Poona Two 1987 – 1990
“Gautam Buddha’s last words on the earth have to be remembered:
sammasati. Sammasati means right remembrance.
His whole life is condensed into a single word, remembrance,
as if on dying, he is condensing all his teachings, all his
scriptures into a single word. Nobody has uttered a more
significant word when dying. His last message, his whole message:
sammasati, remember. And when you remember, there is no way to
throw your consciousness away.
Zen is not a meditation. Zen is exactly sammasati – remembrance
of your ultimateness, remembrance of your immortality,
remembrance of your divineness, of your sacredness.
Remembering it, and rejoicing it, and dancing out of joy that
you are rooted, so deeply rooted in existence that there is
no way for you to be worried, to be concerned.
Existence is within you and without you – it is one whole…
Remembering yourself as a buddha is the most precious experience,
because it is your eternity, it is your immortality.
It is not you, it is your very existence. You are one with the
stars and the trees and the sky and the ocean.
You are no longer separate.
The last word of Buddha was, sammasati.
Remember that you are a Buddha – sammasati.
The Zen Manifesto (1989). Chapter 4 & 11.
(Last Discourse 10.04.1989)
7.0 End Game in Poona
It very much looks like we’re seeing an ongoing pattern of repressive measures taken against Osho wherever he moves. Now he arrives in Poona one early morning in January 1987 having bypassed the attempts of both Arya Samaj and the police commissioner to keep him from entering the city after six years of absence. Only to be disturbed in his sleep by intruding police officers handing him a document ordering him to leave Poona. Effective immediately. He tore up the document, went back to sleep and left it to the management to sort out the following day an agreement with the authorities for his stay in the ashram, the mayor himself being most happy to welcome him back.
(Note: Arya Samaj is a Hindu radical movement rejecting both idol worship and man-worship and fanatically opposed to Osho).
So this was the inauspicious opening of the last phase of his work in Poona, but soon the place was humming with activity and revitalization after some years on standby while he was in Oregon and during his World Tour. A few days after his arrival discourses were resumed twice daily, now in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, and within months a reconstructed Buddha Hall in Japanese pagoda style was ready to accommodate his listeners for discourses as well as meditations.
The frequency and length of his discourses suggested some urgency in the painting of what was to become the last strokes on his lifelong canvas. However, his last years on this planet saw an increasing deterioration of his health and the periods when he had to stay in his room and could not come to Buddha Hall were steadily becoming longer.
For the first time in years he began conducting new meditations with his evening discourses; a structured ritual evolved with a blend of celebrative music and his words. His last discourse in public was delivered on April 10, 1989, and in the last months before his passing he sat in satsang with his people, which included a new form of energy darshan, completed with wild music and zaps for everyone.
A series of organizational changes were introduced to prepare the ground for his work to continue when he was no more among us, including a name change in several phases before he settled with Osho. And the introduction of a dresscode: maroon for daily activities, black for therapists and white for the evening meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood. An Inner Circle of 21 key members within the organization was founded to continue the practical work in the future.
His work came to a preliminary ending when he met his people for the last time in Buddha Hall, two days before his passing on January 19th, 1990.
The discourses of this period have been published in several series: Western Mystics, Mantra Series, Mystic Rose Series, Zen and Zen Masters, summing up to 48 titles. It appears that his emphasis more and more was focusing on the rich lineage of Zen masters from Bodhidharma through China and into Japan. To what extent Osho’s numerous talks on Zen masters during this last phase is a significant message remains an issue open for debate in years to come.
The Osho International Foundation now maintains the original archive of 6,500 audio discourse recordings of Osho, 1,870 video recordings and approximately 600 original book publications of Osho’s talks, from early days until April 1989.
“My work is absolutely complete as far as I am concerned. If I am still carrying on, it is just out of my love for you. But you have to learn my absence, because the days of my presence will be shorter. Every day the days of my presence will become shorter; my days of absence will be longer.
I am not going to come again in the body; this is the last time. You have to become as silent, as loving, as meditative with me or without me. The difference between my absence and presence should completely be lost.” Isan. No Footprints in the Blue Sky (1989). Chapter 7, p. 161.
Sloterdijk, German professor and philosopher, writes on Osho
“Um keine Zweifel aufkommen zu lassen: Ich halte Rajneesh noch immer für eine der grössten Figuren des Jahrhunderts – er war ein Mann mit Geist, Energie und Spielsinn, wir werden nie wieder seinesgleichen sehen.
Er war der Wittgenstein der Religionen, denn er hat die Sprachspiele der Weltreligionen radikal auseinandergenommen, bemerkenswert vollständig und mit der Grausamkeit, die aus der Vertrautheit mit den religiösen Tricks kommt. Er hat alles dekonstruiert und alles wiederholt, und zwar, wie mir scheint, unter der richtigen Annahme, dass die Religion nur durch aktive Religionsspiele untersuchbar wird. Der Westen ist weithin in einer blosssen Ablehnungskritik steckengeblieben, man könnte sagen in der Religionskritik durch Fremdwerden, Vergessen und Ignorieren.
Rajneesh ist den entgegengesetzten Weg gegangen, er hat die positiven Religionen durch experimentelle Religionsspiele überwunden und hat sie auf subtile Weise zugleich vernichtet und aufgehoben. Seine Haubtmetode war die Parodie, genauer die Analyse durch die Affirmation.
Im wesentlichen war der Ashram in Poona ein Institut für Vergleichende Religionsforschung – mit angegliedertem Labor für erotische Feldarbeit. Es gab an ihm viele begabte Forscher und Forscherinnen, ich war lange genug da, um es zu bezeugen. Wir würden das alles heute wohl unter interaktiven ‘gender studies’ einordnen. Die Studienordnung an diesem Haus war eher von der frivolen Art, man taumelte von einer Übung zur anderen; ich erinnere mich an postgraduierte erotische Seminare, bei denen es den Teilnehmern den Atem verschlug. Doch wenn es eines gab, worüber an diesen Fakultät nich diskutiert wurde, dann waren es Quotenfragen; denn der Lehrkörper bestand zu grossen Teilen aus Frauen, Schönheiten, Entblösstheiten, duellfreudig, berührungswillig in einer Weise, an die heute zu erinneren melancholisch stimmt.” (Sloterdijk 1996, p. 105)
7.1 Returning to Poona
A changed city since Poona One
“By the time we returned from Oregon in 1987, however, it had developed into a major city, expanding in every way – in population, traffic, new apartment buildings and above all business. Right through the turn-of-the-century, Pune kept on growing as one of the main beneficiaries of India’s booming economy. It is now, unfortunately, almost unliveable, a city packed with seven or eight million inhabitants. The streets are hellish, jammed with traffic and noise, and the resulting pollution is almost intolerable.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 103)
Arriving in Poona
“It was during this three-year period between 1987 and 1990 that Osho spoke forty-eight books, and considering He was sick for about a third of the time, this is stupendous!
Osho had spent four months in Bombay, and the first night He arrived in Pune, at about 4.00 a.m. 4th January, the driveway of the ashram was lined with sannyasins to greet Him as He lay on the back seat of the car, asleep.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 237)
Heading: Rajneeshdham Neo-Sannyas Commune Gives Ecstatic Welcome To Bhagwan Shree
“After 5 years and 7 months on the Ranch in Oregon, on World Tour and in Bombay around New Year it was sensed that Bhagwan were to return to Poona.
In the evening of January 3rd in Rajneeshdham singing and dancing rows of sannyasins were waiting for their master to arrive. An official announcement at 11 pm that Bhagwan would not arrive that night had no effect on the singing crowd, and when Bhagwan’s brother arrived by car at 2 am the energy reached a preliminary peak, “he had changed.”
And each car with lights on turning the corner and driving towards the ashram made the music build up to a new crescendo.
And it went on and on and on…
Until 4 am where the red heart placed in The Gateless Gate had to be moved away for Bhagwan’s car to pass the driveway: “Singing Buddhas and dancing Meeras welcome you.”
After 2043 days Bhagwan was back again in Lao Tzu House.” (Amended from: The Rajneesh Times, 1987. Reprinted in: sannyas info, June 1987)
Azima on arriving to the ashram in Poona
“At three o’clock Neelam called and said they were close to Pune and would arrive within an hour. We all woke up, made sure everything was in order and waited for the Buddha to arrive at his old residence. At four o’clock Neelam arrived at Lao Tzu, telling us that Osho was immediately behind in another car with Vivek…
Suddenly the whole ashram was lit up and some sannyasins started to play music and sing, standing along the driveway from the main gate, ready to welcome their Master. We opened the gate of Lao Tzu, which was at the end of the long corridor from the ashram entrance…
Slowly the vehicle headed for the porch, and then stopped. The driver was Manu, an old sannyasin from Mumbai. Osho was in the back, lying down on his left side, with his hands under his head and his legs pulled up on the seat.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 298)
Neelam recalls first night in Poona
“That was January 4, 1987. The same day, an hour or two later, the police commissioner arrived with his entourage of thugs, barged into the front entrance of the commune, strode down the main walkway, past the Lao Tzu Gate security, right into the house and into Osho’s own bedroom while he was sleeping. Although he had no permit to search or investigate, he had come to issue Osho with a writ ordering him to leave the city within 24 hours for the sole reason that his presence in Poona “may provoke violence.”
Osho was livid. In my presence – I arrived on the scene a few minutes later – he tore up the piece of paper presented to him and roared at the man who had invaded his private bedroom, “This is my country. And this is the city where I choose to live! No one has the right to tell me where to make my home!” He balled him out with fearless authority and added such a tirade of abuse that the police commissioner’s man retreated trembling, never to return.
This is not to say that we weren’t involved in ongoing police harassment for several months afterwards. But by then we were protected by our lawyers. And Osho’s privacy was never disturbed again.” (Neelam. In: Savita 2014, p. 207)
“Later, when we all woke up, Neelam explained the reason for all those contradictory phone calls. She knew that in Mumbai the police were getting heavy, even monitoring our telephones calls, so she wanted to avoid nasty encounters during the trip to Pune, or a police visit to Sumila before departure.
In fact, the local authorities were trying to interfere with Osho’s teaching, both in Mumbai and in Pune. After learning that Osho had somehow slipped through the net and arrived in the city, the Pune police – who’d intended to prevent his entering the city – didn’t waste much time before coming to knock on the door of Lao Tzu House.
The morning after Osho settled into his old house, senior police officers arrived to deliver a paper in which they ordered him to leave Pune “because his teachings would pollute the minds of young Indians…
Outside there were about thirty people, four of them Indian police officers. The rest were Indian sannyasins who had been trying to reach a compromise. The compromise was that these officers could enter in the master’s room, give him the documents to read and then go away, letting our lawyers and the Indian courts deal with the matter thereafter. We allowed two of them to come in and brought them in front of Osho’s room. By this time, Vivek and Neelam had woken Osho, informing him of the situation.
I stayed outside his bedroom with the other men of Lao Tzu. The two officers entered and delivered the documents and Osho read it with incredible calmness in front of them. When he’d finished reading it, he looked the officers in the eyes, tore up the paper in little pieces, threw it toward them and said: ” I’ve read it. Now you can leave my room.” He went back to bed and everybody went out of the room. We escorted the police officers out of Lao Tzu and locked the doors behind them. Everything calmed down. The lawyers took care of this latest trouble, which, in time, decayed and disappeared like many other stupid and provocative charges.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 300)
“One person who had summed it up quite nicely was Poona’s Chief of Police, who reportedly had said, “This man (Osho) is so dangerous that he should be banned not only from Poona and India, but from the whole planet.” Quite a compliment, actually, to be coming from a cop, and in its substance not one bit off the mark.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 81)
“I am a nonviolent person; I have never killed even an ant. But the day I found, in the early morning in the darkness of my room, shouting, forcing the door… I opened my eyes. Half asleep, I saw two ghostlike people. I wondered – since when have the ghosts started wearing uniforms? I asked them, “Who are you? And on what authority have you entered my bedroom?” And those stupid guys had no answers. They just threw a paper over my face. I had no idea what it was; I tore it up and threw it away. That was the only moment in my life I have thought of having a revolver; those two ghosts must have gone out of my bedroom dead, not living.” The Messiah (1987). Vol I, Chapter 7, p. 128.
Heading: Is India Entering the Dark Ages? Excerpt:
“Yesterday, armed police forced their way into the bedroom of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh while he was sleeping and ordered him to leave Pune within half an hour. The world-infamous sage had only just a few hours before returned to Pune after a 5-year absence abroad.
The reason for this outrageous and brutal treatment? His ‘presence’ may cause controversy and ‘disturb the tranquility’ of the city!
Strange that such an Order should be issued to a man who has never advocated violence of any kind, who has never incited any riots, and who has never been convicted of any crime in Pune or anywhere else in India. Especially strange when one notices that no such Order was given to the Hindu Ekta Andolan leader Mr. Vilas Tupe, the man who attempted to assassinate Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh by flinging a knife at him during his previous stay in Pune, and who issued a public notice the other day threatening to launch a large-scale agitation against his return to Pune.
So why was this Order issued? Certainly Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is controversial. And he has always stated that his purpose is to disturb – but to disturb only the unconscious mind. He is not a terrorist. He is simply a man of ideas – ideas which are anathema to the Establishment because they envisage through non-violent means, the end of all the current power bases – the religious authorities, political authority, governments and their controlling structures, nations, and all other boundaries between men. His vision is to create a new humanity.
In the past he has denounced the sham democracy of the United States, its prostitution of the Constitution, and its hypocritical Christianity. For having the courage to speak out thus, America expelled him.
He has also assailed every other established institution in the world – capitalist, socialist, fascist, and all organised religions. And he has not spared the Indian government.
But he has always challenged anyone to refute the validity of his statements. If he is wrong, it is a simple matter to refute him. If what he says makes no sense, then he could just be ignored. But neither has happened.
Instead the Maharastra government, like other organisations he has challenged in the past, has resorted to these drastic Stalinesque methods to silence him. (Which provokes an obvious question – perhaps there is some truth to his words).
The government’s action poses a matter of grave concern to all of us who value hard-worn constitutional freedoms. Is our country, which has spawned so many controversial men in the past whose ideas have come to enrich the consciousness of humanity (Buddha, Gandhi, Ramakrishna, etc), and which has enabled so many diverse schools of religious thought, and ideology to exist, in danger of losing its unique form of democracy? Is the Soviet Union becoming more humane while India enters into the dark ages?” (Is India Entering the Dark Ages? Are We Losing Our Human Rights? Statement by Sw Anand Maitreya, spokesman for the Rajneesh Neo-Sannyas Commune. 06.01.1987. 2 pages)
Heading: Rajneesh Times Editor Sends Wire to Gandhi
“”It is ironically tragic that when Gorbachev restores Sakharov’s freedom, your government is trying to suppress Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who is Gautam Buddha in His present form and whose message the present world – in throes of death – sorely needs,” said Swami Anand Maitreya, also known as Mathuraprasad Mishra, former member of Parliament and current editor of the Rajneesh Times India, in a telegram to Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi dated January 7. The telegram protests “the Government’s trying to gag and silence Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, spiritual Master of hundreds of thousands of Indians and others. The Poona Police Commissioners recent eviction order was a flagrant violation of Bhagwan’s basic freedom. It was utterly unconstitutional and undemocratic.”
In the telegram Swami Maitreya asked the Prime Minister to “intervene and halt the repetition of such acts,” and warned, “Otherwise future generations will never forgive you.” (Press Release. Rajneesh Times Editor Sends Wire to Gandhi. Sw Anand Maitreya. Signed by Sw Chaitanya for Sw Anand Maitreya. Press Office. 09.01.1987. Nr. 288. One page)
Statement from the Attorney General of America
“The Attorney General of America in a press interview made the statement: “Shree Rajneesh should be only in Poona. And we will try in every way to make sure that nobody reaches there. First nobody will be given a visa if he is going to Poona. Secondly, Indian immigration will make sure at the Indian airports that nobody enters.” He exactly said, “This is our way of silencing him.”
I said, “This is good. This is my teaching: to silence people.” But I don’t go to so much trouble for silent opportunities. I also create a world where people can be silent, but my meaning of silence and his meaning of silence are different.” Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (1989). Session 12, p. 120.
Here follow some excerpts from legal documents concerning Osho’s return to the ashram in Poona. The documents are reproduced from: sannyas info, June 1987.
The document handed to Osho – and torn by him – when his sleep was interrupted by intruding police officers at 5 am, was issued by B.J. Misar, Commissioner of Police, Pune and dated January 4th: Subject order U/S 144(3) of the code of Criminal Procedure 1974. To Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh alias Chandra Mohan. Excerpts:
“… AND WHEREAS your stay and activities in Pune in the past had led to public controversy and tension to, whereas your entry and activities in Pune are likely to lead to controversy, tension and breach of peace;.. and as I immediate prevention of your entry in Pune City… do hereby order and direct you not to entry the Pune Police Commissionerate area for a period of thirty days from 00.00 hrs. of 4th Jan. 87 and if you have already entered the above said area, you are hereby directed to remove yourself within half an hour from the said area…”
Article 144(3) in Code of Criminal Procedure. Excerpts:
“Article 144. POWER TO ISSUE ORDER IN URGENT CASES OF NUISANCE OR APPREHENDED DANGER
In cases where… there is sufficient ground for proceeding under this section and immediate prevention or speedy remedy is desirable, such Magistrate may… direct any person to obtain from a certain act or to take certain order… if such Magistrate considers that such direction is likely to prevent, or tends to prevent, obstruction, annoyance or injury to any person lawfully employed or danger to human life, health or safety, or a disturbance of the public tranquillity, or a riot, or an affray…
(3) An order under this section may be directed to a particular individual or to persons residing in a particular place or area, or to the public generally when frequenting or visiting a particular place or area….”
Osho’s lawyers same day succeeded in convincing the High Court of Maharastra to issue a decision that the above order did not remain in force.
While the juridical system was at work in Bombay a 10-points agreement on norms for behaviour was signed in Poona the very same day, 04.01.1987, between Svabhava, Ashram in-charge, and the Police Commissioner. Excerpts:
“1. We will have daily discourses only for two hours and five meditations of 1 hour each.
2. Discourses will be open to police officers and their men accompanying them.
3. The discourses will not be provocative and against any other religion.
4. The number of foreigners who will be residing in the Ashram will be restricted to 100 and their names will be informed to the Police, as and when asked on a necessity arising for the same.
5. Number of foreigners daily visiting the Ashram for discourses will not exceed 1000.
6. No member of the Ashram or visitor is allowed to carry fire-arms.
7. Consumption of drugs and liquor shall be prohibited in the Ashram premises.
8. Smoking of cigarettes during the discourses is banned.
9. Visitors to the Ashram and members of the Ashram are prohibited from indulging in any obscene behaviour in the Ashram and outside the Ashram.
10. The Police Officers will have the right to visit the Ashram during any time of the day and night. Their lawful directions will be complied with without any hesitation.”
As mentioned above these initiatives had the effect that the order issued by Police Commissioner B.J. Misar was suspended later that day – for now. Excerpts:
“Order…The advocate for Rajneesh… appeared before me as on 4.1.1987 and they have submitted the letter stating that Rajneesh does not wish to permanently stay in Pune and that he will hopefully leave Pune within the period of 3-4 months. They have also undertaken certain norms in which the inmates and the visitors of the Ashram will behave.
After consideration of the above application and taking into consideration the norms admitted by Ashram authorities, I hereby order that
the order U/S 144 CR.P.C.
issued by me on 4-1-1987
and serves on B.S. Rajneesh
is hereby suspended.”
Osho talked on the conditions in discourse January 1987
“His [Police Commissioner of Poona] conditions… and he has not even the guts to say, “These are my conditions.” He persuaded the office, the ashram in-charge, Svabhav, to sign saying that “These are our ideas.” that “we will abide by the following norms.” And you just look at the norms. About two norms, I talked this morning. But then I found it is a long list. You have to understand it, and you have to make the whole city understand it.
First: Only for two hours a discourse is allowed…
Second: Only five meditations, one hour each…
Third: Discourses will be open to police officers…
Fifth: The discourses will not be provocative…
Sixth: They should not be against any other religion…
Seventh: The number of foreigners residing in the ashram will not be more than one hundred…
Eight: [??] And their names will be informed to the police.
Ninth: The number of foreigners daily visiting the ashram for discourses will not exceed one thousand…
Tenth: No number of the ashram or visitors is allowed to carry firearms…
Eleventh: Members of the ashram are prohibited from indulging in any obscene behaviour in the ashram or outside the ashram…
Twelve: The police officers will have the right to visit the ashram during any time of day and night. Their lawful directions will be complied with, without any hesitation.” The Messiah (1987). Vol I, Chapter 7, pp. 128-135.
On harassment by the Police Commissioner
“And again he is asking ridiculous things: That we have to inform every day how many foreigners are here, that we have to inform how many foreigners can be accommodated in the ashram. If it is being asked in every temple of the country, in every mosque of the country, in every gurudwara of the country, in every ashram of the country, then it seems to be reasonable. But just to ask me and my people – it is ridiculous. This discrimination cannot be tolerated…
So every sannyasin has to be aware – I am totally on the warpath, and any fault on your side will harm me. So don’t do anything against the blind and the deaf and their stupid ideas. Be alert that you are not caught in their net. They have shifted the whole thing from me to the followers. The first notice was against me. Seeing that it is impossible to prove anything which supports their order against me, now they have shifted. The second order – … these demands, ridiculous, hilarious, are all for the disciples. Now they are trying to harm me through you. So you have to be very alert and aware.” The Messiah (1987). Vol I, Chapter 21 & 22, pp. 421 & 447.
“Neelam, in a general meeting in Poona on Jan 4th, underlined the need to be circumspect about behaviour in the streets. Yes, public kissing, cuddling, hugging really do seem to freak the Indian people – actually Bhagwan Himself seems to be trying to freak the Indian psyche all the time! However, it is stated that it may affect His stay in Poona if street behaviour is not what it should be. Also it’s good to wear covering in the streets if you’re a woman (including shoulders) – this at least is the recommendation.” (Parmartha. Sannyas News, 31.01.1987)
Heading: Mischief-Mongers Slander Bhagwan
“The mischief-mongers are at it again. The latest rumour about Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, long the subject of malicious mischief from those seeking free publicity at His expense, is that He is pro-Khalistan and anti-national.
As anyone who has ever listened to Him or read His books would know immediately, such a notion is absurd. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is world-renowned as a religious Master with a unique and revolutionary vision of a new humanity. He is not a politician. He has said over and over again that He has absolutely no interest or involvement in politics whatsoever. He does not belong to or support any group of any kind: religious, social or political. And He has never advocated any kind of political activity, let alone violent political activity. He is a man of non-violence, a philosopher, whose books are studied in universities and colleges throughout the world.
He has been hailed as ‘one of the great living teachers in the world’ by Dr. Daniel Matt, Professor of Judaic Studies at the Graduate Theological College in California. The famous Buddhist Scholar, Professor Kazuyoshi Kino of Hosen-Gakuen College, Tokyo, called Him ‘the rarest and most talented religionist to appear in this century.’ Dr. Hans-Jürgen Greschat, Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Marburg in Germany described Him in a letter to the US government as ‘a religious teacher and spiritual leader of exceptional ability.’ Dr. Ted Shay, Professor of Political Science at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, USA, wrote that ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh is obviously one of the world’s most exceptional men.’
So who are you going to believe? These and hundreds of other men from the intellectual elite of the world who have written similar testimonials, or the Vilas Tupes of the village who will try anything for a bit of attention?” (Sw Anand Maitraya. The Rajneesh Times (India), 27.01.1987. Reprinted in: sannyas info, June 1987, p. 2)
Heading: The Khalistan Tapes
“One of the sources warranting serious consideration is a report in a Bombay based Marathi daily ‘Loksatta’ (dt. 4.1.87) which apparently carries excerpts of a Hindi cassette of a Rajneesh discourse. The sharp edged report puts forth volatile material. Paraphrased it reads: No Hindu saint is likely to be popular in Punjab. With one exception – the U.S. battered and India returned Bhagwan Rajneesh. Copies of the cassette wherein Rajneesh suggests his solution to the Punjab problem are now available in many homes in Punjab. If asked to, I would solve the Punjab tangle in five minutes, says Rajneesh. (And elaborates thus:) Having undertaken the division of states on linguistic basis we have already tacitly accepted that India is not a united whole country. Forty years have gone by, yet we have been unable even to evolve a national language. So, instead of staying together in this artificial manner, states should be made nations. Thus Punjab would be a separate nation of Sikhs..
The 45 minute discourse allegedly further states that Mrs. Indira Gandhi broke up Pakistan and created a separate nation of Bangladesh in 1971. Therefore, if after Operation Bluestar the Sikhs gunned down Indira Gandhi, then I (Rajneesh) am not in the least sorrowful. What he would feel if a Khalistan were created is summed up thus: sare desh me diwali manayi jayegi ki chalo ek aur rashtra ka janam hua. (There will be celebration in the whole country, for a new nation has been created)…
And answering a query at the press conference Swami Anand Svabhav said “some things Bhagwan has said, but they will only be misunderstood if not heard in the whole context.” On repeated demands by pressmen, Svabhav agreed to produce the tapes and arrange a session where they could be played before pressmen.
In any case the indication that there may be some pronouncement on Khalistan by Rajneesh makes it necessary that the authorities probe into the matter. Especially so, given that some organisations seem to be inclined to make political capital out of it. If the statements are not of a serious nature they should be cleared. If they are deemed anti-national, prompt action is necessary.” (Vilay Lele. Poona Digest. February 1987, p. 22)
In more influential circles in Poona a different understanding was made available to the public, as shown in following letter from the mayor of Poona, Ulhas B. Dhole Patil, dated January 10th, 1987. Excerpt:
“TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
With my deepest love and pleasure, I wish to state that BHAGWAN SHREE RAJNEESH presently residing at 17, Koregaon Park, Poona, in my home constituency, is undoubtedly an enlightened person. His authoritative views on religion are most needed in these turbulent times. He is one of the well versed great mystics and a spiritual master of our time.
His conduct and loving behaviour cannot and has never created any legal problems nor has he ever been found guilty in any provisions of criminal law. In fact, His teachings are conducive to creating a very peaceful and tranquil atmosphere in the present circumstances when the country as a whole is passing through a very disturbed state.” (Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:4, p. 9)
In a corresponding letter in the same vein Dhole Patil writes:
“TO WHOMSOEVER IT MAY CONCERN
I hereby state that Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, citizen of India permanently residing at 17, Koregaon Park, Pune – 411 001 (M.S.) is a widely-known figure and I have been fortunate to be acquainted with him. I am aware that since 1974 he has been residing in Poona at the above mentioned address. There have been absolutely no illegal activities conducted by him; nor has there been any breach of peace, for which he could be held responsible; nor has there been any criminal proceeding against him; neither has he been convicted in any manner whatsoever.
I have very high regard for him, and he is one of the few figures to have earned respect and admiration from me. I sincerely wish him peace and a tranquil atmosphere during his stay in our city.
[Stamp: Special Executive Magistrate in English and Hindi] Sincerely yours, U B Dhole Mayor of Poona.” (Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:4, p. 9)
Interview with Dhole Patil, mayor of Poona. Excerpts:
“I am very happy that he is back in Poona as he is responsible of putting Poona on the international map. As he came to Poona the daily income of small traders, taxi-drivers and ricksha-drivers has increased by Rs.½ Mill. per day…
Vilas Tupe is a non-entity. He is a small-time criminal and handman of mafioso. He has no political clout… His group is not strong at all and is a very small minority…
The alternations mean nothing. They can have no effect on Bhagwan or the Ashram. He is simply doing this to get media coverage and cheap publicity for himself…
Before Bhagwan left for America between 1974 and 1980 the relation between the police department and the Ashram was very good. As a matter of fact, their [relation] were so good, that at times we felt like raising objections. I feel that the future relation of the ashram and the police are once again bound to be very cordial…
I think that Bhagwan is a super-intellectual as I find that his followers from all over the world come from the intelligentsia – the kind of people to whom it is very difficult to convince about anything. Since [they flood] around him from all over the world, he must have something very important to say to them.” (Interview with the mayor by a German journalist. No date. Press Office, Poona)
Vilas Tupe had thrown a knife at Rajneesh in Buddha Hall May 1980
“Vilas Tube, the leader of an ugly bunch, has threatened again – now he has found a new threat, but the man seems to be utterly unintelligent. He has to be, because no chauvinist, Hindu or Christian or Mohammedan, can be intelligent. It is impossible for intelligence and fanatic attitudes to coexist. Now the threat is that every sannyasin coming from outside India should first have to go through a medical examination for the disease AIDS.” The Messiah (1987). Vol I, Chapter 16, p. 306.
Heading: Attempt to demolish Rajneeshdham Buildings
“In Poona early February, the Municipal Corporation sent a demolition squad to the Rajneeshdham Ashram where Bhagwan is residing. It was a Saturday… and there was hanky-panky with the telephone lines… and only the Mayor’s arrival on the scene saved the buildings!” (Rajneesh. The Newspaper, 13.03.1987)
And further on the same event
“1. The confrontation occurred on Saturday, not a weekday, so it was not possible to contact other government or legal officials for assistance.
2. The demolition crew arrived at a relatively early hour when it is known Bhagwan is still delivering his discourse. On this day, the discourse was shorter than usual, so sannyasins were able to respond immediately to the provocation.
3. All the telephone lines into the Ashram were mysteriously disconnected shortly, before the arrival of the PMC workers. After they departed, the lines were as mysteriously reconnected.
4. There were far more police present that was necessary, a fact which had sinister overtones.
5. The attempted demolition was unusually harassing in that no advance notice had been given to Rajneeshdham officers.
6. Verbal assurance had been given by the responsible official in the Building and Construction Department for a 10-day extension. However, the demolition crew arrived before the expiry of this extension.
Anand Svabhav feels that the peace has been restored and is confident that the matter can be resolved in a manner satisfactory to the PMC. But concerning this potentially explosive situation on Happy Hearts Day, he credits the beautiful behaviour of the sannyasins and the meditative actions of the Mayor with preventing an escalation of the confrontation.”
