period of discourses on the ‘Dhammapada’, the Buddhist scriptures. There is to be twenty minutes of music, with gentle humming and swaying, followed by twenty minutes of silence, and then, to complete the hour of satsang, of sitting in silence with the Master, more music, humming and swaying. By the end of the fifth day, I find myself wishing he’d never speak again, that we could always sit with him like this – I’m coming out of Buddha Hall higher, more heartful, than from any discourse.” (Allanach 2010, p. 285)

“My Beloved Bodhisattvas…”. Discourse by Osho after ten days in silence commencing on the series ‘The Book of the Books’ (1982). Vol.I. June 21, 1979. Later published with alternate title ‘The Dhammapada’ (1991) in twelve volumes.

From Amsterdam
Audio 2. The Book of the Books. First discourse. 21.06.1979 am in Buddha Hall, Poona.
In progress.

Opening discourse by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, We are What We Think, on the first morning 21.06.1979. Excerpt:
“My beloved bodhisattvas….yes that’s how I look at you. That’s how you have to start looking at yourselves. ‘Bodhisattva’ means a Buddha in essence, a Buddha in seed, a Buddha asleep, but with all the potential to be awake. In that sense everybody is a bodhisattva, but not everybody can be called a bodhisattva – only those who have started groping for the light, who have started longing for the dawn, in those hearts the seed is no more a seed but has become a sprout, has started growing.
You are bodhisattvas because of your longing to be conscious, to be alert, because of your quest for the truth. The truth is not far away, but there are very few fortunate ones in the world who long for it. It is not far away but it is arduous, it is hard to achieve. It is hard to achieve, not because of its nature, but because of our investment in lies.
We have invested for lives and lives in lies. Our investment is so much that the very idea of truth makes us frightened. We want to avoid it, we want to escape from the truth. Lies are beautiful escapes – convenient, comfortable dreams. But dreams are dreams. They can enchant you for the moment, they can enslave you for the moment, but only for the moment. And each dream is followed by tremendous frustration, and each desire is followed by deep failure…
I have waited long…now the time is ripe, you are ready. The seeds can be sown. These tremendously important words can be uttered again. For twenty-five centuries, such a gathering has not existed at all. Yes, there have been a few enlightened Masters with a few disciples – half a dozen, a dozen at the most – and in small gatherings the Dhammapada has been taught. But those small gatherings cannot transform such a huge humanity. It is like throwing sugar in the ocean with spoons: it cannot make it sweet – your sugar is simply wasted…
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. That is the ultimate in communication. Words are inadequate, words say but only partially. Silence communes totally.
And to use words is a dangerous game too, because my meaning will remain with me, only the word will reach you; and you will give it your own meaning, your own colour. It will not contain the same truth that it was meant to contain. It will contain something else, something far poorer. It will contain your meaning, not my meaning. You can distort language – in fact it is almost impossible to avoid distortion – but you cannot distort silence. Either you understand or you don’t understand.
And for these ten days there were only two categories of people here: those who understood and those who did not. But there was not a single person who misunderstood. You cannot misunderstand silence – that’s the beauty of silence. The demarcation is absolute: either you understand or, simply, you don’t understand – there is nothing to misunderstand.
With words the case is just the opposite: it is very difficult to understand, it is very difficult to understand that you don’t understand…these two are almost impossibilities. And the third is the only possibility: misunderstanding.
These ten days have been of strange beauty, and of a mysterious majesty too. I no longer really belong to this shore. My ship has been waiting for me for a long time – I should have gone. It is a miracle that I am still in the body. The whole credit goes to you: to your love, to your prayers, to your longing. You would like me to linger a little while longer on this shore, hence the impossible has become possible.
These ten days, I was not feeling together with my body. I was feeling very uprooted, dislocated. It is strange to be in the body when you don’t feel that you are in the body. And it is also strange to go on living in a place which no more belongs to you – my home is on the other shore. And the call comes persistently. But because you need me, it is the compassion of the universe – you call it God’s compassion – that is allowing me to be in the body a little more.
It was strange, it was beautiful, it was mysterious, it was majestic, it was magical. And many of you have felt it. Many of you have felt it in different ways. A few have felt it as a very frightening phenomenon, as if death is knocking on the door. A few have felt it as a great confusion. A few have felt shocked, utterly shocked. But everybody has been touched in some way or other.
Only the newcomers were a little at a loss – they could not comprehend what was going on. But I feel thankful to them too. Although they could not understand what was going on, they waited – they were waiting for me to speak, they were waiting for me to say something, they were hoping. Many were afraid that I might not speak ever again…that was also a possibility. I was not certain myself.
Words are becoming more and more difficult for me. They are becoming more and more of an effort. I have to say something so I go on saying something to you. But I would like you to get ready as soon as possible so that we can simply sit in silence…listening to the birds and their songs…or listening just to our own heartbeat…just being there, doing nothing…
Get ready as soon as possible, because I may stop speaking any day. And let the news be spread to all nooks and corners of the world: those who want to understand me only through the words, they should come soon, because I may stop speaking any day. Unpredictably, any day, it may happen – it may happen even in the middle of a sentence. Then I am not going to complete the sentence! Then it will hang forever and forever…incomplete.
But this time you have pulled me back
These sayings of Buddha are called ‘Dhammapada’. This name has to be understood. ‘Dhamma’ means many things. It means the ultimate law, logos. By ‘ultimate law’ is meant that which keeps the whole universe together. Invisible it is, intangible it is – but it is certainly! Otherwise the universe would fall apart. Such a vast, infinite universe, running so smoothly, so harmoniously, is enough proof that there must be an undercurrent that connects everything, that joins everything, that bridges everything – that we are not islands, that the smallest grass leaf is joined to the greatest star. Destroy a small grass leaf and you have destroyed something of immense value to the existence itself.” The Book of the Books. Discourses on The Dhammapada of Gautam the Buddha (1982). Volume 1, pp. 4-10.

Sarito remembers the start of the series
“My beloved Bodhisattvas… yes, that’s how I look at you.” That’s how He began the English series. He went on to speak so deeply, so intimately, to us, that we all came staggering out after an hour and a half of it looking like victims of shell-shock! He talked at length about the preceding days of silence, saying that they were a fitting preparation for evoking the spirit of Buddha again. He went on:
“I am immensely glad, because after these days of silence I can say to you that many of you are now ready to commune with me in silence… These ten days have been of strange beauty and of a mysterious majesty too. It is a miracle that I am still in the body. The whole credit goes to you: to your love, to your prayers, to your longing. You would like me to linger a little while longer on this shore, hence the impossible has become possible…
“It was strange, it was beautiful, it was mysterious, it was majestic, it was magical. And many of you have felt it. Many of you have felt it in different ways. A few have felt it as a very frightening phenomenon, as if death is knocking on the door. A few have felt it as a great confusion. But everybody has been touched in some way or another.
“Many were afraid that I might not speak ever again; that was also a possibility. I myself was not certain. Words are becoming more and more difficult for me. They are becoming more and more of an effort… I would like you to get ready as soon as possible so that we can simply sit in silence, listening to the birds and their songs or listening just to your own heartbeat… just being here, doing nothing…” The Book of the Books (1982). Vol.I, 21.06.1979; Ma Deva Sarito. In: Snap Your Fingers, Slap Your Face and Wake Up! Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1984), p. 127. 21.06.1979.

Osho says
“I love the Gautam Buddha as I have loved nobody else. I have been speaking on him throughout my whole life. Even speaking on others I have been speaking on him. Take note of it, it is a confession. I cannot speak on Jesus without bringing Buddha in; I cannot speak on Mohammed without bringing Buddha in. Whether I mention him directly or not that´s another matter. It is really impossible for me to speak without bringing Buddha in. He is my very blood, my bones, my very marrow. He is my silence, also my song.” The Book of the Books (1982). Vol.VI.

Abhiyana writes
“In the ’80s, Osho spoke less about other masters and shared more his own unique perspective. He loved to tell jokes, especially when he saw us falling asleep; he would either read a joke from his clipboard, or make up a story about the famous Sufi Mulla Nasruddhin, who was sort of a Woody Allen character. Osho had his own hilarious unique timing in joketelling. Perhaps, the most famous he ever told became known as the “Fuck joke.”
Go to: http://videosift.com/video/OSHO-Speaks to hear it.)” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 159)

The Fuck-lecture from ‘The Book of the Books’
“It is one of the most beautiful words. The English language should be proud of it. I don’t think any other language has such a beautiful word.
One Tom from California has done some great research on it. I think he must be the famous Tom – of Tom, Dick and Harry fame. He says:
One of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word “fuck”. It is one magical word: just by its sound it can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. In language it falls into many grammatical categories. It can be used as a verb, both transitive (John fucked Mary) and intransitive (Mary was fucked by John), and as a noun (Mary is a fine fuck). It can be used as an adjective (Mary is fucking beautiful). As you can see, there are not many words with the versatility of “fuck”.
Besides the sexual meaning, there are also the following uses:
Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Ignorance: Fucked if I know.
Trouble: I guess I am fucked now!
Aggression: Fuck you!
Displeasure: What the fuck is going on here?
Difficulty: I can’t understand this fucking job.
Incompetence: He is a fuck-off.
Suspicion: What the fuck are you doing?
Enjoyment: I had a fucking good time.
Request: Get the fuck out of here!
Hostility: I am going to knock your fucking head off!
Greeting: How the fuck are you?
Apathy: Who gives a fuck?
Innovation: Get a bigger fucking hammer.
Surprise: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me.
Anxiety: Today is really fucked.
And it is very healthy too. If every morning you do it as a Transcendental Meditation – just when you get up. first thing, repeat the mantra “Fuck you!” five times – it clears the throat. That’s how I keep my throat clear.” The Book of the Books (1982). Discourse 4, 14.04.1980; The Book (1984). Vol.I, p. 559; (Bodhena 2016, p. 200)

Subhuti writes
“His talks on ‘The Dhammapada’ were a huge project, filling twelve volumes of books. But on the morning he was due to begin, he fell sick and couldn’t come to the meditation hall. In his absence, we sat together in silence, facing an empty chair on the podium, where he usually sat.
Afterwards, on my way to the press office, it struck me as the perfect introduction to Buddha, a man who preached shunyata, inner emptiness and silence. A little poem flowed into my mind and I immediately typed it out and sent it to Bhagwan in the form of a discourse question. He answered it as the first question of the new discourse series:
“Yes, Subhuti, that’s the only way to introduce Buddha to you. Silence is the only language he can be expressed in. Words are too profane, too inadequate, too limited. Only an empty space, utterly silent, can represent the being of a buddha.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 50)

Osho’s walking in for discourse and darshan
“When Bhagwan walks in the morning, I always feel as if he has got a great bowl with the water coming over the edge. He always seems to walk very carefully as though it’s going to spill, and when he goes, it’s all gone!… Anything that he does is beautiful, and it is lovely to watch him, particularly in darshan. That’s why darshan is more lovely, and we’re very lucky to go to it, because in the morning he’s got to give out hugely and it’s somehow what I call ‘public’, although you can receive him individually. But in darshan he is individually giving to people whatever he is giving to all of us as a group. You can actually watch him giving attention, looking at one person and giving – whatever it is. In darshan a lot of love is coming out – this is what we need – and what the love is coming out, we open a little bit, a little bit… and you can see this.” (Ma Sugata (Rachel Herbert, UK). In: For Madmen Only. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 318)

Maneesha on Osho’s walking
“A luminous walk… and I recall bhagwan walking. You get a sense of total groundness. Our walking seems like a kind of violation of the ground beneath us; his feet seem to being making love to the earth.” (Maneesha. In: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 26)

Jayapal remembers
“My first glimpse of Bhagwan came in Buddha Hall during my first discourse. I had been told that he glides above the earth where normal people walk. Try as I might when he approached the podium I couldn’t see his feet. I wanted hard evidence that his feet didn’t touch the ground but craning my neck couldn’t resolve this nagging doubt of mine. I simply wasn’t sure.” (Jayapal. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 141)

Pratibha remembers early Music Group
“Music Group? Was it every evening? Or once a week? I don’t remember, but it took place in Radha Hall where also the meditations were happening. I remember my first Kundalini. Me, just out of Denmark where we did Dynamic mostly in the nude, slipped off my robe in the middle of it, to the horror of meditation leader Christ Chaitanya. I believe I was wearing underpants… because in those days to wear underwear was not very common… Anyway, evening music groups were led by Govindas who used to play his bouzuki, a Greek string instrument, Kabir on flutes and ‘Tabla’-Bodhi on tablas. This gave a solid foundation to the rest of the band which consisted of several guitars, ektaras, tambouras, dolaks, congas and other instruments. The people who didn’t play danced around the circle of musicians. A candle was lit in the center – that was the only lighting. Dadaji and Mataji (Osho’s parents) were always present, sitting a little to the side and Dadaji with a small tambourine.” (www.oshonews.com/2015/05/pratibha-music/)

Punya on Music Group
“I almost forgot to mention the now sporadic Music Group which in Pune 1 was happening every night for as many years as I can remember. This involved dancing and singing until we flew out of the hall or ended up flat on the floor.
It was held in Buddha Hall and started at 7 in the evening, at the same time as Osho was giving darshan in Chuang Tzu. Like moths attracted to a bright light we were drawn to the centre of the hall where the musicians were ready to start. The first arpeggios on the guitar were an irresistible call even for those walking past the hall who might have decided to go home early. Running the show was Anubhava, a charismatic, good looking Bavarian with long black hair – our idol and friend. He was backed by a bass, an electric guitar and percussions.” (Punya 2015, p. 76)

Abhiyana writes on music
“We had amazingly talented musicians. Many went on to become world famous: Chaitanya Hari (Deuter), Govindas, Deva Premal, Maniko, Neera, Anubhava (Peter Makena), Prem Joshua, Miten, Suresha, Anugama, Parijat, Karunesh, Rupesh, Nivedano, Milarepa, to name a few.
Chaitanya Hari (Georg Deuter) is one of the pioneers of New Age music. He had his own studio in Jesus House, and under Osho’s specific directions, created most of the music used in the meditations, including Dynamic, Kundalini and Nataraj. Osho gave him a full set of ancient Tibetan singing bowls, smelted from seven different metals. Listening to Chaitanya’s music, Osho would give specific guidance on tempo, meter and rhythms, combined with the feedback of a team of disciples testing the meditation methods…
One night, four of the greatest living Indian classical musicians – Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha, Ali Akbhar Khan and Shivkumar Sharma – played together in a large outdoor stadium on the far side of town. I had been to hear Ali Akbhar Khan in his school in California and had several vinyl LP’s of Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha.
The musicians came on stage around 8 p.m., and began playing, while everyone in the packed stadium talked loudly, eating dinner out of their tiffins (metal tins). I was pissed; this beautiful music was emanating from the stage, and no one was listening! But they knew better; even though it sounded exquisite, the musicians were just warming up. Every so often, they would stop and retune their instruments. After about two hours, there was a hush in the stadium, and in the pin-drop silence, the music really began. When I left at 3 a.m., the music continued, and no one was leaving. I gained a new appreciation of Indian culture that night, how meditation is woven into Indian classical music, dance and art like the warp and the woof, silence and song, stillness and movement.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 253)

Devika writes
“I love these songs. They are very melodious and the same phrases are repeated over and over like a mantra so that everybody can learn them easily and sing along. It is a meditation which for me is ecstatic. During these celebrations that I love, I always wonder whether Osho really likes our songs or not, but he certainly does not show it if he does not like them. Perhaps on the whole, I think, he prefers the Indian songs, as I know he loves classical Indian music, but he always sits in deep meditation as the music plays and we sing. Later a song is composed with the words: “There is so much magnificence near the ocean: waves are coming in, waves are coming in.” I hear from somebody that Osho likes this song especially.” (Devika 2008, p. 64)

Shunyo recalls
“‘The Book of Secrets’ consists of one hundred and twelve meditation techniques from the Indian text of the ‘Vigyan Bhairav Tantra’, with Osho’s commentaries on each method. According to Osho, these one hundred and twelve methods are essentially one technique in different formats, and the last basic technique is witnessing. By applying the art of witnessing in different situations, a new technique is created.
There are meditations on listening, seeing, feeling, breathing and making love; there are methods for centering and methods for feeling expanded without a centre. In fact, there is a technique that will suit every possible type of person. These are not just techniques but can become a style of life, a way of living.” (Shunyo. In: Svagito 2014, p. 62)

The last discourse in English to be given in Buddha Hall before he went into silence and moved to Oregon later that year, was the series ‘The Goose is out’ (1982), on March 10, 1981. He gave his last evening darshan on March 23, 1981 and his last discourse in Hindi was delivered the next day March 24, 1981.

Editor’s note on cover
“These ten discourses are the last spoken doctrines and testament of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. They were given in response to questions from disciples and visitors from March 1st through 10th, 1981 at the Shree Rajneesh Ashram in Poona, India.” The Goose is out (1982)

Osho on words
“Words are very troublesome because words carry the past; they are made by the past, they are overburdened by the past. Any word is dangerous, because its meaning comes from the past. And for me the problem is: to use the words which comes from the past – because there are no other words – but to give them such a twist and turn that they can give you a little insight into a new meaning. The words are old, the bottles are old, but the wine is new.” The Goose is Out (1982); The Book (1984). Vol.III, p. 506.

Osho finishes on March 10, 1981, his entire flow of Poona discourse series in English with these words:
“What I am telling to you is not a teaching. This place is a device, this is a Buddhafield. I have to take away things which you don’t have, and I have to give you things which you already have. You need not be grateful to me at all, because I am not giving you anything new, I am simply helping you to remember.
You have forgotten the language of your being. I have come to recognize it – I have remembered myself. And since the day I remembered myself I have been in a strange situation: I feel compassion for you, and deep down I also giggle at you, because you are not really in trouble. You don’t need compassion, you need hammering, you need to be hit hard on the head. Your suffering is bogus. Ecstasy is your very nature.
You are truth.
You are love.
You are bliss.
You are freedom.”
(The Goose is Out (1982), p. 286)

Audio and video
– First video available is ‘The Beloved’, Vol.2 #10, 10.07.1976 in Chuang Tzu Auditorium.
– 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.
– First video-taped discourse in Buddha Hall is ‘Unio Mystica’, Vol.2 #1, 11.12.1978 am.

All published discourse series are presented in Volume III / Bibliography / Poona One, where bibliographic data as well as excerpts from introductions and opening discourses are to be found. Lectures and Discourses 1964-1990 are listed in Volume III / Sources.

Listening to Osho in English

From a vast number of accounts we get a vivid impression of what it was like listening to Osho’s discourses in Buddha Hall. He used speech as one of his primary means of communication, but he is not an ‘author’ in the usual sense as he never wrote a book himself. All published books (some 600 titles to his name) are transcriptions of his talks. It can be added that 7.000 discourses are available on digital audio tape also and 1.700 on digital video tape.

On speech versus writing
“No, I do not want to write. There are many reasons why I do not want to write. For one thing, in my opinion it is absurd and useless to write. It is useless because for whom shall I write? Writing appears to me to be like writing a letter without knowing the address. How can I enclose it in an envelope and dispatch it when I do not know the address?
A statement is always addressed. Those who want to address the masses write. This is the way they address the unknown crowd. But the more unknown the crowd, the fewer are the things that can be said. And the nearer or more known the individual addressed is, the deeper can be the dialogue…
Therefore, it is not without reason that Buddha, Mahavir and Jesus all selected speech as the medium for the transmission of their message. They could have written, but they selected this medium. They did it for two reasons: One, because the spoken word is a more all-encompassing medium; more can be said. There are many things attached to words which are lost in writing…
Whenever one speaks, it immediately creates a sort of tuning in, a getting in touch with the listener. Doors open up; the listener’s defences begin to give way.” Dimensions Beyond the Known (1978), pp. 23,25,26.

Maneesha on hearing versus listening
“I understood him to say that hearing was something anyone with ears could do; it was a passive, mechanical job of the brain. ‘Listening’ was the core of the real discipleship; in a way, active, in that one has to participate, be in a position to receive not only what was being said but what was conveyed between the words. He would say that the art of being a disciple was the art of imbibing, of being like an absolutely sponge, so I would imagine myself to be just that. By and by what had felt like a technique of my imagination, came increasingly to be a reality.” (Forman 1988, p. 135)

Listening to Osho
“The morning lectures are fantastic. Bhagwan seems to mention all my favourite people within one breath almost – from Lao Tzu and Gurdijeff, to Fritz Perls, Kahlil Gibran and T.S. Elliot! But I’m totally confused. Yesterday he talked about Zen, and i sat there, nodding away inside my head, saying to myself yes, this is the path for me. Today he spoke on Patanjali’s Yoga, which seems to be just the opposite kind of approach, and I found myself saying, no, obviously THIS is the path for me! And he doesn’t look at all perturbed when he hears himself saying such contradictory things! (Excerpt from Maneesha’s diary 25.10.1976. In: Above All Don’t Wobble. A Darshan Diary (1976). Introduction)

Aveling writes
“When the verbal communication is teaching, there is no need of a living person; verbal teaching can be taught by scripture, through a computer or through any mechanical device. Once verbal teaching is taken to be written teaching, then a dead tradition is bound to develop. The written tradition can be relevant in everything but religious experience, because the happening cannot be recorded; it is impossible to record it. There is a record of what Krishna said but there is no record of how Krishna became Krishna. And that is the essential point, not what he said.” (Aveling 1999, p. 9)

Sarito quotes
“I can’t speak without my hands. If you tie my hands, I cannot speak a single word, because it is not only that a part of me is speaking, it is my whole being that is involved in it. My eyes, my hands, my whole body is involved. My whole body is saying something, is supporting what I am saying in words.” (Sarito 2000, p. 142)

Gunther quotes
“Let me be a wild ocean roaring in front of you, or a wind passing through the trees, or birds singing in the morning. I am not a philosopher, I am not imparting knowledge to you. I am trying to point to something which is beyond knowledge.” (Quote in: Gunther 1979)

On gaps and words
“When you listen to me, listen to the gaps between the words, listen to the silence. Listen to me, not to what I say. Then an understanding will arise, a communion. My words are just an excuse. They’re just playthings to keep you here, to keep you occupied. I’m not saying something to you. I’m being something to you. Listen to me in deep silence, in deep awareness. Be related to me.” (Bharti 1981, p. 179)

Osho says
“My purpose is so unique – I am using words just to create silent gaps. The words are not important so I can say anything contradictory, anything absurd, anything unrelated, because my purpose is just to create gaps. The words are secondary; the silences between those words are primary. This is simply a device to give you a glimpse of meditation. and once you know that it is possible for you, you have traveled far in the direction of your own being. Most of the people in the world don’t think that it is possible, they don’t try. How to give people a taste of meditation was my basic reason to speak, so I can go on speaking eternally – it does not matter what i am saying. All that matters is that I give you a few chances to be silent, which you find difficult on your own in the beginning.
I cannot force you to be silent, but I can create a device in which spontaneously you are bound to be silent. I am speaking, and in the middle of a sentence, when you were expecting another word to follow, nothing follows but a silent gap. And your mind was looking to listen, and waiting for something to follow, and does not want to miss it – naturally it becomes silent. What can the poor mind do? If it was well known at what points I will be silent, if it was declared to you that on such and such points I will be silent, then you could manage to think – you would not be silent. Then you know: “This is the point where he is going to be silent, now I can have a little chit-chat with myself.” But because it comes absolutely suddenly… I don’t know myself why at certain points I stop.” The Invitation (1988), p. 155.

“You only believe that you understand. You understand the words, naturally. My words are simple, I don’t know many words. In fact, if you count, I must be using not more than four hundred words. But see the turnout!
I am not a man of language, you can understand what I am saying as far as words are concerned. But do you comprehend it? That is the question, that is the crux of the matter. Do you comprehend what is being imparted to you?” The Book of Wisdom (1983). Vol.I, p. 359.

Osho on speaking, silence and satsang
“Yes, you are right, this is a game of questions and answers. They are simply an excuse so that you can be with me. You are so accustomed to words that without words you cannot find out what you are doing here. You feel a little crazy. But with words, everything feels right.
I would have preferred to sit silently with you, but the trouble is, if I sit silently, then your mind goes yakkety-yak, yakkety-yak. I can even hear the sound – so many wheels moving. So I decided this way it is better.
I use words. Listening to my words you stop thinking. And in those moments when there is no thinking, much transpires, much that cannot be said but can only be understood; much which no language is capable of expressing. But the very presence of a man who knows, starts stirring your heart, changing your being.
The West does not know, is unacquainted with many things. For example, it has nothing to compare with what is called in the East satsanga. To a Western mind it will look absolutely absurd. Satsanga simply means sitting with the master, doing nothing: nobody speaks but nobody thinks either. Any observer is bound to get puzzled….
Satsanga… just to be with the master… But for the West it is difficult; hence I speak to you. These questions and answers are really just a game to help you to get rid of words, thoughts. Slowly, slowly you are finding it more and more difficult: what to ask?
Just last night Maneesha was worried. If questions are finished and you start leaving because there is no question, I will shout “Bhagwan, I have found a question! Wait!” No, I will not leave. I am waiting for that moment when no question is left within you, then my real work will begin.
Right now we are just sitting outside the school. Once you are silent, utterly silent, then there is no need to ask anything; there is nothing to ask, there is nothing to answer.
Silence is the question.
Silence is the answer.
Silence is the ultimate truth.
In silence we meet with existence – words, languages, all create barriers. And the miracle is, the moment you are a hollow bamboo, a music descends through you which is not your own. It comes through you; it belongs to the whole. Its beauty is tremendous, its ecstasy immeasurable.
These meetings are just a preparation for that music to descend in you.
But you can make a flute only of a hollow bamboo. If you are full of your thoughts and ego and philosophy, religion, theology and politics – all kind of rubbish – then that music is not for you.
And to me, that music is the ultimate experience, the last benediction, the highest flowering of your consciousness.” The Transmission of the Lamp (1989), p. 247.

