7.5 Discourses in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
All discourse series are presented in Volume III / Bibliography / Poona Two, where bibliographic data as well as excerpts from introductions and opening discourses are to be found. Lectures and Discourses 1964-1990 are listed in Volume III / Sources.
In the following sections with discourses in Chuang Tzu, and later on in Buddha Hall, some quotes have been selected which may give us an understanding of changes in discourse format, the introduction of new meditations and life in the commune.
Now back in Poona, discourse series started in English, only four days after his arrival, with The Messiah, 08.01.pm, 1987. The first years after the return to Poona were very intense with both morning and evening discourses each day up to Om Shanti Shanti Shanti in March 1988. From then on only evening discourses were held in Buddha Hall on a daily basis, until the continuity was partly interrupted due to the decline in Osho’s health, from October 1988 until the last discourse in April 1989. Some of the longer periods without discourses were: Seven weeks from September until November 6th 1987, 07.02 – 22.02.1988. 7.11-30.11.1988, 7.12-25.12.1988, and 22.02-01.04.1989. Osho was in these periods resting to recover from the effects of the poisoning in USA, which now had a heavy impact on his health.
Chuang Tzu Auditorium
“It is an ancient story, told by Chuang Tzu – in whose name this auditorium is dedicated. I love many people, but Chuang Tzu stands separate as a class, a category in himself. He was really a great rascal saint. I love him, not because he was a saint – because saints are one rupee a dozen – but because he was a rascal saint, which is rare, a very rare combination.” The Messiah (1987). Vol II, Chapter 8, p. 159.
Arriving in Poona
“On January 3 , 1987 in the early morning Osho arrives back in Poona. And after having a rest for a few days, He starts speaking again in Chuang Tzu Auditorium every morning and evening. His body now looks quite strong and His voice is very fiery like in the early days. During the discourses on Zarathustra, He is dancing with us while coming and going. It feels like an energy play going on between master and disciple. The whole place is again throbbing with His energy.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 131)
Punya on discourses in Chuang Tzu
“In the meantime, discourses were held in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, the roofed hall attached to Lao Tzu, where we had experienced so many darshans in the past. Because of its small size, we could attend the discourses only every other day. As part of the security measures we introduced frisking, which was similar to techniques being used at airports.” (Punya 2015, p. 343)
A change was seen in the discourse format in Chuang Tzu Auditorium with dance and music like in Rajneeshpuram and unlike in Poona One. Later on in Buddha Hall the format was expanded also to include meditations led by Osho.
“And then Osho started dancing with us. He danced with us as He entered Chuang Tzu Auditorium for the discourses, and when He left… This period reminded me very much of our energy darshans from Poona I and I felt Osho was having to do a lot of “work” to rebuild the force of energy that was present here.” (Shunyo 1991, p. 152)
Photo 14. Early morning in Chuang Tzu Auditorium January 1987 with the jungle garden outside mosquito net. Own photo.
kan forbedres, lidt lysere??
Ma Deva Yachana writes on music in Chuang Tzu
“In the morning, Chuang Tzu Auditorium looks like an idyllic clearing in a forest where magical events happen. When the sun announces the beginning of the morning by casting the first distinct silhouettes of the trees, the musicians are the first to make their appearance, settle down in the clearing and play tunes which fit into the first activities of the morning forest. Soon the clearing quickly fills with hundreds of friends, who join in the music as soon as they sit down. They sing and clap until the Great Wizard appears. Then the party really gets going, the quiet of the morning forest is interrupted by a ten-minute ecstasy of joy and humming of jubilation, until the Great Wizard sits down and quiet returns. Where else in the world is music made like this? Nowhere, agree all the musicians.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:8)
Devageet on the setting in Chuang Tzu
“The Chuang Tzu Auditorium, where the discourses take place, has a circular, open design, and no walls, just pillars, so that even the birds and the trees can join in the celebration around Bhagwan. There is a new vibrancy in the air this time. We can all feel it. Life around Bhagwan has always been intense, but right now there is a new quality. I can see it shining in eyes newly soft and brimming; I can hear it in the music that we play and sing at each discourse as our hearts take flight; I can taste it in the delicious silence which dissolves five hundred people into itself twice every day as we all sit at Bhagwan’s feet.
Is it the incredible energy Bhagwan is pouring out as he dances with us, his robes shimmering, his great beard flying madly as his arms become a blur of pure rhythm? Is this his new game? He brings the whole auditorium full of people to a peak of melody and dance; then suddenly his arms lift to the sky, and everything stops! One moment there is a roaring torrent of almost blistering ecstasy; the next, a silence beyond anything.
He is giving us a glimpse of eternity, and we are getting it.” (The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Introduction)
“As Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, in the days when he returned to his commune in Pune, his discourses were initially as fiery as those delivered during the Oregon and World Tour days. But they soon mellowed into the most deeply meditative ones he had ever given – they veered towards Zen and, for the first time, began to include group meditation.” (Jayaram. In: Keerti 2000, p. 105)
Discourses in Chuang Tzu
“So, cool our Master isn’t; again he is stirring up as much as possible. It’s a hot time to be with the Master again. We don’t know how long he can stay here, but we are figuring on four months or so. The discourses are taking place in Chuang Tzu auditorium, with a T.V. hooked up for live transmission to Radha Hall, next door, for those who don’t have a pass to enter at that time.
At the moment we can all see him at least once a day. The discourses, apart from the fiery inserts hawking up the society, are on the subject of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, disciples questions abandoned for now in public speaking, although you can still write and get an answer.
He is dancing with us again before and after he talks… It’s definitely the time to be here, the biggest gathering for a year and a half since the last summer celebration in Rajneeshpuram.” (Dhyanraj. Sannyas News, 31.01.1987)
Heading: How is the ‘Bhagwan’?
“Daily discourses (8-10 a.m. and 7-9 p.m) draw a big audience. Initiation into “sannyas” is done twice a week. You can no longer walk in unchecked. “This is not a tourist spot,” says a disciple at the gate. Even those in the process of becoming disciples are supposed to pin up an identity card officially given. Discourses have been made open to outsiders on payment…
Personal discourses have begun twice each day. But unlike in the past the Bhagwan confines himself to his private residence Lao-Tzu, so named after an eminent ancient Chinese philosopher. Disciples file in gingerly. The majority remains outside, in Radha Hall where the discourse is relayed on video.
Each discourse begins with 15 minutes of rhythmic, often rhapsodic music, over which time disciples seem to grow progressively engrossed, and begin clapping in rhythm. As the music reaches a crescendo, the Bhagwan enters, and then smiling beats time with his outstretched hands. Sighs and mirthful giggles from the audience. Suddenly the Bhagwan raises his hands to indicate stop. Silence descends immediately. The discourse begins.
But despite this build-up “Bhagwan” Rajneesh in the opinion of this reporter, who attended his discourses before 1980, and corroborated with others who did likewise, has decidedly lost some of his earlier commanding presence. The hypnotic gaze of his rather bulbous eyes which once transfixed audiences, has paled. But unlike as of old, when he used to sport a simple white gown, the present attire is a deep rich purple, or creamy silk, tastefully tailored gown, with cap to match. Simplicity per se, in any case, has never been a tenet of Rajneesh’s teaching.” (Vilay Lele. Poona Digest, February 1987, p. 24)
“Before each discourse, two sannyasins would bring into the hall the armchair Osho would sit in, and, once everyone was seated, one of them would open the door and wait for him to enter, closing the door as soon as he was seated. Neelam asked Kamaal, Milarepa and me to take turns with the other man who carried the chair and opened the door. Because his discourse happened twice a day, it was my turn about once a week. That was one of the most intense experiences of my life with him.
Carrying the chair before he entered was an honour and a pleasure, but to open the door was a uniquely intense experience. The door opened into a room that Osho used only as a corridor between his own room and the discourse hall. Once he entered this corridor, it seemed to take an eternity for him to walk to the hall.
I would be seated in the hall, just in front of the open door, and I could see him walking… slow… calm and aware… like a panther moving with extreme awareness while hunting prey, silently and totally present.
By the time he arrived in the hall, my mind had already left. I felt my body completely empty, free from the pressure of thinking. Very slowly he moved to the front of his chair, all the while giving a namaste. Turning slowly, he continued to greet his disciples, from one side of the hall to the other. Then after a couple of minutes he sat down while I, or one of the other guards, headed for the door in order to close it.
A similar scene would take place at the end of the discourse. Before leaving, he gave energy to all the people in the hall, waving his arms and hands in time to live music. That intense wave of energy sent everybody into ecstasy. To stand and close the door at his back was really a big exercise in awareness; by that time my body could hardly stand on its feet and my heart was drunk with the divine.
Seeing Osho’s way of walking and moving from close up was a unique experience – I’ve never seen it in another human being.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 304)
Impressions of Poona
“Of course some people work and they get a few privileges. They had a pass to see Bhagwan everyday in lecture. But when Buddha Hall is finished I figure everyone will be able to see him everyday, and that must be close. They used it on Enlightenment Day…
After the discourse Bhagwan would dance as usual but now he’s introduced the “Stop.” The music builds up, he dances, everyone dances, and at the crescendo he calls “Stop.” This happens three or four times. He said he was doing it to give us a taste of the present!…
He was totally fiery. Apparently the household was buzzing and Bhagwan himself was making phone calls and getting people in a right spin. He warned the government not to disturb the meditating lion! Also, he was hitting us. He said if the person next to you is dead then throw them out!… But then he had a ten day silence and he was gentle again.” (Dhyanraj. Sannyas News, 11.04.1987)
(Note: In Poona One Buddha Hall was inaugurated on Enlightenment Day – 21 March, the anniversary of Osho’s enlightenment. The first discourse series to be given in the reconstructed Gautama the Buddha Auditorium in Poona Two was Om Mani Padme Hum. The Sound of Silence. The Diamond in the Lotus (1989) from 07.12 am 1987 to 17.01 am 1988).
Shunyo would read maybe thirty questions from sannyasins to Osho, and he would chose the ones to be answered. The sutras were read to him in the afternoon during Poona Two by Maneesha or Shunyo, and as he wasn’t reading anything after 1981, in Poona Two no reading or preparation preceded his daily discourses.
Shunyo reading the questions to Osho
“Osho used to receive the sutra, or discourse questions at about 7.45 a.m. He started the discourse at 8.00 a.m. I read Him the questions and He would select a few, and pick a few jokes to go with them. Reading the questions and sutras I would sometimes get so touched that I would cry…
There have been a few occasions when Maneesha, who reads the sutras and questions to Osho in the discourse, has been sick, and then Vimal, her stand-in, also got sick. Although at a loss for who should read the questions (Osho always liked an English voice for the reading), Osho said, “Not Chetana, and not Vivek – they always cry.” (Shunyo 1991, p. 24)
Osho on questions sent to him
“Others are listening with absolutely relaxedness. It is not their question. In this state of relaxedness they may be able to hear much more than the person whose question is being answered. But I take every care that all the questions that reach me are answered – if not today, then tomorrow. And you are saying, “Why don’t you answer my questions?” I have answered them all. Just because your name was not mentioned you could not get them.
You are saying, “Is there a certain selection before they reach you?” There is no selection. All the questions reach me. And you are asking, ” If so, then these are wrong persons at the right place.” There are no persons. All the questions that come are sent to me without any selection. I go through all the questions, but take out four or five questions. And I try in every way that those other questions which have not been taken are also answered.” Hari Om Tat Sat (1989). Session 11, p. 108.
“One question that I did submit stands out in my memory. A couple of years into Pune Two there must have been a shortage of questions, because the “question people” in Lao Tzu House were encouraging people to submit questions. I wrote a question, but when it was quoted by Osho it was quite different from the one I had asked. I wondered if others had this same experience? I liked the changes because the question He answered was a deeper, better question than the one I had asked, and it took me deeper into myself.” (Niren. www.sannyasnews.com 14.12.2005)
Heading: Bhagwan resting
“For a few days at the end of April, Bhagwan was not speaking. Ma Yoga Neelam, Bhagwan’s personal secretary for India, told The Rajneesh Times that Bhagwan’s health was not good at the time, but it was nothing serious. He had a little problem with His shoulder, she said. She expected He would be back in Chuang Tzu after a few days more for satsang.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:11)
“A particular incident from those intimate gatherings in the smaller auditorium: When Osho sat down to talk, he would take off his left sandal and cross one leg over the other. Once when he stood to leave, he slipped as he put the sandal back on and fell, like I have never seen an adult fall. There was not a muscle in his body that tensed to prepare for the impact; he fell like a baby… or drunkard! Luckily Devageet caught him before his body hit the marble. Osho gracefully stood with support, and namasted us all as if nothing happened. But this an early sign that his body was deteriorating.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 382)
On leaving Chuang Tzu Auditorium after discourse
“When I go out, you have been through a great shower of love, peace, silence, song, music and dance. Your whole body is cleansed. You feel the freshness, you feel the profundity, so tangible that if your eyes are closed you may think I am still present here – but in a certain way nothing changes, only my body moves away from here. I am always present – whereever love longs for me and a heart beats for me, whereever a consciousness searches for me, I am available there…
There are many of you who don’t want to go away from Chuang Tzu immediately, because it is an experience in itself – in my absence you are still feeling my presence. So people linger on a little, laughing, dancing, or sometimes singing, or sometimes just sitting surrounded by an unknown energy, an unnamed energy… but yet somehow familiar.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Session 27, p. 270.
The structure chosen by Osho for his discourses on Western Mystics was two volumes with discourses on Messiah, then three volumes with sessions of Questions and Answers, then two volumes with discourses on Zarathustra followed by two volumes with sessions of Questions and Answers.
* The Messiah. Commentaries by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet.” (1987). Two volumes.
08.01 pm – 10.02 am 1987.
* The Rebellious Spirit (1987).
10.02 pm – 25.02 am 1987. Q/A.
* The Razor’s Edge (1987).
25.02 pm – 12.03 pm 1987. Q/A.
* The Hidden Splendor (1987).
12.03 pm – 26.03 am 1987. Q/A.
* Zarathustra. A God That Can Dance. Talks on Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1987).
26.03 pm – 07.04 pm. 1987.
* Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet. Talks on Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1987).
08.04 am – 19.04 am 1987.
* The Golden Future (1988).
19.04 pm – 31.05 pm 1987. Q/A.
* The New Dawn (1989).
18.06 pm – 04.07 pm 1987. Q/A.
Osho answering Kavisho in discourse, February 1987
“The day the electricity went off many times, I received many letters saying that it was such a great experience to sit silently for those few moments. In any other gathering in the world that would have been a disturbance; but in this gathering it was a tremendous experience – people loved those gaps. Perhaps those electricity failures were managed; but those people must have come to know that we enjoyed it – and since that day, those electricity failures have stopped…
Kavisho, do not think of the past and do not think of the future. I am here with you and I know your heart. You are here with me, and there is no need to fear that you will miss the opportunity. You are coming closer and closer to the fulfilment – to the ultimate contentment. You are going to be one of my most blessed disciples.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Session 13, p. 124.
(Note: Kavisho was one of Osho’s librarians in Poona Two. An unpublished manuscript on her work in the library is in Appendix)
Osho on discourse event
“(Here the electricity fails, taking with it the audio and video recording. After a few moments of silence, Bhagwan resumes speaking). If someone is trying to watch… this seems to be the police commissioner because in his orders, we are not allowed to have gaps in our discourses!” The Messiah (1987). Vol I, Chapter 8, p. 143.
Osho on Kahlil Gibran
“He is a beautiful man, but not courageous. He is still a sheep, not a shepherd; a sheep, not a lion. He should have roared like a lion – because he had the capacity. But a great man has died without even getting his books listed by the Polack pope on his black list – that no Catholic should read these books. All my books are on the black list. To read them is a direct and shortcut way to hell. In fact, I am perfectly happy that you will all be with me in hell. We will transform it into heaven. And one day you will find God knocking on the door, saying, “Please let me in, I am bored and tired of all kinds of idiots. Okay, Vimal? Yes, Bhagwan.” The Messiah (1987). Vol II, Chapter 7, p. 152.
Osho on his way of lecturing
“I have been condemned around the world because I don’t allow dialogue, my words are monologue. The people who have been condemning me, that my words are a monologue, think that it is a criticism. I don’t think it is so; it is a compliment. I am grateful to all those people who say that my discourses are a monologue. What else to do? – because there is nobody else. You are me, I am you. Dialogue is impossible, only monologue is possible. I am speaking and I am hearing also. I am speaking from one body and I am listening from all your bodies – dialogue is not possible.” The Messiah (1987). Vol II, Chapter 20, p. 427.
Speaking on the issue of succession for Freud, Jung and Adler
“This cannot happen with a Gautam Buddha, because the lower cannot understand the higher. His height was such a sunlit mountain top, and the distance was so far away that nobody ever even asked him, “Who is going to succeed you?” There were many great intellectual followers, and there were even a few enlightened followers, but the height of Buddha was such that even the enlightened ones could not think to be his successors. Nobody succeeded Gautam Buddha, nobody succeeded Mahavir. The very question never arose, because nobody reached to the height from where you can see into the very depth of human beings.” The Messiah (1987). Vol II, Chapter 22, p. 475.
Osho on answering questions
“The real thing is dissolving the question. For the answer you have to depend on somebody else; but for dissolving the question, dropping the question, you are absolutely independent. Why go on carrying questions? Drop them – because they are wounds in your soul. And remember, by dropping the questions you will not become ignorant, neither will you become knowledgeable. You will become innocent, just a pillar of silence – with no thoughts stirring your peace, disturbing your being, with no ripples on your consciousness. And this is the answer to all the questions. Questions can be millions, but the answer is one, and that answer is to be questionless.
Those who have been listening to me for years – there are many who have never asked, for the simple reason that I am not answering questions, I am destroying questions. That kind of work you can do yourself. Because you are not courageous enough to destroy them, you need my help. Just a little courage… drop the questions, and then you are the answer. Your innocence is the answer. The answer does not come in words. It comes as ecstasy, as peace, as serenity, as centering, as maturity.
And that is the difference between a teacher and a master. The teacher answers your question; the master destroys it. The teacher makes you more knowledgeable; the master helps you to become a child again – full of wonder and innocence. That is happening to you, and this is the greatest thing in existence that can happen to a person: being reborn in this very life as innocence.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Session 6, p. 54.
Osho on the holy book of the Sufis
“Only in Sufism is there a book which I can call holy. I cannot call the Bible holy, and I cannot call Gita holy. But the book of the Sufis I can call holy – for a simple reason: because nothing is written in it. It is empty. It has been coming down for almost one thousand years from the master to the disciple, and it is given only when the disciple is so ready that he can read that which is not written.
When it was given for the first time by a mystic… He was dying, and for his whole life it had been a mystery to his disciples; his whole library was available to everybody, but one book he used to keep under his pillow. He would read it only when he had closed the doors, locked the doors, taken a good look that nobody was hiding inside the room, and then he would take the book out of his bed and read it for hours. Naturally there was great curiosity. People were even hiding on the roof, looking, by moving the tiles, to see what was happening. But they could not figure it out – what kind of book this was.
They asked him again and again, and he would say, “When the time is ripe, I will give you the book.” and the day came when he was dying, and all the disciples had gathered, and it was only a question of a few more moments and he would be gone. They were feeling a little embarrassed to ask for the book, “Now that you are going, at least tell us something about the book.” To ask an old dying master looked very ungentlemanly.
But one man gathered courage and he said, “Master, you have forgotten one thing, that book!” He said, “I have not forgotten. It is just under my pillow, and before I take my last breath, I will give it to my successor.”
And he called one of his disciples – nobody had ever thought that this man was going to be the successor of their master. Certainly he was a strange man, utterly silent. He had no friends, he would never participate in the mass prayers, he would never go into the library to look into the ancient scriptures; but he would sit under the trees by the side of the river.
Sometimes the whole night he was lying down on the lawn and looking at the stars. Everybody thought he was a little bit crazy. He never asked the master a question.
There were learned scholars, even more learned than the master himself, very well acquainted with all the old scriptures; but the master called that strange man, that star-gazer, that silent one – the one who had no friends, who was alone amidst the crowd of disciples, but who had the eyes of an innocent child, and his heart full of unsung songs.
He pulled out the book and gave it to the disciple, and said, “This book will be symbolic. Whoever possesses it will be the successor, so remember, be very careful, don’t let anybody else read it. Only you can read it, and before you die you can give it to the right person, who is capable of reading it.”
This way for one thousand years the book has passed from one hand to another hand – and the book is absolutely empty. When for the first time, just fifty years ago, the mystic who was now the successor wanted to publish it, he could not find a publisher – because whomsoever he showed it to would look at it and say, “But there is nothing to publish in it. It is just a notebook, and nothing is written in it.” But now it has been published; some daring publisher in England has published it: The Book of Nothing. But they have destroyed it a little because they have put an introduction to it; the whole history of the book – in one thousand years, how many mystics have possessed it, and how it was transferred from one teacher to another teacher, and this is the first time it is being published. This is simple foolishness – that book does not need an introduction. But that is how man’s mind functions – every book needs an introduction, so that book also needs an introduction; and inside there is nothing – one thousand pages, empty.
And they have destroyed it by publishing it, because now people are using it as a notebook, they are writing things in it, It was not meant for that purpose. It was means that the master should give it to a disciple when he can understand the gaps between the words, between the lines; when words and lines become meaningless, then the empty paper… Just watching it, and you also become empty. Just deeply looking at it, you move from mind to no-mind – and suddenly that empty page becomes a door into the mysteries of life.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Session 29, p. 289.
(Note: Idries Shah was the one who wrote an introduction and history of handing over the Sufis’ holy book. Osho’s own empty bog: The Rajneesh Nothing Book (1979 & 1982). Later edition entitled No Book (1989)).
Osho on Wittgenstein’s Logico Tractatus Philosophicus
“One great German thinker – perhaps one of the greatest thinkers of this century – Ludwig Wittgenstein, in one of his most rare books: Logico Tractatus Philosophicus, has one statement. He does not write in the ordinary way people write; he writes only maxims. But each of his maxims he numbers one, two, three. Each of his maxims has tremendous value and is pregnant with meaning; he has condensed paragraphs, pages or perhaps books into one sentence.
One of the sentences in this Tractatus is: “That which cannot be said, should not be said.” I wrote him a letter, “You have not followed your own dictum. You have said something about it. ‘That which cannot be said should not be said.’ You have said something about it.”
I received a letter from one of his friends; Wittgenstein had died. I was not aware that he is dead -I was only a student in the university. The friend wrote, “Wittgenstein is dead. I am sorry that he could not see your letter because he was such a sincere and honest man, he may have removed his statement from the book – because what you are saying is absolutely right. If nothing should be said about that which cannot be said, even this sentence should not be there – just an empty place.” The Rebellious Spirit (1987). Session 29, p. 293.
Osho on the paths of the mystic and the philosopher
“This is the place where philosophy and authentic mysticism take separate paths. Philosophy goes after questions, answers, and never reaches any conclusion. Mysticism simply drops the mind, because it is nothing but a question-creating mechanism, and moves into silence. And the most amazing thing in life is that then, when there is no question, you have found the answer.
There may be thousands of questions, but there is only one answer, and that answer is your awareness. It is not in the form of an answer, it is in the form of an experience: suddenly a great silence descends upon you. Everything becomes calm and quiet. And without any words, without any knowledge, there is knowing. Knowing that you have arrived home, that now there is nowhere to go…
The path of the mystic is totally different from the path of the philosopher. The mystic does not try to find answers for the questions. He simply understands one thing: that until he goes beyond mind, questions will continue, no answer can help. But the moment you are beyond the mind, all questions disappear, and in that disappearance you have found the answer – without words you have become a knower. You have become knowing itself, not knowledge. This state is the state of the watcher… Remain silent; don’t say anything. If some thought floats in the mind, let it float. The way you allow a cloud to float in the sky – you don’t start shouting, “I am not that.” Your mind is also a sky, a screen. Things pass. You simply watch.” The Hidden Splendor (1987). Session 3, pp. 27,28.
Osho on ecology and prospects of the future
“As I have gone on discovering more and more people, my hope for humanity has disappeared. If you want to call it a learning, you can.
I don’t see any future possible. And the time is so short before the curtain falls, that you should not waste it in unnecessary things. Your life has now to be absolutely devoted to the most essential thing, the most fundamental things: to be enlightened has to be your single-pointed concentration.
Everything has to be sacrificed for it, because you cannot even postpone it for tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come…
The ecology of the earth is breaking down…
Being alert means you have to stop being robots. Change your routines, move more consciously; let every act become an object of awareness. Then even these few years that are left are enough – more than enough. If you put your total energy into transformation, the destruction of the earth will not be your destruction. If you can die consciously, you have found the key to a higher life, to an eternal life, to a divine life.” The Hidden Splendor (1987). Session 13 & 14, pp. 146,159.
Osho on being whole
“Our first unconsciousness is that we think that we are separate. But I emphasize that no man is an island, we are all part of a vast continent. There is variety, but that does not make us separate. Variety makes life richer – part of us is in the Himalayas, a part of us is in the stars, a part of us is in the roses. A part of us is in the bird on the wing, a part of us is in the green of the trees. We are spread all over. To experience it as reality will transform your whole approach towards life, will transform your every act, will transform your very being.” The Hidden Splendor (1987). Session 27, p. 308.
Osho on Nietzsche’s way of writing
“Listen very carefully, because Friedrich Nietzsche writes in a very condensed form. He is not a writer, he writes aphorisms: anybody could have written a whole book but Nietzsche will write only one paragraph. So condensed is his writing, that unless you are alert in listening, you may miss. It is not to be read like a novel.
These are almost like the sutras of the Upanishads. Each single sutra, and each single maxim, contains so much, has so many implications. I would like to go into all the implications so that you do not misunderstand Nietzsche because he is one of the most misunderstood philosophers in the world. And the reason for his being misunderstood is that he wrote in such a condensed form – he never explained; he never went into detailed explanations about all the possible implications.
He is a very symbolic man, and the reason why he was so symbolic is that he was so full of new insights that there was not time enough to explain. He could not write treatises, and he had so much to share and to give, and life is so small.” Zarathustra. A God That Can Dance (1987). Chapter 1, p. 10.
Osho on non-imperialist history
“One of my friends – he was an old man, but I had many old men as my friends – he was ninety years old, and he had a court case that had been going on for seventy years. When he was twenty the case started. All the magistrates that tried his case died. All the advocates that were fighting for him or against him, died. The British government that started the case disappeared! But the case continues.
The strangest thing is that the case was started by the British government because he had written a history of India not agreeing with the British historians, because the British historians were writing lies and hiding truths. They were making exaggerated statements about the treatment that was given to them by the Indians and they were omitting completely what treatment they had been giving to the Indians – how many people they had killed. In fact they were the invaders, and if a few Indians resisted it was perfectly human. They were the criminals.
He had written a history pointing out the facts, and the British government was angry. They had started a case against him, against the publisher, against the printer, against the editor – the case was against four persons…” Zarathustra. A God That Can Dance (1987). Chapter 10, p. 240.
Osho on equality
“When I said, twenty years ago, that men are not equal, the Communist party of India passed a resolution against me, condemning me. And the president of the Communist party of India, S.A. Dange, declared that soon his son-in-law, who is a professor, is going to write a book to confute my idea that men are not equal. He has written a book against me; although there is no argument except anger, abuse and lies – but not a single argument to prove that men are equal.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 3, p. 80.
Mistelberger writes on Nietzsche
“In the early 1980s, Osho dictated a book that he called Books I Have Loved. It was exactly that, a list of 167 books that were his favorites, including commentary on all of them. Of that entire list – which includes some of the most notable classics of Western and Eastern literature – the very first book he mentioned was Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. He said
‘Even if Nietzsche had not written anything else but Thus Spake Zarathustra he would have served humanity immensely, profoundly… Thus Spake Zarathustra is going to be the bible of the future… it will be the first on my list.’
Given that Osho was an Indian and that he was steeped in Oriental philosophy, this crowning of a controversial 19th century German philosopher’s famous work on his list of favourite reads is significant. As to the man himself, Osho had a mixed judgement: he believed that Nietzsche was a towering genius but that he lacked proper spiritual guidance, and that this was the prime reason for his eventual mental disintegration. He said that Nietzsche had the intelligence necessary for a potential Buddha. Anyone familiar with the deep suffering in Nietzsche’s life could find sympathy for Osho’s idea. Nietzsche is the archetypal isolated thinker, with few social contacts, fewer peers, poor, unhealthy, deeply lonely, generally engrossed in his thinking and writing, suffering a psychotic break in his mid-forties and dying at fifty-five – before ever truly being recognized.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 576)
Osho on Gurdjieff and Ouspensky
“Ouspensky, seeing the situation, wrote a book to explain Gurdjieff’s system of thought. His writing is absolutely mathematical, rational; each sentence is significant. But he gives a subtitle to the book. The title of the book is In Search of the Miraculous, and the subtitle is Fragments of an Unknown Teaching. When he was asked, “Why fragments?” he said, “I am not a poet. I will say only that which is absolutely reasonable, for which I can give you proof, for which logic stands in support. But I am aware that there are gaps between those fragments which can be known only by experience. Nothing can be written about them.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 4, p. 89.
Osho on Bertrand Russel’s Why I Am Not a Christian
“Bertrand Russel was one of the most intelligent men of this century. He lived almost a whole century, a long life, and even at the time of his last breath he was as young and intelligent as ever. He went on growing in his intelligence. And the result was, he started doubting all kinds of stupid ideas that had been told to him in his childhood. He was born in a very orthodox time in England, in the Victorian Age; but he could write a book, Why I Am Not a Christian. His book is a milestone, and it has not been answered by Christianity even now, fifty years after its publication. He has questioned every Christian concept, and made it clear: “This is simply fictitious, and only people who are retarded can believe in it.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 5, p. 127.
Osho on Meher Baba and Adi Irani
“Just in this century, one of the most important men was Meher Baba. He remained silent his whole life. Although he again and again announced that he was going to speak at a certain date, when the date came it was postponed.
His closest disciple, Adi Irani, used to come to see me. All Meher Baba’s books are written by Adi Irani. His name is not on those books as the author; the author is Meher Baba…
And he did not speak; he died without speaking. But with Adi Irani he had a telepathic, non-linguistic communion.
I asked Adi Irana, “Do you feel sometimes suspicious whether what you are saying is exactly what he means?”
He said, “Not for a single moment. It comes with such force; it comes with such inner certainty that even if he says, ‘That is not right,’ I am not going to listen. How it happens I don’t know, but just sitting by his side, something starts becoming so solid, so absolutely certain that there is not even a slight doubt about it. I know it is not from me, because I have no idea what I am saying. I could not have said it, left alone by myself.
“Certainly it is coming from him; and it is not coming as language. I am not hearing the words, but I am feeling surrounded by a certain energy, a presence, which becomes words within me. The words are mine, but his presence triggers them. The meaning is his, I am only a hollow bamboo flute. He sings his songs; my only function is not to hinder. Just let him sing his song. I am totally available to him as a vehicle.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 13, p. 308.
Osho recalls a visit to Bodhgaya
“I was in Bodhgaya, the place where Gautam Buddha became enlightened. In the memory of his enlightenment a temple stands there. Those stones are still kept in the same place where he used to walk – because he had two kinds of meditation. One was the sitting meditation Vipassana, which he was doing sitting under the bodhi tree. But you cannot sit the whole day, so he was doing it alternately: one hour he would meditate sitting, and one hour he would meditate walking. Those stones on which he walked are just by the side of the temple in the same place. The tree is in the same place. It is not exactly the same tree, but a grandchild of the same tree.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 15, p. 360.
Osho on parables
“There are many beautiful parables in the ancient literature. People have enjoyed them, but have rarely understood them. A parable is something like poetry; it is more symbolic. One has to dig deep to find the treasure hidden in it. Apparently, it is only a story and it appears that it is only for entertainment, but this is not true.
The ancient parables of Panch Tantra, or the parables in the life of Gautam Buddha, or the parables of Aesop in the West, all have tremendous spiritual significance. They have been written in such a way, or told in such a way that even children can enjoy them – but to find their meaning, a sage is needed.
It was just an old device used when there were no written books, when writing was not yet invented, and things had to be told from the teacher to the disciple. The parable greatly served the purpose, because it can be easily remembered, and because it has many layers of meaning – at least at the lowest everybody can remember it.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 20, p. 466.
Question from Maneesha on Nietzsche
“It very rarely happens that a philosopher is a poet also, because they are diametrically opposite dimensions. They create a tremendous inner tension in the person. And Nietzsche lived that tension to its very extreme. It had finally led him into madness, because on the one hand he is one of the most intelligent products of Western philosophy, without parallel, and on the other hand, so full of poetic vision that certainly his heart and his head would have been constantly fighting. The poet and the philosopher cannot be good bedfellows. It is easy to be a poet, it is easy to be a philosopher, but it is a tremendous stain to be both.
Nietzsche is not in any way mediocre – his philosopher is as great a genius as his poet. And the problem becomes more complicated because of his tension between the heart and the mind. He starts becoming available to something more – more than philosophy, more than poetry. That’s what I am calling mysticism…
Nietzsche was in a very wrong place in a wrong time; he was not understood by his contemporaries. Now, slowly, interest in him is arising; more and more people are becoming interested in him. Perhaps it would have been better for him to delay his coming a little. But it is not in our hands when to come and when to go. And people of his genius always come before their time. But he should have his respected place in the category of the buddhas. That day is not far away.
When all other so-called great philosophers of the West will be forgotten, Friedrich Nietzsche will still be remembered, because he has depths which have still to be explored, he has insights which have been only ignored; he has just been put aside as a madman. Even if he is a madman, that does not matter. What he is saying is so truthful that if to get those truths one has to become mad, it is a perfectly good bargain.” The Golden Future (1988). Session 5, pp. 46,51)
Osho on answer and silence
“People think that Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, Zarathustra, or Lao Tzu have found the answer. They are wrong. They have found a silence, undisturbed either by questions or by answers.” The Golden Future (1988). Session 39, p. 380.
Osho on Sai Baba of Sirdi
“Just nearby, just a few hundred miles away, there was an authentic saint, Sai Baba. He is no relation of Satya Sai Baba – Satya Sai Baba is a fraud, and he has chosen the name Satya Sai Baba to deceive people that he is the reincarnation of Sai Baba.
But Sai Baba was really a man belonging to the category of buddhas. Nobody knew whether he was Hindu or Mohammedan; one day suddenly he appeared in a village. Nobody knew what his name was; Sai Baba is not a name. Sai means saint, and baba means grandfather – grandfatherly old man, and saintly. This was not his name, because whenever people asked him his name he laughed. He said, “Nobody is born with a name; I was also not born with a name.” The New Dawn (1989). Session 23, p. 285.
Osho on the mystic Chaitanya Maha Prabhu
“One of the great mystics of India, Chaitanya Maha Prabhu, never spoke. And it was not that he was not articulate… just the opposite. Before his enlightenment he was the most proficient logician of his day, even the greatest scholars used to tremble before him. His arguments were like swords; they would penetrate you and demolish you completely. But when he became enlightened, he became utterly silent. His only expression after that was simply dancing with his small drum.” The New Dawn (1989). Session 24, p. 299.
Zen Masters Bodhidharma and Ta Hui
* Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master. Commentaries on the Teachings of the Messenger of Zen from India to China (1988).
05.07 am – 14.07 pm 1987.
* Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master. Reflections on the Transformation of an Intellectual to Enlightenment (1988).
15.07 am – 20.08 pm 1987.
* The Invitation (1988).
21.08 am – 05.09 pm 1987. Q/A.
* The Great Pilgrimage. From Here to Here (1988).
06.09 am – 03.10 pm 1987. Q/A.
Osho on languages
“Sanskrit, Prakit, and Pali, three languages used in the past by the enlightened people of this land, have a very rich vocabulary as far as inner experiences are concerned. The West has a very exact language to express scientific research, discoveries, inventions and technologies, but the Eastern languages don’t have this. However, as far as the interior experience is concerned, the Eastern languages are immensely rich while the Western languages are absolutely poor. Of these three languages, Sanskrit has been used by the Upanishads and the Hindu mystics, Prakit has been used by Mahavira and all the Jaina mystics and masters, and Pali has been used by Gautam Buddha.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 3, p. 39.
“Sanskrit is the only language in the whole world which was created by enlightened people. It is a created language. It has never been a language of the people. There was no time when the whole country was speaking Sanskrit. All other languages of the world have been used by people at some time or other. Many have become dead languages, like Latin or Hebrew or Pali or Prakit. Many languages which were once living languages, have become dead ones. But Sanskrit has never been a language of the people.
This is a very strange phenomenon. It has been the language of enlightened people, hence every word has two meanings; one, a dictionary meaning for the scholar and one, the existential meaning for those who are in search of truth.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 11, p. 193.
Osho on fallacies in sutras
“Reading through these sutras, I have been thinking to have a look at other ancient sutras, because the same fallacies that I am seeing in these sutras are bound to be there. They are not written by enlightened people. And these confusions, these misstatements, without any intention, are doing immense harm to all those who are following them; they have to be corrected. So my commentaries are more corrections and critiques of all that is confused and wrong. I want to bring out Bodhidharma completely clearly, without any impressions left by these disciples who have written the sutras. It has always happened… the gospels of Jesus were written after three hundred years when Jesus was not there to correct them. And no Christian would like another Jesus to correct them. Otherwise… I am absolutely willing…
But people become so obsessed and fanatic that they don’t want any change. For example, my corrections will not be liked by the Buddhists. They will feel very much hurt – every line has to be right – but they don’t see the point that these lines are not written by Bodhidharma; otherwise they would have been all right. They have been written by people who are not enlightened. Hence, it is absolutely certain that there are going to be fallacies, confusions, misstatements, many things missing and perhaps many things added by the disciples, just to make it a complete story, a complete system of philosophy. It is going to be a difficult job. It is going to annoy many more people. I have annoyed so many people that now I don’t care anymore. It does not matter. I have annoyed millions of people, a few millions more – now it does not matter at all.