(The New British Rajneesh Times, 1987:7)
Heading: Ashram reaches amicable settlement with City Corporation
“When Swami Anand Svabhav became president of the commune in early 1986, he believed that all the buildings were legally constructed. After Bhagwan arrived back in Poona January 4th, 1987, P.M.C. officials began taking a more active interest in the structures in the Ashram. After they tried to bring in a crew without notice to take several buildings down, a peaceful settlement about this issue was negotiated. The result is that the Ashram itself is removing the structures to regularise the situation and save demolition costs to the city. The buildings removed include huts near Buddha Hall, several roof structures and the office building known as Bodhidharma.” (The New British Rajneesh Times, 1987:8)
Advertisement in Poona Digest, March 1987
“We welcome to Pune Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Welcome Committee says: “A few fanatic elements making a hue and cry are not the custodians of the morality of the entire Pune city or Indian Republic at large. With the support of [11 organisations, associations and bodies are listed]. Convenor: Mr. Anwar Aman. Managing Committee: Mr. Sohanlal Bansal. Mr. Ramesh Dhole Patil. Smt. Beena Patel. Mr. Rajendra Agrwal. Mr. Mahesh Prabhune. Mr. Indravadan Gandhi.” (Poona Digest. March 1987)
Heading: The drunken policeman
“At 1:20 am on Friday, February 6, a man appeared banging on the ashram gates, shouting that the police Commissioner had sent him to search inside the premises and talk to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh personally. He was abusive and when he was denied entry, threatened to kill the guard at the gate and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. He was later examined in hospital and certified drunk, taken to the police station and charged with cheating by impersonation, criminal intimidation and public misconduct. He was found to be Police Constable Vijay Kumar Madhav Done, from Yavat police Station.” (New British Rajneesh Times, February 1987:5)
Heading: Police Harass Rajneesh Ashram Again
“Pune – On February 21 a police patrol of seven men, led by Inspector of Bundgarden Police Station, Mr. Kumtekar and Sub-Inspector Vilas Jadhav, banged on the gate of the Rajneeshdham Ashram at around 1 a.m., demanding to be let in for “a check.” The Ashram In-charge, Swami Anand Svabhav, woken from his bed, took the police around the premises.
They found everything peaceful and quiet, and admitted that there had not been any complaint or report to justify their demand for “a check.”
Svabhav then asked the police why they harassed the Ashram residents by making these raids in the middle of the night. He was especially concerned because he had received several rumors lately that some unauthorized policemen would try to plant drugs inside the Ashram premises during one of these night raids, and then return later to “discover and seize” the drugs. P.S.I. Vilas Jadhav shouted angrily in reply that he had a right to come into the Ashram premises at any time of the day or night, and that he could force his way in and break down the door if necessary. Ashram residents replied that if unlawful force was attempted, they would lie down in the road in front of the gate and sacrifice their lives before they would allow their temple to be violated. The P.S.I., immediately radioed for the rest of his force to come to the Ashram. Soon after, one truckload and two cars of police arrived at the gate. The Ashram residents had by this time all been woken and men, women and children were milling around inside the gate wondering what was happening.
Ashram authorities tried unsuccessfully to reach the Police Commissioner who, after the last two incidents of unauthorized night raids by police (one of them drunk) has asked to be advised if any further incidents occurred. Finally they were able to reach the Deputy Police Commissioner who resolved the situation.” (The New British Rajneesh Times, 1987:7)
(It may be noted, that in January 2019 a great number of also female police officers from Pune joined a 3 hour session with dancing and meditations at the Osho International Resort to have a detox from their mundane life with its stressful situations. The Times They Are A-Changin’!)
Letter to the Prime Minister of India
“Swami Anand Svabhav, President of Rajneeshdham Neo-Sannyas Commune,, has sent the following letter to the Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, the Governor of Maharashtra, the Inspector General of Police in Bombay and others.
The Police Commissioner of Pune has imposed upon the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh a few very beautiful ‘norms’. and we thought it would be good for these norms to be added to the Constitution.
The first ‘norm’ is that everybody is allowed to smoke cigarettes except the disciples of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Secondly, everybody is allowed to drink alcohol except the disciples of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The third ‘norm’ is the best – the disciples of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh are not allowed to act illegally. The implication is clear that everyone else is allowed to do so.
We hope that you will enjoy these ‘norms’, and share them with both Houses of Parliament. And if you add them to the Indian Constitution, then our Constitution will become unique in the whole world.
cc Commissioner of Police
Pune.” (The New British Rajneesh Times, 1987:7)
Heading: US Plot to Destroy Rajneesh Ashram [American plain clothes official in Poona working with local police]
“First, the US State Department made it impossible for Bhagwan to be accepted into any western country, even as a tourist. Then, when He was forced back to India, the Minister for Internal Security, Arun Nehru, well known for his close links with the CIA, blacklisted several hundreds of the best known sannyasins from entering India to join Bhagwan. That blacklist still exists.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:11)
Orthodox Hindu followers around Vilas Tupe, the leader of the Hindu Ekta Andolan, started their training in karate and other martial arts and to put pressure on Rajneeshdham.
Heading: Threats from militants
“Law courts are one form of confrontation. direct action is something else. If the pronouncements of the Hindu Ekta Andolan are any indication, the Ashram and its disciples seem headed for a taxing time in the near future. Vilas Tupe is a much disliked name at Rajneeshdham [due to knife attack on Osho May 1980]…
On January 4 Tupe now 30 years [later are at it again]. Within hours of Police Commissioner Misar’s order that Rajneesh leave the city, Tupe circulated a note congratulating the CP for his “bold decision.” In the note he also warned that “Rajneesh should leave town within 48 hours, otherwise he will have to pay a heavy price…
The seriousness cannot be underestimated. The Andolan claims a following of 500 hard-core members in its alleged 50 odd shakhas in Pune. They also plan to challenge the Shiv Sena and the Patit Pawan Sanghatana to join. Bal Thackeray had once said “Are Pune’s youth wearing bangles, that they cannot even oust Rajneesh.” Now we will see, says the quiet-spoken Tupe darkly.” (Vilay Lele. Poona Digest. February 1987, p. 23)
(Note: The Hindu organizations mentioned are in accordance with Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) founded in 1925, working for a ‘Hindu-nation’ and a leading force in India today. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2018) is a member of this movement. Anne Guttman writes on the rise of Hindu fundamentalism in the 1990s: “The more one embraces elements of a foreign material culture, however, the greater the need to preserve the distinctiveness of one’s spiritual culture”; consequently, “nationalism declares the domain of the spiritual its sovereign territory.”” (Guttman 2007, p. 5))
Heading: Bhagwan Stays in Poona
“To base an eviction order on suspicion of past – or fear of future – controversy is hilarious. Has there ever been a great man who has not been controversial? In fact, it is exactly controversial persons such as Bhagwan who have served to raise the level of human consciousness – not the police commissioners. It must be noted that during His previous stay in Poona, lasting over seven years from 1974 to 1981, neither was Bhagwan arrested nor was he convicted of any crime, nor did such occur anywhere else in India. Seeing his gross blunder, the Police Commissioner has suspended his order.
Meanwhile, Vilas Tupe, leader of the Hindu Ekta Andolan, who made a violent attempt on Bhagwan’s life in 1980, had now threatened agitation and continued violence at the prospect of Bhagwan’s return to Poona. In 1980 the ruling magistrate dismissed the charge of attempted murder against Vilas Tupe, and today Tupe is again free to advocate violence, unrestrained by the local law enforcement officials. It is ironic that the activities of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, who advocates only peace, love and meditation are met with official interference, while the actions of an agitator such as Vilas Tupe meet with no official response.” (Press Release. 08.01.1987. Bhagwan Stays in Poona. Sw Anand Maitreya, spokesperson for the Rajneeshdham Neo-Sannyas Commune. Nr. 277)
Press Release on meeting with Police Commissioner 22.01.1987
“Last night representatives of the Rajneesh Ashram in Pune met with the Police Commissioner to discuss their growing concerns about the increasingly virulent threats to their life and liberty openly and publicly being made by Vilas Tupe, as reported in the press and on All-India radio. They were surprised to find that the commissioner’s response suggested that he was more inclined to believe that, on the contrary, it was the presence of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in Pune that was dangerous to the peace of the city. His queries seemed to solicit evidence for that purpose…
Whenever the ashram leaders in the last meeting with the Police Commissioner asked what action he was taking against Vilas Tupe for his threats of violence and criminal intimidation, he simply refused to be specific about the proposed actions that could be taken against the man who has taken the law into his own hands.
On top of all this, on the night of 23rd January, immediately after the meeting with the Police Commissioner, we were shocked to be subjected to police harassment in our own ashram. At the meeting we had reassured the Police Commissioner that we would keep the ‘norms’ that he had imposed on us. In spite of this, three times between midnight and 3.00 am a truckload of police came and demanded entry into the ashram premises. This according to them was a ‘routine check’. The whole night Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and the ashramites were disturbed and could not sleep. When we asked for police protection we got police harassment. Is this the kind of protection that minorities get from the Pune police?
Therefore it is urgent for the State authorities, the Prime Minister, and the President to intervene to protect a peaceful minority and their sacred temple. We are a minority group of meditators and truth seekers. We have no desire to create any violence. Nor do we have the means to do so. We have come to the temple of Bhagwan to learn meditation, silence and love for humanity.
There is every possibility of bloodshed, not from our side because we don’t have any weapons, though Vilas Tupe has falsely stated that we do, obviously with a view to inciting armed violence against us. The Police Commissioner has taken a promise from the temple residents that they will not have firearms, but has he taken a similar promise from Vilas Tupe?
This is a critical time for the State and national authorities to intervene and ensure that truth and justice prevail, and a very small minority is protected from further persecution. We urge that they do so in the name of democracy and freedom of speech and respect for life.” (23.01.1987. Press Release: Memorandum from Rajneesh Mandir. Sw Anand Maitreya. 91-0212-60953, 60954, 60963. 4 pages)
Heading: Vilas Tupe Banned from Approaches to Ashram 10.02.1987
“On February 10th Vilas Tube and his followers were banned by the Special Executive Magistrate from coming within 100 meters of Rajneeshdham for a period of 30 days commencing February 10th.
A second ban issued on February 12th by the Court of the Judicial Magistrate specifically bans Vilas Tube from coming within 100 meters of Rajneeshdham for a period of 3 months. Bail of Rs. 1000 was set and a date of March 7th for a trial.” (The New British Rajneesh Times, 1987:7)
In Europe some political aftermath of Osho’s World Tour was still simmering, and during the 1980s discussions of Osho were on the agenda continuously in the German parliament, Bundestag in Bonn. Sometimes raised by questions from the party Die Grünen who were challenging the government’s position on his human rights.
Dr. Daniels (Regensburg) and the party Die Grünen are raising a number of questions to the government in their memorandum on Neutralität des Staates In Religions- und Weltanschauungsdingen, where they pledge for an alternative course in the official attitude to new religious movements, including Jugendsekten, Jugendreligionen and Psychokulte. Die Bhagwan-Bewegung is included in their memo. (Kleine Anfrage. Drucksache 11/1470, p. 2. 07.12.1987)
The government in February 1988 answers a total of 24 questions from the party Die Grünen who among other things asks if the ban on Osho’s entry to Germany is still effective now two years after it had been issued. And they ask more generally to the official attitude towards new religious movements and his treatment in this context.
“17. Die Bundesregierung hat im Oktober 1985 erklärt, Belange der Bundesrepublik Deutschland stünden einer Einreise von Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh entgegen.
Bestehen diese Belange noch heute, zwei Jahre später, und welches sind diese Belange im einzelnen?
18. Die Bundesregierung hat in einer Stellungnahme an das Parlament vom Januar dieses Jahres die Einreiseverweigerung für Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh an erster Stelle damit begründet, seine Gemeinschaft werde von der Bundesregierung zu den “Jugendsekten / Jugendreligionen” gerechnet, von denen Gefährdungen für die Persönlichkeitsentwicklung und die sozialen Bezüge junger Menschen ausgehen könnten.
Wie rechtfertigt die Bundesregierung diese Wertungen und Behauptungen angesichts des verfassungsrechtlichen Neutralitätsgebotes gemäss Artikel 4 GG und der Tatsache, dass diese Behauptungen nicht wissenschaftlich anerkannt und belegt sind, sondern zum Rüstzeug der Apologetik christlicher Kirchen und deren “Weltanschauungsbeauftragten” gehören?”
The government’s answer to these two questions is strictly legalistic and mainly referring to Osho’s conviction in Oregon for immigration fraud and it does not include any considerations on the religio-politico background.
“Wegen des inhaltlichen Zusammenhnges werden die Fragen 17 und 18 zusammengefasst beantwortet.
Nach § 18 Abs. 1 Ausländergesetz (AuslG) kann ein Ausländer, bei dem die Voraussetzungen für eine Ausweisung gemäss § 10 Abs. 1 AuslG vorliegen, bei der Einreise zurückgewiesen werden. Im Falle des indischen Staatsangehörigen Rajneesh Schandra Mohan liegen die Voraussetzungen des § 10 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 AuslG vor. Das US-Bezirksgericht Portland (Oregon) hat am 14. November 1985 Rajneesh Shandra Mohan wegen Verstosses gegen die US-Einwanderungsgesetze und wegen Falschaussage gegenüber einem US-Beamten zur Zahlung von 400 000 US-Dollar un zu rd. zehn Jahren Freiheitsstrafe, ausgesetzt zur Bewährung für fünf Jahren, verurteilt.
Das Urteil is am Tage seiner Verkündung rechtskräftig geworden.
Die Anklagepunkte, die zur Verurteilung des Rajneesh Shandra Mohan geführt haben, sind auch im Ausländergesetz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland als Vergehenstatbestände mit Strafe bedrohnt (falsche Angaben zur Erlangung einer Aufenthaltserlaubnis und Beihilfe zur illegalen Einreise gemäss §§ 47 Abs. 1 Nr. 6 und 47a Abs. 1 AuslG), so dass ein Ausweisungsgrund nach 10 Abs. 1 Nr. 2 AuslG vorliegt.” (Antwort der Bundesregierung. Drucksache 11/1786. 05.02.1988)
A petition with 2377 signatures for the issuing of a visa for Osho’s entry to Germany was forwarded in March 1988. In their rejection the ministry refers once more to Osho’s conviction in Oregon and arguments are in accordance with the above mentioned answer from February 1988. (Bericht des Petitionsausschuss. Besluss vom 9. März 1988 (Protokoll Nr. 11/21). Drucksache 11/1970, p. 16. 19.05.1989)
Earlier discussions in the German Parliament 1985-1986 on refusal of visa for Osho are in Part Six World Tour / 6.7 Resolutions and Legal Acts.
7.2 Remaking the Ashram
During the first weeks of January 1987 a few general meetings were held in what was left of the old Buddha Hall, and it was initially announced that professions like electricians and plumbers were much in demand to keep the ashram functioning and expanding.
Returning to Poona
“After almost six years of Indian weather and low maintenance the commune buildings were in a pretty derelict state and the gardens had become a jungle. We jokingly commented that whenever Osho sets his foot down there would be a construction site. The noise of hammering and drilling came from all corners of the compound. It was impossible to walk from A to B without coming across an obstacle: the paths were being laid out in white marble from the front gate to Lao Tzu and in flagstones towards the black gate. The electricians, plumbers and A/C engineers, trained on big projects on the Ranch, were back with their tools and technical knowledge. So much noise, so much dust.
Many of the trees around Buddha Hall had to be cut down as, in search of light, they had grown at dangerous slanting angles and were leaning into the hall space. The concrete floor was being covered in white marble and I heard that we were waiting for a temporary plastic roof to arrive. It would be supported by a steel structure. A building permit for a permanent roof had not been granted.” (Punya 2015, p. 343)
Shunyo writes on early Poona Two
“Throughout the next two years Indian consulates around the world were harassing sannyasins and would not give a visa if it was suspected that they were coming to India to see Osho. Many sannyasins were stopped at Bombay airport and put on a plane straight back to where they had come from, with no explanation at all. But despite this the wave of visiting sannyasins was to become tidal. It seemed like the war was over. We could begin living once again, silently with our Master.
And then Osho started dancing with us as He entered Chuang Tzu Auditorium for the discourses, and when He left. The music was wild and I used to feel energy raining down on me and then shooting up like the flames of a fire as I screamed at Osho in gibberish, not knowing what I was saying. I just had to shout something, because it was too much to contain. Then the stop exercise began, when Osho, while working us all up into a frenzy with the dance, would suddenly stop, His arms in mid-air, and we all froze. He used to look into someone’s eyes during this freeze and it was a powerful thing to be on the receiving end, looking into the mirror-like quality of emptiness.
This period reminded me very much of our energy darshans from Pune One, and I felt Osho was having to do a lot of ‘work’ to rebuild the force of energy that was present then. Arriving back in Pune, it had been dismal to see how the ashram had become run down. The buildings and gardens had not been kept well by the skeleton crew of people who had been living thee. The people in the ashram in these first few months were a motley crew and there was not the usual alive and vibrant feeling that is around sannyasins. We consisted of a few Goa freaks – Westerners traveling around India who had visited the ashram out of curiosity – a few brand new sannyasins, and a few worn out old sannyasins. I watched Osho dancing with us in the auditorium those few weeks with a totality and strength that was beyond anything we could respond with. He was charging the whole atmosphere with electricity and talking fire in His discourses and I saw that He was starting again. He was beginning from scratch with us all.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 241)
“We were returning to the Koregaon Park ashram. It was scruffy and stained with red betelnut spit after being cared for by Indian sannyasins for six years, but still it felt like our real spiritual home…
Osho’s experiences in America had given him lots of new ammunition for his crusade against politicians…
I was extremely thirsty for spiritual support for growth in awareness and during one long and very predictable ramble against politicians I flew into a rage with Osho. I almost yelled out to him to forget the politicians and get on with meditation and growth but, fortunately, I was able to restrain myself and walked out of the auditorium instead. It was against protocol to leave before Osho and a guard tried to prevent me, but I muttered something about being sick and kept walking.” (Ishwara 2002, p. 203)
Heading: Rajneeshdham today
“Within the comforting green and spacious 6 acre Ashram itself, contrary to the demographic profile of the last five years, the percentage of Indian disciples has dropped to a minority. Yet noticeably, as of now, the administration of the Ashram is largely regulated by Indian disciples, led by Swami Anand Swabhav, formerly Harish Malhotra of the Weikfield group, who is President of the Rajneeshdham, and Swami Anand Maitreya, formerly for 17 years a member of Parliament, and who is now editor of The Rajneesh Times. Of course, since the Ashram holds no differences based on colour and race work delineation may change course in the near future.
‘Rajneeshdham Neo-Sannyas Commune’ reads the tall letters above the brad studded wooden gate. Inside the ashram, activity has rapidly picked up pace. Disciples flock to “Zorba the Buddha” restaurant (only vegetarian dishes are allowed on campus: alcohol and even smoking tobacco are prohibited); the cassette and bookshop just past the entrance do brisk business (there are reportedly more than 5000 cassettes of the Bhagwan’s discourses, and 500 books on various topics, ranging from an interpretation of the Bhagwad Gita to From Sex to Superconsciousness.)” (Vilay Lele. Poona Digest. February 1987, p. 24)
Heading: New Arrivals in Poona
“A survey of new arrivals at Rajneeshdham for the months of June through August  shows that 61% have university degrees and an additional 20% have some other higher education.
The survey also dealt with employment, gender and languages.
50% of all arrivals are self-employed.
The number of males and females are almost equal.
And only 11% are not familiar with the English language.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:20)
Devika writes from her days in the kitchen 1987
“I love working there, and only a fence separates us from Osho’s garden next door. We can see into the garden if we stand on a stool or a chair. Once upon a time there was a lawn there, but Osho loves trees and now it has grown up like a jungle. Osho likes everything to grow naturally in its own way without being cut or interfered with by man. Even the rocks in his garden are treated with love. For Osho everything is sacred. He says even a rock is alive, but it is ‘asleep’ – not conscious. Mukta, a Greek lady sannyasin, has been supervising the gardening in Osho’s Commune for years.” (Devika 2008, p. 149)
Devageet revisits Poona in December 1986
“Along the corridor, past the dental room, Chuang-Tzu, the library, Laxmi’s old room, to where Vimalkirti had so lovingly guarded the ‘greencurtain’ by the glass doors to Bhagwan’s room, the quiet stillness somehow contained their greetings as our hearts melted the barriers of time and space.
Beyond the ‘greencurtain’ the sight of Bhagwan’s door – the place where I had glimpsed His shoes just before going into His room – was enough to bring tears, not of sadness but of gratitude, for the whole amazing, magical mystery tour which is still very much in progress.
His room is magnificent. The marble, rich and tiger-like, has preserved His quality faithfully; and His bed, His wardrobes, a small bedside chest are tokens of Asheesh’s love for his Master. In His bedroom words seem superfluous. The heart singing softly its own song to its beloved is more than enough.
Yet stepping into His bathroom, immediately the vibe felt different. Here Bhagwan had played. The bubbles of long-gone baths still hovered, unseen but very apparent. He had really enjoyed His bathroom and the bathroom had really enjoyed Him.” (Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:3)
Heading: Ashram Transformed in Marble
“Soon the grounds of Rajneeshdham, now called a Temple of Meditation, will become enraptured in the splendour and lustre of marble, used in the East for thousands of years in temples and holy shrines. Said to retain the vibrations of the mystics, marble creates a sense of silence, coolness, and serenity.
Bhagwan has often spoken of the marble cliffs soaring up from a peaceful river at Bhera Ghat. He has described this setting numerous times, always referring to the sense of awe one feels in the presence of this breathtaking beauty.
Previously used only close to Him – His podium and living quarters – marble is now arriving by the truckload at the Poona Ashram to be incorporated into four large-scale construction projects. A special green and white marble, speckled with flakes of gold, was selected for the renovation of the podiumtemple in Buddha Hall. Quarried in Rajasthan and processed at Mt. Abu, this rare marble clads a 1700 square foot surface area on the floor and sides of the heart of the temple, a pagoda-shaped structure where Bhagwan will give His discourses. Overhead cantilevered beams and delicate struts support a curved roof covered with emerald green acrylic sheets. Because the individual marble slabs vary widely in colour, pattern and grain, they have been divided into similar families and mounted in harmonious groupings on the podium.
Swami Anand Richard who is coordinating the project, said, “In repairing the old podium, we decided to build a peaked roof and curved walls so as to retain an eastern flavour, yet not be of a particular tradition. We have strived for our own architectural design which is special for Bhagwan.”
The second marble project is the floor of Buddha Hall. 15,000 square feet of white marble are being placed over the existing concrete base. The overall effect is a green ship-like podium floating on a sea of white foam.
The third marble project is the J. Krishnamurti fountain memorial in the front garden. White marble is mounted on the top and outside surfaces of the fountain while small blue-green tiles cover the inner walls and bottom. Beside the fountain will be a marble monument with an inscription dedicated to J. Krishnamurti. Landscape designers are replanting the area around the fountain and resurfacing the paths with greenish-gray pebbles. Swami Deva Svargo, organiser of the gardeners creating the landscape, said, “The pebbles will be raked in a way to look like little waves in the sea. They will say to each visitor, ‘You may walk on us, but only with awareness.”
The fourth and largest project is the resurfacing of all roadways within the Ashram with white marble chips set in white concrete. Approximately 25,000 square feet of marble is being used to create road surfaces similar to the floors of Radha Hall and Chuang Tzu Auditorium.
Once completed, these marble projects will radiate throughout Rajneeshdham a new feeling of awe and beauty. But, more important, they will emit something else – the absorbed vibrations of a living enlightened Master.” (The New British Rajneesh Times, 1987:7)
“Poona-II was the phase when Osho’s discourses were transcribed into 48 books, and three new forms of meditations were introduced. This was the period when the Commune purchased several properties and expanded its area to a total of around 30 acres, which included the Nala Park of 12 acres. This was the phase when all buildings were painted black with dark blue windows, and black pyramid buildings were constructed on new properties.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 80)
Post-1990 constructions: Heading: Making a Silent Statement
“According to architect Hafeez Contractor, who designed the Commune, the brief given to him by Rajneesh was to use black as the basic color, combine it with blue tinted glass and to provide lots of empty spaces.
One visit to the heavily guarded Ashram and you feel that Contractor has succeeded in designing the Ashram according to these specifications. His construction style stands out because of its subtlety. The architecture makes no flashy statement and instead blends very well with the open green areas. Moreover, the black of the pyramid-shaped buildings helps in highlighting the maroon robes worn by the sannyasins and hence shifts the focus from the buildings to those to inhabit them.
According to Swami Anand Vimal from the Commune the emphasis was on providing simple designs and open spaces. Says he, “It is silent, black architecture.” According to Vimal, who is a practicing architect and has been involved in the construction of the Ashram, Rajneesh also wanted buildings which did not reflect any light. “We didn’t want to create buildings, we wanted to create environment,” he explains, adding, “It is for this reason that we do not believe in painting the buildings in bright colors like red or yellow. The emphasis is on spaces that are quiet, cool and ventilated.”
Open spaces are significant because, according to Vimal, people come to the Ashram to meditate or to attain a state of emptiness, which can only be attained in serene, empty spaces.
Spread over an area of 31 acres, the Ashram can be divided into three parts: a rectangular structure (painted black) which was part of the construction when the land was purchased in 1974 by the Trust: the pyramid-shaped buildings, completed by Contractor in 1992 and Osho Teerth, a Japanese Zen Garden spread over 13 acres of publicly owned wasteland.
Initially, it was the original structure alone which was renovated. Besides doing-up the rectangular structure, neat pathways were made, cuddapah pavings were laid and gardens planned out in the open spaces. Today, this original structure houses the bookshop which has a complete collection of Rajneesh’s discourses on videotapes, books and audio cassettes.
The pyramid-shaped buildings are used for a number of purposes like living quarters and meditation. These buildings are places around a central courtyard, in keeping with the idea of providing open spaces and the white plaster of Paris walls and agglomerated marble floors add to the feel of space. While the residential quarters in these buildings only have basic amenities like wardrobes and kitchenettes, the ones used for meditation have cushions thrown all over the marble floors.
Realizing that black was not the best color to use if heat had to be avoided, Contractor has taken care to provide double wall exteriors and a high pyramidal volume to insulate the interior spaces from the outside heat…
The Commune attaches a good deal of importance to water as well and hence extra attention was paid to the designing of Osho Teerth. The Commune has another Zen garden close to the main pyramid-shaped building. This garden is characterized by a meandering stream and a beautiful waterfall.” (Rachna Bisht. The Financial Express, India. 02.06.1996)
Heading: Osho Teerth
“Overview. A long narrow strip of land of about 12 acres with a filthy stream polluted from thousand of toilets and engine oil from the railway loco shed, the land over-grazed by goats and full of garbage and stink has been transformed into a landscaped garden with fountains, waterfalls and pathways.
Commencement of project: May 1990.
Operating agency: Shunyo Foundation and Osho Spiritual Health Organisation (O.S.H.O.)…
Presentations. The Osho Teerth has been presented at the Earth Summit, Rio, Brazil, 1992 as a indigenous development of a virtual garbage dump into a garden park. It has been presented at California Environmental Health Association, USA. It has also been awarded citations by various organisations in India and abroad for work done on the land.” (Osho Teerth. Factsheet from Osho Commune International Press Office, July 1998)
(Note: Se also: ‘Osho Teerth. A Garden Park and Ecological Prototype’ / Report prepared by Osho Spiritual Health Organisation (O.S.H.O.) for Shunyo Foundation (Shunyo Foundation 1992)
The succession of Osho’s secretaries has been included in the previous parts: From Arvind Kumar Jain in Jabalpur, Laxmi in Bombay and Sheela’s outmanoeuvring of Laxmi in early 1981. Kendra, secretary to Hasya, recalls when Hasya was Osho’s secretary:
“Fall 1985 Sheela left the Ranch and Hasya became Osho’s secretary. From December 1985 to July 1986 We went on the World Tour. During that time of the World Tour Hasya was always looking for a country to where Osho could reside and build his commune. So as we were in different countries for a few weeks/months at a time she and Jayesh would travel seeking the right country that would accept him. Being away at times for several weeks to a few months Osho was needing to be updated on their progress almost daily.
I was Hasya’s secretary during this time and so I was giving updates to Nirvano (Vivek) to tell Osho when she was away.
At one point in Uruguay towards the end of our 3 months visa stay Osho was getting anxious on the urgency of our time there and feeling it was not safe. He called me and Anando in for a meeting wanting an update on what was going on with the progress with Hasya finding a country to go to. Anando being a lawyer he wanted her view and from me an update on what Hasya was doing. That was when I felt Osho was realizing he needed a secretary that was meeting with him on a daily basis as Hasya was always on the road and unable to do this. That’s when I can remember Anando stepping in more to that role. So in Portugal she was there taking that role with Osho while Hasya continued to search for a country that would accept Osho.
July 19th 1986 Osho returns to Mumbai India with only his Indian sannyasins and appointed Neelam as his secretary during his time in India and Hasya to be his international secretary continuing searching and working on finding a country in the west for him. Anando his lawyer/advisor. After no luck finding a country in the west for Osho to move to and slowly western sannyasins were coming to India to see him he decides to move back to Poona Ashram January 1987 to continue his work there.
Around 1987-1988 Neelam continued to be his secretary but all along Anando was also going in to see Osho as his advisor and then as more and more western sannyasins were coming in, Neelam and Anando were both somehow taking this role. Hasya continuing being his international secretary till the role was no longer needed by the end of 1987. Then she just stepped out and Anando took more over the day to day stuff at the Ashram. 1988/89 Neelam also took more of a back step as Anando was taking over that role and Osho was responding to whom ever was able to do the work. Neelam always was his Indian secretary and Osho always liked to call Hasya his international secretary even when there was not much Hasya could do anymore in that area.” (Ma Prem Kendra. E-mail. 27.05.2016)
Avikal writes on Neelam in 1987
“Some days after my arrival I went to find Neelam, Osho’s secretary and public relations officer for India. Neelam is also a friend of mine and just a few months earlier she had come to spend a few relaxing days with us in our home in Praiano on the Amalfi coast, in the south of Italy. Right at the time she was there she received the news that Osho wanted her to become secretary for India and she was immediately flown to Mumbai. Neelam is an Indian woman of proud and gentle beauty, a classic flower of Punjab, a northern state, in her manner and bearing.” (Avikal 2016, p 4)
In ‘The Golden Future’ (1988) Osho talks in April 1987 of Anando as his ‘legal secretary.’
Anando on problems with the police
“When I was Osho’s secretary I became aware of his unwavering trust in and respect for Bagmarji. Whenever there was a problem – and there were many intense problems when Osho returned to Pune in January 1987 – he would say, “Call Bagmarji, he will take care of this matter.”