“The question arises almost for everyone, that the way I talk is a little strange. No speaker in the world talks like me – technically it is wrong; it takes almost double the time! But those speakers have a different purpose – my purpose is absolutely different from theirs. They speak because they are prepared for it; they are simply repeating something that they have rehearsed. Secondly, they are speaking to impose a certain ideology, a certain idea on you. Thirdly, to them speaking is an art – they go on refining it.
As far as I am concerned, I am not what they call a speaker or an orator. It is not an art to me or a technique; technically I go on becoming worse every day! But our purposes are totally different. I don’t want to impress you in order to manipulate you. I don’t speak for any goal to be achieved through convincing you. I don’t speak to convert you into a Christian, into a Hindu or a Mohammedan, into a theist or an atheist – these are not my concerns.
My speaking is really one of my devices for meditation. Speaking has never been used this way: I speak not to give you a message, but to stop your mind functioning.
I speak nothing prepared – I don’t know myself what is going to be the next word; hence I never commit any mistake. One commits a mistake if one is prepared. I never forget anything, because one forgets if one has been remembering it. So I speak with a freedom that perhaps nobody has ever spoken with.
I an not concerned whether I am consistent, because that is not the purpose. A man who wants to convince you and manipulate you through his speaking has to be consistent, has to be logical, has to be rational, to overpower your reason. He wants to dominate through words.” The Invitation (1988), p. 154.

“You have also asked me to clarify why, though I speak in words, I still maintain that nothing can be conveyed by words. For those who want to speak, there is no other way except by using words. Ordinarily, I can express what I want to say only in words, but it is also true that what has to be said cannot be conveyed by words. Both of these things are true. Our situation is such that we can speak only with words. There is no other way for a dialogue.
We should try to change this situation. For those who can go into deep meditation, dialogue is possible even without words. But to take them into deep meditation, first I will have to use words. A time will come, after a long continued effort, when communication will be possible without words. But until that time comes, I will have to express through words.” Dimensions Beyond the Known (1978), p. 17.

“So my speaking, my talking should not be categorized with any other kind of oratory; it is a device for meditation to bring confidence in you which has been taken away by religions…
It will take a little time to gain confidence – that’s why I am speaking morning and evening, almost for thirty years continuously. Perhaps two or three times in these thirty years, I have stopped because I was not feeling well; otherwise I have continued to speak. Every morning and evening I want to give you the confidence that you are losing in your meditations.” The Invitation (1988), p. 159.

“Now a total different quality of person has come here. I can go more into the world of truth but still I have to use words, and words distort.” (Asha 1980, p. 4)

“But then the fear remains that if I speak for so long a period as forty years, it may happen that people will hold onto my words only. Because for forty years my method of giving is through words, I have to go on shouting, “Do not cling to my words!” This is a peculiar situation. However, there is no such way out of it. For taking one beyond words, words will have to be used; there is no other way.” Dimensions Beyond the Known (1978), p. 19.

“GEETA (through the japanese interpreter) In your lectures I don’t understand anything so when I’m sitting there I try to receive things into my body, and then after the discourse I try to listen to my body.
Absolutely right… that’s the real way. Words are not very important, but the vibrations that you feel from me. You have stumbled upon the right thing. The body absorbs those vibrations and you can listen to them later on. So while listening to me, drink me, and then later on you can feel your body and they will be there. Perfectly good.” Get Out of Your Own Way. A Darshan Diary (1977), p. 221.

“His whole effort was to ‘reframe’ the same message that these mystics have given, so that it is understood correctly in all its purity, by today’s humanity. He repeats it so often in his talks, that he is not saying anything new. All that he is doing is cleaning-up the old scriptures of the unwanted contaminants added into it by those with vested interest… Today, luckily, Osho’s entire literature is available ‘as it is’ for the man of next millennium to read, listen and even see. Osho is the only mystic in the history of humankind to have the privilege of his entire literature and spoken words preserved and made available for everyone to refer. This unique presence of his ‘live’ teachings will last humanity for the longest period – thanks to science & technology. (Keerti 2000, pp. 38,40)
(Note: More in this book on Osho’s work by Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle)

Vismaya recalls listening to Osho for the first time on tape
“Barbara had lent me a tape of another guru, probably going on about divine bliss and eternal honeysuckle I supposed. Never one to turn away from an insight or two, however, I put it on. I leaned back in the warmth o the fire, closed my eyes and drifted into another world.
I heard the background noise of parrots and a train in the distance. The sounds settled, and from thousands of miles away, a voice, began to speak. Though not of what I’d expected. It spoke of fear, failure and despair…
I sat transfixed, unable to move. This voice, speaking to me across a vast emptiness, seemed to know me in all my dark despair and told me exactly what I most needed to hear, about my most intimate struggle of all. I felt an ancient promise I didn’t understand was about to be fulfilled as this man called me home, a home I had been exiled from my whole life. Yet I was afraid. I sensed I was about to fall into a darkness where there would be no light to guide me. Just the fall. And the darkness.
But it was too late. I had already fallen. This man must have named stars, sounded oceans, sung every song and spoken the trees and the wind, because his voice resonated through all the levels of my being and I felt myself falling in love with a man I had never met. I heard him promise to ease my anguish and heal all the wounds in my soul, and I believed him.” (Geraghty 2007, p. 111)

Krishna Prem writes
“Siting there, his voice reaching me over the speakers, I am newly amazed, each day, at what flows out of the space of oceanic blissfulness. To speak, he’d said, is torture for him, but that, as we are, it’s the only way he has to contact us. But he only speaks, he’s said, to seduce us into silence. And despite his staggering clarity, his faultless reason, his exquisite poetry, I find myself less and less able to focus on his words. What I’m beginning to hear, more and more, is the gap between them, the silence out of which they come.
He has a peculiar way of trailing his words, of leaving a wake behind each one, and this is where my attention is. It’s as if I’m being carried along in his current, along some cosmic chute, dropping, as each word ends, over a waterfall, into the pool of his silence. I am lifted and dropped, lifted and dropped, over and over again, until I am immersed, floating in stillness, his words far away, like distant music. All that seems to reach me are the jokes. I rise on wings of laughter, bubbling upwards, and when the joke ends I fall inward again, back into silence.
And when the discourse ends with his “Enough for today?” and he’s gone, the silence remains. Each sannyasin carries it with them, softly and tenderly, out of Buddha Hall. It takes me a couple of cups of coffee in our room before I’m ready for people.” (Allanach 2010, p. 185)

Gilhus writes on ‘The Joking Guru’
“Seen in a broader comparative perspective, the stress on laughter and on a joking attitude was not primarily a feature which made Bhagwan’s groups stand out in relation to other religion and religious groups. On the contrary, Bhagwan’s emphasis on laughter must rather be seen as an expression of the late modern attitude in which concepts and values are relativised, and absolute truth is nowhere to be found. Consequently, the laughter of Bhagwan’s religious movement was not constructed on the margins of modernity, but at its very centre…
Bhagwan’s delight in jokes was persistent. (At the same time his critics tended to see Bhagwan himself as a joke: ‘his delivery is like a pantomime snake “You musssst”, he is inclined to hiss, “have a sensssss of humourssss”‘ (Guardian, 28 May 1982, in Mullan 1983:9).) In Poona. Bhagwan lectured every morning and jokes were an integral part of the lectures. The jokes did not necessarily have a profound spiritual depth, any kind of joke would do – and did: many of them were rude and childish but the audience still exploded with laughter. Bhagwan explained his ability to always have the right joke to illuminate any kind of point in a simple way: the joke had priority; the spiritual point was put around the joke afterwards (Bharti 1981:9). The jokes were taken from the joke books or sent to him by his adherents. They were usually reflections of the values of the Western world, as in the ironical point of this fashionable feminist joke: on the question of why Bhagwan referred to God as He not She, he answered that since God is disputably feminine, the least one can do is call God He (Belfrage 1981:196).” (Gilhus 1997, pp. 126,129)

On his speaking
“His performances were expressive improvisations which moved, without pause or doubt, from highly abstract philosophical reflections to obscene jokes and racist remarks that were designed to shock his audience. They were also caught up in the exhilaration of his rapidly changing moods, his intonations and dramatic pauses, his potent rhetoric… As he caressed the audience with his voice, shifted emotions and rhetoric with fluidity, and used his expressive hands to counterpoint his remarks, Rajneesh gave the faithful a sense of being carried onto a higher level of existence, both immediate and transcendent.”
(Kakar 2009, p. 13)

“His lectures (and books, from taped talks) perceptive interpretations of a wide range of esoteric traditions, from Advaita to Zen. Such discourses are often lavishly sprinkled with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of sexually suggestive jokes used as a modern parables to illustrate psycho-spiritual themes… Every morning Bhagwan gives unprepared discourses in the ashram auditorium (for which there is an entry fee of five rupees). He alternately lectures for one month in English, the next in Hindi, speaking one day on a religious text or the teachings of other masters and the next day on questions from the audience.” (Murray 1980, pp. 235,238)

“Sitting in the back of Buddha Hall behind that silent throng, Osho appeared to us to be a tiny lighthouse rising from a placid sunrise sea. His voice was softer than the whisper of the wind; we leaned towards him as plants lean towards the light. He took us on a wondrous journey of the inner universe. At the end he rose and greeted us with folded hands, rotating gradually through all points of the hall. Namaste. He glided to his car and was driven slowly, oh so slowly, round the hall. Those of us at the back and sides swung round to face him. Osho was seated in his car three meters from me, window down, smiling behind his folded hands. That killed me. The kindness in those eyes, the compassion in the smile, the beauty of those hands; on top of all the wisdom of his words, it was the look of him that killed me. The tiger’s mouth closed. I lay down there and then and cried.” (Maxwell 2012, p. 126)

“He talks every day. I’ve learned not to listen like one listens to a lecture or a radio programme. It’s more like listening to the wind, or to music… His voice was accompanied by constant birdsong, the distant sound of shunting steam engines, the cries of passing street wallahs and a profound, reverberating silence… The stillness in the air, the bird song in the trees, the master’s play with words and silence, the presence of so many open hearts, everything conspired to bring the people in the hall towards a point of meditations. The point of vanishing.” (Maxwell 2012, pp. 128,139,166)

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Photo 13. Osho speaking. 1976.
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“Osho spoke twice a day. He arrived to Buddha Hall in a stretch Mercedes limousine, dressed in a spotless white robe. He entered the marble podium, sat down in a comfortable chair and started speaking. Hearing him for the first time was a revelation. This Indian guru, with long hair and full beard, was speaking what my heart knew to be true! My mind had many judgments and projections, but my heart was jubilating. He was putting into words what I knew deep inside, but could never formulate. He addressed my deepest longings. He answered questions that had been in my mind for months. He incessantly spoke to me – yes, me – even though there were about two thousand people in Buddha Hall.” (Rahasya 2003, p. 48)

“Divya: “I’m tired of hearing about spiritual talk and about ego and about this and about that.”
Bhagwan: “Who says to listen? Don´t listen! Who says? You can come with earplugs – I will send you earplugs – I have good ones!!!” Tao. The Pathless Path (1978). Vol.II, p. xi.

Interview with Bhagwan’s father
“Devateertha: In meditation it feels like my body is jumping and swinging. Sometimes it’s a feeling of jumping, sometimes… it feels like the whole body is swinging, vertically and horizontally, in both ways. When I go to discourse it is the same. Sometimes I don’t understand what Bhagwan is saying, so I am into that experience – that jumping and floating and swinging experience.
You don’t understand his English sometimes?
Devateertha: Sometimes in Hindi also I don’t understand what is happening! I am in a different space then – there is not much difference between English and Hindi.” (In Sacred Memory of Swami Devateertha Bharti. 08.09.1979. Interview with Bhagwan’s father and mother. In: Sannyas, 1979:6, p. 45)

His body
“Osho was very thin, fragile and weak in his youth. After his experience of self-realisation as a being of light, his body started to get bigger and fill out with prana, or pure energy. Pictures of him taken before and after his awakening are like photos of two different beings… His body, sometimes clothed only in a simple white lunghi around his hips that left his torso naked, became more powerful and more handsome. He became an enchanter who fascinated hundreds of thousands of listeners.” (Rosciano 2013, pp. 80,167)

His speaking and style of expressing
“Osho’s extemporaneous talks spoke effectively to the ordinary man and the learned alike. He addressed large audiences, expressing himself clearly and accessibly – albeit sometimes factually inaccurately – and was poetic and often hilariously funny in both his native Hindi and in his excellent English. He interlaced his language as if embroidering cloth, covering an area, going back and re-covering it a little differently each time, luring the listener deeper and deeper into silence, and the insights arising from his own spiritual transformation.” (Savita 2014, p. 5)

Teertha remembers the introduction of notepad
“Teertha will erlebt haben, wie Bhagwan während der lecture seinen Körper verlassen hat.
“Er war nicht mehr da – nur sein Körper. Als er wieder in seinen Körper eintrat, gab es einen Moment der Verwunderung auf seinem Gesicht. Seither benutzt er Notizen, die ihm als Anker im Dieseits dienen. Er schien einen Augenblick lang nich zu wissen, wo er war, und musste sich erst wieder zurechtfinden.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 93)

Osho’s way of expressing
“Rajneesh’s commentary was especially moving because not only was his scholarship impeccable and his insight illuminating, but his listeners grasped that they were being guided into hitherto inconceivable categories of experience and awareness where there were no familiar signposts or handholds.” (Tom Buchan. The Scotsman, Scotland, 01.08.1978. In: The Secret (1980). Back flap)

Use of metaphors
“While his discourses and lectures were noted primarily for their repetitiveness (a single thought reiterated a dozen times with alternative metaphors), disciples sat in rapt attention apparently accepting each utterance with something like awe.” (Clarke 1990, p. 68)

Listening to Osho
“I have only managed to attend four discourses actually, and the first was a question and answer session, which I thought was a pretty remarkable performance. I mean, overall I’m just amazed at the way in which he’s able to keep it up day after day, week after week, month after month.
There must be a tremendous, unlimited capacity almost, and I don’t find it repetitive, so I just assume that people who think it is repetitive haven’t understood what he’s been saying. I think it’s all concerned with matters of being authentic, being sympathetic as opposed to instrumental…
He was very much as I expected him to be, and that’s because I have seen so many photographs and I’ve heard the tapes, so I felt what the place was like before I got here. I expected to see a gentle personality and a loving personality, and a personality in complete control of almost any question, stupid or otherwise, thrown at him, and that’s what I found…” (Interview with Brian. Professor at Open University, UK. In: The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 64)

Homa remembers Osho speaking on Truth
“In between, tapes were played with the guru’s discourses and although my English was not strong, I liked listening to his voice – it sometimes lulled me to sleep. He kept talking about something called ‘troot’ and I had no idea what it was but it sounded good.” (Homa. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 433)

Satyananda recalls
“Es war eine wunderbar romantische Welt. Während Osho seine Lectures hielt und wir ihm in stiller Versenkung lauschten, tobten mitunter Affen-Rudel über das Wellblechdach der “Buddhahalle” und im Herbst liessen sich im Koregaon-Park Schwärme von bunten Wellensittichen in den Kronen der Mangobäume nieder. Vorbei… vorbei…” (Satyananda 2013, p. 295)

Shunyo on listening
“Listening to Osho was – and still is – a meditation experience. Remembering those days when we would sit on the meditation hall’s marble floor, in stillness and in silence, as the seasons passed from the heat of summer, to stormy monsoon, to the cold mornings of winter, I thought I was just listening to a discourse, but I was also being seduced into the silent gaps between Osho’s words. He speaks in such a way that meditation happens by simply listening to him.
I have heard Osho say that listening can be used as a meditation method if you not only focus your awareness on him, but also be aware of the one who is listening. Don’t get lost in the speaker, or the music or whatever you are listening to. Do not forget who is listening, because the listener is more important. With this remembrance, the arrow of consciousness is double pointed: one point goes towards the speaker and one point goes towards the listener.” (Shunyo. In: Svagito 2014, p. 54)

“I heard of him in America just a few months before I left. I was given a book and I heard some tapes and then began acquiring more tapes. For a few weeks before I left I felt like a heroin addict; if I didn’t hear a tape that day I went into withdrawal. I didn’t know what was happening to me, I couldn’t understand it. All I did was decide to listen to the tapes.” (Siddha. In: The 99 Names of Nothingness. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 198)

“We were told it was better to listen to the master because without that we wouldn’t understand anything. He might touch us in a place that created understanding. We decided it would be a good idea to come to the lecture the following morning as our train was leaving that afternoon. Even though then I spoke very very little English, not as much as I speak now, I understood him perfectly! I couldn’t believe it! My wife was also asking how this could be. I suggested we stay one more day, so we did. And we stayed three months!” (Nikunj from Chile. In: The Open Secret. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 305)

Sarjano remembers meeting Osho in 1978
“Then he entered. A man with a grey long beard dressed up in a long white robe, with long sleeves, a smile. He stopped in the middle of a little podium, where a chair had been placed 10 minutes before his arrival, and from there he offered a long namaste, rotating gently, as in slow motion, to give his blessings in every direction. I was looking at him carefully; I think I was trying to ‘analyze’ him, to see into his mind, into his psyche, into his personality, which I expected anyway to be very beautiful.
There was nothing to analyze. There was no mind, no psyche, and of course, no personality. I had never met anything like this in my whole life, and there was something almost scary in this absence, something abysmal, bottomless, and certainly alien to my experience. I tried my best to penetrate him, to look inside of him, to catch at least some hidden sign of his psychology, you know… a little tic, the print of a habit, a repetition, an insistence, a gap, but to no avail.” (Sarjano. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 422)

“And Bhagwan has an amazing ability to express the most complex concepts in the simplest language. I don’t think there’s ever been anybody else that could say things quite so simple and so beautifully.” (Krishna Prem. In: The Open Secret. A Darshan Diary. 1980, p. 105)

Maneesha recalls when first listening and reading Osho
“..nirvan recently heard a tape of bhagwan through his eighty-six year old father (also a gurdjieffian) who lives in corfu… “It was a question-and-answer lecture, and we played it four or five times. I think the first thing that came to my mind was that anybody that told stories like that must be worth knowing! I just felt something about him… and there was this idea that he was a living master too. Everything seemed to be so complete. Even after just that one tape there seemed hardly anything more to say… When I read ‘hammer on the rock’ it just crossed my mind that this was it. I don’t know what it was about but I was always on the point of or in tears! I didn’t really have much to go on except that book, because nothing particular had happened to me. I don’t know what it was… a combination of everything.”” (Maneesha and Nirvan. In: Only Losers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 334)

Gussnor writes
“… Every lecture he gives bears on that. I have very positive feelings towards the lectures. At the same time, every lecture I find things that are reflex: I can’t accept that that’s not right, something he says is not well-stated, or it’s incomplete, or it’s not in perspective, or his grasp of the west is a little uneven there.
When I think about it, I say ‘Okay, how would you try to say it better? If you try to say it better, you say it prosaically, you don’t say it poetically. And then half the time I come to the conclusion that there’s a blind spot in myself or an example of reflex conditioning again. So you know, I’ve gone every day because I’ve really liked, enjoyed, the unexpected things that always happen.” (Robert Gussnor, Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Vermont. In: This is It. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 178)

“I just go into some kind of space. But always if there’s a question to be answered, the answer always comes up in the lecture – like the letter I told you about. Just comes.” (Indivar. In: The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 301)

“[Translator] He first saw him at a lecture and sensed that this person had a very magnetic pull for him. He felt he was in the presence of a great master and that he was the answer. He had the impression of finding himself in front of a river, a symbolic river – and he felt like Siddhartha – you know, in Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. He had been through so many experiences, and now here he was before Bhagwan. There was no questions. He just wanted to listen.” (Geet Govind. In: The Passion for the Impossible. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 423)

“When I first heard a taped lecture of Bhagwan’s, before I knew anything about him, I kept saying to myself ‘Yes’ and ‘Of course!’ and ‘That’s what I always believed’. In a way I felt he wasn’t anything that I didn’t know. But the difference was that my belief remained simply, a belief, while he was speaking experientially. My belief was his truth.” (Maneesha. In: Nothing to Loose But Your Head. A Darshan Diary (1977), p. vii)

“It is a feast for the ears to hear him speak. The words cascade like the waters of the Niagara. He does not prepare any lecture as he does not have to. It will be like Einstein looking into the Mathematics text to teach about Euclid’s theorem.” (India Tidings, 08.07.1979. Reprinted on back jacket of: Sufis. The People of the Path (1980). Vol.II)

“He is now, without question, the most inspired, the most literate and the most profoundly informed speaker I have heard anywhere. Everything in his philosophy of life has the unmistakable ring of truth: a new experience.” (VOGUE. In: This Very Body the Buddha. Discourses on Hakuin’s Song of Meditation (1978). Front flap)

Listening to Osho
“Bhagwan speaks in English, without manuscript and inspired by the moment. His language is vigorous and thrilling, straightforward and personal. His message, conveyed with power and authority, sublime simplicity, and deep-dimensional wisdom, is eternally new: we must break off with our habitual patterns, finish with our idealistic postponement, experience the primary miracle of here and now, wake up out of our long sleep, remember that we are divine…” (Jan Vintilescu. Sökaren, 1978:6 June. Sweden. In: Walk Without Feet Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind (1979). Flaps)

“”When I first heard Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh I began to understand my confusion and frustration. The ring of truth sounded loud and clear and he put into words how I felt and why. He brought me a mental clarity and understanding, and instead of groping in the dark I took the hand he preferred. At first crawling and stumbling, I slowly began hoping and then dancing in tune with the hidden harmony of existence to which he opened my ears and eyes…” (Ma Yoga Anurag. In: Philosophia Perennis (1981). Vol. I. Introduction)

“What gives these discourses their exhilarating power to move us is the magnitude of His being. In the insights, the reflections, the anecdotes, the lyrical odes to existence, the jokes and the ever-present wisdom of the mystic, in His simple releasing of His own divine fragrance, the mind is overwhelmed and the heart set dancing into being.” (Swami Anand Rajen. In: The Book of Wisdom (1984). Vol.II. Introduction)

“… the man spoke so poetically and seemingly with the same spontaneous effortlessness about which Chuang Tzu had written, his hands weaving in and out of his words in delicate play, pausing here and there to hold an exquisite gesture. The aesthete in me revelled in the subtle drama, the extraordinary combination of dance and song and music.” (Forman 1988, p. 109)

Azima remember
“Silence and birds singing, and green all over, and silence… then at a certain point the sound of a car approaching the hall… the silence going even deeper and all of sudden HE WAS THERE… A HUGE CLOUD OF WHITE LIGHT AND IN THE MIDDLE – HE.
The light seemed like a sun but not painful and not hot, but so intense and total that nothing else existed. In the same instant my heart exploded in tears, and I felt like one of the newborn babies I had seen coming to life in the delivery rooms of the hospital – there was a big explosion and I burst into tears, feeling I AM HOME. I think I cried for a long time and physically my chest felt painful, but my mind was absent: no thoughts, no judgements, no ideas, nothing except for the feeling of BEING HOME; and the clarity that everything I had being searching for in my life was HE and was now in front of me. I saw that I had to do so many things, so much effort, so many lives, so many struggles to reach home, and now I had reached: HOME WAS HE, THE SEARCH WAS OVER.” (Azima. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 75)

FitzGerald on discourses
“As the ashram’s constituency changed, Rajneesh seemed to change with it. His lecture style altered. His lectures became less and less focussed, less and less thought through. By 1979, they were often little more than collections of quotations, jokes and anecdotes combined with obiter dicta and attacks on political and religious figures.” (FitzGerald 1986, I p. 85)

Maneesha writes
“It was as if Bhagwan were simply a medium, a channel. He himself often said he did not know what he was going to say from moment to moment. And it was observable to those who sat close, that indeed, he seemed not to be present when he was discoursing. Somewhere was present the man who had just read out a question from a particular sannyasin whom he, Bhagwan, knew, but his eyes would be filled with a faraway light. He would sometimes gaze over the sea of faces before him, but it was as if he was not in the gaze. He was like a violin, a flute, available for whatever tune wanted to be played out as the outpouring of the many beautiful mystics who had preceded him.
But, as Bhagwan constantly reminded us, the words were in themselves not the message. If we truly listened to him – rather than just hearing him – then we were available to receive that which couldn’t be conveyed by words.” (Forman 1988, p. 135)

On Bob Dylan
“And about the P.S.: Bob Dylan says “I never got into any of them guru trips. I never felt that lost!”
To find a Master is not for those who feel that they are lost. It is for those who start feeling that there is a way and that there is a ray – that they are not lost, that they can find somebody who will help them, who will make things more clear and transparent.” The Book of Wisdom (1983). Vol.I, p. 155.

Joke boxes of mahogany with a lid contained yellow cards with written jokes. Osho was drawing his jokes from here during Poona One. (Subuthi. Interview. Poona. August 1999)

Krishna Prem on jokes
“Basically Osho spoke every day that I have known him for about two hours a day when he spoke, and then he would go into silence. After silence he would really enjoy speaking about god and the self and the no self, he really was a brilliant man when it came to discussing meditation and he just did not need any notes to speak for those two hours. The only time he ever used his notes seriously is when he wanted to tell a joke. In other words for me, what I was watching was how seriously he took telling a joke well. And also the jokes were about the only thing where I knew the punch line before he said it! I’ve always enjoyed a good joke, just like you, so that most of the jokes actually came out of America where I came from. The most fun I had with Osho was actually sending jokes to him. I rarely asked him questions about the pursuit of happiness, but I did give him answers, meaning I sent him a lot of jokes. And I would make the jokes that I sent to him very complicated and he would really actually read the jokes that I sent to him many times, and I could actually close my eyes and be in the moment with him, if you know what I mean. So one night I was sitting in the front row with my eyes closed and all of a sudden I got excited because he read a joke that I sent to him. The beauty of this story is that I sent him this joke all the time because he never told it and I couldn’t understand why not, because it was such a great joke. Then another week would go by and I would send him the joke again and then I decided not to send him any more jokes until he told this particular joke. Finally one night he told the joke…” (Krishna 2011, p. 135)

On jokes
“I was amazed by the fact that in India we don’t have any jokes. All the jokes that people in India use are borrowed; none is of Indian origin, they are all from other countries. Not a single joke have I been able to find which is authentically Indian – because India has had a very peaceful, silent past… Strangely all Indian stories, dramas, that have been created in the past, are only comedies, no tragedy. Not a single tragedy has been written in ten thousand years. And great masters, novelists, dramatists, poets, have been working; great literature has been created, but it is all comedy. Every story ends up in something beautiful, something good; no story ends up in something tragic.” The Path of the Mystic. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Ch.29, p. 307. Punta del Este, 18.05.1986pm.

