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.
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)
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