The future generations of the new man will feel grateful that at least there was one man who did not care about the whole world being annoyed with him. He went on discriminating between what is truth and what is not truth.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 4, p. 66.
Osho on Western philosophers and Eastern sutras
“No Western book, and I have gone through all the philosophers and all the theologians – it was a tedious journey – no Western book has anything parallel to the Eastern sutras because they are only mind stuff. The Eastern sutras have a qualitative difference. They have nothing to do with mind. They have something to do with your innermost being and its experiences of blissfulness, ecstasy, the universal joy that pervades this vast existence. Only man is missing it. And man is missing it because of his knowledgeability.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 11, p. 189.
Osho on the world’s religions
“There are very few religions in the world which are still alive. Zen is still alive. There are still people who can be called contemporaries of Gautam Buddha; they are connected so deeply that you cannot separate them, by time or by space.
In Mohammedanism, only a small school of Sufis is a living part; the whole of the rest of that religion has died. But Sufism is still continuing a chain reaction. Still there are people who are awakened.
In Judaism, the whole religion except for a small school of Hassids is dead. Those Hassids have been carrying the torch for centuries. They are still creating more and more enlightened people.
Strangely, Hinduism and Christianity are completely dead religions. They don’t have even a small stream of living masters. And they are very important religions. Hinduism is the oldest religion of the world and Christianity is the biggest religion of the world, but both are completely dead. They are just an ugly weight on humanity. Nothing blossoms in their gardens; no flower comes to release its fragrance. They are lamps without any flame in them.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 14, p. 244.
Heading: In the presence of our Master. Master’s Day 1987.
“”Beloved Bhagwan,…” Maneesha reads the sutras of Bodhidharma, the wildest enlightened being in history, a disciple of Buddha who brought Buddhism to China and Japan…
And thousands of friends and lovers of Bhagwan are walking towards the Ashram. There are no rickshaws on Master’s Day due to a strike; so we are watching everybody walking through Koregaon Park – at 5:30 in the morning. And there are so many people during the day. You cannot believe it. It’s just unimaginable – sannyasins everywhere – in the gardens, under the trees, up the trees, around and in the ponds and waterfalls.
Somewhere else, next to ponds and bamboos, a temporary mall has opened just for Master’s Day. A bookshop with seven new books of Bhagwan, a photo shop with the newest photographs of Bhagwan and the art boutique, with hand-painted “t”-shirts, kimonos and combinations of all kinds. Yes, it’s like a bazaar – it’s like a festival – it’s like the carnival of love…
The line for Darshan has started already this morning, by 6 pm it goes through the middle of the garden, around trees and ponds, plants and people are really enjoying each other like children. Certainly the real children are jumping around and in between – like monkeys set free. And then, by 7 pm, Buddha Hall is completely full. There is not one place left to sit. We enjoy again Bhagwan’s talk about Bodhidharma.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:16)
“In March 1987, Osho comments on Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra and, in July, gives two memorable series on zen masters Bodhidharma and Ta Hui. Osho was heard to say that his discourse on Ta Hui sutra ‘The Inescapable’ was the best he had ever given [Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988). Chapter 24].” (www.oshoworld.com/biography)
Osho on Ta Hui
“Ta Hui’s whole approach is such that it is mixed. To sort out what he has got from enlightened people, what he has got from learned people, and what he has made up himself is not difficult for me, but it will be difficult for you.
And that’s the reason I have chosen the book. This will give you the idea that whenever you are reading someone or listening to someone you must be very alert. Has the man the presence, the depth, the silence, the authority that comes out of one’s own experience? Or is he just a knowledgeable person? And ask people, “Do you know it yourself?” and you will immediately find… if they hesitate even for a single moment or are taken aback, they were not expecting that you will ask this.” Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988), p. 73.
Osho on Swami Anand Maitreya who passed away on 17.07.1987
“This is a special evening, because one of us has left for the other shore.
Swami Anand Maitreya was certainly a man of tremendous courage. He met me sometime near 1960. He had already been a member of parliament for twelve years and he was very close to the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. But the moment he heard me he simply dropped his whole political career…
He never asked a single question. He never doubted, his trust was absolute. In these years, thousands of people have come to me; many have been lost, but he remained unwavering. He could not conceive how people can find contradictions in my statements…
I would like these talks to be dedicated to Swami Anand Maitreya, who slipped from sleep into eternal sleep. But he was not asleep! He has gone in full awakening. He has gone with full awareness. You will keep him in your memories because he has shown the path to you, too. He lived joyously, although he had nothing, and he died peacefully, blissfully.” Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988), p. 78.
Osho on becoming more centered
“So the whole question is: whereever you are, become more centered, become more silent, live more consciousness. There is nowhere else to go. Everything that has to happen, has to happen within you, and it is in your hands. You are not a puppet, and your strings are not in anybody else’s hands. You are an absolutely free individual. If you decide to remain in illusions, you can remain for many, many lives. If you decide to get out, a single moment’s decision is enough.
You can be out of all illusions this very moment.
Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988), p. 183.
Osho on his discourses on Ta Hui
“Maneesha had asked last night, seeing that Ta Hui has not proved a great treasure of enlightenment. “We can finish the discourses on Ta Hui tonight…”
I said, “No, because that will be an injustice. I have hammered him. If he can come back home I would like to appreciate him also; so I will go through all the sutras…
I don’t know what is going to happen in these two weeks. It all depends on Ta Hui – how many times he is going to go astray, and whether he has the potential to realize, or he dies without realization.
It will be a sad affair if he dies without enlightenment. I would like it to be a celebration… and my hope is that the man is capable. Any moment the turning point can come, and any moment his inner flame can burn bright. So you have to tolerate Ta Hui for at least two weeks more.
Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988), p. 195.
Osho on Ta Hui
“Ta Hui is coming to the close of his journey. He started as an intellectual, but he was a fortunate intellectual; he did not get lost in words and theories and arguments. He managed to get beyond the mind, and now he is making statements which belong to the beyond, which are not arguments but only hints for those who are in search.
The whole journey of Ta Hui is significant because it is the journey of everyone who moves from ignorance to innocence, from mind to mindlessness, from darkness to ultimate light.
It is your journey.
Going with Ta Hui, step by step, will help you immensely, because there is no other book that I have come across which describes the whole transformation. All other books come after enlightenment; people have spoken only when they have known. This is a special case. We start with a teacher and we end up with a great master.
Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988), p. 488.
TH88_p165 nederste foto + p 163, sammenstilles
Photo 15. Osho tearing up the sutra because Ta Hui has called Buddha ’the old barbarian.’
Osho on the mind
“Certainly you are not the mind, just as you are not the body. You are within the body, within the mind, but your center is separate from the cyclone. It has a totally different quality to it. Silence, stillness is just natural to it; it is its flowering. We have got mixed up. Being too close to the mind, working twenty-four hours with the mechanism, you have forgotten the distinction. Just this much has happened, that you have forgotten something which is very essential. The original root from which the word ‘sin’ comes, means forgetfulness. To me this is the only sin. All else are just mistakes which can be corrected. And once this sin is dropped, many other mistakes, fallacies, will disappear on their own accord.
A simple strategy is needed, I call it meditation. You can call it anything – awareness, alertness, remembering, watchfulness; the names don’t matter. What matters is that you should be able to not to get into the chattering of the mind. Just be a watcher. Don’t participate. Just stand aside and see. Don’t even try to stop its chattering, because even in stopping it you have lost your watchfulness. You have become a participant – unfriendly, but still you have become a participant in the process. This is a very simple phenomenon once you see the point that you can stand aside and let the mind go. Don’t judge what is going on in the mind as right or wrong. The mind is almost like the traffic on the road. It is none of your concern to think about everybody who is passing on the road; it is just a habit.” The Invitation (1988). Session 6, p. 61.
Osho on his clipboard
“Beloved Bhagwan, What is the hidden mystery in the silence between the pages in front of You?
Prem Maharaj, all that I want to say to you is in my gaps. I use the words only to create gaps. So when I am simply looking at the pages, I am giving you a chance to receive the message which cannot be said in words, which cannot be relayed, transferred, in utter silence.” The Invitation (1988). Session 9, p. 103.
Osho on Krishnamurti
“Krishnamurti has moved to the very extreme: no master, no disciple. But that has created an absurd situation, for his whole life, and he lived long, ninety years. He started being a teacher at the age of fifteen, and he wrote his first book At the Feet of the Master at the age of fifteen. It was so early that later on he could not even remember whether he had written it or not. It appeared as if in a dream, far away, just an echo.
From the age of fifteen to the age of ninety, almost seventy-five years continuously – no master has been teaching so long, Gautam Buddha was teaching for only forty-two years; so was Mahavira. Jesus taught for only three years, because at the age of thirty-three he was crucified; he started his teaching career at the age of thirty. Perhaps Krishnamurti is the only person who has been a teacher for seventy-five years.” The Invitation (1988). Session 19, p. 220.
(Note: Same title has been used for a compilation of Osho’s darshans: At The Feet Of The Master. One to One Talks on the Relationship Between the Master & His Disciples (1992). In Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989. Chapter 3, p. 67) Osho is talking more on Leadbeater’s book on Krishnamurti, supposedly written by Krishnamurti himself at age thirteen).
Osho on his daily practice
“Veena, I simply enjoy talking, just as I enjoy silence. I have to keep some balance. Most of the time I am silent, and then, naturally, I have to take a little holiday from silence. Then I talk to my heart’s content.
I do only two things: I talk to you, and then I go to sleep! In the morning I wake up, I talk to you, and then I go to sleep.
My twenty-four hours are divided into two things: talking and sleeping! My sleep is my silence, my ecstasy, my samadhi. My talking is my sharing with you what I have found in my sleep!
The Invitation (1988). Session 21, p. 246.
Final words from last session in The Invitation
“Live naturally. Live peacefully. Live inwardly. Just give a little time to yourself, being alone, being silent, just watching the inner scene of your mind. Slowly, slowly thoughts disappear. Slowly, slowly one day the mind is so still, so silent as if it is not there. Just this silence… in this moment you are not here, as if the whole Buddha Hall is empty.
In this silence within you, you will find a new dimension of life. In this dimension greed does not exist, sex does not exist, anger does not exist, violence does not exist. It is not a credit to you; it is the new dimension beyond mind where love exists, pure, unpolluted by any biological urge; where compassion exists for no other reason – not to get any reward in heaven – because compassion is a reward unto itself.
A deep longing exists to share all that treasure that you have discovered within yourself, and to shout from the housetops to the people, “You are not poor! Paradise is within you. You need not be beggars, you are born emperors.”
You just have to discover your empire, and your empire is not of the outside world; your empire is of your own interiority. It is within you and it has always been there, just waiting for you to come home.
Love will come, and will come in abundance – so much that you cannot contain it. You will find it is overflowing you, it is reaching all directions.
Just discover your hidden splendour.
Life can be simply a song, a song of joy.
Life can be simply a dance, a celebration, a continuous celebration. All that you have to learn is a life-affirmative lifestyle.
I call only that man religious who is life-affirmative. All those who are life-negative think they are religious; they are not. Their sadness shows they are not. Their seriousness shows they are not.
A man of authentic religion will have a sense of humor. It is our universe, it is our home. We are not orphans. This earth is our mother. This sky is our father. This whole vast universe is for us, and we are for it.
In fact, there is no division between us and the whole. We are organically joined with it, we are part of one orchestra.
To feel this music of existence is the only religion that I can accept as authentic, as valid. It does not have any scriptures, it need not have. It does not have any statues of God, because it does not believe in any hypotheses. It has nothing to worship, it has only to be silent, and out of that silence comes gratitude, prayer, and the whole existence turns into a godliness.
There is no God as a person. God is spread all over: in the trees, in the birds, in the animals, in humanity, in the wise, in the otherwise.
All that is alive is nothing but godliness ready to open its wings, ready to fly into the freedom, ultimate freedom of consciousness.
Yes, you will love yourself and you will love the whole existence too.
The Invitation (1988). Session 30, p. 261.
Photo 16. The Invitation (1988). Front cover.
Abhiyana writes on no discourses in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
“In September of 1987, after nine months of basking in the master’s presence for more than four hours each day, Osho didn’t leave his room for seven weeks. We first heard he had a cold, then an ear infection, then something more serious. It was strange going to work without that infusion of Osho’s close presence, not even a drive-by as in Oregon. Every morning we gathered for satsang; sitting silently together in the hall, I sent prayers for his health to return. Here was the challenge: to feel his presence, even when we couldn’t see him. To allow meditation to go as deep – or deeper – than when sitting with him. Many nights I felt him as if he was there; other times I just missed him terribly.
On November 6th, Osho returned and shocked the whole community:
My beloved Ones,
I have been away from you much too long. It has been a very painful absence for me. For seven weeks continuously I have been only filled with your love, your patience, your thirst, your longing. These days were remarkable in many ways. Seven weeks before, I was infected in the ear. […but] no medicine was working. […] my body has lost all resistance. […] All the symptoms can happen only if some kind of poison has been given to me. (Osho went on, describing in excruciating detail his ordeal in the American jails, and the possible times he could have been poisoned.)…
That night was special. Being close to him again after almost two months, I was drinking and drinking his presence. He was telling us he almost died, and not to take him for granted. Looking back, it was obvious that Osho was on his last legs, but I didn’t want to see it. He seemed urgent to get his message out before he couldn’t any longer. There was a rumor that he had asked his doctor for something to help him talk faster; since returning to India, he talked significantly more slowly. He had so much to say, and precious time to say it in; thus, he needed juicing. He may have been given thyroid medication to talk faster and for longer periods. This may have contributed to his heart stopping less than two years later; he again sacrificed his body for us, and his legacy of words.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 413-16)
(Note: The quotation by Osho is from Jesus Crucified Again (1988), Chapter 1).
The ‘fuck’ lecture
“One of the most interesting words in the English language today is the word ‘fuck’. It is a magical word. Just by its sound it can describe pain, pleasure, hate and love. In language it falls into many grammatical categories. It can be used as a verb, both transitive, “John fucked Mary,” and intransitive, “Mary was fucked by John,” and as a noun, “Mary is a fine fuck.” It can be used as an adjective, “Mary is fucking beautiful.”
As you can see, there are not many words with the versatility of fuck. Besides the sexual meaning, there are also the following uses:
Ignorance: Fucked if I know.
Trouble: I guess I am fucked now!
Fraud: I got fucked at the used car lot.
Aggression: Fuck you!
Displeasure: What the fuck is going on here?
Difficulty: I can’t understand this fucking job.
Incompetence: He is a fuck-off.
Suspicion: What the fuck are you doing?
Enjoyment: I had a fucking good time.
Request: Get the fuck out of here.
Hostility: I’m going to knock your fucking head off.
Greeting: How the fuck are you?
Apathy: Who gives a fuck?
Innovation: Get a bigger fucking hammer.
Surprise: Fuck! You scared the shit out of me!
Anxiety: Today is really fucked.
And it is very healthy if every morning you do it as a transcendental meditation – just when you get up, first thing, repeat the mantra “fuck you” five times; it clears your throat too!
The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Session 23, p. 275.
(Note: Go to: http://videosift.com/video/OSHO-Speaks to hear it).
The Mantra series are all Question-Answer sessions, beginning in Chuang Tzu Auditorium:
* Satyam Shivam Sundram. Truth Godliness Beauty (1988).
07.11 am – 21.11 pm 1987. Q/A.
* Sat Chit Anand. Truth Consciousness Bliss (1988).
22.11 am – 06.12 pm 1987. Q/A.
The series are continued in Buddha Hall:
* Om Mani Padme Hum. The Sound of Silence. The Diamond in the Lotus (1989). 07.12 am 1987 – 17.01 am 1988. Q/A.
* Hari Om Tat Sat. The Divine Sound That Is The Truth (1989).
17.01 pm – 25.02 pm 1988. Q/A.
* Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. The Soundless Sound Peace, Peace, Peace (1989). 26.02 am – 18.03 pm 1988. Q/A.
* Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988).
19.03 pm – 21.04 pm 1988. Q/A.
Osho on the mystic rose
“The symbol of the mystic rose is that if man takes care of the seed that he is born with, gives it the right soil, gives it the right atmosphere and the right vibration, moves on a right path where the seed can start growing, then the ultimate growth is symbolized as the mystic rose – when your being blossoms and opens all its petals and releases the beautiful fragrance.
Unless you blossom into a mystic rose, your life is nothing but an exercise in utter futility. You are born unnecessarily, you are living unnecessarily, and you will die unnecessarily. Your whole biography can be reduced to a single word: unnecessary.
But if you can blossom and release that which is hidden in you, you have fulfilled the longing of existence. You have given back to existence the fragrance that was hidden in your seed. You have come to fulfil your destiny…
And this is no ordinary rose; it does not die. It is not that in the morning it blossoms, dances the whole day, sings songs, plays with the wind and the rain and with the sun, and by the evening all the petals are fallen to the ground and tomorrow you will not find even a trace of it.
The inner rose is eternal. Once you have found it, it will be always within you.” Satya Shivam Sundram (1988). Session 18, pp. 211,214.
Osho on whether to comment on the Koran
“That’s why Mohammedans are one of the most poor in their literature, in their philosophy – because the doors are closed. Not a single person has written a commentary on the Koran, because you cannot be allowed to write a commentary on the Koran. The Koran cannot be corrected, cannot be made a question of dispute between different interpretations; hence no commentary has been allowed.
I have commented on hundreds of mystics, many of them Sufis who are in revolt against the orthodox Mohammedan structure. When Sufis heard about my commentaries on Sufism, at least two or three times a year I received beautiful printed copies of the Koran, with letters saying, “You are the only person who can write a commentary, because you are not a Mohammedan. Mohammedans cannot do anything against you; they cannot expel you.”
But my problem was different. Many times, listening to their invitation, their love, I opened the Koran read a few pages. There is nothing to comment on. It is written by an illiterate Mohammed who could not even make his own signature. He has dictated it, and others have written it. It is such a childish thing.
I have tried my best to find a few fragments here and there; then I will choose those fragments and comment on them. But I have been a failure – and this has happened many times, because each time a deep, loving, respectful request came to me, I thought, “Let me look again.” But it is the same Koran; there is nothing that has to be commented on and if I really commented then I would have to contradict it on every point.” Satya Shivam Sundram (1988). Session 20, p. 235.
Osho on religious experience
“You should be at the very source of your being, where you can feel these three things: goodness, beauty and truth. In India we have called it the experience of satchidanand – that is one expression. The other expression of the three is satyam, shivam, sunderam. I would like you to understand both statements, because they contain the very gist of the religious experience.
Satchidanand is made of three words: sat, which means ultimate truth; chit, which means ultimate consciousness; anand, which means ultimate bliss. That is one set which denotes the experience of enlightenment. But enlightenment is vast. There is another set: satyam, which means truth; shivam, which means good; sunderam, which means beautiful.
Why is the difference there? – that too is significant to understand. The first statement comes from people who are of a philosophical bent: truth, consciousness, bliss. The second set comes from people who are basically poetic. Truth remains in both sets, but the other two qualities change. To the poet, beauty is more important than anything else – and also the quality of goodness.” Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master (1988), p. 35.
Osho on Sat Chit Anand
“Amrito, there is no sequence amongst truth, consciousness and bliss. They are not steps of a hierarchy, but they come one after another. Neither of them is higher than the other two, so in the way we understand it, sequence is not there. The actual experience of sachchidanand happens simultaneously. In fact, these three words: Sat, Chit, Anand – truth, consciousness, bliss – do not indicate three experiences. It is just the poverty of language that we cannot contain the whole experience in one word. Our words are so poor. The experience is absolutely an organic whole: whatever happens, happens simultaneously…
The mystic’s trinity seems to be based far more on experience, on truth. It is not a fiction. And it is available to you without any prayer, without any holy scripture. Just you are enough, because you contain that infinity. All that is needed is to look inwards. Allow your consciousness to grow so that it fills you with light and dispels all darkness, and you will find the most precious treasure within yourself.
In the experience, there will not be any division between truth, consciousness and bliss. It will come all at once, showering on you. But the moment you bring that experience into language, you have to make one into three – so as not to be unfair to the tremendous experience that has happened. No single word can say anything about it. It will be a very partial statement, and any partial truth is more dangerous than a lie. At least the lie can be detected: the partial truth is very dangerous because it may not be detected. It gives you the feeling that it is true.
These three words contain almost three universes. Each is a sky unto itself. There is no limit to your consciousness. You can go in the inner world just as far away as stars are going in the outer world. Neither does bliss have any limits, nor does truth have any limits. And when three things don’t have any limits, they cannot be three. Three unlimited things are bound to become one. So the experience is of one organic whole not in sequence. But in language the difficulty is that we have to write words in sequence.
Languages like Chinese, Japanese, Korean – Far Eastern languages – are far better than alphabetical languages, because alphabetical languages have to put everything in a sequence, in a sentence. One thing will be followed by another and then by another, one word by another word, one line by another line, one paragraph by another paragraph, everything in sequence.
The non-alphabetical languages have disappeared from the world, except from the Far East. In the beginning, all languages in the world were non-alphabetical, they were pictorial…
There is no sequence, Amrito.
It is all simultaneous.
It is all together.
It is one without any order.”
Sat Chit Anand (1988). Session 9, pp. 100,102,104.
OMPH89_ep1 + ep2 sammenstilles til et foto
Photo 17. Painting by Meera on endpaper in Sat Chit Anand (1988).
Heading: New Discourse Series
“The name of the next discourse series will be: Commentaries on selected passages of D.H. Lawrence’s ‘Women in Love’ by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.” (New British Rajneesh Times, February 1987:6, p. 1)
7.6 Discourses in Buddha Hall Auditorium
All discourse series are presented in Volume III / Bibliography / Poona Two, where bibliographic data as well as excerpts from introductions and opening discourses are to be found. Lectures and Discourses 1964-1990 are listed in Volume III / Sources.
In December 1987 the reconstructed Gautama the Buddha Auditorium was ready for Osho’s discourses. This was much appreciated as the limited space in Chuang Tzu Auditorium had made it necessary to make a rotation schedule for listeners to attend.
New roof covering Buddha Hall
“This is 1987 and Osho has only been back in Poona a few months. We had been seeing him for discourse in Chuang Tzu auditorium again, but now, as before, it is far too small to fit all of us. So he has moved to the enormous Buddha Hall, and I’m on the crew building a new roof so everyone can be with him together, sheltered from sun and rain.
Buddha Hall in Poona Two wasn’t really a building. It was a large marbled oval-shaped platform with a massive tarpaulin roof made of thick nylon and PVC suspended over an enormous arched girder.
At this stage of construction, we needed to add to the roof the essential supports all around its periphery that would keep it stable in all weathers, but this involved anchoring them to concrete bases, which would have infringed on the surrounding garden.
The message has come from Osho to build these bases around the existing trees; not so the trees are cut down to fit the bases, but so the bases are built to fit the trees.” (Nityanando. In: Savita 2014, p. 212)
“The roof for Gautama the Buddha Auditorium was eventually delivered, but the mounting of the plastic sheet required the intervention of a computer in Germany to calculate the angles and tensions for it to be tight enough so that it did not sag. The hall was going to be surrounded by mosquito netting and people were stitching together – in situ – miles of fabric on old pedal Singer sewing machines. People murmured that Osho was disappointed that the roof was not ready for his Birthday Celebration as planned. On the Ranch we would have been much better with deadlines…” (Punya 2015, p. 343)
“The roof is actually a giant canvas and plastic tent supported by a steel arch across the narrower side of the ellipse. The canvas is stretched with steel rods attached to concrete structures in the ground. Because of planning permissions a permanent roof is not allowed and this is a brilliant solution. The mosquito netting covering the sides, from roof to floor, keeps mosquitoes, flies, birds and leaves out, while still allowing a cooling breeze to air the hall.” (Punya 2015, p. 41)
“Flashback; for much of its 35-year-old existence, this floor was protected from natural elements. It was built in the late 70s and christened ‘Buddha Hall’, a meditation space where Osho arrived every morning at 8:00 am to give his daily discourse. It had a simple roof of corrugated metal sheets, supported by wooden posts – all covered with white cloth to make it look nice.
But Osho didn’t like poles. He liked to see everybody. So, in the late 80s, when the mystic returned to Pune after his years in Oregon and his World Tour, his sannyasins created a huge steel arch, right across the hall, and draped a massive plastic canopy over the top, rather like a big tent. The open sides were surrounded by a much-proclaimed ‘world’s largest mosquito net’ – it never made the Guinness Book of Records, though.
The tent structure lasted until 2002 when a new construction, Osho Auditorium, opened its doors for the first time. Rumour has it that, by then, the steel arch was way beyond its ‘use by’ safety date, being constructed of massive steel boxes that were welded together and then held in place by steel ropes.
However, as I recall, it wasn’t so much the decaying arch that drove us out of there, but the steadily mounting indignation of the neighbours – those poor, long-suffering local home owners who’d been putting up with our loud music and noisy ‘active meditation’ techniques since 1974.
The legendary Indian character trait of spiritual tolerance had finally worn thin and they were on the verge of launching a campaign to shut us down when the new fully-enclosed, sound-proof Osho Auditorium took much of our noise inside.
Oh yes, and during its whole career, Buddha Hall never had planning permission. Osho wasn’t big on ‘asking’ before ‘doing’ and anyway the Pune Corporation hated us so much they would never have given us their blessings.
Okay, enough of nostalgia. Now, all roofs have gone and this open-to-the-sky, rechristened ‘Buddha Grove’ hosts one of my favourite activities: the morning dance celebration, when, during an hour of music – with decibel levels carefully monitored – people in maroon robes come and dance in the sunshine, any way they like.” (Subhuti 2014, p. 25)
“I look again and again, and I see only Jayesh and his great tent. Sometimes I think perhaps God is sitting on Jayesh’s tent – but I have looked; our engineers have been searching all over the tent, and they have never found any God anywhere. On which cloud is God sitting? The physicists have explored as far away as possible. Just empty space and stars, but no God.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 2, p. 54.
“In fact, the mosquito net surrounding Gautam the Buddha Auditorium has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.” Communism & Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 6, p. 262.
Heading: New Osho Auditorium and Guesthouse Now Complete
“In 1989, aware that he was soon leaving his body, he revisited this vision and asked that a new air-conditioned pyramid-shaped meditation hall be built at his campus in Pune, and now with air purification. He wanted seating for 5000 people and the best sound system. He asked that it be sound proofed and have a multi-dimensional lighting system. In addition he wanted a beautiful guesthouse, which Osho describes as a place for seekers to rest on their path.
He gave specific instructions at that time that the building should rise out of water, with a bridge. Crossing the bridge would remind people to leave the mind and go in. He commented at that time, “We are not creating a space, we are creating a spaciousness. You sit inside and suddenly you are more alive, you suddenly find more silence.”
Additionally, he asked that an ultra-modern kitchen be built as part of this complex for the guests to the commune. This 20,000 sq. ft, air conditioned facility, with a terraced outdoor eating area is perhaps one of the most technologically advanced kitchens in the country.
This new hall replaces the temporary, tented structure, which lasted mysteriously until the completion of the new hall. After 15 years, the strength of the tent material was finally finished. The base of the old hall and podium are being readied for a wide variety of Osho activities: Zen archery, Yoga classes, Art classes, Tai Chi, meditation by moonlight… and much more.” (Press Release. 20.11.2002)
Heading: The new Buddha Hall in Pune
“The original Buddha Hall, in the place it is at present, was built in 1975, being a large concrete slap with a tent like structure over it. Over the years, there have been many improvements to the hall. There was a marble floor laid and a marble podium, then in 1981, when the Commune moved to the United States, the podium was sold.
When Osho returned to Pune in 1986 the Hall was rebuilt again, first as a tent structure, then later in 1987 as a very large, arched tent, said to be the largest in the East. The marble was relaid and a beautiful podium, also marble, built.
Osho had been giving discourse in the same place from 1975 to 1981, and then from 1986 till his death in 1990. The Hall, indeed the whole area, is experienced by many as rich not just with the energy of the Master, but with energy of the Buddhafield.” (Sannyas News. 07.11.2002)
(Note: This author remembers when in January 1987 the existing podium in green marble from Poona One was being demolished to give way for the new tent-construction and its Japanese styled podium).
Mantra Series continued from Chuang Tzu
* Om Mani Padme Hum. The Sound of Silence. The Diamond in the Lotus (1989). 07.12 am 1987 – 17.01 am 1988. Q/A.
* Hari Om Tat Sat. The Divine Sound That Is The Truth (1989).
17.01 pm – 25.02 pm 1988. Q/A.
* Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. The Soundless Sound Peace, Peace, Peace (1989). 26.02 am – 18.03 pm 1988. Q/A.
* Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988).
19.03 pm – 21.04 pm 1988. Q/A.
Om Mani Padme Hum. The Sound of Silence. The Diamond in the Lotus (1989) in the Mantra Series was the first discourse series to be given in the reconstructed Gautama the Buddha Auditorium. And it was also the first discourse series published after his name change, now with Osho Rajneesh as author. Osho’s opening words on the mantra and Om are in Vol III / Bibliography.
On the psychology of the buddhas
“The first thing… I have used the term “the psychology of the buddhas” not to mean what it means. The man of enlightenment has gone beyond mind. In fact, the mind has faded just like dreams fade away. All the psychologies in the West are concerned with figuring out the functioning of the mind, how it works, why it sometimes works right and sometimes wrong. They have accepted one basic hypothesis which is not true: the hypothesis is that you are no more than the mind; you are a structure of body-mind. Naturally, physiology looks into your body and its functioning and psychology looks into your mind and its functioning.
The first thing to be noted is about those who have come to know a different space in themselves which cannot be confined by the mind and which cannot be defined as part of the functioning of it. That silent space with no thoughts, no ripples, is the beginning of the psychology of the buddhas.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Session 16, p. 172.
On records in Ladakh
“Just one hundred and twenty years ago, one Russian traveler remained in Ladakh for six months, studying old records. He has reported that those old records remembers Jesus as a young man but of immense silence, beauty, and a great search, who had come to the monastery and lived there for three months. They described Jesus exactly; that he was coming from Judea, a faraway country; that it was very difficult for him to understand because of the language barrier, but he tried hard and accumulated as much honey as he could from every possible source which was still available. After Gautam Buddha, although five hundred years had passed, the air was still full of remembrance. The mountains had not forgotten. And there were hundreds of people who could have been called contemporaries of Gautam Buddha as far as their consciousness was concerned.
I am telling you these facts because now Christian missionaries have removed all those records from Ladakh. There were records in Tibet which were destroyed by Christians in the time of the British empire. They tried to remove any possible evidence that Jesus had been in the East learning the art of inwardgoing. But in spite of all their efforts, there are intrinsic proofs.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Session 21, p. 229.
On Krishna Prem’s experience and other minor explosions
“So the first thing you have to do, Krishna Prem, is to forget all about that explosion. It was good that it happened, but there are far greater things. Why bother about something so primary, a kindergarten experience…
(An explosion – more like a ‘pop’ really – happens with impeccable timing, as firecrackers are set off at a neighbourhood wedding celebration).
You see? Just like that!
Start waiting for something greater. Of course you don’t know what that something will be…
(Another explosion! and the assembly collapses with laughter. The Master looks around, tentatively and grinning).
I am afraid that the moment I say anything more, it will happen again!
(A pause to let the hilarity settle).
You start fresh.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Session 27, p. 294.
On charaiveti, charaiveti
“Gautam Buddha used to say to every sannyasin after initiating him, only one thing, for forty-two years continuously. And he must have initiated thousands and thousands of people. After accepting the person as his disciple, he would say only one thing:
It is a Pali word. It means, “Now walk on. Never stop, walk on. However beautiful the experience is, remember: much more is waiting for you ahead.”
Just go on.
Experience everything, be thankful, but don’t stop and never expect the same experience again, because it is blocking your path for greater experiences.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Session 27, p. 296.
From ashram into a World Academy of Sciences for Creativity
“I have my vision, and I want my people to be aware of the vision. This ashram is not only for the old and the retired who don’t want to do anything but need shelter and food. That has been the situation with ashrams in the East. According to Hindu tradition, a man should become a sannyasin after the age of seventy-five. That means perhaps after his death, because seventy is the average age for death. But if seventy-five-year-old people gather together, it is just a home for the old, rejected, useless, somehow tolerated.
I want to change the whole idea of an ashram. My sannyasin is not to wait for the age of seventy-five. The real sannyasin is a revolutionary, and youth is the authentic time to enter into this enquiry.
All the ashrams of this country, all the monasteries of the world are against this ashram for the simple reason that you are going against the traditional idea. Young men and women of intelligence are not just going to sit and do transcendental meditation; they have much more energy to be creative.
I want this ashram slowly to develop into a World Academy of Sciences for Creativity. This will be perhaps the greatest synthesis ever. Your search for religious truth in no way hinders your search for the objective reality, because both areas are absolutely separate; they don’t overlap.
You can be a scientist and a meditator. In fact, the more you go deeper into meditation, the more clarity, the more intelligence, the more genius you will find flowering in you which can create a totally new science.” Om Mani Padme Hum (1989). Session 30, p. 323.
Osho on his work
“I could have come into the ashram as many times as possible – it is not far away. But I have not been in the office since 1974. I have never seen anything in the ashram except my room and the meeting place where I see you, where I talk. It is not a sermon, it is not a discourse, it is simply an outpouring of a heart who loves you and wants to reach you; who trusts you and wants to enter into your deepest core; who wants to help you on the way.
And knowingly I don’t come, because I want you not to take me for granted. I want you to wait for me. And sometimes I disappear, I don’t come. But even then lovingly you wait – perhaps tomorrow I will be coming, or the day after tomorrow. And those days of waiting are not without significance. They are as significant as the days when I am with you. I want you to be absolutely free of me, absolutely independent.
I don’t impose any doctrine, any cult, any philosophy. I don’t want followers. I simply want people who know the dignity of man, who know the peaks of awareness. Only those who will know the peaks of awareness will be my friends, only those who will go to the depths of love will be my friends.” Hari Om Tat Sat (1989). Session 18, p. 187.
No discourses were held 07.02 – 22.02.1988.
On turning his neck
“I have been told by my bodyworker, Anubuddha, to look all around. He says that because I go on looking in this direction, people want their seats in this direction. And according to him my neck gets disturbed. So from now onward, once in a while I’m going to look all around, just as an exercise.
Where is Avirbhava? She must be holding the wall, because two times the wall has moved towards me…!” Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (1989). Session 21, p. 211.
On a World Academy of Creative Science, Art and Consciousness
“My idea of an academy is of creative science which will consciously avoid anything that destroys life and will seek and search only for that which enhances life.
This academy cannot be only of science because science is only part of human reality. The academy has to be comprehensive, it has to be for creativity, for art, for consciousness; hence it will have three divisions, major divisions, not separated, but just for arbitrary purposes to be denominated as separate.
The most fundamental thing will be creating methods, techniques, ways of raising human consciousness, and certainly, this consciousness cannot be against the body; this consciousness is residing in the body. They cannot be seen as inimical to each other; in every way, they are supportive…
The body is the door – the body is the stepping-stone. And any education that does not touch the subject of your body and consciousness is not only absolutely incomplete, it is utterly harmful because it will go on being destructive. It is only the flowering of consciousness within you that prevents you from destruction. And that gives you a tremendous urge to create – to create more beauty in the world, to create more comfort in the world. That’s why I include art as the second part of the academy. Art is a conscious effort to create beauty, to discover beauty, to make your life more joyful, to teach you to dance, to celebrate.
And the third part is a creative science. Art can create beauty, science can discover objective truth, and consciousness can discover subjective reality. These three together can make any system of education complete. All else is secondary, may be useful for mundane purposes, but it is not useful for spiritual growth, it is not useful to bring you to the sources of joy, love, peace, silence…
Anubuddha, my idea of a World Academy of Creative Science, Art and Consciousness is really in other words my vision of a real religion.
Man needs a better body, a healthier body.
Man needs a more conscious, alert being.
Man needs all kinds of comforts and luxuries that existence is ready to deliver. Existence is ready to give you paradise herenow, but you go on postponing it – it is always after death.” Om Shanti Shanti Shanti (1989). Session 27, pp. 270,271,272.
Sarito on The Mystic Rose, Osho’s last series only on Q/A
“YAA-HOO! THE MYSTIC ROSE. Beginning March 19, 1988, Osho starts a series of talks that will turn out to be the last series devoted only to responses to questions. During these talks he begins to develop a “let-go” meditation, which he personally leads.” (Sarito 2000, p. 273)
From Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose. Session 5, Let-go – the fundamental principle. Last part of this discourse:
“Beloved Bhagwan, As I write this question my hands are shaking.
Soon, more than your hands… everything will shake! Okay, let them shake. You ask
the question. Go on! Even the dodos are laughing now. By the time your question is
complete, I don’t think anybody here will dare not to let-go.
(Given the festive mood everyone laughs uproariously at the seriousness of the question and Maneesha is forced to pause. Bhagwan Himself is laughing, which tickles everybody into even more laughter).
While reading the chapter called “The Wanderer” from The Sound of Running Water I saw that the culminating sentence was, “Yet the call is heard, as somewhere in our being the promise is remembered” With this sentence there was an explosion of energy in my heart, bringing tears to my eyes.