The main problems concerned the Police Commissioner, who was trying to have Osho expelled from Pune. He would arrange raids on the Commune, where policemen would storm into the place, sometimes in the middle of the night. We also had raids by municipal workers who had been ordered to demolish the Buddha Hall. So it was a pretty intense period!” (Niranjan 2012, p. 5)
Sarjano on Buddha Hall
“There were still five days before his appointment with destiny, or with the bulldozers that were supposed to pull down Buddha Hall (whatever comes first!)…
Then two incredible events happened almost simultaneously: the first was that the Civic Commission of Pune retracted its order to demolish Buddha Hall, hence its glorious end was postponed indefinitely…” (Sarjano 2016, pp. 229,232)
Krishna Prem on Anando as secretary
“Until one day I asked her how she became such a tireless worker. She laughed and said, “This is nothing compared to when Osho was in his body, at least now I can sleep at night. When Osho was alive he would sometimes wake me up every hour on the hour from midnight till sunrise for a Diet Coke. It got so bad that I actually put on my bravest smile and suggested to Osho that I had found something that will tickle his fancy. I showed him a picture of the newest Diet Coke machine from America. He could take his favorite cup, put it down on a metal plate, press a button and ice would come out. A second button and the exact amount of Diet Coke would come out without spilling a drop. I felt this was the perfect gift for his birthday, a present from me to him, and Osho smiled at me and said, “Anando, you don’t understand, I love to push your buttons.” Eventually Osho’s doctors insisted that he never drink Diet Coke ever again, and Anando finally got a good night’s sleep. If you ever have a chance to meet Anando though, she is a woman of beauty, grace and, might I add, infinite energy. Look her up for yourself at www.lifetrainings.com” (Krishna 2011, p. 207)
Anando, Osho’s secretary
“Anando was down to earth and playful with Him. She told Him of all the news happening inside and outside the ashram. I listened to her one day talking to Osho about politics; her understanding of Indian politics was impressive; and she knew all the names, all the parties. She and Osho chatted away like two old friends with a mutual knowledge of friends and foes. I think Anando and I made a good balance between us.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 245)
Osho on ambassadors
“I had talked to Neelam – she is my secretary. I had told her that I was thinking to make Anand Swabhav an ambassador, going around the country, because I am not moving. And he has been doing very good work, conducting camps, giving talks, approaching different institutions in different places. So most of the time he is going to be out. He has been in charge of the ashram, and I had told Neelam that it would be good to talk to him and ask if he would like to be an ambassador, because now we are appointing ambassadors in every country – somebody who represents me to the news media, conducts camps, takes care of what is going on in those countries, against me or for me, and informs me.” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 2, p. 32.
Devika writes on being an ambassador February 1989
“These “travel notes” too long to transcribe here, faithfully
reflect what I saw and my final decision to continue to follow my “Sannyas” adventure, for I reckoned that the list of pros was larger than that of the cons. It was because of this that I accepted the responsibility that Bhagwan gave me, of being his “ambassador” for Switzerland, which committed me to nothing other than “doing what I love doing, and following the impulse of my heart”, as the ambassadors of other countries told me, who experienced this task, each in his or her own way, as a “very beautiful meditation”.” (Berthout 2001, p. 66)
Osho on the three communes
“The first commune was destroyed because of women’s jealousies. They were fighting continuously. The second commune was destroyed because of women’s jealousies. And this is the third commune – and the last, because I am getting tired. Once in a while I think perhaps Buddha was right not to allow any women in his commune for twenty years. I am not in favor of him: I am the first who has allowed men and women the same, equal opportunity for enlightenment. But I have burnt my finger twice, and it has always been the jealousy of the women.
Still, I am a stubborn person. After two communes, immense effort wasted, I have started a third commune, but I have not created any difference – women are still running it. I want women here in this commune not to behave like women. But small jealousies… Now, somebody has to bring my food – the whole commune cannot do that. Somebody has to make my room clean, my bathroom clean – the whole community is not needed there; otherwise the result will be the opposite!
I call Anando every morning while I am eating, every evening while I am eating, just to give her instructions so that nothing goes wrong. Things go wrong so easily… and because Anando has been in all three communes, and is a law graduate, she understands very clearly why these two communes, created with such great effort, with so much money poured into them, got destroyed. She has a very clear conception. And whatever I say, she manages to do it. I have not heard her saying a single time that, “I have forgotten.” She immediately takes notes and reports the next day what the situation is. Otherwise, very easily things can go wrong.” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 2, p. 31.
Imprisoned in Pleasanton Sheela writes in early 1987
“In a letter to the judge, according to an Associated Press report in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sheela was reported to have written: “I offer my utter and deepest apologies to all who have suffered any wounds… from (the ‘Rajneeshees’) existence in Oregon. One of my greatest regrets is not having had the maturity or insight during that period of my life to have been able to work… as a more moderating and constructive force between Rajneeshees and Oregonians.”” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:12)
Heading: Question of Tax
“Rajneeshdham has Income Tax dues amounting close to Rs. 4 crores! Why then isn’t the Income Tax department taking action? Why cannot the property be attached? A curious legal tangle seems to be at the source. While another Ashram which, it is learnt, owned the moveable property found at Rajneeshdham, did pay tax dues worth Rs. 35 lakhs, the remainder is unpaid. But the immoveable property of Rajneeshdham’s 6 acres, even if attached, cannot be claimed it is said, owing to a difficult legal tangle. Rajneeshdham apparently is not the legal owner of its 6 acres. The title of the land is still held by previous owners.
The obvious question is – how was the amount allowed to rise so much without prior action? It is known that a certain disciple of Rajneesh, Swami Bodhi Satva, was associated with the IT department. It is learnt that Bodhi Satva is no longer with the department.
What does the Ashram have to say? The Ashram has consistently maintained that it should be granted exception as were other spiritual organisations. The tax authorities apparently refuse to accept that claim.
According to Rajneeshdham President Anand Svabhav, the Ashram did enjoy tax exemption between 1973 and 1983, “but it was suddenly and without reason withdrawn.” But when asked to comment on the amount of arrears he declined to name a figure. “It is quite a big amount,” he acknowledged.
Replying at a press conference Rajneeshdham President Anand Svabhav said that on their side the Ashram had paid all dues and if the title hadn’t been officially changed, things were obviously changed, things were obviously held up at the administration’s end. In any case Rajneesh himself doesn’t figure in the Trust anywhere by name.” (Vijay Lele. Poona Digest. February 1987, p. 29)
Moving to Goa?
“I remember a story from the late 80s, soon after Osho returned to Pune, having come back from his world tour. One fine day, the Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Goa showed up at the resort, offering several acres of beachfront property for about the same price as a single mansion in Koregaon Park.
They were hoping, of course, that the Osho circus would shift, lock-stock-and-barrel, to the beach, thereby attracting people and business to their state. The message went in to Osho and he replied, “Tell them ‘no’, because the energy at the beach is ‘out’ and asleep, and my work is ‘in’ and intense.” (Subhuti 2014, p. 103)
“I walk in the next day and hear that krishna house has been shut down and bhagwan asked that it be renovated all the management to be allowed a holiday till relocation of offices another that swami swabhav is to become bhagwan’s ambassador for india and another announcement of a newly formed inner circle of twenty one to manage the daily mundane activities of the ashram.” (Rajnish 2008, p. 168)
Urban writes on Osho’s last will and testament
“In support of its claim to some possession of trademark, the OIF submitted a document described as the “last will and testament” of Osho, signed on October 15, 1989, along with a sworn affidavit by lawyer Swami Niren (Philip Tölkes). The will in question is a very short document – less than a page – but it does contain the following key sentence:
I. Osho,… hereby devise and bequest any and all right, title in any form owned by me, now or in the future, including but not limited to all ownership, publishing or related rights, to all my work, published to date or in the future, in any form, to “Neo Sannyas International Foundation.” (Urban 2015, p. 167)
Heading: New Address For Letters To Bhagwan
“The following address is where letters to Bhagwan can now be directed. Discourse questions, personal questions, sannyas-applications forms and any center correspondence can also be sent to this address
17 Koregaon Park
Poona, Mahar. 411001
(sannyas info, June 1987, p. 8)
Heading: A New Name… A New Address
“Osho has given us the new name, Osho Rajneesh Commune, and has asked that we now refer to this buddhafield as “commune.” All mail should therefore be addressed to: Osho Rajneesh Commune. 17 Koregaon Park, Poona 411 001 (MS), India.” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 10.09.1989)
Daily Life with Osho
Apurv, with Osho’s niece Pratiksha (Vijay’s daughter), was in charge of the ashram in Poona while Osho was in Rajneeshpuram. (Praktisha. E-mail. www.pratikshaart.com)
“Here in Pune, during the first weekend of the month, we have three intensive meditation days. We still call them ‘camps’ as we did in the very distant past when Osho used to travel from Mumbai to locations in the countryside where the participants would find shelter overnight in tents, as already mentioned. Later the camps became more sophisticated and we all slept in hotels and guest houses, as I did at Mt. Abu. In Pune before we moved to the Ranch in Oregon, the camps were also at the beginning of the month and lasted ten days, but later they were reduced to three days (I don’t know the reason for this though). There were five to six meditations a day, finishing with White Robe Meditation and a video discourse.” (Punya 2015, p. 328)
Osho talking to Prasad on therapy
“Buddha never needed any psychotherapy for his sannyasins; those people were innocent. But in these twenty-five centuries, people have lost their innocence, they have become too knowledgeable. People have lost their contact with existence. They have become uprooted.
I am the first person who uses therapy but whose interest is not therapy but meditation, just as it was with Chuang Tzu or Gautam Buddha. They never used therapy because there was no need. People were simply ready, and you could bring the rosebushes without clearing the ground. The ground was always clear.
In these twenty-five centuries man has become so burdened with rubbish, so many wild weeds have grown in his being that I am using therapy just to clean the ground, take away the wild weeds, the roots, so the difference between the ancient man and the modern man is destroyed.
The modern man has to be made as innocent as the ancient man, as simple, as natural. He has lost all these great qualities.
The therapist has to help him – but his work is only a preparation. It is not the end. The end part is going to be the meditation.
As far as you are concerned, Prasad, you are doing perfectly well.
The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Session 27, p. 322.
Osho on Anti-Fischer-Hoffman therapy
“Just a few days ago Turiya was in the West and she participated in a new kind of therapy, Fisher-Hoffman, which is doing immense harm. Ordinarily I don’t speak against stupidities. But this stupid effort of Fisher-Hoffman therapy has to be demolished completely from its very roots. Their effort is to make your ego stronger, although they don’t say that is what they are doing; they say they are making your individuality independent. They don’t know the difference between individuality and personality. In the name of individuality they are destroying all possibilities of your spiritual growth. You will be left alone with your ego…
Before they do any more harm, I appoint Turiya to start here an Anti-Hoffman Therapy group to make it clear that to have your ego does not mean you are free, it simply means you are encaged in your own mind.” Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-mind (1988). Chapter 6, p. 94.
Avikal writes on the Fischer-Hoffmann Process
“In 1987 an American sannyasin by the name of Prabha presented to Osho a new, eight-day therapeutic course called the Fischer-Hoffmann Process, named after its inventors and known as the Hoffmann Quadrinity Process…
The Fischer Hoffmann Process was renamed the Anti-Fischer Hoffmann (ASFH) after as many elements as possible were removed that, according to Osho, reinforced the structure of the ego, and there was a shift of emphasis toward consciousness and liberation, and away from family conditioning.” (Avikal 2016, p. 47)
Osho speaking on Teertha, a leading therapist in Poona One
“Teertha was hoping… He was the first therapist to join the ashram; naturally, because he was the first, he became the chief therapist without any formalities…
When the commune dispersed he saw clearly that I cannot be in America – for fifteen years I cannot enter America. And in India the American government is pressurizing the Indian government that no foreign sannyasins should be allowed in. Seeing the situation, he thought it was better to open an institute of his own in Italy. There was no harm in opening the institute in Italy. I had to tell my therapists that whereever they were they should continue to create institutes, communes, because all European countries have banned me. I cannot enter into Europe, I cannot go to America, and foreign sannyasins cannot come into India.
Now there was no need to accept me as his master; there was a chance of becoming a master himself. So Teertha has become a mini-guru… People must have been asking him, “Is your institute Bhagwan’s institute?” He said, “I have not been Bhagwan’s disciple…”
Then what was he doing here? What was he doing in America? And the same has been done by Somendra, by Rajen, by a few others therapists – they are all therapists. Finding an opportunity that they can become mini-gurus… But for that they have had to deny that they had anything to do with Bhagwan.” The Razor’s Edge (1987). Chapter 6, p. 76.
(Note: In Teertha’s book ‘The Experiment is Over’ (Lowe 1989) there is no specific mentioning of his years with Osho. Excerpt: “Late in 1972, he [Teertha] went to India to seek meditation techniques that would be suitable or adaptable to Western people. On this trip he was initiated by an Indian guru, and spent the next thirteen years in spiritual ashrams in India, and in other parts of the world. In this time he studied Eastern philosophy and religion, edited spiritual books, organized meditation camps, and developed many highly successful experimental techniques that combined awakening methods from the East and West. His encounter groups became legendary. He led many training courses and guided workshops, that had up to five thousand participants. In 1981, he went on a world tour and held workshops for many thousands of people. Late in 1985, he completed his association with spiritual ashrams and went to a large villa on the shores of Lake Maggiore, in Northern Italy, to supervise the forming of the International Academy of Meditation.” (Lowe 1989, p. xiv). Reviewed by Ma Prem Maneesha in: Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:7).
Mistlberger on Osho and his disciples
“I personally know of literally hundreds of people whose lives were powerfully and positively impacted by Osho’s work. Also, it should be mentioned that a large number of teachers, facilitators, and writers in the field of human transformation in the late 20th and early 21st centuries were in fact initiated disciples of Osho, although many no longer openly acknowledge this for various reasons. Note 28.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 439)
(Note: Note 28, page 703: The usual assumed reason is that many do not want to be associated with the Oregon debacle of 1985, but just as often it is because the former disciple seeks to come out entirely from under the shadow of the master, and thinks that they can only truly do this by not associating with the master’s name again. This was never better illustrated than in the case of Ouspensky, who, after leaving Gurdjieff, forbade his own students to ever mention Gurdjieff’s name again.”)
Osho on Teertha and recent changes for sannyasins
“Just the other day, I received a brochure from Swami Anand Teertha whom twelve sannyasins have joined to make a therapist team. Anand Teertha, who lived with me here for thirteen years, writes in his introduction that he has been with an Indian mystic for thirteen years. He has not the courage even to say who this Indian mystic is – do you hear? Even the cuckoo is more understanding – Teertha’s wife certainly has more courage than Teertha, at least she mentions my name, that she was learning under me as my disciple for thirteen years.
Teertha could not prevent her because she is no longer with him. He is living with another woman, a girlfriend. That girlfriend was also here. She also does not mention… again comes the Indian mystic. But if they come back, they will receive the same love. I don’t take note of such stupid fears. What is their fear? Their fear is my name makes them harassed by governments. They cannot work in Germany or in Italy if the governments knows that they have been my people…
And it is true. A few teachers have lost their jobs. A professor has lost his job because he accepted me as his master. But he was a courageous man. He went to the court and asked, “Is there any law that prevents me from being a disciple of Bhagwan? Is it in any way a hindrance to my teaching in the college? I have not been teaching his philosophy; I am not even capable of teaching it. But my association with him has taken away my job.”
There are almost two million sannyasins in the world. I have told them not to wear orange clothes, not to wear the mala, because I don’t want anyone to suffer because of me. But anybody trying to persuade sannyasins to drop sannyas…
Now what is left as far as sannyas is concerned? I have told them to forget about the orange clothes, throw away their malas in the ocean. Only meditation is the essence. Just keep to it, nobody can even suspect that you are a meditator. It is your inner, innermost center.” Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-mind (1988). Chapter 10, p. 161.
Heading: Nobody Channels Osho
“”When I leave the body,” He warns, “the guru mind will sense the opportunity to move.” He says Teertha was always in competition with Him, but couldn’t make his move until Osho was not available to His people because of the World Tour. Then the mind saw the opening and he had to move.
“When I am no longer present to the body,” He says, “the people who were in competition with me under the surface will make their move. The guru mind, the exploiting mind, the wolf’s mind, can’t help itself. Like Teertha it will move. But it needs the sheep – without sheep, the wolf is no problem.”
And what creates sheep is the gap – or the fear of the gap, the fear of being alone. This is inevitable when a master leaves his body. That is why He speaks of it so many times, warning us to be alert for this after He is no longer with us.” (Anando. In: Osho Times International, 1991:9)
“My emphasis here is on therapies which don’t go on for years and years: just a few days of therapy to prepare the ground for meditation. We are running here almost one hundred therapy groups, for every possible human being. But therapy is not the end; therapy is a preparation, cleaning the ground for meditation. This is the only place in the whole world where therapy is being used as cleaning the ground for a tremendous transformation from mind to no-mind.” Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Chapter 1, p. 6.
Message from Hasya, July 1987
“… the mala is to be worn only in the privacy of your own room during meditation, as a sacred connection with Bhagwan while meditating. It should not be worn at any other time, not while meditating at the center, not underneath your clothes during the day, etc.” (sannyas info, November 1987, p. 4)
Mistlberger writes on therapists
“At any rate, Osho did leave behind a considerable body of work, both theoretical and practical. This work consists of four pillars:
1. His recorded spoken and written works.
2. His practical techniques; namely, the meditations.
3. His therapists (group leaders, meditation instructors, etc.)
4. His central ashram in Pune, now officially referred to as a meditation resort, guided administratively by twenty-one disciples originally hand-picked by Osho in 1989 (although over two decades later the makeup of this group has changed).
The third – the therapists – are trained psychotherapists, counsellors, or other specialists (all with varying degrees of skill and experience) who since the early 1970s have run the workshops at the ashram in Pune, or in other parts of the world, in Osho’s name. (Most of the original therapists have since left). They are, in a sense, a type of subculture within the greater Osho community – after 1988, Osho even assigned them a special clothing (black robes with white sashes) in contrast to everyone’s else’s maroon robes. This did raise some questions about whether or not the therapists had in fact unwittingly assumed the role of the ‘priesthood’ that Osho so often disparaged. Given Osho’s regular condemnation of hierarchies within religious communities, it might have seemed odd that he would promote a different appearance for the therapists. But in fact it is not hard to see the effectiveness of the device. Some of Osho’s therapy groups could be quite large, up to fifty participants or more, and in such a setting, where things can get chaotic, it helps to be able to quickly identify the group leader. But more to the point, the different appearance helps establish a setting where the seeker is able, to some extent, to let go of control issues, accept the fact that they are there to work on themselves, and let the therapists do the facilitating.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 467)
Leela and her therapy work
“In 1988, she [Leela (Lydia Itzler)] was requested by Osho to design, develop and facilitate three meditative therapies: The Mystic Rose Meditation, Born Again and No-Mind.” (Svagito 2014, p. 454)
Colours in ashram
“Why everything black? I heard that Osho had seen a picture in a Japanese architectural book which showed a dark house with windows reflecting the sky and that after that he had given the instruction to have our houses painted black and the windows covered in blue film. Of course there were many discussions among us sannyasins, as there always is. We thought that the black colour would attract too much heat from the sun, but then the esoteric circles thought the colour would keep negative energy away (Osho was still not a favourite in the media and in political circles). And we did not quite understand why the blue windows, but apparently with all the pollution in the air we do not get enough blue light. Once the job was done I felt it was a tremendous aesthetic improvement, mostly because the Indian whitewash could never be kept clean and pristine. The colours in the commune were now: the black of the buildings, the green of the plants and the maroon of the people.” (Punya 2015, p. 89)
Osho on Mukta and his garden
“Mukta is my gardener. She is not allowed even to cut any leaf or to cut any flowers. In the beginning she used to move with gardener’s scissors hidden behind her back! But right now I can see, whenever I go to Buddha Hall – otherwise I don’t get out – I can see flowers are there, I can see the garden has become a jungle so she must have dropped those gardener’s scissors. Let every tree grow in its own way; at least in my garden! Don’t kill any tree, don’t destroy any living flower.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 19, p. 345.
“It is possible, if you live with trees… I have given Mukta to look after my gardens. So for almost twenty years she has been looking after my gardens. And she has become so silent. She only fights with somebody who disturbs her trees; then she is ferocious. And particularly this Nivadano is her archenemy, because he goes on making waterfalls that disturb the trees because he has to make space for his waterfalls. Other than that, she is in the ashram, but almost absent. Living with trees, one becomes a tree. In the innermost being the same silence…” Nansen. The Point of Departure (1990). Chapter 6, p. 114.
Maneesha on concerts and readings in Buddha Hall
“In addition, India’s most illustrious artists have visited the commune and have been so impressed by the people and the atmosphere, that they have suggested giving concerts in Buddha Hall. They include world-renowned flautist, Hari Prasad Chaurasia; table-player, Zakir Hussein; sitar-player, Usman Khan; sitar-player, Sharid Parvez; santoor-player, Shivkumar Sharma, and the classical dancers, Sanyukta Panigrahi and Sonal Maansingh; as well as Shafat Ahmad, tabla-player, and Ali Akbar Khan, sarod-player; Kalyan-Ji, music director, and two singers, Sonali Vajpayee and Sadhana Sargam…
In early 1988, sixteen of India’s most loved poets gave a several-hours’ long poetry reading in Buddha Hall. Among the most famous were Neeraj, Anuragi, Tariz Laknavi and Arshee Hyderbadi, as well as renowned songwriter, Indivar. In addition, Shail Chaturvedi, Om Prakash Aditya, Ramanath Awasthi, Ramrikh Manahar and Surendra Sharma have all given poetry performances.” (Forman 2002. Epilogue, p. 424)
First organization of Multiversity with its seven faculties
1. Center for Transformation.
2. Mystery School.
3. School of Creative Arts.
4. School for Centering.
5. International Academy of Healing Arts.
6. School of Zen Martial Arts.
7. Faculty for Liberation.
Heading: Announcing The New Osho Rajneesh Multiversity
“A New Osho Rajneesh Multiversity has been formed at Rajneeshdham, made up of the following faculties: the Center for Transformation, the Mystery School, the Osho Rajneesh School of Creative Arts and the Osho Rajneesh School of Martial Arts. The number of faculties and the types of activities that will be offered are virtually unlimited, and each faculty will remain its own individual flavor.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:9)
Osho Mystery School in Handbook for Osho Multiversity
“Osho created Osho Mystery School in Portugal during his World Tour of 1986, and he entrusted it to Kaveesha as Director.
However the roots of the Mystery School – the beginning transmissions and directions – lie in the intimate talks given by Osho in Uruguay, where he set out the basic foundation and methods for his work to continue.
In 1988, the Mystery School began to give sessions and then groups, including psychic readings, Osho Tibetan Pulsing, Neo-Reiki and sessions of numerology, astrology and tarot. The group called Deprogramming: Cutting the Roots of Fear began in March 1989.
Osho has also created certain institutes for specialized sections of his transformational work. Two of these – Tibetan Pulsing Healing and Esoteric Science – brought their unique contributions to the Mystery School curriculum.
A mystery school is really a school of life, not of knowledge. It is a place where transformation happens, where the energies of prejudice, fear and other poisonous qualities are transmuted into higher understandings and graceful living.
From the unreal to the real, from the false to the truth. Not a new body of knowledge, not a certificate, not a new language – a new way of seeing, living and understanding life. Turning lead into gold. The ancient word is alchemy. But it refers not to substance. It refers to qualities of being.
Only those who experience a mystery school for themselves know what alchemy is. Buddha knew, Lao Tzu knew, Bodhidharma… so few. Yet this science is available to all who search for it with sincerity and trust.
Osho has created a new mystery school, one designed for the 21st Century. It is here; it is now. The question now is: who will enter this mystery?
Some transformative experiences available in the Osho Mystery School remain mysterious, unwritten and unspoken, simply because a certain preparation and receptivity is needed for this unique work. No special effort is required to keep secrets, the real secrets. The real is never truly a secret; it just remains unseen until one opens his eyes.” (Sarito 1990, p. 116)
Osho on changing nouns into verbs
“Love is a river. Love is not really love unless it is a river. It is energy moving, dancing, flowing. Love cannot be stagnant; if it is, it dies. Its existence depends on flow, on movement. For it to be, means to be flowing. Love can never be reduced to a noun, it remains a verb, but this is one of the problems with our languages: we have reduced everything to a noun, even things which cannot be reduced.
Love is loving. Love is not a noun, it is the activity of loving. It is not something complete and finished. It is something on the way, always on the way, a movement to the very faraway, distant star, a hope, a dream, but never a thing. You cannot manipulate it, you cannot transfer it, you cannot manage it, because when it is there you are drowned in its flood.
But we have done the same with everything. The word “faith” is wrong because it has become a noun: faithing will be right; it will be a verb. Man has changed his experiences into nouns for a certain reason. They become definable, there is a beginning and an end, you can draw a boundary around them. Then the mind can create a concept of what it is, then the mind can label it. But once something is flowing and one never knows what is going to happen next moment, when it is changing moment to moment, when it is a flux, the mind is at a loss. It cannot be labelled, it cannot be defined, it cannot become a concept; and the mind feels very much embarrassed by anything that is so mysterious.
The mind is constantly trying to demystify everything in life, and it has succeeded in many ways. It has demystified all that is beautiful and all that is valuable, and now man is bored. It is because of the mind that the whole humanity is bored. It has demystified everything, now there is no excitement left, no ecstasy left.
My work here consists in changing nouns back into verbs: love into loving, faith into faithing, even river into rivering. And once this becomes clear, your life starts taking on a totally different color, a different flavor. A great joy arises, because now each moment is going to be a surprise. Each moment is going to be unexpected and unpredictable, and when life is unpredictable there is ecstasy, there is thrill. Instead of boredom there is zestfulness. One is overflowing and one is constantly in contact with the existence that is.” You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (1984); The Book (1984). Vol II, p. 371.
Osho on becoming a verb
“My suggestion to all of my sannyasins is don’t trust in nouns, trust in verbs. Become a verb rather than becoming a noun. Rather than love, think of loving. Rather than being, think of becoming. Rather than of a flower, think of flowering. Always think in terms of verbs and you will never be frustrated. Your life will become a constant growth from one peak to another peak, and those peaks go on becoming higher and higher.” The Golden Wind. Unpublished darshan diary. Title and text at www.sannyas.wiki; The Book (1984). Vol III, p. 423.
Osho speaking on sannyas
“Man is like a dewdrop. Existence is like the ocean. And we are trying to keep ourselves separate from it. That is the root cause of our misery.
Only one thing is needed: a jump into the ocean so the dewdrop disappears. It does not really disappear, it only loses its small boundaries. It becomes oceanic, it becomes the ocean itself. But in a sense it disappears. You cannot find it any more. It loses its old identity, its old nameplate and its old address. It has become part of such vastness that there is no way to find it. It cannot stand out, that is the fear. That’s why we go on keeping ourselves away from the ocean. Sannyas means an effort to gather courage to disappear into the ocean.” Eighty-Four Thousand Poems. Unpublished darshan diary. Title and text at www.sannyas.wiki; The Book (1984). Volume II, p. 379.
Residents in Lao Tzu House
“Osho’s caretakers Nirvano, Anando and Shunyo, his personal physician Amrito, his Indian secretary Neelam, the British dentist Devageet (Dr. Charles Newman), Mukta, Yogi from the Hollywood group, and Maneesha were among those who had rooms in Lao Tzu House and were, in a sense, close to Osho. However, they could meet Osho only when he asked for them and a message would be communicated primarily by Amrito, Anando, or Nirvano when she was around. Inevitable, the sannyasins living in Lao Tzu House had an aura of a special status as they were living in Osho’s residence.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 79)
Shunyo and Anando moving out and Osho leaves his new room
“Anando and I moved to our new room in Mirdad House, just across the road from the ashram. I had just got everything moved in when Amrito telephoned me. He said that he had just told Osho that Anando and I had moved out of His house, and Osho said:
“Tell them they cam move back in again.”
I sat on the doorstep and cried.
On the same day, Osho moved out of His new room. He had been there for just two weeks and had called it “magical”, “unique”, and, “It is really California.” He asked Amrito if His old room was still there. (Osho had asked that the room be remodelled as a guest room). While Amrito was still nodding his head, Osho got out of bed and walked out of “California” and straight back into the old room. He never said why, and nobody asked.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 279)
“In the afternoons after the morning meditation sessions, I typed, copied and sent out the press releases and prepared the press kits, as I used to do on the Ranch. The world had become aware that Osho had not disappeared from the face of the earth, and more and more journalists were arriving at the gates.
The Press Office was in the hall of the ground floor of the newly acquired Mirdad house, across the road from the back gate. A German architect, whom I had known as a bus driver on the Ranch, was restoring some of the exquisite Art Nouveau features like the wall lamps and the wood railing to the first floor. Hasya, who was now Osho’s international secretary, had her office just next to us. She was one of the few who were allowed to smoke, not only in her room in Lao Tzu House, but also in her office. It was not very pleasant when we had business to do with her, especially for ex-smokers like me, but her charm made everything acceptable…
Many press releases went out concerning the 1988 World Academy of Science and Creativity. As far as I understood, Osho was trying to gather intelligentsia, scientists and creative people from all over the world, to form an Academy which was independent from politics, nations ad religions. It was a tremendous vision, but somehow it did not take off and after a few months the message came that the project had come to a halt.” (Punya 2015, pp. 361,363)
(Note: The earlier Press Office from Poona One with its substantial archives and files in 1988 merged with Global Connection, at that time headed by Ma Prem Hasya).
“Rumour was that there would be new houses with pyramid roofs and, as so often before, I did not believe in such outlandish rumours. I heard that a renowned architect from Delhi was appointed to do the design and the project was in the hands of a contractor. We certainly did not have the manpower to construct buildings ourselves anymore.” (Punya 2015, p. 362)
“As for Osho’s mother, this tiny, rotund, simple woman from Madhya Pradesh, who didn’t speak a word of English – strong but quiet and shy – kept a supremely low profile. She hosted visitors, cooked, entertained and celebrated in her space in Francis House – we often heard music as we passed by – but did little else that was apparent to us Western residents. We did hear, however, that she sat in meditation in her room for long periods at a time.
All of which made what she did on the last night before she left her body, 16 years after her husband and five after Osho, all the more astonishing.
That night, there was a kirtan in Buddha Hall, as there often was, and for the first time ever, quite spontaneously, this little old lady came onto the stage accompanied by musicians, and sang a devotional poem she had composed herself. I don’t know much about the music or the song, which was in Hindi, but the amazing thing was that she did it. This woman, who had never done anything publicly before, was exposing and expressing herself to a hall full of thousands of residents and visitors.
And the next day she was gone.” (Savita. In: Savita 2014, p. 113)
Timeline for 1989
“he announces meditation camps to be reintroduced the fire is to be brought back… now is the time he appears for the first time on masters day celebration all sannyasins in white robes celebrate the new white brotherhood…
“i hear the next day bhagwan has asked all the women to pack and to leave lao tzu house… allows them to return to lao tzu a few days later… the chuang tzu bedroom he had especially designed was not to be lived in by bhagwan september 14 he opened the vipassana walkway for all…
“it was october and a new mystery when bhagwan asked for the commune to be painted black every wall and every corner was being painted black the black was perfect… all building signs were removed…
“28 november 1989 for the first time in his life he suddenly visits the multiversity slowly looking at each group and therapy poster and surprisingly states there should be no more long therapies there were usually courses of one to two to three months long now they should only be kept light and fun and for three days and that he has given compulsory reading of his books before joining any group… and went further to state those who cling to my words miss me.” (Rajnish 2008, pp. 184,189,190,192)
Heading: Bhagwan’s Work
“We received this satirical article from Poona. Bhagawata says it reflects the “Current state of play in the ashram” although other correspondents have given a different picture. He also said in an accompanying letter that “The Ashram and Rajneeshpuram have been building sites for 10 years and we have marginally fewer buildings than 10 years ago.”