Amitabh writes
“An inspiring, melodious speaker with the touch of a George Jessel for delivering a joke (“I would like you to laugh your way to God”), he spoke for one month in English and the following month in Hindi. He urged his listeners to become more and more aware of the silences between his words, to relax the mind, allow the sounds of the birds to enter awareness, let in the train whistles in the distance, feel the fresh, morning air on the skin, listen to the sounds of the wind and rain – and then to the silence within. Soon something of an altered, meditative state of consciousness would arrive where his emptiness was obvious, where his words were experienced as coming from nothing, and we could have a taste of presence, vastness, and enlightenment.
On alternate days, Bhagwan responded to questions submitted to him by disciples, seekers, and guests. This allowed him to focus upon issues of immediate concern to his audience, such as sex, love, relationships, religion, on becoming a sannyasin, politics, masculinity-femininity, surrender versus self-will. It also gave him the opportunity to touch his loving Zen stick to his disciples, which sometimes felt like a sledgehammer, sometimes like a kiss.” (Amitabh 1982, p. 36. Also in: Aveling 1999, p. 120)

Savita on laughter
“Laughter functioned in many ways in his world and Osho made use of it in all ways possible. One was to empty the mind: the comic line of a joke leads the listener in one direction, then suddenly turns into another, with an unexpected outcome: thinking comes to a halt, laughter bursts through – and for a moment the mind is empty.
Another was to keep the body energies flowing and the heart open: emotional expression, including laughter and tears, acts like scrubbing brushes rushing through our energy pipes, releasing endorphins, keeping us fresh, uncluttered and sensitive to the world around us.
Also, as a component of non-identification: those who can laugh at themselves and take things lightly have a greater chance of being a witness to life’s absurdities and their own entanglements to them.
Osho’s use of humor was both to free us up in laughter, and playfulness, and keep the energy that flowed between us light, airy, and versatile…” (Savita 2014, p. 15)

Nandan remembers
“When we finally arrived in Poona a year later, I had heard so many stories about Bhagwan and the ashram, and I had so many expectations, that when I was sitting in Buddha Hall to listen to the discourse for the first time, I was actually disappointed that I didn’t see any aura around Bhagwan, as my friend in Munich had told me. And the guards who made sure that nobody was a disturbance by coughing or moving during the discourse were looking so serious to me and made me feel rather uncomfortable. But when I was finally looking into Bhagwan’s eyes all this disappeared; I was deeply touched in my heart, it felt like I was disappearing in an ocean of love, something that I had never felt before.” (Nandan. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 281)

James Gordon visited Poona in 1979
“In discourses and darshans Rajneesh also used hypnotic techniques to bypass his disciples’ conscious defenses, to win their assent to his words, and to enhance their transference to him. He created confusion and elaborated paradoxes and contradictions, which baffled their rational minds and the habitual ways they looked at themselves and the world. He used his voice, varying the volume and pace of speech, punctuating, modifying his words with his hands and eyes, even with his stillness. As his disciples listened and watched, their minds slowed. They followed the winding, discursive thread of his stories the way the eye follow the motions of a tiny falling feather. In trance they were more receptive and suggestible.” (Gordon 1987, p. 235)

Patipada remembers
“The morning lectures were nothing short of an orgasm of the heart. I sat all the way in the back (where non sannyasins sat) but for me it was delicious. In those days, the roof did not cover the entire hall and about 8:15 each morning the sun would shine down onto the hall. I had a favorite place, leaning up against a pole, with the sun shining in my face and Bhagwan’s words shining in my heart. I loved the sun on my face so much. I felt I was being flooded with the brilliance of two suns. The sun in the sky and the sun sitting in the chair on the podium. It was the “Wisdom of the Sands” lectures. They were such beautiful Sufi stories. I was so full of him and all the love and wisdom that flowed through him.” (Patipada 1997, p. 30)

Jean Lyell listening to Osho in 1977
“At the end of that first discourse, after Bhagwan had risen and moved quietly out, the thought, impossible to deny, rose into my mind: this is how it was in Galilee. Bhagwan is all things to all men and for each individual pilgrim there is a different path to him and beyond him.” (Vogue. 15.09.1977, p. 64)

Satyananda recalls
“Er spricht English mit starkem indischen Akzent, legt pausen ein, um das Gesagte wirken zu lassen. Der Vortrag hat eine melodische Rhythmik – wie Poesie. Manchmal steigert Bhagwan die Lautstärke, und seine Stimme gewinnt metallische Härte. Dann reisst er die Augen auf und sein Blick bohrt sich in die Masse seiner atemlos lauschenden Zuhörer. Manche werden von nervösen Zuckungen befallen, als empfingen sie vom Meister eine mysteriöse Kraftübertragung. Andere kratzen sich hektish, schlucken trocken.
Bhagwan spricht ohne Manuscript. Seine Gestik is von zarter Eleganz. Es macht Spass, ihm zuzuschauen. Erst allmählich fänge ich an, den Sinn seiner Worte aufzunehmen, und ich bin überrascht von der rhetorischen und intellectuelle Brillianz seines Vortrages.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 20)

Marcel Meier on listening
“It is difficult to describe my first sight of him as he entered with hands folded in the traditional namaste greeting. You could say I was directly hypnotized. Tears came to my eyes quite spontaneously. I was confused because something was happening to me over which I had no control and that seldom has happened to me.
The English lectures literally shattered me. He didn’t proclaim any revolutionary novelties, yet he did bring me into contact with things which had been slumbering inside me… a sort of unnerving recognition. The most important thing was that I was immediately convinced that there sat someone, on his white chair, who was speaking from his own experience. My prejudices disappeared.” (Marcel Meier. In: Appleton 1987, p. 29)

Bernard Levin writes in The Times
“At the end of the discourse (he invariably signs off with the words “Enough for today”), he leaves in the same showman style that marks his entry. I watched the crowd after he had gone, and to do so was in itself profoundly instructive. Many remained seated as they had been while he was speaking, continuing to meditate silently on what they had heard. Some came to the marble platform from which he had spoken, and prostrated themselves across it, clearly seeking to absorb some of the energy that he had expended, and that could indeed be thought of as forming a pool in which the seekers could soak themselves. Some couples embraced, remaining enwrapped for minutes on end; nobody paid them any attention, let alone exhibits embarrassment. It is not difficult to see an explanation; Rajneesh’s teaching is, at the bottom, of love, and the air is full of it.” (Bernard Levin. The Times (London). 09.04.1980)

Tim Guest writes
“Words – in his tapes, videos, and books – are now all that remains of Bhagwan’s discourses. But even standing alone, his words remain fragrant, seductive, entrancing. When I listen to his tapes, I can still feel his attraction, the pull that drew my mother away from me and up into his galaxy of stars while I remained on earth. Bhagwan spoke quietly into his microphone, almost a whisper. His voice was amplified out of speakers across the hall – four black circles in a wooden box hanging here and there on metal poles from the ceiling. He spoke about beautiful things. Dewdrops. Morning. Sunlight.” (Guest 2005, p. 45)

Harry Aveling on Osho’s discourses
“By 1979, it was obvious that Rajneesh was tiring of the public expectations placed on him and was, perhaps, in increasingly poor health. The quality of his discourses declined, and the number of coarse jokes they included markedly increased.” (Aveling 2015. In: Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism)

On his English
“Q: What is your English – British or American?
Sanjeeva, it is certainly not British. To be British is not easy. One has to be born British at least seven times. It takes a very long time to be British. And it is not American either because I am not a tourist. You know I don’t even leave my room – what kind of American can I be?
And why should my English be British or American? My English is MY English – Rajneesh English! And this is a democratic country and the constitution declares freedom of speech as one of the fundamental rights. I speak my own language. Why should I speak American or English? In fact, English is too upright, it is too tense, and American has become too lousy – just the opposite. It is a reaction…
So I simply speak whatsoever way comes to me, whatsoever way comes spontaneously to me. You will have to be a little patient with me.” Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen (1982). Ch.10, Q.4.

Sambodhi recalls from discourses in early 1981
“I usually slept in during Hindi months but rarely missed an English lecture, although these days I found the subject matter becoming tiresome. Bhagwan told variations of the same jokes, and regularly harped on the same topics – the incompetent Moraji Desai [Prime Minister of India from 1977-1979] who drank his own urine, Krishnamurti’s limited enlightenment, Mahatma Gandhi’s manipulation of his followers, and the unending ridicule of the holy ghost. No one warranted that much pounding and I found myself wanting to defend them all.
By March his lectures had become repetitious to the point of irritation, and I chastised myself for expecting them to be forever fresh and new. I attributed his astonishing ability to speak every single day for seven years to one of the many differences brought about by his enlightenment. In fact, every one of his days was spent in an unchanging routine involving no physical activity whatsoever…
After settling in for lecture one early spring morning, we got a surprise. While awaiting Bhagwan’s arrival, Aseem announced in his usual soft, calm manner that Bhagwan would remain in Lao Tzu house this morning but his presence would be with us here for the next hour. The profound stillness following these words echoed the microphone’s clack as it touched the marble floor…
Bhagwan didn’t come out for two weeks. It was his back.” (Clare 2009, pp. 111,116)
(Note: Aseem always sat in the first row directly in front of Osho because he read the sutra each day. Since he had the microphone, he also made all announcements)

“Whether listening to me, or listening to a flute player, or listening to the birds in the morning, or sitting by the side of the waterfall and listening to it, the same experience can happen. It happens not from what you listen to, it happens because you listen. Just listening gives you total silence; in deep listening you disappear. The whole art is how to listen.’
Once you know how to listen, in deep receptivity, sensitivity, you are not there. The listener is not there, only listening.” Come Follow to You (1976). Vol.III, Ch.10.

Abhiyana writes
“I will never forget seeing Osho for the very first time enter the meditation hall. I have never seen anyone walk like that. It was as if his feet were not touching the ground, as if each of his movements was saturated with awareness. That first discourse was a commentary on the poems of the India mystic Kabir. At one point, Osho said: A monastery is where you go to work on yourself, a true Ashram is where you go to rest into yourself. Those words penetrated to some hitherto unknown place inside me, and I knew I was going to stay…
I couldn’t get into Sufi dancing at first, because many of the traditional Sufi phrases had been “Rajneeshified,” e.g., instead of ‘Mohammed a da Rasul Lelah’ (Mohammed is the Messenger of God), Aneeta had changed the words to ‘Rajneesh a da Rasul Lelah’. Such blasphemy I couldn’t stand. Yes, I could admit Osho was a great man, but he ain’t no Mohammed, for Christ sake!…
The way Osho spoke was also unique. Being slightly asthmatic, he uttered a soft hiss after each sentence, which had a very hypnotic effect. It was obvious that he didn’t plan his words ahead of time: he was the ultimate channel – Channel Zero he once called it. This must have been how Jalaluddhin Rumi spoke, spontaneous poems of ecstasy flowing from his lips. It was a miracle that Osho’s words came out in full sentences. He was more of a poet than a philosopher…
Osho would sit for the entire discourse without changing the position of his legs even once in all the discourses I witnessed. Then after two hours, he would stand and namaste all of us, clearly able to walk without any numbness in his legs. I couldn’t do that, even in my twenties!” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 109,110,155)

Vismaya recalls her first discourse
“The next morning I went to Buddha Hall for the discourse that began at 8 a.m. The earlier you arrived the closer to the front you got to sit, so sannyasins would drift in from 7 a.m. onwards. The first eight rows were reserved for the ‘close’ disciples and allocated to various ashram residents in rotation. We were in place by 7.45 a.m. neither moving nor talking, sitting on the cushions we had brought. Hundreds of us sat every day in a silence I have never encountered again. Even during meditations on Zen retreats, in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, I have always heard shuffles, coughs, sniffs, and sudden movements. There were never any in Buddha Hall. I have missed this silence ever since. Though there was more than silence…
Bhagwan arrived in a white Rolls Royce and emerged onto the podium in a pristine white robe. He brought his hands together in namaste, the eastern greeting to the divine everyone, and turned slowly round the hall smiling at us, his disciples. He sat down, placed one leg over the other and began to talk. He used his hands in fluid expressive gestures to emphasise and explain the teachings hidden in the sutras he was interpreting for us that day. He spoke with eloquence and mastery, yet in a simple language that did not mystify the esoteric, but explained it. And, with his charismatic eyes flashing with mischief, he told magnificent, irreverent jokes. Apart from the voice of our beloved Master, laughter was the only sound ever heard in that vast Buddha Hall. Two hours later, he concluded with ‘Enough for today’, namastéd us once more, and was driven in his Rolls the hundred yards back to his house, Lao Tzu.” (Geraghty 2007, pp. 128-130)

4.7 Discourses in Buddha Hall. Hindi

A rotation schedule between English discourses in Buddha Hall and Hindi discourses in Chuang Tzu Auditorium was in effect in early days from 1977 when Buddha Hall had just been inaugurated and it turned out that Westerners were leaving in numbers for Goa or the mountains when Osho started speaking in Hindi according to schedule. Only to return at the beginning of his discourses in English.

Divya writes
“We’re still in Buddha Hall. There’s normally a switch-over to Chuang Tzu Auditorium at the beginning of the Hindi month, but today was during week-end and there are many of the Bombay visitors with us. Still the numbers were greatly reduced from yesterday. It always amazes me how people stop coming, simply because they cannot follow the meaning of the words that He is using! The master could be sleeping up there in a bed and I’d still come to be by Him, in silence or in no-sense, in meaning or in jest!
Taru sang… My body felt like some kind of an animal that wanted to shake vigorously and separate from ‘me’ altogether.” (Divya 1980, p. 371. 11.11.1978)

On listening to Hindi discourses
“Listening to me, and listening to a hindi lecture which you cannot understand, helps tremendously because your mind cannot function. The language is not understood so the mind has nothing to do, to think about, to spin, to decide this way or that. By and by, listening to the sound, you become more and more alert about my presence, mm? because the mind stops. It cannot function. What you hear is more like music… it silences you. And because you cannot understand what I am saying, you’re understanding more of what I am… a direct contact.” Be Realistic: Plan for a Miracle. A Darshan Diary (1977), p. 384.

“On the eleventh of every month, Bhagwan’s discourses swapped languages – alternate months in Hindi and English – and the meditation camp began.” (Meredith 1987, p. 54)

Discourses begin in Buddha Hall October 1978
“..lectures happen in Buddha Hall now, during the English series beginning today… La Illaha Ill Allah… That was the opening line to the English series on Sufism. There was lots and lots of excitement in the air. Many people who don’t come to Hindi discourse returned today to the feet of the master. The air was filled with anticipation and joy. There is always a feeling of vastness, sitting there in Buddha Hall. It’s so much larger than Chuang Tzu auditorium, and there’s all that interplay of nature and sky around us.” (Divya 1980, p. 101. 11.10.1978)

Divya writes
“In a recent darshan Bhagwan said that in Hindi He will say one thing and in English He will say another, because people are different. And it isn’t just a question of language; in English He speaks to a different kind of psychology. “I am not speaking to walls,” He said, “I am speaking to people: I am responding.” Sometimes He must even change Himself pretty drastically in order to communicate with us. His message is always personal.
There is a difference between any two people, any two nations and especially between East and West. Cultural differences are strong grooves which are deeply imbedded in the bodymind and definitely color the way a person functions and perceives. The talks during the Hindi month tend to be more esoteric. The subject matter will more likely be on either the scriptures or a particular Indian saint, bringing out the traditional and the devotional – which are the two strongholds of the Indian temperament. The whole atmosphere is devotional. The sutras, for instance, are sung. Even I, who don’t understand Hindi (except for a stray word here and there), am deeply affected by the heart-quality of the vibrations. So there will, of course, be lots of weeping and emotional love displayed towards the master. To us it sometimes seems strange to see an Indian immediately turn-on (so to speak) the tears and the sniffing when facing Bhagwan at darshan, or after an especially touching lecture. It’s a sign of spirituality – a cultural passed-down one.” (Divya 1980, p. 110)

Introduction by Swami Anand Rajen, dated November 1977. Excerpts:
“It is ‘Hindi month’. That is, Bhagwan’s daily discourses are delivered in Hindi. Next month, as every alternate month, they will be in English. Like many of his Western sannyasins – disciples – half past seven in the morning finds me entering Chuang Tzu auditorium and taking my place on the marble floor; the fact that He will be speaking a language for which I don’t even know the words ‘yet’ and ‘no’ is irrelevant. When He speaks in English – as you’ll find reading this book – He takes your mind for intoxicating joy-rides along His illuminated paths, through insights, paradoxes, absurdities and arguments. In fact, if your own pride and knowledge gets in the way too much, you’ll throw the book down – exasperatedly, pompously, or with cool detachment, depending on how you like doing it. Whichever way is to miss; to miss the point and to miss the experience of just letting Him in, of suspending your own inner voice…
He sits, He casts silent benediction over us with His indescribable smile. His gaze says Satchitanand – Being, Consciousness, Bliss. Sometimes when He enters I feel not very present – agitated, distracted and stubbornly unresponsive to the inner tap – but today I’m feeling easy, available, open. As He begins speaking my awareness feels uplifted, buoyant, floating; thoughts are no more than wispy clouds, body is just there, flowing to its own rhythm, the soft shock of ‘seeing’ happens again. Life’s heartbeat, timeless pulsation… This being is always Here! Whatever His words mean, I know He is one with what He is saying, His voice, expression, and gesturing hand playing for us the Song of the Present. Effortlessly, He is Here – The Master, persuading us through His love, His bliss, His wisdom, to disappear with Him into the Present. And the awesome revelation, available any moment you dare to experience it, is His silence! The talking, the gesturing, the intimacy, the insights, are a dance emanating from an ever-present, ever-seeing silence. He is inviting us towards emptiness – to become the hollow bamboo through which God blows…
“Aaj itana hi – Enough for today,” He says gently, as He brings His hands together and rises to His feet.” (Swami Anand Rajen. In: The Tantra Vision. Speaking on the Royal Song of Saraha (1978). Vol.I, p. 1)

Savita recalls
“Up early for hindi lecture. A thin grey light between low clouds. Sitting now in the queue on wet concrete, everyone waiting, tarpaulin awnings flapping, sinister groups of parrots squawking in the green above us.
Emerging from that space of peace, of sitting on a marble floor in an auditorium contained in tall lush undergrowth. Masses of people, silent together. And when he comes he’s a lovely smiling man with the long grey whiskers of a traditional mystic. Why was I so moved when I couldn’t understand what he said? And all the indians laughed so much. Find myself not wanting to talk… just a soft blowy feeling… All around me at the discourse this morning the indian women were weeping. Hindi words, watching their faces or the white teeth of boys as they laughed at bhagwan’s stories, and hearing his voice, seeing him again, all good.” (Savita. In: The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 533)

Maneesha writes
“If the morning discourse is in English then the taped lecture in the afternoon is in Hindi, and vice versa. It is beautiful to relax, to sit or lie in the meditation area under the orange canopy in the warmth of the indian afternoon, half awake, half asleep, allowing Bhagwan’s voice to lullaby you… Meditators wend their way to the empty chair that is filled with Bhagwan’s energy and which sits in the center of the platform in the meditation area. Some kneel, some just gaze or stand, eyes closed, bidding Bhagwan a silent goodnight…” (Maneesha. In: Above All, Don’t Wobble. A Darshan Diary (1976), p. 248)

Anand Chital recalls from November 1977
“I’ve read many descriptions by other disciples of their encounters and impressions of Osho… Some descriptions were clumsy, some were sugary-sweet, and some were beautifully written. All, in my opinion, fell short of the actual experience. Now here I am, some 40 years removed from the event, challenging myself to describe the undescribable.
I love Osho. How can I be objective?
My first encounter with him occurred two days after landing in India. A morning discourse was scheduled at 8:30 a.m. I awoke at 5 a.m., showered, dressed in an orange robe, and walked a mile to the Ashram in the dark, dusty, polluted Poona morning. Paying seven rupees ($.60) for a daytime pass, I entered the Ashram and wended my way to Buddha Hall, first to participate in the 6 a.m. Dynamic Meditation. I was still jet-lagged and hadn’t meditated for over a week. I was very anxious to scream out the mountain of stress I was carrying.
In the dim light I estimated at least 200 orange-clad people. It was the first time I had done the Dynamic Meditation in such a large group. When the second stage (Carthasis) came, I was lost in the sound of 200 cries for sanity. By the time the fifth stage (Dance) ended, there were 200 bright-eyed beings opening to the dawn.
Tea and toast at the cafeteria, and then a hurried walk back to Buddha Hall to queue up for Osho’s discourse. I was disappointed to learn that for the month of November the discourses would be delivered in Hindi, his native tongue. About 2000 people, mostly orange-clad disciples, but a fair number of local seekers, silently filed into the hall and settled in. We sat cross-legged on the floor, facing a raised platform that contained a single ornate chair, an electric fan, and a microphone stand. We waited in silence for the sound of his car slowly making its way from his residence to the entrance of the raised platform.
Up to that moment, I’d only distant involvement with the world of Osho. I had meditated, read the books, and listened deeply to the taped discourses. I was already hooked. Yes, I had already experienced the healing of the meditations, but I was still a sceptic. My mind was there to check out this guy, see if he was authentic. I was hoping he was real, much like I had hoped Reverend Hero was real, and Reverend Waters was real, but I was intellectually and emotionally prepared to be disappointed. So I waited.
Silence!
Two thousand people, and not a sound.
And there he was, slowly entering stage left, dressed in a simple white robe. With hands pressed together in the Namaste’ greeting, he walked slowly to the center, and almost imperceptibly scanned his audience. I felt a timelessness as I witnessed the slowest, smoothest movement of a human I had ever seen. It took forever for him to move his gaze from right to left. With the greeting ended, he turned, walked to his chair, and sat down.
I realized I had not breathed in quite a while, and I took in a rapid gulp, I began to cry. How strange! What is this about? What just happened? Why are tears streaming down my face? He hasn’t uttered any word, or performed any miracle, and yet something inside me has been deeply touched. I looked around at the others, most of them looking lovingly up at the Master, some with broad smiles, some almost laughing, and a few, like me, gently crying.
I was to experience five straight months where nothing made sense, and I would soon become accustomed to daily wonders. But this was very new, and created much mental turmoil.
I sat for an hour and a half, listening to his melodic voice and understanding only two or three words, but it was all right. The experience of watching him was enough. When he finished his talk, his exit was as slow and smooth as his entrance. I smiled throughout the day and danced throughout the night.” (Hill 2016, pp. 121-123)

4.7
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Photo 14. Osho in Buddha Hall. 1980.
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Amrito recalls
“I inwardly kicked myself for coming to a Hindi discourse and looked around to see if anybody else was having any trouble – they weren’t. So I just watched Bhagwan and listened to his voice. It was very strange the way he seemed to be with the audience. He was clearly talking with them at the same time as talking to them. His voice was very soft and melodious, but constantly varying. I could never anticipate the pitch or the timbre of his voice as you normally can, even in a foreign language. He would say something, and suddenly everybody would laugh – at least the Hindi-speaking people – and then he would say something else, as if replying directly to the laugh. They would laugh again, and he would answer – like two love-birds calling each other in the dusk.
And yet, in spite of such an intimate connection, something was missing, and I couldn’t work out what it was. Then I realized that although Bhagwan was so connected with his audience, there was no “him” exactly, in the play.
Normally, speakers look pleased when their joke has gone down well, or seem to be watching carefully not to overdo the humor on a particular point. You can feel their half of the equation. But not with Bhagwan, He was all there all right, one minute gently caressing, the next, calling loudly into the laughter, tickling his listeners to further heights. Then suddenly it would be different again: the silence of his listeners would be intense. At the same time he was so relaxed and at ease that one could imagine him talking as happily to thin air.” (Meredith 1987, p. 43)

Shunyo writes
“I started attending Hindi discourses. Osho used to give discourses every morning, one month in Hindi and one month in English. This was the Hindi month… To sit and listen to a language that one doesn’t understand, for two hours sitting on a marble floor, seems a bit daft. But Chuang Tzu Auditorium, with its extremely high roof supported by pillars and open on all sides to a garden, so lush and exotic, was a very special place. Osho’s voice while speaking Hindi was the most beautiful music I had ever heard. I never missed a Hindi discourse; I even preferred them to English.
In monsoon there were very few people (sometimes no more than about one hundred) and the rain would be pelting down on the surrounding jungle. It was the easiest way to slip into meditation and not even know it. Discourse would end with the Hindi “Aj Itna Hee” (enough for today) after two hours, and I would think, “Oh, no! I just sat down.”… Osho always lowers his voice as He reaches the end of a discourse, in a way that one is gently nudged over the edge, into oblivion. Time loses all meaning when sitting with Osho; two hours can be as two minutes.” (Shunyo 1991, p. 9)

Akashic Records
“I later heard Osho explain that there was another, far deeper level that the Master drew on, known in Hinduism as the Akashic Records, a kind of ethereal collective memory bank where all the events of this and of other planets are registered. Osho was introducing new data, or information, that could be used for the transformation of human consciousness, now and far into the future.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 70)

Osho speaking on the Muslim Kaaba, November 1978
“Die Moslem-Liga in Poona hat angekündigt, se werde den Aschram mit 3000 Mann stürmen! Die Wachen sind noch einmal verstärkt worden. Vor dem Haupttor ist ein Mannschaftswagen mit aufgesessenen Polizisten aufgefahren. Die Aufregung kommt daher, dass Bhagwan vor einigen Tagen in der Lecture die Kaaba, den Heiligen Stein des Moslems, den “dreckigsten Stein der Welt” genannt hat, weil Hunderttausende von Pilgern ihn jedes Jahr küssen und damit “ihre Bazillen von einem auf den anderen übertragen”. Den Stein zy küssen sei “völliger Unsinn”. So macht sich unser Meister überall ‘beliebt’.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 171)

In Hindi, Osho has in his Poona One phase devoted fourteen volumes to the Bhagavad Gita (he has spoken on all eighteen chapters of the Gita), ten volumes to Mahavir and another forty volumes to other Indian mystics.

Arun on Astabakra Samhita
“The reason why the Astabakra Samhita would not become popular is well laid out by Astabakra on the first three verses of the fifteenth chapter of the book. Astabakra says, “Those with a pure mind will be satisfied by little wisdom. Those whose minds are impure enquire throughout their lives but their lust for life never ends… My words are for people who have already seen the worthlessness of sensual and worldly pleasures; those who have already been through the alluring but bitter experiences and are thoroughly frustrated with life. Only such people will be able to listen, understand and digest my words.”
Such people are indeed rare. This is why the ‘Astabakra Samhita’ did not become popular like the Geeta and there is no indication that it will be so in the future. In our time Osho has explained the sutras of Astabakra on a series containing 2,500 pages. He calls the book the Mahageeta, which means the “Great Geeta”. He has reestablished the importance of this rare and eternal scripture of a sage who was born in ancient Nepal.” (Arun 2015, p. 284)

Aveling writes
“Born a Jain, Rajneesh’s relationship with Hinduism was surely ambivalent, at best. His core teachings, encouraged by Taran Svami’s insights, were compatible with Vedanta, although he affirmed this world rather than rejecting it as an “illusion” (Rajneesh 1986, 681). His neo-sannyasa used the outward signs of Hindu renunciation, but was intended “to destroy the whole traditional attitude”, because “Life should be religious and religion should not have any life” (Rajneesh 1978b 39). Certainly, his disciples never thought of themselves as Hindus, and Rajneesh did not encourage that, emphasising: “Whoever becomes a sannyasin immediately drops his religion, his nation, his race” (Rajneesh 1986, 928). What remains, however, is recognizably Hindu: a variety of ‘nirguna bhakti’, centered on a god without form and a strong devotion to the guru, in the lineage of Kabir and the ‘Sant’ poets on whom he often spoke so movingly in Hindi. It was a tradition opposed to all traditions, in favor of the sacredness of personal experience here and now.” (Aveling 2015. In: Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism)

The last discourse in English to be given in Buddha Hall before he went into silence and moved to Oregon later that year, was the series ‘The Goose is out’ (1982), on March 10, 1981. He gave his last evening darshan on March 23, 1981 and his last discourse in Hindi, ‘Bahutere Hain Ghat’ (1989), was delivered the next day March 24, 1981. Later on a few more discourses in Hindi were given when Osho returned to Bombay in 1986 after his World Tour.