Yes, it will happen again. An explosion too will happen. And tears will also come to your eyes – they are already coming!… Complete the question.
(The continued reading is accompanied by wave upon wave of laughter which crests again and Maneesha stops. Years of serious spiritual questioning dissolves in the merriment – it is as though a whole auditorium full of Mahakashapas have suddenly got the joke – and Bhagwan seems to be co-conspirator in the chaos. The stylized question-and-answer format has gone completely out the window. It is turning into a dialogue, a dance between Bhagwan and Maneesha while background music is supported by nonstop laughter).
Bhagwan, I have always known – but I feel so afraid; even as the explosion happened…
You have been always afraid and now it is going to happen! Just gather courage. Go on.
Even as the explosion happened, I was escaping. Bhagwan, I call You “Beloved Master” but still I escape.
(There is a silence as Bhagwan searches through the pages of His clipboard. Apparently, there is no joke funnier that the next question).
You read the next question now because the reading of your questions is preparing people. Go on.
Beloved Bhagwan, Ten years of sannyas have finally brought me to a total chaos.
Give a good applause! Somebody has come to a total chaos! But you have not known total chaos – just wait…
On the one hand I welcome it; on the other hand there is so much fear about whether I’ll come out of it.
There is no hope – once you are in it, you are in it. Nobody has ever come out of the chaos… Just complete the question.
And this “tiger” about whom You were speaking to me comes closer and closer.
(Everyone is shipwrecked with laughter. There’s nothing to hold on to, what to say about letting go?)
What to do at such a meeting? My fear is of dying or going cuckoo.
Most probably cuckoo, because in let-go nobody is going to die. A few people will shout “Yaa-Hoo!” – that means they have gone cuckoo. A few will remain sane and try… but they will be stupid. Such chances rarely comes in life.
Beloved Bhagwan, my heart is trembling. Can You please say something?
I don’t know what to say! Should we do the exercise? Niskriya, stand up. Yeah. Now, give the order – “Yaa-Hoo!” That is good! Now… stop! Come back…
Yes, Bhagwan.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 5, p. 60.
On Socratic dialogue
“Beloved Bhagwan, Are we moving into the Socratic dialogue form of discoursed now? But I detect an essential difference. Socrates said: “Know thyself.” You have said, “Let go thyself!” Please comment.
Maneesha, the subject of Socratic dialogue is something special to be discussed. His use of the word ‘dialogue’ was very original: he means by it that truth can be discovered by discussing in a friendly way, respectful towards each other.
This way of finding the truth is bound to be only rational. That’s why Socrates cannot be counted as having reached the same heights as Gautam Buddha – because at the ultimate peak of experience there is no dialogue, but only monologue. You are alone. There is nobody to whom you can say something and there is nothing which can be said. And the moment the other disappears, you also disappear – because the existence of “I” and “thou” is together, you cannot separate them, they exist as two sides of one coin.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 7, p. 64.
On raising both arms in Yaa-Hoo
“Beloved Bhagwan, What do You mean by the raised hand and “Yaa-Hoo”?
Neelam, you must have seen that today I have raised both my hands, because the German idiots have made a law in Germany that raising one hand is a criminal act… But thinking of my sannyasins… I don’t want to create more trouble for you. I have created so much trouble already. So we leave behind that son-of-a-bitch Adolf Hitler. We will be raising both hands, meaning that our longing is for the stars. As far as “Yaa-Hoo” is concerned, it means nothing, but it has tremendous significance. It somehow vibrates you without saying anything: just say, “Yaa-Hoo!” and something in your belly… But a great salute certainly has to have some meaning. And all words have to be given meaning by us; no words has a meaning on its own. You must have heard Mohammedans say, Ya Allah. It means, “Ah, God!” Yaa-Hoo means “Ah, God”…
In the same way is the word ‘Yaa-Hoo!’ Hoo is an ancient practice of the Sufis. They have discovered that rather than repeating the mantra Allah, Allah-hoo helps you to go deeper into yourself. And somebody found on the way that there is no need even to say “Allah-hoo” – just “Hoo” serves the purpose, because the sound “Hoo” hits at the very center of your being. Just by repeating “Hoo” again and again – you will be surprised – you have left your mind far away, your thoughts have ceased, time has disappeared and you have come into a space which is yours, but you have never been aware of it.
With ‘Hoo’, I have joined ‘Yaa’ also, because in my feeling ‘Hoo’ works, certainly, but it is serious. It makes you centered, but in your center there is no laughter, no dance. Certainly the flower blossoms, but there is no fragrance. The sound “Yaa” does the work; it makes the word ‘Hoo’ complete and total. “Yaa-Hoo!” not only hits your center, your very being, it also brings in you a tremendous feeling of joy, a laughter, a dance. It is celebration…
Beloved Bhagwan, We love the greeting of two arms raised, but it feels more appropriate from the disciple to the master, and we would love You to respond to us with Your blessing.
It seems, Niskriya, you are right. And anyway I more often forget who is master here and who is disciple. This will remind me also that I am the master and you are the disciple. So I accept your proposal… Okay Maneesha? Yes Bhagwan.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 8, p. 74 & Session 30, p. 338 & Session 9, p. 103.
“Now, before we do our let-go, two things have to be understood.
To make the let-go really a deep and meaningful experience we will remain for two minutes completely frozen, as if dead – as you are sitting. You don’t have to fall, you don’t have to do anything.
When, after two minutes, absolutely frozen – nobody is wanted or welcome to laugh; that will destroy the whole thing. You have to remain frozen and then I will tell you, “Let go.”
These two minutes will be gathering of the energy. These two minutes you will be almost dead. And after these two minutes, when I say, “Let go” then you can relax and then there is no limitation for you. Then you can laugh, you can enjoy; just don’t harm anybody and just don’t do anything to anybody. Whatever you want to do, do to yourself. If you want to tickle, tickle yourself, but not anybody else.
Of course Niskriya is out. (To Niskriya) You are not part of the meditation.
So first be frozen for two minutes.
Now… let go. (An oceanic whisper of thousands of bodies falling gently to the floor, and then – just more silence).
Come back to life.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 16, p. 189.
Satyananda recalls watching Osho on TV in California
“Eines Dienstagabends um halb acht schalteten wir auf Kanal 19, und da war er, der vielgeschmähte, weise Schelm, den sie erst vor zwei Jahren ausser Landes gejagt hatten. Als wir ihn zum ersten Mal auf unserem Bildschirm sahen, trauten wir unseren Augen nicht – aber das war er tatsächlich, mit Mütze und Märchengewand und Brilliant-Armbanduhr und sprach in der neugebauten Buddhahalle seines Aschrams in Poona, und nach dem Vortrag leitete er eine Jibberisch-Meditation für seine fünftausend Zuhörer. Die leute gebärdeten sich wie wild und brabbelten durcheinander und Rajneesh heizte sie mit ausgebreitenten Armen an. Plötzlich ein dumpfer Trommelschlag. Stille. Alle sassen in völliger Bewegungslosigkeit. Und in die Stille warf Rajneesh hypnotische Signale:
“Sei still und wach – der Verstand schweigt, die Zeit steht still – reines Sein, nichts als reines Sein – Stille is alles, worum es in einer autentischen Religion geht…”” (Elten 1990, p. 311)
Stormy weather in Buddha Hall
“(Throughout the last few minutes, gusts of wind have come, and outbursts of hysterical giggling in the hall. Bhagwan has kept on speaking, but now He stops. Now there is only the sound of wind and rain, the immensity of His silence, and still – unbelievably – the giggling. Finally He speaks).
This is out of the joke.
(But the giggling continues. Bhagwan rises from His seat without further comment, namastes and walks to the exit. He raises His arm in salute, and the stunned assembly responds – “Yaa-Hoo!” Away from the microphone, His words can be heard only by those in the first few rows).
Don’t wait for me to come out tomorrow night…
(That night and the following day, Bhagwan received hundreds of letters of apology. These are excerpts from just a few).” [Excerpts on pp. 233-35] Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 20, pp. 233-235.
Following evening in Buddha Hall
“(We have all been asked to arrive in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium early tonight, for an announcement. Nobody knows – and there has been remarkably little speculation – whether Bhagwan will appear or not. The hall is quiet as people arrive and take their places. Even the usual music is silenced in this atmosphere of not-knowing. Finally the announcement).
Bhagwan was thinking to discontinue the discourses last night, after he was so rudely interrupted by that insane laughter. He is not against laughter, as you know. He gives us so many opportunities to laugh, he encourages our laughter at the right time.
But last night the laughter was totally out of place, totally inappropriate. It interrupted him in full flight of discourse. There was a total disturbance to him and he was hurt.
I think maybe we don’t fully understand, but he is only living for us, there is nothing else that he is interested in. He only stays in his body to come and talk to us. If we are not here to listen to him – and when we laugh inappropriately it is obvious that we are not listening to him – then what’s the point?
He suffers incredibly in his body. We don’t have any idea. But in the last two years particularly, since he was arrested and incarcerated by the Americans, his body is utterly deteriorated. Every joint – every joint in his body hurts him immensely most of the time. He doesn’t say anything about it. But we have no idea what difficulties he is living in. Even here in his own country he is being harassed by the Indian government. He can’t… nobody will let him in peace. He is staying on just for the love he has for us.
That was the message that He wanted me to give to you…
[Osho:]… But if I see that you start taking me for granted, that I am speaking and you start laughing unnecessarily, at a wrong point, that means either I am in a wrong place or you are in a wrong place. What has happened yesterday, remember: it should not happen again. I am holding myself with difficulty together. I can disappear any moment. Then all your tears will not bring me back, then all your sadness will be of no use. Perhaps sooner or later you will forget it, as a beautiful dream that you had seen once.
Very few will be able to continue on the journey without me, and to meet me finally in their self-realization. But those will be very few. You need me, because my garden is almost a nursery; you have just started growing. It is not the moment for me to retire and to relax into the universal.
If yesterday’s incident makes you more understanding and conscious, then it has been a blessing in disguise. Storms will be coming again and again, but you have to remember.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 21, pp. 238,242.
Punya on discourses
“The discourses were full of laughter and practical pranks and there were moments when there was so much laughter in the hall that we could not hear a word of what Osho was saying. Sometimes he himself was unable to speak, laughing and chuckling over our questions which were being read out to him; we could then see the ridiculousness of our questions which we thought were so profound and important…
The laughter in the hall climaxed on a stormy and windy evening when the rain had torn part of the mosquito net and flooded the left side of the hall, close to Osho’s podium. Despite being drenched, most people remained unmoving and meditative, but in the back one person started to laugh loudly, hysterically, complete out of control. It was so out of place that Osho stopped speaking, got up and walked out of the hall saying to those close by: “Don’t wait for me to come back tomorrow night.”” (Punya 2015, pp. 358,359)
Epilogue in Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988): Storms will be coming again and again, but you have to remember…
“I wanted you to know that I am not an old-style Zen master, but I also hit – in my own way, more sophisticated. I also destroy your clingings, your egos; I also destroy your taking me for granted, because one day suddenly I will be gone, just like the storm will be gone. Before I am gone, I would like you to blossom into the biggest roses possible.” April 9, 1988.
(In the two weeks following Bhagwan’s “Zen stick” of April 8, we interviewed people about what their experiences had been that evening, and how it had affected them. These are excerpts from those interviews. Ed.”) Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988), p. 349.
Anutoshen writes on the two storms
“We also had a storm one night (there was a late monsoon this year). It was one of the strongest rains I have ever been in, accompanied by fierce lightening and thunder. It was at peak strength for maybe 15-20 minutes (so loud that one couldn’t hear a word of the discourse). I was there a few years ago when we had a wind storm and someone started laughing and Osho walked out of the discourse. This time the weather was much stronger, and in the Hall there was only deep, uninterrupted silence. It was a beautiful thing to be part of. I was also impressed by the silence as people left the Hall each night.” (Viha Connection, 1994:1)
On his posture during discourse
“Anando was worried that I used to sit cross-legged always, but just for a few days…” Why are you not sitting cross-legged?”
I said, “This is strange, but it does not happen to me. It used to happen… but what can I do?” Should I cross my legs because Anando will be in trouble? I am not going to listen to anybody; I am going to sit this way… Even Niskriya is laughing. When he laughs I know everything is all right. Otherwise he is a serious person.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 26, p. 296.
“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)
Madhuri writes in The Poona Poems:
End of Discourse
“You looked right into the scared sexuality
the ever-hesitant earth-belonging
naked in my eyes
as though I stood bare in my own pupils
You robe glittered
in opulence and joy
’89?” (Madhuri 2017, p. 160)
“During his life, Osho delivered eloquent commentaries on all of the major spiritual traditions, including Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Yoga, and the teachings of a variety of mystics, and on such sacred scriptures as the Upanishads. But towards the end, he came to be described as a Zen master. An early biographer observed that his closest philosophical links were not with Zen but with practitioners of Tantra, who regard the body as an essential aspect of spirituality (see Prasad, Rajneesh: The Mystic of Feeling, 141-42)… Nevertheless, the majority of his publications, from early on, focused on Zen… After early 1988, however, his focus became almost exclusively Zen, and in that year alone, twenty-eight books were published from his commentaries on the topic.” (Fox 2002, pp. 7,34)
Discourses on Zen and Zen Masters
Osho first talked in Chuang Tzu Auditorium on the Zen masters Bodhidharma and Ta Hui in July and August 1987:
* Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master. Commentaries on the Teachings of the Messenger of Zen from India to China (1988).
05.07 am – 14.07 pm 1987.
* Ta Hui. The Great Zen Master. Reflections on the Transformation of an Intellectual to Enlightenment (1988).
15.07 am – 20.08 pm 1987.
Later on in Buddha Hall four series of discourses on Zen including responses to Questions and Answers with Zen stories and haikus.
Sarito writes on Zen discourses
“THE ZEN DISCOURSES. After completing the Mystic Rose series, Osho begins to speak on Zen stories and haikus. As part of the Zen talks he answers questions from his editor [Maneesha] about the meaning of the stories or haikus and often comments on current world affairs and social concerns. But he never again answers questions about people’s relationships or other personal problems. He often dedicates his talks to the trees surrounding the meditation hall, to the birds, to the clouds or rains, and other elements of nature.” (Sarito 2000, p. 273)
1. The World of Zen (5 volumes in boxed set).
Talks from April to July 1988, all published in 1988.
* Live Zen. A New Therapy is Born Therapy through Gibberish (1988). 22.04 pm – 26.05 pm 1988.
* This. This. A Thousand Times This. The Very Essence of Zen (1988). 27.05 pm – 10.06 pm 1988.
* Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-mind (1988).
11.06 pm – 26.06 pm 1988.
* Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988).
27.06 pm – 11.07 pm 1988.
* Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988).
12.07 pm – 24.07 pm 1988.
2. Zen: All the Colours of the Rainbow (5 volumes in boxed set)
Talks from August and September 1988, all published in 1989.
* The Miracle (1989).
02.08 pm – 11.08 pm 1988.
* Turning In (1989).
12.08 pm – 28.08 pm 1988.
* The Original Man (1989.
16.08 pm – 25.08 pm 1988.
* The Language of Existence (1989).
29.08 pm – 07.09 pm 1988.
* The Buddha: The Emptiness of the Heart (1989).
08.09 pm – 15.09 pm 1988.
3. Osho Rajneesh: The Present Day Awakened One Speaks on the Ancient Masters of Zen (7 volumes in boxed set)
Talks from July, September and October 1988, all published in 1989.
* Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment (1989).
25.07 pm – 01.08 pm 1988.
* Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror (1989).
16.09 pm – 25.09 pm 1988.
* Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho’s Haikus (1989).
26.09 pm – 04.10 pm 1988.
* Nansen: The Point of Departure (1989).
05.10 pm – 14.10 pm 1988.
* Joshu: The Lion’s Roar.
15.10 pm – 22.10 pm 1988.
* Rinzai: Master of the Irrational (1989).
23.10 pm – 31.10 pm 1988.
* Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky (1989).
01.11 pm – 02.12 pm 1988.
4. The final Zen series
Talks from December 1988 until April 1989, published in 1989 and 1990.
* Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990).
03.12 pm – 06.12 pm 1988.
* No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1990).
26.12 pm 1988 – 07.01 pm 1989.
* Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990).
08.01 pm – 12.01 pm 1989.
* One Seed Makes the Whole World Green (1990).
13.10. – 16.01.1989.
* Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990).
17.01 pm – 21.01 pm 1989.
* Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990).
22.01 pm – 29.01 pm 1989.
* Communism & Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990).
30.01 pm – 05.02 pm 1989.
* God is Dead. Now Zen is the Only Living Truth (1990).
06.02 – 12.02.1989.
* I Celebrate Myself. God is No Where: Life is Now Here (1990).
13.02 pm – 19.02 pm 1989.
* The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989).
20.02 pm – 10.04 pm 1989.
Starting with the series Live Zen in April and May 1988 discourses were now delivered in the evenings only.
“In the early months of 1988 Osho began to talk on the Zen Masters. From the very beginning of what was to be a nine-month-long series, these discourses had a certain flavor, and it seemed as if Osho were taking us into a whole new level of being.
Listening to these discourse in White Robe Brotherhood now, three years after I first heard them, I recall how I felt at the time when Osho was giving them. If you listen to them, you’ll notice how Osho speaks very, very slowly; the gaps between words seeming to last for minutes on end. Sitting in His presence, I found that to begin with, my mind would career quite confidently along a phrase Osho was using – until He paused. Then it would hesitate, confused, and teetering about, finally fall off the edge of the last word, so I would be plunged headlong into silence. As Osho resumed talking and my mind registered that another word was being spoken, it would haul itself to its feet like a decrepit old wine, and a little less cocky this time, again begin to follow Osho’s word.
But invariably, after a few more tumbles my mind would concede defeat, and I would be left gloating, mindless, in a space of silence – listening, but not with the mind, it seems… more as if my entire body had become a huge ear. I was just an ear.
Toward the end of discourse is what Osho refers to as our “prayer-time” – when he tells some jokes as a prelude to the last phase of our meditation…
Each evening I was left feeling as if I had been through a spiritual washing machine. Night after night Osho took us on such flights of joy that He always left me stunned into silence or sobbing with uncontainable joy.” (Maneesha. In: Viha Connection, 2007:3)
The intimate discourses on Zen started in Poona Two with texts from sutras combined with Maneesha as a vehicle, conscious of not being in the way, when she were reading others’ questions, summing up to a total of 300 questions. Some questions were indeed fiddled with, ten to twelve, produced only with Devaraj. Maneesha were to find the sutras in Lao Tzu Library. 360 questions were answered during the nine months with discourses on Zen. As always, questions were to be existential, not intellectual. It was a very colorful and magical time. (Ma Prem Maneesha. Own notes. Evening session at RISK, Denmark. 29.09.2006)
Savita writing on Zen phase
“It was around this time he started guiding us in person through a new short meditation that he included with the evening talks – and thus he moved into a Zen phase. He stopped answering individual questions and began to devote his discourses exclusively to the stories of Japanese and Chinese Zen masters – as if Zen was the only non-religious tradition he could safely entrust us with.” (Savita 2014, p. 19)
Two early biographers of Acharya Rajneesh write on Zen
“His doctrine of inner void (Shoonya) and sudden enlightenment come from his studies in Zen Buddhism, particularly from the writings of D.T. Suzuki. Zen Buddhism also is the “inexhaustible quarry from which the Acharya has drawn some of his stories and parables.” [Prasad 1970, p. 91].” (Mangalwadi 1977, p. 129)
Sam writes on Osho’s Zen discourses
“What that lecture [06.11.1987 on his poisoning] did was mark the beginning of the last stage of Osho’s teaching.
Over a short period of time everything seemed to change.
The first thing was a real slap in the face to the whole Poona ethos. Osho said he was not going to answer any more lecture questions about relationships, or the nature of love; he had said all he had to say, and that was that. And it quickly became clear that he did not just mean love between men and women. The whole emphasis on the I-Thou, on devotion to a spiritual Master, seemed to have lost its primacy in his eyes. So did the commune – or at least all its extended family, emotional aspects. It was as though he was intent on ruling out the whole ‘Sufi’ dimension to sannyas. No more was there any talk of surrender; – on the contrary, there was a sudden insistence on individual rebelliousness. A rebelliousness which, push come to shove, had distinctly political overtones.
It is the brusqueness of this change – almost, compared with the patience of his previous work, the violence of it – which makes me feel Osho knew he was dying. He did not have the time he had thought he was going to have. Where it was all heading, however, did not become clear for several months, not until early 88, when he started a series of lectures on Zen; – a series which was to continue without a break until he was too ill to be able to lecture any more.
During that last year he was to produce twenty-eight books solely on Zen – speaking on Dogen and Ma Tzu, on Hyakujo and Basho and Nansen and Joshu and Rinzai and Isan and Kyozan. Finally, having talked about every Zen master anyone had ever heard of, he asked Japanese sannyasins to translate Zen material hitherto unavailable outside Japan – stories so over the top they had been dismissed as absurd, as nihilistic slapstick, and which he delighted in showing conveyed, once interpreted, the same basic message as the rest of Zen.
So what was Zen about?
Above all, Zen was about freedom…
Freedom from what? In the first place freedom from social, and ultimately ruling-class, conditioning.” (Sam 1997, p. 208)
Discourses on Zen
“He began talking on Zen but it was more as though He was preparing an atmosphere of silence than talking. He would pause and say “… This Silence…” almost pointing to it, or pause and draw our attention to the sounds around us – the creaking of the tall bamboos; the sound of rain, the whine of the wind amongst falling leaves: “Listen…” He would say, and a blanket of silence would descend on Buddha Hall.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 265)
Osho on the etymology of zen
“The word zen remains a puzzle because it comes from a Sanskrit root; it comes from the word dhyan. Buddha used the contemporary language of his people – which was a revolutionary step, because Sanskrit has always been the language of the scholars. Buddha brought a revolution by using the people’s language, not the language of the scholars. He used Pali so that every villager could understand. In Pali, dhyan is changed into a little different form; it has become zh’an. And when Bodhidharma reached China, he talked about zh’an. But in Chinese, it took another change; it became ch’an. And then from China, it reached Japan; from ch’an it became zen. Far away it lost the original root. Now in Japanese there is no root for zen; the word is foreign to Japanese. For ch’an there is no root in Chinese; the word is foreign.” Bodhidharma. The Greatest Zen Master (1988). Chapter 6, p. 99.
Osho’s daily structure had Shunyo reading to him the sutra and jokes for the evening lecture in the afternoon between 3 and 4 p.m. Maneesha was reading them again during discourse at 7 p.m. in Buddha Hall.
One of Osho’s several notepads, used for sutras and jokes, is now [August 1999] with Sw Yoga Teertha in Poona. Printed on its back:
“OSHO used this pad to read out questions and jokes during discourses in Buddha Hall.
After OSHO left his body on January 19, 1990, OSHO’S secretary Ma Deva Anando gifted this pad to Sw Yoga Teertha who was working in Zarathustra Department at that time.”
Teertha was initiated into meditation Oct 1969 and into neo-sannyas 06.04.1971. (Amrita Suha. Personal information. Poona. August 1999)
First discourse in Live Zen (1988): Emptiness, no Holiness, 22.04 pm, 1988. Opening words:
“Beloved Bhagwan, Emperor Wu of Liang asked Bodhidharma, “What is the first principle of the holy teachings?”
Bodhidharma said, “Emptiness, no holiness.”
Bhagwan, This verse seems to contain the essence of Zen – “No knowing.” Is this why You have called Zen the only living religion?
Maneesha, before you asked the question, the trees have heard it.
It is one of the most fundamental things to be remembered by all of you that a religion is living only when there is no organized doctrine, no system of beliefs, no dogma, no theology. When there is just this silence and the trees enjoying the dance in the breeze, in your heart something grows. It is your own, it does not come from any scripture; nobody can give it to you because it is not knowledge.
That is the great difference between all the religions on one side and Zen on the other side. All religions except Zen are dead. They have become fossilized theologies, systems of philosophies, doctrines, but they have forgotten the language of the trees. They have forgotten the silence in which even trees can be heard and understood. They have forgotten the joy that has to be natural and spontaneous to the heart of every living being.
The moment the experience becomes an explanation, an expression, it breathes no more; it is dead – and all over the world people are carrying dead doctrines.
I call Zen the only living religion because it is not a religion, but only a religiousness. It has no dogma, it does not depend on any founder. It has no past; in fact it has nothing to teach you. It is the strangest thing that has happened in the whole history of mankind – strangest because it enjoys in emptiness, it blossoms in nothingness. It is fulfilled in innocence, in not knowing. It does not discriminate between the mundane and the sacred. For it, all that is, is sacred.
Life is sacred whatever form, whatever shape.
Whenever there is something living and alive it is sacred.
Today we are beginning to discuss a few incidents in the long history of Zen – which is unique because no other religion exists on anecdotes. They are not holy scripture; they are simply incidents that have happened.
It is up to you…
If you understand them they can open your eyes and your heart. If you don’t understand them nothing else will ever be able to open your eyes and your heart. And what I am saying is categorical, absolute.
These small anecdotes
in their very smallness
just like dewdrops
contain the whole secret of the ocean.
If you can understand the dewdrop
there is no need to understand the ocean
you have understood it.”
Live Zen (1988). Chapter 1, pp. 2-4.
Osho on Zen discourses
“It is true, Maneesha, these evenings have been very special and those who are present are very fortunate. The silences, the laughter, my eyes and your eyes meeting, my hands being understood… and we have created a golden age which has disappeared from the world. We have brought back the times of Mahakashyapa, Bodhidharma… This assembly would have made any enlightened person rejoice.
It is true that when communication happens, the communicators disappear – you can feel it immediately. Here you are as if one consciousness, undivided. In your silence you are one, in your laughter you are one. This oneness is the door to the ultimate awakening of your consciousness.” Live Zen (1988). Chapter 7, p. 97.
On the bamboos
“Listen to the bamboos…
(Bhagwan waits for the bamboos, but at this moment they sing very quietly.)
These bamboos are mischievous fellows! When you are ready to listen to them, they become silent. And when nobody is listening they are telling great truths.
(The bamboos answer – very loudly!)
Perfectly good!” Live Zen (1988). Chapter 8, p. 130.
“We have all become names, but we were born nameless and we will die nameless. But such is the deceptive way of the world that you will live with a name and even when you die, people will put the name on your grave. There was no such name ever as a reality; it was a fiction. A nameless reality existed, a nameless reality changed its form, but the grave will carry for years, as long as it remains, a name which represents nobody.” Live Zen (1988). Chapter 11, p. 176.
On the work of a Zen master
“This is a very special standpoint of Zen. The master has not to give you a verbal answer, because the verbal answer will become knowledge, and knowledge is a hindrance. The authentic master will create the situation. It is always perhaps – perhaps you may be able to hear the bamboos, perhaps not. The master’s function it to create a situation in which you can become awake.
It is very indirect work, subtle work. It is not like a Christian preacher, a missionary, a Hindu pundit or a Jewish rabbi talking about scriptures, quoting others.
Zen want you to remember not to believe in quotes. Let it be your own experience – never stop before that!” This. This. A Thousand Times This (1988). Chapter 10, p. 147.
On the sound of rain
“(A furious monsoon rainstorm erupts and the power briefly goes out, plunging the whole assembly into an abrupt and silent darkness. When the power returns, Bhagwan waits for a few moments before beginning again.)
Do you hear the rain?
If you can hear it intensely, totally, this moment can become your enlightenment.
It is not a question to be discussed, it is an inquiry into your own inner space. It is stopping the mind from its wavering thoughts and coming to a stillness within you where nothing moves.” This. This. A Thousand Times This (1988). Chapter 13, p. 198.
On his deepest understanding
“Beloved Bhagwan, If someone asks me a hundred years afterwards, what I thought was Your deepest understanding, what should I say?
Maneesha, a hundred years after or a million years after, you need not be worried, I will be answering through you. But the answer will be simply THIS, unadorned, just a pure silence, a space without clouds.
But you need not wait for a hundred years, you need not wait for even a single moment. You have to answer this very moment. The question has been asked.
Every moment, the people who are with me – it does not matter whether they are physically here or not – wherever they are, I am asking them again and again, insisting to them to come home, to be here, just be and don’t run after shadows.
Is not this silence saying the same? Are not the bamboos standing in deep silence with you as fellow travelers?” This. This. A Thousand Times This (1988). Chapter 15, p. 240.
Experiences of the Meditators. By Ma Prem Maneesha:
“For me this series of talks was even more potent than the previous series, Live Zen – although when the first discourses were happening it was impossible to imagine that anything could be more powerful.
For a good many of those evenings I felt perpetually as if I’d just caught my breath and was sitting, poised, on the edge of something – like when you see a startlingly beautiful flower or an extraordinarily magical sunset. I would feel suspended, as if in liquid crystal, for the entire time Bhagwan was talking. Or it would feel as if I were on the edge of an orgasm, energy just on the point of spilling over, but never quite yet…
A delicious sensation.
And the lovely part about silence is the intimacy, the feeling of us having all merged into each other. I say “a feeling of us all merged into each other” because I know there were people sitting there other than me and Bhagwan; but in fact I was hardly ever cognizant of that; the silence was so cohesive. I enjoyed the part after the jokes when Bhagwan would say to sit still and be like a statue. I would remember when I was a child and hiding from someone: it felt like a matter of life and death that you did not move a hair, your every breath meant the possibility of being detected. In discourse I would be just like that: so still, as if my life depended on it, not moving my body nor my mind; and just as Bhagwan said, I would by and by feel the energy welling up inside me like a mushrooming light till it would reach to my head and seem about to explode.
Then during the lying down stage that followed, I would feel energy rippling through me in waves, literally from my toes to the top of my head, so I would be aware of myself lying on the floor, with a foolish grin of joy on my face, feeling absolutely heavenly.” (This. This. A Thousand Times This (1988). Appendix, p. 249)
Black gorilla enters
“(Just before Bhagwan’s car comes, a big black gorilla [Vimal dressed up] enters the hall and sits behind Maneesha.)…
Now look, just by the side of Maneesha, a gorilla is sitting. Gorilla, sir, will you stand up? That’s good. Soon it is going to be very difficult, if tigers and gorillas hear you – and they are bound to hear, because here is a place where they can be respected…
So playful, so childlike, so non-serious, so alive is the approach of Zen. It is perfectly good for tigers and lions and deer to come to this gathering. They will appear, for this gorilla is going to spread the news. Gorilla sir, please be silent, although it is not your way, neither is it in your nature; but please don’t start gossiping about this temple. We don’t want tigers and lions, because we don’t have space. Just wait a little… once we have got a bigger space, which we will be getting, then you can bring all the gorillas – you must have friends, a wife, children. A gorilla does not believe in celibacy, he is not a Catholic monk.” Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-mind (1988). Chapter 3, pp. 37,38.
On his work
“Maneesha’s question is:
Beloved Bhagwan, it really seems that for the first time those of us who are with you are not setting up any kind of spiritual or organizational hierarchy: there is just you and us – and even that division disappears in the silence here each evening.
Maneesha, I have not been here for thirty-five years. And in this absence of thirty-five years I have been trying to help everybody be as absent as I am. In this absence, I have known the greatest ecstasy and I have known life in its pure essence without any reason or rhyme, just as flowers blossom and spread their fragrance. There is no effort in it. Without any effort I have been sharing myself to anyone who by chance has come across me.
I am not, and I want you also to be not. The more you are, the more you will suffer. The more you are, the more you are in hell. If you want to be more, go to Europe and do Fisher-Hoffman therapy. That leads you directly to hell. Its whole effort is to make you more, stronger, to give you a personality.
Here my whole work is anti Fischer-Hoffman. I want you to be nobody, nothing, just a silence; because only in this silence have buddhas blossomed. Every day you have some feel of it. One day, suddenly, this feel will become your very breathing, the very beating of your heart. I declare this assembly to be the most blessed on the earth at this moment. Everywhere, there is the clicking of teeth. This small assembly of seekers is moving in a totally different dimension to the mind. It is moving in the dimension of no thought, no feeling, no emotion – just pure nothingness.
Once you have attained to pure nothingness you have found the dance of the universal, of the eternal. You have found the meaning of life. There is no other way to find the significance and the fragrance of your own being.” Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-mind (1988). Chapter 13, p. 216.
On the word
“Maneesha has asked a question:
Is there a word in the end?
Maneesha, neither is there a word in the beginning nor in the end. It is always silence, eternal silence. Words are very small, they cannot contain it.
She has asked:
I have understood You to say that in the beginning was not the word, but silence. Is not silence the beginning, the end, and the continuum between beginning and end?
Yes, a thousand times yes. I have been speaking about the Bible, which says, “In the beginning, there was the word.” Now that is sheer nonsense. How can the word be of itself? Somebody has to utter it. And what is a word if there is nobody to understand it? It becomes just a sound. But what is a sound if there is nobody to hear it?
Certainly the Bible is wrong. In the beginning was silence, in the middle is silence, in the end it is silence.
Silence is the very soul of existence.” Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988). Chapter 2, p. 23.
On Sardar Gurudayal Singh
“Now you are ready to go inwards…
just a cup of tea.
(A hearty laugh from Sardarji…)
Sardar Gurudayal Singh gets the joke before I tell it! He is really a miracle. And he is sitting just in the first row, with all his grandeur. It is very unique to get the joke before it is told. Most people don’t get it even when it is told. They laugh because others are laughing; very few people get it. But Sardar Gurudayal Singh is ahead…” Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988). Chapter 6, p. 85.
On Buddha’s eyes
“For centuries there has been a discussion about whether the eyes should be open or closed on a statue of Buddha. The discussion became so hot that finally they decided, “Let his eyes be half open and half closed.” Everybody was satisfied.
I was in a Buddhist temple, having a meditation camp there, exactly where Gautam Buddha became enlightened in Bodhgaya. I said to the priest, “This is not possible. Buddha must have been blinking his eyes. He cannot keep them always half open and half closed. It is possible to keep them closed, but it is not possible to keep them half open or half closed.”
The priest said, “Nobody has ever asked about it. And for centuries we have decided, because of conflicting groups…” Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988). Chapter 14, p. 244.
On the reading of Buddhist scriptures
“The Buddhist scriptures are divided into twelve divisions. It is among the greatest literature, no other religion can compete with it.
He [Ryosui] said to Mayoku, “If I had not visited you, I would have been deceived all my life by the Twelve Division Canon, I would have gone on reading and reading and reading. But with a single act you have taken me to a state of no-mind.”
Mayoku opened the door and confirmed
The moment he said, “I am finished with thinking, philosophy, with mind…”
It is enough if a person understands that mind is not the way, but the peace and silence of no-mind. Suddenly he is aflame with a new and eternal life.
Yyosui went back to his place of learning, resigned from it, and said to the assembled learners, “What you know, I know; what I
know, you don’t know.”
To the fellow scholars who were pondering over scriptures, before leaving them he made the statement, “What you know – the scriptures – I also know. But what I know – myself – you don’t know.”
There is no way of knowing oneself through words, systems of beliefs, scriptures. There is only one way, and that is to enter immediately into your own self as deeply as possible, cutting all weeds, not being prevented by any thought, and suddenly you come to the source of your life. It is fire and it is eternal fire. Once you have experienced it, it is always with you. It will radiate in your presence; even others will feel the radiation. Those who are a little receptive, those who are not utterly blind, will even see the change, the rebirth, the revolution that you have gone through.” Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988). Chapter 15, p. 261.
“Just hold a bird in your hand and don’t think about it… or a flower in your hand, and don’t think about it. Just see it. Without any thoughts moving between you and the flower, what happens? Suddenly you are the flower. And if you feel one with the flower you have felt one with existence.
A man of enlightenment, feeling one with existence, needs no morality, needs no ethics, needs no teachings about what is right and what is wrong. He is so in tune with existence that everything that happens through him is bound to be just right. There is no possibility of anything going wrong.
Meditation is an art of bringing you closer to the heartbeat of existence. The deeper you go within you… you will find the very heartbeat of existence. Then there is no morality for you; all that you do is beautiful. Then you love without conditions, without demands, without possessiveness. Then you give out of joy, not to oblige, then you share because you are so full that if you don’t share, the burden of your joy will be too much. You become a raincloud which has to shower somewhere, because the rain is becoming heavier and heavier.
If the buddhas have spoken, it is nothing other than rainclouds showering spontaneously. Then each gesture is automatically right; then each word comes out of your deepest being, brings you some dance and some joy and some fragrance with it.
Maneesha has asked:
What can we learn from the cuckoo that will bring us closer to You?
Maneesha, there is nothing to be learned from the cuckoo. Just listen…
And as you listen to the cuckoo, the sound disappears, the song disappears. Even its echo, far away, disappears. Only a silent space is left behind. Then you have come closer to me, because I am not there. I am the house where nobody lives. If you also become a nobody you will know the taste of my being, because the taste is the same, whether it is your being or mine being.” Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest (1988). Chapter 15, p. 265.
“The Zen poet Shiki has written:
of Mandarine ducks.
The Zen poets have created a totally different category of poetry called haiku. It does not have many words as other poems have many words. A haiku is a very small piece, but very existential. You don’t have to read it, you have to see it.
Such silence… now don’t listen to the words ‘such silence’, but feel it, experience it.
Such silence, snow-tracing wings. Such high flight that it leaves traces of mandarin ducks on the eternal snow of the mountains. Seeing this miracle, you fall into a deep, undisturbed peacefulness.
The haiku is not a song to be sung, it is a song to be experienced and seen. You have to visualize it.” Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 1, p. 14.