Whilst we want this type of view aired it may be that Bhagawata is not acquainted with “Gurdieff’s work” which was often a question of getting his disciples to dig holes and then fill them in again, and Bhagwan’s work may be not so very different!
“O.K., while Buddha Hall is waiting to get a roof what else can we do?”
“Well, we could pull down Zorba Cafe and rebuild it.”
“No, we’ve done that already. How about Noah’s ark?”
“Too easy, why don’t we repaint Radha Hall? If we strip off all the old paint first we could probably have 20 people there with grinding tools and paint strippers for almost a month.”
“That would do it, we’d suffocate a few in Sufi Dancing, deafen a few in Nadabrahma and keep the video inaudible for another month, but its Bhagwan’s work so what else can we do.”
“O.K. I guess we’d have a few crashing into ladders in dynamic and treading in pots of paint in Kundalini too but once started we’d obviously just have to get this job finished.”
“Yes, another day and night job. I suppose, still, its Bhagwan’s work.”
“What else, that will only keep us busy a month we’ll need something else for the summer.”
“Well, everyone uses the central driveway of the ashram, why don’t we chip up all the concrete there, then put it all back down again with a few marble chippings in it. That would take all Summer.”
“Yes, then we could keep a great pile of concrete in the middle of the driveway all Summer next to a great pile of marble chippings and have two or three guys with pneumatic drills busy for at least a couple of months.”
“We’ll need guards too, 20 or so should do to make sure no one treads on the pile of concrete or walks round it in the wrong way or sits too near it WITHOUT CHECKING WITH THE OFFICE FIRST.”
“And I suppose it will help keep reception busy dealing with all the unsurrendered guys who ask what we are doing it for.”
“Great, so that’s it, if we finish Buddha Hall by mid-night we can snatch a bit of sleep then start on Radha Hall at 2 am.”
Yes, I recon that’s enough to keep us busy till we move on to the new commune…” (Bhagwata. Sannyas News, 02.05.1987. Reprinted in: sannyas info, November 1987, p. 3)
Heading: The Rajneesh Mystery School presents
“Kaveesha In Synchronicity with the Master
A unique and moving experience is Kaveesha In Synchronicity with the Master, offered every night at 9.30 in Jesus House Room 15.
This experience was created by Bhagwan because He is no longer available to meet individually with disciples to answer questions. It is an unparalleled opportunity to ask personal questions, but most of all Kaveesha is transmitting Energy from the Beyond to facilitate greater relaxation and to open the disciple more and more to receive the Master’s Grace.
Crystals are matter in perfection. Their capacity to store and transmit light and energy has attracted meditators and healers for thousands of years. To own a crystal is to have a true friend. Once you have found your crystal its warmth and radiance will stimulate your highest centers of love and meditation. Sagar, the crystal buddha, will help you find the right crystal at the Crystal Pyramid by the side of Buddha Hall.
Individual Sessions with Kaveesha
Meet privately with Kaveesha for 15 minutes. Your questions will be dissolved into understanding.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:17)
Re: Malas for new sannyasins
“As long as the stock of lockets lasts, it is still possible for new sannyasins to receive a mala if they wish.
First you need to explain to them that the mala is to be worn only in the privacy of their own room during meditation, as a sacred connection with Bhagwan while meditating. It should not be worn at any other time, not while meditating at the center, not underneath their clothes during the day, etc.” (Ma Prem Hasya. Letter/fax to all centers. 25.07.1987)
“Osho loved wearing a good watch. He was gifted a beautiful bejewelled Rolex. The Rolex is self-winding: Just one’s ordinary movements throughout the day are enough to keep it in perfect time. On Osho’s wrist, the Rolex always seemed to stop. After sending the watch back to the Swiss watchmaker, it was deduced that he didn’t move enough to wind the watch! It was the first time the Swiss had come across such a problem. Osho used to say he was a lazy man. He was superb at doing nothing, yet paradoxically, he was the most prolific reader, author and speaker – a living embodiment of wei wu wei – doing through non-doing.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 444)
Remarbeling Osho’s room after his passing
“Osho’s room is progressing well: beautiful pure with Yugoslavian marble floors, walls and bed, and the same in the bathroom, are now at the polishing stage. It’s all happening under the supervision of a German team of three who assure me that “Es lauft einfach super” (which can be loosely translated as: No worries, mate).” (Maneesha. Yes Osho (Digital). Vol IV, No.26. 19.03.1991)
7.3 Osho Lao Tzu Library
The entire book collection of Osho Lao Tzu Library was boxed and stored in containers to follow Osho when he moved to Oregon in 1981. His books, in fact, were never unpacked during the years Osho stayed in USA. He had already stopped reading before he left Poona and he had in Poona One read all the books i his library. Accordingly the developments at the Ranch didn’t include his library, although two new pyramid-shaped buildings for academy and library respectively were in the pipeline as blueprints, but they never materialized before the demise of the Ranch happened. With the collection boxed in containers no new acquisitions were made of material on Osho and his work, except the press clippings in Press Office from the extensive press coverage of Osho’s stay in Oregon.
David Levine writes
“I would be happy to answer your question. As you may imagine it is not a little question. When we arrived back in Poona after the world tour and leaving the ranch, Osho’s books were in boxes for many years. They had actually not been unpacked since they were packed and sent to Oregon in 1981. So the books actually went on a world tour and never got unpacked. Osho invited Avirbhava and myself to be the directors of His library in 1986. The story goes from there until 1991 when we left India.” (David Levine. E-mail. 06.10.1998)
For a few years Osho was in silence and when he started talking again copies of his published discourses were kept and shelved for later use. After his return to India and later on to Poona in January 1987 the library and its thousands of volumes was on the agenda following their clearance from the customs in Bombay. Now the books had returned to where they had once belonged and a reorganizing of the library with new librarians, computerization and renewed interior design was soon to begin.
We’ve already introduced the term spiritual library science to cover Osho’s understandings in his lifelong obsession of managing his personal library in ways which certainly had not been seen before. His insight into the technical peculiarities of cataloguing and bibliography is again and again to be found in his discourses where on many occasions he is commenting also on the history of libraries.
Osho says on his library
“In the library there are thousands of books; there are over one hundred thousand volumes in the beautiful library. I love the library. It contains all the best that has ever been written. I am giving it all to our university [Multiversity]. Notes of a Madman (1985), p. 5.
Whereever he lived Osho always wanted his whole house full of books, and a similar process seems to have been the case in Lao Tzu house. Also here the library was definitely to take over the whole house and ‘corridor library’ may be the proper term to identify the physical layout of Lao Tzu Library.
A book lover his whole life, Osho was giving specific instructions for the style and character of the library interior design and for library techniques to be used in Osho Lao Tzu Library. Among other features the books were 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 lighter impression of the packed shelves than usually seen in libraries. As this shelving system also separates individual volumes within a series, for practical use certain modifications were made to the basic principle.
“The Osho Library is maintained by Osho International Foundation.
All of these books have been read, signed and dated by Osho, except about 10.000 which have been gathered on his request after he stopped reading.
Osho’s personal library is now housed in a building named ‘Lao Tzu House’ at the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune, India. The library holds more than 150.000 volumes, mostly in the humanities, including history, psychology, religion and philosophy. It also features a quite substantial collection of the classic literature of East and West, along with an impressive array of biographies, books on physics and earth sciences, etc.
The library has been created with aesthetic considerations in mind, the object being to create a light and airy feeling, rather than the ‘heavy’ and ‘serious’ look of so many libraries. Books are sorted according to size and color and placed on the shelves in an arrangement that suggests ocean waves. The effect is organic and natural, with no solid blocks of color or size to grab the eye and weigh it down.
Osho himself was an avid book collector and reader throughout most of his life, and the library includes volumes that he has kept in pristine condition since his childhood. He liked to underline his books, and to create an individualized painting on the front pages, often including his signature, in place of a printed book plate.
Part of his work was to give daily extemporaneous talks, with quotes and passages from books he had read. The library was catalogued by hand for many years, with cross-references that included not only title, author and subject matter, but such things as the cover color, number of pages and trim size. In that way, if Osho wanted to see that “big book on Einstein’s theory of relativity, with the blue cover” the librarian could locate the needle in the haystack with relative ease.
In 1987 a three-year project was initiated to computerize the card catalogue.
The UK journal LOGOS has published an extensive article about the library written by Pierre Evald.” (Press Release. Post-2001)
Kavisho recalls her first days in Lao Tzu Library 1987
“Lalita and David were there welcoming me and Disha. Lalita was waiting to pass on the job to me and this she did with very few words. Basically, she said to be very graceful in handling the books, and that Osho wants the books to be put on the shelves according to sizes and colors. Nothing to do with subjects, only aesthetics. She was the one who organized the library in the old days, by making hand written files and now as the books were just returning from the United States, it was up to us to do it all over again, this time with a computer.
Even though it was the simplest guidance, it sounded like Chinese to me, as I was discovering the huge impressive amount of books, an ocean of books, and boxes full of books. She was saying to make waves with them… Oh yes yes I thought, sure! Waves, ocean, colors, silence, cataloguing the ocean, being very graceful, becoming more and more aware of how to handle the books, yes waves of books in the ocean… and that’s all you have to tell me? Just that? Lalita had been waiting for me since almost two weeks now, to pass on this guidance to me. And in less than 5 minutes: ocean, waves, colors, catalogue… good luck and enjoy!!
And so I joined the team in opening boxes, laying down the books on a big carpet on the floor and sorting them out by size and color. I remember truck deliveries of enormous amount of boxes of books, just being cleared from the customs in Bombay. It was the beginning of the monsoon, it was raining, the boxes entered through the balcony doors, along with the mosquitoes! Mountains of books would dance through our hands and disappear on shelves.
It was actually a kindergarten play. Making piles of books the same size. Then choosing one book from each pile, of a different color and aligning them in a sort of waving movement before putting them on one of the hundreds of empty shelves.
It was already a total wonder to come in contact with all those books that Osho read, but then, the biggest joy was when we discovered inside the books, one of Osho’s paintings. It was always such a surprise, such a thrill… The explosion of colors as we opened a book was breathtaking and every so often a scream would announce a new painting being discovered.
Osho has made incredibly colorful paintings inside the books, in the first page, which is generally an empty page. Never anyone had such an original idea. Osho loves books, one can feel it when spending time surrounded by the thousands books he gathered since his childhood. All books are signed and dated by Him, as he was reading them. It was like Ali Baba’s treasure cave. Soon we had to reorganize the whole library just around those treasures.
So we decided to keep all the paintings separate, and the colored signatures, while still keeping Osho’s guidance for size and color. And we later discovered the marks that Osho made inside the books: small red and blue dots, next to sentences particularly relevant.
So again we rechecked the books already put on shelves, as we decided to keep those books too, altogether. And the whole shelving had to be reshuffled or rather rewaved!
From the beginning it was endless shuffling, endless organizing, endless wonder. Entering slowly slowly a timeless space of wonder, getting more and more sensitive, more graceful in handling those books.
A title catching the eyes and heart, hands opening the book, starting to read, entering a mind, an intelligence, or falling into a joke book.. words upon words opening. And letting it go.. so many books! One felt that a life time would not be enough to read even briefly each one of those beautiful books.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999. See Appendix)
Osho’s priorities for the library were aesthetics and cleanliness combined with a spiritual dimension. These guidelines were important throughout his many years as a library builder and were influencing his choice of materials and colours for the library. The very item, the tangible object and physical format of the printed book really meant a lot to him.
During Poona One the main hall 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. Following the reconstruction of Lao Tzu House in Poona Two, the library underwent a transformation and Ramakrishna was rearranged into a more spacious main room of the library, and the colouring of all wooden shelves were changed to a metallic silverpaint. In the new corridor, just in front of the entrance to Ramakrishna room it was new metallic shelves, as in the new library. In Ramakrishna itself we kept the old wooden shelves, removed the wooden doors to replace them by sliding glass doors and painted all wood left in metallic silver paint. In order to create reflections and a more spacy interior mirrors were placed behind the books. The books were shelved in waves with two identical colored covers separated, In the Corridor: 10 shelves in height, with the white marble floor and its black/red pattern. (Prem Kavisho. E-mail. 03.02.2018)
First room from the porch is in dark tropical wood. Also shelves and doors to open are in wood here as the only place in the entire library. Here you’ll find a mirrored door to Osho’s privacy. Elsewhere shelves in the library are all in raw glass, light green color, 10 mm.
Library interior design
“The few white marble steps flanked by a miniature garden of shade plants and semi-precious stones take us to the corridor/library. On one wall are the translations of Osho’s books and, in the corridor, displayed under glass, are a multicoloured variety of non-fiction books. I heard from Rabiya, the librarian, that the books are not filed according to subjects as in any other library, but according to aesthetic criteria: the colour of the jacket, the height and thickness of the book. The books should create a harmonious wavy line on the shelves. This was, of course, Osho’s idea.” (Punya 2015, p. 115)
Life is waves, not a dead look. Life is not a straight line, so he wanted the waves. Probably this is the only shelving system of its kind to be found in libraries around the globe. Osho didn’t want others than his librarians to clean his books for dust. (Neelam. Interview. Dharamsala. 2006)
Kavisho on his library
“Aesthetics, colors, create a lightness that is so unique for a library. I have been since then in many public libraries and not one comes close to the beauty and lightness of Osho’s library.
Aesthetics, cleanliness are the keys. It is an integral part of the Master’s teaching. Such a multidimensional teaching, in which every situation is used as a mirror of awareness, inside/outside, so below/so above.
A kind of synchronicity started to happen, something beyond the logical mind, beyond the visible word. A synchronicity with the ‘presence’ of the books. The hands would ‘know’ by themselves where to find such and such a book. Maybe it was glimpsed few days or few hours before. Just moving with the energy, and here it was. It was amazing!
The library was absorbing me, I was becoming part of it. Intuition was taking over in a world where organization, computer, logical mind was a must. I started to fly more and more and enjoy the ocean, and its ongoing movement and rhythm of colors, its depth and mystery, and allowing it to take me over.
Never before with Osho I had experienced such totality in my being absorbed inside…
The library takes you in your own inner world, in a bottomless intimacy with the mystery…
The Library is such a device for the achieving mind. It is just endless. No completion possible. “The journey itself is the goal,” Osho says. These few words, handwritten by Osho stand in one of the library windows…
Actually what happened that day, was Osho touring his own house, downstairs, where at least a dozen residents lived, and telling Anando how He wishes to expand the existing Library, to such an extent, that actually most of the downstairs residents should be given new accommodation somewhere else in the ashram. He wants the library to really take over the whole space. During His stay in America, the books stayed in boxes as Sheela never cared about setting Osho’s personal library. Now all is possible and he wants us to expand the library and buy all the latest books, even though He is not reading any more.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)
Maneesha on the library
“I’d also had the opportunity to use the catalogue system – unique in a way that only Bhagwan could dream of! His preferences, 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 1987, p. 89)
Kavisho recalls that book covers with colored fronts are turned opposite to be exposed when entering the Dentist’s room, and all black covers were generally to be hiddden. Osho did not use the library much during his years in Poona Two, only a couple of times he would ask for a book to be retrieved. But he did ask to buy new books for the library, mostly New Age books close to his vision. Excerpts/synopsis were then made by his librarians to be read to him by his secretaries. (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999)
“In Pune 2, even though He had given up reading and only went once or twice to His library, He still made meticulous plans for its expansion. He wanted every square inch of wall covered with books, all the way down the long corridor which runs through the centre of the house, and into the old servants rooms at the back, which were converted into a marble library annex at his suggestion.
Osho sometimes referred me to books, remembering the author and title, and even the appearance, of a book He had read maybe 15 years previously.” (Anando. E-mail. 28.4.1999).
Heading: Inside Osho’s library. Feature by Subhuti:
“[Osho] started talking to Nirvano, His caretaker, about the construction of a library extension on the balcony.
Jalada added, “I don’t remember much of what He said but it was incredibly detailed – where the shelves should go, what kind of glass cases to use, even the beam on the ceiling was to be turned into a bookshelf. Every available space was to be converted into shelves.
Ma Prem Kavisho, Osho’s librarian, tells a similar story as far as space is concerned. Walking down the long corridor that winds its way through Lao Tzu House – already lined with elegant bookshelves – she points to various blank spaces that will be utilized for additional shelves.
“Osho redesigned the entire library in 1987, including the balcony that Jalada mentioned and also the big new extension near Lao Tzu gate,” Kavisho explains. “At that time about 15 residents were moved from Lao Tzu to other accommodation so that work on the extension could begin.
“At the same time, Osho told us that He wants us to keep bringing in new books to fill up all the additional shelves. We have about 300 meters of shelf space left, which we are filling as sannyasins and lovers of Osho donate new copies of their favorite books to the library.”
Statistics for the library are already impressive. It contains about 100,000 books that fill two kilometers of shelves. All of these books have been read, signed and dated by Osho, except about 10,000 which have been gathered since 1987. Some 3,500 books contain various styles of His signature in color or as part of a painting, and 900 books have full-page paintings by Osho inside the cover.
Many of the marked books have small red and blue dots that Osho placed in the margin to note significant passages, while others have comments at the end. Kavisho gives the example of one book about running, in which there are many pictures of the author running endlessly across all kinds of difficult terrain, and at the end Osho writes “Take it easy.”
As Kavisho explains, it is quite common to see words or phrases written by Osho at the end of books that later became titles for His discourse series. ‘Take it Easy’ became the title for one Zen series, and ‘Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap, Zing’ was used for another.
Osho’s original copy of P.D. Ouspensky’s celebrated book ‘Tertium Organum’, which He bought in 1954 while He was still a university student – just a year after His enlightenment – is in the Lao Tzu library, and contains prolific underlining in red and blue pencil…
As for the library itself, Kavisho explains that Osho gave very specific instructions for its style and character. For example, it is probably the only library in the world where the books are organized not by alphabet or subject but by aesthetics.
“The books are arranged on the shelves according to size and color,” she explains. “No two books the same size or color are to be placed next to each other, so the effect is created of waves going up and down like this…” she gestures to a nearby shelf.
“As you can see, the effect is very colorful and light, like a dance, which is different from the rather heavy atmosphere you get in most libraries. Osho also gave a name to each section of the library – Ramakrishna, Kavir, Rabia, Vimalkirti and so on.”
Part of Kavisho’s work is to catalog all the books on computer according to title, author and year of publication, and in this way to keep track of books that would otherwise disappear into the labyrinth of shelves. The books are computer-entered under 400 subject categories, and this means that each book has to be read – at least cursorily – by the library staff in order to know how to list it.”
Each book you open is a surprise,” says Kavisho. “It may contain a color signature, a painting, or some mysterious comment or drawing at the end. It’s incredible to think that Osho read all these books just to be able to communicate with us and slowly to bring us to the point where we would all sit in silence with Him.”
The library is open to sannyasins engaged in research projects on aspects of Osho’s vision, and so part of Kavisho’s time is spent helping them to find the right books. She also does silk book-binding, making new covers for old books that are in poor condition.
But her biggest long-term project is to fill the remaining shelf space with new books, and that is why an invitation is being extended to all Osho’s sannyasins and lovers to help with this major task.
There are a few conditions regarding book donations. “The books must be new, unscratched, unmarked and published since 1980,” she explains. “They have to be non-fiction – the whole library is non-fiction – and should fall into the general categories of psychology, philosophy, religion, New Age, arts, science, gardens, landscaping… those kinds of things.
“Basically, anyone who loves Osho is welcome to participate in this project in whatever way gives them pleasure, she adds. “If someone is just about to leave the West for Poona, that may be a good time to pop into a bookstore and to find the right book to bring for Osho’s library. For those who aren’t sure what to bring, I have a list of suggestions that I am happy to give to whoever asks.
“For me, this is an incredibly, exciting project. It has been my whole work for the past four years, and I would be thrilled to see the library completed in exactly the way He wants it.” (Osho Times International, 1991:15. 01.08.1991. With many b&w photos)
Osho on library expansion
“Veena has just asked how to open the heart because she has written a letter which was ugly, and now she has written another letter. She thinks she has improved upon the first one, but the basic points are still there. She used to live in this house and, to make a bigger library, seventeen people from the house have been moved into other houses in the campus; the whole campus is one. She was never grateful that she was in the house, but she is complaining very seriously that she has been moved from the house. She is not worried that sixteen other people have also gone.
Those sixteen have written letters of thankfulness, that they are grateful that they lived in the house with me, and they are grateful that they have been chosen to make a place for the library. They are immensely happy and thankful. Only she is complaining, asking why she has been moved to another house. She is living with her boyfriend in the room; she knows we don’t have enough space for people…” The Invitation (1988). Chapter 10, p. 111.
Kavisho reports that for the library extension on the ground floor balcony in 1987 Osho gave detailed instructions on where the shelves should go and what kind of glass cases were to be used. Even the beam on the ceiling was to be turned into a bookshelf and every available space was to be converted into shelves. Shelves in the library appear to be the same, but each one is adapted to its place. Shelves are app. 90 cm long, but irregular according to conditions. Standards for shelves are simply changing according to physical space conditions. Ordinary standard height for shelves are 28 cm, for folio 50 cm. (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999. Own observation 2001)
Kavisho on the sorting of books and Anando’s parrot
“When Osho started to speak in the Buddha hall, which was also just remarbled, we started using the space of Chuang Tzu auditorium as our working space. A temporary situation, actually like any situation!
We were piling boxes full of books as close to the wall as possible, so we would not intrude on Osho’s privacy, when he was having his lunch on the balcony, just next to the hall. It was at that time an open space into the jungle garden, with mosquito net all around. A sacred space in which Osho gave his early discourses and evening darshans…
For a while, the library staff, which in high season could rise to 15 people, and Anando’s working space with her two secretaries, were all squeezed in the smaller space possible, in a corner of the new library, while the floors were being done, all around. At that time Anando was crazy for a beautiful Parrot bird, and she let it be free around. That was driving me nuts, as the beast was jumping on books and dropping shit all over our desks.
It was for a while a good device for my nerves and a crude mirror of the uptightness I was carrying inside. Here we were dustfreaks for Osho’s books, and no choice but to let the bird be free for the happiness of Osho’s secretary.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)
Anando on the parrots
“In a few days the first of Osho’s Library’s new wings will be ready and we will move down to join the parrots who have already moved in. Not so long ago Anando told Osho about our new parrots, the first wife we had for the original parrot actually being a male, then the real ‘wife’ showed up and ended up with the second male leaving Bodhidharma (parrot no.1) still a bachelor. He had a good chuckle about one woman two men! The other night in the evening video Osho talked about the bird of paradise at length and the next morning he was seen for about an hour outside Buddha Hall in the trees around the Buddha Statue. Osho always likes to know when the bird of paradise visits…
A small part of the news for me at least is a move into a new wing of Osho’s library sitting facing two parrots. The gardeners are watering the garden right now and the parrots are munching on sunflower seeds! The office parrots are named Bodhidum (as in Bodhidharma) and Matadum (the female), and Matadum’s mate still has no name. Any suggestions?” (Yes Osho Computer Newsletter, 31.01.1990 & 10.02.1990)
In the library’s database the location on the shelves of a specific book is identified by name of appropriate room, shelf section clockwise from corners and a ABCD identification of shelves within a section. Supplemented by the librarian’s general ‘IR-feeling’ the system is working fine, but as most books in Poona One had been read by Osho right upon their arrival to the library, the daily retrieval of books in general, in Poona One as well as in Poona Two, have been quite limited.
Kavisho on library technicalities
“Now on the roof we have equipment for disinfection of library books. In Poona Two the whole Lao Tzu House, including all library facilities, has been air conditioned and humidity control provided for rooms containing books. Devateertha and Maitreya wings had electric bulbs at the floor under shelves to prevent moisture.
During Poona One the library’s collection was registered in a card catalogue already existing from the Bombay-days, where several sannyasins were taking part in its construction. And during Poona Two databases were constructed in 1987 on IBM compatible computers. The database system is self-designed by Kavisho and David, but not integrated in the general computer system of the ashram, which took place the following year. A shift in IT configuration 1995 means that a new integrated system is now being considered. Books in Hindi are presently not included in the databases.
Information retrieval is possible using as search terms, either title, author, year of publication or subject category. The books are entered under 400 subject main- and subcategories in a system made up to suit the needs of the library, the classification system being modified and improved over time. This means books have to be cursorily read by staff for subject classification after they have been read and signed by Osho.
Registration of library books started from scratch in 1987 as the card catalogue from Poona One was no longer existing. The requirements for the computer program was created by David and Kavisho, and sannyasins helped constructing it. Subject categories were created. The main categories were not changed, but subcategories were later expanded very much. The following year the ashram got computerized, but things were not integrated. They wanted the systems integrated, but that would mean a years work wasted, so it is still a stand alone system only for the library.” (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999)
Kavisho on registration of books and interior design
“Soon we were getting a computer, and David and I designed a special program, considering the best possible way to catalogue the library, and also to facilitate any kind of research that could be required. Osho gave a name to each room and corridor, we had a beautiful plan of this huge space dedicated to the library. With great excitement we started entering the books into the computer, having to look thru each book to find out in what category it fits and describe the best we could the different subjects contained in it.
After just a week, Osho was asking if the whole library was entered in the computer! Well, what a shock! We got the kick and started to organize on-going shifts on the computer, so we could enter as many books as possible. Meanwhile boxes kept coming in, and we kept filling up shelves and discovering great treasures, the many amazing paintings and colored signatures of the Master being definitively the highlight of the library…
It took us almost a year to enter the books that belonged to the Ramakrishna room into the computer. All the ‘special’ books are kept there, the paintings and colored signatures, the books marked, the books that turned into ‘sutras’ for the discourses.. It is also this room that has an AC and dehumidifiers, so that the books are the best taken care of. During that year  the remodelling of the room happened, closing the old balcony, putting a marble floor. Construction site was all we knew at all times, around Osho. An on-going transformation of the physical place, mirroring maybe the inner work happening around the Master.
New shelves were being build out of aluminium and glass for the ‘new Library’. The residential spaces were all gone, as Osho saw it on that famous day and a huge space created with a marble floor and lots of windows, overlooking the garden, or rather the jungle garden. Nirvedano was building a new waterfall, lifting mountains of marble rocks and going wild, in that jungle surrounding the new library.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)
Jalal was in 1991 preparing a complete IBM computerized database that provides instant information on all Osho’s discourses in the collection. Information on a retrieved specific discourse is including the length of the discourse, when it was given, any title changes that were made, the title of the book in which it appears, where the discourse was delivered, what condition the recording is in and whether it was recorded on video as well as audio.
The acquisition of books had been based on requirements from Osho and suggestions from the librarians. He was in Poona One going through Books in Print and his marginal notes are found in the volumes. Books were ordered in hundreds in one order from Bowker, later on using cd-rom in the selection of books. For purchasing books the staff was using Apple in Poona Two, the procedure was to a large extent supplemented by the librarians’ tuning in and general feeling for what to buy. He stopped reading in 1981, but still book purchases continued until 1989.
Kavisho on the acquisition of also secondary books on Osho
“About purchasing ‘new’ books, Osho left it to us, David and I… so we ordered books that we thought ‘might’ interest him. He wanted books that were just getting published…
And if a book seemed interesting we had to do a synopsis and send it to him… we also placed it on the shelf near the door to the dental room with the front cover exposed, so he could ‘see’ it!
We made it a point to get ALL books ‘on’ Osho and also ‘by sannyasins’ and all those books were kept on the shelves outside his bedroom door or more exactly outside Nivedano’s room. If you remember, there was a corridor, on the left Osho’s room, and on the right Nivedano’s room, in which, on the balcony, he used to take all his meals. I mean ALL the books that we knew came out, positive, negative, same same…
We did our best to survey publications in this field, considering the constant ‘remodelling’ of the library and the shifting of shelves mixed with the intense energy field and all that was going on. Mostly David did that, surveying and buying the books; the money came from Kaveesha and Avirbhava, and I took care of the Library, the daily tasks, the people working there…
I don’t have much knowledge about books written by French speaking sannyasins and my lack of interest for the accounts of others on their experience of the Master. In a live meeting YES – it is really fascinating, but I did not ‘purchase’ any book by sannyasins, a couple came to me as great gifts. (Prem Kavisho. E-mail. 13.05.2017)
“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.” (Forman 1987, p. 89)
Kavisho on managing the library
“Osho asks us to keep the library shelves locked at all times. In the beginning there were hundreds of keys, a different one for each cabinet.
I remember once, passing through the corridor and seeing a gap in one shelf. The books had to be standing really straight, on the shelves. The best way was to make the shelf tight. Definitively a book was missing, a gap was there.
After enquiring with the friends working in the library, we could not explain this gap. And that shelf in the corridor, was not yet catalogued into the computer. Then we heard strange stories, that in the old days it also happened that a book could be missing.
I kept asking everyone around about that book missing and it went into Osho who sent a specific message to really lock all the shelves all the time.
By then I had finally understood that I was actually ‘in charge’ of the library and this meant taking responsibility. As we were still unpacking books and filling up shelves, many shelves had to be opened while we worked and when came tea time and lunch, we needed to lock the shelves.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)
Kavisho on her time in Lao Tzu Library
“On a more personal note, I would like to share a story from the time I was taking care of Osho’s library. In the beginning, I had a hard time finding my place between the friends working in the library, the rules within the library, and my position as “chief librarian.” At that time all the bookcases were locked, and each one had a different key. All the bookcases had to be locked when we went for lunch or even if we all went for a cup of tea at the same time. The friends did not want to follow that rule all the time and were teasing me about being too strict. It was a situation I had encountered before in my life. I could not find a clear place of authority within myself; it would collapse. I was hoping that this was the way to stay close to my friends, but it was just the opposite! I was struggling inside myself, becoming uptight and unpleasant.
One day we noticed that a few books had disappeared. Osho was told, and He insisted that we lock all the bookcases before leaving the library. Soon after, a bookcase was apparently left open again, and a book was missing. I was the one responsible for the library. So, again Osho heard about it, and I got a strong Zen stick, but in it one small sentence just hit the core of that issue of mine. It was: “To withdraw is not to care.”” (Viha Connection, 2015:5)
Kavisho recalls that the photo session in corridor was her first meeting with Osho in the library. At that time the books were covered by glass windows. He was so Zen in his taking out the book from the shelf, and making space for its return. Showing and teaching the right approach to his books. Before the session Osho had asked that the shelves be all unlocked just at his height of easy access.
When later on he was sitting to sign a pile of books, one of the jackets was upside down, after having been cleaned by the staff. He put the jacket right and signed again at the other end, so the book was signed twice. A few books in the library are signed both at the beginning and at the end. (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999)
Photo sessions showing Osho reading and writing in the library
“I can’t do any better with the dates – late 1988 or early 1989. Have just written to David Levine who provided the furniture in the library after the renovation project (replacing the wooden shelves with glass ones. I asked him if he can remember when that furniture was brought in. That would give an accurate date.” (Veena. E-mail. 09.09.2006)
Hindi librarians in Osho Lao Tzu Library were:
Sw Maitreya, Sw Narendra, Sw Manu (started in 1987 and left to create the Osho Gallery boutique in 1989), Ma Santosh (from 1987; working on Hindi Book registration on cards in same system as English books), Ma Dharam Saraswati (18 months from start of Poona Two, separated the bookmarked books), Ma Prem Usha, Sw Ravindra Bharti (Aug-Nov 1998. Hindi books were now included in database).