Listening to Osho in Hindi

Osho’s discourses in his mother tongue Hindi was much appreciated by his Indian audience as can be seen in the quotes to follow. But also his western disciples were to some extent drawn into a certain space when listening to Osho in a language they did not understand. This is what happened also to this editor in January 1981 when he listened to Osho in Buddha Hall for the first time in Hindi. Not a single word was understood, yet the message and the vibe could not have been much clearer. Some quotes will tell you more about this phenomenon.

Osho on spoken words
“The Masters have always believed in the spoken word; there are reasons for it. The Masters have never written books. The spoken word has a alive quality to it; the written word is dead, it is a corpse.
When I am speaking to you it is a totally different thing than when you read it in a book, because when you are reading in a book it is only a word; when you are listening to the Master it is more than the word. The presence of the Master is overpowering! Before the word reaches you, the Master has already reached; he is already overflooding you. Your heart is beating with the Master in the same rhythm. You are breathing in the same rhythm. There is a communion, an invisible link. The presence of the Master, his gestures, his eyes… the words spoken by him are ordinary words, but when spoken by a Master they carry something of the beyond; they carry some silence, some meditativeness, some of his experience, because they come from his innermost core.
It is like passing through a garden: even though you have not touched a single flower, when you reach home you can still feel the fragrance of the garden; your clothes have caught it, your hair has caught it. The pollen of the flowers was in the wind. You have not touched anything, but the fragrance was in the air; it has become a part of you…
All the Masters of all ages have depended on the spoken word for the simple reason that the spoken word comes directly from their innermost core. It carries the fragrance of their inner world. It is soaked with their inner being, it is full of their energy. By the time it is written it will not be the same thing.
The spoken word means a communion between the Master and the disciple. The written word is not a communion, it is a communication; anyone can read it. The student can read it, he need not be a disciple. The enemy can read it, he need not even be a student. Somebody can read it just to find faults in it, just to find something so that he can argue against it.
But with the spoken word it is totally different. Even if an opponent comes, the spoken word dances around him. There is every possibility that although he came with a conclusion, a fixed idea, his fixed idea may become a little bit loosened, he may become a little relaxed. He may start looking again before he makes any decision. He may start putting his a priori ideas aside. The rumors that he has heard can easily be put aside if he comes in contact with the spoken word.” I Am That (1984); The Book (1984). Vol. III, p. 509.

On passing down scriptures by word of mouth
“Hence the Sanskrit language is phonetic, not linguistic – the emphasis is more on the sound than on the word. And so for thousands of years it was felt that these valuable scriptures should not be written down, because it was natural that no sooner were they written down, then the emphasis on sound would be lost… The scripture had to be passed on to others directly by word of mouth, so scriptures were known as shrutis, meaning that which is learned by listening. What was passed down in the form of written books was never accepted as scripture.” Hidden Mysteries (1997), p. 14.

Maneesha on discourses in English and Hindi January 1978
“At the announcement of the english series of discourses I always feel a sense of excitement, as if about to take part in a thirty-day encounter marathon. During those mornings we are led into so many new places as bhagwan touches on a multitude of different subjects that in turn touch off things in ourselves and affect our daily lives…
The hindi lectures are quite different and yet an equally nourishing experience. They provide a space to meditate in the presence of bhagwan, to fall into the well of oneself and to be revitalised, reinspired; they’re a sort of spiritual breakfast with which to commence each day.” Maneesha. In: The Sun Behind the Sun Behind the Sun. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 210.

On his discourses
“He has indeed used the sacred writings of the most diverse religions as the basis for his lectures: from the Buddhist world a handful of Mahayana Sutras and above all the literature of Zen, from the Chinese world a series of taoist writings, from the Indian tradition some of the later Upanisads, Patanjali”s Yoga Sutras, Tantric writings, the songs of the Bengali Baul, and especially the writings of Kabir, and in addition he draws on Sufic and Hasidic writings. It is thus above all the mystics of the different religious traditions that are expounded for his hearers and readers, admittedly in Rajneesh’s uniform interpretation; and this in itself is an astonishing expansion of the usual Western intellectual horizon that certainly accounts for part of Rajneesh’s attraction. Of course, in Rajneesh’s interpretation they are all saying the same thing, with certain nuances. Similar, this brilliant assimilator, as R.C.Prasad calls him, slips easily into the role of the Zen master, of the Sufi Sheikh, of the Hasidic rabbi, and above all into that of the great founders of religion like Buddha and Jesus… To this extent one is justified in describing the Bhagwan movement as a syncretistic Guru-cult.” (Hummel & Hardin. In: Aveling 1999, p. 173)

Arun writes from October 1977
“Bhagwan was a great orator and I have not come across a man with such expressive skills. His discourses were a sheer delight and were a combination of poetry, wisdom, philosophy, logic, fables and jokes. His messages intertwined with these ingredients, always made his discourses very interesting and insightful. Never in history a spiritual sermon has been so juicy and colorful and at the same so scientific and factual. They ringed with naked truth and were potent with his vision so powerful that if followed carefully could transform the whole of humanity. Bhagwan was not an old wine in a new bottle, not a continuation of an old tradition. He was the beginning of a new era and what he was saying was the road-map towards the new man which he called the Homo Novus.
Osho’s sharp eloquence was always complemented by his crisp soothing voice. His voice has a special quality to it and has a great hypnotic power. Even today listening to his recorded discourses, his voice carries a fragment of his being and energy in them. It is a meditation in itself to listen to Osho. Osho used to speak in Hindi and English in every alternate month. Many foreigners who didn’t understand Hindi would also come and listen to his discourses in Pune. They would say that his voice was so beautiful and hypnotic that just to sit there and listen to his words and the pauses between them would take them on trips to no-mind. Osho was not speaking to our minds, he was not trying to convince us or convert us. Through the path of our hearts he wanted to reach our being and ignite the potential that we all had in us. He was the finger pointing to the moon.” (Arun 2017, p. 334)

Punya on Hindi sutras
“On uneven days we had the sutras. These were sections from Hindi sacred scriptures Osho was commenting upon. The sutras were written in a poetic form and would be sung by our wonderful singer Taru. Then came the translation read in Queen’s English by Teertha, the meditation leader, who later became one of the main therapists. On even days Osho replied to our questions. They were typed and attached to a clipboard which Laxmi handed him once he had greeted the audience and sat down.” (Punya 2015, p. 54)

Niranjan on listening to Osho
“There are hundreds of people who have attended thousands of his discourses. This must be the most exceptional phenomenon to have ever happened. I myself must have listened to about five thousand discourses of Osho, sitting before him. Not just this – I have listened to some of his recorded discourses more than fifty or sixty times, and each time I feel as if I am listening to it for the first time, because each time a new dimension in that discourse will be revealed. This is not my experience alone but there must be thousands of people who feel the same way.” (Niranjan 2012, p. 121)

If Osho’s discourses were nourishment to his sannyasins, they were at the same time extremely controversial, challenging the authority of almost every established political and religious order. An attempt was made to murder Osho at one of his lectures by a member of a traditional Hindu sect in Poona, and Indian Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, twarted around 1980 all attempts of Osho’s disciples to move their ashram to a remote corner of India.

Hostility occurred during Hindi discourse on May 22, 1980, when Hindu fundamentalist from Hindu Ekta Andolan, Vilas Rao Tupe, throws a knife at Osho during discourse. He misses, and Osho continues speaking as if nothing has happened.

Tushar recalls
“As one of the guards for Osho’s morning discourse, I was sitting as usual in Buddha Hall during Hindi lecture one morning in mid-1980. I was leaning against a support pillar, fairly far back but facing the podium, when, half an hour into the talk, a guy suddenly stood up, shouted something very loud in Hindi, pulled a knife out of his kurta pocket and threw it at Osho.
He was too far away for it to have much impact, but it reached the podium and landed to one side of Osho’s chair.
It all happened so fast that though there were several of us guards all around, none of us was able to move quickly enough to stop the knife from leaving this man’s hand.
Osho didn’t react at all: he remained as he always was – perfectly calm – and continued talking almost as if nothing had happened. And when the guards got up to chase after the guy, who was by now trying to flee the auditorium, Osho said into the microphone, breaking in English: “Don’t harm him; he doesn’t understand what he’s doing. Just take him out.”
And then he continued his extemporaneous talk as if nothing unusual had taken place. (Tushar. In: Savita 2014, p. 115)
(Note: Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, was himself a citizen of Poona).

Avhiyana writes
“On May 22, 1980, I was sitting in my off-duty position in the fifth row off to Osho’s right side. I was deep in meditation with my closed eyes, when a young Indian man stood up about ten rows behind me, and started shouting in Hindi. Osho went right on talking, and so did the man. Instinctively my body rose up and ran at the man. As I was about six feet directly in front of him, he reached down with his right hand and threw something shiny in an arc over his head that whizzed directly past my right ear. In that moment, I and two other guards hit him simultaneously and we carried him out of the hall, while Osho said over the loudspeakers, “Don’t hurt him, just take him out.”
He had thrown a dagger that landed a short distance from Osho’s feet.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 129)

Jyoti remembers
“Suddenly there is a noise of some metal falling on the floor near the podium. Osho stops speaking. I open my eyes and look around. For a while, I can’t understand what is going on. I see a few sannyasins holding a man who is trying to come near the podium and is shouting to Osho. Osho calmly says to the sannyasins, “Don’t do anything. Just take him out of here.” There is silence for a few minutes. The man is taken out and Osho continues his discourses as if nothing has happened. Later on I come to know that the man had tried to kill Osho by throwing a knife, which fell down near the podium not hurting anyone. After a few days we find that it was a conspiracy of politicians and priests to murder Osho. The man who attempted to kill Osho is released by the court without any punishment and the case is closed.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 120)

Bernard Levin is reporting in The Times
“Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: Dignity throughout a violent episode in Poona.
Bhagwan speaks month and month about in English and Hindi
alternately. On May 22, he was speaking in Hindi in his usual place of address, the open auditorium called Buddha Hall, when an attempt was apparently made on his life. At about 8.30 am (the discourse starts at 8) a young man rose in the audience (the listeners sit on the floor) and ran towards Rajneesh crying “You are speaking against our religion! We won’t tolerate it!”
Rajneesh’s ashram has guards whose job is to maintain security (not only his, of course) and these grappled with the man; before they could do so, however, I am told that he flung a large dagger; this passed in front of Rajneesh (who speaks from a raised platform roughly in the middle of one side of the roughly oval hall) and fell harmlessly onto the floor. My information from the ashram is that there had earlier been a tip-off from the Poona police to the effect that an attack was to be expected that morning.
The man was taken into custody by the police; he was identified as a member of an extreme Hindu organization; a police statement later said that a second weapon had been found on him when he was searched, together with a document criticizing Bhagwan, in what terms is not at present known.
Rajneesh remained undisturbed throughout the episode; his first words on it were to the effect that no authentic religion needed to be defended by assassins, and that by such actions the individual was not protecting his religion but demonstrating its weakness. In a statement made afterwards, Laxmi the executive director of the ashram, pointed out that the man was not treated roughly by Bhagwan’s neo-sannyasin.
“The teachings of out Master”, her statement ran, are such that our disciples did not react in an angry or violent manner. The man was gently apprehended, removed from the hall in silence and handed over to the police.” (Bernard Levin. The Times (London), June 1980)

Shiva recalls
“Twenty minutes into the lecture on May 22nd I was handed a note with the terse words: “Police inspector warns you attack expected today.” I flashed the ‘extreme danger’ sign to the twenty guards in the hall. Within seconds a robust-looking Indian man stood up about sixty feet from the stage, on Bhagwan’s right. He shouted in Hindi “You are insulting our religions”, then started to walk towards Bhagwan with a determined look in his eyes. Five or six guards had already responded to my signal. A large Canadian sannyasi, Yogi, grabbed the man firmly, and three more guards quickly joined him. A second Indian then got up and grappled with the guards, apparently trying to free his co-conspirator. A brown arm briefly appeared at the top of this flailing of hands.
Two of my best-trained samurai were beside me. One of them pointed at the floor in front of us, where a rusty six-inch-long kitchen knife lay, having been thrown by the first Indian just as the guards had grabbed him…
It transpired that five Indians had in fact planned a concerted attack, but all but one of them had stayed put when they saw how quickly the guards had reacted. In the subsequent court case the attackers were found not guilty, partly on the grounds that since Bhagwan had continued talking, it could not have been a serious murder attempt.” (Milne 1986, p. 171)

Osho on this episode
“When, a few years ago, a man threw a knife at me in the morning meeting… And it seems it was an absolute conspiracy, because just before the meeting, fifteen minutes before, the police informed the office, “Today there is a danger, a man is going to throw a knife at Shree Rajneesh. So twenty police officers should be allowed in.”
Now, this is stupid. If they knew that a certain man was going to commit a crime, they should have arrested him. Rather than that, they informed the office. As the story went on it became clear that it was absolutely a conspiracy. Those twenty police officers with loaded guns surrounded that man. The sannyasins thought that perhaps they were for our protection – that was wrong. They were for the protection of the man who was going to throw the knife. They were afraid that ten thousand sannyasins would kill that man if anything happened.
And that man shouted – which is on record – “Shree Rajneesh, you are against Hinduism and we cannot tolerate your existence anymore” And he threw the knife at me. Because he was shouting I stopped and listened to him, what he was saying. It is on tape. He threw the knife from just fifteen feet away and it was strange, that the knife fell away from me – eight feet away. Not only did it not touch me, it did not even touch anyone in the crowded Buddha Hall; nobody was touched by the knife.
And then the police said, “It is a police case. We will arrest this man and bring him to the court.”
This was all strategy. You can see how politicians work – cunningly, inhumanely. They prevented us from putting a case against the man. They said, “There is no need. Ten thousand witnesses, his words are recorded, and twenty police officers of high rank are witnesses – you need not be worried. It is going to be a police case. We will take him and produce him in the court.”
They took him away, presented him before the court, and the court released him, saying, “Such a thing has not happened at all.” And because we had not put any case against him, then it was too late. The police managed it in such a way that they did not insist that the case happened…
Still, one of the most important criminal advocates of the supreme court of India, Ram Jethmalani was there – we had asked him to be present. He wanted to say something; the judge said, “You cannot speak, it is not your case.” And certainly it was not our case. But I have seen things which make me certain that what appears to be a miracle is not a miracle. I am absolutely certain that I was poisoned in Oklakoma [in 1985] with a certain metallic poison, thallium, but it has not been able to kill me.” Hari Om Tat Sat (1989). Session 8, pp. 79,80.

On his attorney
“I know him intimately; he has been fighting for me in many courts, in many cases. His name is Ram Jethamalani.” No Mind. The Flowers of Emptiness (1989). Chapter 12, p. 230.

Heading: Threat from militants [January 1987]
“On May 22, 1980, Vilas Vitthal Tupe, 25, leader of the militant Hindu Ekta Andolan, stood up in the middle of a discourse and loudly challenged the Bhagwan with hurting Hindu sentiments. Just after that, it is alleged, he threw out a knife and hurled it at the controversial guru. The incident, needless to say, made headlines. Five months later, Justice D.J. Moharir found Tupe “not guilty” of both charges – of having intended to kill Rajneesh or of throwing a knife. In the course of a 39 page judgement, Justice Moharir said the knife in question was fabricated evidence. Swami Anand Maitreya, interviewed recently, makes no bones of what he feels. “The judge was coerced.” (Vijay Lele. Poona Digest. February 1987, p. 23)

Hindi and Urdu poetry in discourses
“In his later (1974-1981 & 1986) Hindi discourses there is also a rare intimacy. He talks and jokes with a small number of Indian disciples, the few who have seen through his various outrages. They sit surrounded by the increasing waves of new seekers arriving from the west, meditating to the music of his Hindi. He uniquely expresses himself in his mother tongue, a language which thousands of mystics have sung their songs in and also quotes his favorite expressions from them and from other mystics in Sanskrit and the Buddha’s Pali. Bringing more poetry to this amazing feast of poetry, in October 1975 he started bringing Urdu couplets, then all manner of beautiful modern Hindi and Urdu poetry to enrich the pure emptiness he shares.” (Kabir. In: Osho New! translation newsletter, January 1994)

Listening to Osho
“Seeing him was a delightful experience, only all the lectures were in Hindi so I never got the content of his talks. I didn’t really see the stature of man he was, then. I didn’t realise what a genius he is at every level. I mean, he’s a poet, he’s an orator, he’s a fantastic historian of religious thought, he’s an incredible analyzer of everything that’s going on in the world – politics and the life of the West – quite apart from his stature as some kind of master, whatever a master is! So I’ve slowly begun to understand.
But all that was really closed to me then. I just saw him as a fascinating Indian guru; never, as I do now, as one of the great people, like Buddha, Jesus and Lao Tzu.” (Samarpan. In: Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1982), p. 65)

4.7
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Photo 15. The fourth stage of Kundalini meditation. 1974.

Divya writes
“I don’t miss a single morning lecture, if I can at all help it, whether they are in English or in Hindi. I actually prefer the Hindi series – I can keep my mind out of it and taste Him and myself so much better. Sometimes, when the English series is about to begin, I experience a feeling of disappointment. Thinking can be so exhausting! And I also sometimes find myself a little annoyed during Hindi lectures, when I am off somewhere lovely – or designing a gorgeous new creation which the tailor will undoubtedly make a mess of – and Bhagwan intersperses a phrase in English and I am brought right back to the here and now (which is why He does it, probably!). I could have never thought that I would become so tired with words – I mean, it takes such a lot of energy to com-mu-ni-cate! Communion is so much nicer!” (Divya 1980, p. xxiii)

Shanti Bhadra on questions
“Within each month itself, Bhagwan alternated between delivering a discourse one morning, and answering questions the next. Questions were written down and sent to him via the main office. Questions covered the whole palette of human desires from everyday relationship problems to reaching the coverted heights of spiritual fulfilment, known as enlightenment. Bhagwan chose the questions he would answer publicly. Invariably he would answer just one or two questions, and the answers would become discourses in themselves. The greater majority went unanswered, though in some cases a verbal message would be transmitted from Bhagwan to an individual via his secretary. He never committed himself to paper. I only asked one question, and he answered it.” (Stork 2009, p. 113)

Neeraj recalls
“I went to India in 1977 because I was in love. I was out of my mind, inexplicably drawn to Osho, that’s all – not a seeker of truth, just in love. My first in-the-flesh encounter with Osho was at a Hindi discourse. I sat sari-veiled as tears streamed down my face, waterfalls of connection to the source reached in Osho’s presence. I had planned to collect lots of useful therapy techniques and be back home in three months; I stayed for almost three years.” (Ma Prem Neeraj. Viha Connection, 2008:1)

Lyra on Hindi discourses
“Life was simple. In the morning, I went to discourse. For a few months I only heard Bhagwan speak in Hindi; it was more appealing to let his voice enchant my heart, without the interference of my intellect. Months later, when I started going to discourses in English, my mind was then used to dissolving while listening to him… It was strange to listen to Bhagwan speaking a language that my mind could engage… As he slowly expounded on a state of bliss beyond the mind, I “knew” what he was talking about. His words were irrelevant, though they were soothing and poetic.” (Lyra 2005, pp. 197,118)

As an inspired story-teller Osho is cooking his curious mixture of mysticism, slapstick humour and jokes, in the same way so much loved by the Balinese people in their shadow plays (wayang kulit). Dramas with their stories from classic Hindu epics are deliberately blended with ancient layers of animism down to earth. This entertaining mixture is not at all prevalent with Hindi storytellers, but for listeners to Osho and adherents of the Balinese cultural heritage the effect is one and the same: the audience is listening spellbound and then suddenly grounded to the earth in laughter after long periods of expounding the sutras or epics and opening the doors to mysticism and mythology. (Island of Bali / Miguel Covarrubias (1946), p. 237)

Listening to Osho
“It was at a lecture – a hindi lecture, just after I arrived. I was sitting at the side because they allowed me to have a chair. So I saw him come in – he looked marvellous – and he sat down.
I saw him in profile, and of course I think that was lovely because you can see the way he turns his head, and his voice. The fact that it was in hindi didn’t matter a bit because it flowed on, and you could see how it was going from the faces of the sannyasins. They’d laugh and they’d weep and they’d be serious, and you just knew what was happening. It was a beautiful sight, I thought – in that great hall with all the different oranges, and the trees outside and the birds and those awful sqawky trains! (laughing)… And he’s wonderful about love and sex and everything – he describes it all so naturally. ‘Orgaaasm’ (with bhagwanian pronunciation) and all those sort of things… and everything so ‘vast’! (laughter)
I love his voice and the words he uses. The fact that he sometimes mispronounces english words makes them much more potent and you think about the words more… Like ‘irrelevant’. How does he say it – ‘ir-ray.lay-vant’ or something? You see, he makes you think about it. I find it more beautiful and more lively. He brings so much life into it all. I think he puts life into all of us.” (Ma Anand Devika. In: The Buddha Disease. A Darshan Diary (1979), pp. 34,38)

Listening to Osho
“Hindi is not my mother tongue and I hardly understood any Hindi previously, but when I heard him talk in Hindi it was so simple that I didn’t even feel that he was speaking in Hindi. It appears as if he was speaking in Marathi. Usually the Hindi that great orators speak is very difficult to follow. It is very flowery, and the way it flows is very poetic. It is very fluent. His Hindi is extremely fluent and the most poetic expression that I have ever heard. And that is the feeling with practically everyone who has even heard a single talk. People say that just listening to his voice is a tremendous experience. If one could experience the truth that he is expounding, that is a different matter, but even the talk itself has a magnetic appeal of its own.” (The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 411)

Osho’s Hindi
“If you know hindi and you hear his hindi lectures, he is able to catch so many nuances, and he picks up those nuances, interrelates them, correlates them and creates such a big mosaic, like a collector or a composer. It’s like a big orchestra that he creates… so beautiful!
He has a tremendous control over the language; he has enlivened hindi, has made it more rich. His communication is extraordinary.” (Satya Vedant to Maneesha. In: Far Beyond the Stars. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 23)

Punya remembers Hindi discourses
“But sometimes my friend, Yoga Pratap, would tell me, with rolling eyes and sweeping gestures, how poetic the morning discourse had been – and that the way Osho had expressed himself would be very difficult to translate into English. He was one of the Hindi editors at the time and in later years became one of the translators of the Hindi books.” (Punya 2015, p. 54)

Amitabh writes
“Bhagwan’s daily lectures seemed to me like the entrance to the womb of the Ashram: the day’s beginning, the inviting and nourishing temperate weather of early morning, sitting silently with other Sannyasins, doing nothing, feeling the love simply, effortlessly, allowing in the presence of Bhagwan, experiencing his absence, and then coming home to a reality within myself that just is. Many times in his discourses Bhagwan intimated that his words were only toys to keep us entertained while we learned to sit and be with his inner silence.” (Amitabh. In: Aveling 1999, p. 122)

Devika recalls from July 1976
“The morning discourses were in English until 10th July and then Osho started speaking in Hindi as there are so many Indian people also here. I do not go every day to hear them, but when I do it is like a meditation as I cannot understand the words and it is so peaceful and silent, sitting listening to him, and he looks into all our eyes as he speaks. The English and Hindi discourses are recorded and printed in books and sold in the bookshop here.” (Rosamund 2017, p. 175)

Devika writes on listening to Hindi discourses
“Every other month he speaks daily in Hindi, and first of all I do not attend the Hindi Discourses. Afterwards I discover that it is a beautiful meditation just to sit silently with Osho and have him look into my eyes every so often. I do not understand the words, but he always says that the words do not matter – that it is the silences in between that are our meditation. During the Hindi Discourse, meditation becomes easier because I do not get hooked on the words.” (Devika 2008, p. 58)

Vaidya writes
“Osho spoke brilliantly and beautifully in Hindi and his powerful oratory transfixed his listeners. It touched the innermost core in them, stirring them from within, making them think and question their fundamental beliefs. He brought intellectual freedom to his followers and taught them to be courageous. He offered them a new vision and freedom from the tyranny of religion and tradition and urged them not to worry about the future but to celebrate life and live in the present, with awareness at all times.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 19)

Margot Anand on listening
“Slowly, softly, Osho started speaking. To my surprise, it was in Hindi, the main language of Northern India. I found out afterwards that we were now in a period of Hindi discourses – ten days every month. No wonder most of the few hundred people attending were Indians.
Sitting there, watching him, listening to him speak in a language I did not understand, was a revelation. He spoke in a slow, rhythmic manner, fiercely accentuating some of his words or half sentences, seemingly scolding us, rising to a peak of frenzy, and then suddenly tumbling down into the softest, most welcoming voice, almost cajoling us.
There were meaningful silences between his sentences, the sound of his voice flowing and melodious, as if he were composing an epic poem, improvising on the spot. Listening to him, I gradually felt myself transported into an altered state, my consciousness sliding into the long silences between his words. He was literally talking me into a state of meditation.
I don’t know how it happened, but that very morning, by the end of the discourse – or rather the “poem,” or the “concert” – I had fallen in love with Osho. Intuitively, in my heart, I knew he would be my spiritual teacher. There was no doubt about it. I was completely charmed, conquered. It was as if I’d recognized an ancient family member whom I had somehow lost track of, and found again.” (Anand 2017, p. 115)