On The Diamond Thunderbolt Series
“Maneesha has asked:
Why have you called Zen “The Diamond Thunderbolt?
Maneesha, It is the diamond thunderbolt. It is a sudden experience, with no preparation, no rehearsal, no discipline, no path. Suddenly you open your eyes as if a thunderbolt has hit you and the sleep of millions of years is broken. In that awakening you know the mystery of existence.
The diamond is the hardest thing in the world, and to call a thunderbolt ‘the diamond thunderbolt’ is to say that it comes to you suddenly like a spear, it passes through you, taking away all garbage and leaving behind a pure space.
Before we start today’s meditation… and remember: do it totally, because nobody knows about tomorrow. Never postpone for tomorrow. Don’t say, “Let us wait and watch today and tomorrow we will do it.” Tomorrow is absolutely uncertain. Only this moment is in your hands. Transform it into eternity or lose it.
Before we enter into the world of meditation, into the world of Zen, I would like our poor bamboos to have a few laughters. They wait every day.” Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 1, p. 17.
On Buddhism, Taoism and Zen Buddhism
“These sutras are in a way connected with what I was saying just now because the followers of Buddha could not exist in India, they were not allowed to exist. They were either burned or forced to be sudras or thrown out of the country. But in a way it proved a blessing in disguise. Buddhism spread all over Asia, into China, Mongolia, Korea, Taiwan, Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka – the whole of Asia became Buddhist because the refugees, who had left India out of fear, spread the message of Buddha. But it is a strange, and unbelievable fact, that from India, which goes on claiming itself as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, Buddhism disappeared completely.
These anecdotes belong to the heights that Buddhism reached, together with Taoism, in China. Gautam Buddha and Lao Tzu were contemporaries, and both were of the same insight and clarity. They both belong to the universal sense of humanity. So when Buddhist monks reached China, they were welcomed. There was no conflict between Taoism and Buddhism. This is a strange fact of history, it has never happened anywhere else. Christians have been fighting with Mohammedans, Mohammedans have been fighting with Hindus, Christians have been fighting with Jews – everywhere all the so-called religions have been conflicting. And it is not only verbal conflict: they have been killing each other in millions.
The meeting of Buddhism and Taoism is exceptional, unique. The Taoist monks received the refugee Buddhists with great love. And slowly a new phenomenon, a by-product of the meeting of Buddhism and Taoism came to birth: this is Zen.” Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 3, p. 51.
Photo 18. Osho at discourse in Buddha Hall.
On Hinduism and the Shankaracharya of Puri
“Hinduism has been doing it for centuries, so I cannot blame the Shankaracharya. He is simply repeating like a parrot the old rotten scriptures, without even caring that he will be laughed at. He is very courageous, he does not care what the intelligentsia of the world will think of him and his religion.
I want the seven other Shankaracharyas in India for the eight directions – to meet together and dethrone this fool. He is doing immense harm to their religion, to their respectability; he is making Hinduism a laughingstock. But all those seven Shankaracharyas are absolutely silent. Perhaps they also agree with him.
Obviously he is supported by Hindu scriptures. So a tremendous revolution is needed in Hinduism to get rid of all the nonsense that it has carried for thousands of years: that the woman is inferior, the sudra is untouchable; that the brahmin, whether he deserves it or not, has to be respected. All these obscurantist ideas should be thrown away. Hinduism needs a tremendous cleaning, a dry-cleaning. But because of these people who pretend to be heads of the religion millions of Hindus cannot even raise a question against it. Because I have raised questions against the Shankaracharya, letters have started coming to me saying, “You are insulting our head.”
That man has any head? Do I have to insult a man who has no head at all? He has given the challenge to have a discussion with me on these matters and now he is not talking about it. Seeing the situation he has dropped talking about discussion, rather he has started asking the government to arrest me. What crime have I committed that I should be arrested? Just because I have questioned a stupid man and called a spade just a fucking spade – this is no crime!” Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 4, p. 70.
On Zen anecdotes
“These small anecdotes are the most precious treasure. No other language, no other religion has reached to such a subtle understanding – that a small story, utterly naked, undecorated, can become a pointer to the ultimate truth.
Zen anecdotes are not something to read. As far as reading is concerned, they are worthless. They are something to be lived; that is the only way to understand them. Intellect is absolutely not needed. What is needed is innocence; what is needed is not knowledge, but humbleness, a humbleness that knows, “I know nothing.”
With this understanding that you know nothing, these small dialogues among Zen masters become tremendously meaningful, but you have to listen not with your ears, but with your heart; not with your mind but with your silent being. Something very important is being imparted. Be attentive.” Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 12, p. 229.
On Avirbhava’s shopping
“Now look at Avibhava who is sitting just here. A few days ago she dropped the idea of shopping – she is the great shopper. Just every two or three weeks a great urge arises to go shopping, to Singapore, to Bangkok, to London; anywhere, you just say it and Avibhava is really ready to go. But I hope she is getting mature and will drop all this nonsense, because what is shopping? – collecting junk… Now look, Avibhava’s urge is starting to think of Bangkok. This Bangkok is a very dangerous place. And you can get any kind of junk at a throw-away price and Avibhava graps everything. Whatever she can grap she graps, and I am finally the victim.
I have never shopped in my life; I had no chance, no time, no space. But so many people are shopping for me. They even go on sending by post all the junk that they think is valuable.
But I hope that even Avirbhava will get out of this. If the urge arises, just go to your boutique. That boutique is just for this urge. It is not a shopping center, it is just to help you get rid of your shopping desire. Just wait a little.” Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 12, p. 238.
“I have known one person who does not need to be tickled. Just from far away you make the gesture, and that is enough. Here there is also one person, everybody knows her. She is sitting so buddha-like, but just if I do this right now…
(The Master jiggles his fingers in a tickling gesture towards Avibharva. Each time He “tickles,” everyone roars with laughter, and the Master Himself is chuckling behind his sunglasses. He alternated his tickling gestures with a series of hand movements to calm it down… until the next outbreak of laughter.)
[Illustrated with ten small photos of Osho during this event]
And where is Anando?
(The Master, spotting Anando, begins to jiggle his hand in her direction and is laughing Himself. More waves of laughter.)
That is Anando, I could see.
This is the only way buddhahood arises: the master has to tickle. Now do you see the effect? I have not even tickled Avirbhava, neither have I tickled Anando, and you are all laughing!
(More “tickles” and more laughter ensue.)
This tickling is called, in the sutras, the great transmission. I have not even touched.
(He “tickles several people, laughing, and everyone is carried along with Him again.)
The master can only create a device. The device has no logical connection. Now do you see why you are laughing? Of course Avirbhava, at least, is tickled from far away – remote control. But why are you laughing? I have a remote control…
(The Master demonstrates his remote control on Avirbhava, and we all laugh some more. He laughs, and then motions her to be still.)
Calm down. Just sit like a buddha… close your eyes (He giggles)… look inside. (Another burst of laughter.)” Dogen. The Zen Master. A Search and a Fulfillment (1989). Chapter 8, p. 23.
On the Museum of the Ancient Dead Gods
“It is such an absurdity that a living buddha is worshipping a stone buddha, praying to a stone buddha made by human hands. It is so hilarious that all over the world, in all the temples of the socalled gods, people are worshipping toys.
I have told Avirbhava, “Collect all kinds of toys. We will make a beautiful museum and I appoint you the director general.” She has brought me a beautiful bear which walks, which makes sounds very similar to Avirbhava, and when he makes the sounds he waves his tail. It is really a beautiful toy.
But all the gods are not even that much alive. The bear at least moves, waves its tail and makes sounds – and strangely enough those sounds are exactly like Avirbhava makes. Tomorrow you will see. Avirbhava will bring it herself.
(The Master is laughing so much that He has difficulty speaking. Avirbhava is also laughing loudly.)
Now this is… give it a try… how he walks and makes the sound… You will just be missing the tail, otherwise you are perfect.
We are going to make a museum of all kinds of toys which humanity has been worshipping, so when visitors come you can show them that “These are your gods!”…
Maneesha, before I enter into the serious statements of a scholarly Dogen, I would like Avirbhava first to inaugurate.
It is not a bear, as I said yesterday – because around the world I have so many cases against me, accusing me of hurting people’s religious feelings. And the bear is worshipped by men.
It is really a pig. I had to ask Anando to research whether somebody’s heart feelings would be hurt if we inaugurate the Museum of the Ancient Dead Gods with a pig. Avirbhava is going to be the Director General. She is completely ready – with the ears of a pig, and a tail too.
(Avirbhava is dressed in pig ears and a curly tail.)…
So it is absolutely appropriate for Avirbhava to inaugurate the museum with her own hands.
Avirbhava, bring your pig… and inaugurate!
(Avirbhava places a cuddly soft pink pig on the podium and it proceeds to waddle across the marble in front of the Master’s feet, making grunting noises as its snout and tail wriggle.)
That is good.
Now we can turn to the serious matter.
Even this inauguration will hurt many people’s religious feelings, so there will be a few more cases. But this has been the right ancient god with which to inaugurate this museum, where we are going to collect all the dead gods that have been worshipped by the stupid humanity.” The Miracle (1989). Chapter 4, p. 111 & Chapter 5, p. 127.
“But it wasn’t all serious:
In August 1988, our théâtre de l’absurde took an even stranger tack with the inauguration of the Museum of Ancient Gods. Over the next new months, Avirbhava brought toy animals to discourse, which have been worshipped as gods by various cultures. Starting with a toy bear, she brought a pig, butterfly, talking parrot, fish, dolphin, tiger, lion, a dragon and many more…
Osho was obviously enjoying himself; it was as if he no longer needed to play the guru, and could just be a friend. The jokes got raunchier, as he lovingly took the piss out of many of his people. It was absurd, and Osho was laughing straightout loud. At the same time, he began to wear dark glasses in discourse, as his eyes had become extremely photo-sensitive from the poisoning.
These days were hard for my judgmental mind. Thoughts were arising: What does any of this have to do with meditation? I think Osho purposely made himself look less masterful, so we wouldn’t put him on a pedestal where we can worship him, because we’ll never be like him. He wanted to show his humanness; perhaps other masters have done the same, but history rarely records that. It only shows how the priests, following in the master’s wake, want him to be seen – perfect and omniscient, unlike you sinners sinking in the mud.
I wrote earlier I felt to be communicating with a different master than in Poona I or on the Ranch. Perhaps this is the state of beyond enlightenment, as in the tenth (and last) Bull of Zen, where, after awakening: “I visit the wineshop and the market, and everyone I look upon becomes enlightened.” I don’t think in the whole history of humanity, there has been a master so loving and playful with his disciples.” (Abhiyana 201, p. 464)
Museum of Ancient Gods
“Occasionally, to add the general air of festive celebration and jokiness, Osho, ably assisted by Anando and Avirbhava, would host a parade of toy animals to jokingly remind us that many worldwide religious beliefs include ancient animal deities. These events were known as the “Museum of Ancient Gods.”” (Devageet 2013, p. 190)
Osho and Avirbhava game
“Some years later, as Bhagwan walked from his car to the podium from which he gave his discourse, he would cause much amusement by pretending to frighten Avirvhava by giving her his “Bodhiharma look.” Avirvhava would squeal and shriek and fall as if in a faint. It became something of a game between Bhagwan and her.” (Forman 2002, p. 344)
Discourses for several hours
“When He came back to talk to us in January 1989 His talks were sometimes as long as four hours. This had never happened before and I think now of what Osho said about the flame of a candle: “Just as a candle comes to the very end, has only a few seconds more, and before it will be gone, at the last moment, the candle suddenly becomes bigger with all its power.” He was sick for a few weeks and came back to talk to us in March. I was to ask Him my last question and for the first time we sent our questions in unsigned.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 269)
“Maneesha, Dogen is basically concerned about the idea of reincarnation. Christianity does not accept it, Mohammedanism does not accept it, nor does Judaism accept it; it is only accepted by the religions that have been born in India. They may differ on every aspect of life, but on one point they are absolutely in agreement. And it is not an agreement of one day – for thousands of years they have agreed on the idea of reincarnation.
In Christianity or Mohammedanism or Judaism your life span is very short, just between the cradle and the grave – maybe seventy years or eighty years. With death you are finished. But in the Eastern experience, with death you only change your form. You are not finished, you continue. Your continuity is eternal. You will take many forms… many experiences, many ways of being.
This whole universe is conceived of in the East as a teaching period. The trees are learning to be trees, the birds are learning to be birds. This whole universe is exactly a great university, an opportunity to learn one form and also to learn that behind the form is hidden your formless being.
Thousands of times you have lived in different forms, experiencing different ways. Certainly to be a tree is a totally different experience than to be a bird or to be a lion. But the essential life is one. Out of this experience of essential life, the theory of reincarnation arose. And if you go deeper into your interiority… you can move so deeply that you will start touching not only your birth, your nine months in the womb, but also the death of the previous form.” Dogen. The Zen Master. A Search and a Fulfillment (1989). Chapter 2, p. 23.
On the essence
“Our Beloved Master, If You were to use just one word to describe the essence of true religiousness, one word that is the key to being able to drop whatever has been and simply live one moment at a time – what would that one word be?
Maneesha, that one word is in. Just in.
Go in and all the mysteries open before you.” The Miracle (1989). Chapter 9, p. 238.
“Maneesha, there are three words to be understood perfectly well before you can understand what Rinzai is saying. He is talking about the fourth word.
The three words that he is not talking about are ‘concentration’, ‘contemplation’, and ‘meditation’.
In English there is no word for the fourth state of your consciousness, so unfortunately we have to translate that fourth word into the third – meditation. But it is not accurate, and it is dangerous. But if you understand that it is just to indicate something which is not contained in the English word itself, then there is no problem.
The fourth word is dhyana, which became ch’an in China and in Japan it became zen.
‘Concentration’ means you put all your thoughts on one object. It is a perfectly valid means for any scientific research. The second word, ‘contemplation’, means to allow your mind to move only on a certain object. In a way it includes concentration, but in another way it gives you a little more rope. For example, you are contemplating on love, its meanings, its implications… Contemplation is the method of philosophy.
‘Meditation’, in English, simply means a far more deep concentration. The first concentration is superficial: you just stay on the surface, you touch the circumference. In meditation you go to the very center of the object. But remember, all are objectoriented.
The fourth word, ‘zen’ is introverted. It is going in; it is non-objective. It is neither scientific nor philosophical; it covers a totally different area. It means not to know the object but to experience the subject.
Closing yourself in and finding the center of your life and consciousness is the goal of Zen.
Unfortunately, nothing like Zen ever developed in the West. And because the experience never developed there was no need for any word for it. Words are needed only when there are experiences to be expressed. In the East, concentration, contemplation and meditation are all mental activities.
Zen is going beyond the mind, where no object exists. And remember, the moment the object is no more there, you cannot maintain the subject; they are two sides of the same coin. On the outside the object drops, on the inside the subject disappears, and then what remains is that spotless cleanness, that silence out of which everything arises and disappears. That is dhyan in Sanskrit, jhan in Pali, ch’an in Chinese and zen in Japanese.” Turning In (1989). Chapter 3, p. 72.
“But if you know, then the moment you have dropped all belief, including disbelief; when your doubt is total, suddenly there is an explosion, as if the fire of your being, which was hidden, has come to its fully-fledged form. Its flames are even reaching out of you. You are on fire! In this case there is no question of doubt and there is no question of belief. You simply know.
Once a Western journalist asked Shri Aurobindo, “Do you believe in God?” It is a very common question. Shri Aurobindo said, “No.”
The man was very puzzled. He had come to see him from far away just because he had heard that he was a man of God. So the journalist was not going to just leave Shri Aurobindo at that.
He asked, “What do you mean by saying no?”
Aurobindo said, “When you know something, you do not believe. Do you believe in the sun? Do you believe in the starry night? Do you believe in the roses? You see they are there; there is no question of belief.”
Belief arises only in darkness, when you don’t know. And belief keeps you in darkness – because of belief you never try to discover on your own what is the truth.” Turning In (1989). Chapter 6, p. 169.
On religious rituals
“There is no religion externally. Going to the temple or to the church or to the synagogue, reading scriptures, ancient holy books – these are all externals and there is no dharma as far as externals are concerned. They are dead skeletons, remnants of somebody who attained, but now it is too difficult to decode the scriptures. The man is no more there, only the skeleton of the man which cannot speak, which cannot explain, which cannot help you in any way.
You can go on carrying scriptures, but those scriptures will be your interpretations not the meaning of the masters. Outside you can go to the temples, but what are you doing? Man-made temples, man-made gods – you are worshipping those stone gods. And you are not alone! Almost the whole world is worshipping something or other as a god. But in this way you cannot find the essence of dharma. It is a very upside down, disturbed and perverted situation when man starts worshipping gods he has made himself.
You have to know the source of life – the source from which you spring, just as roses spring. And it is not a question of prayer, it is a question of intense exploration inside to find your roots. And you will be surprised: your roots are the roots of the moon, of the sun, of the stars – of the whole existence. You are just a small branch of a vast tree. Once you know it, there is no fear of death. You cannot die – you belong to immortality. There is no more desire.” The Original Man (1989). Chapter 2, p. 43.
On Poona traffic
“And just in Poona, this dirty, tiny village, utterly polluted – look at the traffic…! It seems all the mad people of India have become rickshaw drivers in Poona! In every direction they are going, and the miracle is, rarely any accident happens. As far as I am concerned, I think it is a miracle that people reach home. No traffic seems to be enjoying so much freedom as Poona traffic.” The Original Man (1989). Chapter 4, p. 90.
On Hindus and Muslims
“The Hindus go on thinking, Aham brahmasmi, I am the ultimate – and repeating it again and again and again. Naturally, the memory goes on deeper and deeper and you may even, at the risk of your life, repeat Aham brahmasmi. That does not prove that you have reached the ultimate. Al-Hillaj Mansoor was also crucified because he was saying “Ana’l haq!” – I am God and I have sent Mohammed as a prophet. Now, Mohammedans cannot accept even for a single moment somebody calling himself God and reducing Mohammed to just a prophet.” The Original Man (1989). Chapter 4, p. 101.
On translating faith
“The Christians translated the Eastern and Far Eastern scriptures in order to show the Christians, “Look, these primitive people think they are religious!” But the whole thing backfired. It took a little time, but as people started looking deeply into the Eastern scriptures, they found their Bibles and their Korans to be very ordinary, very mundane.
It is because of this translator’s Christian mind, which is attuned to faith… Zen does not need any faith. “Faith” certainly means you don’t know and yet you believe. Zen is against any faith. It is for inquiry, not for faith – intense inquiry.
Zen comes closer to science that any other religion for the simple reason that it does not require any faith. It requires of you only an intense inquiry into yourself, a deepening of consciousness, not concentration – a settling, a relaxing of consciousness, so that you can find your own source. That very source is the source of the whole existence…
I have told you the translation is by a Christian missionary. To them, faith is a great thing.
To a Zen master, faith is the barrier. You have to be clean of all faith and all belief. You have to be just silent, searching, your eyes having no dust in them. All faith and belief is nothing but dust.” The Original Man (1989). Chapter 6, p. 151 & 164.
“Our Beloved Master,
What would You say is the one, most significant attribute a sannyasin of Yours needs?
My sannyasins don’t need, Maneesha, any attribute. My perception of sannyas is to be just yourself. If I say any attribute, I am imposing that attribute on my sannyasins. My sannyas is absolute freedom. With freedom of course a great responsibility comes, but that is not my business.” The Language of Existence (1989). Chapter 1, p. 18.
“Thusness can also be translated as ‘thisness’. It can also be translated as ‘suchness’. The original word used by Gautam Buddha is tathata. Just being in the moment – no past, no future – just being here, one-pointed, and the door of all the mysteries of existence opens.
The teaching of thusness is the teaching of all the great masters, and it has been intimately communicated because there is no other way. I am communicating it this very moment, but not through my words, in the silences, in the gaps. When you feel simply this moment in its utter purity, you have become intimate with all the buddhas – past, present, future.
The word ‘buddha’ is very significant; it means one who has attained to thusness. Just because of thusness, Buddha’s other name is Tathagat. ‘Tathagat’ means one who lives moment to moment, who knows nothing of the past and who knows nothing of the future, who is utterly settled and centered here and now.
The moment you are centered here and now you are an intimate of all the buddhas. The moment you are intimate with reality, obviously you are intimate with all the masters and all the mystics.” The Language of Existence (1989). Chapter 7, p. 155.
“Maneesha, before I discuss what Bukko is saying, I have to introduce you to the word koan.
It is something like a puzzle that cannot be solved – basically insoluble. For example, how you looked before you were born – there is no way to solve the problem, there is nowhere to find the answer. Or the koan – the most famous one – the sound of one hand clapping. Now, one hand cannot clap; for clapping the other hand will be needed.
So first you have to understand the meaning of koan. It is some kind of statement which has no answer anywhere, and the master gives it to the disciple to meditate on and find the answer. From the very beginning the disciple knows, and the master knows, there is no possible way to find the answer. But it is great strategy: when the mind cannot find the answer – and the meditation has to be very urgent, with total energy focused on the koan – the mind feels almost impotent. It looks here and there, brings out this answer, that answer, and gets hits from the master for bringing a wrong answer.
Every answer is wrong, because the very function of the koan is not to get the answer; the very function of the koan is to tire your mind to such a point that it gives up. If there were an answer, the mind would find it. It does not matter whether you are very intelligent, or not very intelligent – no intelligence of any category can find the answer.
But naturally, mind tries and tries. And the disciple comes every morning to see the master, to tell him what he has found in the twenty-four hours. In the beginning, the disciples think perhaps they may be able to make it out…
When disciples become accustomed, they don’t rush to the master with answers. They know there is no answer. Knowing that there is no answer, mind gives up. And the whole strategy is very subtle, to put the mind aside; tired, exhausted, it has no desire to function anymore.
The moment you put the mind aside, you have entered into the world of meditation. It has nothing to do with the koan, but the koan helped to tire the mind…
I don’t use koans at all, because my people are to put their totality into meditation for five minutes, and that’s enough. Then just the remembrance of it will transform their lives. And going inwards just for a few minutes has never driven anyone mad. You can go as deep as possible, with your totality, because you know Nivedano is sitting there and he won’t allow you to go beyond the limit. Just as you are coming close to the limit, where you can lose your mind, Nivedano’s drum immediately calls you back.” The Buddha. The Emptiness of the Heart (1989. Chapter 6, pp. 144,146,158.
On worshipping statues
“People are carrying scriptures which describe freedom, which even talk about freedom from scriptures. People are worshipping statues of persons like Gautam Buddha whose last words were, “Remember these are my last words, my last wish: my statues should not be made.” Ten thousand sannyasins were listening, and as it happened, there are now more statues of Gautam Buddha in the world than of anyone else. A single temple in China even has ten thousand Buddhas. The whole mountain, miles long has been carved into Buddha statues.” The Buddha. The Emptiness of the Heart (1989. Chapter 8, p. 202.
“Twenty-one countries have decided about me, that I am a dangerous man. I have not killed a single ant in my whole life; I have never used even a paper knife, and the parliaments of twenty-one countries decide that I’m a dangerous man. And nobody asks, “What is the definition of danger? Why is this man dangerous?”
I am not a terrorist. I am not teaching people how to make bombs, I am not an anarchist. But the danger is that I spread the fire of freedom. I wake people up, saying that unless you demand your freedom – from all kinds of chains, handcuffs, from all kind of cages – you can never be a Gautam Buddha. You will never know the joys and the blessings and the ecstasies of freedom. You will never know your own eternity. You will always be afraid of death, not knowing that death is a fiction – it is very superficial, it occurs only on the surface. Inside, life continues forever and forever.
But to know all this you need freedom. And this freedom is not social or political or economic; this freedom is spiritual. You need to go inside yourself and find that space which has not yet been chained. Finding that space from where your life arises, you will attain enlightenment and freedom together; they are two different names for the same, single experience.” The Buddha. The Emptiness of the Heart (1989. Chapter 8, p. 206
On an empty heart
“This is a fallacy created by the poets. Your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, your sentiments, all are centered in your head. It is just a fallacy to think that your feelings are in the heart. Your heart is just a blood pumping station.
When we are talking about the empty heart, we are really talking about the empty mind. Buddha has used the word ‘heart’ instead of mind because mind has become associated with the idea that it is only the process of thinking, and the process of feeling is in the heart, and the heart is deeper.
These ideas have been created by the poets. But the truth is, you can call it empty mind or you can call it empty heart; it is the same. Emptiness – you are just a watcher and all around there is nothing with which you are identified, there is nothing to which you are clinging. This non-clinging watchfulness is the empty mind, no-mind, or empty heart. These are simply words. The real thing is emptiness – of all thoughts, feelings, sentiments, emotions. Only a single point of witnessing remains.” The Buddha. The Emptiness of the Heart (1989). Chapter 8, p. 222 .
“Samadhi is a Sanskrit word, very beautiful in its meaning. It comes from a root which means, when there is no question and no answer, when your silence is so profound that you don’t even have the question; answers are left far away but you don’t have even the question. Such innocence which is just silent is called samadhi. And in this samadhi you can fall in tune with the heartbeat of the universe. Only in samadhi can you become one with the whole. There is no other way.
Every day what we are doing in the name of meditation is moving towards samadhi. Meditation is the beginning and samadhi is the end…
Tao is Chinese for what we call samadhi; the Japanese call it satori, the Chinese call it Tao. Tao is perhaps the best of all these expressions, because it is not part of language. It simply indicates something inexpressible, something that you can know but cannot say, something that you can live but cannot explain. It is something that you can dance, you can sing, but you cannot utter a single word about it. You can be it; you can be the expression of Tao, but you cannot say what it is that you are expressing.” Ma Tzu. The Empty Mirror (1989). Chapter 2, p. 26.
On Maneesha and Anando
“In Maneesha I have found a better recorder than Ramakrishna had in Vivekananda, or even Socrates had in Plato. When we are all gone her collections will be remembered for centuries…
Maneesha, I have asked you to throw your migraine, and you did it. But you did it too close by, on poor Anando. She is my only link with the world. She is my news media, my television, my radio, my newspapers. I don’t read anything, I don’t hear anything, I don’t see anything on the television. And because we were talking about the empty heart, your throwing was perfectly good – but it reached into the wrong place, in poor Anando. It had to reach her head, but it has reached into her heart.
Her empty heart has received your migraine. Now, there is no such sickness in the whole world, and Doctor Indivar will be in immense difficulty to pull out the migraine from the heart. It is perfectly okay to have the mirror in the empty heart, but it is not right to have a migraine. There exists no medicine for it; Doctor Indivar will have to invent something – and I need her back urgently, because every morning, every evening she is my only contact with the world.
So as far as Anando is concerned, it is Indivar’s priority. And just because she received the migraine with the open heart, she has earned great virtue. The next series that begins tomorrow will be dedicated to her. She did perfectly well in keeping the heart open, even when you were throwing your migraine away. Most people will close their windows and doors in such situations. But she is a great disciple, and she understands intelligently what it means to have an open heart, to live in insecurity, to live without any safety, to be homeless.” Ma Tzu. The Empty Mirror (1989). Chapter 9 & 10, pp. 166 & 176.
On meditation and dancing
“Einer seiner Anhänger berichtet im Herbst 1988 aus Poona:
“Jeden Abend am Ende des Diskurses fürht Bhagwan uns durch einen ganz bestimmten Meditationsablauf. Seit den Tagen von Mount Abu, vor nahezu fünfzehn Jahren, ist es das erste Mal, dass er wieder Meditationen leitet… In dieser letzten Phase tanzt Bhagwan mit uns. Sein anmutiger und zerbrechkicher Körper tanzt wirklich, wenn er die Musik mit dem Schlag seiner Hände zu einem ständig sich steigernden Tempo dirigiert. Und auf dem Höhepunkt strecken 10 000 Buddhas die Arme in die Höhe und füllen die Buddha-Halle mit dem Schrei eines kräftigen “Yaahoo”. Diese Meditation is die neueste Phase in der Arbeit des Meisters. Was er eigentlich macht, weiss keiner von uns: für jeden is es eine total individuelle Erfahrung.”” (Obst 1991, p. 208. Quoted from Rajneesh Times (German Edition), 01.11.1988)
From Jesus Crucified Again. Editor’s introductory paragraph:
“On May 30, 1988 – shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal challenging the incorporation of the City of Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, thereby validating the legality of the now destroyed city, – Bhagwan spoke the following words to His disciples in Poona, India. He had been unable to give His evening discourses for the previous two weeks – one of many such periods which have occurred since His arrest and incarceration by the American authorities in November, 1985 – due to His fragile health. The strength of His message here, and His unfailing sense of humor, seem a fitting way to begin this book. – Ed.”
[Then follows in Osho’s Foreword excerpt from: (This, This, A Thousand Times This. May 30, 1988. Page xi-xiv)
Seven weeks without discourses late 1987
“My beloved ones, I have been away from you much too long. It has been a very painful absence for me. For seven weeks continuously I have been only filled with your love, your patience, your thirst, your longing.” Jesus Crucified Again (1988). Part III, Chapter Four. 06.11.1987.
Fig. 8. ‘Om’ sign drawn by Osho on Anando’s notepad. August 1989. OTI, 1992:2.
Osho to Anando on his energy at last discourse
“On the evening of 10th Osho tells Anando that as he finished the discourse, his energy completely changed. He explains that in the same way one enters the world through nine months in the womb, nine months before dying the energy again enters an incubatory period for death.” (www.oshoworld.com/biography)
“His body was very fragile right from the time He left America. By August 1987, He was beginning to miss discourses because of ill health. In May 1988, He was even planning to speak privately to a group of people in Lao Tzu Library and have the discourse relayed to Buddha Hall, because He didn’t think He’d be able to travel there. But then luckily His health improved a bit. However, looking back, it seems pretty clear that from early 1988, He knew that He didn’t have much longer left in His body…
An intense period of illness started for Osho in December 1988, when He had a series of heart attacks and almost left the body. He just came out for a very short series of talks on Yakusan, the Zen master. He was very, very weak after that.
But you know how He talks about the candle burning the brightest just before it goes out? Well, it was in January 1989, straight after this very serious illness, that Osho started giving long discourses on communism and Christianity. Absolutely devastating dynamic discourses that lasted three or four hours and left us stunned…
It’s very difficult with Osho because He doesn’t show any facial expression. When we’re in pain, or weak, we look it. Our face shows our suffering. His doesn’t…
Many times He said that His life was hanging by a thread. Then, on August 20, 1989, in the middle of a dental session in Lao Tzu House, He suddenly said, “I see the sign ‘Om’ before me, in blue, and this is a sign that death is very near.” He took my notepad and drew the ‘Om’ symbol and gave an explanation of what it means. And even though His body was very weak, and He had been to Buddha Hall for only a handful of days in the previous five months, He said that from then onwards He would be coming every night to meditate silently with us, and He did…
Then, on November 17, He gave instructions about what to do when He leaves His body: that the Chuang Tzu bedroom should become His Samadhi, that His ashes should go inside the marble bed, and the words to go on the Samadhi. He said that nobody will be my successor; the Inner Circle will be the successor… For taking care of the practical aspects of His work. And that’s when He set the number of people at 21 – before that He had changed it from time to time.” (Ma Deva Anando. Osho Times International, 1992:2)
Sarlo is quoting and commenting Anando
“[In] Osho Times of 1992 Anando has giving a fair number of incorrect facts. She may well have stated some new information correctly, but we have no way of knowing, since her memory is demonstrably unreliable.”
[Anando in quote above:] “An intense period of illness started for Osho in December 1988, when He had a series of heart attacks and almost left the body. He just came out for a very short series of talks on Yakusan, the Zen master. He was very, very weak after that.
But you know how He talks about the candle burning the brightest just before it goes out? Well, it was in January 1989, straight after this very serious illness, that Osho started giving long discourses on communism and Christianity.”
[Sarlo:] “According to our timeline, Osho had a few periods of major illness, including one in most of Nov 88, then resuming talks for only six nights in early Dec, two of them finished off Isan and four on Kyosan, not Yakusan. Then after Kyozan, another period of illness until he began No-Mind on Dec 26, which ran through into Jan 89, followed uninterruptedly by those classic long discourses which included Communism, Xianity AND Yakusan, among others. Only near the end of Feb did he have another bout of illness, interrupting The Zen Manifesto.” (Sarlo. E-mail. 01.06.2018)
On dedicating his book on Hyakujo to Anando
“Our Beloved Master, Many disciples have dedicated books to their master out of love and gratitude. But characteristically, You have turned tradition on its head by dedicating two of Your series to specific disciples. Has any master loved his disciples as much as You seem to love us?
Maneesha, when I see you all, I don’t see you the way you see yourself. I simply see possible buddhas. No master has dedicated his books to his disciples, because no master has that clarity which can see the future in the present, which can see the rose in the seed. I can see. So when I introduce you as buddhas, it is not symbolic, I mean it. It is not only love, but also respect. My own understanding is: unless a master respects the disciple, he does not deserve respect from the disciple. It is a communication, it is a give-and-take, it is a communion.
I am going to dedicate many books because I don’t have anything else. I have just my words, my experiences, my silences, my songs, to dedicate to all those disciples who are keeping me alive. Without you I won’t wake up next morning – because what will I do? I don’t have anything else to do in the world. I have done everything long ago; in fact, I have overdone.
Now my life is in your hands. If you want me to be here, I can go on postponing the date of my departure. But the day I see that there is no need for me to postpone anymore, I will tell you to be ready for a great ceremony. But I feel right now my garden is just a nursery…
This book is dedicated to Anando, in spite of her reluctance. She has behaved very unconsciously for these two days. First, I am always worried about it that Maneesha is not allowed to take a holiday, migraine or no migraine, because if she is absent even for one evening – and I know she has had this trouble of migraine for years – somebody else has to take her place. But just to take her place for one day is dangerous. The taste of it, and then one starts thinking, “Why should I not continue?” It is almost as if you are made the king for one day. It will be difficult for your whole life.
So first she freaked out because I still addressed, “Maneesha, care of Anando.” I could see her face and I could see her response. She did not like it, she wanted to be addressed directly. But I knew it was better to be “care of,” because tomorrow she would be gone. The same trouble happened with Vimal. For a few days he was sitting with almost tears in his eyes. Once he had tasted the joy of asking me the questions, and then he has to give back the place, his kingdom is taken away. Now he has come back to his right mind. I did not want to disturb him again. That’s why I asked Anando.
And I have my own way of working. In every way I try to find out some secret which needs to be revealed to the person. Anando may not be aware that she is never nice to anybody who is nice to her. She becomes nasty. It is her wrong upbringing from her childhood that she has carried. Secondly, she is never happy to receive anything. It needs courage. Perhaps you may not be aware. One loves to give, because by giving you are higher, but one has to learn to receive. At least when you are sitting at the feet of your master, you have to learn to receive. It hurts the ego that you are on the receiving end, not on the giving end.
I wanted to see how she would receive it. She missed the point. First she freaked out about Maneesha’s question, because she thought that Maneesha had indicated in it that the horse came a little early and disturbed my speech. Because she was one half of the horse, she thought Maneesha was trying to raise the question again before the whole assembly, although there was no question of Maneesha raising it.
Maneesha was asking something else. She was trying to inquire about me, what my response was to this suddenness. That’s why Avirbhava was not disturbed. She was the main part of the horse; Anando was just the back part. Avirbhava proved to be more alert and conscious, seeing that the question did not have anything to do with the coming in early. In fact the early coming was very good: it surprised everybody except me. But I am crazy anyway.
Nothing surprises me…” Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989). Chapter 1, pp. 11-14.
(Note: For details on the introduction of the god Kalki as a white horse into the Museum of Gods, see: Ma Tzu. The Empty Mirror (1989. Chapter 8). In Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989. Chapter 1) Osho is calling Nivedano’s drum Anando. And on page 51 is a written letter from Anando telling she is sorry. Following Osho’s response she stands in front of the assembly in Buddha Hall and bows down to everyone).
On smell of tobacco in Buddha Hall
“Just the other day, because I told Hasya not to unnecessarily struggle with dropping cigarettes – her whole life she has been smoking – many others who had already dropped, they immediately jumped! And many who had never smoked, they started smoking, perhaps thinking that this is a device towards buddhahood.
You are all buddhas, but don’t be idiot buddhas’
Today the whole place is full of tobacco smell. I don’t want this place to be filled with tobacco smell. It has been so clean, and if many of you start smoking, you will bring the smell here… At least in Buddha Hall air, no smoke smell should be here. This you should take as a warning: if I smell tomorrow again the smell, I will immediately go back.” Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989). Chapter 5, pp. 103,106.
From the introduction to Nansen
“To read the printed words of Osho Rajneesh’s discourses is to read a manuscript orchestral score, imagining the full experience of public performance. The words are Zen bones, but “if you can penetrate to the very marrow… the whole sky explodes.”
Each talk is part of a full evening of live Zen, which begins with song, dance, and lovers’ greetings, and ends with meditation, prepared for by explosive laughter as the jokes bust our minds before it takes the ‘ten thousand buddhas’ into the ocean deeps of silence.
The discourses are based on anecdotes of the Zen master Nansen, poems of Sekiso, and questions of a disciple. They are the very stuff of Zen. “To anybody it may look like a puzzle, but it is not a puzzle. It is a way of indicating that which is impossible to say… Zen does not complete its sentences; it leaves everything open; it simply gives hints. It is a test of the questioner’s intelligence to complete it” Osho Rajneesh takes us delicately phrase by phrase through these stories: “although these anecdote seems to be simple it is not so.” (Anand Robin. Introduction in: Nansen. The Point of Departure. 1990)
“Our Beloved Master, Why have You called the series Nansen: The Point of Departure?