English librarians in Osho Lao Tzu Library were:
Sw David 1986-91, Ma Prem Kavisho 1987-92 (French), Ma Anasha 1987-91 (French), Ma Rabiya 1988-99, Ma Yashoda (Japanese), Sw Naropa (Japanese), Ma Darso 1999 (Japanese), Ma Ameena 2000 (Korean).
Kavisho recalls those involved in the library
“Lalita was a librarian in Poona One 1974-87, and she left when I took over, and I left in 1992 after the first exhibition of Osho’s paintings. Avirbhava was financing the library 1986-91. She was the ‘President’ of the Osho Library, but was not herself working in the library…
I do not remember there was much research on Osho’s first publishings, except some old newsletter and I don’t remember we had a “magazine” shelf anywhere… it was all books!…
Kaveesha, founder of Mystery School, was not directly involved with the Library except at some point when she took on calligraphy. We invited her to contribute her calligraphy to the library… in the creation of new book covers… she loved it!
Nandan’s daughter was here briefly, when Osho found out she was working there he asked her to stop working there as he considered that this kind of work is not for ‘young people’, and we should not have any teenager or young people working there. She left just as I started.
Wonderful Japanese Yashoda was also there, and French Anasha. All the Japanese and Rabiya stayed long after I left…
The registration in database of books in the library was a co-creation with David and a computer wizard, maybe Jalal. We started to work on it early 1987. Before that the catalog was all handwritten from Poona One. I’m so grateful you light a spark on those days. You have no idea…” (Prem Kavisho. E-mail. 29.05.2017)
Rabiya recalls from her years in the library 1988-99 Osho’s former speed reading, his anecdotes on libraries and his memory when asking for books. She had met Osho during Poona One in 1976. Lao Tzu Library was close to Osho premises and to his heart. She remembers the silence of the library and the whole energy of the place. (Ma Rabiya. Interview. Poona. 2006)
Ma Santosh and Ma Prem Usha were Hindi librarians in Poona Two, together with Ma Prem Saraswati, a south Indian, who stayed three years in Poona with her friend Narendra from Punjab. (Chaitanya Keerti. Interview. New Delhi. 01.08.2006)
“…to meet Kavisho, a beautiful French woman.“ (Komala Lyra 2005, p. 106)
Japanese working in the library
“I was working in the library only in Pune 2. Ma Yashoda and I were the Japanese working with Kaveesho.” (Naropa. E-mail. 19.03.1999)
“About Japanese people working in the Library with me, yes! Two wonderfully sweet and delightful and dedicated beings. Sw Naropa who was a very very early disciple of Osho and Bhuti, now his wife.” (Prem Kavisho. E-mail. 21.05.2017)
Coordinators of Osho Lao Tzu Library were:
Ma Neelam (early 1987), Ma Anando (from late 1987), later on Ma Kamaal.
Veena writes on Gatasansa’s collection
“By the way, thinking of Urmilla’s book (don’t know her), if you are ever searching for old pieces of writing, Gatasansa, a Japanese sannyasin, has the most comprehensive collection of Osho publications that I imagine exists. I was quite amazed to see what he had collected. He is a very good friend and I rented a room in his house the last time I was working in Japan.” (Veena. E-mail. 26.07.2004)
David Levine writing to Veena on library matters
“Yes, I was involved in the renovation of the library, it was completed late 1987.
The pictures are from late 1987, early 1988.
I was reflecting on those times and remembered, that while we were at the ranch, his books stayed in boxes and never found a home.
After Sheela left the ranch I suggested to him in a meeting that we turn Jesus house into his library instead of us moving in there. He said no, we should move in and that anyway he would come there every day to give interviews to the press. And so life played out that we left a few months later anyway.
By the way, don’t know if it matters, but the name Osho gave the library, was simply Osho Library. Just before he left, he asked me to have a sign made for outside the building, with his name and our names to go under the sign. I sent the mock up of the sign which was approved. The sign never got made. Life with the Master!” (David. E-mail to Veena. 15.09.2006)
Kavisho recalls plaque for Lao Tzu
“In 1989 Osho wanted a plaque to be made for the library to be fixed on the outside wall of Lao Tzu entrance door:
MA SHANTAM AVIRBHAVA
SWAMI PREM DAVID
MA PREM KAVISHO
David and I got a name change for this occasion. His original name was SW DAVID and mine was MA KAVISHO. We became ‘PREM’, the so called reason was that Avirbhava’s full name is so long; to create a balance on the plaque we became Prem! And the plaque was never made. Osho left the body and no one looked into this Plaque being finally made… It took me a few months to totally embrace the change of name. Silly me!” (Prem Kavisho. E-mail. 29.05.2017)
Osho Library is now the name of two entities: The physical library with its collection in Osho Meditation Resort in Poona, and the digital library with Osho’s talks in text, audio, and video format available at osho.com/library.
Present research projects in the collections of Osho Library are the history of signatures, and missing acquisition dates. Also still a need remains to register dot-books in the collection. His music tapes and CDs are still found in Osho Library, whereas his video selection has been moved to Video Department in Multimedia. Library matters are presently (1998) taken care of by Anando.
– Books read by Osho.
– Four copies of all Osho’s books published in English and Hindi. – Translations of his discourses have been sent to the Osho International Center in New York 1989, but are expected to return to Lao Tzu.
– Also some secondary literature on Osho or mentioning Osho.
– Only few periodicals.
In Ramakrishna and Corridor:
– Books in Print 1967-1989.
– Forthcoming Books. Several volumes from the 1980s.
– Religious Books 1976-82 in 3 vols.
– Books of India. 1975 and 1976.
– The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. 30 volumes.
– Encyclopedia Britannica. 23 vols. + Index. 14th edition. 1968.
– Encyclopedia Britannica. 19 vols. + Index.
– Encyclopedia Britannica. Micropedia. 10 vols. 15th ed. 1974.
– The Oxford English Dictionary. 12 vols. + Supplement.
– Encyclopedia of Religion. 16 vols. MacMillan and Free Press.
Dictionaries and reference tools are shelved behind the desk in Ramakrishna.
In start of Corridor: Books on Osho or books mentioning him.
1. Books by sannyasins (10 shelves, standard height). Archive.
2. Discourses by other publishers.
3. Osho’s own books.
Earlier in old kitchen: Archive for video and slides.
4. Sanai. 26 sections. Second oldest material here.
5. Hindi books, marked.
6. Four copies of all discourse books.
7. Unpublished Darshan Diaries and magazines.
8. Rabia corridor: Osho’s own books.
9. Meditation Academy. Books in Hindi.
Devateerth: Earlier on also library premises.
10. Maitreya. (Windows). Osho’s discourses. In Hindi and translations. Anando’s office.
In Virmalkirti: Archive. English and Hindi translations.
(Based on own notes. 05.08.1998 and 29.07.2001. Numbers referring to sketch)
The drying of books took place on rooftop until 1981. The procedure was changed in Poona Two where a sort of oven loaded with a special gas that killed all the mould was installed on Lao Tzu rooftop with inspiration from how the Library of Congress was preserving the books. (Prem Kavisho. E-mail. 03.02.2018)
Hindi section containing e.g.:
– The Ghita, Upanishad etc.
– Poetry, Tagore etc. (Some fiction is included in the collection)
– Science Academy Award, yearbooks are collected.
Most books are in Hindi, but some also in Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Maharati.
In stock only limited periodical series:
– Sannyas Darshan (Hindi) 1974:1-3, 1975:1, 1976:2-6.
– Sannyas Magazine (Hindi) 1977:1-3, 1978:1-6, 1979:1-6.
– Osho Times (Hindi) 1975:Aug-Dec, 1996-97.
– Sannyas 1972-81.
– Osho Times International (English) 1995-97.
– Osho Darshan (Hindi/English) 1989-95.
Rabiya mentions in 2001 that the library is now basically closed. Multiversity books and tapes and Rabiya are in the end near gate. These books and tapes has recently been moved from Research Library, now renamed; Osho Cybercafe and Research Library. (Rabiya. Interview. Poona. July 2001)
(Note: This author had in July 2001 the possibility of meditating in Ramakrishna in darkness. This was an experience which provided an innerstanding of what his librarians had been trying to convey on the energy of the place. The books in Lao Tzu Library are full of Osho’s presence and energy. Ramakrishna is occasionally used for meetings of the Inner Circle which is secretly dealing in agreement with practical matters).
In Norbulinka, Lhasa, Tibet, 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 second floor above his library floor in Tuzin Palace, and the meditation room of the 14th Dalai Lama is next to his library on top of the New Summer Palace in a location most splendid with very limited access for westerners. This is the place where Dalai Lama meditated before leaving Lhasa in the afternoon of March 17th, 1959, to cross the high mountains into India. In Osho’s Lao Tzu House in Poona no specific meditation room is needed as the resident’s enlightenment made this arrangement unnecessary. Enlightenment as a permanent state of consciousness does not require a specific meditative setting, and as we have seen, the library compasses most of the interior space of Osho’s house, as in all other places he has lived.
The energy field created by Osho’s books in Lao Tzu is nowadays surrounding sannyasins when passing through the corridors on their way to Osho’s Samadhi, walking silently through the outer parts of Lao Tzu Library on their way to the Samadhi; an inner sanctuary to the sanctuary of the library. In the Samadhi, now entered through Vimalkirti wing and the Dentist Room, Osho’s ashes are kept and several daily meditations are here attended by sannyasins.
“In the world which is evolving now, the temple is not considered indispensable; other things have taken its place – schools, hospitals and libraries. But these relate only to the material, they have no connection at all with the beyond. What is needed, is something which points to the transcendental.” Hidden Mysteries (1997), p. 35.
Ravindra recalls Rabiya was carrying books like carrying an infant, with a special piece of cotton cloth. Osho had the idea of Tibet as a global spiritual center. The day the spirituality of this place is lost, it will be a definitive loss to all mankind, cf. also Apana’s wish to make an Osho compilation on Tibet. (Ravindra. Interview. New Delhi. 2006)
Meeting on Books in Buddha Hall, March 1997
Video: The Book Explosion was shown. Talks by Maneesha, Anando, Vimal and Shunyo. They talked on Osho’s lifelong love for books, the energy and time he used in design of his books. Anando is mentioning drawings he made in his notebooks; Maneesha mentioned the discourses on Zen with sutras and questions combined: a total of 300 questions. Osho was sometimes putting questions himself in other peoples’ names. Also talking on title change, and the need of reprinting for more sale. Omission of dates: the discourses are not old but timeless. Still ongoing translation of Hindi books into English. Unpublished Darshan Diaries. Notes from the Grave. (Own notes. March 1997)
Kamaal, co-ordinator of Osho Library, has in 2005 confirmed that there are no books in the library before 1970. Prasad’s book in Hindi on Acharya Rajneesh (Samanwaya, Vishleshan aur Samsiddhi (Acharya Rajneesh: Overview, Analysis and Synthesis). Delhi, 1969) is the oldest entry in the database for books in Hindi on Osho. A collection of booklets in English pre-1974 are probably packed away. Osho’s ‘cardindex’ on books from Woodland ff. does not exist any more. There’s no need to go to the shelves as there is no old material to be found there. A one page ‘Guidelines on the Hindi Collection’ is not available as it is for internal library use only. It very much looks like the books from Osho’s personal library in his earlier phases in Jabalpur and Bombay are not included in the present collection of Osho Library. (Kamal. Personal information. Poona. 01.08.2005)
Kavisho recalls when Osho was filmed in library corridor for the video/dvd called ‘Spiritual Terrorist’. He is removing a book from the shelf by pushing the two books next to it inward so he can remove the book by its centre binding and not from the top of the binding. The photo session in corridor was the first meeting for Kavisho with Osho in the library. At that time the books were covered by glass windows. He was so Zen in his taking out the book from the shelf, and making space for its return. Showing and teaching the right approach to his books. (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. January 1999)
Interview with Avirbhava on new books
“She talks enthusiastically about the library, which she describes as the largest, most important esoteric library in the world for books published up until 1981. There is currently a collection of approximately 50,000 books including books on philosophy, psychology, science, sociology, politics, poetry, humor and art. It was compiled by sannyasins for Bhagwan’s use, because Bhagwan has always loved to have books around Him. Avirbhava recounts Bhagwan’s father’s dilemma – they didn’t have a library in the house, they had a house in the library.
Once again the house He lives in is filling with books. Several rooms of Lao Tzu House are now converted to library space and the different rooms have names such as Ramakrishna room, Kabir balcony, Rabia section, Devateeth section, and Sanai section. The area where Vimalkirti used to guard will be named for him, and Maitreya’s old bedroom will be the Maitreya room. The Library area has marble floors and beautiful marble furniture, and the books will appear to be floating on air on shelves of polished aluminium, glass and mirrors.
The books will not be catalogued in the traditional way by subject and author. They will be arranged aesthetically by size and color. According to her, “The Library will look like we like our minds to look.” When asked how to find a book she said, “That’s part of the mystery school,” but reluctantly admitted that the collection will be computerized and cross referenced. The computer will give the exact location of any book on any subject.
The organizers of the library are valiantly collecting titles for the years since 1981. Avirbhava said, “Bhagwan has often spoken about a library like the one in Alexandria, which had much of the esoteric writings from Atlantis. That library was burned, so we want to create a new one.” The goal is to acquire 200-300 new unused, English, non-fiction books in the library categories each month. Anyone wishing to donate one or more books to the library should send them to India. Large shipments may be sent by air/freight to Hari Om, 106 Vyapar Bhavan, 49 P.O’Mello Road, Bombay 400 009, India, as assorted philosophical book samples. Small numbers can be mailed directly to Ma Yoga Neelam, Rajneeshdham, 17 Koregaon Park, Poona, India 411 001 as philosophical books.
When a book is received for the library it is shown to Bhagwan who signs it, making each book in the collection priceless. His signatures are a unique art form. Some are simple pen and ink sketches, some ink and wash, while others are hand painted illuminated pieces so beautiful that giant silk screened prints of them are being exhibited by a group of Japanese sannyasins. The show begins in Tokyo in March.
Avirbhava summed up her work this way, “There are so few ways to show our gratitude to Bhagwan for all He’s given to us. Building this library is a way that we can show our love and appreciation.” (Rajneesh Times International, 1987:24)
Advertisement on expanding the library.
“Years ago, Bhagwan said He read so extensively to explore all the paths, collection the fragrance of man’s wisdom and experience upon the earth, so He could give it to His disciples and others.
Plans exist for making the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Library the greatest, most important library in the world. Contributions towards its growth are welcome!
Mail your gift of new, unused, non-fiction books published after 1981 to: Ma Shantam Avirbhava c/o Rajneeshdham 7 Koregaon Park Poona 411 001, India.” (Rajneesh Times International, 1987:19)
New books arriving
“90 boxes of new books just arrived for Osho’s library, so the new shelves for the new library are now in hot demand. (There were a 100 or so boxes of new books already sitting in the walkway.” (Yes Osho (Digital). 27.12.1989)
Heading: Zen Books in His Library
“Our Beloved Master said recently that He would continue talking on Zen because His feelings is that Zen is the way for the New Man.
He has already been speaking on Zen since April 22, 1988 – a staggering nine months – and the books in His library have been the source of anecdotes and haikus used in the discourses.
However, if you come across a title not in His library we would be glad to hear of it, or even better, to receive a copy of it.
Up till now Our Master has been speaking on the Chinese Zen masters of the Rinzai and Soto lines. Once all available material on the Chinese masters has been used, it is anticipated moving on to the Japanese Zen masters, then later, the Korean masters.
So, any books on Chinese, Japanese, or Korean Zen masters that are not already in Our Master’s library are needed.
Although English editions are preferred, we are interested in titles in other languages which are not on the list below.” [Here follows 237 titles on Zen in Lao Tzu Library]. (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:4)
Heading: Osho’s Library Expanding
“The library in Lao Tzu House is expanding making space for all the new arrivals of books. This library is one of the most interesting libraries in the world, as far as human consciousness and its development is concerned.” (Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 03.03.1989)
“This is an invitation to contribute to Osho’s Library. There are 300 meters of shelf space to fill in the Osho library. Bring or send new non-fiction works to Poona! Info: Contact – Osho Library, CN 91/14. Fax: 664181. Phone: 666206/7, Extension 245.” (Osho Times International, 1991:22)
(Note: See also feature: Inside Osho’s library. Wanted: 300 m. of books. With photos of Kavisho, Jalada and many books signed by Osho. In: Osho Times International, 1991:15)
Call for secondary books on Osho
We wish to update our collection of books by sannyasins and books by non-sannyasins in which Osho is mentioned. If you have not already done so, you are invited to send books, tapes or CDs that you have created or helped create. There is a special place in Osho’s library for them. If you find books about Osho, or which mention Him and cannot send the book itself, we would be happy to know the details and the book title, author and publisher for future reference. Please send to Osho Lao Tzu Library c/o Osho Commune International, marked “Attn: Rabia.”” (Osho Times International, 1997:12)
“Jokes were still a vital part in the discourses and there was now a team – Vimal, Satyadharma and Chetan – who were in charge of collecting new jokes and re-writing old ones.” (Punya 2015, p. 362)
Chetan reveals stories from his days in the Joke Writing Department 1987-89, providing glimpses into Osho Library, discourses and Osho’s work
“Looking back, I was as surprised as anyone to find myself in Osho’s library writing jokes, but then expecting the unexpected was very much a way of life in those days. It seemed that more unusual things would happen in a day in the ashram than in months or even years anywhere else on the planet, so when Jalada, who every day arranged Osho’s clipboard with clearly typed questions and jokes approached me to come to the library to help with jokes, it was quite simple to say ‘yes!’ Making my way into the library in Lao Tzu house every day became a great treat and it was a wonderful thing to suddenly be a part of a long-held tradition of ‘joke writer’ for Osho’s discourses.
English Vimal had been the solo writer for several months but was in need of someone to give him some extra input and my ‘career’ as joke writer started out by my compiling lists of one-line anecdotes. Osho’s library is one of the most beautiful sanctuaries I have ever entered, and was gracefully tendered by Osho’s librarians, Kavisho, David and Anasha. The books were arranged in wave patterns around the walls, from smaller books to taller books and back to smaller books again. Each volume’s whereabouts was notated by computer reference, and the ‘special’ books in which Osho had signed or painted were given special places.
For the Joke Writing Department there was a whole wall full of joke books, and many sannyasins would search out and bring more joke books whenever they arrived from abroad. We also would be called to the Lao Tzu Gate from time to time when someone had a juicy joke they needed to pass on to us.
Political correctness was not a style that was encouraged and so we felt we had free license to poke fun at anyone and everyone, often including priests, politicians, certain group leaders and ashram members, and even ourselves particularly when we were enacting the Irish-themed jokes. We were having so much fun that we called in Satyadharma to add some extra spices of more American humor to out pot.
The three of us would sit together around the table, with one of us on the computer to write up what was said… and we’d take it in turns to provide the next lines for a joke. It was a wonderful time. We became so caught up in what we were doing that we’d all three be laughing uncontrollably and sometimes helplessly slide off our seats onto the floor, crying our eyes out… we could not stop! The librarians were so patient and loving and kept reminding us that Osho was probably next door and we really needed to get a grip and quieten down!…
Our objective each day was to produce at least 12 crunchy jokes to send to Osho. After we’d written them up we’d first take our jokes to Maneesha who acted as our censor and drew the line where certain jokes went too far or needed major modifications. With Maneesha’s blessing on what we’d produced, we then asked Jalada to type up the ‘approved’ jokes which she submitted along with questions for the day to Nirupa, Nirvano, Shunyo or sometimes Amrito to take in to Osho.
We’d wait with a kind of suppressed anxiety mixed with a dose of hilarity trying to guess which jokes Osho would select. Sometimes Shunyo would come back with a “He really liked the jokes today!” in which case we’d go gleefully from the library to get ready for the discourse. And of course, there were days on which we knew we’d been struggling to make fun, but then we found that come discourse time, Osho always managed to ace telling the jokes, somehow getting everyone to crack up, often appreciating Sardarji who always had a bid belly-laugh before, during and after jokes, much to everyone’s delight!
We naturally assumed that when the questions and jokes were taken in to Osho that he would pick jokes to go along with the questions, until one day, Shunyo let slip that Osho sometimes chose the jokes first and then found questions to go along with them!
Several of our re-tailored jokes came from features that had been published in Playboy magazine and we came up with the brilliant idea of submitting some jokes back to Playboy, receiving a series of $100 payments for each joke they published, which was another cause for celebration.
There were times when the Joke Department morphed into Osho Cinema Playhouse and we’d find ourselves arranging movie nights at various locales in the ashram. We were guided to find movies of value and without violent content, and this became a really fun exercise for three jokers selecting and putting on these shows.
There were times when the library and Lao Tzu hallways were being refurbished with marble floors, so we would sit out on the library balcony in Osho’s garden while we wrote, and then when the balcony was being fixed, we moved to Chuang Tzu auditorium to write, and then when Chuang Tzu started to be transformed into the Samadhi, we moved to offices near the Lao Tzu Gate and shared a space with a pair of white parrots who gave us great commentary and inspiration.
When the library was finally completed, with gorgeous marble floors and ornate furniture, we were thrilled to move back and dedicate ourselves to the last few months of jokes before Osho completed his discourses and went into silence again, this time for the last time.
For someone with a habit of taking things too seriously, it was a joy and delight for me to have this space and time in my life to have outrageous fun, and at the same time to learn a few valuable things about writing and delivery.
The jokes written here are carefully “lifted” from Osho’s ‘Take it really Seriously’… a revolutionary insight into jokes also subtitled: ‘A Backside Book of Jokes’, beautifully compiled by Vimal, published by Grace Publishing in Asylum Road, London, and available from all good bookstores.
Thank you, Osho, for so many treasured memories, and the motley crew of Vimal and Satyadharma, (alias Paddy and Shamus), you are the most amazing friends!” (www.oshonews.com, May 2015)
Vimal on jokes
“Where do all Osho’s jokes come from? From a team of full-time gag writers: Chetan, Satyadharma and myself, perhaps the most serious-looking guys around! Combing through the hundreds of joke books in Osho’s library, looking for something that can be re-worked into a new joke for the current discourse series – because Osho is always against the past! You can see us huddled around our small computer trying out the latest jokes on each other, or perhaps standing just outside the gate of Osho’s house, listening attentively to the jokes pouring in with the endless flood of visitors from all over the world. And boy! – keeping up with Osho is never an easy task.” (Vimal 1998, p. viii)
Gilhus writes on The Joking Guru
“It is, of course, no coincidence that several of Bhagwan’s books are comments on mystic wisdom traditions, such as Zen Buddhism, Taoism, Sufism and Gnosticism: clowns and mystics have always gone well together, probably because they share a knowledge of the relativity of all ideologies; laughter and mysticism goes hand in hand (Gilhus 1991b:272-3).
Bhagwan divided laughter into three categories: (1) belly laughter which is an immediate reaction to a joke, not taking the detour of explanation; (2) laughter from the head, in which understanding goes before laughing; (3) laughter which imitates other’s laughter. It goes without saying that this typology is a hierarchy of values…
In Bhagwan’s teaching, laughter wormed itself into the consciousness of the believers, poking fun at their perishable bodies and cutting them loose from these transient unreliable material vehicles. To that purpose, explanations of laughter and the systematization of laughter – in short, a discourse on laughter – were cultivated in Bhagwan’s ashram. In a broader perspective, this discourse can be seen as part of the reflexitivity of modernity, and a strategy applied to tackle universal doubt. In a way, this doubt is typical for modernity and a constituting factor in Bhagwan’s thinking.” (Gilhus 1997, pp. 132,134)
“When I needed to be more on my own, I was enjoying to take care of the books on the shelves near the laundry room and Osho’s bedroom. There we keep one sample of each of Osho’s books, in all languages. All his words published and translated in so many languages, such an impressive and beautiful collection. By a single unique author, who actually is drowned and drunk in silence, in bliss, way beyond words. Our Master, a living contradiction, having absorbed all the knowledge of the world, harmonizing it with his own knowing, using it as a teaching device to catch His people.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)
Kavisho recalls there’s around 100.000 books in library, maybe more. New books are still coming in, mostly new publications of Osho’s books and translations. All the books he read, he also signed. Special books with signatures in three parts, others with signatures in two parts. His total amount of reading is much more than what is included in the library. The item, the tangible object and physical format of the book meant a lot to him. (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999)
Osho recalls a library anecdote from Jabalpur
“The vice-chancellor said, “I concede to you.” And he made it a compulsory rule that every professor had to go to the library, study the latest journals, books, magazines and be up-to-date.
Professors were angry, they were all angry at me. But I said, “Anger is not going to help. I am checking every day in the library, who is coming and who is not coming. For those who are not coming, I will bring a procession of protest of all the students to their department. Then don’t tell me, ‘You are creating chaos.’ You are the cause of it!”
The librarian was surprised. All the professors were coming, reading, taking books home. But the day I left the university, I was informed, the rule was removed. After seven or eight years, I went to that university to deliver a lecture. I went to the library. The same librarian was still there and the library was empty. There was nobody. I asked him, “What happened?”
“Those professors no longer come,” he said. “The day you left the university, the rule was removed; it was just out of fear that you might create trouble. Even the vice-chancellor had started coming to the library. Now nobody comes.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 13, p. 233.
Osho speaking on the library in Alexandria
“Phytagoras is a link between East and West, between a civilization that disappeared in the Atlantic and a civilization that we are living in; hence he has a significance of his own.
He traveled almost all his life in search of fragments of truth. Most of his time he was in Egypt, in Alexandria. In those days Alexandria had the biggest library in the whole world, particularly scriptures containing all the discoveries of consciousness made in the lost civilization of Atlantis – a whole civilization drowned with the whole continent in the Atlantic ocean. The name Atlantic comes from the continent Atlantis, that went down into it. The only fragmentary knowledge available about it was in Alexandria – and perhaps Pythagoras was the first and the last man of such integrity, intelligence, ingenuity, to look into those scriptures.
That library exists no more, so whatever we know about Atlantis we know through Pythagoras. That library was destroyed by Mohammedans. The man who destroyed it, Mahmud Gaznavi, destroyed many beautiful things in India, in Afghanistan, in Egypt. But the most precious was the vast library that contained everything about that whole civilization, which had reached to the peaks of consciousness. The day this man destroyed the library, he took Koran Sharif in one of his hands and a burning torch in another, entered the library and asked the learned librarian, “Listen carefully – the existence of your library depends on your answers. My first question is: Is there anything in your whole library which goes against the holy Koran? And my second question is: If there is nothing which goes against the holy Koran, then the holy Koran is enough; why bother about this big library?”
The librarian must have been in a dilemma – whatever he says will be dangerous. If he says there are many things in the library which are not in the Koran, Mahmud is going to burn the library, because that which is not in the Koran is untrue – the Koran contains all and ultimate truth. And if he says that everything that is in the library is substantially and essentially contained in the Koran, then too he is going to burn the library, saying, “Then it is useless; the Koran has it all.” And the library was so huge and so immense that you can only conceive…
He burned it, and the fire continued for six months. For six months continuously books were burning; perhaps the greatest treasure of humanity was destroyed.” Beyond Psychology. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 30, p. 264. Punta del Este, 27.04.1986am.
Osho on library science puzzle from Bertrand Russel to Gödel, the mathematician
“The puzzle was very simple. The puzzle is that every librarian of the country receives an order to make a catalogue of all the books that are in the library. And he has to make two catalogues: one will remain with him in the library, and one has to be sent to the central library of the country.
Many librarians felt the difficulty – what to do about the catalogue? One catalogue is going to remain in the library; now that is a book – has it to be included in the library catalogue or not?
It was very difficult. You cannot include it; it never existed. It is simply a catalogue. But you have made it, it has come into existence, and now it will remain in the library. If there were three thousand books, now there will be three thousand and one books. What about that one book? Should it be catalogued?
But those local librarians simply wrote the problem to the chief librarian of the central library: “We have come across a difficult problem. We are sending the catalogue to you – whatever you decide, we have left a place. If you feel to include it, you can include the catalogue also, but that will mean that the catalogue includes itself. That is absurd.”
The chief librarian was going mad. He made a big catalogue of all the books in his library and the books in all the libraries of the country, and finally the same question was again there: whether the catalogue had to be included in the catalogue or not. He had to keep one catalogue in the library, and one catalogue went to the king so that the king knew how many books were in the central library and how many books were in other libraries. If it is not included, it would be a lie; if it is included, it would be an absurdity.
Bertrand Russel sent that puzzle to Goedel – “You are a great mathematician, old, world-famous, and you are going to conclude a book which is going to be the most important book ever written on mathematical problem.” And Goedel went so crazy… he burned his book on which he had worked for almost forty years. The puzzle still remains.” The Rajneesh Upanishad (1986). Chapter 16, p. 335.
Osho on American Atheist Society
“Just today I have received all the literature from the American Atheist Society. They have suffered immensely – you will not believe it – just as our commune suffered in America. Again, behind the government was the Christian church.
The woman who founded the Atheist Society has been jailed nineteen times without any reason – and the American Constitution gives the freedom to choose your religion or not to choose. It is your personal affair, the state cannot interfere in it.
Her house has been burnt down by an American government agency, the CIA. Her whole library has been destroyed. She has been beaten for no reason at all. She had to escape to Hawaii just to save her life.
Slowly slowly, more and more atheists started gathering, and finally they founded the Atheist Society of America. In their literature they also mention my name. They quote me as calling Jesus a nutcase.
So the first thing I would like to tell the Atheist Society is that to be an atheist is not the right thing; you are simply a shadow of theism. If theism disappears, the shadow will disappear. Never be a shadow. Be on your own feet…
There is no God, hence there is no need of any atheism. You cannot deny something which does not exist.
So my suggestion to the Atheist Society of America is to call your society the Agnostic Society of America. Agnostic means one who is searching for the truth; he is on the way, he is a seeker. He is not a believer. He does not believe in theism, he does not believe in atheism – because both are believers and both are wrong. All believers are ignorant. In what they believe does not matter. You believe in God, somebody believes in no God.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 3, pp. 85,88.
Osho on the Vatican library
“But thousands and thousands of witches were burned alive; their whole tradition was completely erased, all their literature was burned. Only one copy of each book has been preserved in the Vatican. It is the duty of the U.N. to take over the library of the Vatican. It is underground; it has tremendous treasures that Christianity has destroyed. They are still afraid to bring those books out in the light because then the condemnation for Christianity will be immense, even from Christians, “What you were saying was not true, and those who said the truth were killed, burned.”
But they are keeping at least one copy in their vast library. Nobody is allowed to enter into that vast library, only when you become a cardinal are you allowed in the library, but by that time you are so much conditioned. Those books are written in a different way, particularly to avoid the attention of Christians. They have used parables, diagrams, and other things, as if they are not about religion, as if they are about something else.