Indians reacting to Osho
“But we Indians react to his games. We become violent critics and cast aspersions and sometimes deluge the ashram with a flood of negativity. We are stupid. The stupidity is born out of our preknowledge and religious beliefs. We defy him, we ask for miracles and proofs. But he is patient with us. He tries to free us from our ritualistic cages. He is patient and compassionate because he, being one of us, knows what’s inside us – the garbage and the muck collected over centuries of religious mumbo-jumbo. But in the eyes of the western sannyasin, I see total faith. Our surrender is in stages and stage-like.” (Raj. Indian sannyasin and lieutenant-colonel in the Indian Army. In: The Shadow of the Whip. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 211)

Arvind Chaitanya writes
“He found time to ponder, dissect, analyse, and formulate view points never heard or imagined before, and which were never successfully questioned ever. What he said came from the depth of Truth. When he spoke the audience went into a trance, even the slightest movement was never seen; coughing, yawning or feeling unalienated, never occurred. He spoke from his heart and the listener drank it all through the heart too. Such a miracle never happened before or after.” (Chaitanya 2001a, p. 8)

Abhiyana writes
“The words Osho spoke were not the most powerful aspect of his transmission. As he put it, the gaps between the words are where the real message is being released. He often said to listen to him like you listen to music, or birds singing, or a waterfall. At the time, he spoke one month in English and one month in Hindi. He often said that the English discourses were for the Indians and the Hindi discourses were for the Westerners! When you can’t understand the words, the mind has nothing to hold onto, making it a challenge to listen attentively.
There was only his melodious hypnotic voice – Hindi is a very melodic language compared to English – and the gaps between words were even more profound. Sometimes, the inevitable would happen: as my mind could not engage, I would fall asleep, only to awake with a jerk when Osho told a joke, and everyone was laughing.”
(Abhiyana 2017, p. 158)

Listening to Osho’s Hindi
“I have heard now at least three or four english speeches during the afternoon of the camp. I don’t think I have come across a person who was able to dive so deep into the matter and bring it up to the surface and explain it.
The explanation is so enthralling that we are forced to believe that we are in the presence of the great almighty, the infinite. As far as my little knowledge goes, I have never come across such an enlightened speech anywhere although I have heard great people – the so-called great people of the world. I was able to because I have travelled almost three quarters of this world and I have seen many great people, but I have never seen such a kind of clarity, such an approach and such a kind of nearness. You are simply being brought very close, very close to his heart, to the heart of bhagwan. And this is the first time that I have had such an experience…
I really know only a few words in hindi, but in the last few days I was able to make out about fifteen to twenty percent of the lecture. Sitting before his presence is a great blessing, that is how I consider it, apart from the language.
All the minutes simply fly away; you don’t have any idea of time. It’s more than an hour when he says, ‘Enough for today’ and then you see on the watch that he has already spoken for one hour and forty minutes or so, but there is no feeling of having been there for an hour and forty minutes at all.” (Swami Nirvana Bharti. Interview. Principal of the University of Madras. In: The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), pp. 402,410)

Arun recalls lecture in Hindi on Meera Bai, October 1977
“As Osho arrived in the Chuang Tzu auditorium he gracefully climbed the dais whereupon he greeted everyone with his namaste. In his crisp white gown with full sleeves and his flowing beard, Osho looked impeccable in his style as he took the seat and crossed his legs over the other leaving one of his velvet slippers on the floor while the other remained on his foot. I was always moved by the physical grace of Osho and the enormity of his personality. As we sat there I was overwhelmed by joy and was trying to figure out what impact was he having on my group.
The lecture started with Ma Taru singing a few Meera bhajans. As Bhagwan closed his eyes listening to her, the whole auditorium ringed with the sweet songs of Meera in the Rajasthani dialect flavored with her eternal longing for Krishna. A milieu of love and devotion filled the whole auditorium. Osho started the lecture by narrating the life story of Meera. Osho is a great storyteller and in his soothing voice Osho was pulling the strings of our hearts as he beautifully brought to life the life-incidents of the great devotee.
Every time I visited Pune, during the first lectures I used to be so overwhelmed by emotion that I used to cry looking at Bhagwan throughout the lecture which would subside after two three days of my stay. On that day also as soon as Osho started to speak I started to cry. But I was surprised to hear sobbing sounds coming from our group and when I looked up I found that all the women in our group had been touched by Osho’s magnetic presence and were crying. Nepalese are simple, heart oriented people and it does not take too long to bring them to the heartspace. As the lecture progressed I noticed tears were floating from the eyes of the male members as well. Except for my father and another gentleman each one of us had tears in our eyes.” (Arun 2017, p. 324)

All Hindi discourse series are in Volume III / Bibliography / Poona One. Lectures and Discourses 1964-1990 are listed in Volume III / Sources.

4.8 Darshans in Chuang Tzu Auditorium

Osho’s discourses in the mornings were to be supplemented by a format of more intimate evening gatherings between master and disciples. These darshans started on December 10th 1975. First series of darshans to be recorded and later published in English were ‘Hammer on the Rock’ (1976), and these darshans continued on a daily basis until March 1st 1981. As of 1994, 46 Darshan Diaries have been published, while 17 series from October 1979 onwards are still in progress to be published in compilations.

“DARSHAN. Osho meets with groups of seekers in a small auditorium adjoining his residence at seven P.M. each evening for one or two hours. In these darshans he initiates new sannyasins from all over the world, greets people who are arriving or leaving, answers questions, and advises on problems. Groups of ashram workers and participants in ashram programs attend these meetings on a rotating schedule. Recordings are made of these intimate, face-to-face meetings between Osho and his guests and are published as “Darshan Diaries.”” (Sarito 2000, p. 235)

“In the evening darshans, during these years, he answers questions on personal matters such as love, jealousy, meditation. These darshans are compiled in 64 darshan diaries, of which 40 are published. (Factsheet 1998)

“Each night Osho met about twelve to fifteen disciples on the porch of His house overlooking the garden. This was called darshan (literally translated it means seeing).” (Shunyo 1991, p. 10)

Early darshan setting
“Darshan in 1975 was in Lao Tzu House on the car porch, an open area at the side of the house where Osho lived. Ten of us were going to sit with him one-to-one and I was scheduled to be the tenth.” (Krishna Prem. In: Savita 2014, p. 66)

Maneesha writes from her arrival darshan
“We were probably twelve in number, those of us who scrunched our way down the gravel driveway to the back of Bhagwan’s house, led by Mukta, who had warmed towards me sufficiently to ask my name and where I had come from. Following the curve of the driveway, we found ourselves at the steps of a stone-floored porch that overlooked the well-kept lawns and gardens, the sprawling bougainvillae that fell like a luxuriant floral waterfall down the surrounding fences. We quickly shuffled out of our sandals and found ourselves a position on the floor, forming a semi-circle around the man sitting in a large easy chair. I watched him as he greeted his disciples; murmuring greetings to one, pausing, mid-smile, to place his hand on the head of another at his feet. He was dressed in a long, shapeless robe, and sat with one leg over the other. (He was never to shift or change his position once during the entire darshan). I found him quite beautiful to look at: large, brown eyes that crinkled frequently in smiling and chuckling, a light olive complexion and a long black beard interspersed with grey. Again, I felt a sense of familiarity – as if I’d seen him before, done this before… On one side of him was Greek Mukta (I had planted myself next to her), on the other a diminutive, red-scarfed Indian woman called Laxmi, who was the main administrator of the ashram. Beside her sat a slim, pale-faced English girl whom I guessed to be about my age. Her delicate features and blue eyes were framed by long, straight brown hair. For the most part she sat seemingly absorbed in her own thoughts – or was she meditating? – or looked sideways from under her fringe at the various members of the group as they came forward to ask questions.” (Forman 1988, p. 33)

Milne writes
I soon discovered that many other changes had happened during my absence. Mukta, the wealthy Greek lady, who had given Laxmi most of the money to buy the Poona house when Laxmi could not find her hidden fortune, was now personally in charge of giving darshan appointment to Westerners. These were being held in the evenings rather than in the early mornings, in the carport of Bhagwan’s house, which was now called Lao Tzu. About ten people attended these each evening, when Bhagwan would ask those assembled is they had any questions.” (Milne 1986, p. 111)

Punya recalls
“As soon as we arrived at the ashram, Mukta, who was sitting in her customary spot on the steps of Krishna House, asked us if we wanted to see Osho. “There are not many people tonight.” She promptly added our names to her list in her little spiral notebook. How could you decline such and offer? We dashed to our hotel, took a shower and changed into clean clothes to be back before 7pm and wait at the gate of Lao Tzu House.
It was twilight already and the birds in the trees overhead were reporting to each other the events of the day – or so it seemed. To go and see Osho always had something magical about it; the preparation, the waiting at the gate and then the slow approach to the lit porch where Osho, already seated, was waiting for us. After bowing down with our foreheads to the ground, in the traditional Indian manner, we sat down around him on the two wide steps. That night there were just us two and a third girl, Madhuri, to be interviewed; a few Indian visitors sat on the side listening to the conversation or just enjoying the presence of their master.” (Punya 2015, p. 33)
(Note: See also in Appendix: Darshan. Information sheet. One page. January 1981)

Pankaja at darshan
“Darshan was in the car porch; Bhagwan sat in a chair at the top of the semi circle of steps, and maybe half a dozen people gathered below him. He asked me about meditation – I knew nothing about it whatsoever… He gave me the name Pankaja, and spoke for a long time about mud, saying that the mud is essential nourishment, and must be explored and used because the lotus grows from the mud. At least this is what I remember; at that time, darshans were not recorded, so there is no record of what he said… It seems to be impossible for me to write directly about Bhagwan. It was almost too much for me to look at him directly, I can feel him more easily by looking into the blissed out, ecstatic faces of his lovers gazing at him. He is Lord of the full moon; his radiance is too much to be borne face to face.” (Pankaja. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 465)

Darshan moved to Chuang Tzu Auditorium
“More and more people had gathered around Osho and the evening meetings had moved to Chuang Tzu Auditorium. Sometimes we had department darshans: we were invited to just sit there watching Osho talk to newcomers and give sannyas to new initiates.
The lights shone onto Osho and a group of people around him. On his left were Nirvano, his caretaker, and Laxmi, his secretary, on his right was Mukta, whose job was to call people by their names to come up and meet Osho. Next to her was Shiva, a ginger-head from Scotland who had become Laxmi’s bodyguard after an unfortunate incident. The man who’d attacked Laxmi, first trying to strangle her and then biting her nose, was angry at her because she had not given him permission to see the master. Now Shiva was also present at all darshans. He helped those who came up to Osho to find the right spot to sit down. Next to him was Maneesha who took notes for the commentaries to Osho’s words which were now recorded and transcribed daily. A darshan diary per month!” (Punya 2015, p. 128)

Osho on Shiva
“For example, Shiva was never my bodyguard; it simply happened as a coincidence. An Indian sannyasin attacked Laxmi and almost destroyed her nose. Laxmi is a small woman, so when I came to know about it I told Shiva, “You should be a bodyguard to Laxmi; wherever Laxmi goes you have to follow her.” In the evening initiation meetings Laxmi used to sit by my side to give me information about the person, and I had told Shiva, “Wherever Laxmi is, you have to be there,” so he started sitting on the other side. He was not my bodyguard.” The Razor’s Edge (1987). Session 6, p. 75.

Subhuti remembers from 1976
“It was seven o’clock in the evening and already dark as we rounded the corner at the back of his house. He was sitting in a chair on a marble platform in what had formerly been a car porch. He welcomed us with a big smile and gestured for us to sit around him on the floor.
Bhagwan had a wispy, greyish-black beard, a bald head and long, thinning hair at the sides and back. His deep brown eyes seemed to look right into your soul, which would’ve been scary if they hadn’t also been sparkling with laughter. He was 44 years old, or ageless, or child-like, or all three rolled into one.” (Subhuti 2010, p. 15)

Prem Maitri writes on darshan
“Each evening for the last seven years, seven o’clock, just as the brilliant green parrot finish their song in the nearby banyon trees, Bhagwan has appeared in the auditorium of the ashram’s Lao Tzu House to meet with a gathering of awaiting disciples. It has always been in darshan where new initiates received sannyas, (a new name, a mala of one-hundred-eight rosewood beads and a photo locket of the Master, and the beginning of wearing orange or red clothing, the colour of sannyas).
For many years darshan consisted mainly of verbal dialogues between Bhagwan and His friends. Problems were discussed, relationships looked into, spiritual queries were elaborated upon and a few good jokes shared. Slowly, slowly the verbal exchanges became less frequent, a feeling was happening among the sannyasins that the words between the Master and the disciple were not really the thing; something else was transpiring on a deeper level. We experienced ourselves more fully when we sat in silence with Him. We began asking fewer and fewer questions and the connection deepened as we withdrew our attention from the external focus of Bhagwan and moved quietly inside ourselves.
In 1979 a new phase of His work began. Bhagwan stopped conversing except with those who were receiving sannyas each night. The ‘blessing’ and ‘energy’ darshans appeared – a time for sannyasins to come close to Bhagwan either single or in small groups to receive an energy transmission, a silent exchange from being to being. Music began happening, (one evening Bhagwan simply suggested that the whole gathering sway and hum while He gave ‘energy’ darshans; and the next night came flutes, sitar, drums and mandolin). Soon it happened that the transmissions came in darkness, the auditorium’s lights were darkened and Bhagwan flashed the lights in an incredible rhythm and intensity with the music. The whole ashram sat meanwhile in darkness, a total black-out in the commune happened so that everyone would be available and receptive. A group of twelve women were selected to be mediums and the ‘energy’ darshans began.
In the course of the next two years an exquisite progression occurred in the format of darshan. More musicians joined, the intensity mounted, the mediums now numbering over twenty began dancing around those receiving the special transmission. It was spectacular, it was ecstatic, the intensity of darshan each night was simply unfathomable. With each darshan came the highest experience of a lifetime. Night after night after night.
In recent months, as Bhagwan spoke to his new sannyasins, most of us found ourselves sitting still and silently in His presence, with our eyes closed. We were coming closer to the Master, closer to ourselves in this silence. The inner treasures were opening. Our dependence on the outer treasures, ceasing.
They are His words preparing us for silence. Words urging us to hear beyond the words, words sung from the silence of the Master to the silence of the disciple. They are words to take us to the Sound of one hand Clapping.
Now you will listen to the songs. Listen as you would listen to the sound of running water. Let yourself rest in this music, let yourself bathe in these waters. Let yourself dive deep into your innermost shrine, and you will emerge fresh, new, reborn. Let your breath become the melody, your heartbeat the rhythm. Hear the Sound, the soundless Sound, the Sound of one hand Clapping.” (Excerpt from Introduction by Ma Prem Maitri. In: The Sound of One Hand Clapping. A Darshan Diary (1981))

Sambodhi recalls from September 1975
“At my request a chair had been arranged because I didn’t want to be conspicuous during the time it would take for me to get down on the floor. As some twenty people silently walked in, Bhagwan was already in his chair on the well-lit back porch of Lao Tzu House, a considerably smaller version of the auditorium used for morning discourse. He greeted each one with his eyes and a smile. When it was my turn, I found his smile to be warm, genuine, and his arm gestured me towards the chair not merely as a polite offering, but to convey a gladness that I was there and that he could provide me with this additional measure of comfort. Almost immediately I felt conspicuous sitting in a chair with everyone else on the floor; there was no way to be just part of the crowd.” (Clare 2009, p. 22)

Goldberg recalls from the end of 1975
“I went to darshan frequently on the small porch behind Lao Tzu House (you could just show up whenever you wanted in those days), and finally I spoke up.” (Swami Deva Goldberg. Viha Connection, 2017:5)

Maneesha on darshan January 1978
“As we sit awaiting bhagwan tonight, I cast an affectionate glance over the group of sannyasins and visitors sitting to my right behind me, and then over to those of us who come each night to darshan, who constitute the ‘team’. Mukta is seated on the right of bhagwan’s chair. She calls out each person’s name as it is their turn. (It was she to whom years ago bhagwan wrote the letters that became the book, ‘silent music’). Between mukta and me, is shiva, who acts as bhagwan’s bodyguard; bhagwan recently said that shiva was his ‘church’. Opposite shiva, on the left side of bhagwan’s chair, is seated arup. Formerly a groupleader from holland who ran her own growth centre, arup is now the mainstay of the organisation in laxmi’s absence. Laxmi, bhagwan’s ‘right-hand lady’ and secretary of the foundation, is, rumours has it, away looking for a suitable site for the new ashram. Krishna bharti, photographer, is checking his equipment. He has been coming to darshan for over a year now to take photographs and is currently teaching vivek the art, so that glimpses can be captured on film of bhagwan in his more private moments. Haridas, sitting some distance away behind shiva and me, is responsible for the recording and amplifying of darshan.
I look up to see bhagwan, hands in namaste, framed by the doorway. Vivek, following behind him, takes her place next to arup and arranges the malas by her side, the torch that bhagwan frequently uses in darshan, several boxes and one or two of bhagwan’s handkerchiefs that will be going-away-gifts. Vivek has been with bhagwan for perhaps six years. His almost constant companion, she looks to his physical needs and prepares his food. Now she hands him paper and pen as the first candidate for sannyas, vanadis from germany, comes forward.” (Maneesha. In: The Sun Behind the Sun Behind the Sun. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 160)

On the number of beads in the mala
“In addition, I had to wear the mala, a necklace consisting of 108 wooden beads (that’s 2x2x3x3x3 – for numerologists among you) and a “guru bead”, a wooden locket with Osho’s picture.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 31)

Darshans reported in Sannyas magazine
“Every evening Bhagwan meets with his disciples and friends and speaks with them about whatever wants saying. Obviously, there is a dialogue going on, or a teaching, or some banter back and forth, or a joke, or play. But there is a special thing beyond words that happens in Bhagwan’s presence. Enter the stage with me, and we will feel the nuances…
The stage is set: a swivel chair; a small pile of malas on the floor to the left of the chair, for those being initiated into sannyas this evening; a microphone to the right of the chair, connected to a tape recorder about four feet away; a soft light; the sounds of night coming from the surrounding garden; an occasional train whistle in the distance.
At this moment, his disciples and visitors are waiting at the gate of the house, being briefed for the evening’s performance.
The stage is one that permits all things. All is possible, from the ordinary to the super-ordinary, from the sublime to the ridiculous. One might see the set as a physical manifestation of sets that exist in other more subtle dimensions. Every utterance of his, every gesture, is like a seed which scatters to the winds of mind and falls to the earth: some on fertile soil; some on soil that needs loving work; some on rocks and crevices to perhaps be taken off again on a fresh blast of wind; some blowing to remote places to be forgotten again for centuries.
His disciples enter and walk quietly, pensively, to center stage, taking seats in a semi-circle on the floor, facing the chair. A hush pervades the atmosphere like a fine gossamer veil descending. It is a silence that is not opposite to speech, but includes speech.
With eyes twinkling, an aura of complete athomeness, and yet a scent of vast and unknown places, he begins…” (Sannyas, 1977:2, p. 44)

Osho’s speaking at darshan
“That again just reconfirms the impressions that I’d got previously and from discourse. It seemed to me to have essentially the same flavour as a question and answer session but on a slightly more intimate, more personal scale. And I suppose one of the things that did impress me a little is that he does appear to take a much more personal interest. It’s been said that he’s harder to see than the pope these days (laughter) and that nobody ever gets individual audiences any more.
He does actually appear to know everyone in the ashram as individuals, and that again is a pretty remarkable achievement when… I must say that people with beards all look the same to me! (laughter)” (Interview with Brian. Professor at Open University, UK. In: The Zero Experience. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 81)

Silent darshan
Monday March 8th 1976. “As Bhagwan had been a little unwell this week, until this evening there had been no darshan. Whether or when darshans would recommence was uncertain… When it was announced that darshan would be happening tonight – but in silence – feelings were mixed. To be able to sit with Bhagwan at all was cheering, but there was a feeling that this heralded the beginning of a new phase in which Bhagwan would withdraw more and more.
Nevertheless, the thirty or so people who attended the silent darshan seemed, on the whole, to feel positive about it.
Those present were conducted to the Chuang Tzu auditorium where the discourses are held, rather than to the porch of Lao Tzu house where darshans usually takes place. Minutes after they seated themselves, Bhagwan arrived, and smilingly took his place in the chair before the group. (Maneesha. In: Nothing to Loose But Your Head. A Darshan Diary (1977), p. 295)

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Photo 16. Osho writing sannyas name.
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Mistlberger on darshan
“In the evenings, he would then host darshan, a term that means ‘vision of the divine’ or ‘to see the light of the master’. These meetings were small gatherings of a dozen people in which Osho would talk to disciples one-to-one – greeting new arrivals, seeing people off as they were going back to the West, and bestowing initiations. He also would provide considerable guidance, often counseling everything from quarrelling couples to confused seekers to those who were experiencing significant inner breakthroughs in their work on themselves. Many of these meetings were recorded and published as ‘darshan diaries’ which provided interesting glimpses into the intense dynamic between Osho and his sannyasins. Arguably these ‘diaries’ are amongst the most comprehensive and intimate portraits of a guru working with his disciples.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 86)

Listening to Osho at darshan
“It is very nice to hear his own voice and not to hear him through the microphone; that always does something to a person. To hear his own voice is lovely, and of course to be near him. At darshan he’s setting out his finishing net, so to speak, and he’s in his utmost love and gentleness, whereas in the discourses he’s on a different beam. But every darshan has been a joy. It is a great joy to listen to all that he says for others because it’s so profound and you see how he meets the needs of each one.” (Prabhu Praveeta. In: The Further Shore. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 184)

Darshans in Chuang Tzu
“But there was only room for about 150 people at the evening darshan in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, where Bhagwan counseled individuals in front of others, gave sannyas, and took leave of pilgrims who were on their way back to the West.” (Goldman 1999, p. 192)

Waiting for darshan
“It is 6:45 pm. As a scraggly group of sannyasins and visitors await admission into chuang tzu auditorium for darshan, astha, bhagwan’s ‘char’, responsible for the cleaning of bhagwan’s room and assisting in the preparation of his meals, sits at the foot of the stairs in lao tzu house.
Krishna bharti (known as kb), the photographer for darshan, and haridas, in charge of recording darshan, check their respective equipment. We move about the darshan area quietly.” (Maneesha. In: Only Loosers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 163)

Sniffing
“I remember that on this very path, then still covered with gravel instead of marble, every night there were about fifteen wooden benches put up in neat rows for us to wait on before going into darshan. And because of Osho’s allergy to dust and scents, Raha had to sniff our hair at the gate. If the perfume was too strong from the shampoo we had used, we had to come back another day. The only way to get rid of the smell was to wash the hair out several times with lime juice. But if it was only a slight scent then it could be covered up with a scarf. Neerja, with her flair for fashion, was soon appointed as the ‘scarf lady’ and a pile of scarves was always at the ready at the gate.” (Punya 2015, p. 118)

Arun on sniffing
“Later on I realized that this whole sniffing business was a device of Bhagwan of only allowing people that he wanted in the darshan. Maneesha, Shunyo and Radha are some of the names I remember from the group of sniffers who used to take turns in the sniffing duty. They were totally tuned with Bhagwan and I am sure that he was using them to filter out those who he did not want in the darshan.” (Arun 2017, p. 329)

Savita on darshan
“Keep your shoes on though, till you reach the auditorium or you’d better go and wash your feet, but don’t forget to be sniffed again when you come back in, never know how much mosquito repellent you might have swallowed while over at the latrines. As for taking lunghis in to cushion your sitting with the master – sorry, love, it’s not on! And no raisin-buns, feathers or purses – I don’t care how many passports and tickets to New York are in it. We’ve a guard here, and guarding your valuables is his raison d’etre (otherwise known as ‘meditation’). No love-letters, photos of your mum and dad or emerald rings wrapped in tissue. Please leave all gifts at the office. As for sitting up front, only sannyasins well-practised in fidget-free lotus. That excludes kids, of course, too frequently inclined to gurgle in the microphone.” (Savita. In: The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 28)

Tim Guest writes on questions
“Questions about pregnancies, sterilization, and abortions were so common, and Bhagwan’s answers so frequently repeated, that by 1980 Bhagwan indicated the subject was not to be brought up in Darshan at all. At the Ashram medical centre, abortions and sterilizations were routine. Any male sannyasins, keen to do their part for the commune, had vasectomies. Parents were told by the Ashram administration that if they brought their children to Pune, they would be unable to live within the walls of the Ashram itself. Drawn to the Buddhafield, many sannyasin mothers agonized over whether to commit to their bliss or to their kids; many chose Bhagwan over their babies.” (Guest 2005, p. 31)

Bhagawati recalls
“We sat on benches outside Lao Tzu, the house in which Bhagwan lived and where he also gave his morning discourses. There was a sense of expectancy in the air and at the same time a serene stillness. Every visitor seemed turned within and sat quietly until asked to rise and walk in single file into the auditorium where we sat down on the cool marble floor. A comfortable looking overstuffed chair was placed against a wall which we faced in a half circle. Nobody spoke. Suddenly, a door to the right opened and a tiny Indian woman dressed in orange clothes and wearing a head scarf came out and sat down to the left of the chair, followed by an older Mediterranean-looking woman with long grey hair – who sat down to the right of the chair. A young man with red hair and a young dark-haired woman sat next to her.
And then, into the palpable silence a slight figure with a long grey bead appeared to be gliding through the door towards the chair and sat down quietly, like a falling leaf would softly settle on the forest floor. This was Bhagwan, I was actually sitting in front of him!
Moving gently behind him, a young woman with long hair entered and also sat down to his left. People who wanted to become sannyasins were called up first. Bhagwan would speak to them, smiling a lot, chuckling at times, writing down a name on a sheet of paper and place the mala over their heads while explaining the meaning of their new name. It was a happy atmosphere and my heart was beating ecstatically.” (Bhagawati. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 191)

Savita writing from darshan April 1978
“Maneesha has left for me a little heap of papers: lists and pads, notebooks and leaflets, and I check them over, not to be caught unawares by the torrent of you… A guard clicks his fingers at the microphones. KB sets his extravagant photographic apparatus onto the floor. Flick go the switches. On go the lamps. And here – the participating audience.” (Savita. In: Let Go! A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 426)

Punya remembers Mukta at darshan
“Mukta was always sitting to the right of Osho and, while glancing at her notepad from time to time, called up the interviewees one after the other. When they had seated themselves a few feet in front of Osho, she leaned forward towards him and whispered, I believe, snippets of information like: “He is leaving.” “She wants to take sannyas” or “He has come back after a year.” (Punya 2015, p. 57)

Darshan setting
“A small number of us are clustered around his chair. Vivek on his left side. Constant companion, close disciple. Translucent-skinned, palely beautiful. And laxmi – officially the secretary but much much more. Behind them, photographer krishna bharti (kb) perceptive-eyed, learning to see through his eyes. And on bhagwan’s right, mukta. Grey-streaked hair, his bodyguard. The friend through whom I came to know of bhagwan. Special love for him. Haridas sits behind us to look after the recording of darshan. German, very blond, very blue-eyed.” (Maneesha. In: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 1)

Darshan August 1977
“We wait, thirty or forty of us, incredibly patient and buddha-like, for bhagwan’s entrance. I take a peek through the sheer curtains that cover the window behind his chair and catch a preview of him as he turns the corridor into laxmi’s room on the way out to the auditorium.” (Maneesha. In: The No Book. No Buddha. No Teaching. No Discipline. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 72)

Family and friends at darshan
“It’s a giant-size darshan tonight [29.06.1977] – about sixty people, at least half of whom are relatives and friends of bhagwan’s from jabalpur. They usually try to come for each of the three celebration days, and of course we are celebrating guru poornima day on the first. Bhagwan’s mother is tiny, white-haired, wrinkled; his father is elderly too but really sprightly, dynamic. They’re both sitting in the front row, flanked by one of bhagwan’s brothers and a sister and sundry other relatives. I watch them as bhagwan enters: the mother immediately bends down, her head touching the ground; his father raises his hands in namaste and smiles at bhagwan. Bhagwan sits down, looks to his family and says a word or two to them. He doesn’t seem to treat them any differently from us, but I wonder what it feels like for them to have their son a guru, and their guru being their son?” (Maneesha. In: The Further Shore. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 256)

Darshan at Guru Poornima day July 1977
“The beginning of a new month. It seems fitting that we are celebrating guru poornima day, celebrating bhagwan, tonight. Hundreds of indian and western visitors and sannyasins are making their way to the spacious buddha hall. (Chuang tzu auditorium – the usual setting for darshan – can’t cope with the masses of bhagwan’s activities on these special festival days). People are already filing in, and ashramites at various strategic points on the huge flow of the auditorium, are directing newcomers either to the periphery – if they want to dance the one and a half hours of darshan – or to the centre to sit in view of the stage on which is now expectantly sitting the chair, looking rather like a large and comfortable lap, awaiting bhagwan’s arrival… A flash of silver through the orangeness of sannyasins hovering around bhagwan’s entrance, and his slinky mercedes draws up at the steps. I catch a glimpse of bhagwan waving from the window – regal… magnificent! And suddenly he is among us, walking the carpeted way to his chair, more dazzling tonight than ever it seems remote, starlike, breath-taking, pulse-racing!” (Maneesha. In: Far Beyond the Stars. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 5)

Radha working as medium
“My work as a medium lasted approximately two years. Then we were called to a short meeting with Vivek to be told that Osho was going to stop coming out for darshan… At about the same time Osho also decided to stop speaking – his morning discourse had been replaced with a meditation called satsang, where he would sit silently with us for ninety minutes, accompanied by occasional musical interludes and poetic sutras such as Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. So this was clearly a new phase in his work, when he would be less available.” (Radha 2005, p. 115)

Excerpts from Osho’s last words in darshan 23.03.1981:
“I am against all occultism
all so-called hidden esoteric secrets
I teach the open secret: be blissful
that is the only true religion
and the person who is blissful cannot harm anybody
the blissful person is a benediction
to the whole existence
bliss is our very nature, it is our eternal law
in fact we cannot lose it
so the only question is to remember
nothing has to be achieved but only remembered
… a forgotten language.”
The Sound of One Hand Clapping.
A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 188.