Because he opened the gate for the first time, making it clear that the sacred and the secular are one, just different ways of seeing.
There is no need to torture the body to purify the soul. They can dance together in as sacred a dance as possible. And unless a spirituality transforms even your body, it is not much of a spirituality.
Zorba has not to be killed. Zorba has to be transformed. Zorba is the buddha, just in the seed form. You don’t have to destroy the seeds, you have to find a right soil, a right climate for the seeds, and wait for the season when the clouds bring the first rains, and your seeds will start sprouting. The seeds and the flowers are not separate – the seed is the flower hidden. The flower is the seed come out in the open.
That’s why, Maneesha, I have called this series Nansen: The Point of Departure. Nansen is a tremendous departure from the past spirituality, accepting secular and sacred as together, one, two aspects of one reality. You can understand my love for Nansen, because Nansen has been forgotten, even by his own successors. Again the same division came into their teachings: “This is material, this is trivial, this is not spiritual.” What Nansen has done, even his successors have undone again. And nobody has taken note of the great departure.
I have taken note of the great departure, because my own understanding is the same. I want the earth and the sky to be together. Only in their togetherness is the wholeness; only in their togetherness is a joy, is a fulfilment. Buddha alone is half, Zorba alone is half, and unless they are together they can never be whole.
I want my people to be whole persons, not denying anything but transforming everything, including everything in their spiritual growth.” Nansen. The Point of Departure (1990). Chapter 1, pp. 5,16.
On Zen anecdotes
“Maneesha, there exist in the world literature nothing comparable to Zen anecdotes. They are so pregnant with meaning that even a child can understand them, although even the oldest person may not understand them. To understand these anecdotes you have to learn the whole language of Zen. It has a world of its own.
It speaks of course in your languages but it gives a totally new color, a totally new meaning to the same old words or gestures. Most often it speaks in gestures. People who are outside the stream of Zen will find it a little eccentric, crazy, but it is utterly sane; just its meaning has to be explained to you. The people who have been studying and meditating in Zen don’t need any explanation; they immediately pick up the gesture. But that is not true about the people outside the Zen circle.” Nansen. The Point of Departure (1990). Chapter 9, p. 163.
On satori and enlightenment
“Satori is the Japanese word for samadhi. I have explained to you that samadhi and enlightenment ordinarily are thought to be synonymous. That is not true. Satori is equivalent to samadhi. That’s how Patanjali defines it in his sutras, the only authority on yoga – he says that samadhi is a deep sleep, with the innermost center awake.
All around there is deep sleep, darkness, unconsciousness, but just at the center a small candle of light. So Pantajali has said it is no different from sleep; the only difference is that sleep is without any light in it, it is a house without any light. And samadhi is a house with a candle.
But enlightenment is prajna. To understand it more accurately you have to think of a ladder. We are exactly in the middle of the ladder. Underneath us there is the subconscious, unconscious, collective unconscious and cosmic unconscious. If you dive deep into your depth, from the cosmic unconscious you can get out into the universal. Samadhi’s way is moving into the depths.
And just as there are steps going deeper in you, there are steps moving above you. Just as there is a subconscious, there is a superconscious, collective superconscious, cosmic superconscious. Both experience the same; both enter the no-mind. But one enters through the dark path and one enters through the lighted path.
The dark path is dangerous because there is no certainty where you are. Very few people have reached enlightenment through the dark path. Ramakrishna seems to be the only one. Many have tried, but it is obvious that only accidentally can you reach the ultimate depth.
When you are moving towards heights you are moving in full light and as you go above, you have more light and more light. At the highest peak everything is pure light. The path is very beautiful – not accidental but very intentional, very conscious.” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 2, page 30.
On a question on ‘special treatment’
“Now Maneesha’s question is full of jealousy. Not only I am saying it; Nirvano brings the sutras and the questions to show me – she wanted to change it. I said, “Don’t change it, let it be as it is,” because in commune life we should expose ourselves without fear. Love knows no fear. If something is arising in your mind, you should tell it.” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 2, p. 34.
On Buddhist stories
“The essence of Buddhism is not in the scriptures, not in the words of Buddha. It is something to be understood, because it has far-reaching implications. Whatever Buddha has said is as close to truth as possible, but even being close to truth, it is not true. Even closeness is only a kind of distance. So you cannot find the essence of Buddha through the scriptures. That is the ordinary conception of people, that if you read Buddhism, if you become a learned scholar of Buddhism, you will know the essence of it.
One great Buddhist monk, Bhadant Anand Kausalyayan, met me by chance in a Buddhist conference in Bodhgaya. He took me out of the crowd and asked me, “Whatever you were saying is so authoritative, but… Forgive me for interrupting you, I loved whatever you said, but I have never found in any scripture the stories you were telling. And I am the head of the Buddhist Society of India.”
I had heard his name, I had read his books. I said, “It is a great opportunity to meet you. I have loved your books, but I can say to you that you don’t know the essence of Buddhism. Otherwise you would have understood my stories. It does not matter whether it really happened or not.”
He said, “What do you mean?”
I said, “Whatever I have said, if it has not happened it should have happened. That’s what I mean. Even Gautam Buddha cannot deny it. It may not have happened – that I can accept, that it is not factual. I don’t care much about facts. To me, truth is something more than a factual incident. It is anything that carries the essence.”
He said, “You are a strange fellow. I have never heard such an idea.”
He lived in Nagpur. I used to pass Nagpur once in a while; he would always come and he would say, “This story I have read in your book. I loved it, but the problem is that it never happened in Buddha’s life.”
I said, “For that I am not responsible. If it did not happen, what can I do? It should have happened! You are a learned scholar; you can add it somewhere in the Buddhist scriptures.”
He said, “What are you saying! Nothing can be added to the scriptures.”
I said, “Any scripture to which nothing can be added is dead.”
Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 4, page 73.
“And this is the situation all over the world, with every religion. I have looked in all nooks and corners, and except Zen I don’t find any religious phenomenon which is absolutely pure and which has not committed a single crime against humanity. It has only contributed more beauty and more grace and more love and more meditativeness… Maneesha, there are a few essential things which make Zen absolutely different from any religion, any sect, any kind of discipline, teaching. The most important of these essentials is that Zen is a revolution. All other religions are servants to the vested interests.” Rinzai. Master of the Irrational (1989). Chapter 2 & 3, pp. 50,62.
On Zen and followers
“Zen does not want anybody to be a believer. Either experience or just go home. Except experience, no belief is going to help.
So those who have followed Zen masters were not followers, they were fellow travelers. They were rejoicing in the master’s enlightenment. They were drinking as much of his wisdom as possible, and they were finding the path so that they could also experience the same lightning experience which dissolves all questions, all answers, and leaves you simply innocent, centered – eternity in your hands. But they are not followers, and this is very difficult for the ordinary masses to understand.
One Hindu monk was traveling with me in the train some thirty years ago and he was very well known in North India. He asked me, “How many followers have you got?”
I said, “No, I don’t have any followers.”
He said, “You don’t have any followers? Then in what way do people think that you are a master?”
I said, “Mastery has nothing to do with followers; otherwise the more followers you have the greater master you are. Then nobody can compete with the pope. He has six hundred million Catholics: he is the greatest master.”
I told him, “I have fellow travelers. I have friends… Friendship is giving respect to a person, dignity to a person. Following humiliates.”
Never be a follower, because that means you are just a shadow, just moving in the footprints of somebody else, not trying to find your own path and your own being. Followers are weaklings.
A man of courage finds his own path. He can rejoice in the enlightenment of someone. He can love someone to the extent that he can call him his master, but the master can never call him a follower, only a friend who is just a little behind – a few steps more and he will also become a buddha. To reduce him to a follower is very insulting and humiliating. But all the religions have done that; they have reduced the whole humanity into slaves.” Rinzai. Master of the Irrational (1989). Chapter 3, p. 71.
Osho addressing Coleman Barks on Sufism and Zen
“So although I love Sufis… I don’t want, Coleman, to hurt your feelings, but I would certainly say that you will have one day to change from Sufis to Zen. Sufis are still living in imagination; they have not known the state of no-mind. And because they have not known the state of no-mind, however beautiful their personalities may become, they are still just close to enlightenment, but not enlightened. Remember, even to be very close is not to be enlightened…
And this is the situation all over the world, with every religion. I have looked in all nooks and corners, and except Zen I don’t find any religious phenomenon which is absolutely pure and which has not committed a single crime against humanity. It has only contributed more beauty and more grace and more love and more meditativeness.” Rinzai. Master of the Irrational (1989). Chapter 1.
(Note: Coleman Barks, famous translator of Jalaladhin Rumi, was in Poona 1989, where he had a reception in Buddha Hall. See: Abhiyana 2017, p. 439)
On book on mystics
“Anando is compiling a book on all the mystics I have spoken on. She talked to Professor Coleman Barks. He was very much interested; he wanted to publish it himself. But he said, “From where has he found these three hundred? I have not even heard these names – three hundred buddhas!” He has left, otherwise I would have sent him the message that I am still living and I am going to speak on at least two hundred more. There are more still, but even their names are lost.
You are listening to people and their sutras which have been forgotten by the majority of humanity. My effort is to revive all those golden peaks in your consciousness, so you can have the trust that “If so many people became enlightened, there is no reason why I cannot become enlightened.”
My speaking on these people has a single purpose: to create a trust in you about yourself, that your destiny is to be a buddha.” Rinzai. Master of the Irrational (1989). Chapter 8, p. 177.
“All the scriptures and all the great religions are befooling and exploiting the masses. One has to go within and all the religions are supporting you to go out – towards Jesus, towards Moses, towards Mohammed, towards Buddha, but go outwards. Follow their teachings, follow their commandments. That is what Buddha says is going astray.
No buddha can leave any footprints, so how can you follow him? Following is simply impossible. You can only go within yourself. You can understand a living buddha, you can absorb his energy; you can hear his songs, you can understand his silence; you can be filled by his presence – but this is not following. This is simply the alchemy of being with a master. You can simply disappear in the silences of the master. But you are not following footprints; you are going within yourself, you have your own path from the circumference to the center.” Isan. No Footprints in the Blue Sky (1989). Chapter 1, p. 17.
On Zen as the synthesis of Buddhism and Taoism
“Maneesha, before I discuss the sutras, something of great importance has to be understood. Zen is neither Buddhism nor Taoism; it is a crossbreed. When the great Bodhidharma met the masters of Taoism in China, the meeting and their dialogues created something new, which has the flavor of Buddhism in it but is not dependent on Buddhist literature. It has also the flavor of Tao in it, but it is not dependent on Taoist tradition. It is independent of both the parents.
As all crossbreeds are better than the parents – even philosophical systems, theological ways, meditation function in the same way as fruits, as animals, as human beings – the crossbreed by nature itself takes the best of both the parents and leaves all that is non-essential.
Zen’s greatness and height is because it has left all the non-essentials of Buddhism and all the non-essentials of Taoism, and two great peaks have merged into a higher peak, which has only the flavor from both. But the synthesis of the flavors makes it a totally new phenomenon.” Isan. No Footprints in the Blue Sky (1989). Chapter 4, p. 78.
On Indian government
“It came as a surprise to me: for almost ten years we have been fighting the Indian government on the question of whether our school is a teaching school, an educational system. The government had no answer; they have taken away our tax-exempt status. But what finally the supreme authorities of taxation came to conclude was that while I am alive, tax-exempt status cannot be given, because I can change tomorrow. I agree with them. Tax-exempt status can only be given to dead people, because they cannot change howsoever they toss and turn in their graves. Everything has become dead. Then it is acceptable, respectable. But a man who is alive and spontaneous is dangerous to the status quo.” Isan. No Footprints in the Blue Sky (1989). Chapter 6, p. 134.
“Maneesha, the Zen encounter is not that of words. The zen-counter is a communion in silence. When two Zen masters meet, whoever speaks first has fallen from his status. Days may pass by; they may eat together, they may look around at the beauty in the sunset and in the morning and in the starry night, but nobody is going to say a single word. Not saying a single word and remaining just a mirror…
The mirror never says anything about the reflection, neither does the lake. The moon may be beautiful, the moon is reflected; the lake should dance with joy.
Similar is the case with consciousness. At its ultimate peak words are left far below, as if you have risen above the clouds. The moment you bring any word in, you have spoiled the whole communication.
Zen is the only teaching in the world which discards absolutely words, language, scripture. This small anecdote will show it to you. It does not seem to have much meaning on the surface, but in the depths it has all the meaning that truth can have, that beauty can have, that God can have.
The anecdote is simple. Zen does not believe in complexity, in unnecessary linguistic jargon. It points to the fact directly, without even taking the help of words, because words can never help you. In fact the word is the barrier. Remove the word, allow the no-word, no-mind state, and everything is as crystal clear, clean as it has been since eternity. Just your eyes were clouded with words… your minds have gathered so much rubbish, which you call religious. In fact, all rubbish is religious, and vice versa.
The function of Zen is just to cut all this rubbish like a sword, in a single blow, without hesitation, and the whole sky is yours, and the whole expanse of the universe is yours.” Isan. No Footprints in the Blue Sky (1989). Chapter 7, p. 154.
On the days Osho had not come to Buddha Hall
“Our Beloved Master, Does the time that You are away from us have a significance of its own in Your work with us?
Maneesha, everything that is happening here has its own significance. You have to learn my presence and you have to learn my absence, and you have to come to a point where presence or absence don’t matter. You are not going to be tied to my presence.
That’s why Gautam Buddha said to his disciples, “If I come in your meditations, immediately cut off my head. Don’t cling to me, otherwise I will become a barrier.”
And the love between a disciple and a master is the most intimate, is the ultimate. You have to learn my absence; you have to rejoice my absence the same way as you rejoice my presence, because I cannot remain here forever. And don’t postpone it, because any day…
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.
No discourses December 7th – 25th 1988.
Excerpts from Anand Robin’s introduction in Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990). His introduction in full is in: Appendix / Poona Two.
“These four discourses were delivered from December 3rd to 6th, 1988, between two long periods when Osho’s body was too sick to come to Gautama the Buddha Auditorium. He had stopped dancing with us on October 14th: “I have to express my apology to you that I could not join in your dance. The whole credit goes to President Ronald Reagan…” and he told us how he had been poisoned in American jails. “I have almost overcome the poison, just … in the bones and particularly in the joints it is still stuck. I have been dancing with you without bothering about it. I would have continued, but today the pain became too much. The pain is not the problem for me. The problem was: if I continue then perhaps I may have to stop speaking. So it is better to let this pain settle.”
We could see during these few days, as he walked to his chair, how frail his body was, and despite the strength of his voice and the power of his presence, many hearts and minds feared his body might not be with us much longer. It was no surprise when there was no discourse on December 7th and not yet again until December 26th, when he said:
“My Beloved Ones, I have been too long away from you… These few days and nights have been days and nights of a certain purification. The poison delivered to me by President Ronald Reagan and his staff… from all over the world experts in poison said that amongst all the poisons this is the one which cannot be detected in any way. It has been the practice of the CIA in America to give this poison, because there is no way to find it out. And if you cannot find it you cannot give any antidotes. Death has been almost certain.
“These long days and nights I had taken the challenge of the poison, just witnessing. The poison was a constant torture on every joint of the bones, but a miracle has happened. Slowly, slowly, from all joints it has disappeared. The last were the two arms. Today” – December 26 – “I am free from that too. I have a strong feeling that, although I was not physically present here, you have felt me in the air. You have felt me more strongly than ever before. And in your songs I was present. In your meditations, remember, I was more present than physical presence allows.” (Sw Anand Robin. Introduction. Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990))
On Zen and biography
“In Zen, there is not much to a biography. What is important is that the man has become an eternal flame, that the man has achieved his ultimate potential, that his blue lotus has blossomed. Who cares about dates of birth, about your parents? Those become negligible. That’s why in the East there is nothing like Western history.
Western history is factual; it take notes of all the facts from birth to death. Eastern history does not bother about physical appearance; it takes care of your spiritual growth. Those are the real progress points.
For the experience you should go to a Jaina temple. Don’t mention my name! And you will see in the temple twenty-four statues of the Jain masters. And you will be puzzled because they all look alike; there is no way to find out who is who.
I am trying to make the point clear to you that it does not matter who is who. Those statues don’t represent the physical body; they represent spiritual silence, spiritual grace, spiritual peace. If you sit there, you will be engulfed – if you are not a Jaina, because the Jaina goes with a prejudice.
Just go on inquiring why these twenty-four statues are exactly the same. The reason is, the inner experience is the same – whether it happens to Adinath or to Mahavira or to Gautam Buddha, it does not matter. The inner flame and the fragrance and the silence will surround you. Just sit silently, let it happen. Don’t be in a hurry.” Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990). Chapter 1, p. 7.
On Zen and writings on water
“Zen’s approach is to find the truth, but not to be as hard as philosophers tend to be – more peaceful and more graceful. That’s why no philosopher in the whole history of man has raised his consciousness to the point where you can call him a buddha. He talks much of things beyond, but if you look into his ordinary life he is just as you are. All his flights of thought, his dreamlands are writings on water. Writings on paper don’t differ from writings on water. The only difference is: water is quick and finishes the writing; the papers, the books, the scriptures take a long time.” Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990). Chapter 3, p. 44.
On silence and entitlement of the series
“Maneesha, it hurts me to disturb your silence by using words, but I hope a day will arrive when we will be sitting together allowing the silence to become deeper – because whatever can be said only touches the periphery, it never goes beyond the periphery. No word has ever reached to the center.
Zen brought it in, in a very strong way. No other religion has been so strong on the point. Words have to be discarded by words themselves, just as poison has to be destroyed by more poison.
These sutras bring many implications. You are not only hearing my words, you are also hearing me, and that is the true hearing: my heartbeat. And when all the present buddhas here breathe in tune, in a rhythm, even the impossible becomes possible.
I have entitled this series, Kyozan; A True Man of Zen. I have not given any speciality to him, for the simple reason that he avoided speciality, uniqueness, some higher quality. He removed himself deep into the forest just to avoid seekers. But if you have found the truth, if your innermost lotus has blossomed, whereever you go seekers will come. There seems to be an inner pathway.
The seeker may not know even where he is going. He may not be aware of his thirst, may not be aware of the truth, but he starts moving towards the master.” Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990). Chapter 4, p. 59.
On Rishabhdas Ranka and conditioning
“The man who brought me to Poona sometime in the sixties was a good Marathi and Hindi writer, Rishabhdas Ranka. He had lived in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram and was very much respected. According to Gandhi, all religions are one, no religion is higher or lower. Rishabhdas Ranka was writing a book on this theme. I asked him what the title of his book was. The title was: Bhagwan Mahavira and Mahatma Gautam Buddha: A Comparative Study.
I told him, “You have already decided that Mahavir is “Bhagwan” and Buddha is just a mahatma. You are not an unprejudiced researcher. What are your grounds?”
All that he could find was that Mahavira’s dispossession of things was total, because he discarded even clothes, he remained naked, and Buddha kept three garments. “That’s why I cannot call him ‘Bhagwan'”
I said, “Then how can Buddhism and Jainism and Islam and Christianity all be at the same level of evolution? Jesus even drinks alcohol. Where are you going to put Jesus? And just three garments put Buddha lower than Mahavira! Because you are born a Jaina, you are still carrying the conditioning.” Kyozan. A True Man of Zen (1990). Chapter 4, p. 68.
Mistlberger on Zen and Osho
“More pointedly, Osho’s contradictoriness in his spoken words was itself consistent with his Zen master persona. In particular, it was impossible to set up any sort of Church around him, much less prepare any sort of holy book, simply because his words were so unpredictable. Doubtless that pleased him because more than any modern day guru he was vehemently anti-establishment and especially anti-organized religion.
He was a brilliant man, and probably one of the mostly intensely charismatic humans ever to walk on the planet. He attracted tens of thousands of followers and admirers not just for the penetrating wisdom of his oratory, but for the impressive quality of his person.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 67)
Mistlberger on Zen
“The Zen tradition proved, in the end, to be of central importance in Osho’s teaching. For the last year or so of his life, he chose to lecture only on the topic of Zen, devoting daily talks to practically every known Zen master from the Japanese and Chinese traditions. A significant number of his disciples were Japanese and many, doubtless appreciated the attention he lavished on the Japanese Zen tradition in particular during these lectures…
Osho’s love of Zen is understandable. His personal history and especially his awakening process in his early twenties as he described it is very Zen-like in its approach – full of one-pointed focus on finding the truth no matter what, and a radical transcendence of conventional thinking. In the last year of his life, he turned exclusively to Zen in part as an expression of his fatigue with interpersonal conflict and drama (not surprising, given the intense drama played out in the collapse of the Oregon commune). During this last year, he ceased answering questions from his disciples on matters of relationships or other issues related to their ‘personal story’. In Zen, he saw the purest reflection of impersonal truth that embraced a higher level of heart – what he called the wisdom of ‘silence’. He said:
All religions except Zen are dead… I call Zen the only living religion because it is not a religion, but a religiousness… it does not discriminate between the mundane and the sacred. For Zen, all that is, is sacred.” (Mistlberger 2010, pp. 592,596)
Osho’s talks on zen
“During his life, Osho delivered eloquent commentaries on all of the major spiritual traditions, including Taoism, Christianity, Buddhism, Yoga, and the teachings of a variety of mystics, and on such sacred scriptures as the Upanishads. But towards the end, he came to be described as a Zen master. An early biographer observed that his closest philosophical links were not with Zen but with practitioners of Tantra, who regard the body as an essential aspect of spirituality (see Prasad, Rajneesh: The Mystic of Feeling, 141-42)… Nevertheless, the majority of his publications, from early on, focused on Zen… After early 1988, however, his focus became almost exclusively Zen, and in that year alone, twenty-eight books were published from his commentaries on the topic.” (Fox 2002, pp. 7,34)
Sarlo writes on Osho’s talks on Zen
“Very few of the Zen masters Osho talks about were actually Japanese. Almost all were Chinese and as such, actually Chan masters…
OIF has certainly wanted to stress that aspect [Osho’s many talks on Zen masters in his last phase] of Osho’s oeuvre, because it leaves “heart” matters aside, which are much messier and wander into “worship” and organized religion. And those opposed to OIF’s hegemony-creating maneuvers will want to disagree. But it’s all good, and there’s no doubt that the last year of all-Zen was and is significant. There may be doubt and debate about whether these Zen talks should outrank earlier talks, as if, since they came latest, they must be the culmination of his teaching…
But OIF itself has used the rationale of not dating Osho’s talks precisely so that such outranking does not unconsciously occur, so they have outmaneuvered themselves concerning the logic of the final Zen teachings representing a kind of culmination.” (Sarlo. E-mail. 21.10.2017)
(Note: Sw Deva Sarlo has compiled a lineage chart of all the Chan/Zen masters from China to Japan that Osho speaks on. See: Appendix / Poona Two).
Photo 19. Osho in Buddha Hall.
On meetings in Buddha Hall
“Every night is an occasion for celebration at Rajneeshdham, as sannyasins and friends gather in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium to wait for the evening discourse.
At about 6:45pm the musicians begin to play, softly at first, and as the time for the Master’s arrival draws near, building the tempo. The music reaches a crescendo several times, each time climaxing in a roar of “Yaa-Hoo!” – arms raised to the sky, a pindrop silence, and then the music slowly begins again.
In the stillness following the last and mightiest “Yaa-Hoo!” the Master appears on the podium, hands folded in the traditional Eastern greeting of namaste. The assembly returns His greeting, bowing down as His gaze travels slowly over each part of the hall. Finally the Master takes His seat, the music stops and the discourse begins.” (Source is yet to be verified)
Maneesha on reading to Osho in Buddha Hall
Heading: An Old Sinner
“Having read out the daily discourse’s anecdote to Osho I sit, eyes closed, knowing that after his commentary on the anecdote he will address my question. Under my stillness, there is an undercurrent of excitement as he approaches the question – as if I am waiting in the wings of a theatre, until my cue arrives, and suddenly, I am aware of the heat of the spotlight on me.
When Osho does turn to my question, I don’t feel like a prima ballerina about to do a star turn in anticipation of applause, bouquets and chocolates. I feel more like a clown, my job being to blunder my way through some routine that is understood by everyone to be, by its very nature, ridiculous: that is, asking questions about a subject I understand little about and for reasons I cannot fathom.
I am in a theatre but it is one less like that of a dance theatre and more like an operating theatre. I feel as if I am laid out on a table, completely naked, a bright light beaming down on me. In my mind’s eyes, my fellow sannyasins are like medical students peering at me and my interiority from the safety of the observation gallery. Osho, as surgeon, is beside me, the knife of his response poised.
Is his answer going to hurt very much or just a little? If it doesn’t hurt at all, does that mean I have understood him rightly? Or does it mean that I have missed the significance of what he is conveying? And if I’ve got it right, will I be tempted to use that as food for my ego? Or will I be able to simply digest it with grace and gratitude?
I want to have my blind spots exposed, but I know that bringing whatever is hidden to the light might hurt. Each discourse I face the guillotine of Osho’s insight, my mind cowering at the notion and begging for a reprise, even while another part of me longs for annihilation. As it waits to know its fate, that-which-seeks-obliteration becomes suffused with joy – elation, even – in my laying myself bare, in my giving myself into Osho’s hands, as I do.
Positioned on my right is the video camera. Its operator, Nishkriya, is renowned for his almost fanatic devotion to his work as cameraman and editor, and especially so when it comes to filming Osho. German, tall and bespectacled, Nishkriya’s most distinguishing feature is his unruly eyebrows that turn up in the center, so that he looks perpetually startled. His completely bald head is kept meticulously shaven – an eccentricity in a commune of long hair and beards.
Since the beginning of the Zen series, Osho has appointed Nishkriya wielder-of-a-Zen stick to hit me on the head, on his behalf. Zen masters carry wooden sticks with which to awaken their disciples. Nishkriya’s ‘hits’ are quite different from the traditional brand. On one occasion when Osho instructs him to hit me, he simply bends down and lightly kisses the top of my head; another time he brushes my head with a peacock feather. One evening, when he comes armed with a conventional Zen stick given him by Osho, he hits himself!
In fact, I did not even recognize his hits as hits. I was expecting the traditional sort, the ones that would hurt, not ones of love and tenderness, and so I missed what I was given. Only in retrospect was I to realize that that itself had a certain significance: I had thought that the work on me – Osho’s work with any of us – would necessarily be hurtful. I hadn’t understood the more subtle working of love.” (www.oshonews.com/2011/05)
“Beloved Buddha, During the period of Your being unwell, many of us decided to meditate at the evening video. It seemed time to discover what we had of meditation that was not dependent on Your physical presence. So, in a way, while You were passing through Your fire test, we also were being tested. Those few evenings were amazing: a potent silence began to grow – so intoxicating, it was as if You really were with us. The timing of these two events – was it just a coincidence or did one trigger the other? Was this synchronicity?
Maneesha, you have questioned and you have answered. It was simply synchronicity.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 8, p. 153.
On his people
“Hence, I will be simply my own name. I hope nobody objects to it. Otherwise, I can manage without a name.
I have to live with these blind people and all kinds of idiots, but I am not living for them; they should know. I am living for only my people, whose hearts have melted with me.
These few breaths that we are left to be here on the earth
I have to devote to my own people,
with the hope that they will use this opportunity
to become aflame with joy and blissfulness,
to find their roots in eternity, immortality…
to become in their own right
one with the cosmos,
dancing with the stars
and the flowers and the rivers and the oceans.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 12, p. 237.
On reactions from Buddhists
“You Need Two Wings. January 10, 1989.
Over the years, the Master has managed to expose the falsities and blind spots of virtually all organized religions in the world. These past few days, it has been the Buddhists’ turn to have a look around in the light.
It seems that at least for some, it was too bright for their eyes.
What follows is an excerpt from the Master’s discourse of January 10, when He responded to the actions taken by one of the Buddhist organizations in India.
Further developments and details can be found in the book Zen: The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond. -Ed.” [Editors: Ma Deva Sarito. Sw Anand Robin]. No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 13, p. 258.
On Lyengar and yoga
“Just by the way… one yoga teacher, Lyengar, in Poona, has given an interview to some journalists, and they asked him about me because we are both in Poona. He used to come to listen to my lectures in those old days when they did not exactly understand my meaning.
He used to come to my meditation camps – there are here witnesses for it – and he wanted me to do some yoga exercises, because I was traveling continually, and that would have an adverse effect on my body.
I said, “I would rather have that adverse effect than learn some stupid distortions of the body. And moreover, I remember perfectly how you exploit people.”
He was teaching J. Krishnamurti a few yoga postures to help him overcome his forty years’ migraines. Now, a yoga teacher is a professional; all that he teaches you is certain exercises of the body. But when he wrote his book on yoga, on the flap paper he wrote, “I am the guru of J. Krishnamurti.”
I told him, “I don’t want such exploitation. ‘Guru of J. Krishnamurti’ – just because you have taught him a few exercises? Then any idiot who can teach a few exercises, then any doctor who treats you with medicine, then any psychiatrist, any psychoanalyst, can claim to be your guru.”
“I don’t want to be included in your disciples. I am nobody’s disciple. Hence. I have to refuse your offer for teaching me some exercises. I don’t need them.” Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Chapter 2, p. 43.
“Yes, Maneesha. Laughter is therapy. And if you are allowed from the beginning to enjoy a belly laughter without restraint, without inhibition, to find out your buddha will be the easiest job, because you will be free of all seriousness. You will be free of all tensions, inhibitions, suppressions, and in this freedom only one finds the buddha.
Hence, before your meditation I have kept a special time for Sardar Gurudayal Sing. I want you to laugh as deeply as possible, so you are unburdened. Then meditation is very easy, nothing inhibits you.
My contribution to the world is: making sense of humor a part of spiritual growth. A man who cannot laugh is sick, sick unto death.” Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Chapter 2, p. 55.
On India getting its freedom
“India has not been successful in getting freedom. Its last attempt was in 1942, when thousands of people were forced into jails. But it did not last long, only nine days. One feels ashamed to say that this was a revolution!
China had been fighting for thirty years continuously. A freedom struggle which ends in nine days, with no conclusion, and then suddenly after five years… This is a very strange phenomenon.
If a revolution succeeds, immediately the country is free. But the revolution did not succeed and after five years the freedom was given by the British Empire. A given freedom cannot be a real freedom.
The British Empire was getting tired. Seeing the situation, that India will be getting worse and worse, the British prime minister, Attlee, sent Mountbatten with an urgent message: “Give the freedom as quickly as possible, because we don’t want to take the responsibility for India’s poverty” – which is going to grow every day, and by the end of this century almost half a billion people are bound to die of starvation.
This is not a freedom that is achieved; this is a freedom which has been given. It is a very poor freedom. It has been given to India as if India is a beggar. That is the root cause why there is no freedom, no democracy. Just the names go on being talked about, and nobody bothers to look at the reality.” Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Chapter 3, p. 67.
On reactions to his talks
“Friends, The day has been very hilarious. What I was saying… the masses have started proving it.
The Buddhists have joined hands with a minority Mohammedan league. They threatened the police that I should be arrested – as if by arresting me they are giving an answer to my arguments. They threatened that they will come in a procession an destroy the ashram.
That exactly proves what I have been saying: that the world is not yet civilized, and there is no such thing as religion anywhere. These people are simply subhuman.
Even if you destroy this ashram, my arguments will not be destroyed. Even a blind man can see it!…
These people went to the Deputy Police Commissioner. He seems to be a nice, educated, cultured man. He refused, saying that “You cannot have any procession, because you don’t understand… You are misinterpreting.” He came to the ashram, and said that “I have refused their permission to take a procession against you, or I am going to arrest them, because there is no validity at all.”
Whatever I have said, I can say to any court, any high court, any supreme court. And this will be the right action to take me to the court. Or if they have intelligence enough, I can allow three persons – they should choose – to argue with me on each point that hurts their so-called, self-styled religious feelings. Just those three persons have to fulfil the conditions of this campus. They have to come here unarmed, and they have to come here with an AIDS-negative certificate. We will welcome them with flowers, not with shoes – we have enough flowers – and I will give them every chance to argue on every point they want…
And now every effort is being made to camouflage the issue about the meaning of ‘bhagwan’, because I have exposed not only one religion, but all the religions. The Buddhists have joined hands with the Mohammedans, not knowing at all that these Mohammedans have destroyed thousands of Buddhist statues, have burnt thousands of Buddhist scriptures – and you are joining hands with them?
And the Mohammedans don’t understand that Buddha would not have accepted the philosophy of Mohammed at all. Mohammed was a violent man, continuously fighting and warring and killing people – and that’s what Mohammedans have been doing all along after Mohammed. Killing has become their profession.
That’s why I feel hilarious. Buddhists and Mohammedans are joining hands against me – a good sign of brotherhood. Soon every religion will join with you. Just wait a little, don’t be in a hurry.” Zen. The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond (1990). Chapter 5, pp. 121,123.
Ma Prem Mangla on discourses January 1989
“Around this period He was talking for record lengths of time. His average discourse of one and a half hours went up to three, sometimes even four hours each evening as He showered us like never before. “The sutra is long and the night is short. I hope that I will be able to finish it before sunrise,” He jokes with us one evening. In less than three months He had stopped talking publicly forever.” (Ma Prem Mangla. Introduction in: Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990))
On the raising of two hands
“One friend has asked,
“Everywhere in the world, for some support or to negate something, people are asked to raise one of their hands. Why do You ask us always to raise both our hands?”
A relevant question, but I never do anything which I cannot scientific explain to you.
Your two hands are connected with your two brains, crosswise. Your right hand is connected with the left brain, your left hand is connected with your right brain, and these two brains have no bridge, no communication between themselves. So when you are asked to raise one hand, it is bound to be the right hand.
A strange fallacy has persisted for centuries, as if right is right and left is wrong. So people are asked to raise their right hand in support of a negation, but that represents only the left brain, only half of your being. Your right brain may not be with your left brain, may not support it.
One hand is half-hearted, that’s why I ask you always to raise both hands. Both hands represent your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole being. Nothing is left out of it.
Raising one hand does not prove that you are totally with the hand. Half your mind, half your body is not with it. So it is not without reason that I have always asked you to raise both your hands. It is because I want you always to be total. Never be partial; only a total man is an authentic man.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 1, p. 8.
On his message
“Our Beloved Master, Is the point of the questions to find as many different windows through which we might view – and finally really comprehend – what You are saying?
Or is there more You have not said, and the questions are our drawing You out on those areas which You have not yet disclosed?
Maneesha, both things are true. I want you to look from every window possible. One never knows from which window you will see the light, from which window you will see the moon. I don’t want to leave out any angle, any dimension. Your questions bring new dimensions. So the first thing is absolutely right, and the second thing is also absolutely right.
I have five hundred books, but what I wanted to say I have not said yet. I am trying hard, hoping that in some way, in some moment, whether I say it or not, you will hear it. Perhaps I may not be able to say it, but I may be able to show it. You may not hear it, but you may see it.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 3, p. 117.
On coming to Buddha Hall
“I am just a well, overflowing. If you are thirsty you can drink. You need not even thank me. You don’t owe anything to me, not even gratitude. I am already overflowing, whether anybody drinks of me or not.
Even if you all disappear from the Gautama the Buddha Auditorium, I will come every evening at exactly seven o’clock, and I will talk to my absent disciples.
Just the other day I told Nirvano – because sometimes she comes late by two minutes, just the way of a lady, never in time; I told her, “This won’t do. I have to be in my chair on time. Whether anybody is there or not does not matter. I will speak to the trees, to the bamboos – they are such great listeners, they never interrupt.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 3, p. 134.
On burning the scriptures
“One Zen master burned all the Buddhist scriptures and he worshipped Buddha, he loved Buddha and he had become enlightened as a heritage of Buddha. But he burned all the scriptures after his enlightenment, because he saw that, “These scriptures have been hindering me for years. I would have become enlightened anytime, but because of these scriptures, I was repeating words, cramming theorizations, filling myself with great philosophy, and that was becoming a great China Wall, very difficult to pass beyond.”
When he became enlightened under a master, his first thing was to burn all the scriptures. That does not mean he was disrespectful to Buddha, because the next morning he was dancing before the Buddha’s statue.
His master said, “But you have burnt the scriptures?”
He said, “Yes, I have burnt the scriptures because I have realized the truth of Buddha. It is not in the scriptures, it is in me. In deep gratitude I am dancing before his statue.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 4, p. 147.
On his sleep
“My personal physician, Amrito, has managed a CD player that plays music continuously the whole night so that I can at least enjoy music. Otherwise I am just lying down. For thirty years I have not slept – but do you see my eyes tired or anything?
My own understanding is that sleep is a habit. It is not a necessity, it is a habit. For millions of years man remained in dark caves in the night with no fire, no light. There was no other alternative than to fall asleep. Those millions of years the habit has become so deeply rooted that we go on sleeping.
But my own understanding is that I have not slept for thirty years, not dreamt for thirty years – and it has not in any way disturbed anything in me. The whole sleep is a silent meditation, and with beautiful music in the background, the whole night is such a blissful, such an ecstatic experience!” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 2, p. 68.
“Our Beloved Master, A visitor here observed that there is an agelessness in the people around you. What is the explanation for this?
Maneesha, the explanation is very simple. I have never felt my age. I still feel like a child. As I close my eyes I don’t see any difference in my innocence, in my mischievousness. I am the only rascal saint in the whole world.
I sometimes wonder whether I am aging or not. My beard has become white, but it is not because of my age. It is due to the courtesy of President Ronald Reagan’s poison. One of the symptoms of the poison thallium that he has given to me is that it turns your hair white. It would have turned ten years later, but he helped me, he saved ten years. He has given me a beautiful beard. The whole credit goes to him!