It is the duty of all the intelligentsia of the world to insist to the Vatican: “That library does not belong to you. You have done enough harm; now at least give that library to the U.N. and let scholars find out what beautiful literature you have destroyed. And it should be published, and made available to anybody who wants it.
One of the things that got destroyed in this was hypnosis – the method, the science and the results. It is now simply a condemnatory word. If you love me, if you trust me, anybody can say you are just hypnotized. He does not know even the meaning of the word; he does not know its implications, but he is using it to condemn you. But really, to be hypnotized and to go into the darker realms of your being is the first step in going into the lighter realms of your being.” Beyond Psychology. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 34, p. 305. Punta del Este, 29.04.1986am.
Osho on the Vatican library
“The Vatican has an underground library of thousands of scriptures which they have burned, saving only one copy. Nobody is allowed to enter, except the pope and the cardinals, to see all the evidence, all the proofs which go against Christianity. The public is not allowed to know what the truth is. And these people, Jesuits, are claiming that Christianity defends truth!
If it defends truth, it should open the underground library in the Vatican to all the scholars who want to study there, and Christianity will evaporate without leaving a single trace on the human consciousness. It is ninety-nine percent myth, invented, propagated, but it has a great propaganda machine, and it has a militant church. It has almost half of humanity converted to Christianity.
It is a strange thing, but I want to tell it to you: after the death of Jesus Christ, three hundred years after, it was through voting that the Christian priests decided that it was a divine personality – by voting. And who were these people who were voting? They knew nothing of divineness.” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 7, p. 254.
On 27.11.1989 Anando had a written message from Osho to Kavisho, two months before he left his body. Anando may have asked Osho to what degree the library should be accessible in the future. Key parts are as follows:
Books should remain locked off; only available for very specific research; only three books off the shelves at a time; when I’m gone, everything should be locked.
Only people writing on Osho should be allowed. Rare permissions only.
Make sure nobody tears the pages.
When I’m gone people can look at the books, but they must remain
One copy of each discourse book should be outside his bedroom to look at when sannyasins are going to his Samadhi.
“Kavisha (Founder of Mystery School who left her body in the late 1990s) was the one who really made this library happen. She had an understanding of the mystery of the library. All money from the Crystal Garden went to the expansion of the library. The moment she was gone then all creativity was finished. I can give you the papers, Kavisho says. Make the present  mistake into a learning and put more consciousness towards Osho’s vision for the library. Amrito’s understanding.” (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999)
“Lao Tzu’s mirrored corridor (there are ten reflecting images in a twelve-foot walk), now has books as well as mirrors. The entire corridor is being lined again with the expending library’s newest acquisitions, all stored in the sturdy, elegant, aluminium-frame shelving. The most aesthetic array of books in the world, they stand arranged according to their color and size. Author? Subject matter? Forget it! Our beloved master has His own ways of storing His reading material!” (Yes Osho (Digital). 27.06.1990)
Maneesha writes on the archives in Lao Tzu House
“… in Osho’s library the “old library” is being renovated so that the former painted wooden shelves are being replaced by glass ones in aluminium frames. Now the boxes of books that were waiting for a home have all been unpacked, so the thousands and thousands of Osho’s books all have a smart new home. Two sannyasins are working fulltime looking after the archives. The archives include photographs of Osho, and photographs from all the different camps, ashrams and communes – from Mount Abu, through to Poona 1 and Rajneeshpuram. In addition, there are photographs of all Osho’s paintings, all the discourse sutras on which He would sometimes write notes; letters to sannyasins, notebooks from the days when Osho would read a book and take notes about it; manuscripts – entirely made up of His own writing – and compilations of jokes! Osho’s address books, all legal documents related to His life and work as well as all the CDs He has listened to and all the videos He has watched. On March 21st postcards and posters of some of the hundreds and hundreds of Osho’s signatures as they appear in His books, will be available for sale in the Bookshop.” (Maneesha. In: Yes Osho (Digital). Vol IV, No.20. 28.02.1991)
Anando tells the librarian Darso that the books have been a lot taken care of, and that we now don’t need to be oversensitive in cleaning books. (Darso. Interview. Poona. August 1999)
Interview with Kavisho
“The library is open to sannyasins engaged in research projects on aspects of Osho’s vision, and so part of Kavisho’s time is spent helping them to find the right books. She also does silk book-binding, making new covers for old books that are in poor condition.” (Osho Times International. 01.08.91)
Anando on collectibles sent to the Ranch in Oregon
“once back in pune, everything i could get my hands on, i kept in the archive in lao tzu, either in the kitchen or gave it to the librarians. i collected for example all the tv programs about osho, and all the books about him, but it was all contemporary stuff. the old collectibles that had gone to the ranch i have no idea about…
sheela was not there at the end of the ranch when presumably arrangements were made to return osho’s library to pune. but she should know where those things were kept – were they in the same trailers as the library?…
i left the ranch with osho, so i actually have no idea who was running the place during the world tour.” (Anando. E-mail. 14.05.2013)
(Note: During Osho’s years in Oregon, old sannyasins in India had mailed to the Ranch quite a lot of old collectibles, like photo albums, rare first editions of booklets from Jabalpur and Bombay, including a 3-minutes footage from Nikalank. These things they mailed as Oregon was considered to be the new center for collecting Osho’s treasures, but it has not been possible to retrieve those old goodies. They are not in the collections in Lao Tzu Library, and it seems they have vanished in the upheaval and turmoil in Oregon. Or, they may deliberately have been destroyed by someone in management having other understandings and priorities of Osho’s work).
Interview with Neelam
Present management is neglecting Lao Tzu as there’s no love for Osho’s books, it is not a priority. Osho’s message 27.11.1989 to Anando is known to Neelam. All old material only had a priority while Osho was in his body, but not any more. When Neelam was his secretary she was high lightening newspapers for those articles to be read loud to him. Later on Anando did this. First copy of all newsletters went to him. He was choosing cover photo and titles, etc. On 13.1.1990 for the last time the latest newsletter was shown to him. Osho said: Good.
Jayesh in present management, does not understand the importance of Osho’s book loving passion. He says that except for the signatures and paintings they could as well be bought at the market. Accordingly paintings can be removed. Their value and context are not recognized. (Neelam. Paraphrased from interview at Osho Nisarga, a new Osho center located at Sheela Chowk village 8 km from main road coming from Dharamsala. 2006)
Azima on dissemination of Osho’s work
“The Master was aware that, once he was gone, it would be necessary to collect and disseminate the big collection of books and videos he’d created over the years. It was the basis of a unique teaching that would be of tremendous value to humanity for centuries to come.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 320)
Osho’s books in Indian Parliament, Lok Sabha, 2003
“As part of India’s 55th Independence Celebrations and Osho’s 70th Birthday Celebrations, a set of the spiritual master’s books was also presented to the speaker of Lok Sabha, Mr Manohar Joshi, for the library of the Indian Parliament at a special function on the 13th August.
The Minister for State for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Vinod Khanna, and his wife, Ms Kavit Khanna, and former Governor of four States and a former Rajya Sabha Member, Mr B. Satyanarayan Reddy, were present at this function. Thanking Osho World Foundation for this gift, Mr Joshi said many MPs have been reading Osho and this set of 116 in Hindi and 106 in English books will enable more MPs to get a better idea of his insights.” (Sw Chaitanya Keerti. www.meditate-celebrate.com 23-01.2003)
The present management seems to have only little interest in ‘Osho the man’ and keeps only ‘his vision’. Their interest in the preservation of Osho’s archives is limited, and maybe rather obstructive. When Anando was coordinating the Library she was the Library Inner Circle representative and every decision had to go through her. Anyway, Anando didn’t have much understanding and interest in the library, it was all dead to her… books… past… an attitude she expressed many times. (Paraphrased from Kavisho. E-mail. 26.03.2017)
In 2005 at the time of the editor’s last visit to the library, Lao Tzu Library was basically an archive of Osho’s production being used for copyright, publication, and research purposes. Complete sets of publications in English and Hindi are available for research, used also by editors for the publishing of Osho Times International. By no means this is a public accessible library, as its use is strictly limited to commune workers for their publication and research into Osho’s work. Only one or two non-sannyasins, in casu American academics, have been allowed to conduct research within Lao Tzu Library.
Anando on Osho Library
“Interesting artefacts you have collected! wonderful indeed and I imagine they are as safe with you as anywhere else. there is not really anyone taking care of osho’s library in pune these days – in the archiving sense. the a/c and humidity controls and cleaning are being kept up very well, but i don’t see anyone who could take care of the things you have found from jabalpur. i look forward to receiving what you have written and i really appreciate that you are keeping up your wonderful work.” (Anando. E-mail. 14.03.2006)
Heading: Conquest of Death. Excerpt:
“Visitors are first conducted to the Mausoleum where Osho’s ashes lie buried. This used to be his residence, a masterpiece of architecture with huge windows opening on half-a-dozen beauty spots, like a miniature rock garden, a waterfall in original setting, a swan lake, etc. His library packed with some 60.000 books, the toilets, even a private dentistry – all remain like before, as if for the use of his living spirit.
From the Mausoleum one wonders in sheer wonder and delight through the large library of books authored by Osho – some thousands of them – the vast Gautama the Buddha Auditorium, the meditation centres showing some dozen techniques providing devotees with a “holy space to look inwards and rediscover their lost self or soul.”” (R.K. Karanjia. Blitz magazine, Bombay. 27.10.1990)
Advertisement in The Rajneesh Times. Heading:
“We celebrate the expansion of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Library!
Years ago, Bhagwan said He read so extensively to explore all the paths, collecting the fragrance of man’s wisdom and experience upon the earth, so He could give it to His disciples and others…
Plans exist for making the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Library the greatest, most important library in the world. Contributions towards its growth are welcome! Mail your gift of new, unused, non-fiction books published after 1981 to: Ma Shanti Avirbhava, c/o Rajneeshdham, 17 Koregaon Park, Poona 411 001, India” (The Rajneesh Times. 11.07.1987)
We’ll finish this section on Osho Library with a few remarks on its present state.
Osho Library in Poona is holding all titles by Osho including translations post-1974. But none of his published booklets from early days in Jabalpur and Bombay, his formative years where the foundation stones for his entire work were laid out, as we’ve seen in volume I.
The library’s collection of secondary literature on Osho, biased as well as unbiased, we may consider rather incomplete although it comprises 11 shelves in the library. The stock of periodicals is definitely even more limited, as apparently an explicit and ongoing policy for the acquisition of newsletters, newspapers and magazines has never been implemented.
Accordingly, rather than filling the shelves with non-fiction literature Osho never was to read, there remains a missed opportunity to retrieve and include all periodicals from Osho and secondary literature published on Osho. Calling it a library is using a term not too valid in this context, as access and professional assistance have been missing for quite some time. Even to call it his collection of books makes no sense after the addition of donated books years after he had stopped reading, although he continued to receive a synopsis of new books during his ‘secretary updating’ in the afternoons.
Jayesh, chairman of the Inner Circle, may indeed be right when he’s quoted saying that all Osho’s books in his library could be bought at the market, leaving out of course Osho’s paintings and signatures, which have been dealt with in various ways as we will see further down the text. But he is at the same time ignoring the more esoteric aspects of the energy field Osho has left behind, in the books he had read as well as in the entire setting of the library in Lao Tzu House.
This said, it remains a mystery why no one in the management ever considered the need for turning Osho’s library into a first class research center, to support the study of Osho’s life and his whole body of work. The understanding of library work seems to be ‘the more books, the better’, but to call Osho Library one of the most exquisite esoteric libraries in the world is an obvious overstatement, leaving out any recognition of the necessity for devoted and trained librarians and explicit guidelines for aim and daily running of the library.
Research work into Osho’s vision now has to be conducted where relevant collections of his books and other material are to be found globally, rather than at the place where these studies most naturally could have been carried out: at Osho Library in Poona, India.
A podcast with Kavisho is available at www.osholove.com:
Episode 48. Why Osho read over 100.000 books / Ma Prem Kavisho. 37:47 min. On being a medium at energy darshan, her work as a librarian in Poona Two and much more.
We’ve earlier been introduced to Osho’s comprehensive reading before 1981 when he stopped his daily reading, but continued his passionate involvement in the production of his books. Now in Poona Two his secretary went through the daily press coverage of his work and she also highlighted events in the world she was to read out for him when they met in the afternoon. Anando also cited excerpts from Osho Times and other newsletters brought to him in their first copies. The last newsletter presented to him was the Osho Times from 13.01.1990. His comment: “Good.”
Osho on his own reading and speaking
“Existence has been immensely compassionate, as far as I am concerned. I have not taken even a single step to find it. The reason was that I never got in the clutches of knowledgeability; I never became a learned scholar, although there is hardly a single man who has read so much as I have read. But my readings could not pollute my consciousness, they could not corrupt my consciousness; they were just like signatures on water.
I have read all the scriptures, but I have not allowed anything to be accumulated and fill my inner emptiness. That emptiness is absolutely pure and when I speak, I speak from my own emptiness, from my own purity, from my own innocence. Sometimes it coincides, that is another matter, but it coincides only when something matches my experience. Then I can say to Bodhidharma, “I agree – emptiness, no holiness, no knowing.” Live Zen (1988), p. 81.
Satya Vedant on Osho’s interest in publishing
“Satya Vedant records that in early 1988, around the time when Osho created the Mystic Rose Meditation, he followed his normal routine: he ate frugal meals, had a nap in the afternoon, met his secretary in the evening and stepped out to give a discourse at 7 p.m. in the Buddha Hall. This routine included “looking at new books, magazines and newspapers that his disciples were now producing in greater numbers than ever before,” giving suggestions for the cover designs and titles reflection “his love for beauty and aesthetics.”” (Vaidya 2017, p. 101)
Kavisho on Osho’s reading
“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.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)
Osho on his reading
“I have loved reading from my very childhood. My own personal library consisted of all the religions, philosophies, poetry, literature. And I have read all of them, but with no purpose. I enjoyed it. And the moment I felt that enough is enough…
I have enjoyed the best geniuses of the world, and now there is no more. I dropped. For five years I have not read a single book, not a single magazine, not a newspaper. No reading at all!” The Last Testament. Vol I, Chapter 26. 12.08.1985 pm. Interview with KGO TV, San Francisco, CA. Not published.
Kavisho recalls the mystery with all that reading. He had a photographic memory, using three hours each book. He went fairly fast through many books, and as a keen reader he was reading at different speed. Sometimes he was reading only chapters. He remembered not only the book’s content, but also it’s size, colour and design. He was able to recall a book like that and reorder it from the library using this identification. (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999)
“How he kept himself informed on political events etc is unclear, but he was always updated. His personal secretary Anando was later scanning newspapers for Osho, ‘secretary updating’. From 1987 during Poona II the family could often be seen in a reading unity, sharing their information in the room with Osho. “When Osho became too weak to do work with Neelam on ashram business, He spoke only with Anando, whom He called His “daily newspaper,” and Jayesh, while He was having His lunch and supper.” (Shunyo 1991, p. 173)
Audiocassettes with music were much used by him in Oregon, and in Poona Two a new sound system was received by Osho.
“Few days later Nirvano came into the library asking me if I had a sound system, a tape recorder, or a walkman, and I did not. So I immediately started to inquire who could give her one. I thought she needed one for herself. But she took me into her room and gave me hers, saying that Osho told her to do so. Osho just received a present of a new sound system and was giving his old one to her. And so it was that another gift followed the zen stick.” (Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript. 1999)
His music tapes and CDs are still  found in Lao Tzu Library, whereas his video selection has been removed to Video Department in Multimedia. CDs were not much used by him, he received them as gifts. A CD with Hari Prasad, ‘Eternity’, was in the CD player when Osho left his body in January 1990.
Osho on his reading
“I have read much, but I started reading after my attainment because before that I simply refused… Philosophers, my professors, well-wishers wanted me to read this book, that book. I said, “No. Before that I have to be absolutely certain about my truth. I don’t have any criterion to judge, and I don’t want to get confused with all kinds of thoughts.” But fortunately the enlightenment came very early to me, and then reading was an absolute joy because I could separate the false from the true, the fictitious from the real.
One of my professors used to say, “Why do you unnecessarily waste your time in reading?” Because he had seen my books. I would make comments on my books – that this is stupid, this is idiotic, this is nonsense carried from their childhood. He said, “Why do you read if you… he is such a great philosopher and you are making such comments.”
I said, “Only now am I able to read it.”
This is a strange world. When you are able to read there is no point in reading, and when you are incapable of reading you read too much and that goes on creating more confusion in your mind.” The Language of Existence (1989). Chapter 9, p. 221.
Osho on reading and lecturing
“Nirvano just takes care that once in a while I sleep, or else the body suffers; otherwise the whole night I am awake. I have divided the day into two parts because there is nothing to read. I have read so much, and now I am utterly bored when I come to look at books. I already know what these idiots will be writing. And there is no other source…
The only thing is that you feel what I am saying is new, that you have never heard it before. You have been here, but I will not refuse your question. I will repeat it again! But before I say anything about it, to wake you up I will tell you a story. I use stories and jokes to keep you awake! If I start talking about pure philosophy there will be complete silence and people will be snoring!
For centuries people have been snoring whenever religion, spirituality, philosophy and meditation were discussed. And all the great masters have been in immense agony because of their compassion – what to do with these people? But I have found a way: there is no need to say to you, “Wake up!” I simply tell you a joke when I see you are slipping into sleep. Then you just straighten up, open your eyes, look all around – I don’t allow anybody to snore!” The Invitation (1988). Session 27, p. 319.
In his discourses during Poona Two he was often referring to books he had read earlier on.
Osho on Gurumayi and Muktananda
“Just the other day somebody brought a book about a woman I had known. She was just a very ordinary woman, living with Swami Muktananda – serving him, cooking his food. After the death of Muktananda, she has taken his place. Now her name is Gurumayi, the feminine of the Guru – Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, and she is followed by many people. The book has been sent to me because she is touring around the world and many people are impressed by her. She is the successor of Muktananda. He himself was a perfect idiot – now where to put this woman? You cannot be more perfect than Muktananda was.
But the problem is people simply listen to the words and they don’t have any criteria to check whether these people are saying things out of their own experience, or they have collected them from books, from other people, and are simply repeating. You can see it very clearly in Ta Hui. He is a perfect specimen.” Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988), p. 36.
Osho on three important books
“Perhaps there are only three books which can be said to be really important.
One is written by Aristotle. The name of the book is Organum. It means the first principle of wisdom. The second book is written by Bacon, who is the father of all modern science. His book’s name is Novum Organum, new principle of wisdom. Aristotle is thought to be the father of Western logic, mathematics and related sciences, and Bacon is certainly the most important figure who has created the whole of science, the whole technology that has made the West strong, rich, affluent, healthy.
And the third important book is Ouspensky’s Tertium Organum, the third principle of wisdom. This seems to be the most important of the three. And the first thing Ouspensky had written inside the book, not out of any egoism but out of sheer truthfulness. “Before the two Organums existed, Tertium Organum, my book, had already existed, because it is more fundamental than those two, Aristotle’s and Bacon’s books.
It is certainly one of the most well-written books I have come across, and I have seen more books than perhaps any living human being.” The Invitation (1988). Session 30, p. 359.
Osho on Karl Marx at the British Library
“It reminds me of Karl Marx – the founder of communism, the last religion in the world. He spent his whole life, without a single holiday, in the British Museum, just reading and reading. He used to reach the British Museum before it opened; he would be waiting on the steps. And there were many occasions when he was pushed out forcibly because the museum had to be closed. There were a few occasions when he was taken away in an ambulance… because he had been reading all day since the morning – without eating, without drinking, and he had fainted on the table.” The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Session 7, p. 75.
Osho on his favourite authors
“Sagarpriya, make your mind as beautiful as possible. Decorate it with flowers. I am really very sad when I see that people don’t know The Book of Mirdad, that they have never looked into the absurd stories of Chuang Tzu, that they have never bothered to understand the absolutely irrational stories of Zen.
I cannot conceive of how you can live beautifully if you don’t know Dostoevsky’s books… Brothers Karamazov to me is more important than any Bible. It has such great insights, that The Bible should not be counted at all, even for comparison. But The Bible will be read – and who is going to bother about Brothers Karamazov, in which Dostoevsky has poured his whole soul? or Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, or Fathers and Sons by Turgenev, or Offering of Songs by Rabindranath? And these are only a few names; there are thousands who have reached the finest flowering of mind.” The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Session 13, p. 160.
Osho on The Idiot
“The Idiot is only the name, but the person he calls the idiot in that great novel… That novel has to be considered one of the ten great novels in the whole world literature. There is no way to think that anything better than Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Idiot can be created.
The idiot is a sage. He is called idiot by the people because they can’t understand his simplicity, his humbleness, his purity, his trust, his love. You can cheat him, you can deceive him, and he will still trust you. That’s why people think he is an idiot. He is really one of the most beautiful characters ever created by any novelist.
The novel could just as well have been called The Sage. His trust is so much that it does not matter that you deceive. It does not matter that you cheat him; that is your problem, it is not his problem. His love, his trust will continue. Dostoevsky’s idiot is not an idiot; he is one of the sanest men amongst an insane humanity.” The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Session 128, p. 332.
Osho on Russian novelists
“And it was a strange phenomenon that Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Maxim Gorky, Turgenjev – five great novelists – were contemporaries. If you are going to choose ten novels, five will be from these five people. Perhaps all ten will be from these five people, because they have all written such great novels; The Mother by Maxim Gorky has no comparison in the whole world; or Fathers and Sons by Turgenjev; or The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky; or Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
Perhaps these five people will cover almost all ten places – they will not leave room for anybody else. But none of them received the Nobel Prize – not only Leo Tolstoy, none of them, and each was better than the winner. It is very difficult out of these five to vote who is the best.
And they were all friends. They lived in the same city – Moscow. It is a strange combination, it has never happened: five such unique geniuses in the same city, creating novels such defeating the whole world – past, present and perhaps future – because there seems to be no possibility to improve on The Brothers Karamazov or Maxim Gorky’s The Mother. But none of them got the Nobel Prize.” Sat Chit Anand (1988). Session 10, p. 122.
Osho on Leo Tolstoy
“You must have read Leo Tolstoy’s famous story, “How Much Land Does a Man Require?” Leo Tolstoy is one of the greatest men humanity has produced. And just a few days ago I came to know… He was never given a Nobel Prize. Nobody is more worthy of a Nobel Prize than Leo Tolstoy. His creativity is immense, he has not been surpassed by anyone. He was nominated, but the nomination was refused by the committee.
The Nobel Prize committee opens its records to the public only after twenty years, so just this year they have opened their records for the public to see, or for research workers to look into. And I was so shocked! In the records it is said, “Leo Tolstoy cannot be given the Nobel Prize because he is not an orthodox Christian.” That was the reason. He is Christian, but he is not orthodox Christian. He has his own original ideas which are not traditional.
These considerations… His great books Anna Karenina, War And Peace – they are not considered at all. The consideration is whether he’s orthodox Christian or not. Then they should make it clear that the Nobel Prize is only for orthodox Christians. Why go on being hypocritical?” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 3, p. 51.
Osho on Dostoevsky
“In Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, perhaps the most important novel that has ever been written, one of the brothers – it is a history of the three brothers Karamazov – is an atheist and another brother is a very devoted theist. The atheist brother says to him, “Listen, if by chance you prove to be right and you meet God… I don’t believe that it is going to happen, because there is no God in my conception, but you insist that there is a God, so do at least a little service for your brother. Just tell your God, ‘My brother wants to get out of this existence. You have bored him enough.” The Original Man (1989). Chapter 1, p. 7.
Osho on the speed of scientific innovation
“With scientific progress the world of great books has completely disappeared. And the progress is going faster and faster; so fast that scientists no longer write big books, out of fear that if you write a big book, by the time it is completed, it will be out of date; scientists are simply writing papers in the periodicals.
It was perfectly good for Charles Darwin to take thirty years to write a single book. Now it would simply be stupidity. By the time you are finished, all that you have written is wrong. Science has gone so far, and the speed of science is so great that you cannot write with the same speed.” Sat Chit Anand (1988). Session 15, p. 187.
Osho on The Book of Mirdad
“Mikail Naimy has written one book, The Book of Mirdad, which in quality goes even higher than Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. But Mikail Naimy is again in the same trap. He must have thought that if he could write The Book of Mirdad – which should remain as long as man is on this planet, one of the greatest creations of man… He struggled his whole life, but he could not surpass it.
Creativity is not something that you do, you simply allow the universal force to function through you. You become just a medium. You give your hand, your body, your heart, your being to existence and then existence sings a song and it becomes eternal, as eternal as existence itself. Only that is creativity. Other than that, I cannot conceive of anything creative.” The Book of Mirdad had happened to him.” Sat Chit Anand (1988). Session 19, p. 248.
Osho on The Book of Mirdad
“Devapria, the Book of Mirdad is my most loved book. Mirdad is a fictitious figure, but each statement and act of Mirdad is tremendously important. It should not be read as a novel, it should be read as a holy scripture – perhaps the only holy scripture.
And you can see in this statement just a glimpse of Mirdad’s insight, awareness, understanding. He is saying, Love is the only freedom from attachment… and you have always heard that love is the only attachment. All the religions agree on that point, that love is the only attachment.
I agree with Mirdad.
Love is the only freedom from attachment. When you love everything, you are attached to nothing.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 18, p. 202.
Osho on Walt Whitman
“In the hundred years of America, there have not been many men who can be compared to the great mystics of the world. Only one man, a poet, comes very close to the mystics, Walt Whitman. One of his beautiful songs is: I celebrate myself. America has not paid much attention to Walt Whitman, but he is the only one in the three hundred years of America’s life who has reached the highest peak possible.
When he says, “I celebrate myself,” he is saying everything about love. “And if you can rejoice in my celebration, you are welcome. If you can be my guest, I invite you to celebrate.” Love celebrates, it is not a responsibility at all.” Sat Chit Anand (1988). Session 30, p. 389.
Osho on Durkheim and his writings on Zen
“Lastly you say, Turiya, “Finally he said, ‘I have brought Zen to Europe. Have you got my books?” Zen masters have been known to burn books. And a man is saying, “I have brought Zen. Have you read my books?” is not able even to see the contradiction. He has brought books; he has not brought Zen. And Zen is not confined to books. Zen is a flavor, a spiritual aroma, a contagious blissfulness.
Have you brought that meditativeness in which thousands of roses blossom in the heart? Then you will not invite anybody to read books. You will invite them to meditate, to dance, to sing and to disappear in their dance. And perhaps after all this, those books may be useful just to understand your own experience; those books may help to give you the right words, exact expressions. Not vice versa – you don’t go from books to Zen.
Zen comes first and overwhelms you. And it is so new and so unknown that you are puzzled and you don’t know in what space you have entered; there a master’s book can be helpful. It can give you some indications that you are not lost, some milestones. It can describe some qualities of which you don’t have any past experience.
Let me repeat this, because it is never said in this way: Zen comes first and then you can read it in books, not vice versa, that you read the books and then you understand what Zen is. That’s not the way things work.” Hari Om Tat Sat (1989). Session 25, p. 262.
Osho on psychoanalysis
“Just today I received a confirmation from one of the most well-known psychoanalysts of America: Dr. Brian Weiss, Yale Medical School graduate, nationally recognized expert in psycho-pharmacology, brain chemistry, substance abuse and Alzheimer’s Disease, and Chief of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital, San Francisco.
He has been for years thinking to tell the world that psychoanalysis is dead, but could not gather the courage to go against the whole profession. But finally he decided to declare what has been his experience – his lifelong experience. In his book, ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’, Weiss wrote that psychoanalysis is in its death throes, that it is no longer practical, and the reason is that it has no spirituality in it. Perhaps now psychoanalysts will pay attention.
I am not a psychoanalyst, but I am a postgraduate in psychoanalysis, in religion, in philosophy. I have never practiced psychoanalysis because I have never believed that Sigmund Freud had revealed a new path to man’s intrinsic spirituality.” Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Chapter 1, p. 5.
(Note: Many Lives, Many Masters. The True Story of a prominent psychiatrist, his young patient and the past-life therapy that changed both their lives / Dr. Brian Weiss. London, Piatkus, 2001. First edition 1988).
Osho on Ouspensky’s writing on Gurdjieff
“In fact, if you want to understand George Gurdjieff, don’t read his books, you will not understand what he is writing. He was not well-educated in any language. He became an orphan when he was only nine years old, and then he moved in the most primitive part of the world, the Caucasus. In the mountains, among the primitive tribes, he moved from one tribe to another – they were all gypsies, continuously on the move – so he learned everything amongst those gypsies.
When he started writing, he had to invent his own words, because he did not know any language perfectly, particularly any contemporary language. So you will be surprised to find that one sentence runs the whole page, one word runs the whole line. You cannot understand what he is talking about. By the time you have reached to the end of the passage, you have forgotten the beginning, and you may read a hundred pages but you cannot find ten lines which are understandable.
It was P.D. Ouspensky… If you want to understand Gurdjieff, read P.D. Ouspensky. He is a man of contemporary genius, and he has found out through Gurdjieff, living with him for almost thirty-five years, slowly slowly the essential core of his teaching.” Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Chapter 4, p. 108.
Osho on Thomas Merton
“Thomas Merton was an intelligent man, a genius. Because he was world-famous and he was writing books on Zen, I have looked at his books. For fifteen years I have not read anything, so it was fifteen years ago when I used to read his books. I always thought that sooner or later this man was going to land up in Japan. His understanding about Zen was purely intellectual. Beautiful… he was writing beautiful sentences, beautiful poems, but it was all intellectual, he had no understanding of meditation.
Christianity does not allow meditation.
And just now I have heard… Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk and a world-famous author. He wanted to go to Japan to study Zen, but again and again his superiors in the monastery refused him permission.” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 8, p. 307.
Osho on Gorbachev’s books
“Comrade Gorbachev seems to be bent upon destroying communism, root and all. He has even stopped using the word ‘comrade.’ Sangeet has been going through his books, because I don’t waste my time on any rubbish. She has found a few points which I would like to discuss with you. The first point is about women.” Communism & Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 6, p. 224.
“It was my job as an editor for the Osho Times to write reviews of the books he loved each month for many months many years ago. I was able to read the books he actually read and I was interested in his markings of paragraphs that interested him. As we all do, we underlined what we wanted to remember, but not Osho. He only put a small dot in the margin of a paragraph or a line he wanted to note. On some of the material that he was using for discourses, he would put a dash – or three dashes on top of each other in colors that only he would understand why that color and not any other.” (Ma Prem Jeevan. E-mail. 04.03.2012)
The last book published with Osho’s discourses from his many series on Zen and Zen masters was The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). In this discourse series Western authors on Zen are presented, see: Subsection 7.6 Last Discourse: Sammasati.