“all the great scriptures of the world are telegraphic
that is the meaning of the sanskrit word sutra
just a hint has been given but very pregnant
this is the first step
be telegraphic, speak the essential
and drop the non-essential
and then the second step
think only the essential
and you will be surprised
ninety-nine per cent is unessential
only one percent maybe is essential
that too i say maybe, perhaps
otherwise it is all holy cow dung
so drop thinking unnecessarily
about unnecessary things
and people are thinking about all kinds of things
relevant, irrelevant
i receive such questions
why do dogs bark at the moon?
now the person who is thinking this question
is really a great thinker
he is neither a dog, nor is he a moon
what is his concern about it? let the dogs bark
it is something between the dog and the moon
you are unnecessarily poking your nose in it
but just curiosity
and people go on thinking about useless things.”
The Sound of One Hand Clapping.
A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 479.

“christ is not a christian
he had never heard the word even
he never belonged to the church
there was no church to belong to
he was a man of awareness
that is true religion
buddha had never heard of buddhism either
but he lived the true religion
the religion of awareness
and that is true about all
the really authentic religious people of the world
others are only phony: the polack pope
and ayatullah khomaniac
and the shankaracharyas
these are all phony people
they have not tasted from the well of awareness
they have not gone in
they are simply repeating like parrots
the scriptures that have been handed over to them
by tradition
i don’t give any doctrine to my sannyasins
any dogma, any cult, any creed – i have none
i only insist on one thing
be aware, be alert in whatsoever you are doing
just do it watchfully, consciously
and that is enough
because consciously
one can never do anything wrong
consciousness is bound to result in right actions
and unconsciously one cannot do anything right
one can try to do right
but the total result will always be wrong
so there is no need to bother about your small acts
it is better to come to the very source
and that is awareness
discover it and live out of it
and then your life
will be just a festival of lights.”
The Sound of One Hand Clapping.
A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 511.

Last darshan diary
“On the twenty-third of March, Bhagwan spoke for the last time in darshan. For the following seventeen days he remained inside, not appearing for the morning discourse or the evening darshans. Finally, on the tenth of April, 1981, the announcement came: Bhagwan has entered a new and ultimate phase of his work. Now He will speak only through silence, the language of existence.
For many years He has been preparing us, urging us, helping us get ready so that He could stop talking and could meet with us in silent communion. He had been waiting for the right number of disciples to be ready. Now that has happened, and Bhagwan will be available to us on a deeper and more profound level…

This is the final darshan diary, the last in a series of sixty-four. These were Bhagwan’s last words sung in English. From this time onwards He will no longer be giving discourses in English and Hindi, rather a morning celebration of music and silence will happen each day. Bhagwan will be with us then in silence, it will be SATSANG, a silent heart-to-heart communion.

For the evening darshans, Bhagwan has chosen Ma Yoga Laxmi and Swami Ananda Teertha as mediums for His work. While Laxmi is away, Swami Satya Vedant will be taking her place. The darshans have resumed with sannyas, blessing, and energy darshans all happening through his mediums. (From Epilogue. In: The Sound of One Hand Clapping. A Darshan Diary (1981), pp. 581ff)

Osho speaking on using words
“The Bible begins with a very strange statement: In the beginning was the word, and God was with the word, and God was the word. This beginning of the Bible has led the whole western mind in a wrong direction. The Word can never be the beginning because before the word can exist the sound is needed. To transform the sound into the word a mind is needed. The word can never be the beginning.
The sound of running water is not a word. The sound of wind passing through the pine trees is not a word. Word came much later on. Word came with man, not with existence. Word is a mind product. It is giving meaning to sound. Sound is there, then comes the mind; then mind interprets the sound and makes the word. The word is a human creation. If I was to write the Bible again I would say in the beginning was “the sound of one hand clapping.” The Sound of One Hand Clapping. A Darshan Diary (1981); The Book (1984) Vol.III, p. 507.

Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“The evening darshan of March 23, 1981, turned out to be of immense significance – it was Bhagwan’s last darshan to disciples and visitors… At the last darshan of March 23, Bhagwan talked about the origin of words and language. He mentioned in particular the classic statement in the Bible that, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the word was God.” Bhagwan responded to this statement:
“I say categorically no! In the beginning was silence and also in the end is silence. Silence is the stuff the universe is made of. And I can say it authentically because if one goes within oneself, one comes to the beginning of everything, because you contain both the beginning and the end.”…
A new phase had also started for the evening darshan at the ashram, the announcement said. Bhagwan himself would no longer be physically present. Ma Yoga Laxmi, Swami Anand Teertha, and I (when Laxmi was away) were declared to be the mediums for his work. When the declaration was made, Laxmi was out of town for Foundation work, hence evening darshans for Indian friends, sannyas, blessings, and energy darshans were given by me, while for Western friends, sannyas, blessings, and energy were given by Teertha.” (Joshi 1982, pp. 156-58)

Initiation Darshans

Initiation of new seekers into sannyas was an essential part of the evening darshans. The sannyas initiations remained in same format as before, except that later on in his darshans Osho went into more elaborate detail when explaining the meaning of the new name to the disciples.

Initiation darshan
“Initiation took place during darshan – the evening meeting with Osho, which happened in a small auditorium, built as an annex to his house. A secretary would call your name and you would walk forward and sit close to his feet, then close your eyes. Sensing your energy, seeing your potential, the Master would then write your new name and its translation in English on a piece of paper that announced your rebirth, your entry into neo-sannyas.
Generally, Osho chose names from the Sanskrit language, or from the Sufi tradition. He then spoke to you directly, face-to-face, explaining the significance of your name and giving hints as to the direction of your spiritual path. He placed the beaded necklace around your neck and gently touched your third eye, giving a transmission of energy from which you tended to emerge so drunkenly that other sannyasins might well need to support you as you stood up, or even to carry you back to your seat.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 70)

Divya writes
“Every day at the ashram ends with evening darshan, an intimate gathering of disciples and visitors with the master. Bhagwan initiates seekers into sannyas, giving each a new name and a mala. The mala is a one-hundred-and-eight-bead necklace with a locket containing the master’s picture, it is a traditional gift from the master to the disciple upon initiation. Bhagwan talks to the new disciple, offering personal guidance on whatever spiritual path of meditation or devotion is best suited to the individual’s needs.” (Divya 1980, p. xiii)

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Photo 17. Arun in his Initiation Darshan. (Arun 2017)

Arun writes from initiation darshan and meditation camp in October 1974
“I had lost all sense of time. The huge dam of repressed traumas had burst open; I kept wailing. My friends who were taking initiation that evening later told me they couldn’t hear most of what Bhagwan told them because of my loud and disturbing screams. I wept until the anguish melted and became tears. My whole body became soaked with tears and sweat.
Laxmi and Mukta tried to hold and soothe me. But I was inconsolable. Each cell of my body was weeping. I knew that Bhagwan had caressed my back several times, but that’s all I can remember. The carport porch, where Bhagwan used to give sannyas then, could accommodate about twenty people only. Apart from Laxmi, Mukta and a few other sannyasins who recorded darshan, there were nine of us who had come to attend the ten-day meditation camp.
In Pune, there used to be a ten-day meditation camp from the eleventh to the twentieth of every month. The camp charge in those days was one hundred rupees, which covered meditation, Bhagwan’s lectures, dormitory accomodation in Somji Estate near the ashram, and three meals a day. All of my eight friends had enrolled in the camp and we stayed together in the dormitory. After the journey there, I had only two hundred rupees left on me, and as I wanted to stay longer, I asked Jayanti Bhai, the camp coordinator, to give me a discount. Ever so kindly, he gave me fifty percent discount for the camp, which was overwhelmingly generous and a great help…
Once the camp was over, the attendees had to vacate Somji Estate dormitory. Around sixteen people were living permanently in the ashram. On the weekends, a few visitors would arrive from Pune and Bombay. Since there were now only two buildings in the ashram, Krishna House and Lao Tzu House, the camp attendees and visitors had to manage accomodation on their own once the camp was over.
That morning, we had been told that all participants had to leave Somji Estate at 7:00 the next morning. I was already short of cash, and had no idea where I would be staying from the next day. Ma Big Prem and her American boyfriend were renting a room in Krishna House. They paid the ashram forty rupees, which included their meals, and they were part-time volunteers there.” (Arun 2017, pp. 115,122)

Punya on sannyas initiations
“For the sannyas initiation Nirvano would pass Osho a clipboard with a pen. He held the pen in a way we were not allowed at school: between forefinger and middle finger. With the same intensity with which I had seen him look into the eyes of those sitting in front of him, he slowly wrote the sannyas name. I knew he was drawing his signature when his hand was moving up and down and from side to side with that tiny scratchy noise of the pen. Leaving the clipboard on his lap, he returned the pen to Nirvano who handed him the mala. With both hands he slid it gently over the head while the initiate bowed forward. Then he held the locket of the mala in his left hand while with his right thumb he touched a point between the person’s eyebrows, his fingers resting on top of the head. Master and disciple looked into each other’s eyes.
Osho unclipped the paper and turned it around for the sannyasin to see. ‘Rajneesh Foundation’ and the address of the ashram in the header in blue print and the black and golden logo embossed on the top right. It was the symbol Osho had designed for his neo-sannyas movement: a point within a triangle, within a nogaon, within a circle. The sannyas name was in neat writing with no capitals (or sometimes all capitals), the Hindi spelling underneath. That day’s date was written to confirm the event and Osho’s always-changing, scrawling calligraphy signature was the seal.” (Punya 2015, p. 129)

Pankaja writes
“I arrived in Pune in April 1975, not sure why I was there, staying on the floor of a room in Ma Shraddha’s flat…
Darshan was on the porch, next to the Rolls-Royce, with maybe half a dozen people there, one of them Maneesha.
I can’t remember much about what happened next, just Osho telling Maneesha to raise her hands and move with the energy… What on earth? What’s going on?
He chuckled and put a mala round my neck, and it burned my skin. “Ouch, it’s burning!” And Osho said something like, “I am going to burn you completely.” (Ma Prem Pankaja. Viha Connection, 2017:3)

Azima at darshan
“As I couldn’t speak English I was allotted a female translator who would sit behind me to translate HIS words for me. I passed the sniff test, and what I remember mostly from those days is that before seeing HIM everything happened in such an easy and relaxed way, like a river flowing gently. No obstacles, it was like a magnet pulling me gently towards the centre. The house was literally covered with green plants and trees and the garden was walked through before entering the auditorium looked like magic, full of birds and parrots singing and celebrating.
When I utter such words now I can imagine people thinking that we were all spaced out or hypnotized, but this was not a trip or an illusion, it was really – reality at its best. Reality was a paradise around HIM…
Then my name was called, so I stood up, walked towards HIM, sat at HIS feet, and got lost in HIS eyes during the entire time HE was talking and explaining the meaning of my name. The most vivid sensation I had while I was looking into HIS eyes was to be moving into an abyss of darkness and space like if I had been shot into space without a spacecraft, and my body was floating in the air without gravity.” (Azima. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 77)

Levin on initiation darshan
“At the evening darshan Rajneesh initiated new sannyasin, discoursing beautifully and poetically to each on the theme of the new name he or she had acquired: he welcomed back with a huge and radiant smile and apt words of greeting, those who had been away; he gave a third group an extraordinary “energy-transfer”, pressing with his middle finger (like a violinist stopping a string) on the centre of their foreheads, over the “third eye”, in which experience reactions clearly varied from nothing at all to something close to convulsions: and he said an equally individual farewell to those who were leaving, ending in each case with the same formula, an inquiry as to their destination followed by the words, “Help my people there”.” (Bernard Levin. The Times (London), 13.03.1980)

Gayan remembers
“I went to darshan happily and made it through the sniffing ladies – that meant I had no smells that would provoke Bhagwan’s allergies – and walked into the dimly lit auditorium, behind people who were rushing ahead and sitting down on the floor in front of an empty chair. We were about 20 people there, waiting, sitting silently. And then Bhagwan came gliding in with his hands held in the Indian welcome called ‘namaste’. He sat down and before I could think or take in anything my name was called. I didn’t know what to do now, but somebody made signs for me to come in front of Bhagwan. So I went, sat down and disappeared into ‘His’ eyes. I heard him say, “Close your eyes.” And when he asked me to open them again, he was holding a mala, the necklace of rosewood beads with a locket that showed his picture. He placed the mala around my neck holding on to the locket while he gently touched my third eye. He then showed me a sheet of paper where he had written my new name, my sannyas name. I looked into his eyes and disappeared again and hardly heard a word he said to me. I just remember something about being too serious and that my way is to sing and to dance, nothing more is needed.” (Gayan. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 49)

Indians at initiation darshan
“A virtually unbroken stream of Indians for sannyas (it’s a Hindi camp). There is a simplicity and rapport between these people that we Westerners, with our clutteredness, are too sophisticated to share.” (Don’t Look Before You Leap. Intimate Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 183)

On Walt Whitman and the meaning of Anand
“Walt Whitman has said that he sometimes starts feeling very jealous of animals. They are so natural, and because they are natural there is great joy. But this nature that we see outside – the mountains, the stars, the rivers – is nothing compared to the inner nature that we are carrying hidden in our being, undiscovered, unexplored, ignored, neglected, inhibited, rejected. We have not looked into our nature. If we go on searching for bliss outside – we will never find it, because it is the kingdom within. It is not something that we have to seek; it is in the seeker itself. It is our very consciousness, our very existence, That is the meaning of anand.
‘Anand’ is a Sanskrit term, far more meaningful than the English equivalent, bliss. With the term ‘bliss’ it appears as if it comes and goes: sometimes one is blissful and sometimes one is not. That is not the case with anand. One is always blissful – one may know it, one may not. The only difference is of knowing, but bliss continues like an underground current. If we know, it becomes manifest; if we don’t know, it remains there hidden but it is never lost.” Don’t Look Before You Leap. Intimate Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 83.

Padma remembers her first darshan
“Padma arrived in Pune together with Sambuddha in 1975, straight from the Arica Institute in New York and had darshan that same night: “We went to the porch, and a dozen people were sitting there. The moment Osho came in, I knew my life was changing. I could feel every cell new in my body, as if the planet had shifted on its axis. I didn’t know what was happening but I could tell it was profound. When I was called up He asked me if I was ready for sannyas. I didn’t know what it was! I said, ‘I don’t know.’ ‘You are,’ He said, ‘Close your eyes.’ He named me Ma Deva Padma, meaning “divine lotus flower,” and said, ‘You are the flowering, now realize it… You have been with many Buddhas but you never stayed; now you stay with this Buddha.'” (Viha Connection, 2015:5)

Rahasya recalls
“Osho initiated new people into sannyas, into becoming his disciples. The initiate would sit in front of the master. Osho would speak to him directly, give him a new name and explain the meaning. The meeting was always deeply touching. Osho’s words penetrated the person in front of him to the very core, and brought forth the hidden beauty in the most wondrous way. I wanted that! At that time I did not want to become a disciple, but I wanted the experience of sitting in front of Osho and hearing him talk to me, or so I thought. The next day Geli and I applied for sannyas. Sitting in front of Osho was the most simple, present, down to earth experience. His eyes were like endless dark lakes of peace and joy. I remember almost every word he spoke. It was a timeless moment of presence, simplicity and clarity. It was so simple that I remember wondering why people went into ecstatic, orgasmic convulsions, or almost fainted when he touched them.” (Rahasya 2003, p. 50)

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Fig. 6. Arun’s sannyas certificate with early letterhead from 11.10.1974. (Arun 2017)

Osho talking to people
“Bhagwan’s words in darshan were, necessarily, more intimate than those at discourse. Some people were at darshan to receive sannyas; to them Bhagwan would explain the meaning of their names, usually at length, and then perhaps suggest some group they might do… Perennial problems that were brought to Bhagwan in many shapes and forms were those of love, sex, relationships, aloneness.” (Forman 1988, p. 66)

On prefixes
“At times he even gave the same middle name to the whole group, which confused our theories about middle names: apparently the ‘yogas’ were the heavy workers, the ‘prems’ the emotional ones, the ‘anands’ the head cases and the ‘devas’ the nut cases.” (Punya 2015, p. 152)

Satyananda recalls
“Ich sehe Bhagwan zum erstenmal aus unmittelbarer Nähe. Seine beiden Gesichtshälften erscheinen mir sehr untershiedlich. Der beherrschende Eindruck: Intelligenz. Der Blick der schwarzen Augen is niemals auch nur eine Spur abwesend, nacdenklich, verträumt. Er ist immer hellwach und scharf konzentriert. Er ist 46 Jahre alt, aber der eisgraue Bart und sein väterlich-würdevolles Auftreten lassen ihn älter erscheinen. Mir fällt die zarte Sanftheit seiner Gestik auf.” (Satyananda 1984, p. 88)

Marion Goldman writes
“In darshan, he didn’t so much relate to people as individuals or himself as a person. Think of it more as a presence, as a sense of moment that occurs when people are around him in those moments. It was something that transcended personhood. There was a sense of energy. Some would say an ocean of presence. There is some analogy to being in a lake of mild temperature and just floating.” (Goldman 1999, p. 144)

On pronunciation
“Mukta: Joaquin?
Bhagwan, who is always confused about the differences between French, Italian, Spanish and English pronunciations of “j”, asks Mukta to repeat the name again for Him.” (The Rainbow Bridge. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1985), p. 71)

Correcting the spelling
“A somewhat complicated conversation ensures when Sergio bends forward to inspect and try out his name, which Bhagwan has written with a j where g was in the original. G’s and j’s tossed back and forth between him, Radha and Sergio, misheard and misunderstood, finally Bhagwan takes up his pen again to correct the name and make everybody happy.” (Ma Prem Maneesha. In: The Sacred Yes. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 174)

Osho’s hands
“As he talks to a new sannyasin, Anand Megha, explaining the meaning of her name to her, Bhagwan’s hands begin that special dance of theirs that is so fascinating to watch. His hands in themselves are quite immaculate, and their moments of stillness are just as potent, as expressive, as when they are in motion. In a way the gestures don’t appear to be particularly related to what he is saying. Yet they are, and there is a sense of rhythm, of harmony, between words and gestures. It’s as if his mudras are the melody line running through a symphony, and the words the variation on the theme.” (Maneesha. In: Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 133)

Mudras
“These minutes have been a dance of fingers, a symphony of mudras rising, falling, stretching, closing upon the spacelessness within His words… His hand quivers so realistically that we collapse in mirth imagining the love-maddened, unsuspecting spider, ecstatic in his spider orgasm.” (God’s Got a Thing About You. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), pp. 29,118)

Gestures in darshan
“Bhagwan does an incredible series of gestures, like a masterful magician. His hand seems to dig, dive, rise, do several somersaults, an up-swerve, and end up with a blossoming of force!” (The Rainbow Bridge. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple. 1985, p. 179)

An insect in his beard at darshan
“He has begun to write down their sannyas names, then pauses to look at his beard, into which has disappeared some stray beastie. Mukta from her place starts up to look for but cannot find the culprit, and Bhagwan starts to write again. A second then a third time he stops and Mukta bobs up to examine the beloved beard. Finally insect-free, Bhagwan completes the names and beckons smiling close to him, Anna Margarete.” (The Sacred Yes. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple. 1983, p. 291)

Indians at darshan
“An elderly Indian man comes forward to receive sannyas with the aid of a crutch and a young Indian who holds him by the elbow. In spite of his condition he does a full prostration before Bhagwan and rises again, his hands in the prayer position, his eyes full of a sparkling gratefulness…
Lalit and Sandhya – the husband and eldest daughter of Taru, the Indian sutra singer and one of Bhagwan’s earliest disciples – come forward to receive blessings. Sandhya is getting married and is full of enthusiasm for her projected future. Bhagwan seems to mirror her excitement back to her in a light and chatty tone and blesses her.” (The Rainbow Bridge. Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1985), p. 294)

Names
“There was another time in sannyas initiation, during a phase in which Osho was keeping people’s original names… He usually knew the Sanskrit origins of Indian names, but now, someone had presented him with a huge book of the meanings of European names and he wanted to play about with it.” (Abhiyana. In: Savita 2014, p. 117)

On being a sannyasin in a Muslim country
“Help my work there! He says to Svarno bound for Saudi Arabia. It is difficult in a Mohammedan country but a few people are ready everywhere to receive. So just remain available so that a few people will start gathering. And come back!” God’s Got a Thing About You. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 253.

Devika writes
“It feels as though the moon has fallen from the sky all around me when I come out of the gate in front of the winding path which leads into Chuang Tzu Auditorium. Other people are standing around outside, and the night air is filled with bliss. I go home clutching the certificate on which Osho has written my new name with his own pen in Hindi and in English, and which bears his own beautiful signature. I feel totally different, much lighter, and I feel that I want to walk gracefully from now on, as though something very beautiful and fragile has been given to me and I have to carry it very carefully.” (Devika 2008, p. 29)

Sannyas names
“Reading through scores of published Darshan Diaries, I learned that many sannyasins were given the same name, an issue that sometimes drove Sheela’s assistants wild as they tried to keep records about each devotee. On a more philosophical note, did the five Yuddhistras or seven Satya Bhartis share the same essential personal attributes? This was unclear to everyone I asked.” (Goldman 1999, p. 244)

A listing of Sannyas Names is at:
– www.oshonews.com/2014/03/sannyas-names/
– http://www.samudroprem.com/OshoSannyas.html
Introduction to the new list of Osho Sannyas Names & Terms.
Compiled by Swami Samudro. For download: Full List all Names (PDF); First Names only (PDF); Full List all names (Excell).

Blessing Darshans

Blessing darshans took place when you were sitting with the master for a few moments sharing your problems, or when you were arriving from the west or leaving the ashram to go back home. Later the arrival and departure darshans were changed to silent blessing darshans, individually or in pairs, in which there was no conversation with Osho.

On writing to Osho
“Writing to me is not of much use. If sometimes things become impossible and you cannot help it, write; otherwise, by the time your letter reaches me you have already been helped. In fact, when the need arises, help immediately starts moving towards you. Before you ask the question, the answer has been given. That’s the magic that happens between a Master and a disciple: even before the question has been formulated, the answer has been given. You may not have heard it, so you think you have to ask. But if you can be a little patient you will hear it; you will find that it has been given already.
And out of one hundred questions, ninety-nine are just momentary. By the time you write them, they are no longer relevant – they disappear of their own accord. One has to learn to be patient and then one can see that ninety-nine percent of questions need not be worried about at all. They move on on their own. They come and they go – they have nothing to do with you. They are just casual visitors, they have no cause in you.” At the Feet of the Master. Darshan compilation (1992), p. 152.

On creating problems
“I have not come across a real problem yet. All problems are bogus. You create them, because without problems you feel empty, nothing to do then, nothing to fight with, nowhere to go… You create problems, so that you feel life is a great work, growth… First you create a problem and then you go in search of a solution.” The Tantra Experience. Discourses on the Royal Song of Saraha (1994). Chapter 4.