When I look into the mirror, into my eyes, I see the same eyes I have always seen from my very childhood. I close my eyes, I look inside, and I am still the same – just ageless.
That’s why I go on forgetting how long I have been speaking to you. Last night, it was really too much! I have a watch, but I don’t want to offend you so I don’t look at it. Looking at a watch means I am tired of you. I am never tired.
On the way back, Anando and Avest said that “This was the record!”
I said to myself, “Just wait! Someday it will be the record!”
It is true, Maneesha, it is an ageless campus. Here the old are just as innocent as the children, or even more so – because your inner being is ageless. Once you come in touch with t, it is timeless, it never grows old or young or anything. It is just the same from eternity to eternity. Once you start coming closer and closer to your eternity, a certain agelessness starts radiating from your eyes, from your faces.
And the person who observed this must have a very clear vision.
I can see it happening: you are becoming every day younger. Sometimes I wonder, if everybody becomes too young, it will be very difficult to explain to them the sutras!” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 4, p. 153.
“Always remember, haikus are not to be understood as words but as pictures. Haikus have never happened anywhere else than China and Japan, and that happened particularly because both the counties don’t have the alphabet. They have pictures for everything, characters for everything; hence they are very difficult to learn. To become a scholar it will take almost twenty to thirty years of your life, because you need to know millions of characters
Alphabetical languages are simple. You have to learn twenty-six letters. The greatest number of letters is in Sanskrit – fifty-two, double the number in English. Its expressiveness is also double, its beauty and its poetry are also double. You cannot believe that medical books in Sanskrit are written in poetry, you cannot believe that books on astrology are written in poetry. In Sanskrit anything can be written in poetry, even mathematics. It has such a poetic humming sound that each word in itself is a part of a poetic line.
But Chinese and Japanese are more vast; their world is far bigger than any alphabetic language. Their language is pictorial, and the difference is the same. While awake you think – that is alphabetical. While asleep you dream – that is pictorial. Nobody dreams alphabetically.
Have you ever thought about it? Your dreams are pictorial, so colorful – but very few people’s dreams are colorful. Most people’s dreams are just like their mundane existence – in black and white. Poets, painters, dancers, all creative people dream in psychedelic colors.
Haikus have to be understood as pictorial. Just visualize them as a dream, not as alphabetical. That is the trouble: how to translate them into alphabetical languages.” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 5, p. 191.
On completing the circle
“Certainly I am bringing Zen back to India, and the circle is complete. If it started with Mahakashyapa, it is coming to its ultimate flowering with me. But neither has Mahakashyapa been understood, not am I going to be understood. This misunderstanding of the masses is a proof that I am talking something valuable, something of the ultimate truth…
Maneesha, nothing can be done about it, but it does not matter. The crowd has never mattered as far as ultimate truth is concerned. It is an individual search, and the people who are in search have come to me from all over the world. Neither did Buddha have such an audience – it was confined to the state of Bihar, not even the whole of India – nor did Mahakashyapa have such an audience, international, nor Bodhidharma, nor Rinzai.
I am the most blessed one in the sense that I have the chosen few of the earth from all over the planet. It is a gathering to be rejoiced with. I am absolutely blissful to have you here.
This is certainly a good completion of Mahakashyapa.
He started the circle. I am completing it.
You are the witnesses of a great phenomenon.” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 6, pp. 239,242.
“Maneesha has asked one question:
Our Beloved Master,
Is there any authenticity to the Zen that exists in America and Europe today?
Maneesha, there is great scholarship but no authenticity. People are translating Zen books, people are commenting on Zen books, but there is not a single Zen master in the West who knows the truth. All their commentaries and all their talk about Zen are intellectual.
They are fed up with Christianity and they are in search of something fresh and new, and they have found in Zen fresh insights, but their approach remains Western, the approach of intellect. Their approach remains Socratic, Aristotelian. They are beautiful people, but their Zen is only a mind phenomenon, they have not experienced it. It is not their own truth, they have borrowed from different sources.
It will take some time. As America goes on declining, once it is no more significant, just like England… It used to be said that in the British empire, the sun never sets – and it was true. The British empire was all around the globe, so somewhere or other the sun was always rising. Now the situation is totally different. Even in England the sun never rises!
So it needs the Western ego to be shattered completely, then perhaps they may start looking behind the mind.
I hope that day comes soon.” Christianity, the Deadliest Poison & Zen, the Antidote to All Poisons (1990). Chapter 7, p. 272.
Osho on Francis Israel Regardie
“One of the most famous spiritualists of Europe, Francis Israel Regardie, a famous occult magician who was regarded as a great magus and a scholar of the Golden Dawn Society, stated just prior to his death: “If I were to choose in what form I would come back in terms of reincarnation, I would like to continue the great work until I become a Rajneesh.”
Just today I received his book, and I could not believe what kind of spiritualist this fellow Francis Israel Regardie was.
A spiritualist, in the first place, knows he is not going to be born again. If he has not come to that point, he has no right to call himself a spiritualist. A person who has known his spirituality has no need to come back to any body, in any reincarnation. The imprisonment in the body is only up to the point when you become a buddha. When you become a buddha, you have not only learned the outside world, you have learned your inner world also. Now there is nothing left.” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 1, p. 15.
“In December 88, at the height of the Zen lectures, Osho had a series of heart attacks and nearly died.
Then, early in 89, with that strange resilience he seemed to command at the end of his life, bounced right back with some of the longest and intermittently wildest lectures he had ever given. The same themes are repeated throughout but one series of lectures in particular, Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind, (in many ways a response to Gorbachev’s perestroika, which was then at its height) strike a note unique to Osho, and at its most powerful in his last teaching. An insistence on individual enlightenment which is countered, balanced, by an equal insistence on world revolution.” (Sam 1997, p. 225)
On Sardar Gurudayal Singh
“(“Sardarji,” as he is affectionately known, has earned the distinction of being “the only man who laughs before the joke is told,” and the honor of having this part of the discourse announced as his special time. Tonight, his hearty and infectious laughter is not heard…)
Where is Sardar? Absent? Perhaps in deep meditation…”
[Osho’s commentaries during the meditation after his jokes are here for more than four pages]. Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 1, p. 33.
On discourse as nourishment
“The meaning was that the discourse is nothing but a nourishment. It is a spiritual nourishment. Just as the body needs food, your spirituality needs nourishment. Carrying the bowl behind him, he was giving the monk an insight: “Think of all your meditations and discourses in terms of nourishment.” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 2, p. 71.
“Ramakrishna was worshipping in the most primitive religion, and I don’t support him until the point when he met Totapuri – that was the very last phase.
I was surprised… I have met many Ramakrishna Mission sannyasins, monks, well known, world famous, but they don’t mention the last phase when Ramakrishna accepted Totapuri as his master. They hide that fact, because Ramakrishna accepting somebody as a master feels humiliating to these people. Totapuri helped Ramakrishna to become enlightened, but it happened only in the last days of his life. Those days and the meeting of Totapuri are not mentioned, are not even known by the monks of Ramakrishna Mission. They go on propagating Ramakrishna’s emotional worship of the Mother Goddess.” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 3, p. 71.
On the title of the series
“Before Nivedano calls you back, gather all the flowers that are showering on you – of ecstasy, of joy, of peace, of a deep serenity, silence, a fire within you. The fire of eternal life, which is very cool, and a breeze which is so fragrant, of the beyond.
This I have called Zen Fire, Zen Wind. We have to fill the whole earth with Zen Fire and Zen Wind. This is the only possibility for saving humanity and this beautiful planet from destruction, from the politicians and from the priests.” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 5, p. 216.
On the word Gandhi
“The word gandhi comes not from caste or religion; it means a man who sells perfumes. Gandh means perfume, and gandhi means a perfume seller. So anybody who sells perfumes becomes “Gandhi.” It has nothing to do with religion, it has nothing to do with caste. Feroze Gandhi’s family, sometimes in the past, must have been selling perfume. And that was also true of Mahatma Gandhi’s parents or forefathers. Somewhere back, they must have been selling perfume; both are called “gandhis.”” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 6, p. 231.
On three steps
“So communism is a first step. The second step is spiritualism, and the third step is anarchism. Anarchism is not possible unless people are really, authentically spiritual. Prince Kropotkin, Tolstoy, Bakunin – all were unaware of the fact that they were talking about the flowers but they had forgotten about the roots and the trunk. You cannot create flowers without roots, without a trunk.
Communism is just the roots, and the trunk will be meditation. And the flowers will be a world without any domination, without any interference with individual growth – a world without states, a world without boundaries. Just like a world consisting of individuals – not organizations, not nations, not races.
These are the three steps, and I can see them clearly because I have no identification with any – neither communism nor spiritualism nor anarchism. I am just a witness. I have no involvement with anybody. I am just a mirror who can reflect the whole situation as it is, and even the future as it can grow if the right nourishment is given.
So don’t think that I am a communist. I don’t identify with anything. Don’t think that I am a anarchist. I don’t identify with anything. Don’t think that I am a spiritualist. I don’t identify with anything.
I am just a pure awakened being, just a mirror who reflects – who has no involvement, no commitment to anything.
I don’t belong to any organization, I don’t belong to any party, I don’t belong to any ‘ism’.
You have to understand clearly:
I simply see things because I have gone beyond thoughts. My no-mind is just a pure space in which I can see the actual growth of consciousness and how it should happen.” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 7, p. 291.
On not sleeping and the length of discourses
“Anando comes to wake me up at 3:30 in the afternoon. It is a difficult task, to wake somebody who is awake. So poor Anando, as she opens the door I say, “Hello, Anando.” She has never had a chance to wake me up to now. Just hiding behind my blanket, I say, “Hello, Anando!”
Just the other day she was asking, “It is strange – I open the door so silently and you are hiding in your blanket and you immediately respond.”
Amrito knows that it is absolutely impossible for me to sleep.
He tries every possible medicine and he brings all kinds of compact discs which create sleep, and the whole night I have to listen! But I am not at all tired. In the morning when I wake up from my whole night of awakening, I have lost the very sense of time.
That’s why last night I went on and on. I would have gone on and on, just remembered Sardar Gurudayal Singh; otherwise there was no question. Only in the car, Anando told me, “You know it is 11:05!” I said, “My God, that is a record!”
If I had not remembered Sardar Gurudayal Singh, last night would have been a marathon discourse. Only early in the morning when the sun was rising, I would have allowed you to go for breakfast! Some day it is going to happen…” Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind (1990). Chapter 7, p. 309.
On plastic polluting the environment
“It is because of the American idea of using a thing and throwing it away. It is cleaner, but it is dangerous. The whole bottom of the ocean around America is full of plastic things: plastic bags, plastic syringes; everything is plastic: plastic covers, plastic toys.
And those layers of plastic have created something strange. Millions of fish have died because the plastic has made the water poisonous. Its aliveness has gone, it has become dead. And the fear is growing every day that more plastic thrown into the ocean, into the rivers, into the earth, will make everything dead; everything will be plastic.” God is Dead. Now Zen is the Only Living Truth (1990). Chapter 5, p. 177.
On Kahlil Gibran
“Very rarely have such cases happened in the contemporary world. It was Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra that inspired Kahlil Gibran to write The Prophet. He wrote The Prophet when he was only twenty-one, and in his whole life he must have written at least fifty books. In every book he was trying to go beyond The Prophet but could not because The Prophet was an inspired book. He was so overflowing with Friedrich Nietzsche’s insights that they triggered him also into new spaces.
The Prophet is a great work, but all his other books… He wrote The Garden of the Prophet, a desire to go beyond The Prophet, but failed. At least fifty books he has written: thirty in English; twenty in Lebanese, his mother tongue. But in no other book could he even come close to The Prophet – these books he was writing. Perhaps The Prophet was written under the vast shadow of Friedrich Nietzsche’s insights. It is not to be compared with Thus Spake Zarathustra, but it comes very close.” God is Dead. Now Zen is the Only Living Truth (1990). Chapter 5, p. 191.
On telling the truth
“On the one hand the government and all the religions and all the preachers go on saying, “You should tell the truth.” But society does not reward the truth. Just today I have received a threatening letter from a law firm in Madras that I have offended the religious feelings of their clients.
I have told my legal secretary, Anando, to write to them that in the first place there are no religious feelings. A religion is beyond feelings and beyond thoughts and beyond mind. There are only religious superstitions. A man of religion cannot be hurt. He knows the truth. It is the lies that you are living in that are hurt. Truth always hurts lies. So you should tell your clients to be really religious. Go beyond the mind, go beyond feelings, sentiments, emotions, thoughts and you will not be hurt.
But if you want to come to the court, you can. My whole life I have been fighting in courts on the same point that people’s religious feelings are hurt. I have been telling the judges, “If I am true and somebody’s feelings are hurt, do you think I have to be punished for it? That man needs psychological treatment. If his religious feelings are so weak, that shows that they are only beliefs. He does not know what religion is. And if truth hurts people, what do you suggest? Should I start lying?” And the judges would look all around – what to do? They cannot say I should start lying, so they are puzzled.
In the first court case they gave me a choice of the Bible, the Koran or Bhagavad Gita, whichever religion I belonged to. I was asked to take the book – all books were on the table – and take the oath that I would speak only the truth and nothing else.
I said, “I cannot do that for one reason: all these books are full of lies. To take an oath on a book which is full of lies is absolutely absurd; you are an intelligent man. Secondly, I cannot take the oath because I always speak the truth. Taking the oath will mean that I won’t speak the truth unless I take the oath. The implication is clear. You are telling me that I am an untruthful man. You are insulting me in your court. If I insult you, you will say that the court has been insulted. But you are insulting me by telling me to take the oath. I cannot take the oath because I simply speak the truth. There is no question of an oath.”…
The case was dismissed. Hundreds of cases have been dismissed. But the society goes on rewarding a person who consoles you. It does not matter that he is consoling you by a lie.” God is Dead. Now Zen is the Only Living Truth (1990). Chapter 7, p. 256.
On Salman Rushdie’s book and versions of the Koran
“Friends, I hope that the prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, will cancel the ban on Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses. It is absolutely innocent. These people who are trying to destroy the book, to ban the book, perhaps have not read it.
Rudolph Salman Rushdie was born in India as a Mohammedan, then he moved to England, and has become a worldwide literary figure. Being born in India, he has every right of an Indian citizen too. The Indian constitution gives to every individual freedom of speech and freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.
Salman Rushdie’s book has only one mention of Mohammed, which is not at all condemnatory. It has a factual thing that he describes, and it has already been accepted by the Mohammedan theologians for centuries.
The incident is concerning the earlier version of the Koran, in which Mohammed accepted three female deities. Later on he canceled those verses concerning the female deities, and declared that those verses were inspired by the devil. Now it is a well-known fact that Mohammed changed those verses. If Salmon Rushdie writes about it, it is not condemnatory, he is simply stating a fact which has been accepted.
But the anger is coming because the world will know that even Mohammed was capable of being deceived by the devil. What about the other verses? If he had not said it, those verses would have remained in the Koran…
One has to be aware about the fanatic and fascist attitudes of religious leaders. A great consciousness is needed, particularly for those who are in power, that they don’t misuse it. Banning Salman Rushdie’s book is a misuse of power, and I condemn it with my whole heart.
I have nothing to do with the book, or with Islam, or with the writer. My concern is that these things become precedents for destroying freedom of speech, freedom of expression, which are necessary foundations for a cultured society, for a humane society.” I Celebrate Myself (1990), pp. 123,125.
On the sutras
“I have never read the sutras. Maneesha finds the sutras; I simply speak spontaneously. My concern is Zen, not China or Japan. And you will see Sekito himself says, “I don’t belong to the east. I don’t belong to the west, I don’t belong to the south, I don’t belong to the north.” If Zen is also to be confined to a race, to a language, to a certain part of the earth, then it is not Zen.
So you have to be very clear. Neither am I a scholar, nor am I knowledgeable, informative. What I am saying is my moment-to-moment response. And my consideration for Zen is that it belongs to the whole universe.” I Celebrate Myself (1990), p. 126.
On the Koran
“The Koran is one of the most strange books, because it has not been written in a continuity – one verse today, one verse ten days after… because Mohammed was uneducated. He did not write it himself. He used to dictate whenever he found something worth dictating. So-called holy scriptures are written by self-styled prophets and messiahs – and they are called “holy”! I don’t see anything holy in them.
So many Mohammedan friends have asked me, “You have spoken on many religions, why don’t you speak on the Koran?”
I said, “Do you want me to be murdered?” I have something else to do meanwhile. Finally, when I think that it is time for me to leave the body, I will speak on the Koran, and I will manage to have one of my sannyasins kill me and get 2.6 million dollars for my work!
While my work is incomplete, I am not going to speak on such holy scriptures, because they are the most primitive kind of literature.
These so-called prophets are suffering from all kinds of mental sicknesses; they are epileptic, neurotic, psychotic and schizophrenic. They are not worth discussing at all. These priests all around the world are holding the whole of humanity in their clutches. They are vultures, not human beings…
Mohammed himself carried a sword his whole life, killing people, and he has given the name Islam to his religion, which means peace! And on his sword was written in letters of gold, “Peace is my message” – on the sword!” I Celebrate Myself (1990), pp. 164, 245.
“THE ZEN MANIFESTO: FREEDOM FROM ONESELF. In the weeks, after the “visitation” by Gautam Buddha, Osho seems to tap into new reservoirs of strength and energy. His talks grow longer – on a couple of occasions he speaks for nearly four hours without a break – and his speaking is noticeably more fiery and energetic. In different series of talks, he relates Zen to the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Walt Whitman, compares it with Christianity and recommends it to Gorbachev as a path to ease the transition from communism to capitalism. But in February 1989, two days into a new series of talks entitled “The Zen Manifesto,” Osho is taken ill again and does not appear in the meditation hall until the beginning of April. “The Zen Manifesto” will prove to be his last series of talks…
OSHO’s last words spoken in public are at the end of the meditation for the evening of April 10, 1989.” (Sarito 2000, p. 279)
The last book to be published with Osho’s discourses from his series on Zen and Zen masters, now including Western writers on Zen, was to become The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). For Western authors on Zen presented in his last discourse, see next subsection: Last Discourse: Sammasati.
Last Discourse: Sammasati
The last discourse Osho was physically able to deliver in public could be attended in the Spring of 1989, on April 10 pm, when he finished the series The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989).
Osho on Buddha’s word sammasati
“Anand Agyeya, what Gautam Buddha calls the right remembrance is not what you understand by remembering. To create the distinction between what he means and your understanding of remembering, he uses the word ‘right’; otherwise there is no need to use that word.
His original word is sammasati; sati is remembering, it is memory. It is all the experiences that you have passed through. Right remembrance is not memory, it is remembering yourself – who you are. Not your education, not your culture, not your civilization, not your religion, not your profession – who you are. The moment you remember yourself – “I am this… this moment, this consciousness, this bliss, this eternity” – it is right remembrance…
The wise will become absolutely silent. He is also answering – his silence is the answer. Buddha calls this silence “right remembrance”… sammasati.” Yaa-Hoo! The Mystic Rose (1988). Session 29, p. 328.
Osho on Buddha’s word sammasati in his last series
“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.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 4, p. 125.
Osho on Zen in his last series
“Zen prevents you from nothing. It opens everything that is potential in you. If you have a potentiality of being a painter, Zen will open it – you may not have been aware of it. If there is a potentiality for poetry, Zen will open that potentiality, and for the first time you will start thinking in poetry, not in prose.
The same is true about music or dance, or scientific exploration. Any kind of original experiences, Zen allows you. It is not preventive of anything. It is affirmative, the most affirmative experience in life. It simply makes you aware of all that is hidden in you, of all that you have never looked at. It not only makes you aware, it helps you to explore that potentiality.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 11, p. 279.
Punya on Sammasati
“When Osho spoke the word ‘sammasati’ – Buddha’s last word meaning ‘right remembrance’ – at the conclusion of a few discourses, we did not imagine that these were going to be also Osho’s last words he would say to us… These discourses were followed by quite a few months when Osho was unable to leave his room. For us, the days ended the same: with high-energy music and the ‘Osho!’s, a video discourse, gibberish and let-go meditation. Looking back, there was hardly a difference between Osho being physically present in the hall and not; my meditation could go as deep as when he was present.” (Punya 2015, pp. 388,389)
“On April 10, 1989, Osho gave his last discourse, which is printed in his book ‘The Zen Manifesto (Freedom from Oneself)’. At the end of his discourse he said, “‘Sammasati’, remember you are also a Buddha.” He ended his discourse pronouncing ‘Sammasati.'” (Laheru 2012, p. 175)
Shunyo on The Zen Manifesto
“The Zen Manifesto is Osho’s last book. April 10th, as the discourse finished, Osho said His last public words:
“The last word of Buddha was sammasati.
Remember that you are a buddha – sammasati.”
As He said these words a strange look came over Him, as though a part of Him had flown away. It looked as though He had become disconnected from His body. Standing up looked like such an effort for Him and He was having difficulty walking. As He came outside to the car I looked at His face and it had a strange expression as though He didn’t know where He was. This is only my interpretation, and it is because of my lack of understanding that I have to use these words. I never did understand what happened to Osho that night. In the car on the way back to the house Osho said to me that something strange had happened to Him. I said, yes, that I had noticed something. He later repeated it, and He seemed as mystified as me, but He never explained to me what had happened. Several days later He said that He didn’t think He would be able to speak again.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 271)
Last book published from Osho’s many series on Zen and Zen masters included some Western writers on Zen he had been reading throughout his life and now presented to his audience.
* The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself. Talks Given to the Rajneesh International University of Mysticism in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium, Poona, India During the Months of February and April, 1989 / Osho Rajneesh. Editor: Ma Dhyan Sagar. Publisher: Rebel Publishing House, Cologne, 1989 (no year). 304 pages. Period: 20.02 pm – 10.04 pm 1989. 11 discourses. Subject: Zen and Zen Masters. Place: Gautama the Buddha Auditorium, Poona.
From Table of Contents
1. This Disappearance is Anatta. 20.02.1989. 43 pages.
Tenjiku, Nan-yo, Tanka Tennen & D.T. Suzuki.
2. Let the Christian Ship Drown. 21.02.1989. 40 pages.
Teiko, Tanka Tennen & Thomas Merton.
3. To Wait, To Wait for Nothing. 02.04.1989. 25 pages.
Tanka, Choro & Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps (Zen Flesh, Zen Bones).
4. Freedom Not Licentiousness. 03.04.1989. 29 pages.
Tanka, Sekito Osho & Alan Watts (The Way of Zen).
5. The Sky of Completion. 04.04.1989. 18 pages.
Hotetsu, Tanka Tennen & Hubert Benoit.
6. Chaos – The Very Nature of Existence. 05.04.1989. 16 pages.
Choshi, Sekito, Sekishitsu & Fritjof Capra.
7. Mind Only Thinks, Meditation Lives. 06.04.1989. 19 pages.
Gyozan, Sekishitsu & Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man).
8. Inscape – The Ultimate Annihilation. 07.04.1989. 27 pages.
Daiten & Philip Kapleau (The Three Pillars of Zen).
9. Small Intervals of Light. 08.04.1989. 22 pages.
Choro & Nancy Wilson Ross (The World of Zen).
10. The Less You Are, The More You Are. 09.04.1989. 18 pages.
Suibi, Shohei & Mantak Chia (Tao Yoga), Erich Fromm (Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism).
11. Sammasati – The Last Word. 10.04.1989. 24 pages.
Tozan, Ungan, Chu at Leh T’an & Gesta Ital, Karl Jaspers (Philosophy, Vols I-III).
On U.G. Krishnamurti
“U.G. Krishnamurti lived with J. Krishnamurti for twelve years, and he never mentions his name. If somebody brings up J. Krishnamurti’s name, he immediately condemns J. Krishnamurti – and whatever he is saying is just an imitation of J. Krishnamurti, paraphrasing. The reason he cannot accept the fact that he had been with J. Krishnamurti for twelve years is very simple. The moment he accepts it, then you can compare his statements with J. Krishnamurti’s, and you will find they are simply paraphrasing. He is repeating, imitating, he knows nothing…
Even the original man, J. Krishnamurti, used to become very angry just seeing my sannyasins. I had told my sannyasins everywhere that whereever J. Krishnamurti speaks, you just sit in the front row. At that time sannyasins were wearing red clothes, they had the mala with my photo in the locket, so they were absolutely recognizable.
The moment J. Krishnamurti would see my sannyasins all around, he would forget on what subject he was going to speak. He would start condemning me, and condemning sannyas. This man was talking for his whole life about awareness, and he had forgotten the subject completely. And it was not only once… because my sannyasins were everywhere. Wherever he was going to speak – in London, in San Francisco, in Bombay, in New Delhi, in Madras – wherever he was going to speak, my sannyasins were there just in the front rows.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 1, pp. 3-4.
On books on Zen
“I am taking his case [J. Krishnamurti] for a particular reason – because the whole of the Western intelligentsia has become immensely interested in Zen, but their interest remains intellectual. They have written great books, and we will be discussing in this manifesto almost everyone who has written books on Zen.
My effort is to make you really clear that all these intellectuals may have written very beautiful books… I appreciate their scholarship, I appreciate their articulateness of expression, but they are not men of Zen, to say nothing of masters of Zen. Hence this manifesto is absolutely needed to make the whole world clear that Zen is not a mind affair. It is a no-mind space.
I told you that all the religions are saying, “Drop the ego.” Zen goes beyond the ego and beyond the self. Except Zen, no religion has come to the point of going beyond the self, beyond the atman, beyond your spirit, beyond your individuality. It is absolutely a single man’s contribution to human consciousness – Gautam the Buddha’s…
Buddha is the only man who said, “If there is no God and there is no ego, the ego is also arbitrary, artificial. As you go deeper in your interiority, you suddenly find yourself disappearing into the oceanic consciousness. There is no self as such. You are no more, only existence is.
Hence, I call Zen essentially freedom from oneself. You have heard about other freedoms, but freedom from oneself is the ultimate freedom – not to be, and allow the existence to express itself in all its spontaneity and grandeur. But it is existence, not you, not me. It is life itself dancing, not you, not me.
That is the Zen Manifesto: freedom from oneself.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 1, pp. 7-8.
On D.T. Suzuki
“Hundreds of beautiful books have appeared in the West since a very strange man, D.T. Suzuki, introduced Zen to the West. He did a pioneer job, but he was not a Zen master, or even a man of Zen. He was a great scholar, and his impact spread through all the countries to the intelligentsia. He immediately had a great appeal.
As the old religions are crumbling, particularly in the West… Christianity is just a name, the empire is crumbling. They are trying to hold onto it, but it is not possible. It is falling apart and a vacuum is growing every day, bigger and bigger, like an abysmal depth which creates nausea.
Jean-Paul Sartre’s book, Nausea, is very significant. Once you see the bottomless pit, this meaningless life – that you are utterly arbitrary, unnecessary, accidental – you lose all dignity. And for what are you waiting? – there is nothing to wait for, only death. This creates a great anxiety: “We are worthless… nobody needs us… existence is care-less.”
At that very moment D.T. Suzuki appeared on the horizon in the West. He was the first man to talk about Zen in the Western universities, colleges, and he attracted immensely the intelligent people, because they had lost faith in God, they had lost faith in the Holy Bible, they had lost faith in the pope…
The West is absolutely ready for a Zen manifesto. Intellectually, D.T. Suzuki, Alan Watts, and many others – we will be discussing each one – have prepared the road. No only a Bodhidharma is needed, a Gautam Buddha is needed, or a Mahakashyapa – someone whose Zen is not just a philosophy but an actual experience of no-self, and actual experience of entering into nothingness.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 1, pp. 11-13.
On Zen when resuming discourses on 02.04.1989
“FRIENDS, It has been a long waiting, but that is the very essence of Zen – to wait, to wait for nothing.
There is no God, there is no ultimate meaning.
Life is all there is.
Those who have found, have found nothing but that there is nothing to be found.
Zen is the ultimate manifesto of non-finding, of rejoicing without any reason, of laughing and loving and dancing without any cause…
These days I have been away from you, but I was aware of you, as you were aware of me. I heard your sound of joy, I heard your songs… and I was waiting for the right day to come. I was going to come yesterday, but yesterday was Sardar Gurudayal’s day, so I had to remain in my room just for poor Sardar’s sake.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 3, pp. 88-90.
On Sarjano and living in a commune
“Sarjano has gone somewhere for a few days. I asked Neelam, “I don’t see Sarjano…?” She informed me that she had asked Sarjano, and Sarjano said, “If I am not missing him, why is he missing me?”
Sarjano, you may not miss me – I miss you. I am my kind of a buddha. I miss people – and even people like Sarjano! Everybody was happy when he was gone…
He told Neelam, “I am not coming to the discourses because they are too long. I am watching the sky, sitting on my balcony.”
Do you think the sky is smaller than my discourses?
And Sarjano was not on the balcony either. He was not even in Poona. I keep myself perfectly aware of where you are. Looking at Sarjano’s eyes the other day, I saw that he had been with U.G. Krishnamurti. And not only has he been with U.G. Krishnamurti, he has been taking other people there too…
Today he has written a letter in which he feels afraid that “perhaps the ghost of Rajneeshpuram will take possession of this commune also.” Sarjano, it is not you speaking, it is U.G. Krishnamurti. He has never lived in a commune.
A commune gives certain responsibilities and certain freedoms. A commune is not necessarily destructive of the individual. In fact, that is the very purpose of the commune: to preserve the individual, his integrity.
A commune is not an organization, but when thousands of people are involved, somebody has to cook, and somebody has to watch on the door, and somebody has to do small things. There are people who start thinking that even doing these things is destroying their freedom. This is sheer nonsense.
A certain responsibility is not against freedom: in fact, freedom can only exist with responsible people. Somebody has to take care of the gardens, otherwise there will be no flowers.
Sarjano’s trouble may be the trouble of a few other sannyasins. It has to be made clear that a commune is not dictatorial, but it is not democratic either. It gives respect to the individual. With the respect it gives the responsibility also, that you have to be aware not to trespass on anybody, and that you have to contribute to the commune.
If you are taking from the well of the commune, you have to contribute something – whatever you can do.
When you are working with friends there should be no discussion about anything, only dialogues. There should be no need to impose anything on anybody. When intelligent people are there, they can see the reason themselves. They are not to be forced.
But there are a few people who think licentiousness is freedom. Sarjano, that is your attitude. Licentiousness is not freedom.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 3, pp. 101,114,115.
On Zen and Alan Watts
“Whenever you are reading a book, remember the man who is writing it, because those words are not coming from the sky, they are coming from an individual mind.
Alan Watts was a trained Christian missionary. That training continues to effect his effort to understand Zen. And finally, when he came a little closer to Zen, the Chrtistian church expelled him. That brought a crisis in that man’s life. He was not yet a man of Zen, and he had lost his credibility as a Christian. Under this stress he started drinking wine, became an alcoholic and died because of his alcoholism. If you know this man you will understand why he is saying what he is saying.
His statement that “One must forget the social context of Zen,” is simply saying something about himself – that if he had not forgotten the social context and remained a docile Christian, things would have been better. His interest in Zen, rather than bringing him freedom, brought him catastrophe. But Zen is not responsible for it; he could not go the whole way.
He tried somehow to make a Christian context for Zen. Neither did Christians like it, nor the men of Zen. They don’t need any Christian context, they don’t need any social context. It is an individual rebellion. Whether you are a Hindu or a Mohammedan or a Christian does not matter. Whatever load you are carrying, drop it. Whatever the name of the load, just drop it. Zen is a deprogramming…
I told Anando, who was sitting by my side watching a film on Jesus where he says, “Don’t think that I bring peace to the world. I bring the sword.” That sword has been used by Christianity. More people have been killed by Christians than by any other religion. And Alan Watts does not seem to be aware of the crimes of Christianity. Zen, in not a single situation, has been a curse to man. It has always been a blessing because it is coming out of your blissfulness, it is coming out of your laughter.” The Zen Manifesto. Freeedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 4, pp. 121,138.
(Note: Osho’s Books I Have Loved (1985) is completed with Alan Watts to whom the book is dedicated).
On Wilhelm Reich
“Wilhelm Reich was a unique genius. He could manage to see and feel what is not ordinarily possible.
But if you are very meditative, you will start seeing the auras of people, even your own aura. You will see your own hand with the light rays around it, radiating. And when you are healthy you will feel your aura expanding. When you are sick you will feel your aura shrinking – something is shrinking within you.
When you are by the side of a sick person, you will have a strange feeling that he somehow makes you feel sick, because the sick person exploits the auras of the other without his knowing. He needs more life, so whoever has life and comes around him – he takes his life.
And you know by experience, without understanding, that there are people you want to avoid, because meeting them you feel sick, meeting them you feel that something has been taken away from you. And there are people you want to meet, because meeting them you feel an expanding, you feel more alive.
Wilhelm Reich was right, but unfortunately the masses never accept their own geniuses; on the contrary, they condemn them. Because if Wilhelm Reich is right, then everybody else is almost blind. And in anger he wrote the book, Listen, Little Man. But that book is beautiful, and his anger can be forgiven because he was mistreated by “the little man,” by the masses. He was first thought to be mad, then forced into a madhouse, and he died in a madhouse.
In the East, he would have become a Gautam Buddha. He had the quality, the insight. But a wrong society, a society of very little men, of very small people… small-minded, who cannot conceive the vast, who cannot conceive the mysterious.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 7, p. 194.
“Tantra will call it samadhi.
The names are different, but it is exactly life, pure life without any contamination. Once you reach to your center you can think in different categories. You can use the yoga method, then you can say this is the very center of your being: sambodhi. You can use the Tantra method, then you can say this is the center of your sex energy. And sex energy in Tantra is equivalent to life energy. These words have unnecessarily kept people discussing and discussing.
The reality is one. It is better to experience it.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 8, p. 208.
“My secretary, Anando, says to me, “You are a bad example for enlightenment. Twenty-one countries are closed for you. One country has poisoned you, jailed you, dragged you into six jails in twelve days without any evidence…”
And they have admitted it now, that there was no direct evidence of any crime, “but we simply wanted the commune to be destroyed.”
One wonders why America should be worried about a small commune which was living in a desert. The nearest village was twenty miles away. We were a self-sufficient commune, and slowly transforming the desert into a beautiful oasis. But the orthodox, fundamentalist Christians became worried. The fear was that young people were moving into the commune from their flock.
And just now the Attorney General of Oregon has made the statement: “We had no reason. And we had put five million dollars into research to find some crime against him.” They have come to India, they have come to Poona, they have been to Bombay. They have even gone to my birthplace, to my university, to the school, to the college… everywhere to find some hint. But they could not, because there was nothing.
I am the laziest man. I cannot commit a crime; it is too much work. If not doing anything is a crime, then I am certainly a criminal. If just being silent, rejoicing into my own aloneness is a crime, then I am certainly a criminal.
But if you behave with every conscious being in such a murderous way, certainly nobody is going to be interested in the very word ‘enlightenment’. It will create fear; you will be in unnecessary danger. Of course, only these few enlightened people whom you have killed, or tried to kill, have helped humanity to become a little more conscious.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 9, p. 231.
On his health
“But the real reason was to drag me through six jails. A journey of six hours was done in twelve days. Only now do we know from poison experts that they were poisoning me in small doses; that’s why it took them twelve days. If that amount of poison is given in one big dose, the person will die immediately. And they were worried that they would be condemned by the people of America, so they did not want me to die in the jail. Slowly giving the poison over a long stretch of twelve days would not kill me inside the prison, but it would have destructive effects for my whole life.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 9, p. 237.
On the sunrise and sunset hours
“In the East, two times have been thought to be mysterious, and then you are closer to the mystery of existence than any other time. In the early morning when the sun has not risen and the last star has disappeared – that light is cool because the sun is not present and the night is gone. That small interval is called in India, sandhya. It exactly means interval. In that space, meditation is easier.
And the same happens again at sunset. When the sun is setting and the night has not come yet, that interval is a good moment to meditate. You will be surprised to know that because of these sandhyas, intervals, in India, prayer had been given the name sadhya.
My own feeling is that when the night is gone, your life is refreshed. When the sun has not risen, existence is more relaxed around you, the affairs of the day have not started yet. Sitting silently in this interval, you can enter into yourself more easily than at any other time. Hence, morning and evening have become traditionally times for prayer.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 9, p. 242.
On pyramids and the burning of the great library in Alexandria
“We are going to create new campuses around in the pyramid shape for meditators. Even people who live inside a pyramid find it very rejuvenating. The scientists could not believe it: they themselves found that they were more alive inside the pyramid that they were outside. Something happens; just the shape of the pyramid is the thing.
Those pyramids were created by Egyptian mystics from very ancient scriptures from the continent, Atlantis, that drowned either by natural catastrophe or by man’s stupidity. But in Alexandria in Egypt, they had saved everything worthwhile from the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. The library of Alexandria was so big – perhaps the biggest library in the world. The Mohammedan, Khalif Omar, burned it down.
You can see the stupid logic. With the holy Koran in one hand, and a burning torch in the other, Khalif Omar entered the library and asked the chief librarian, “You have to answer a question, because the very existence of your library depends on it. Is there anything more in your library than is in the Koran?”
The librarian saw the strategy. If he said there was more, then certainly it had to be destroyed, because nothing more is needed than the Koran; it is enough. If he said… and that’s what he said, being a very intelligent person, knowing perfectly well there was so much more in the library than the Koran. He said, “Whatever is contained in the Koran in a condensed form is available in the library. It is the same.”