Heading: Autographed Books For Osho
“Over the years, Osho Rajneesh has received many books autographed by their authors. Recently, a new addition to His sizeable collection was received from the rock star and ecology activist, Sting. The book, Amazonia: La Lucha por la Vida [The Amazon: Fight for Life], by Sting and Jean-Pierre Dontilleux, was dedicated to Osho and signed by the authors and two others involved in the struggle, Red Crow and Baoni. Other signed books that Osho has received include: The Scientist, A Metaphysical Autobiography by John Lilly, The Last Barrier, A Sufi Journey by Reshad Feild and The Tao of Relationships by Ray Grigg.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:14)
Message on reading his books
“28.11.1989: there is a message from Osho that people buy and read his books. From now on the reading of Osho’s books will become an integral part of the groundwork for all ashram groups.” (www.oshoturk.com/osho-life/10-68-notes.htm)
Heading: Reading Osho
“Swami Prem Amrito made the following announcement in Buddha Hall about Osho’s recent guidance on reading His books.
“Because He is no longer speaking, Osho has suggested that people read His books to understand His vision and remain in contact with what He is saying.
“People who are participating at the Multiversity will now have books specially selected for their courses and trainings. Osho said that when the leaders and participants read His books, the experiences becomes deeper, and both will have a better understanding of the whole process involved.
“Osho also said it is good to send His books to friends:
“We are in such a small minority in this stupid world, we have to do what we can to put these words out.” (Osho Times International, 1990:2. 16.01.1990)
A full listing of titles in Books I Have Loved (1985) is in Volume I / Appendix.
Paintings and Signatures
Whenever Osho received a new book he signed it and often he added a painting, making it into a work of art. Each book coming from him after he had read it, was a surprise to the library staff, never knowing when to meet a colour signature, a painting or some comments or drawing at the end.
Heading: Signatures of a Silent Heart
“Most of us sign and date our books in a very simple way, with our own name and maybe the day or the year when we got them. I’ve also known many book collectors or maniacs, like myself, who have searched for antique or modern ex libris to be stamped on the first page of their books as a mark of ownership. Yet Osho does both at once: while signing His books, He also inverts the most personalized and artistic ex libris imaginable.
From the early 1970s onwards, Osho devised a unique way of identifying the books from His enormous library by stretching His signature across the whole first page, and giving it calligraphic contours and a rainbow of colors that go far beyond the actual name. What is striking about these signatures is that the medium – a poor, unpretentious and not particularly attractive felt-tip pen – acquires in His hands the delicate quality of watercolor, or the compact thickness of acrylic. It is hard to tell how He was able to soften the unsophisticated inks of Magic Markers into the watery, Indian-ink light hues you’ll find in most of His paintings.
Among the 665 signature paintings I’ve seen so far, it’s possible to detect at least four main iconographies that can be related either to the symbolic or the mythological representations of diverse Eastern aesthetic traditions.
The most charming is a womb-like shape, usually a half-circle cut at the edge of the page, growing like a belly in progressively darker shades of colors. Such an image brings to mind what in Indian Tantric art is called the “Island of Gems” – an allegorical coupling of opposites, revealed in the characters of Shiva-Shakti, which sit on an island surrounded by a blue ocean of vital substance, the ocean of eternal life.
Similarly, the round shapes in Osho’s paintings seem to move like amniotic/oceanic waves, representing the universal consciousness expanding towards spiritual evolution and growth.
In some of these paintings Osho often adds round blobs of luminous colors to the outer circle, like a crown of diamonds or lights, perhaps to indicate the flowering halo of energy we may acquire while moving beyond the boundaries of the physical body. But they could also refer to the manifestation of one of Shiva’s attributes: the immaculate spirituality of the Self, shining spontaneously, out of his pure white consciousness. And the following step seems inevitable. The half-circle evolves into a full sphere, and then divides into two. Usually painted in seductive, pastel colors, the two circles are separated on the white background, though they seem to dance together. It looks as if Osho froze them, for a nano-second, and caught them in the stillness that is inherent in their incessant whirling.
The iconography of the flowing water, the stream, the river, that often cross the pages in Osho’s books, may not only be a reminder of the Tao Te Ching’s praise of the nurturing, humble water element, but also represent the inexhaustible vitality of Ganga, the Indian goddess mother of prosperity and salvation.
And, from the mud, the lotus… The multicolored buds, leaves and petals which appear in a great number of Osho’s paintings may very possibly express that nature pours joyfully on the enlightened buddhas, as well as the cosmic thousandpetaled golden lotus in Hindu tradition representing the opening of the womb of the universe. While the water symbolizes the maternal, fecund activity of the Absolute, the cosmic lotus stands for its generative organ. And together with its spontaneous creative energy, the lotus carries the meaning of the transcendental wisdom that breaks the veil of maya and leads to enlightenment.
So, let’s look at His art with the pure eyes of the heart, and forget about the comparative symbology of art criticism.
After all, Osho speaks very clearly about art as something that is coming out of a silence within you. Art, in this new dimension, becomes something other than a mere entertainment for ordinary people.
Only the seeker of truth will be able to contribute many riches to existence: each of his words can be a poem in itself, each of his silences can become celestial music, each of his gestures can indicate towards the most beautiful phenomenon, grace.
Isn’t that exactly what His paintings are showing to us, making manifest the totality of each of His gestures? Here words are of no use, especially if we want to feel deeply the blissfulness, serenity and ecstasy dispensed by His paintings.” (Ma Prem Kiya (Ida Panicelli). Osho Times International, 1995:7)
Heading: Osho Originals
“Enlightenment Day Celebration marked the occasion of the first public exhibition of original paintings by Osho in the endpapers of books He had read. A selection of these books was displayed in an elegant glass case in the centre of the bookshop, the books propped open to reveal the vivid colors of the transparent ink drawings. The showing was timed to coincide with the publication of a set of greetings cards, ‘The Master Collection – Art by Osho’, featuring nine different paintings, which is now available in the bookshop.
Ma Kavisho, Osho’s librarian, has catalogued 900 books in which Osho painted the endpapers and 3,500 in which He colored His signature. Additional paintings will be made available on postcards and a new series of lithographs and an art book are in preparation at Unity Publishers, Japan.
Osho’s paintings show an uninhibited playing with vivid colors and abstract forms. Paintings in books suggests spontaneity and a disregard for conventional forms. ‘Man and the Stars – Contact and Communication With Other Intelligence’ is a curious canvas for His dancing swirls of vibrant color. ‘Driving Forces in History’ is a humorous-sounding title for any book and, ironically, it may in time be the name used to identify that particular artwork between its covers: balloons of soft primary color gently floating behind a lattice-work of straight black lines of varying thickness.
Kavisho pointed to the aesthetics of the unpredictable and unexpected effects caused by an artist’s process in the books painted by Osho. His ink pens often leaked through one or more pages of the books, creating entirely new paintings on the subsequent pages: a wonderful collision of colors with words.
In some of the books, for example in ‘Religion and Sexism’, Osho includes the book publisher’s logo. In this case, a man in full stride, sowing seeds, deepens the beauty of His fan shape of bright colors joined to His monumental signature in black.
Fusion of meaning and meaninglessness is a feature present in significant works of modern art. What a delight to discover in Osho not only the rebel, poet and intellect-par-excellence – but the contemporary artist as well!
‘And if a rose need not have a purpose, why should my paintings have a purpose? They are existential. There is no need for any purpose.’ Osho. I celebrate myself. (Osho Times International, 1991:9)
Meera writes on Osho’s paintings
“Over the years, Osho collected thousands of books – maybe he created the world’s largest private library of books on philosophy, psychology and religion – and he signed them all, inside the front cover.
But he didn’t just sign them. In many books, using color felt pens, or marker pens, he made designs and paintings. For some reason, the pens he used created the same effect as watercolor painting, allowing colors to overlap, blend and merge together, making the overall effect very mysterious.
He never studied color balance, or any art techniques, but to me, looking at these paintings, I see many of the qualities I try to convey to my group participants: balance, playfulness, spontaneity, surprise, creativity.
How did he manage it? The way I figure it, he came to art from the reverse direction: first, he reached the ultimate point in human consciousness, then he came back to art. This means that, for an enlightened being, everything is a play and the qualities that I usually have to teach people come naturally…
So that was an interesting insight into Osho’s perspective, seeing how he understands things from a certain height of consciousness.” (Meera 2017, p. 215)
Heading: Osho Art Unity
“To reproduce Osho’s paintings as silkscreen prints was the inspiration of two of his Japanese disciples. The paintings were transported to Japan and placed in the hands of master silkscreen printer, Ryoichi Ishida, famed for his prints of the works of well-known Japanese and western artists, including Andy Warhol.
Many of the prints were shown to Osho before his death in 1990. He was greatly impressed by their beauty and quality and gave his full approval for the project…
Forty-four limited edition prints, screenprinted by hand on high quality American Strathmore paper, have now been made.
Each print is individually numbered and stamped with an original seal. The prints are of an exceptionally high artistic quality.” (The Art of Enlightenment. Osho Art Unity. Brochure. Post-1990. 6 pages)
The Signature Series
Enlightened Art. First Signature Series. Collectors Edition of 21 Prints. Only 30 prints per signature. 600×900 mm. Japan. (Rajneesh Times International. 1988:23 & 1989:1)
Vinita Deshmukh on Osho’s sketches
“Most of his sketches have been created during the late 1970s and mid-1980s and it took him not more than half an hour to dabble in the vibrant colours of his sketch pens, to come out with colourful paintings. “Generally, it used to be in the afternoons, when he used to pursue his passion. We used to send in the trolley of books that he had read for that week, into his bedroom, after lunch hour,” says Ma Shunyo.
The panel of original sketches were recently displayed in Osho’s personal library, against the backdrop of huge bookshelves lined with books, in a format of waves. The library, contains around 80.000 books. His disciples say that Osho used to hate books being lined up subjectwise, since it portrayed a structural and rigid arrangement. Therefore, he advised them to keep them in a Mexican wave fashion. Earlier, it used to be so difficult to locate a book, but now thanks to a meticulous computerized compilation, any book can be located within minutes,” says Ma Shunyo. The numerous sketches are in abstract form, although geometrical in nature, but made of bright and vibrant colours, that are indeed eye-appealing. In fact, one of his paintings, in grey and white, exuberates so much vivacious energy, that you admire his skill to make even pastel shades, look bright and alive.
Compared to the 8000 odd sketches done by Osho, very few of them were displayed at the commune, recently. Although Swami Chaitanya Keerti, Osho Commune spokesman reveals that around 80 sketches were available for display, this writer could see only 20 to 25 paintings. What about the remaining ones? Swami Chaitanya Keerti, explains that “All the sketches were taken to the Osho Commune International centre in London, for scientifically preserving this rare art of work, for posterity. Presently, they have been kept in the go-down where the Jurassic Park reels have been preserved. A particular temperature is required so that these sketches do not get spoilt. at the moment, 80 of them were sent to Pune for display, and soon the remaining ones too will arrive.” (Vinita Deshmukh in Indian Express 1991. Reprinted in: Allah to Zen / Chaitanya Keerti. 2000, p. 159)
Amrito recalls the digitalization of book paintings:
In the second half of 1998 all Osho’s paintings in books have been removed from their books of origin to be sent to London for scanning. Only the paintings were removed and sent to London. (Amrito. Interview. Poona. 31.07.2001)
Kavisho on paintings
Three sets of slides of the paintings were done earlier, so the books did not have to be opened for watching the paintings (Prem Kavisho. Interview. Poona. 07.01.1999)
“The books from Osho’s library which have his signature paintings have been taken apart and His paintings removed and taken to London. It was done secretly, without people knowing. (Osho has always taken tremendous care of his library. We cannot imagine him ever condoning such an act as to destroy his books).” (xyz e-mail 9.2.1999 [Sarjano, Sarita] following an unofficial announcement by Sarjano in Buddha Hall 06.02.1999)
Kuteer on paintings
“As to the paintings in the books: we had to take them out of the books because they were full of fungus and mould. Now the paintings have been treated and are safe in London. The books are here. It wasn’t a secret!” (Kuteer to Samashti. E-mail as reply to ‘amazing doc’. 13.02.1999 c.c.)
Exhibition of paintings
“Original art by Osho.” Exhibition of Osho’s book paintings in Osho Lao Tzu Library December 1999 – February 2000.”
“The “signature paintings” in this exhibition were done directly into books, in colored inks with markers.” (Text at exhibition)
Exhibited in show-cases and on screens in Ramakrishna.
“Manneys Poona” stamps were in some of the books, occasionally cross-covered by Osho’s painting. A depo of paintings is in the old kitchen in Lao Tzu with two files containing Osho’s original signature paintings. A few of those were seen, handheld, touched and turned over by this author at working desk in the balcony. Once again an experience of being in his energy field. (Own observation. 05.02.2000 pm)
Advertisement from Osho Global Connection
“12. False allegation: Osho’s art has been secretly removed from India.
Facts: This project was discussed in the Inner Circle, with Ma Neelam present, fifteen months before she left the Commune.
Osho gave specific instructions that his art be protected and preserved so that one day people would be able to experience through his art what they now can only experience through his words. Accordingly, the art is being electronically digitized over time. It is a very expensive procedure. Many have been completed and are available. These originals are already back in India and were reviewed by the press when they were exhibited in January 2000. They will be on display again in Osho Commune during the Osho Full Moon meditation festival in July. The rest of the originals are specially wrapped and stored in an environmentally controlled, high-security location in UK awaiting digitization and return to India.
As for the rest of Osho archive, 227 Osho titles are now available on the new multilingual Osho.com website for anyone to read from anywhere on the planet. This site receives some 3 million visits a year. This archive of Osho’s words provides the basis for the 1500 titles now carried by over 90 publishers worldwide in over 40 languages.
Every recorded word and video has been digitized in copy-master form. There are now 35 complete sets of his words on 5 continents, including India, to ensure their survival for future humanity. At one point Osho even discussed the possibility of placing the originals in a bombproof shelter in Switzerland for their permanent protection.” (Osho Global Connection. E-mail 03.08.2000. Full page advertisements in India Express and the Times of India 28.06.2000)
Kavisho on the removal of Osho’s paintings from the books
“The paintings were cut out of the books a year or two after I left in 1992. Rabiya was on her own at that time and after many tears and sleepless nights she has not come to terms with the ‘order’ from Jayesh to take away all books with paintings from the Library. One late evening… they were all gone in the morning and shipped abroad…
Rabiya was left with those empty shelves I think for a few months… Osho was so specific on how to handle books! Never lend any book except for reading right under the supervision of a Librarian! Have clean hands, not to break the spine of a book, not to use a book as a support for writing a note… not to leave a book opened and upside down on a table… not to write anything in a book etc…
I totally understand your feeling about Lao Tzu Library… I tend not to think too much about it, because it hurts. Specially the fact that his paintings got cut off from the books for security purpose, and live in a safe in Switzerland (is what is said). Like all disasters in this world done in the name of security!
His library was-is so much part of him, his life and I am forever grateful for the work you do to shed light on it. It starts to dawn on me that what we heard as ‘stories’ of his early life were not ‘stories’ but His very Life! How little we realized who he was, he had so many dimensions and the intensity of the ‘NOW’ around him was such we were all busy with the ‘NOW’ and did not have the bigger picture. There are no words to testify about it as a disciple, even though I would love to do it! That’s my Koan!…
Two years after Osho left the body I felt my job in the Library was completed… At that time, painting started to happen for me. I was out of Lao Tzu, out of the commune, lost in colors and nature. It happened after putting so much energy to bring Osho’s paintings to the light, available for all and archived, which maybe was a big mistake as it finally led to the paintings being cut out of the books.” (Prem Kavisho. E-mails. 29.05.2017, 20.03.2017, 26.03.2017)
Neelam on signature paintings
“According to her, of the 880 signature paintings of Osho, only 40 remained in his Lao Tzu Library and the rest were in a warehouse in London. The same happened with the thousands of photographs of Osho.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 207)
Sw Ravindra Bharti was with Rabiya in Lao Tzu Library in August 1998. He chose to leave and wept outside when the paintings were removed. He also tells Rabiya used to handle the books with extremely care, holding the book in a piece of cloth in her hands, turning the pages very gently. Hindi books were at that time included in the computer base, he says. (Ravindra Bharti. Interview. New Delhi. 08.08.2001)
Special library codes (Attributes):
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 World Tour). New books only.
LP – LATEST PAINTING
Airbrush paintings done in 1988 (after World Tour).
As of 9 May 1994 this is the count of:
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
From early childhood Osho used to play with name changes. Mohan Chandra might be changed to Chandra Mohan and to Rajneesh during his college days. RMC as the abbreviation later on for Rajneesh Meditation Centers.
He used ‘Old signatures’ in three parts, ‘New signatures’ in one flow, plus paintings in books. The shift from old to new signatures was a continuous process, and we se a gradually change of signature from more simple in the beginning to new calligraphic signatures coloured with felt pen. Also old signatures are occasionally coloured.
Old signatures had dates in Hindi, the placing changed from the front to the back of the book. Most books in the library are signed, with dates in Hindi in Hindi books, in English in English books. Early Hindi books were sometimes dated in both languages.
Madhuri writes in The Poona Poems
“Walking by Framed Signatures in the Plaza
Even the mosquitoes
on your name”
(Madhuri 2017, p. 210)
In 1988 a Collector’s edition of ‘Mojud: The Man With The Inexplicable Life’ was published by Ansu Publishing Company in Portland, Oregon. It is an ancient Sufi story with commentary by Osho published in 112 limited editions, all signed and numbered by Osho (Shree Rajneesh), available for 500 US dollars. See also: Vol III / Bibliography / Poona Two / Compilations & Special Editions.
Last signature he made in his books was on 20.12.1987, over four pages in a Japanese book.
See also in Appendix:
– Osho Lao Tzu Library / Ma Prem Kavisho. Unpublished manuscript.
– Osho Lao Tzu Library. The Library, Reading and Publishing of an Indian Bookman and Mystic / Pierre Evald. The Private Library, Summer 2005.
Osho Research Library
“My work is not of research but of insight.
I try to see into every problem as deeply as possible.
I simply ignore the superficial…
My work you can call insearch, not research.”
Rajneesh Bible (1987). Vol IV, No. 28
Osho Research Library is located in the Meditation Resort. The library is open for commune workers from Multiversity and any professional looking for documentation of quotes or references on specific subjects. The library was in Poona Two located in Jesus House (ground floor, opposite Mariam, open 9-1, 2-4) and later on after 1990 in Osho Francis, the former residence of Osho’s father and mother, as indicated on a memorial tablet on the wall: ‘In loving Memory of Mataji and Dadaji’. Relocation from Osho Francis took place in 2005.
Books and tapes for Multiversity and Rabiya, the librarian, are from July 2001 at the end of Osho Lao Tzu Library near Lao Tzu gate. These books and tapes have been moved from Osho Research Library, now renamed Osho Cybercafe and Research Library.
Heading: Osho Research Library Services Opens to the World
“Over the past 25 years, Osho has spoken an estimated 10 million words during public discourses, resulting in more than 300 published English titles.
This stunning gift to humanity is becoming more available to people around the world. But rarely are all the books found together, nor – up till now – has an overview been available of the vast range of material contained in the entire collection.
To address this lack, the Osho Research Library in Poona is offering a service to any professional looking for Osho’s quotes or references on specific subjects.
“Every word Osho has spoken publicly since He came out of silence in 1984 is now accessible on computer,” said Ma Prem Akasha, the library coordinator. (The earlier material is catalogued on manual indexes.) “Perhaps not since the days of the great library of Alexandria has such an enormous treasure trove of the words of a living master been available to mankind. The subjects are so diverse and far-reaching, in times to come people may have difficulty realizing it was one man alone who spoke about them.”
“Especially now that Osho has stopped giving discourses, interest is changing from an emphasis on the most recent discourses to a renewed look at His words over the past three decades. Many early gems are being rediscovered.
“We are, in fact, responding to a growing worldwide demand for Osho’s words. Already we have processed many requests from sannyasins and friends – university lecturers, social workers, therapists – who have written to say that they would like to incorporate Osho’s vision in their work. We have the technology to find everything Osho has said on virtually any subject.”
The Osho Research Library Services will provide quotations and book references on request. The process is simple: people can visit the research library if they are in Poona, or they can send a letter, telex, fax, or computer message, stating the specific subject of interest, whether they require short quotations and/or source references, and for what type of work the material is needed. A request form is available (see box). A computer search will then be initiated, which will select one or more quotations. Including source references, a complete book catalogue and a list of local book distributors, the research package will be in the mail within a week – and all that without charge.
The Osho Savaad Computer Library, based in Munich, is also providing research services on Osho’s books. See the November 1 issue of OTI for details.
“There is nothing more powerful than the word – so don’t think that words are not powerful. Ordinary, mundane words have no power; they have only utility. But when the enlightened man speaks, the word has no utility; it has simply a tremendous power to transform your heart. And remember, it is far more powerful than any nuclear weapons because nuclear weapons can only bring death – that is not power. But the word which has come from an enlightened consciousness can bring new life to you, it can give you rebirth, resurrection – that is power.” The Path of the Mystic.
Do Not Miss Me!
A computer search at the Osho Research Library revealed that Osho has said, “Do not miss me” 1,653 times – in the last 5 years!” (Osho Times International, 1990:2. 16.01.1990; Osho Times International (German Edition), 15.01.1990)
As of 1999 the book lending includes three copies of English discourses and one copy of translations, and a complete set of audio tapes from discourses can be listened to on earphones within the library.
Osho Research Library. Collection, August 1989:
– Osho’s works. 300 books from 1964 to 1989. 3 copies each. For lending.
– Unpublished Books by Osho.
– Unpublished Compilations.
– Osho’s works. Translations. 1 copy. For Lending.
– Osho’s works. Audio. For listening. All English audiotapes from Mt. Abu 1972 onwards. 3,500 tapes. Started mainly to service therapists and Multiversity, not for personal use. Three seats for audio listening by ear-phones.
– International magazines.
Rajneesh Times Archive. From 1982 onwards.
– Biographical books about Osho.
– PC: Osho’s books on CD-ROM.
Tools for information retrieval (August 1989) in paper format:
– Master Index. 05.05.1989. Covering 1984-1989; incomplete before 1984. 122 pages. Sorted by subject A-Z. With references to outstanding discourses. Secondary remarks. Reference to source. Tapelist reference. Includes Disc Library Alphabetical Index. 01.07.1989. 6 pages.
– When and Where Osho Said What 1964-1981. English and Hindi translated. Abbreviations: B (Book available), A (Audiotape available), V (video tape available), C or S (Computer or Silverpalatter). * (Audiotape. 3rd side missing). 1964-1981. 5 pages.
– 1984-02.12.1988. 21 pages.
– 26.02.1988- 09.04.1989. 8 pages.
– Summaries of Discourses. 1984-89. 10 folders.
– 00 Rajneesh Bible. October 1984 – October 1985.
– 01 Rajneesh Bible ff. Last Testament. World Tour I.
– 02 World Tour II. Bombay 1987.
– 1-7 Poona Jan 1987 – 09.04.1989.
– Excerpts from Darshan Diaries. 1 folder. Subjects with references to Darshan Diaries.
– Summarized Questions. 1984-89. 1 folder. Including some questions from earlier publishing.
– Research Runs. Alphabetic printouts. 4 folders.
– Subjects / Compilations. 47+ folders. Includes text and forthcoming compilations.
– Science of Esoterica. 4 folders.
– Rajneesh Bible Index. Categories to card entries in Rolodex index file with quotations.
– Index. Volume 1-9. Vol 1: How to use this Index. Abbreviations. Short references. 3 main sections:
I: Bhagwan and related subjects.
II: Topics from A-Z.
III: Names. In categories and alphabetically.
– The Index. Compendium Book. Vol 1-9. Including quotations.
– The World of Mysticism. Shree Rajneesh speaks on two hundred mystics. 560 pages in two folders. Compiled from discourses. Table of contents. Includes Family Trees and source list of mystics with references.
– Zen Masters. One folder. Left over from Mystics Compilations. Includes text.
– Art Compilation. Three folders. Includes text and Creativity compilation, part III. One folder.
– Tantra, Love, Meditation; Religion, Revolution, Rebelliousness; Christ is here now; Be in the World, not of it; Humour. In one folder.
– Priests and Politicians; The New Child. In one folder.
– Past Lives. One folder.
– Chakras. The Seven Bodies. One folder.
– Vision, Work, Message, Effort. One folder.
– Osho on Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra. One folder.
– Beautiful Quotations from Unpublished Darshans. One folder.
Guide. One folder.
– Name Changes of Books / Books with two different names.
– Books translated into Italian.
– Computer checklist for Bhagwan’s Books published by Rajneesh Companies. 29.11.1988.
– Darshan Books. Published/Unpublished.
– Old Books to be ordered from Cologne.
– Translations: Hindi to English. 18.01.1981. Published/Unpublished. Including Letters.
– Original English Lectures. 1970-74. Bombay. Mt. Abu.
– Original English Lectures. Compilations. 1967-1978. Bombay. Other places. Poona.
– Translations from Hindi. 1964-1976. Published/Unpublished.
– Early Compilations. 1967ff.
– Letters in original English. 1962-1979.
– Letters translated from Hindi. 1961-1971.
– Publication without date translated from Hindi.
– Discourses with good video quality. 1986-1989. Uruguay ff.
– Series of books on religions. Various colors. Forthcoming.
– Books on Computer. Main list research. November 1988.
Lists. One folder.
– Discourses on Museum of Gods. 1988.
– Outstanding discourses. 1988.
– Books on Computer. Mainlist research. January 1989.
– Book – Title abbreviations.
– Book – Summaries. Filename.
– Source titles sorted by subject. Total 25 categories.
– Video bestseller list. 1988.
– Discourse list – ‘When and Where.’ 1984-1989.
Tools (July 2001)
– Osho Times International. Index. OTI Theme History.
– Folder with: Women Mystics. Unedited version. 17.01.1989.
Bhuribai. Sharda. Gargi. Mallibai. Lalla. Meera. Rengetsu. Massan. Ryonen. St. Theresia. Mary Magdalena. Rabia. Sahajo. Amrapali. Daya. Rabiya. Chiono.
– Education for the 21st Century. Poona, July 1990. Osho International Conference. Proceedings.
A total of 4.600 discourses are published in 285 books. Running up to 110.000 pages of which 50% published 1979-1989 have been digitized by August 1989.
The main part of these tools for information retrieval in paper format may now be available in digital format. See: www.osho.com, www.sannyas.wiki and other websites mentioned in Volume III / Sources.
In the late 1980s computer services were only available in Mirdad (Publications, computer room, ground floor), but as a natural step both printed and digital material can now be used integrated in the Research library. An Osho Rajneesh Discourse Database (1989) at that time contained discourses from 1985 to 1989 only, including some old discourses from Bombay. A Silverplatter IR-software made it possible to search for excerpts on specific subjects, including search by Boolean operators: And, or, not, with and near.
Outside the Meditation Resort the private Osho Amruth Library was opened at 292, Koregaon Park in August 1998. It offers Osho’s books in English and Hindi as well as audiocassettes and CDs. A one time deposit (1000 Rs) and a monthly member fee (150 Rs) is charged from borrowers.
Heading: Savaad Osho Computer Library.
“Präsenzbibliothek (mit begrenzter Ausleihe) von allen english- und deutschsprachigen Büchern Oshos. Beantwortung von Fragen zu Zitatstellen aus Oshos Büchern, deutschsprachige Bücher auf Computer… Vanshi Sproemberg. Aberlestrasse 5; D-8000 München 70. Tel.: 089/779994.” (Advertisement in Osho Times (German Edition), 15.10.1988)
Heading: Library Index Classifies Osho
“Osho has been classified as a modern Indian philosopher in Japan’s computerized library index, known as the NDC – Nippon Decimal Classification.
The NDC, published every ten years, released its ninth edition two months ago. It is used by all Japanese libraries for arranging books, which means that from now on Osho’s books will be found on the shelf “Indian Philosophy, Modern.”
Also in this category are: Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and J. Krishnamurti.
The classification is particularly significant in the light of recent antagonism towards modern spiritual movements following the Aum investigation.” (Osho Times International, 1996:1)
“Keerti wrote from Delhi that as part of India’s 55th Independence Celebration and Osho’s 70th birthday celebration, a set of Osho’s books was presented to the speaker of Lok Sabha (“House of the People”), Mr. Manohar Josho, for the library of the Indian Parliament. At the ceremony Mr. Joshi said that many MPs have been reading Osho and that the set of 116 Hindi and 106 English books will enable more MPs to get a better idea of Osho’s insights.” (Viha Connection, 2002:6)
In the library of the national Indian parliament in New Delhi, Lok Sabha, a complete set of Osho’s books has been placed in a special section, an honour only to be shared only with two of the nation’s great sons: Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru, both in a more prominent exposition compared to Osho. The initiative to the Osho collection came from a Maharasthra MP years ago and not from Kushwant Singh.
Osho’s discourses are included in the library’s catalogue, English discourses are on 10 shelves, Hindi discourses on 5 shelves. Audio and video are not in the catalogue but included in the Audio-Visual Collection. All books are gifts and complimentary copies from Osho World in Delhi and no new publishing are bought by the library and added to the collection. (Own observation. New Delhi. 05.07.2006)
Heading: New Multimedia Gallery at the Resort
“The new Multimedia Gallery at the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune, India, opened its doors with a celebration of a beautiful new space dedicated to present Osho’s work in multiple media formats. Hundreds of books in English and Hindi, Osho talks in audio and video format are available.
As the bookshop keeper just a few years ago, I could have just dreamt of a place like this (but I did dream of something like this)!
Jeevan replies to my question about the Galleria before I had found the video with these words. “Darling, It’s the new bookshop with a fancy name, located where the Visitor Center was and it’s a beauty. It’s very large and all Osho is available under one roof. It is open to the public side and can be entered from the Resort almost on the way into Buddha Grove. It is a wonderful addition to the Resort – beautifully designed and welcoming. The launching was an auspicious celebration – all the Multimedia people sang a wonderful song directed by Satyam in both English and Hindi.” (Punya. www.oshonews.com/2010/12/)
7.4 Reading and Listening to Osho
Osho on the difference in listening to his discourses and his question-answer sessions
“Prabodh Nityo, the question you have asked raises many other questions too. I would like to cover all the implications in short, because it is important not only to you but for everyone else here.
The first thing as far as I am concerned, the question-answer sessions are more significant because they relate to you, they relate to your growth. Certainly you are groping in darkness, trying to find a way. You cannot ask a question of the heights of Zarathustra, of Khalil Gibran – and I have to answer your reality. Listening to Zarathustra and Khalil Gibran is a good and great entertainment: you may sob and you may have tears and you may feel great, but it is all hot air! You remain the same – nothing changes in you. I speak sometimes on Buddha, on Chuang Tzu, on Zarathustra, just to give you an insight into the heights people have reached, just to make you aware of those distant stars. They are not so distant as they look – people like us have reached there. It is within your grasp.