Early darshan in 1975
“Darshan in 1975 was in Lao Tzu House on the front car porch. Ten of us were scheduled to sit with him one-to-one and I was going to be number ten. It felt like an eternity before it was my turn. Finally Osho looked at the boy in the ninth position and Osho’s eyes were so big, they overflowed onto me and I thought he was gesturing me to come forward. Eagerly I got up, but of course it wasn’t my turn and he told me to have patience and I promptly sat down again.
I was so embarrassed I could have died. The ninth boy came to sit in front of Osho and as soon as he sat down, he began to cry. And he wouldn’t stop crying and Osho waited, and finally Osho broke the silence and said to him, ” What seems to be the problem?” And the boy related this story, “I bought a brand new pair of sandals today and when I got out of Kundalini meditation at five-fifteen, my sandals were gone!” And then he burst into tears again.
Osho closed his eyes and when the boy stopped crying, Osho opened his eyes again and he said to the young boy, “I can’t help you with your loss, but what I can suggest is that tomorrow you go M.G. Road and you buy another new pair of sandals, and when you go to Kundalini meditation, you take one new sandal off and you put it on the top middle shelf and you take the other new sandal and you put it on the bottom shelf on the far left.”
And then he added, “No one ever steals one sandal!”
And then the boy’s tears turned into laughter, and it looked to me like Osho was very proud of himself. He was just beaming with the biggest smile you’ve ever seen in your life. Everyone else was laughing. And then Osho reached out and held the boy’s hands, they stood up at the same time and, as if music began playing, Osho did a tiny dance with the boy and then, still beaming, namastéd everyone and walked out, and that was the end of darshan.” (Krishna 2011, p. 172)

Maneesha recalls darshan November 1977
“Bhagwan is as caring, as giving as ever, but I have the feeling now as he chuckles a good! to Karuna that he is giving less and less energy to ashramites’ problems, as though to indicate to us that it is time we either drop the innumerable problems we imagine we have, or by witnessing what is happening, seek the answer more within ourselves.” (Maneesha. In: The Open Secret. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 341)

Vismaya writes
“At six o’clock that evening, about forty of us gathered for evening darshan, a more intimate meeting with Bhagwan on a covered patio outside his room in Lao Tzu House. Everyone arriving and leaving would have such a darshan, the workers on rotation. We sat whispering to each other, rustling like the night creatures around us emerging in the dusk, including the mosquitoes. For darshan you could wear neither perfume nor insect repellent as Bhagwan was allergic to all perfumes other than neroli oil; but who has a mind for mosquitoes when you are about to meet the Master. We filed in and sat in hushed rows on the floor. One by one we went up to meet him. My name was called and I walked over and sat crossed legged in front of him.
‘Hello Vismaya’ he smiled ‘How are you.'” (Geraghty 2007, p. 130)

Krishna Prem recalls from 1980
“A while back the format of darshan had changed: except for when he was giving sannyas, Osho had stopped speaking. Actually, the initiative had come from us, rather than from Osho. More and more people, when asking for darshan, were indicating they had nothing to say to Osho but just wanted to sit with him in silence for a few moments. In response, he began the “blessing darshan”. In pairs, sannyasins would kneel before him for the laying of one of those magic thumbs on the third eye. In the energy darshans he used the mediums as before, but in the new blessing darshans he set them dancing.” (Allanach 2010, p. 310)

Writing to Osho
“Until then, as far as I understood, anyone writing a private letter to Osho would receive a private answer next day in a small box in Krishna House… To see Vivek in the kitchen was already a big event because ordinarily nobody went in there apart from Vivek and the women who prepared Osho’s food. When anyone else was summoned it was usually to receive a personal message from Osho. (Radha 2005, pp. 94,103)

Aneeta on darshan
“Night after night this seems to be a thread connecting all Bhagwan’s messages to us: ‘I don’t think there is any problem.’ Indeed it seems they do disappear one after another here for almost all of us.” (Aneeta. In: Don’t Bite My Finger, Look Where I’m Pointing. Initiation Talks Between Master and Disciple (1982), p. 125)

Maneesha on darshan
“I glance across at arup who is sitting in laxmi’s place (laxmi has gone to delhi for a few days). She hands bhagwan the list of groups and places available as he instructs a newly arrived sannyasin to participate in a few group processes. He speaks to arup almost brusquely, in a matter-of-fact way. It is the tone he adopts when speaking to people concerned about practical matters, and I like its informality.” (Maneesha. In: The Further Shore. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 52)

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Photo 18. Osho with disciple in darshan. 1976. (Copyright: Jay Ullal). See also text below. (Panjiar 2004, p. 124)

“Over three decades ago, Bhagwan Rajneesh, the charismatic godman and religious philosopher later known as Osho, captured the imagination of Westerners and some Indians with his radical, made-easy spirituality. The mid-1970s was the golden phase of his career, when he set up a commune in Pune, almost a miniature town with entry limited strictly to his followers, called sannyasins. Tales of the good life and easy sex in the commune received as much publicity as Rajneesh’s lifestyle and teachings.
Jay Ullal gained the confidence of the ‘Bhagwan’ through some of his disciples, but was allowed into the commune with his camera only after he agreed to wear the customary mala and robes and become a sannyasin. For six weeks he lived as one of Rajneesh’s disciples – he shed his name and came to be called Swami Jayananda. What emerged was an amazing document of life in the commune, with some very explicit pictures. Ullal’s images summed up the quest for peace, love and joy that began with the hippy years of the late 1960s in the West, reaching its height in the 1970s and 1980s, and coincided with the rise of a number of Indian godmen.” (Panjiar 2004, p. 125)

Maneesha on darshan May 1977
“I’ve been coming to darshan every evening now for over two years, half of that time recording and commentating on darshan. Tonight I still feel aware of that same sensation in the pit of my stomach, that sense of anticipation and excitement that you feel just before the curtain rises on a stage performance or when the lights dim, sweet wrappers cease rustling and conversation becomes an occasional whisper as a movie is about to begin.
Ostensibly the same scene unravels each time, and yet there is a sense of new drama every night. There is absolutely nothing routine or predictable about anything bhagwan does. Even his gestures so familiar to me – the way he crosses his leg, holds his pen, raises his hand when someone is mumbling, his pauses, the phrases and intonations of each word – amaze and touch me.
He brings a quality of freshness, of novelty to everything he does – as though this is the very first time he has sat in this chair, has welcomed a sannyasin and farewelled another, listened and responded to a rejected lover, to a blocked group participant or a reluctant, would-be sannyasin. You feel he is really loving and having fun with everything that happens around him… that it is like a continual birthday party.
Around him you feel absolutely anything could happen… that everything goes. This hour or hour-and-a-half is so extraordinary because you are not just passively watching a performance unfold: the dramas that are enacted before you are your own – it hardly seems relevant whether you are one of the main cast or an extra in the crowd, a member of the crew. This is real, live theatre.” (Maneesha. In: This is It. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 198)

Margot Anand writes
“It was dark when we filed into Chuang Tzu Auditorium. There were about thirty of us, and everyone sat on the marble floor, close to Osho’s chair. He came in, greeted us with a namaste, and sat down. Names were called and people went up and sat at his feet. Some were leaving for the West, while others, like me, had just arrived in Poona.
Eventually my name was called and I went to sit at Osho’s feet. I saluted him with a namaste. I looked into his smiling eyes and the world disappeared. Only his presence remained. He was connecting with me absolutely. No one else existed. I told him how difficult it had been to part with Miles.
In response, Osho indicated I should come closer, so I scooted forward on my bum. Then he asked me to raise my arms in the air and look intently at his hand without blinking, while he shone the beam of a small hand-held flashlight at my face. He seemed to be checking my aura. After a few moments, he turned off the light and invited me to relax, saying, “You have just crossed into hell and back. But it did not damage your center, your energy. Be happy about this. In fact, it was worth it.” (Anand 2017, p. 117)

Subhuti recalls darshan
“As we speed through the second decade of the 21st century, people still ask me “What was it like to be with Osho? What was he like as a person? How did it feel to meet him face to face?”
Let me put it this way: on those occasions when I sat in front of him in darshan, for those moments, it felt like I was the most important person in the world, or the only person in the world, or both. This wasn’t just my experience. It was everybody’s experience.
It was the result of sitting in front of a human being who is giving you his total attention, a man who is one hundred percent present, here and now.
When he looked at you, smiled and gently asked, “How about you? everything else disappeared. It was just you and him. The entire population of the world and, indeed, the universe itself, had just become completely irrelevant and probably non-existent.
Not only that, I had the feeling – and again, this was something many people commented upon – that he saw me as a buddha. He had the capacity, the love and compassion, to look past all the bullshit of the personality and see my essential being.
Small wonder, then, that we floated out of such meetings on a white puffy cloud of bliss, gliding along the footpaths of the ashram, our feet barely touching the ground. It usually took a couple of ours to come down.” (Subhuti 2014, p. 193. Reprinted from: My Dance with a Madman (2011))

Chital recalls from November 1977
“As a new arrival I was invited to attend Darshan with Osho, a relatively intimate happening each evening at 7:00 on the large garden patio outside his residence. That night there was about 50 of us, including new arrivals, those about to depart, and graduating members of one of the Ashram’s many therapy groups.
Being one of the people who would be given a opportunity to speak with Osho, I was escorted to a front-row seat. The patio was very comfortable: white, marbled, inviting, and surrounded by lush vegetation. Seated immediately outside the door to Osho’s residence, and flanking a chair like the one used in morning discourse, were a small gathering of intimate disciples. They included his secretary, three musicians, two mediums (women who were clear channels for Osho’s energy during healing sessions), and a large, ferocious-looking bodyguard.
Osho entered in silence, performed the Namaste’ greeting, and took his seat. One by one, the secretary, Ma Yoga Laxmi, summoned us chosen ones to sit at his feet. When my name was called, I went forward, my mind loaded with some very intelligent and vitally important questions regarding the nature of existence.
He smiled. I smiled.
He spoke: “Something to say to me?”
I replied: “I have nothing to say.”
Inwardly my ego was screaming, “You fool. You travel 8000 miles. You give up all hope of ever being respected by friends and family. You are two feet from a Jesus, a Buddha, and you have nothing to say? IDIOT!”
The problem was that all my energy seemed to have dropped into my heart and my guts. My mind was empty. Well, not completely empty. There was one thought as I stared into the largest eyes I’ve ever encountered, and the thought was, “Oh my God, there’s no one home. There is no person behind those eyes.”
I was to have many close encounters with Osho over the next eight years. Each time I would look into the eyes, searching for the ego, looking for fear, anger, judgement, envy, greed, maybe a little lust or uncertainty, something that would put him in the category of human. But all I ever saw was love, laughter, and “drunkenness”. He was a self-described drunkard, drunk on the Divine.
Back to Friday, November 25, 1977 and my first encounter. I sat there thinking I had blown my chance to have him speak directly to me, but he surprised me by motioning me forward and requested that I close my eyes. He then made physical contact, placing a hand under my chin, and stared at a spot above my eyes. When I heard him say, “Good, come back,” I opened my eyes, held back the tears, and listened intently as he gave me a ten-minute talk about the essence of my being, and gave me my own special meditation to do.” (Hill 2016, p. 125)

Werner Erhard from est
“There was a time in 1978 when Werner Erhard, the ‘est Training’ guy, was in Poona along with his sidekick and his sidekick’s wife, as well as Diana Ross, the former lead singer of the well-known Motown group, The Supremes. These four were only in Poona for a day or so – which was rare because people usually came for a much longer time… So they were there somewhat as spiritual tourists.” (Madhuri. In: Savita 2014, p. 71)

“Some of Bhagwan’s discourses were translated by well-known publishers such as Routledge & Kegan Paul and Harper & Row… Bhagwan wooed, but did not necessarily win, celebrities like Diana Ross, James Coburn, and Werner Erhard, founder of est, an astonishing popular personal growth movement of the era.” (Goldman 1999, p. 23)

Founder of Delhi Rajyoga Meditation Center in darshan
“Om Prakash, an older Indian friend who runs a centre in Delhi, comes forward. It strikes me that he looks like an almost mirror-like reflection of Bhagwan as an older man sitting there opposite him – the same bald pate, trim circle of hair, and flowing white beard. Suddenly he’s up… and gone. Slowly people drift out and I sit there and wonder.” (Anurag. In: The Madman’s Guide to Enlightenment. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 232)

Nandan remembers
“And then he finally arrived, very silently – like a white cloud – greeting everybody with his hands held in namaste and looking at every single one of us…
He looked at me with a huge smile and said: “Come her Nandan, and let’s have a look!” He picked up a beautiful small golden torch light, positioned my face right in front of his and while shining with the torch into my eyes, it felt like he was looking deep into my eyes. It was a moment that seemed like a timeless abyss, there was just nothing else than this very bright light I was looking into, which seemed like ten thousand suns and a feeling of deep trust and being held…” (Nandan. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 287)

Vivek entering for darshan
“Vivek, his almost constant companion, follows him at a discreet distance, equipped with paper and pen and the small wooden boxes bhagwan gives to those who are leaving, and bhagwan’s magic pencil-torch. She carries a certain atmosphere of serenity with her… her face is pale and framed by her long hair which hangs like heavy satin curtains.” (Maneesha. In: For Madmen Only. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 396)

Wooden boxes
“For a number of years, Osho would gift sannyasin travelers abroad with what was known as a leaving box, with instructions for them to be opened only once. These were tiny round handcrafted wooden boxes, some of which held one of his hairs or a few nail clippings, and which stored his energy. They were used as an aid meditation and to help people stay in communion with him in moments of need during their time away.” (Savita 2014, p. 255)

“I have a farewell Darshan with Bhagwan. It’s an intimate gathering on his back porch. He gives us a beautiful little box when we leave Him. Sitting at his feet is the most exquisite and alive moment I have ever experienced.” (Wills 2009, p. 70)

“Tanmaya also designed and made the wooden boxes that Bhagwan personally bestowed on sannyasins who would soon journey away from the ashram. Some people considered them “magic boxes” because they were thought to sustain contact with Bhagwan. Tanmaya said that when you were away but needed Bhagwan’s advice, you could place the box close to your body and somehow experience his help.” (Goldman 1999, p. 201)

Devika recalls
“Then in the middle of the afternoon, suddenly I hear a voice outside of me speaking close up near my cheek. Very clearly and out loud I hear the voice say: “I am with you.”
After that I know that miracles are possible in this Universe. Where the Voice has come from I do not know, or how it happened. But shortly afterwards I am brought a gift from Osho by the Commune doctor. It is a beautiful little wooden box like a small treasure chest. Inside I find two of Osho’s hairs and two of his finger nails. It is really a treasure. He has cut his nails for me and sent me the message to place the box on my forehead. When I do this, I feel better.” (Devika 2008, p. 36)

Empty box
Bhagwan: “This is an empty box. There is nothing in it – or there is only nothing in it… the great nothing I have talked about to you. I have given many boxes to people, but this is the first empty box that I am giving to you. So whenever you forget, just open it and look at the emptiness of it, the nothingness of it. Let that be your meditation.” The Great Nothing. A Darshan Diary (1978), p. 12.

Osho presenting an empty box at darshan February 1978
“(to Vivek) A box for him. (to Alexander) Keep this with you. And whenever you need me just put it on your heart. It is an empty box; it represents my emptiness, nothingness, nobodyness. But nothingness is not nothingness, it is fullness.” Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 189.

Leaving box
“PREMBUDDHA: Could you give me a leaving box?
You can have a leaving box. Come close to me! You’re so new that I will have to…
He bends closer to Prembuddha then looks over His shoulder at Chaitanya Hari.
Hari, play on the flute!
The box He holds against Prembuddha’s third eye.
Good. Leaving boxes are very temperamental! (laughter)
Take care of it, and whenever you need me put it on your heart. Good!” Just Around the Corner. Initiation Talks Between Master Disciple (1984), p. 129.

“Bhagwan hands premdeep a beautifully carved little wooden box containing a few of his beard hairs. Premdeep takes it carefully, says a thank you, kneels down to bhagwan and bounces back to his place.” (Maneesha. In: Only Loosers Can Win In This Game. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 37)

Written instructions on how to use Osho’s farewell gift
“Osho gave a small wooden box to sannyasins during ‘leaving darshan’. It contained hair or nail clippings from Osho. Many have unique experiences when they meditate with this box or apply it to their body. At some point recipients of such boxes were given these instructions:

SUGGESTIONS FOR THE BOX

  1. If you want to you can open it, carefully and look inside. But it is good to only do so once and then keep it closed always.
  2. If when you go through customs, the officials want to know what is inside it is suggested you show them yourself so that the contents do not get spilled.
  3. Do not give this box to anyone else.
  4. You can sleep with it under your pillow each night.
  5. If you have a pain or block in the body you can place the box against the place for a few minutes.
  6. If you are doing the divine healing you can keep the box close by.
  7. If a suggestion about how to use the box had already been given, then follow that.

Otherwise there is a suggestion you can follow – but only when the need has come to 100′ degree boiling point: Sit in a comfortable position and place the box on your head at the seventh centre – which is towards the back. Hold the box there throughout the meditation and don’t allow it to fall. Then for three to ten minutes – but no longer than that – just allow whatsoever happens to happen. His Blessings.” (www.oshonews.com 09.2013)

Margot Anand writes from group session
“Then we lay on our backs in a circle on the mattress-covered floor, holding hands, forming a human mandala with our heads almost touching a large crystal that rested in the very center of the circle.
Each of us held a tiny hand-carved box with a talisman, given to us by Osho, so that our hands were clasped with one box between them. Later, I learned these boxes contained hairs from Osho’s beard and nail clippings from his fingers. At first I thought this was a bit, well “woo-woo” – crazy. But I was told it was the custom in India to be given a little “piece of the master” to be intimately connected to his energy. I left it at that.
We began an intense breathing exercise, and after a few minutes, I suddenly felt a lightning-like energy flash from the boxes into my hands. It passed through my arms, into my heart, and through our circle, connecting us in a living energy circuit. I felt myself and everybody else disintegrate into pure energy and light in a kind of “spiritual electrocution.”
After a few moments, the intensity receded and I was back in the circle. Everyone had experienced this extraordinary effect. We had been mediums for the transference of a mysterious, mystical energy. Was it a gift from Osho? It certainly felt like it.” (Anand 2017, p. 141)

Gifts at darshan and sometimes toys to children
“Come here! This (a handkerchief of Bhagwan’s) is for you. Keep this with you… and come back! Good, Michael.” The Open Secret. A Darshan Diary (1980), p. 147.

Presenting gown at darshan
“Come her, veeresh. (Bhagwan touches veereshwar’s head in blessing) Mm? and dye this robe for yourself.
Bhagwan passes veereshwar one of his own gowns.” The Buddha Disease. A Darshan Diary (1979), p. 13.

“After a few days I meet Osho in the evening darshan and He gives me a beautiful silver Parker pen as a gift and asks me to start helping in the accounts department.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 115)

Punya in leaving darshan
“When Osho heard in my last darshan that I was leaving he presented me with a towel, one of those towels he used to hold over his arm and, when in discourse, place on his lap. I remember watching Nirvano get up and enter the house and when she came back she was holding in her hands a light blue chenille towel, sparkling under the lights. It was for me, a gift to take home… She [Krishna Radha] had just returned from Pune and brought with her a present from Osho for the centre. It was a beautifully carved teak box. We were not meant to open it, Radha said, so nobody knew if it contained Osho’s hair, as she had suggested, or if it was empty.” (Punya 2015, pp. 46,49)

Devika recalls from July 1976
“When I came to the gate of Lao Tzu House some women sniffed me to make sure I had no perfume on me. Then I was allowed to go up the winding path to the round white veranda called Chuang Tzu with about twelve other people. As there are quite a lot of people here now, as many as fifteen people go in together every night to speak to Osho, but we can still speak with him individually one at a time.
There were two rows of us and I sat at the back. I could hear everything that was being said. People were asking questions and some were taking sannyas – receiving a necklace of beads called a mala and a spiritual name from Osho. Everything he was saying sounded so beautiful and so compassionate. He accepts every person just as they are. There was no judgement or condemnation in his words. He listens to what the person says and then responds. People are asking advice about personal issues. It seems to me he sees beauty and godliness in every soul and helps them to see it for themselves – that is the main thing.” (Rosamund 2017, p. 161)

Margot Anand writes
“I don’t have a question,” I told him. “I just wanted to see you and say thank you.”
He smiled, asked me to close my eyes, then gently laid a finger on my third eye, or sixth chakra, which is located between the eyebrows.
Gradually I started to feel a tremor like a rumbling that seemed to come from beneath my coccyx, deep in the center of the earth, almost like an earthquake. The rumbling approached the surface at the spot where I was sitting, penetrating my pelvis, which started to shake, rattle, and roll… and I found myself laughing uncontrollably.
It was like an irresistible laughter that took over my entire body like a tidal wave, surging through my sex, my hips, and my belly, and moving up into my solar plexus and chest, where I now abandoned any and all reserve and let it rip.
I was rolling on the floor in front of the Bhagwan (meaning “the blessed one”), helpless with laughter. I guess it was like an epileptic fit, in the sense that there was nothing I could do but surrender. More laughter washed through me. Something was undeniably hilarious… life… us… this.
This laughter was not my laughter. It was a universal laughter, bigger than the auditorium. In the middle of it all, I caught a glimpse of Osho’s face and he was chuckling.
My time with him was up. I knew it, but there was no way could I get up. I was still shaking uncontrollably. Two helpers had to carry me to my seat. By now, the whole room was laughing. The glee had become contagious. Everybody was infected by it.
Another name was called and darshan proceeded.” (Anand 2017, p. 126)

Maneesha on Osho’s message in a nutshell 1977
– Bhagwan: “Sometimes sit silently and enjoy if that is that moment’s desire. Listen to each moment and don’t get fixed. And never allow the ego to arise out of anything whatsoever. Watch that the ego does not arise, and then everything is right, everything is okay. Doing is okay, non-doing is okay.” Maneesha: “Fantastic! Bhagwan’s whole non-philosophy is in a nutshell: easy is right, go with your flow as it is in the moment, and just allow. I love the way his replies are always so down to earth, so sensible, and yet always indicate a way to go beyond the earthbound too. Bhagwan butterfly!” (Maneesha. In: Far Beyond the Stars. A Darshan Diary. 1980, p. 223)

Energy Darshans

The darshan format had been used already throughout his years in Bombay, also including ‘shaktipat’ in big gatherings of people. In Poona he first met his followers at the porch in Lao Tzu House where on Sundays shakitpat meditations were held in 1974-1975. Unlike initiation, arrival and leaving darshans, which were ‘speaking’ darshans, energy darshan were wordless transmission of energy on an individual basis or in pairs. The energy darshans in Chuang Tzu auditorium found their final format in February 1979 with mediums, music and the turning off all electric light in the ashram.

Osho talks on energy
“Now before we work, a few things for the mediums and for the others too. The word ‘energy’ is not yet rightly understood. It is one of the incomprehensibles. Physics talks about energy, metaphysics talks about energy, but nobody defines it. It is indefinable; it is as indefinable as God. In fact, it is a new name for God.
What we are doing here is creating a harmony of energy in which a few windows which have remained closed for you can become open – a few doors which have remained shut for you can be helped to be opened. If the energy is in harmony, if your energy is in a state of dance, the key suddenly fits the lock. And the key fits in the lock only at a certain state of harmony, never before it. And when you are really moving, swaying, dancing, when you are not holding yourself back; when you are offering yourself totally, you will feel, you will hear the key moving in the lock – the lock opening. You will hear the click. And that click, once heard, can never be forgotten. Then your life starts taking a new colour. After that click you are never the same: you cannot be the same. That click is very important. And that is the purpose of these close-ups.” (Allanach 2010, p. 267)

Radha recalls from early darshans at the porch
“Next day, we returned to the ashram with the clear priority, for both Govindas and myself, of meeting Osho. This, I learned, could happen only at evening darshan – as personal meetings with the Master were called. Appointments were given at ten o’clock in the morning at the gate of Lao Tzu House, where Osho lived… He gave darshan every evening on a porch at the back of the house and a discourse every morning on a large balcony on the first floor…
My heart was thumping when I was let in through the gate and walked down the driveway with Govindas and six or seven other people. We walked past one side of the house, turned a corner and arrived at a large porch floored with small square tiles. As I took off my shoes at the entrance and saw Osho sitting in the distance – in a chair on a raised patio at the far end of the porch – I suddenly had the feeling that my mind was not thinking in the usual way. It was as if, from this point onwards, everything became expanded…
Before sitting down, I found myself going to touch Osho’s feet and as I stood up and looked into his eyes, I felt as if I was looking into the eyes of nothingness. Yet in this nothingness I could only feel complete acceptance. For the first time in my life, I felt totally perfect…
So for me, that first meeting with Osho was also an initiation into my work, and this feeling continued to deepen over the next few days because each time I met him I felt I was being given a new key. For example, a few days later, I was in darshan, listening to Osho talk to a middle-aged man who was sitting in front of him. I don’t remember what the issue was, but at some point Osho told the man to close his eyes and raise his arms. Then he looked at me and asked me to come and stand behind the man. “Pour your love into him,” he said, and to the man he suggested, “Go into the energy and if something happens, allow it.” Then he touched the man on his third eye…
But there was no time to even think about it and that was beautiful because what overcame me was an easy, natural feeling of giving my energy. It just started to happen, through my hands, my breasts, my belly. In that pouring, many things happened to me – it’s hard to describe, but I can try. I found myself melting and disappearing – into what I can’t say – but the moment this happened, something else became totally present in me, like a deeper sense of knowing myself. It was like an electric shock, so powerful that after a while I fainted on the floor – a mixture of an orgasmic bliss and a feeling of passing out. But there was no fear in it; only contentment and joy…
I remember another important experience that happened during those early darshans. One night, sitting there with maybe eight people, a young guy with a guitar started playing music for Osho. It was unusual. Normally, nobody did that, but he’d asked Mukta with such sincerity and conviction, ‘All I want to do is sing a song for Osho’, so he’d been given his chance…
Then he [Osho] said, “Radha, get up and dance.” There was no ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ or anything in between. I just experienced myself jumping up and starting to dance, right there on the porch, becoming the dance, moving with the dance, going totally into the dance to the point that I completely lost myself in the music, in the sound, in the senses, in the feelings… And then I was just whirling and whirling until I found myself on the floor, falling in prostration at Osho’s feet.” (Luglio 2005, pp. 32-38)