Although he tried by his answer to save the library, he did not know the fanatic mind.
Omar said, “If it is the same, then it is not needed, the Koran is enough. Why bother with so many books?” Omar burned it, and that library was so vast that it took six months for the fire to destroy it.
It had all the maps of the pyramids, and the reasoning why that particular shape is rejuvenating.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 10, p. 260.
Discourse 10 on 09.04.1989 finishes
“The last words of Gautam Buddha contain the Zen Manifesto: sammasati. Remember what is your inner space. Just remember.
There is nothing to achieve, and there is nothing to become. You are already that which you have been seeking in all your lives in different ways, on different paths. But you have never looked inwards.
Look in. And whenever you have time, you know the paths. Just go again and again to the inner space so that your fear of disappearing is dropped, you start enjoying being nobody, and you start remembering the forgotten language.
Yes, Osho.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 10, p. 270.
On preserving the words of the masters
“It is very difficult now to find out what actually was said by Gautam Buddha, and what was added by the disciples. So there is a great scholarship in the Buddhist world where people search into scriptures trying to find what is authentic and what is not.
Just recently, the same kind of scholarship has started in Europe. There professors and the very scholarly Christians have formed a special committee, the Biblical Scholars. And they are now searching for what exactly was said by Jesus, and what has been added by others – what is fiction, what is myth, what is truth.
Just a few days ago, Pope the Polack declared to all the Catholics of the world: “Don’t listen to the Biblical Scholars” – because the Biblical Scholars are taking out many things which have been added to the Bible which are not true. Events, miracles, the virgin birth, the resurrection… the Biblical Scholars are taking all those things out. It is agreed that they are the most scholarly group in Europe concerning the Bible.
They meet every few months, and they discuss papers. And if you listen to them, almost ninety percent of the Bible disappears. And they are absolutely right, because for the first time they are searching at the roots from where this saying, this statement, this gospel, has come. A few are found to be in the ancient scriptures of the pagans, and those scriptures have been destroyed so that nobody can prove that Jesus ever said these things.
Even the idea of the virgin birth is more ancient than Jesus. It was a pagan God, a Roman god who was thought to be born from a virgin, and to the same god, the crucifixion happened. And to the same god is connected the idea of the resurrection. All that has been taken and compiled into the Bible. The pagans have been destroyed, their temples have been burned, their scriptures have been destroyed. Now these Biblical Scholars are trying to find ways and methods to uncover the facts from contemporary literature about when Jesus was alive.
One of the gospels was written in India – the fifth gospel of Thomas. It has not been included in the Bible, for the simple reason that it was not available to Constantine, who was compiling, and who was deciding what was to be included and what was not to be included. It was because of him that all these ideas and mythologies and fictions have been added to the life of Jesus.
The same is true about Buddhist literature: much is borrowed from Hindu literature; much is borrowed from Jaina literature, because these were contemporaries. And a few contemporaries of Buddha have left no literature behind, but they were also teaching in the places where Buddha was teaching, so many of their teachings have been compiled and mixed with Gautam Buddha’s
A very scholarly tradition exists in Zen to find out the original teachings of Buddha. But even if you can find what is the original statement and what is not, that does not mean you can become enlightened. You may know exactly what Buddha said, but that will not make any difference to your consciousness.
Tozan was first a scholar, and found that however you go on trying to know and find the original sources, you still remain ignorant. You become a great knower, but deep down you know nothing about yourself. And the question is not to know what Buddha said, the question is to know your own inner buddha, your own inner consciousness.
After being in the scholarly Vinaya sect, he became interested in Zen. He dropped out of the scholarly world and set out on a journey to find a master. He had been with teachers, great scholars, but none of them was a master.
And a master need not be a scholar – it is not a necessity. He may be a scholar – that is accidental. What is necessary and existential is his own knowing, his own experience.
So he went in search of a man who himself knows what is the truth, and who can tell him the way to it.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 11, p. 284.
On Karl Jaspers
“Maneesha, Karl Jaspers is a great philosopher, but he is not a master. What he is saying is the definition of matter. Exactly the word ‘matter’ comes from the Sanskrit word matra. Matra means that which can be measured. Matter means that which can be measured. And that which cannot be measured is your reality.
Karl Jaspers is confusing reality with matter. Matter is real, but reality is far more than matter; it also includes consciousness, which is not measurable. You cannot measure it by any means. How many feet of consciousness do you have, or how may miles, or how many kilos…?
Matter is that which can be measured, and consciousness is that which cannot be measured. And Jaspers is confining himself to matter as the only reality. He is absolutely wrong. About matter he is right, but about reality he is wrong, because reality is mush more than matter.” The Zen Manifesto. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 11, p. 290.
Last discourse, Sammasati – The Last Word on 10.04.1989, finishes with a joke – last one to be told – on the two famous psychologists in Vienna, Doctor Sigfried Mind, and Doctor Krazy Karl Kong who decided to explore the mystery of death by traveling to Cairo and visit the pyramids. Confronted with the mummies in a huge golden coffin, Doctor Sigfried Mind is taken by surprise, “Mummy?” he screeches again. “Hey, this looks more like Daddy!”
The last words in public discourse spoken by Osho:
“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.
These are the words in the finishing meditation:
“It is time Nivedano…
[Drumbeat, Gibberish and Let Go.
Then a final drumbeat]
Be silent…Close your eyes…and feel yourself completely frozen.
This is the right moment to enter inwards.
Gather all your energy, your total consciousness, and rush towards the inner center with deep intensity and urgency.
The center is just two inches below the navel, inside the body.
Faster… and faster… Deeper… and deeper…
As you come closer to the center of being, a great silence descends over you, and inside a peace, a blissfulness, a light that fills your whole interior. This is your original being. This is your buddha.
At this moment, witness that you are not the body, not the mind, not the heart, but just the pure witnessing self, the pure consciousness. This is your buddhahood, your hidden nature, your meeting with the universe.
These are your roots.
[Drumbeat, falling to the ground]
Relax…and just be a silent witness.
You start melting like ice in the ocean. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium becomes an oceanic field of consciousness. You are no longer separate – this is your oneness with existence.
To be one with existence is to be a buddha, it is your very nature. It is not a question of searching and finding, you are it, right now.
Gather all the flowers, the fragrance, the flame and the fire, the immeasurable, and bring it with you as you come back.
Come back peacefully, silently, as a buddha.
Just for a few seconds, close your eyes and remember the path and the source you have found, and the buddha nature that you have experienced.
This moment you are the most blessed people on the earth. 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. Freedom From Oneself (1989). Chapter 11.
Heading: Hello Friends
“Our Beloved Master, Osho Rajneesh, started a new series on April 10. The new series is called “The Awakening of the Buddha.” (Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 11.04.1989)
Heading: Our Beloved Master, Osho Rajneesh, is Resting
“On April 11, Osho did not come out, but Dr. Amrito appeared and gave this message.
“I’m afraid our Master is not coming out tonight. As you saw He left very abruptly last night, and He was concerned that you might be upset about it. He wanted you to know that He actually felt sort of burning up in his bones and joints. The temperature was a little high on the podium. While He was talking He didn’t notice it. As soon as He stopped talking His back and His body became very unpleasant and He felt very uncomfortable. That’s why He is not coming out tonight, and we hope that He will come out tomorrow night; He said He thought He might, but we cannot be certain. He says that, as always, our love is the only thing we can do for Him, and that He is only here for us, and He wants us to stay here to meditate and carry on with the work.
“And this is just personally: I get the impression increasingly that the work that is done in His absence is definitely at least as important as the work that is done in His presence. That’s just a feeling I have, because He really is very keen that we should all stay and meditate and carry on exactly as when He is present.
“And if there is only one good thing that can come out of this whole ugly series of episodes, at least we can learn the lesson that can be drawn from this whole process, the process of violence which has been perpetuated against Him, when our Master is chained and dragged across the United States and damaged unto His body which seems irreparable. He is keen that we should do that, to stay and meditate and carry on exactly as when He is present.
“The thallium poison seems to be able to stay in the bones for some nine years. And He said, ‘You just tell them that we have made four years; there are only five more to go.”” (Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 16.04.1989)
Heading: Osho Not There, But There!
“Our beloved Master is still not coming out. It was announced on the 14th that it will be a few more days until He can come to give lectures…” (Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 16.06.1989)
Heading: Our Beloved Master, Osho Rajneesh, Is Still Resting
“Meanwhile we delight in treating the video-meditations in the evening in the same way as if Osho were physically there, and we’re amazed at how the meditativeness increases with this attitude: we sit still, we don’t cough or make noise, we bow down to greet Him – and so we find the buddha inside!” (Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 20.04.1989)
At a General Meeting 19.05.1989 it is announced that Osho no longer is going to speak regularly the way he has been able to in the past.
Heading: Messages From Osho Rajneesh About His Health and About Restructuring and Expansion of the Ashram. Excerpt:
“On May 19, a community meeting was held at Rajneeshdham where Swami Amrito, Osho’s personal physician, and Ma Anando and Ma Neelam, His secretaries, relayed messages from Osho about His health, and about the restructuring and expansion of the ashram:
AMRITO: So, good evening everybody.
First let me tell you about Osho. I’m sure that’s what you mostly want to hear.
Since that last episode when He left the podium He has had many weeks of severe pains and been extremely weak, and I’m glad to be able to say those pains are now easing and He is considerably better.
However, at the end of this period, it’s clear that His strength is NOT back, and He now feels that He is not going to be able to speak to us regularly, as He has done in the past. He said that He WILL be able to come out from time to time, talk to us sometimes, and just sit in silence with us on yet other occasions. But He is clear that He is not going to be able to talk regularly in the way that He has been able to in the past.” (Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 21.05.1989)
(Note: The meeting on 19.05.1989 was videotaped and for sale called: General Meeting May 19)
Announcement in Buddha Hall 18.08.1989: ‘few have understood my words’.
“Anando, his legal secretary and later his medium, (whatever that meant) passed on this message to all of us: “Osho has been speaking for 30 years, but very few people have got the message – they simply cling to the words. Now he wants to drop all words. What happens here in these communions is the real message – no words can convey it. He will not be using words but sharing his being with you. It is up to you how deep you can go. After the whole day of meditations, groups and working, these ten minutes will be the climax. What words cannot express, silence can. So, this is a greater opportunity than hearing him, it is melting. These ten minutes of silence, going deeply into yourself, are equal to eternity… With silence you don’t have to understand, just see and feel. Before (when he was talking), programmed minds were coming in. Now there is no question of the mind. He is simply showering flowers. The Brotherhood gathers together in silence, in music, sharing Osho’s energy.”” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 480)
Osho on his last discourse
“On 10 April 1989, Osho gives his last discourse. This is the first talk of a pre-scheduled series entitled ‘The Awakening of the Buddha’. Later Osho requests that this talk be included in the book The Zen Manifesto. In answer to a question, Osho explains [The Zen Manifesto (1989). Chapter 11] how his Zen differs from the arduous practice in some contemporary Zen monasteries.” (www.oshoworld.com/biography)
Osho announces 09.11.1989 that his silence is not religious but it is a protest against the hypocrites and also those that hear but do not listen.
Anando at Inner Circle Community Meeting in 1996
“Ma Deva Anando began by putting things in an historical perspective. She said that when Osho gave His last discourse on April 10, 1989, He was not expecting to stop talking. He had already signed up many more books to talk about, and had given the titles as well. But as Osho finished speaking that evening, put the clipboard on one side and began to stand up, He said something happened to Him – He said He felt something inside disconnect near the hara. That evening, Osho announced that He wasn’t going to be speaking again and later Anando understood that this was the moment when Osho knew He was soon going to leave His body.” (Osho Times International, 1996:2)
This section on Publishing and Editing is mostly presenting source material concerning the years up to 1990. As for the period 1990 to ca. 2000, see: Publication Issues 1990 – 2000 in: Appendix / Poona Two.
It didn’t take long before the making of his books in Poona Two had reached it’s former level of organization with two books to appear each month. And there is enough evidence to confirm that Osho’s keen interest in the choosing of titles and his engagement in layout and selection of pictures were among those things that made his last and painful years endurable to him. And as we’ll see, from earlier on in Poona One we’re now moving into a phase with increasing support from computer technology.
Osho on publishing
“And whatever I say, all that is needed is to publish it in all the possible languages. And that great responsibility falls on you. The word should reach. People may understand today or tomorrow – that doesn’t matter – but one day they will understand it. One thing I can say, that whatever I am saying is going to become the future philosophy, The future religion of the whole humanity; and you are blessed to be co-creators in it.” The Path of the Mystic. 17.05.1986 pm. (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:6)
“And whatever I say, all that is needed is to publish it in all the possible languages. That will be your main work, because now you will not find publishers to publish it. Now we have to publish it with our own resources: we will have to translate ourselves, publish ourselves, make arrangements for the marketing… And that great responsibility falls on you.” (Ma Prem Hasya. Letter. February 1988)
“Ways and means have to be found for the word to reach every corner of the earth, to every human being who can understand.” The Path of the Mystic, 21.05.1986 am.
Heading: The Story of Osho Publishing
“When Osho moved from Bombay to Pune in 1974, the Osho Meditation Resort consisted of one property. To raise money for expansion it was decided to publish The Book of the Secrets, the Osho lecture series on the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. With the help of a professional literary agency in New York, the book was marketed in the West.
In the 80’s, the Rebel Publishing House was established in Germany and India. Between 1981 and 1987 it produced the original hardcover editions of each new discourse series – bringing two million books into print. Osho himself was involved in every detail of the publications, from title to cover design – including the gold or silver on the jackets.
At the same time sister companies for translations were set up in Greece, Taiwan, and the Netherlands as meditators took care of the publication of Osho books in their own language.
Today Rebel Publishing, now based solely in India, is flourishing more than ever. It has kept the same focus: to produce high-quality, hardcover volumes containing complete discourse series.
By 1993 it became clear that Osho’s instructions to make his work and proposals available around the world could not happen from India. International distribution of books was proving impossible, and there was no connection to publishers in the western world.
To span this gap, Osho International opened a gallery at the prestigious Economist Plaza in London. Based on Osho’s insights on design and his Rolls Royce style, the gallery presented each book like a work of art – spotlighted on its own shelf – in a minimalist and award-winning space.
Three different publishing houses in the UK, Element Books, Boxtree, and C.W. Daniel, began to carry Osho titles.
The next step was New York, the hub of world publishing. There Osho International continues the work that was begun in the 70’s and 80’s: giving permission to book publishers and authors from all over the world for hundreds of excerpts and reprints. In this way Osho is entering all corners of world literature and is quoted and referred to in a wide spectrum of publications and websites which reach diverse audiences.
Now about fifteen times as many Osho books are sold worldwide as in the 80’s. The number of book titles and languages in which Osho is available reflect the same scale of expansion as visitors to the superbly renewed Osho Meditation Resort in India: in 1990 people visited from 33 different countries; in 2003 people came from 105 countries.” (Osho Times, 2004:1, pp. 20-22)
Photo 20. The Complete English Discourses of Osho. Catalog 1990. 52 pages.
Interview with Ma Deva Sarito, head of editing department
Heading: Packing and producing the Word
“In a rambling old mansion located in the heart of the stately and elegant Poona suburb of Koregaon Park, a quiet upstairs wing is devoted to the editing and design of books produced from the words spoken by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.
The editing wing overlooks beautifully maintained and landscaped front and side gardens, while the designers look onto a sheltered rear courtyard, where a fountain is surrounded by jacaranda and poplar trees, hollyhocks, roses, marigolds, paved pathways and peace.
A Unique Book Production Facility.
The individuality of the environment, however, is not the only unique feature of this book production facility. Quite simply, it deals exclusively with the production of books transcribed from the words of one single man: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Probably no other person on the planet has spoken so profoundly, so profusely, with such penetration, with such a far reaching effect. And the books produced of His words are one means for His message to be delivered to the world.
“Many people get to Bhagwan through the books, especially the intelligentsia. They are turned on through the mind, then something from the heart gets touched,” said Swami Anugito, one of the designers.
Over the years He has spoken, something like 55 million words worth of books have been produced in English alone – 275 books.
That’s not including the 400 or so books printed in Hindi, nor the 347 in other foreign languages, the dozen or so compilations, the 48 darshan diaries, the 187 books of responses to His questions, nor the biographies nor photobiographies.
“With an ordinary author, it could be pretty much a mechanical thing to produce a book from the spoken word,” said Ma Sarito, who heads up the editing department. “However it’s no ordinary author we’re dealing with. It’s Bhagwan. There are so many nuances to His spoken words, that it requires an extra quality of attention to see that it’s right. He doesn’t speak in what you’d call usual sentences, either.”
But that’s jumping the gun somewhat. The book production story begins as He speaks each night. Within days, His words have been transcribed verbatim onto computer by a team of typists. Sarito, or another editor, checks the completed transcript against the audio tape for both punctuation and sentence flow. Once they have finished, it goes back to the computer room for changes, then back to editing for final proofreading.
A Subtle Non-Intrusive Process
The actual editing process is subtle and non-intrusive. It requires great skill, almost tenderness, on the part of the one or two editors who edit each discourse series.
“Our job is to make His words readable, without changing His language. It’s not actually “proper” English per se, so we have to make it readable without changing the sense, His rhythm, the poetry of His language, or anything else characteristic of Him. There’s a fine line. It’s very delicate,” continues Sarito, who has been editing Bhagwan’s words for three and a half years.
“It’s one thing to sit and listen to Him in discourse in person, sitting quietly in meditation. What I enjoy most is to try and preserve that quality of listening to Him within the limitations of the printed page. The gift for me is that it’s really an all day long meditation,” said the quietly spoken woman.
After the editor’s final proofread, the corrected words are typeset using Macintosh computers, and a software package called Quark Express, which has been found to be the most flexible. Once typeset, editors choose chapter titles and the quotes used for the back flaps. “We’re also responsible for getting the introduction written, and overseeing the production of the entire text of the book,” Sarito added.
At any one time, between five and six books are being edited, both the current series and any backlog. “When Bhagwan returned to India, there was a tremendous backlog of books dating to the time when He spoke twice a day at the Ranch. Now editing is up to date,” she said.
The Design Phase
The next Phase of book production is design. A meeting is held between editors, designers, typesetters and production crew at this point to work out the design format for both cover and inside pages.
“Together, we work out how the beginning of the chapter will look, the appropriate type size and what size each page will be. At this point, editors tell us the nature of the book, and design and production both give their input to the process,” said Anugito, one of the design team.
The design of the book takes about a month from the time the team receives the typeset manuscript. Printing takes a further month.
In a manner similar to the sensitive touch of the editing team, designers also feel their way through their particular phase with delicacy.
“What we’re doing is trying to support what Bhagwan is saying through design that reflects His insight. We try to use the same “relaxedness,” and give His words plenty of space. For instance, with the design of the current series of Zen talks, we try to interpret the meditative space of the discourse.
“You are really designing from your heart, especially when you’ve been sitting there when He’s spoken the words you’re designing. What I want to do is produce a design to reflect the space I was in during the meditation that night. When He takes His time in delivery, we have a lot of space between lines.”
The design team shares the books, brain storming to develop their individual concepts on design. “We use elegant typefaces, and when he breaks into poetry, we design the text to reflect that.”
Apart from the Zen series, three photobooks are currently being produced. “With the design of each book, we keep in close touch with Bhagwan. A mock-up of each new book design is submitted to Him for His comments and suggestion, and He always makes suggestions for titles, size of books, and cover pictures and so on.
“Here, designing is so different from outside the Buddhafield. Here it is so close to your heart. You can stand totally behind your work. You really feel like you’re doing Bhagwan’s work, making it possible for people to come into contact with Bhagwan through the printed word,” he concluded.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:18)
Marion Goldman writes
“Since 1974 in Pune, almost every word Osho uttered has been faithfully recorded or filmed and published in various forms. He was fond of asserting that there were 108 beads on the malas that his devotees wore and there were likewise 108 paths towards enlightenment. In over one thousand books, which were transcriptions of his lectures, initiation talks, and pithy sayings, almost every major religious and philosophical tradition received Osho’s attention. He lectures about Buddhism, Christianity, Hassidism, Sufism, The Upanishads, and Yoga as well as Marx, Freud, and Henry Ford.
These traditions were not always well understood by spiritual seekers, but they melded together in a tasty spiritual stew flavored throughout with Zen Buddhism. Osho asserted that many internal contradictions and paradoxes in his philosophy were essential to spiritual development and the spiritual seeker could choose to accept or reject any part of them.
In the 1970s and 1980s devotees accepted Rajneesh as their ultimate master. Now the emphasis is on commitment to meditation and less on an explicit master/disciple relationship, but the study of Osho’s philosophies remains important. Despite changes, elaborations, and advocacy of individual choice, the two most important themes in Osho’s philosophy remain surprisingly clear and consistent. They were (1) surrender of individual ego and (2) integration of the individual’s material and spiritual selves.” (Goldman 2014, p. 186)
Osho on publishing
“Just the other day I received a letter from a friend from Delhi saying that the American government is still insisting that my voice should be silenced. But while I am alive nobody can silence my voice. And of course, crucifixion is a little out of date. But they are trying in every way that my books should not reach the people, whatever I say should not be printed by the news media.
The speaker of the upper house of parliament in India told the parliament, “I am surprised why newspapers publish his views.” And this is a democracy where freedom of expression is accepted as one of the fundamental rights. America is a great democracy. One democracy is telling to the other democracy that my voice should be silenced.
My friend was afraid. He enquired: “What does it mean? Does it mean that he should be killed? Is it a code – ‘His voice should be silenced’?”
And the officer said, “It is not possible for me to give you the exact meaning of it.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 17, p. 415.
Publishing in the US
“Hi, there ! My name’s Deva Barkha, and I’m involved with the international distribution of Bhagwan’s words – that’s basically books, tapes and videos. We’ve been wondering for a while what’s been going on in Ronald Reagan’s America – do people over there know that Bhagwan is still alive, and speaking? Do they care? Have the sales picked up at all since they went flat in 1985, when almost all the bookstores took His books off the shelves?
Well, I’ve just spent three weeks at the main distribution center in Boulder, Colorado, called Chidvilas, and was really happy to find that some beautiful things are happening in the States. In bald figures, we’ve sold some 60,000 books over the past nine months – that’s over $1/4 million for the year – with sales spread over every state except Wyoming (the cowboys were probably too busy mustering, and you know how hard it is to read on horseback…). Not surprisingly, Reagan’s home state of California topped the charts with 24,000 books sold, all of which goes to show that there is still an incredible thirst for Bhagwan’s words.
Every day new subscriptions were coming in for the Rajneesh Times from all over America: and people would call us up as soon as they received their copy of the paper to say things like “Loved it!”, “Keep it coming” or simply “Thanks!” (Rajneesh Times International, 1987:25)
Osho on book on human rights
“I have dedicated my book on human rights to Gorbachev and Sakharov – I have never dedicated any of my books to anybody before – because I can see a ray of light in this man, and a courage to create a second revolution which will be bigger than the first. The sannyasins in the Soviet Union should help this second revolution to the utmost of their capacity. Gorbachev needs every support of all those who believe in freedom, who believe in individuality, and who respect differences in people; who are not of a fascist mind to impose themselves on others, but of a democratic spirit to help everybody to be himself.” The Golden Future (1988). Session 17, p. 158.
Osho on a review of his books
“Just the other day I saw a review of my two books, The Rebellious Spirit and The New Man, by one of the best and the most honest, sincere and courageous journalists of India, M.V. Kamath. And he says the same thing you are saying, that I am the greatest intellectual of the second part of the twentieth century. He thinks he is praising me – and he has an honest intention, but he does not understand me.
As I looked at his review, things became more and more clear. He is an intellectual and naturally that is his only measure. He knows nothing of mysticism, and he commits the fallacy of all the intellectuals. With all good intentions he says in his review that if I was not a controversial man, always surrounded by controversies, I would have had many more admirers in the world.
Now, he does not understand a simple thing, that no great intellectual has ever existed in the world without controversy. Intellect is intrinsically controversial; only idiots are not controversial…
My secretary has written to him saying, “Can you give a single name of any intellectual giant in the whole history of man who was not surrounded by all kinds of controversies while he was alive?”
A little part he sees – that which comes to his conscious mind – but something unconscious erupts. Secondly, he has said in his statement that I do not have to be heard or seen: I am a master of words; just reading me is enough. He was thinking that he was praising me, calling me a master of words, telling his readers that “there are so many statements in his writings which are quotable and I feel a little jealous and think I would like to have written them.”
My secretary wrote to him, “You have never seen Bhagwan, you have never heard him. You seem to be an intelligent person; on what grounds are you saying that just reading him is enough? I have listened to him, I have listened to him speaking, and I can assure you that the spoken word has a life of its own, it is still warm. The printed word is dead. If you are so much influenced by the printed word, come at least once, on our invitation – Bombay is not far away from here, just a fifteen minutes flight – and see the difference between the spoken word and the printed word.”
You can hear the spoken word on the radio or from the tape recorder, but if you see me speaking then something more is added to it. Then your senses are working, your ears and your eyes. Ears are not that sensitive; eyes have eighty percent of the sensitivity, and the remaining four senses have only twenty percent. To see is a totally different thing.” Satyam, Shivam, Sundram (1988). Session 2 & 27, pp. 15 & 317.
Ban on selling his books
“The other day, I received a letter from Australia. Just like other lands and other continents, Australia also has a Rajneesh Foundation, and we have thousands of sannyasins in Australia. The Theosophical Society of Australia was selling my books up to now, and those books were their best sellers. This time, when the representative of the Australian Rajneesh Foundation went to the Theosophical Society, they said, “We have been ordered by our world headquarters that your books should not be sold.”
The sannyasin saw that the books that were written against me were being sold, and he asked about it and the man said, “I love Bhagwan myself, and his books were our best sellers. I even wrote a letter that this is not right, but they overruled my letter and they said, ‘You have to do what you have been told. Books against Bhagwan can be sold, but literature of Bhagwan or any literature written in his favor is banned!” Satyam, Shivam, Sundram (1988). Session 19, p. 225.
Heading: Theosophical Society Bans Books by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
“The Theosophical Society pretends to be a synthesis of all mystical traditions but they have put a ban on displaying and selling books by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh in their bookshop.
We have been informed by the distributor of Bhagwan’s books in Melbourne, Australia, that The Theosophical Society has been told by their head office in India, that even the books by Bhagwan in their library had to be removed. Staff in the Melbourne Theosophical Society bookshop revealed that they had pointed out that Bhagwan’s books sell well but were overruled by the committee in charge.
By prohibiting Bhagwan’s books they have exposed their prejudice. What kind of synthesis is it if they cannot allow a living mystic? What kind of theosophy is it that will not allow the words of a living mystic, even when their own people know that the books sell well?
Who is the person behind this? He should come out publicly and state the reason why books by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh have been black listed by the so called “Theosophical Society”. (Press Release. 17.11.1987. Ma Yoga Neelam, personal Secretary of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh for India. Rajneesh Mandir, Poona)
On Anando, his legal secretary and head of publishing
“Anando was not exactly disturbed by it; that was a very superficial thing. She was disturbed because I called Maneesha a better reporter, a better recorder than Ramakrishna had in Swami Vivekananda, or Socrates had in Plato. She became hurt because she is doing so much work. She is working hard on all the new books and their publication. She is in charge of the whole of publication and all of the construction that is going on in the ashram. Obviously she thought that Maneesha had been praised – and a subtle jealousy, and the female mind… I wanted them to be exposed.
And the next day when I said that this new series was going to be dedicated to her, Anando freaked out even more – so much so that she is suffering from a fever which is absolutely psychological, emotional. She was absolutely okay when she was sitting here, and just as she reached her room, she declared that she had a great cold coming. And immediately, because that is the time she comes to see me – when I am taking my supper, she comes to see me – she did not come. She really wanted to avoid me because I had seen something which she was hiding. Not only did she not come to me, but she even removed herself from Lao Tzu House to Krishna House, with an excuse that she was getting a cold. She phoned Nirvano to say that she was suspicious, and that by dedicating the new series to her, “Our Master is trying to blackmail me.”” Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989). Chapter 1, p. 15.
(Note: While Maneesha was having a migraine Anando had been reading sutras and questions to Osho in the series The Original Man (1989). The following series Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989) is ‘Dedicated to Anando who has gone astray and come back home.’).
On Anando and publishing
“Now I would not have known, because I don’t go anywhere. I don’t know where the office of my secretary is, where the office of my president is, where the office of the ashram In-charge is. I know only three places: my bedroom, my bathroom, and Buddha Hall. If anybody asks me any question about the ashram, I am absolutely ignorant. Somebody needs to inform me – and somebody who has a comprehensive insight. So only Anando comes, and she comes only because I ask her to come. Just while I am taking food, she gives me information about publications, the books, how many books are in publication, how many are going into publication… how we should manage exhibitions around the world, how we should find publishers. And just in five or ten minutes – she is very accurate, not a gossip type.” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989). Chapter 2, p. 33.
From ‘About the Author’
“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, nor 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.” Joshu. The Lions’s Roar (1989, p. 184)
Osho on publishing
“One of the British publishers, Sheldon, has published nine of my books. I had no idea that it was just a front, and behind it was the church. As the church authorities became aware that my books were being published, then I came to know. The man who was the manager of Sheldon Press must have been sympathetic to my thoughts, my approach to things. So without asking the church, he continued publishing. Nine books he published. And then he informed me, “The church has found that I have been publishing your books, so they have put an absolute ban on it. So please forgive me, I will not be able to publish any more. And they have ordered that these books should be given for recycling – whatever has been published – so they can be destroyed.”
But the man must have been in great love with me. He did not give them to the recycling factory. He sold them to a second hand bookstore, and he informed one of my sannyasins, “You can get them from the second hand bookstore.” So we got all the books at a throwaway price, but it was the Sheldon Press manager who managed it. Then we became aware that Sheldon was a front name. You would not think that it had anything to do with the church.
I have been informed from Germany that all the great newspapers are owned by the church, but you would not know. Television stations are owned by the church, radio stations are owned by the church. Satellites are owned by the church… and big corporations.” I Celebrate Myself (1990), p. 202.
Osho on publishing
“Just a few days ago I received a message that one of my books, The Supreme Understanding, is the biggest selling book of one publisher in Japan. Sixty thousand copies… and it is still in demand; more editions are needed. It has gone through twelve editions already.
Somebody has sent a list of the books; my books are the top sellers, next to me is Friedrich Nietzsche, and then third comes somebody Japanese. Although I have not been in Japan, almost two dozen of my books have been translated into Japanese and I have been received with great love and understanding. Almost every university in Japan is teaching Zen through my books. It is their tradition, they have developed it, but my interpretations have appealed to them more then their own commentaries and their own interpretations.” The New Dawn (1989). Session 33, p. 402.
Heading: “My books are on the black list of pope the polack…” Get the Lot!
“Believe it or not, I never bought an Osho book.
There just seemed so many… where to start?
Osho always says how important it is to read these books, to use them as part of groups and meditations to gain a greater understanding of what is happening to us, and to make them available to the world. It seems time to start reading but which?
Then suddenly the other day I read a wonderful solution to this problem on Osho Network – don’t choose any, go for the lot. Choiceless awareness indeed. So, now I have 283 of His books that are still in print, including many increasingly rare first edition.
As He says, “I will remain contemporary for centuries.”
Where will you put them? On six shelves, four feet long
How much does it cost? Just 600 dollars
How fast can it happen? There is only now.
(Advertisement on last page. Osho Times International (India), 1990:13)
“Set Your Bookshelf Aflame. Pick any excuse to celebrate this abundant gift from your Master: 230 beautifully designed hardcover and paperback books in which He shares His insights with us. For ca. DM 1900.- six bookshelves each four feet long will be filled with His words. It will enlighten your life. (Osho Times International, 1991:10)
Anando recalls the last months of 1989
“After that, from November 17 onwards, He put tremendous attention on His books, insisting that sannyasins and visitors should read His books. He suggested that everybody who does groups should also buy a particular book to read. He also said that all His Hindi books should be translated into English and published. (Ma Deva Anando. Osho Times International, 1992:2)
Osho is clear that English should be the International language. (Amrito. Osho Global Connection, Academic section. 18.07.1989)
Timothy Leary has in 1988 been using Osho’s books on Zarathustra in his course at Penn State University and had contacted Osho Global Connection for a computer teaching programme at same university.
Tim Guest writes
“Five official archive sets of Bhagwan’s books and recordings – eight thousand hours of audio and two thousand hours of video – are kept in climate-controlled facilities around the world. (A further eleven copies of the archive have been sold to rich sannyasins.) Bhagwan liked to draw arty doodles (called ‘signature paintings’ by his sannyasins) in the plates of the books in his library: these have been razored out and moved to New York for digitization and safekeeping. Like the man’s reputation, his discourses have been cleansed of some of the detritus of his past. ‘Digital technology has made things easier,’ Devendra, a member of the archives team, told the Times News Network. ‘We are able to remove the constant hum of the air conditioners while retaining the sound of chirping birds in the background.'” (Guest 2005, p. 287)
(Note: Most likely, one full set of all publishing and digital recordings is kept in the Swiss Fort Knox, Mount 10, near Bern).
Osho on the issue of copyrighting meditations
“Just today a letter has arrived from Germany. Our sannyasins are doing a meditation called The Four Directions. The letter says, “In your commune people are doing a meditation called The Four Directions, and we have the copyright over it.”
I have told Neelam, my secretary, to write to them, “Things can be copyrighted, thoughts cannot be copyrighted and certainly meditations cannot be copyrighted. They are not things of the marketplace.
Nobody can monopolize anything. But perhaps the West cannot understand the difference between an objective commodity and an inner experience.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has copyrighted transcendental meditation and just underneath in a small circle you will find written TM – that means trademark!
For ten thousand years the East has been meditating and nobody has put trademarks upon meditations. And above all, that transcendental meditation is neither transcendental nor meditation… just a trademark.
I have told Neelam to reply to these people, “You don’t understand what meditation is. It is nobody’s belonging, possession. You cannot have any copyright. Perhaps if your country gives you trademarks and copyrights on things like meditation, then it will be good to have a copyright on stupidity. That will help the whole world to be relieved… Only you will be stupid and nobody else can be stupid; it will be illegal.”
I am going to direct my people here that they do the meditation called The Four Directions. But there are eight directions not four! Start doing the meditation Eight Directions – and certainly under eight directions, their four directions also come in.
But apart from their stupid letters and their stupid government which gives copyrights for such inner experiences, the truth is that consciousness cannot be either four directions or eight directions. Consciousness is a circle: no directions. It is neither directing to the north nor directing to the south. It simply is a circle. So my suggestion to you is that the best will be to call it “No Direction.”
We are going to sue those idiots who think they have a copyright over consciousness, in the courts in Germany. Then we can get a copyright over enlightenment. Then nobody can become enlightened unless we license him.” Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. The Soundless Sound Peace, Peace, Peace (1989). Session 26, p. 265. (Urban 2015, p. 159)
Heading: Osho’s Signature Pure Gold
“At the international Swiss Book Fair in Geneva this past April, an autographed copy of Zen: The Diamond Thunder Bolt by Osho Rajneesh sold for a surprising 4,500 Swiss franks [To Sw Parigrah]. This tops off more than half-a-dozen international book auctions in the last few months, where autographed copies of Osho’s recently published books have sold for more money than those of any other living author in the world…
Two months ago, an autographed copy of His book, The New Dawn, sold for a Guinness Book of World Records price of $3,000. That world’s best was beaten just one month later, in April, when an autographed copy of the photobook Shree Rajneesh – A Man of Many Climates, Seasons & Rainbows sold for $4,500 and became “the highest price paid for an autographed copy of a book by a living author.”
Osho is most likely now the living author whose signature has sold more books for more money than any other man in the written history of the world. Furthermore, the trustees of the Neo-Sannyas International Foundation have declared that by the end of this year Osho Rajneesh will have become the world’s most prolific author, with some 650 original titles to His name.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:11)
Heading: Osho Rajneesh’s Signature is Pure Gold
[Same text as in quotation above]
“That’s three literary records for an enlightened master who is the most silent man in the world!” laughingly admitted Ma Prem Hasya, international secretary to Osho Rajneesh. All proceeds from the sales of his books are used solely to further publish and distribute Osho Rajneesh’s words and vision.” (Press Release. 05.05.1989)
First editions signed by Osho were sold on auctions in the commune 1988-89 at prizes around $6-7,000, according to Vimal. He remembers a top sale on Rupia 250.000 for ‘The Zen Manifesto’, according to ‘OSHO Facts & Figures. Leaflet, 1992: $30,000 paid at an auction in Osho commune 1989 for Osho’s ‘Zen Manifesto – a record sum for a book signed by a living author, entry in Guinness Book of World Records. “As far as I remember, this record figure is correct. I think Sw Mukesh, in the finance department at the Commune, will remember better. you can connect with him via Sahajanand@osho.org.” (Anando. E-mail. 28.4.1999)
Heading: Breathtaking Bids in Auction
“”It was for the first time that Our Beloved Master’s books had been auctioned, and in Buddha Hall, too!
It wasn’t surprising that the energy was high and humorous despite the lateness of the hour following the evening discourse. The marvellous attraction that kept scores of people from their beds was the auction of first editions of one each of the books published last year, 1988, by Osho Rajneesh, and signed by Him – each signature different, unique and exquisite… The climax of the auction was the magnificent set of five Zen books “The World of Zen” – every volume signed by our beloved Master. Quickly the bids rose to thirty thousand, then more hesitantly… 35… 40… 45. Vimal, the auctioneer, then calculated that twenty-five centuries of wisdom since Gautam the Buddha, at this price worked out at two thousand rupees per century; twenty rupees each year, and more paise each day! Having the deal so explicitly laid out, the bidding leapt ahead.