That is the reason why, on Zarathustra and Buddha and Bodhidharma and a thousand others, I have spoken to create a longing in you. But just the longing is not enough. Then I have to give you the path; then I have to sort out the mess that you are, and put your fragments, which are spread all over the space… to find out where your legs are and where your head is and put them all together, and somehow push you on the path.
The question-answer sessions are concerned with you, your growth, your progress – the place where you are. And the discourses on Zarathustra or Kahlil Gibran are concerned with the places where you should be – but you are not yet there. So I disagree with you. I can understand that you enjoy the dream that is created when one is hearing about Buddha…
You have nothing to do; you are just listening to great poetry, listening to a great song, listening to great music, seeing a great dance. But you are not singing, you are not becoming the poetry, you are not becoming the dance. And I want you to become the dance; I want you to reach to the greatest heights that anybody has ever reached.
So I have to keep a balance, talking about the dreamlands and then talking about the dark caves where you are hiding, very reluctant to come out in the light. You want to hear about light and you enjoy, but you remain hiding in your dark cave. You want to hear about strange lands, beautiful stories and parables, but it is mere entertainment.
You should be more concerned when I am answering the questions, because they can change your reality. I have to do both jobs: create the longing, give a glimpse of the goal, and then clean the path and grease your parts – because you have never moved in many lives; you are sitting in a junkyard – to put you back on the wheels and rolling…
I have been speaking on hundreds of mystics, but it is always that I am speaking. And I know perfectly well that if by chance, somewhere, I meet these people, they are going to be very angry. They are going to be really enraged and say, “I never meant that.” But my problem is, “How can I know what you have meant?” I can only mean what I mean. So whether it is Zarathustra or Buddha or Jesus or Chuang Tzu, once they pass through me they have my signature on them. You are always listening to me.
When I am answering your questions I am more concerned with your growth, with your actual problems; they are more earthly. So don’t be deceived; many people have been deceived. I have been reminding you, but people’s memories are not great.” The Golden Future (1988). Session 9, p. 86.
Osho on hearing versus listening
“We only hear what we want to hear. 98% of what you hear is prevented from reaching to you, due to passing through thoughts, conditioning… To listen is a great art – people only hear; very few are able to listen.” The Golden Future (1998). Session 16. 19.05.1987.
Osho answers a question from Devageet on his gaps
“And you say, “I relax more and more and then the gaps…” Those gaps are inevitable. You may have heard many orators and many speakers: I am not an orator, I am not a speaker. The orator prepares what he is going to say; it is his own mind. And you will not find the orator leaving gaps; that is against the art of oratory.
One of my vice-chancellors, even though I was only a student in the university, made it a point that he should be informed whereever I was going to speak. No matter what, he would cancel all appointments and he would come and listen to me. And I asked him, “You are a great historian…” He was a professor of history in the Oxford University, before he became the vice-chancellor in India. He said, “I love your gaps. Those gaps show that you are absolutely unprepared, you are not an orator. You wait for God, and if he is waiting… then what can you do? You have to wait in silence. When he speaks, you speak; when he is silent, you are silent.”
The gaps are more important than the words because the words can be distorted by the mind but not the gaps. And if you can understand the gaps, then you have understood the silent message, the silent presence of the divine…
Devageet, try to listen to my silences. You will not find any speaker in the whole world speaking the way I speak. Just in the middle of the sentence, there is a gap. It is deliberate, it is significant, it has more meaning than all the words. In fact, I use all the words so that I can create a gap. Otherwise how to create a gap?
Listen to the gaps, listen to my silence, listen to the silence of the trees and the stars – because silence is nobody’s monopoly, it is neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian; it is the only thing which is not monopolized by anybody – and you will start finding the mysteries that I want to speak about. But just the words are not capable of expressing them.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Session 2, p. 16 & Session 29, p. 290.
Osho on knowledge versus knowing
“And you can go on eating from the Tree of Knowledge, and it is not going to nourish you and it is not going to fulfil you. You will be full of rubbish – because knowledge is information, it is not experience. And only experience liberates. In fact only experience makes you a knower.
To be knowledgeable is one thing, to be a knower totally another. The modern philosopher is knowledgeable; he eats from the Tree of Knowledge. The Pythagorean philosopher, his concept of the philosopher, is that of a seer, a knower. He meditates, and slowly slowly drowns himself in existence. He becomes part of the whole, he becomes one with the whole, and then there is a knowing of a totally different kind, qualitatively different.” Philosophia Perennis (1981). 30.12.1978; Sannyas, 1979:4.
Osho on wisdom
“The most fundamental question before Gautam the Buddha was “What is wisdom?” And the same is true for everyone. Down the ages the sages have been asking “What is wisdom?” If it can be answered by you, authentically rooted in your own experience, it brings a transformation of life. You can repeat the definitions of wisdom given by others, but they won’t help you. You will be repeating them without answering them, and that is one of the pitfalls to be avoided on the path. Never repeat what you have not experienced yourself. Avoid knowledge, only then can you grow in wisdom.
Knowledge is something borrowed from others, wisdom grows in you. Wisdom is inner, knowledge outer. Knowledge comes from the outside, clings to your surface, gives you great pride and keeps you closed, far, far away from understanding. Understanding cannot be studied; nobody can teach it to you. You have to be a light unto yourself. You have to seek and search within your own being, because it is already there at the very core. If you dive deep you will find it. You will have to learn how to dive deep within yourself – not in the scriptures but within your own existence. The taste of your own experience is wisdom. Wisdom is an experience, not information.” The Book of the Books. Vol V / The Dhammapada (1991), Series 5; The Book (1984). Vol III, p. 477.
Osho on listening to Zen anecdotes
“Maneesha, listening to these dialogues and anecdotes, the more important thing should not be forgotten. This is not a school or a university. You are not here learning any knowledge. You are being transformed, awakened. All these sutras are meant only to wake you up, to catch your attention – which is vibrating continuously, moving around thousands of things; to make it absolutely here is the whole purpose of all these sutras.
This is possible only if you are only listening and not interpreting, listening and not making judgements, listening and not saying, “Yes, this is right; no, this is not right…” You don’t have to say anything. That is not the point of the whole process. The point is that you can be just a listener without any judgement. That prepares you for your meditation.” Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989). Chapter 6, p. 124.
“Just a few days ago Hasya had gone to New Delhi for a press conference. She was showing a small video there about the ashram and its activities. She was very much puzzled that when I started speaking, the journalists who had come, started looking… somebody this way, somebody that way, somebody downwards. She could not understand what was the matter. Then the Delhi friends told her, “You don’t know, they all think that even to look into the eyes of this man is dangerous, or to hear his voice. You will be hypnotized.”
Thousand of people want to come here. But they will come only when I am dead, because then I cannot hypnotize them. Then they will bring flowers and offerings, too. Right now it is dangerous. And you know it is dangerous! Even though I am hiding my eyes with sunglasses, it does not matter. The energy that hypnotizes passes through the glasses. Just last night, Avirbhava and Anando have shown you: the energy knows no barrier. I have started wearing these glasses just to console people, so they can look towards me without fear – and I am going to do whatever I am supposed to do!” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 4, page 83.
Osho on truth and trust
“Before speaking about truth and trust, I can only imagine two persons who could have made that statement: “I don’t exaggerate – I lie like my master.” One is Subhuti, who is not here, and the other is Krishna Prem, who is sitting here.
Both are ex-journalists, and although they have been with me and they love me, they cannot drop their old orientation.
It is true that all devices are lies, but because they work, they are true…
It is very difficult to forget your old orientation. Journalists deal only with rumors and lies and all kinds of rubbish.
You cannot say such a thing about me. I may sometimes commit mistakes about facts, because that is not my world. For fifteen years I have not read a single book. Whatever information I get, I get from my secretaries – they read it to me. I don’t know whether it is exactly true or not, and I don’t care.
My concern is totally different. My concern is somehow to bring you to an awakening. I will use everything possible; it doesn’t matter whether it is factual or non-factual.
A journalist lives in the world of facts, he has nothing to do with truth. All facts are not necessarily truths. They may appear…” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 5, p. 194.
Osho on Neeraj, the poet
“Those who have lived a life of being a stranger come to know strange things, which ordinarily you will not come across in life. Just the other day I received a letter from a sannyasin who was present in a Jaina gathering, which also had one night invited the great poets of the country. One of the greatest poets of contemporary India, Neeraj, was there – he has been here, so you all are acquainted with him – and he was hooted down, forced to leave the stage, and the reason was that he mentioned my name. He introduced himself before the recital saying, “All my poetry belongs to Rajneesh. He is my source of inspiration.”
Thousands of writers and poets go on repeating what I am saying, but don’t have the courage to make it clear to people from where their inspiration comes. Sheer fear of the crowd! But Neeraj is a man of all the qualities of a lion. He said, “It does not matter even if you shout. This hooliganism, this goonda-ism, won’t make any difference.” He left the stage saying, “Long live Rajneesh!”
People are afraid to come here, and you can see the reason: if somebody knows that they have been here, then they must be connected with me in some way or other. There are many people who want to be here, but do not have the guts to face the masses. Even to come to hear me needs courage! Nobody is asked to agree with me; they may disagree with me – but even for disagreement they cannot come to listen to me. They read my books hiding them under the covers of other books, because if somebody knows that they are reading my books, their respectability is at risk.” Isan. No Footprints in the Blue Sky (1989). Chapter 4, p. 82.
Osho on listening
“As you listen to music, listen to me that way. Don’t listen to me as you listen to a philosopher; listen to me as you listen to the birds. Listen to me as you listen to a waterfall. Listen to me as you listen to the wind blowing through the pines. Listen to me, not through the discursive mind, but through the participant heart…
Put the mind aside. While listening to me, don’t try to understand, just listen silently. Don’t figure out whether what I am saying is true or not true. Don’t be bothered with its truth or untruths. I am not asking you to believe in it, so there is no need to think about its truth or untruth…
Listen to me just as you listen to the birds singing or the wind passing through the pine trees or the sound of running water.” (Osho Times International. 04.04.2016)
Osho on a Japanese listener not knowing English
“Anand Alok, the real communion between the master and the disciple is certainly not through words. On the contrary, words are hindrances. Your Japanese girlfriend is absolutely right. If she can enjoy just being in my presence, there is no need to learn the language…
Your girlfriend is in a far more blessed state – please don’t disturb her. Let her enjoy a silent communion. It is the ultimate as far as communion is concerned.
She is fortunate that she does not understand the English language; hence her mind cannot interfere. She can understand, but not what I am saying. She can feel me, but not the meaning of my words. I am to her just a presence which makes her silent, which helps her to be more conscious, and she is absolutely right not to learn the language, because she is growing. Why bother about what I am saying? If you can understand me, what I am, there is no point in understanding what I am saying.” The New Dawn (1989). Session 26, pp. 318,320.
Osho talks on disciples’ writings and their understanding
“And this is true, because as Gautam Buddha died… He never wrote anything, and he never allowed in his life that anything he said be written, for a simple reason: If you are listening, there is no need to make any notes. And if you are making notes, you are not listening… He said, “When I am dead you can write anything you want.”
And the first thing that his disciples did was collect forty-two years’ discourses, morning and evening, personal interviews given to emperors, to kings and to disciples. And you will be surprised to know that there were thirty-six schools immediately, saying that he had said this, not this. Their only difference was… They were all devoted to Gautam Buddha, but they were saying that he has said this – and there were thirty-six versions.
So there are thirty-six versions of Buddhist scriptures. They are not reporting Buddha, they are reporting what they have heard – according to their consciousness, according to their intelligence, according to their presence.
So it is not just in beginning the question; it has to be a deep understanding in you: always remember to make it clear that you are reporting what you have heard. It is not necessarily synonymous with what I have said.
Maneesha is saying, “I heard you say” – and I appreciate her understanding in using the words “I heard”…” The Hidden Splendor (1987). Session 23, p. 259.
Osho on writing down Buddha’s teachings
“And the last day, when he [Buddha] was dying, he was asked by Ananda, “You have not allowed any of your words to be written in your lifetime because when people misunderstand you in your very presence, what meaning will they take from a book? How they will distort cannot be conceived of. So you did not allow us to write anything. But after your death…
Please give us permission, because the words that you have spoken are pure gold, and they should be preserved for the coming generations.”
So Buddha said, “You can write them, but I have one condition: each scripture that you make out of my words should begin, ‘I have heard Gautam Buddha say…’ Don’t start it, ‘Gautam Buddha said this.’ You simply report what you have heard.”
That is why all Buddhist scriptures start with the same sentence: “I have heard Gautam Buddha saying this.” The implication is clear – that he may not have meant what I have heard; he may not have said it at all, but this is what I have heard.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 7, p. 174.
About Osho on page 182-185. Excerpt:
“His talks to disciples and seekers from all over the world have been published in more than six hundred fifty volumes, and translated into over thirty languages. And he says, “My message is not a doctrine, not a philosophy. My message is a certain alchemy, a science of transformation, so only those who are willing to die as they are and be born again into something so new that they cannot even imagine it right now… only those few courageous people will be ready to listen, because listening is going to be risky. Listening, you have taken the first step towards being reborn. So it is not a philosophy that you can just make an overcoat of and go bragging about. It is not a doctrine where you can find consolation for harassing questions… No, my message is not some verbal communication. It is far more risky. It is nothing less than death and rebirth.” (Dogen. The Zen Master. A Search and a Fulfillment (1989), p. 184)
“Bhagwan was exceedingly well-informed about so many subjects, but he could also upset those whose field of knowledge he was commenting on, by quoting figures they knew simply not to be “correct.” I loved his irreverent attitude towards the factual, that he made a distinction between what was a fact and what was a truth, between knowledge and knowing.” (Forman 1987, p. 89)
On reading Osho
“When I first picked up a book by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh it was as though a shaft of sunlight had illuminated my darkness. My life had been at the crossroads and the past seemed to have lost all significance. The potent question “What’s it all about?” had taken possession of me; answers from any normal source no longer satisfied. Suddenly through Bhagwan’s words, meaning flashed into my life and all the hypocrisy, hatred and violence of the surrounding world was put in perspective. All at once I knew that my childhood hope for a better tomorrow, a Golden Future, was possible.
If Bhagwan’s words touch you the way they touched me, then you are in for a treat like you’ve never had before. Bells will ring in your heart; you knew it all before but somehow you just couldn’t say it. Little explosions of some hitherto unknown energy will rip through you and you’ll feel like shouting out in joy – finally you’ve found something real, someone who knows what’s all about, who shares your hope for a shining tomorrow. You are off on a sleigh ride of delight, and it’s too late to stop.” (The Golden Future (1988). Introduction by Sw Anand Somen)
“i went to rajyoga center and borrowed three of bhagwan’s books at a time
working in the office during the day… reading a bhagwan book each night
i must have read at least two hundred books of bhagwan in these ten months
as they said that i had read their entire library
i never read to learn anything or for study
reading him was pure poetry… just sheer bliss
i could feel his breath in the words and the silences in between as if he
was there in real life… just drowned into all that he spoke and into the
wordless silences that transmitted the real message
i did not remember anything i was reading
just the buzz of silence it surrounded me with
just the continuous rhythm and flow… its ring of truth
my being was nourished just looking at his photos… his gestures
i was beginning to feel closer to him by sheer distance
having gone to poona and not having seen him in real life
the flame in me became hungry and searching for him
i began to appreciate all the great love stories that i had read
always finding them too sweet and silly
now for the first time i knew what it really felt like
to be in love with a master
to burn and be consumed in the flame
like a moth seeking the light.” (Rajnish 2008, p. 31)
On listening to Osho
“His talks to disciples and seekers from all over the world have been published in more than six hundred volumes, and translated into over thirty languages. And he says, “My message is not a doctrine, not a philosophy. My message is a certain alchemy, a science of transformation, so only those who are willing to die as they are and be born again into something so new that they cannot even imagine it right now… only those few courageous people will be ready to listen, because listening is going to be risky.”
“Listening you have taken the first step towards reborn. So it is not a philosophy that you can just make an overcoat of and go bragging about. It is not a doctrine where you can find consolation for harassing questions. No, my message is not some verbal communication. It is far more risky. It is nothing less than death and rebirth.” (About Osho. In: At the Feet of the Master (1992), p. 392. Darshan Compilation)
Tarpan on reading Osho and compiling questions-answers
“When I started reading Osho in 1996, I did not absorb the entire text. I clearly distinguished the discourses as per a) sutras and parables from scriptures such as the Dhammapada, the Upanishads or the Bible, b) Osho’s comments and c) questions from disciples and his answers.
At first I only read Osho’s talks and left out the sutras, giving them sometimes only a second glimpse whilst I almost always skipped the entire question-and-answer discourses.
After many months, I started reading not only Osho’s words, but also the excerpts or sutras, but still left out all question-and-answer discourses. And then didn’t bother reading the questions but only Osho’s answers. “Why waste time?” I was thinking, “All these questions, ultimately, are just coming from ‘ordinary’ people. Only the answers are from an enlightened master, and therefore worth reading.” I read Osho’s books in this manner for about one or two years.
Then I started reading also the questions. Reading Osho’s answer after reading the question definitely made the experience more precious. Slowly slowly, I found myself enjoying the questions too, as much as Osho’s answer. I could see that each and every question asked to Osho was absolutely relevant also to me, especially those that are directly connected with meditation, the hurdles and confusion on the path. Like all Osho lovers, I too had felt many times that “Oh! This is my question and this is the answer I need to hear this very moment!”
My way of reading Osho’s books changed again: whenever I received a book by Osho, I started to first take a quick’ glimpse at all the questions, in all the chapters. Real reading would be done later on. Rather than being only a member of the audience, listening to Osho from the corner of a crowded hall, I felt that while reading the questions I was connecting to the person asking the question, and to the moment the question had emerged in them. Perhaps this is the ‘magic of being present’ or ‘the rebelliousness of being spontaneous’ as Osho keeps tempting us into.
Now it feels to me that the way I used to read earlier was like reading some document from a far-away past. But the way I read now is as alive as any situation could be. I understand that all these questions and answers have played a very important role in bringing me to this juicy ‘now’.
Going through the thousands of questions Osho was asked, I can see that they were far more truthful, sharp, sincere, intelligent, rebellious and enlightening than any answer given by the so-called masters. And I am not even comparing those to Osho’s answers.
My love affair with questions spurred me to make a compilation of all the questions Osho was asked, including the links to each of Osho’s answers. It’s a simple copy-and-paste game I am playing with on the laptop for my personal use. (Here thanks to Swami Anand Utsav for his encouragement and help.) I thought that just taking ‘an easy walk’ among the questions would be an amazing journey; to experience the unbelievable range of the phenomenon called the mind and endless spectrum of issues one would be tempted to know about – and then, of course, read Osho’s answers.
I selected the books in alphabetically order and thought of collecting the questions under different subjects so that picking out a question would be easier. Up until now I have compiled the questions of about fifty books. When I counted the questions on each subject I was astonished by the amount of questions that were about Osho as a person. Another most popular subject was ‘questions’ – the art of questioning, the mind games behind a question. Comparatively fewer questions were asked about awareness, meditation, witnessing, although Osho then introduced those subjects in most answers. We would have thought that most questions were about seeker’s dilemmas, about relationships, love, and sex too! But there is definitely a chance for different trends in other series to talks I still have to go through.” (Sw Dhyan Tarpan. www.oshonews.com/2018/08/28)
Vasant Joshi writes
“India is a paradox, constant images of contradictions. Hardly anything makes sense if one goes by logic, and yet at another level, all seems to fall into place. Hence, if one has lived in India for a week, one can easily write a book; if one has lived for a month, he or she can manage to write an article; but if one makes a yearlong stay or more in this country, one can barely write a paragraph – that’s how complex India is…
Being the master story-teller that he is, Osho uses rich tales to help us discover, see, hear and sense India. In describing India through anecdotes and insights, he reveals each nuance, each subtle distinction, each color, with incredible clarity and playfulness. He opens up multiple avenues to understand India. Osho loves India, because he knows India.” (Joshi 2000, p. 15)
Sw Dharmabodhi (Count Christoph Keyserlingk) writes
“For more then twelve years I have listened to Bhagwan almost every day. When He was in silence, or I could not be with Him, I listened to tapes of His discourses or read his books. For me, it is therefore an extraordinary phenomenon that I sit with Him in Buddha Hall in Poona and I am still thrilled and excited by His words. Of course the words alone are a small part of what is happening; they are only the surface. But the surface is already beautiful; it carries the atmosphere of that incredible presence – or rather no-presence – which is Bhagwan.
Even in His words He expresses a glimpse of what He says is inexpressible: the melting of our inner emptiness with the whole existence. From every possible angle, He shows us that such an experience is there for everybody, that it is nothing special, we only have to go in.” (Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988). Introduction, p. viii)
“In contrast to Narayan Swamiji, Osho does not leave the interpretation to his readers but moves on to offer his own, which makes his texts oscillate between a narrative and a didactic style. Such oscillations were welcomed by his readers, as Osho’s books – most of which had been compiled after his passing – remained widely read 15 years later. The book I quoted from here [From Sex to Superconsciousness (1968)] was particularly remarkable. Not only did it thematize sexuality despite its unspeakabilty in most Indian contexts; it even advocated an acceptance of sexual desire, though primarily as a phase one needs to transcend to attain samadhi (bliss). Thus it was with great surprise I observed elderly retirees reading this book in Haridwar. One woman commented that ‘he explains things very well’ though she disliked his stance on sexuality. Another appreciated the way in which his ‘simple language’ had enhanced her understanding of how she could attain moksha (liberation from rebirth) through right living. Even his sceptics appreciated his style, such as the retired doctor who termed him a ‘perverted genius'”. (Copeman 2014, p. 186)
(Note: To readers already familiar with Osho’s books, or those who have had a look at the Bibliography in Vol III, it may come as a surprise that a researcher can state “Osho’s books – most of which had been compiled after his passing -…”. Which once again reminds us of the reliability of sources, even when written by a presumably notable researcher).
“At the age of nine I discovered Osho when I saw his picture in a newspaper with an article about him. I was attracted to him, especially to his eyes, and wished to know more about him. From then on I would check the newspaper every day and would quite often discover news about him. A few months later my beloved grandmother gave me one of his Hindi audiotapes. She was my best friend and always encouraged me to explore and develop myself. She taught me a beautiful line, “As long as you are harmless to others, do what you want!”
When I played the tape and heard Osho’s voice the first time, something instantaneously touched me deep inside – I was magnetically drawn to his voice. At that time I knew only a little Hindi from daily use, but he spoke in a highly refined language, so I could not understand much. Just once in a while I would pick up the meaning of some words, otherwise I would just listen to his voice.
I was crazy about listening to him and before I got another recording I must have heard the first one a few hundred times. I listened to him and cried for many hours for no reason at all. After the tape entered my life, it became a new and very different experience of life at my tender age.
Slowly I understood that I had fallen in love with Osho. Rather than calling it “falling in love,” I started rising in love with him.
Soon my love affair with my master was noticed by my successful but ambitious parents and it created a strong reaction in them. And from then on it became a controversial issue in my family, but I stood up for my feelings.
As time passed, I became more and more desperate to see Osho, but I was too young and could not go alone to see him. When I was studying in ninth grade I heard he had left his body. This was a huge shock for me! Till then I was waiting to be able to go and be with him – it was the goal of my life. But the news left me deeply disappointed and I felt deserted. Later, I still wanted to experience the place where his divine body had lived (the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune), but I decided to finish my studies first and then move to Pune to meditate in his energy field.” (Mahadevi 2006, p. 4)
“After maybe a month after that visit, I was finally persuaded to go to a discourse, much against my will in fact. It was so bizarre, sitting in this great big hall, surrounded by people who all seemed focused, but on what? Anyway, after some amazing music, silence and then mad babbling by the audience there appeared the star attraction, this enormous pillar of light floating into the hall. I was blown away and did not know why, I felt tears course down my face, without any reason, I do not remember anything of what He said or what was happening, all I knew was that I was touched in a way that was totally alien yet familiar to me.” (Amrita. In: Bhagawati 2010, p. 23)
“Museum pieces are not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Osho Archive has some gems that pinpoint moments of history. Here’s one.
The place: London. The time: fall 1978. The occasion: Indira Gandhi arrives in London. And a group of bright-orange-robed sannyasins are there to greet her and present her with a book by Osho. A gracious lady, despite being a politician, she thanks them in a hand-written letter. “I already have quite a library of your master’s [Osho’s] literature, which is stimulating and thought provoking,” she ads. Hmmm, yes…” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:19)
Sadhvi reading Osho in 1980
“It was 1980, and I was 22 years old. I had dropped out of college and was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I started hanging out at a metaphysical bookshop in downtown Cleveland and discovered numerology, astrology, past lives, Atlantis, Gurdjieff… It was all so fascinating!
Gary worked at the store and told me about this far-out living mystic named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and suggested I should get into him. I picked up ‘Psychology of the Esoteric’ and couldn’t put it down. By the time I had finished it, every question I had about anything was answered, and my mind was empty.” (Ma Sadhvi. In: Viha Connection, 2017:3)
Lady Gaga on reading Osho
“Oh yes, Osho. I read a lot of Osho books and I have been reading a lot about [Osho’s views on] rebellion, which is my favorite so far. And how creativity is the greatest form of rebellion in life. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in and to fight for equality. Equality is one of the most important things in my life – social, political, economic equality – these are all things I fight for in my country as a citizen. So I read Osho because not only do I love his work and what he writes about, but I am kind of an Indian hippie!” (Goldman 2014, p. 177)
Heading: A Category Unto Himself
“After reading His books and listening to His tapes, one concludes that after ages someone is born like Him who not only could discourse on meditation, but was meditation personified and begins a new era. His books and tapes will continue to inspire mankind in the future and awaken sleeping souls.” (Acharya Pandit Umanath Sharma Shastri. The Mauritius Santan Dharma Temples Federation. In: Osho Times International (India), 1990:19)
Heading: Reading Osho
“Swami Prem Amrito made the following announcement in Buddha Hall about Osho’s recent guidance on reading His books.
“Because He is no longer speaking, Osho has suggested that people read His books to understand His vision and remain in contact with what He is saying.
“People who are participating at the Multiversity will now have books specially selected for their courses and trainings. Osho said that when the leaders and participants read His books, the experience becomes deeper, and both will have a better understanding of the whole process involved.
“Osho also said it is good to send His books to friends:
‘We are in such a small minority in this stupid world, we have to do what we can to put these words out.'” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:3)
(Note: These guidelines on reading his books were the final words given by Osho on this issue before leaving his body).
Bodhena recalls from Buddha Hall
“Personally, I had never liked that hullabaloo with music, clapping and what not before and after discourse. I’d prefer the pin-drop silence that had been there in the old times, any time.
It was also Osho who had changed. When I had first come to Poona, Osho had been a man in his prime, full of fiery energy, while now he was coming across as a bit more grandaddy-like. He was giving discourses again, his health permitting, but to me the discourses seemed to be lacking quite a bit of the temperament they’d had in the seventies. He was also speaking a lot slower.
It was very apparent that his body was not well, and he looked increasingly frail. It had always been a treat just to watch him move his hands while he was speaking, incredibly beautiful and graceful mudras. Now it seemed that he could use his arms and hands, in particular the left one, only with great difficulty. On his way in and out of Buddha Hall he almost didn’t seem to be touching the floor. While he had always been moving very lightly on his feet, we were now afraid that he might actually fall, that something as small as an errant breeze might topple him over.
One of his trademark moves throughout the years had been that, after sitting down, he’d slide the thong off his left foot, and then cross his left leg over his right knee. Always that way around, never otherwise, and he’d remain in that position for the whole duration of the discourse, or satsang. Then, sometime in the fall of 1988, he stopped doing that, from one day to the next, and continued sitting with his legs parallel to each other, both feet on the floor.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 166)
“Rajneesh’s books too – more than six hundred volumes of transcriptions of his lectures at latest count – had been a source of inspiration. He mocked the dogma of organized religion even as he made previously impenetrable religious texts accessible. In his discourses, Buddha and Jesus, Moses, Krishna and Shiva were thoroughly modern spiritual psychologists, reminding us of what we already knew but had somehow forgotten. All religions, Rajneesh said, “although separate” are one. All had the same basic message: Go inside; the kingdom of heaven is within; celebrate the divinity of your own ordinary lives.
By the mid-seventies my personal interest had become professional. The National Institute of Mental Health, where I then worked as a research psychiatrist, had asked me to explain the appeal of the hundreds of “cults” which seemed to be claiming the minds and hearts of so many young Americans. I spent time as a participant-observer with perhaps two dozen groups – including the Moonies and the Hare Krishna, Siddha Yoga, EST, and the Scientologists – but I found myself returning most often to Rajneesh and his sannyasins. All the leaders offered their adherents methods to access transcendent experience, answers to the questions that plagued them, a supportive community and a sense of mission. All had a certain charisma, and all eventually flirted with or plunged into, authoritarian leadership. But none of them was as psychologically sophisticated, as intelligent, as irreverent, as modern, and as fascinating to me as Rajneesh.” (James S. Gordon. In: Palmer 1993, p. 140)
Mistlberger in summarizing Osho’s work
“The heart of Osho’s work can be summarized as ‘you are what you have been seeking, but you must first become unburdened before you can begin to understand this’. In order to walk this path, face into your ego honestly, release its pent up tensions, anxiety, and negative emotion. Then be a silent witness. Settle into your natural self. And, finally, celebrate the energy awakened by this via creativity, conscious sensuality, laughter, enjoyment of all that life offers – live totally.
Osho’s ultimate message is Tantric (live totally with awareness) and Zen (be still and see the truth), but he takes these teachings to a more comprehensive level by integrating them with modern psychotherapy…
Osho’s effectiveness lay in his breadth of spirit that embraced cutting edge wisdom, in particular, the psychotherapies of the human potential movement – Reichian bodywork, breathwork, active meditations, group therapy of many varieties, and so on…
Osho’s speciality was in guiding modern men and women from where they are, to deeper within themselves, with the key piece to that being ‘where they are’.” (Mistlberger 2010, pp. 463-465)
Sloterdijk, German professor and philosopher, on listening to Osho and Indian verbal versus the Western culture of writing
“Also auf Rajneesh lasse ich nicht etwas kommen, obwohl es dunkle Punkte in seiner Gestalt gibt. Zudem wirken seine Reden, vor allem die späteren, für westliche Rezipienten bestürzend primitiv. Sicher hat dieser Eindruck von übermässiger Vereinfachung mit dem Bruch zwischen einer mündlichen Kultur wie der indische und einer schriftlichen wie der europäischen zu tun. Für unsere aufgedrehten Schriftgehirne können die Botschaften aus der Mündlichkeit nur simplistisch wirken, oder unterkomplex, wie es heute so schön heisst. Ein mittelmässiger Sekretär in der Schriftlichkeit muss sich einem Grossmeister in der Mündlichkeit unendlich überlegen fühlen, der Medienwechsel bringt das mit sich. Doch diese Überlegenheitsgefühle sind trügerisch, daran zu zweifeln wäre eine Dummheit.” (Sloterdijk 1996, p. 107)
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