Krishna Prem remembers early days
“She [Mukta] leads us down the gravelled drive and around the back of the house to a small semi-circular mosaic patio. An empty armchair stands in the centre, just out from the wall. To the right is a door, closed now, leading into the house. After a few moments the door opens and Osho is standing there, palms meeting in namaste. He does not look well at all. There is an underlying frailty and pallor even his slight tan cannot mask. His body seems somewhat stooped as he moves slowly towards his chair; that it requires effort is painful obvious. Laxmi and Vivek follow, sitting, as usual, on the floor beside him. They both watch him anxiously. The strain of shaktipat can be devastating. Last Sunday he’d needed help to make it back into the house.
At the morning darshan on the lawn two weeks back, when I told him of the pull to move into silence and he said to come to Poona on Sundays for shaktipat, he explained the technique. “Whenever a Master wants to help you,” he said, “to cleanse your energy channel, your passage, if it is blocked, he simply possesses you. He simply descends into you, and his energy, which is of a higher quality, purer, unbounded, moves in your energy channels. They become open. Then your energy can move in them easily. This is the whole art of shaktipat…
Osho’s body still isn’t well. The morning darshans on the lawn continue, but there are no more shaktipat. And no sign of any discourses. But he wants us to keep meditating. There’s no room at 33, so Laxmi arranges with the city fathers for us to use Empress Botanical Gardens at the edge of the cantonment. We make the twenty-minute run by cycle at six in the morning for Dynamic and again at six in the evening for Sufi whirling.” (Allanach 2010, pp. 64,67)

Energy darshans from February 1979; talks to his new mediums
“That winter was charged with excitement for those living in and around the ashram. Each night a whole new dimension of Bhagwan’s work was revealed. By mid-February He had selected a few women to come to darshan every night to serve as energy mediums for Him. The darshans became pure blessings for all of us.
He began the close-ups those initial evenings with special talks to his new mediums.
“This is a totally new phase of work, so you have to be totally available, as if you are not – only then can my energy penetrate to the very core.
“And for the helpers, for the mediums who will be helping; they have to be utterly absent, merged into me – only then can their energy become part of my energy and move.
“The work that is now given to you is of immense importance, it is no ordinary work. And this is only the beginning; it will have many many dimensions soon. So only those who really surrender totally will be chosen for further dimensions.
“I will relate many more things to you, many more that you cannot imagine, many more that you have never dreamt about.”
Then one evening out He came, telling us that beginning tomorrow the whole ashram would be in total darkness; a total blackout during the forty-five minutes of the ‘energy darshans’! All work and activity in the ashram would subside and everyone would sit silently receptive to the energy.
“This is not only a small experiment to help the guest; this is to transform the whole energy-field of the commune. Right now it is a small commune. I was waiting for the new commune, but I think it will be delayed a little more, hence I decided that the work has to start. But in a way it is good: if you can fill these six acres of land with your energy, then it will make you able to fill the new commune.”” (Ma Prem Maitri. In: Won’t You Join the Dance? Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1983). Introduction and pp. 284-88)

Satya Bharti recalls
“Explode it did, in February 1979, when Bhagwan started giving nightly “energy darshans.” While he continued to lecture every morning and still spoke to people when he initiated them into sannyas, he began to work more directly with energy now and less through words. With live music, flashing strobe lights, dancing, singing, swaying, and peaks of orgasmic frenzy, the energy darshans were like mixed-media theatre where sexual energy was transformed into spiritual energy. Bizarre powerful happenings, like everyone else at the ashram I was shaken to my roots by them.” (Bharti 1992, p.118)

Vasant Joshi writes in his biography
“Later, after February, 1979, these darshans were given a new form and dimension. They were called “energy darshans” and the format was changed. Instead of responding directly to the problems or questions of sannyasins in darshan, Bhagwan would send his replies through Ma Yoga Laxmi after reading letters from the sannyasins. The giving of sannyas remained as before except that now Bhagwan went into more elaborate detail when explaining the meaning of the new name. The arrival and departure darshans were changed to “blessing darshans,” in which there was no conversation with Bhagwan; Bhagwan would press his thumb or forefingers in the center of the forehead (also known as the “third eye”) of the sannyasin who closed his or her eyes as energy was received from the Master. After the “blessing darshan,” sannyasins, especially the regular ashram workers, received an even more intense experience of energy and ecstasy. During this part the atmosphere was filled with joy and festivity. While Bhagwan pressed the “third eye” of the sannyasin, other sannyasins danced ecstatically around him in a semicircle and the group swayed to the music. The whole experience was like opening out or being totally receptive to the flow of energy.” (Joshi 1982, p. 133)

Divya writes on shaktipat
“Before in Bombay, He used to do massive shaktipats – raising of the level of energy and then pouring it through people. There used to be tremendous catharsis: people would cry, scream, laugh, go into ecstasy, agony… all from the impact of His directing of energies. He doesn’t do that anymore, but He does it individually in the come-close.
It was time, we agreed, that He didn’t have to deal anymore with all our mental trivia. It is time we got into the real thing, beyond the linearity of mind. We have far to go! Since the come-close energy-work started, some six months ago at the most, the levels of interaction and personal awareness in the ashram have risen drastically. More cooperation, less tensions, more intensity and sometimes less intellectual clarity, but certainly more love and trust in the master and with each other.” (Divya 1980, p. 245)

Maneesha on energy darshan
“This afternoon I caught fragments of the rumour that was later confirmed as being so, that each evening now, a certain sannyasin (a different one for each night of the week) will come to darshan to assist as a vehicle for his energy.
It feels like the beginning of a new phase, a stepping-up, an intensifying of his working on us – all of which he has been indicating to us so frequently lately in the morning talk and at darshan. So, more than ever it feels as if the verbal communication that happens in darshan is just part of the preliminaries, a bridge that is still necessary, perhaps particularly of newcomers, to help us establish contact with Bhagwan.” (Ma Prem Maneesha. In: Won’t You Join the Dance? Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 205. 21.02.1979)

“Bhagwan spoke about the come-close darshans in the discourse this morning. He had been talking about energy…
“Energy is delight. Desire is energy, energy is delight. Contemplate over it – just pure desire, just overflowing energy, for no particular object, with no destination. That’s what you have to remember when you come to me for an energy darshan, for a close up. Just become pure desire just an overflowing desire for nothing in particular. Don’t wait for any experience. Experiences will come, but don’t wait for them. If you wait, you will miss, because when you are waiting for the experience you are no more in the herenow. You have already missed the point; the mind has come in. The object has obstructed the purity of the desire.
When you are in an energy darshan with me, when you are partaking of something of my energy, just be pure desire – going nowhere, moving nowhere, just thrilled for no reason at all, just madly ecstatic for no reason at all. And in those few moments you will have the contact with me, because those few moments are my reality.
If you are sitting there, waiting to have some great experience of light inside you, then maybe you may experience some light, but you missed: you threw the diamonds away and gathered pebbles on the shore. You may be waiting for your kundalini to rise: you may have a certain sensation rising in your spine, but what is it? It is pointless! It may give you a kick, a spiritual kick, but then it is gone.
With me, be pure desire – swaying with me, moving with me, dancing with me, allow me to penetrate you to your deepest core, to the deepest core of your desire, to the very seed. Then something immense, something incredible, something you cannot imagine, is possible: an entry of the beyond into you, the meeting of the earth and the sky…”” (Ma Prem Maneesha. In: Won’t You Join the Dance? Initiation Talks between Master and Disciple (1983), p. 205. 25.02.1979)

Krishna Prem asks Vasumati on being a medium
“I want to hear all about darshan. I refill her glass with beer. “What’s it like, this medium-thing?” She hushes me instantly. “You mustn’t ask about that,” she admonishes, glancing around to see if I’ve been overheard. I understand. Whatever role she and the other mediums are playing in the Master’s drama is between them and him. It’s personal, private. “But,” she adds dramatically, leaning confidentially towards me like a neighbourhood yenta about to impart a particularly tashy bit of gossip, “something quite incredible did happen!” She pauses for effect. “Tonight Osho said he was beginning a new phase of his work, and that from tomorrow night the whole commune would be in darkness during these darshans so everyone could participate. He said he’d been going to wait for the new commune, but had decided to start right now.” “I heard something about it,” I say. “I was in Laxmi’s room this morning when Haridas and the electricians were trying to figure out how they’re going to plunge the entire commune into blackness in a split second.”…
It’s been a while since I’ve been to darshan. And it’s changed. Around Osho’s chair the set-up is the same but off to the right now sit the mediums and a group of musicians. Obviously, music is to play a part in this new phase as well. The mediums intrigue me, and I imagine, everyone else. Vasumati had burst into my office during the afternoon to tell me she’s just seen Vivek and had been told to come to darshan every night, “He’s chosen five regular mediums,” she’d said, almost beside herself, “and he’ll try others out and add new ones from time to time.” Teertha’s consort Maneesha, the Australian editor of the darshan diaries, had also been included. Vivek, of course, would be medium-number-one.” (Allanach 2010, p. 265)

4.8 energy
medium1
Photo 19. Energy darshan.
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Azima on energy darshan
“Up to this point, energy darshan had been given mostly to one person at a time, called up to sit in front of Osho, supported by one or two female mediums, who would sit behind the individual and help him receive Osho’s energy by putting their hands on his back, head, or heart. Later Osho began to invite three or four people at a time – sometimes even six or seven – surrounding them with a host of female mediums. As a result, about thirty people, most of them women, went into trance as soon as he initiated the energy transmission.
Other sannyasins present in darshan would participate by raising their arms, closing their eyes, then humming and swaying for as long as each session lasted. At the same time, a group of musicians would play fast, dramatic music.
When he touched his disciples, Osho simultaneously turned off the lights by pressing a button with his foot, plunging the entire ashram in darkness. In that instant, whereever you found yourself, you had to sit down and remain immobile until the lights came back on. This was similar to an exercise George Gurdjieff designed for his disciples in his communes at Fontainebleau in France, which he called his ‘Stop Exercise.'” (Rosciano 2013, p. 204)

Devapath on energy darshans
“This reminds me of the ‘energy darshans’ with Osho in Pune in the late 70s and early 80s, when groups of twenty to thirty people would meet with Osho in a small auditorium adjacent to his house. At a certain point, the lights were turned off and we raised our hands and started humming. Meanwhile, just in front of us, Osho would be giving energy to two or three guests, surrounded by about a dozen female mediums. The music quickly grew wilder and soon we would all be in ecstasy, absolutely high and totally free.
After a few minutes, the music would suddenly stop and deep silence remained. The world seemed to stand still, one moment felt like eternity. In such moments, the breath of Zen arrives – the breath of ecstasy. Existence is breathing us. We enter the mystery of life.” (Devapath. In: Svagito 2014, p. 293)

Mistlberger on energy darshans
“This would consist of placing his fingers on certain parts of their body, most commonly the center of the forehead (or ‘3rd eye’ in traditional yoga). Often these sessions would result in profound changes in consciousness for not just the one being treated but for others observing as well. How much of this was attributable to Osho’s therapeutic skill or yogi siddhis (powers), or to the general suggestibility of an atmosphere of charismatic-type healing, is debatable. As with most things of this nature it was likely a combination of all of that.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 168)

Radha recalls being a medium at darshans in Chuang Tzu
“Chuang Tzu Auditorium, where darshan was held, was a fairly small but very beautiful auditorium attached to Lao Tzu House, opening out onto a thick, jungle-like garden of trees, shrubs, and plants designed specially by Osho, who seemed to love this feeling of dense wild nature. Osho’s chair would always be in the same position, with its back against the wall of the house, facing out into the hall and garden…
When Chuang Tzu was ready, the mediums would enter from a side door and sit together on the floor, facing Osho’s chair, near a small group of musicians who would be getting ready to play during the energy darshans. We were all sitting on Osho’s right side, leaving plenty of space in front of Him for the 20 to 30 people who had booked for darshan that night…
When everything was ready the audience, or rather, the participants, would come in and sit down. A few minutes later, Osho would walk through His door on the other side of the chair, greet everyone with a Namasté, and sit.
In the beginning, He would be initiating people into sannyas and answering personal questions, and we would sit silently waiting. Then the mediums would be called to come and sit in a semi-circle in front of the audience, facing Osho, and our time would start. The first stage was called ‘charan sparsh’ – “touching the feet” – and was for Indian sannyasins who were visiting the ashram from various cities around the country, who wanted to perform the traditional devotional gesture of touching the Master’s feet.
They would be called up individually, bow down, touch Osho’s feet and sit in front of Him, and then one medium would be asked to stand or kneel behind the “guest,” as Osho called the person receiving the energy transmission. Music would be played in a fairly low-key way, and we would all sway gently, not going wild, knowing that this was really just a warm-up for what would follow.
Once ‘charan sparsh’ was over, the energy darshan would begin. Two guests would be called from the audience, and sit sideways in front of Osho, facing each other, close enough to His chair so that He would be able to touch their foreheads with His thumb or fingers. Then Osho would call a medium to kneel behind each guest, then two more mediums to stand behind these mediums. So there were two mediums behind each guest, one kneeling, one standing.
Sometimes Osho would position another medium, sitting in the middle, between the guests, then another one behind her. The rest would stand up and create an energy circle around this group.
In this way, Osho would create what I liked to call “energy mandalas.” He would begin by making an electric circuit between the people immediately in front of Him, and the energy generated by these two or four people would then spread to all the other mediums, who were all somehow connected. By this time the energy would be so thick that it would be spread out to all the people in the audience, like a power grid conducting a high voltage load of electricity…
Energy darshan would begin with Osho saying to everyone, “Now close your eyes, raise your arms, feel the energy, and go completely crazy.”
The music was always very strong and wild, rhythmic but verging on chaos, with Chaitanya Hari’s flute soaring above the other instruments. As the music rose higher and higher, we would start to sway and dance. On the floor, next to one of Osho’s feet, was a little push-button switch, and when He pressed it all the lights in the auditorium would go off, ushering in pitch-black darkness. This would continue for several minutes, then Osho would flash the lights on and off in rapid succession as He played with the switch, using it almost like a strobe.
Meanwhile outside the hall, the entire commune would be plunged into total darkness and everyone would stop all activity, sit down, close their eyes, and meditate until the energy darshans were over and the lights came back on. Since each energy darshan lasted about five minutes and there were six or more per evening, the entire experience would take between 30 and 45 minutes…
To kneel behind a guest was at times difficult, because my body needed to remain upright in order to receive Osho’s touch and the knees had to be on bare marble, because this created the “earth” for the current of energy pouring through, thereby grounding the grid.
I’m glad I was 25 at the time, as it needed quite some strength to support the guests in front of me. Sometimes they would not be able to contain so much energy physically and, in a state of ecstasy and trust, would naturally flop backward into my arms. Very often, when each energy darshan ended and the lights came on, the guests were unable to get up and had to be helped or carried back to their seats.
If I was positioned as a medium kneeling behind a guest, this also meant that Osho would at some point be touching my third eye, or rubbing His finger or thumb against my forehead, or something similar. When I look at some of the pictures taken during those events (a photographer was always present at darshan) it often looked incredibly intimate, because sometimes His hand would be resting against my cheek in a very soft and delicate way, sometimes He would be cradling my whole head in His hands…
To me, to be a medium simply means to stay as empty as possible for energy to pour through me, and I was able to do it so deeply in the energy darshans because of my love and devotion for the Master.” (Radha. In: Viha Connection, 2003:1. Excerpts from chapter 6 of manuscript to: Luglio 2005)

Maneesha recalls the subtle choreography
“I loved watching Bhagwan choreograph each energy darshan, gently indicating by gesture or name: Vivek, you be here (she might stand by his left side) Mm… Radha, you be behind Vivek. Savita, you be there… and so on. Thus stationed, with closed eyes we waited for the music to begin. Then we were off – the entire group of sannyasins, arms raised, swaying gently and humming while the music built up to a peak and the strobe light flashed on and off, casting an extraordinary effect over the scene.” (Forman 1988, p. 180)

Arun writes on the mediums
“The energy darshans had a completely different flavour. Twelve young and beautiful sannyasin ma, who Bhagwan had chosen as his energy mediums, would sit beside Bhagwan and assist during shaktipat. The work of these mediums was to channel Bhagwan’s energy and pass it on to the receiving guest who had come for the darshan. All the mediums lived in close proximity to Bhagwan’s house, and lived a very strict life, unlike the other sannyasins in the ashram. It was compulsory for all mediums to do daily meditation in order to be constantly in tune with Bhagwan’s energy. Even before choosing a boyfriend, they first had to consult Bhagwan for permission, as the person might not be right for them and a wrong person can disturb the psyche of the medium. These mediums were given very meditative schedule and Bhagwan was very particular about what they ate. They were asked to remain strictly vegetarian and not to touch alcohol or tobacco. Once it happened that Bhagwan was feeling difficulty in passing his energy through one of his mediums. Bhagwan was also wondering why she was not allowing the free flow of his energy. He checked her routine and her food menu and he said that it was because she was eating eggs and that heaviness obstructed the flow of energy.
During the energy darshan, Bhagwan would call the mediums over and position them around the guest, asking them to support the guest from the back or to touch a certain energy centre of the guest, while he would do shaktipat by touching the third eye of the guest with one hand and that of the medium with the other hand. There was no specific rule on how Bhagwan orchestrated the energy darshan; everything was arranged according to his intuition and his consideration of the guest who was sitting in front of him. The lights in the whole ashram would be switched off, and everybody was asked to merge into the energy from whereever they were in the ashram…
It was quite something to be in receipt of Bhagwan’s shaktipat. People’s response took on different expressions; some would cry, scream, or laugh, while others would just fall down. These people had to be carried back to their places, supported by other sannyasins, as they were unable to stand up alone. Bhagwan was carrying out a great experiment, which continued until the 10th of April, 1981, after which he stopped giving energy darshans and sannyas by himself…
Later after 10th March 1981 he stopped giving sannyas and darshan as well. Bhagwan instructed Swami Teertha to give sannyas to foreigners and Ma Yoga Laxmi to give sannyas to Indians. However, as Ma Yoga Laxmi refused it as she had too many responsibilities and she didn’t want to become a sannyas facilitator, this responsibility was passed on to Swami Satya Vedant.” (Arun 2017, pp. 227,298)

Prem Gayan remembers being a medium at energy darshans
“There were 20 mediums in all. Some of us, depending on who was called, sat close to Osho during evening darshan when he initiated new disciples. These darshans truly changed my perspective of life; being so often so close to him, initiated me into a new perception of existence. My inner world ‘slowed down’. One night after darshan, it took me 30 minutes to get home to No. 35, which was a place just next to the ashram. A two minute walk! But that night I almost could not move. I only inched forward. Everything around me was suddenly illuminated. Everything was sacred and divine. (And yes, it reminded me later of one of the LSD trips in the English Garden in Munich, in moonlight)… Once I wanted to ‘test’ Osho! The mediums were forbidden to eat eggs, so one day I secretly munched one down, just to see what would happen. The next morning Vivek called me with a message from Osho. I was shaking when she told me that I should never eat another egg before coming to darshan. I felt so guilty and stupid. This was the last and only test I ever conducted. From that moment on I knew that he knew, and that was that.” (www.oshonews.com, 12.02.2014)

“The mediums would stand together, waiting in the famous red corridor for Chuang Tzu to be ready.” (Radha 2005, p. 103)

Abhiyana writes
“In 1979, Osho began to give shaktipat (energy transmissions). He would have us sit close to him and dig into our ‘Ajna’ chakra, aka the Third Eye. These “energy darshans” became more and more elaborate, with handpicked women “mediums” assisting and the Ashram musicians playing chaotic music. Osho had a foot switch that made the lights in the auditorium strobe to his beat. The lights in the rest of the Ashram would go out and people sat down and meditated whereever they were, to link to the energy. I received about ten of these energy transmissions.
These were incredible events. I know these spiritual trepannings set me on the spiritual path toward the center of my being. Who would I have been without them? The whole community was drunk on the incredible energy Osho was unleashing.
After being “zapped,” many people couldn’t walk back to their seats without assistance. The “darshan lifters” came into existence: strong men who could pick kundalini-fried disciples off the floor. I was invited to be a lifter; I attended darshan at least five nights a week – an incredible gift! In order to keep this privilege, I had to attend 5:30 a.m. karate classes with the chief guard Shiva and the Samurais – the men who guarded Osho’s house…
Walking out of Chuang Tzu auditorium after darshan was a magical timeless moment: Silence beyond space and time, as if I have always been there. All senses wide open, as if seeing and feeling everything for the first time. It was especially poignant after Osho had been drilling his thumb into my third eye. It was truly a glimpse into reality, into eternity.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 174,178)

Shanti Bhadra on energy darshan
“When I moved within the confines of the ashram itself, it was to Vege Villas, a row of small rooms built in the former vegetable garden that backed onto Bhagwan’s compound. It was at a time when the darshan of old had expanded into a spectacle known as ‘energy darshan’. Although it was still possible to speak with Bhagwan, most people now opted for an energy darshan instead, which, as the name implies, was an exchange of energy rather than an exchange of words. Bhagwan had chosen a number of attractive young women (including the young lady [orgasm] on the roof) to act as mediums for him. At darshan they were uniformly dresses in long burgundy gowns gathered onto a sleeveless bodice. A number were present at darshan every night and sat together on the floor to the side of Bhagwan’s chair. The recipient’s name was called and the person came forward to sit at Bhagwan’s feet. Bhagwan indicated to his mediums where they were to position themselves around the beneficiary. One or two might stand or kneel behind the person with their hands on the person’s shoulder or head, others might be placed sitting of kneeling beside them. Once the fine details were in place Bhagwan might indicate to the remainder of his mediums to come and position themselves around the tableau. A small group of musicians were also a part of the new energy darshan. When everybody was in place, they began playing, and Bhagwan placed the fingers of his right hand on the person’s forehead, on the third eye. Sometimes he would also reach over with his left hand to lay it on the forehead of one of his mediums. Then the lights went out and the music rapidly rose to a crescendo, all but drowning out the ecstatic cries of recipient and mediums. The people sitting on the patio were also expected to abandon themselves to the energy, which they happily did, resulting in a state that could be accurately described as general pandemonium. It was a far cry from earlier days of quiet respect and piety.
During energy darshan the lights were turned out throughout the ashram. It became popular for people to gather within the confines of the ashram for the period of darshan so they could also partake of the energy.” (Stork 2009, p. 123)

Madhuri writes in The Poona Poems
darshan

we
the rainbow fish
flop on Thy floor

rare as eagles
harsh as rats
our peripheries wounded,
our butter hearts

Thy river flows
like ancient hair and laughter
gems to our colors
diamonds to our gems,
laughter to our laughter

we
wounded though we laugh
flying and flowing
on Thy floor

’75
(Madhuri 2017, p. 54)

Vismaya writes on the black out during energy darshan
“Black out takes place every evening during energy darshan, when the lights go out for half an hour. When they are switched back on, the mothers try to find their children, who must have night vision, as they can find places to hide even in the pitch dark. Tim and I then go back to the room I have rented and share with two others.” (Geraghty 2007, p. 161)

Komala Lyra on energy darshan
“There was an orderly line to enter Lao Tzu – the house where Bhagwan lived with a few helpers. Inside the garden, we were directed to the meeting room – a round space, marble floor, open to the garden, only protected by mosquito netting top to bottom. Impeccably clean, there was an empty chair at the center. When everybody settled in absolute silence, he walked in slowly in namaste, and sat motionless… Every evening, Bhagwan received people for initiation, as well as workers, group leaders and participants. Usually thirty people or so gathered in Lao Tzu house to receive his energy in a direct and mindblowing way. Bhagwan sat at his chair and around him the mediums were organized in clusters according to his guidance. These groups of women were placed behind the sannyasins called in front to receive energy darshan, one at a time or a few people in a line. Bhagwan touched their third eye, the drums were exploding, and if you were the one receiving his touch, you were blasted out of the planet in a few seconds… In synchronicity, all the lights in the ashram were turned off, the gate was closed, and in Buddha Hall there was simultaneously intense music enlivening dancing bodies in ecstasy.” (Lyra 2005, p. 104,115)

Radha on Chaitanya Hari
“..the musicians. One of them, Chaitanya Hari, was well known in the New Age music market as Georg Deuter and the way he played the flute was really exciting. Every time we stood up to begin the energy darshans, it felt like he was playing directly on our kundalini energy, sending chills up our spines… More mediums were being added to the team, so one evening at the beginning of darshan, Osho called us all to sit in front of him. What he said was made part of a book – one of a series called ‘darshan diaries’ – so a full record exists.” (Radha 2005, pp. 104,110)

Punya on Chaitanya Hari
“Chaitanya Hari was already an acclaimed composer under his legal name Georg Deuter. He was probably the first New Age composer ever. Under Osho’s supervision he had composed the tracks for our meditations: Dynamic and Kundalini (two versions), then Gourichankar, Nataraj (two versions) and Nadabrahma. More recently he had become one of the ‘court’ musicians playing at night for the energy darshans. I was used to al sorts of surprises, like seeing Maneesha with us in Saswad; for years she had been present at all the darshans as a scribe and commentator. And now Chaitanya Hari was here as well.” (Punya 2015, p. 189)
(Note: Next to Chaitanya Hari, also Masanori Takahashi, another pioneer of New Age music, known as Kitaro , had become a sannyasin during the seventies, Swami Deva Setu)

Savita on energy darshan
“A year or so after I’d arrived in the Poona ashram to “live forever,” Osho switched my job from front desk receptionist and therapist to working on a book series with is editor-in-chief Maneesha. The job, which was mainly editing and interviewing, involved going every night to darshan – the greatest treat anyone could wish for…
During darshan, people were increasingly requesting just to sit in front of him rather than ask a question, so Osho gradually began to do more and more energy transmission – or shaktipat. In this powerful work, he would usually get them to raise their arms while he transmitted his energy, mainly through their hands or by forcefully massaging their third eye.” (Savita 2014, p. 221)

Close-up darshans
“But more and more, darshans becomes purely an energy phenomenon. Bhagwan recently introduced the ‘close-up’ darshan, a direct energy transmission where mediums are used to help the disciple absorb the master’s energy.” (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. A Space Where God Can Descend (RF 1979)

John Hogue recalls
“The sessions would start with the candidates for the energy darshan being arranged around Osho sitting in his chair. At the right moment he would nod to the band, and guitars, sitars, flutes, and drums began stirring the air with ever more intense Sufi-zikur-style music. Around Osho and his candidates were a dozen red-robed female disciples dancing and moaning with abandon. This was a circle of the happiest, most energetic coven of witches one calm-eyed Indian warlock could ever settle himself among. The more relaxed he became, the more powerful was their dance, and the stronger the waves of music and energy coursing through Chuang Tzu Auditorium and echoing through the entire ashram compound. Just as the surge of music and dancing reached its climax, Osho would throw the master switch, putting out all the lights in the commune.” (Hogue 2017, p. 76)

Osho gave his last evening darshan on March 23, 1981 and his last discourse in Hindi was delivered the next day March 24, 1981.

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