Niskriya – Stonehead, the German Zen master – the sannyasin who videos each night’s discourse, showed another side of his nature. He had already bid successfully for two books, but he evidently found that he loved the thrill of the auction action. He made the final bid by raising both hands with all ten fingers extended… one hundred thousand rupees!!
Amidst great roars of approval and applause, Vimal announced “Going once; going twice; going three times! Sold to the bald gentleman in the front row.”
It was fun. We raised money to help finance the promotion and distribution of next year’s books. (Flash! In the latest auction in Poona, “The New Dawn” went for 44,000 rupees.)
Our beloved Master has offered to not only sign one copy of each newly published book in 1989, but to also personalize the dedication with any name of choice from the successful bidder.
We are eager to open up the auction opportunity to sannyasins and their friends all over the world, and the first International Postal Auction – sponsored by N.S.I., and announced on the back page of the April 1st issue of Rajneesh Times International – will offer twenty-seven signed copies of each title published in 1988. We expect the demand to be brisk and the bids to be high. If you want one of these incomparable and exclusive books, send your bid to the address on the coupon.
Can you just imagine if you had a book signed and dedicated to you by Gautam the Buddha? Or Jesus? How your future generations would shake their heads in amazement at the brilliant perspicacity of great-great-great grandada, Swami Coconut!” (Bid for a Buddha Book! International Postal Auction. Leaflet. May 1989)
Heading: Rajneesh Book Auctioned for World Record Price
“A personally autographed copy of Hari Om Tat Sat, a beautifully illustrated new publication authored by Osho Rajneesh, was sold at the record-breaking price of 108,000 rupees at a book auction held at Rajneeshdham, Poona. The Guinness Book of World Records will be notified of this record price paid for an autographed book by a living author, which should establish the controversial mystic as the world’s most prolific author with the world’s most treasured signature.” (Press Release. 21.07.1989)
Heading: $30,000 for Osho Book Sets World Record for Living Author
“”Going for 500,100 rupees… Going… Going… Gone!” sang out British auctioneer Swami Vimal when his gavel officially finalized a new world record sale last night at the Osho Commune International in Poona. A leather-bound, gold-leafed, autographed copy of the last discourses of the enlightened mystic Osho, formerly Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, which have been compiled into a beautiful book entitled The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself was sold for a staggering five lakh rupees to Thomas C. Fisher, an American businessman. This is equivalent to more than $30,000 and is easily the highest price paid for a book signed by a living author.” (Press Release. 04.10.1989)
Heading: Osho Book Sets World Record
“Going for 500,000 rupees… Going… Going… Going! sang out British auctioneer Swami Vimal when his gavel officially finalized a new world record sale at the Osho Commune International in Poona. A leather-bound copy of the last discourses of Osho, which have been compiled into a beautiful book entitled, The Zen Manifest: Freedom from Oneself, was sold for a staggering five lakh rupees to Thomas C. Fisher, an American businessman. This is equivalent to more than US $30,000 and is easily the highest price paid for a book signed by a living author.
“Last night’s auction was an historical event. It established a world record that no one is likely to beat for a long time,” declared Swami Vimal, who recently auctioned a painting by M.E. Hussain, the well-known Indian artist, for $15,000 during the International Ganesh Festival in Poona.
Trustees of the Sadhana foundation, which sponsored the auction, are currently advising the Guinness Book of Records of the new record. All proceeds from the sales of Osho’s books are used to further publish and distribute His words and vision.” (Osho Times International (India), 1989:22)
Heading: Osho Book Auctioned for US $41,000
“A book signed by Osho fetched over US $41,000 at the Osho Commune International. The book, Beyond Psychology, contains a series of discourses given by Osho in Uruguay in 1986, and was purchased by a American businesswoman who is also a disciple.
“What we are seeing here is the beginning of a surge in the value of Osho’s books, particularly those that have been signed by Him and those that are first editions.” said Swami Anand Vimal, the auctioneer who presided over the bidding.
“For example, our last remaining first-edition copy of Osho’s photobiography The Sound of Running Water was sold at the same auction for $1,700. This book wasn’t even signed by Osho, yet already it is becoming a collector’s item,” Vimal explained.
“I don’t see any end to this. From now on, Osho’s books are going to sell for higher and higher prices.” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:6)
Anando in interview
“Q: Are there any unpublished Osho books still to come?
A: Yes, lots more. There is a wealth of material from darshans which has never been published which will be coming out over the next few years under these titles given by Osho: At the Feet of the Master; Dialogues with the Master; Sannyas: A New Definition of Life; Fragments of an Unknown Teaching; and Osho the Modern Buddha Talks to His Disciples.
And there are Osho’s Hindi discourses, which are being translated one by one. There are hundreds of them, many discussing esoteric secrets and ancient texts He never speaks about in English.” (Ma Deva Anando. In: Osho Loves Books. Remarkable Books from Remarkable Publishers. The Rebel Publishing House, 1992. Leaflet. 10 pages)
Anando on The Dhammapada box set 19.01.1991
“Surendra is almost blind from poring over films for the twelve volumes of The Dhammapada which he is rushing to get to the printer in time for a January 19th release date. Anugito has designed a stunning boxed set of these major discourses, most of which have not been published before. (Only the first four volumes were published, in paperback, during the ranch era, under the title of The Book of the Books)…
Incidentally the fresh glossy new edit of The Dhammapada – all its twelve volumes boxed in an original unifying design – is soon to be released. Its pages went to press on schedule – all 3,321 of them – and publication date is still Jan 19. And yes, it is chock full of jokes – about blokes, chicks and sheilas. What’s more, in those days, to add to their pungency, Osho used the jokes quite specifically to illustrate the drift of his discoursing – almost like parables. That gives them a bit of depth too, for the purists!” (Osho Words. 10.10.1990 & 07.11.1990. Digital Osho newsletter echo)
“Three new books have arrived in the bookshop: “A Must for Morning Contemplating” and “A Must for Evening Contemplation” – both compiled from hitherto unpublished darshan material.” (Maneesha. Yes Osho. 21.04.1991. Digital Osho newsletter echo)
Mojud book published
“Mojud The Man with the Inexplicable Life. A beautifully illustrated 80-page gift book to be released to the world on Enlightenment Day, March 21st 1988. A new book for this new age for the new man.
– An ancient Sufi story with commentary by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
– Eloquently designed by world-famous, award winning graphic designer, Sw Paritosh Dhyan
– Nine, tipped-in, watercolour lithographs, suitable for framing, by Ma Prem Pujan who illustrated the Rajneesh Neo-Tarot deck.
112 limited edition copies signed and numbered by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh for sale at $500,00 U.S. Dollars.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:4)
Heading: Statistics Speak [as of October 1988]
“Two hundred and seventy-five titles are available currently in English and four hundred and twenty two in various Indian languages. Books published to date in other languages are: Chinese (2), Danish (4), Dutch (37), Finnish (4), French (16), German (49), Greek (7), Italian (49), Japanese (39), Korean (42), Polish (9), Portuguese (34), Russian (19), Serbo Croat (4), Spanish (27), Swedish (3), Hebrew and Norwegian.
To date something like 10 million books of the words of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh have been sold.
It is difficult to maintain exact statistics for such countries as Korea. “Korea does not comply with the international copyright convention,” it was explained. “They simply take the books they think will sell, translate them into Korean, and sell them!”
The top selling Rajneesh books over the past years are listed below:
Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy
From Sex to Superconsciousness
Tantra: The Supreme Understanding
The Psychology of the Esoteric
The Orange Book
The Book of the Secrets, Volume 1.”
(Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:18)
Heading: A Successful Voyage into French Publishing
“The little world of French publishing is difficult to enter. Ma Gatha and Swami Sant explained how, as they tried to publish Osho’s books in France, they were actually shunted out by the small clique of French publishing companies. So they created their own publishing house, Le Voyage Interieur, which is becoming well-known for the high professional quality of its publications. The latest releases from Le Voyage Interieur are ‘Une Tasse de Thé’ (A Cup of Tea) and ‘Méditation, la Connaissance de Soi’ (The Perfect Way). Soon to be published are ‘The Book of the Secrets’, Vol II, ‘The Diamond Sutra’ and ‘Until You Die’.
Now the words of Osho will be available next to those of France’s famous native son, Nostradamus, who foresaw Osho’s unique role in the evolution of mankind.
For Osho’s books in French, contact: Le Voyage Interieur, B.P. 168 F-75665 Paris CX 14.” (Osho Times International, 1990:8)
Heading: News From Hindi Publication.
“During the recent Osho Festival of the Full Moon, Rebel of India released five new books of Osho’s discourses – and at the same time, an outside publisher, Diamond Pocket Books of New Delhi, issued six small paperback editions of Osho’s words. In fact, the interest in Osho’s books around India is exploding since He left His body, with Diamond Pocket Books planning to publish a total of 50 titles this year, both in Hindi and in English.
‘From Sex to Superconsciousness’ has always been a favorite on the Indian subcontinent, and it has been published in translation in three languages here – the most recent is in Malayalam, and it is the first of Osho’s books to appear in this language of South India. It is also available in Tamil and in Marathi, and the Marathi edition just underwent its fourth printing, with more than 20,000 copies sold so far.
The Hindi audiotape department here is busy archiving all of Osho’s Hindi discourses. Those who don’t understand Hindi should try listening to one of these discourses anyway. Many of us who were fortunate enough to hear them when they were spoken have discovered that it is one of the most beautiful meditations to listen to the music of His voice without understanding the words!
The Hindi tapes are being “cleaned up” and digitalized, as are the English tapes, and the Upanishad Osho Meditation Centre of Sagar (where Osho used to attend the University) has already ordered the entire library of 1200 tapes.
And last but not least from the Hindi world, CBS Tapes of India has undertaken to package the completed discourse series, ‘Ek Omkar Satnam’ – discourses on the Sikh master Nanak – as an audiotape set.” (Shunyo in: Osho Words (Digital Echo). 1990:2)
Heading: Publications ablaze
“The commune’s computerized publications office, arguably the finest in the Indian sub-continent, combines the most modern technology with the highest quality in design. In 1989 the production and worldwide distribution of Osho’s beautiful books, magazines and newspapers took a major jump into the world arena of publications, spreading Osho’s invitation in dozens of languages.
Osho Darshan, the exquisite glossy quarterly magazine, received first prize from the Federation of Indian Publishers for periodicals in 1989 at the International Book Fair in New Delhi.
1989 was the year Osho demolished all world records for the highest price paid for books signed by a living author. In March a new world record was made when ‘The New Dawn’ went for Rs 44,000. ‘Hari Om Tat Sat’ surpassed that by far in July, going for Rs 108,000, setting a new world record for a single title. That record was shattered when, in October, a signed copy of ‘The Zen Manifesto’ sold for Rs 500,100!!…
In November an exhibit of Osho’s books and tapes was held in New Delhi. Amrita Pritam, the world famous poetess and member of Indian Parliament, inaugurated the exhibit. Speaking beautifully about Osho she said, “Where the form and the formless meet, that is where one finds Osho’s vision.” A well-attended press conference, presenting Osho’s vision for the Indian political system, was also held at that time.
The number of articles published monthly in India about Osho and commune activities grew from twenty at the beginning of the year to more than fifty by the end of the year. More end more Indian publications regularly publish full discourses of Osho – in Hindi, English and Gujarati.
During the year, there was a remarkable change of attitude in the Indian press. Swami Chaitanya Keerti of the Osho Commune Press Office said, “Even the Hindu-oriented Marathi papers have started writing positive articles, praising Osho as a prolific author and decrying the label of ‘sex guru.’ Before, Indian newspapers in many languages were only feeding the rumors, magnifying them, spreading them. Now they often ring us first to check the accuracy of rumors about Osho or the commune. Sometimes they even write to tell us they are doing a special issue on some subject and request us to send something of what Osho has said on it.”
The new decade began and the invitation continued to flower: as Osho left His body, His energy deepened in those who are connected with Him all over our beautiful planet.
Now press coverage is expanding and deepening, artists are coming in greater numbers and making offerings in Buddha Hall and in Osho’s Samadhi, and book sales are wiping out stocks of Rebel Publishing in Germany, Chidvilas in America, and Sadhana Foundation in India. Audiotape sales worldwide, including the broad range of tapes now available from CBS India, have tripled. And the celebration video of Osho’s death, ‘I Leave You My Dream’, is being shown all over the Earth, as Osho continues to fan the wildfire He lit while in His body, and His message spreads more quickly than ever before.” (Sw Chaitanys Kabir. In: Osho Times International, 1990:9)
Heading: The Explosion
“There has been an unprecedented demand for Osho’s books and tapes around the world since He left His body.
The first big wave of sales, reported Swami Sambuddha of Osho Book Distribution, has been mostly to sannyasins. January sales in the bookshop at Osho Commune International topped 25,000 books.
Sales worldwide also increased dramatically. Osho Verlag, Cologne, reported a 60% improvement over its best figures ever, and Rebel Publishing, Cologne, has tripled its sales. Chidvilas, USA, sold 2,300 books in the last week of January and reported hefty increases over past records. Osho Purnima in London registered sales at double its normal rate. The same growth pattern is reported from Italy and Holland.
The Poona bookshop presently has 250 English titles of Osho books in stock. Any idea what it costs to buy one completed set? DM 10,000? No, as a matter of fact the selling price is about one-tenth of this price – approximately Rs. 9,440 – because all books are available at the original cost price.
To give an idea of the skyrocketing sales, Swami Gyanodaya of the commune bookshop said, “We are now taking in more money for postage alone than we took in for books before.”
Audio and video tapes are moving in the same accelerating pattern. Gyanodaya commented, “We couldn’t produce enough – we could have sold twice a many if we had had supplies available.”
CBS India is currently marketing sixteen Osho audio tapes, and sales have topped 135,000 to date! The President of CBS, Mr. S. Pandit, said he expected to sell more than 1,000,000 tapes in 1990, and that every CBS affiliate on the globe will at that point want to market them. (Eight of these tapes are reviewed on this page.)
HMV, another major Indian distributor, has also just signed up to release Osho’s audiotapes.
Ma Yoga Neelam, Osho’s secretary for India, described the current demand for Osho’s words as “beyond our wildest expectations.”
In America a groundswell of interest in Osho has been building for some time. According to Swami Deva Terry of Chidvilas, a growing number of college professors are using Osho’s books in their courses, libraries are setting up displays on Osho with book, videos and audios, and there is a strong demand from reviewers who want to review Osho’s books in their publications.
‘Orders for books at cost price may be made not only from the bookshop in Poona, but also from Rebel in Cologne. All orders from Rebel Publishing should be sent on their order form. Please request forms from Rebel if you need them.'” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:6)
Osho on His books
“Osho’s books are just that – Osho’s books. He chooses the subjects and speaks the words that make up the books. He coins the titles. He chooses the photos and artwork for the covers and the insiders, and the color and placement of the title lettering. He selects the sizes of the books, and used to supervise every stage of their production. He was constantly coming up with ideas for new books, and in fact was still giving instructions for revamps of some of his older works on the day he left his body.
So he leaves us a tremendous legacy with his books – not just the amazing words he spoke, but a beauty of quality that comes from his own personal care of all the details of the book’s production. For example, he has always insisted on the highest quality hardbound editions of his books, even when the experts said that paperbacks (cf. Oregon) were the future. He says his books are not novels to be read once and then thrown away. They are to be read over and over again, because there are so many layers that people will find new insights each time they read.
Since he stopped speaking in April 1989, Osho has said consistently that he wants people to buy and read his books – that they are his last words. He even sent a message to the Multiversity group leaders that they should use his books in their groups for people to gain a greater understanding of what is happening there.
And he said that after he left his body his books would become even more popular, a prediction now being confirmed by the sales reports from distributors around the world. (Osho on His Books. Distribution advice, 20.08.1990)
Rajneesh Verlag and Rebel
As we’ll know by now, Osho spent more time with his secretaries working on his books than on anything else, and he took a very active part in the production. Even the logo of Rebel Books was designed by him, a six edged star crowning the letter R, both in red, on the orange flames of a fire. The flames were drawn by Osho in about 60 seconds, and in the first rough the publishing house was fully lettered. The first book printed with the new logo was ‘The Rebellious Spirit’, and the logo was later on simplified from full spelling to the letter R mentioned above.
www.pierreevald.dk/osho-gallery, photo nr 10, 3 fotos side-by-side
Fig. 9. Osho’s drawing of logo for Rebel Publications.
Anando in interview
“Q: Who publishes Osho’s books?
A: The main publisher is the Rebel Publishing House in Cologne. The name and the flame logo are from Osho. In fact the actual design of the logo is His. All the designers were trying to create something which depicted the rebel ‘feeling,’ and flames, but without success. Finally Osho just draws the flame Himself, in about 60 seconds. perfect. It now appears on the spine and title page of all His books, marking them Rebel books. Coincidentally, the first book which arrived from the printers with the new logo happened to be The Rebellious Spirit. Since then, Rebel has published 110 titles in more than 650.000 printed books.” (Anando. In: Osho Loves Books. Remarkable Books from Remarkable Publishers. The Rebel Publishing House, 1992. Leaflet. 10 pages)
The Rebel logo
“The name ‘Rebel’ and the flame logo are from Osho. In fact, the actual design of the logo is His. All the designers were trying to create something which depicted the rebel “feeling”, and flames, but without success. Finally, Osho just drew the flame Himself, in about 30 seconds. Perfect. It now appears on the spine and title page of all His books, marking them Rebel books. Coincidentally, the first book which arrived from the printers with the new logo happened to be The Rebellious Spirit.” (OCI n.y. Osho Now!, p. 33)
Poona editions withdrawn from distribution
“I am sorry to tell you that all cloth-bound Poona editions of Bhagwan’s books have been withdrawn from distribution. Only English paperbacks are available now – and the tape lecture series from Poona, of course.” (Ma Prem Raje. Postcard. 10.09.1986)
Change of name to Rajneesh Verlags GmbH
“Liebe Freunde, wir möchten Euch mitteilen, dass wir mit unserem neuen Namen Rajneesh Verlags GmbH, Venloer Strasse 5-7, 5000 Köln, unserem Verlag auch eine neue Struktur gegeben haben.
1. Im Buchhandel erheltet Ihr sämtliche deutschen Bhagwanbücher und die Meditationstapes…
2. Über ein Nachnamesystem erhaltet Ihr direkt von uns:
– sämtliche englischen Bhagwanbücher…
– alle Audiotapes…
– alle Videotapes, die überhaupt verfügbar sind…”
(Sw Dhyan Anuragi. Letter. 1986)
Poona editions withdrawn from distribution
“We have talked about your request to continue to get Poona hardcovers for your Bhagwan archive in Denmark, and we have discussed it with Ma Prem Arup also, on her recent visit to Cologne.
The situation is that none of the Poona hardcovers are available for distribution worldwide. This decision was taken for legal reasons and concerns all distributors, which means that the books will not be sold anywhere for the time being.
You will hopefully understand that we are just as shocked by this news as you were and we have stopped selling these books immediately. We are sorry that we cannot make any exception and hope that there will be a way in the future to make these books available again. We will let you know when the situation changes.” (Ma Prem Raje. Letter. 27.09.1986)
On Basic Human Rights
“A small book by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh titled On Basic Human Rights was published here on the last Enlightenment Day. The book carries Bhagwan’s two very important discourses on human rights and two appendices including a brief biography of our beloved Master. The book is being printed in 25 languages including Hindi, Marathi and Gujarati so that this momentous document reaches every thinking man and woman of the world.
It is requested that your Center take a big hand in the sale of this beautiful book. You can make a gift of this book to such friends as are interested in human freedom.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:9)
Der Rajneesh Verlag, Cologne
“Wir leben in eine Wohnung zusammen, zahlen uns Taschengeld aus und sind im Prinzip eine Sannyas-WG, die deshalb zusammenlebt, weil alle gleichermassen Seine Botschaft herauszubringen helfen. Swami Satyendra als packer, Lagerverwalter und Einkäufer, die beiden Swamis Nandano und Navyo als Produzenten der Audio- und Videotapes sowie als Überwacher des technischen Equipments, Swami Nirvano als treue Einzelseele des Bereichs Übersetzung und Konzeption der deutschen Buchproduktion, Swami Sanatha als neues Finanz- und Computergenie, Zuständiger auch für den Bestell- und Auslieferungsprozess, Ma Viramo, derzeit die einzige Frau im Team, weil die gute Jivanmukta auf- und davongeflogen ist – wohin wohl? Ganz recht, nach Poona. Viramo hält das Büro auf Draht und bewährt sich in diesem Sinne als Allroundgenie. Ich selber bin für das Design und die Werbung verantwortlich und versuche, überall meine Nase hineinzustecken, wo’s nur passt. Meistens pass’s nicht so recht (oder?)…
Wir finanzieren nähmlich alles selber. Und am Beispiel Buchhandel schaut die Rechnung so aus: 35% vom Ladenpreis der Bücher bekommt der Buchhandel, 15% bekommt die Verlagsauslieferung. Sämtliche Bücher, die der Rajneesh-Verlag derzeit im Programm hat, gehören anderen Verlagen (ehem. Sannyas-Verlag, Edition Lotos, Edition Gyandip, Rajneesh Services GmbH, Herzschlag, etc.) Das heisst, die müssen wir also einkaufen. Mit maximal 55% Rabatt, die wir bekommen, bleiben an Gewinn für uns riesenhafte 5% über. Bei einem Buch mit einem Ladenpreis von DM 18,- (z.B. “Die verbotene Wahrheit”) haben wir 90 Phennig für Werbung und andere Umkosten wie z.B. Katalogdruck (das sind ca. DM 10.000 – so viel, wie ein kleines Taschenbuch). Das sieht also der berümte Blinde mit Krückstock, dass das ganze Unternehmen ein Himmelfahrtskommando wäre,wenn wir nicht andere Möglichkeiten des Verdienens hätten. Das sind dann die Audio- und Video-Tapes und die Fotos…
Und jetz wird ihr [Ma Deva Kranti] auch klar, warum so lange keine deutschen Neuerscheinungen von Bhagwan herausgekommen sind. Wir brauchen ziemlich lange, erkläre ich ihr noch einmal, bis wir die neue Situation nach der Kommune-Zeit kapiert hatten, denn wir hatten z.B. auch niemanden im Verlag, der ausser gutem Willen auch noch das finanzielle Know-How mitbrachte, wie das jetzt aber Sanatha hat.” (Sw Dhyan Anuragi. Die Rajneesh Times, 1987:10. 06.03.1987)
Heading: Osho Round the World
“In the six months up to February 1989, various international publishers, including seven of the world’s largest, signed 140 new book contracts to publish Osho’s books. This is in addition to 40 titles brought out by the sannyasin-owned company The Rebel Publishing House, Gmbh.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:9)
Interview with Sw Prem Visarjan, Rebel Publishing House and Ma Anand Parigyan, Ma Deva Viramo and Sw Prem Nirvano from Rajneesh Verlag:
“Visarjan: Rebel Publishing House ist eine neue Firma, die wir gegründet haben, um Bhagwans Diskurse als englichsprachige Bücher herauszubringen. Diese Firma ist nicht in dem Sinne ein Verlag, dass sie auch für den Vertrieb der Bücher zuständig wäre, sondern sie ist ausschleiesslich mit der Produktion beschäftigt; die Bücher werden an Zwischenstellen und Verlage in den einzelnen Ländern verkauft, die sich dann um Werbung und Vertrieb kümmern…
Nirvano: “Priester und Politiker” wird zur Frankfurter Buchmesse auf Deutsch erscheinen – es wird den Untertitel “Mafia der Seele” haben… Nachdem das “Human Rights”-Booklet fertig war und die Idee sich konkretisierte, dass wir eine ganze Serie von zehn, zwanzig, dreissig solcher Booklets produzieren würden, bekamen wir in den Diskursen manchmal das Gefühl, dass Bhagwan ganz gezielt eine bestimmte Frage so beantwortete, dass die Antwort einem der Booklets zugeleitet werden konnte. Es sah wirkligh so aus, als beteiligte er sich aktiv, ohne dass wir ihn erst fragen mussten, an der Zusammenstellung der Booklets…
Visarjan: Ich möchte gerne noch etwas sagen, weil wir jetzt die ganze Zeit über die Booklets gesprochen haben. Die meisten Bücher, die jetzt herauskommen werden, enthalten die laufenden Diskurse, die Bhagwan gehalten hat. Wir versuchen, diese Bücher so schön wie möglich zu machen, einfach, um widerzuspiegeln, wie es ist, wenn du bei Bhagwan sitzt und er spricht. Alle Bücher von Diskursen, wo Bhagwan Fragen seiner Schüler beantwortet, werden dasselbe Format haben – das vom “Rebellious Spirit”.
Für die Diskurs-Serien, wo Bhagwan über Lehrer und Philosophen sprach, zum Beispiel über Zarathustra oder Khalil Gibran, haben wir ein eigenes Buchformat gewählt, das sich von dem des Frage-Antwort-Buches unterscheidet.
Und das erste Mal seit den alten Poona-Zeiten bringen wir wieder Hardcover-Versionen heraus, so dass es edle Bücher gibt für Leute, die was Schönes haben möchten. Darüber hinaus versuchen wir, die Bücher so zu gestalten, dass sie nicht immer die gleiche Aufmachung haben sollen…
Nirvano: Als Bhagwan letztes Jahr in Bombay wieder zu sprechen began, kam die Produktion englischer Bücher nach Köln und alle, was hier zur Verfügung steht, wurde vorrangig für die englische Buchproduktion genutzt. Der Rajneesh Verlag trat mit der produktion deutscher Bücher in den Hintergrund. Seit Anfang 1986 sind bei uns nur zwei deutsche Bücher – “Die verbotene Wahrheit”, “Sexualität und Aids” erschienen; und 1987 dann das Booklet über die Manschenrechte.
Durch die Gründung von Rebel Publishing House hat sich die Verbindung der englischen Produktion mit dem Rajneesh Verlag wieder entflochten, so dass wir uns jetzt wieder ganz gezielt auf die Herstellung deutscher Bücher konzentrieren können. Das Programm des deutschen Verlages sieht also so aus, dass wir zunächst die beiden schon genannten Booklets zur Frankfurter Buchmesse herausbringen…
Viramo: Der Diskurs wird in Poona aufgezeichnet und wird dann entweder dort oder auch hier übersetzt. Wir geben den deutschen Text dann hier in unseren Computer ein, überspielen ihn auf die Satzmaschine und machen die Filme davon – ja, und dann geht das Ganze zum Drucker…
Dann geht der grösste Teil der Bücher an unsere Verlagsauslieferung, die VVA, in Gütersloh; das ist eine Firma, die für uns packt und versendet, und die von allen Büchern immer ein grosses Lager hat, so dass die Wiederverkäufer dort bestellen können…
Parigyan: Was die englischen Bücher angeht, so werden die Manuskripte in Poona fertiggestellt und dann hier in Deutschland gedruckt. Wenn wir die Bücher vom Drucher bekommen, verschikken wir sie an Zwischenhändler auf der ganzen Welt; wir schikken sie wirklich in der ganzen Welt herum; in die USA, nach Japan, Australien, in alle europäischen Länder…, und das nimmt mehr und mehr zu.” (Die Rajneesh Times, 1987:36. 04.09.1987)
Rebel Publishing House, established and run by sannyasins, began to produce hardcover editions of Osho’s discourses in 1989. Simultaneously a few paperback compilations with discourses on topics like death, love and sex were introduced and became so popular that Osho himself suggested they be given to outside publishers, while his hardcover editions remained the work at Rebel Publishing. Hardcover bound editions, while Osho has said, that he didn’t want his books to be read once and thrown, and that they can be read many times. He also wanted to make them as affordable as possible. so they are sold at cost price. Another feature is his wish to present his picture on the front cover of every book.
With a minimum of 50 titles in one order to start with, this limit was in April 1989 changed to a minimum of 10 titles in one order, and from December 1991 onwards Rebel has been responding to orders on one title only. With some of the titles becoming sold out and other books from Poona One left in very few copies, Rebel have had to limit the sale of these titles. From September 1990 these books are only available when the complete archive set of books by Osho is bought. A complete archive set is consisting of 250 books, was in 1990 DM 1.700, from December 1991 DM 2.460.
Photo 21. Remarkable Books from a Remarkable Publisher. Rebel, 1989. 10 pages. Includes interview with Ma Deva Anando ‘Osho Loves Books’ and Osho’s drawing of the Rebel logo.
Rebel Publishing House in Cologne
The Rebel Publishing House is the company who publishes Osho’s books in English. Osho always said that his books would become popular after he left his body. And sure enough, in a short term perspective 12.000 more books than usual were sold in Poona the first two weeks after January 19th 1990.
As from April 1990 all Osho’s titles published in English are made available from Rebel Publishing House in Cologne preparing for a continued increase of interest in his books. These books are now listed in this new complete catalogue of Osho titles, which we have just produced for 1990.
All books bought directly from The Rebel Publishing House are at cost price, the only other place besides the Poona bookshop that sells Osho’s books at cost price.
Rebel sold 35 complete archive sets last year – another option in case you can’t decide which book to buy, just get the whole lot (currently approx 1900,- DM). (Sw Deven. Amended from his letter. 16.04.1990)
Book sales in January 1990
Heading: The following is the full text of the first messages passed on to us from the Inner Circle. Excerpt:
“The first point, just in case you hadn’t noticed, is that Osho’s work is expanding, just as He said it would, “beyond our minds.” Messages have been coming in from around the world with incredible accounts of rocketing book sales out of Cologne, of Chidvilas running out of stocks of what are now valuable first editions and so on. We are in the process of arranging a crash reprinting programme here to keep up with the demand.” (Yes Osho Computer Newsletter. Vol IV, No. 27. 27.01.1990)
From January 1st 1992 a change has taken place in the distribution system. Now Osho Verlag has taken over from The Rebel Publishing House the distribution of the Rebel books printed in Germany, while Sadhana Foundation is distributing all books printed in India. The prices had to be increased, as the former prizes had not covered the distribution costs and it was not possible to continue this practice. Books from Poona I can be ordered through Sadhana Foundation, India, at cost price. Books published between 1981 and 1991 are only available from Osho Verlag, Köln, and not through Sadhana in Poona as the Poona stock of these books has been imported into India and under Indian law it is not possible to re-export them. Since January 1992 Osho’s books are printed in India, and all of these new editions are available at cost price through Sadhana Foundation. (Amiyo. Amended from letter. 1992)
Heading: New Distribution and Prices for English Osho Books
“Since the beginning of this year, THE REBEL PUBLISHING HOUSE has stopped distributing Osho’s books. The distribution has been taken on by OSHO VERLAG. Unfortunately, the prices had to be increased.
The former prices had not covered the distribution costs. It was not possible to continue this practice. We hope you will understand.
Enclosed please find a new price list for all English Osho books available. You will get a discount of 35%. For 10 copies of one title 45% discount. If you order the complete set of English Osho books the discount will be 50%. Freight charges have still to be added. Best wishes OSHO VERLAG.” (Osho Verlag. Letter. January 1992)
Heading: New Rebel Catalogue
“As you may know, Rebel Publishing House was set up to publish and distribute Osho’s English books. During the last year Rebel was restructured so that books could be made available at cost price to sannyasin distributors and centers around the world. We found Ma Nityam to take care of all the ordering, invoicing and shipping, as well as any questions you might have. So now things are set up and hopefully we will see that these books get into the hands of people everywhere.” (Rebel Publishing House. Letter. 18.07.1994)
Number of titles
“10 Titles is NOW the Minimum Order.” (Rebel Publishing House. Letter. 05.04.1989)
“Before, we could offer you only 50 books as a minimum order and then 10 titles. And now the minimum is only 1! So, no need to think of 10 titles before you order – just order!” (Rebel Publishing House. Letter. 12.02.1991)
Heading: Osho Verlag “On-Line”
“All German-speaking sannyasins, lovers of Osho and anyone who clicks on the internet address http://www.oshomedia.de can now find the complete index of books published by Osho’s German publishers, Osho Verlag, excerpts from the current German edition of Osho Times International, all you need to know about Osho Commune International in Pune – and, of course, Osho Himself. The pages were designed by Swami Sumukha from Oshmmedia in Cologne, Germany.
Stop press: Japan “on-line” under http://www.osho-jp.org” (Osho Times International, 1996:9/10)
For more information and sources on publishing, editing and translating post-1990, see Appendix / Poona Two.
Osho’s discourses, old as well as later ones, are published in several editions: with name change of author, omission of names of those asking questions and indication of time and setting of discourses, to various degrees of abridgment and editing of the text itself. This makes it an essential prerequisite of any in-depth study of Osho’s work to use his first editions only, following the general philological rule for editing work, as the choice of edition will determine our subsequent interpretation and understanding of the text. This we’ll have to keep in mind, especially with the many new editions published after Osho’s passing in 1990. Annotated first editions of Osho’s discourse books are listed in: Volume III / Bibliography.
In this section we’re mainly presenting sources up to Osho’s passing in 1990. In the Appendix readers interested in the ongoing discussions on editing policy may find more information on this issue post-1990.
Considering the total scene of publishing, it is evident that Rebel Publishing House was different in the sense that everything was done exactly the way Osho wanted his books to appear. From the very first editing to every element of the design process, including the size of the font, to the end of the production. Being first generation, the publishers felt committed to maintain a specific standard and quality, hoping that next generation might keep up with it, and the passing on of information from old editors from Poona One to new editors is considered a key issue as we may see in the following excerpts.
Osho on editing in February 1987
“The police commissioner of Poona has asked that police officers should be allowed to tape every one of my discourses; they will scrutinize and edit them, and they will tell us what parts should be kept in and what parts should be left out. One has never heard that police officers can even understand what meditation is.
The commissioner has been saying that respected citizens of Poona should make a committee, and they should come as a commission and go through all our meditations, our therapy groups, our discourses, and they should produce a report on whether what is happening is right or not. Who are the respected citizens of Poona, and how much do they know about meditation? How much do they know about psychotherapies? How much do they know about themselves? But this the world we are in…
They cannot even repeat twelve names of the enlightened people of the world, and they want to edit what I am saying. What will be their criterion? They know nothing of the interior world. They know nothing about the highest peaks of consciousness. They have never heard the names like tathata, anatta. But such is the insanity of man that he even wants to judge Gautam Buddha and Mahavira and Basho and Sarmad, not knowing even the ABC’s of them.” The Razor’s Edge (1987). Session 11, p. 134.
Heading: The Master Designer
“Our Beloved Master Designer gives two discourses a day which, when collected, become two new books each month. Between the time Bhagwan gives the discourse and we receive them in the bookstores, many elements come together and the book goes through many stages.
First Bhagwan chooses verses or sutras to comment on, or He decides to accept questions from His disciples and others. In the case of The Rebellious Spirit, soon to be published, dozens of friends and fellow travellers – some familiar, some new – opened themselves to the compassion and insight, the magical surgery of the Master. We have heard Bhagwan say that He responds to the questioner rather than to the question, and in the process, He comments on who we are and where we and the world are going. In addition He unfolds the process of developing a new awareness, a higher level of human consciousness. Of course, He speaks with eloquence, often mixed with outrageous humour.
Once the transcribers and tapecheckers have got the discourse on paper, the editors pour over the text trying to figure out where to put in the punctuation so that the written text will carry the flavour, the savouriness, the ambiance of His spoken language. “Can we really use a question mark, quotation marks and a dash all in one row?” – or is there another way?
Teams of proofreaders read the text aloud to each other – this is “comparison reading” – and then silently read the text again to be sure that the text flows smoothly, but still keeps the juice of the original.
Meanwhile the designers are busy creating beautiful layouts and cover artwork, choosing typestyles in keeping with the overall atmosphere of a book and the spirit in which it was given.
The photographers and darkroom artists take the photographs and process the film for the covers, but the master designer chooses the final photo and sees to the layout of the cover.
Once the text and design are ready, the production swings into high gear. Computer operators convert the text onto a disk which can be read by the typesetting machine and as the text can play hide-and-seek in the machine someone will keep track of which bits of text are sent to and returned from the typesetters: “What happened to page 15.3?” or “The typesetter says that the last part of the disk was all zeroes!” Was this due to a visit from Murphy?
When the text comes back from the typesetter, it has been printed on shiny paper called bromides and they are in page format. These are checked to be sure no text is deleted or repeated from the bottom of one page to the top of the next: “How come page 15.3 hasn’t caught up with the rest of the text yet?”
Once the text is checked, the designers look at the pages to be sure the right number of lines are reproduced on each page, that the text always starts at the same height on the top of each page, and that the design of elements such as large capital letters or chapter titles at the upper right page are actually there.
Then comes the exciting process of watching the pages come out their paper cocoons onto shining film positives. First the typesetters make the corrections marked on the bromides: then press a button to reproduce the page and a film cassette is taken out of the machine into the darkroom. Within a few minutes long strips of wet film are hung out to dry. Soon they will be cut into pages, and checked to be sure everything is right. “We still don’t have page 15.3! What’s on that page anyway? With patience even the last pages are finally polished off.
Finally the designers go over the film pages to be sure that everything is right, sometimes using their tools to cut text and re-arrange bits of text: “How did this page number get all the way through the process in italics?!” – then the artwork for the covers is sent to one lab while the text pages go to the printers and Amiyo goes for a nap!
After a few weeks the book will suddenly appear in our hands so we can admire the cover, check out the evenness of the binding, and ultimately, melt into the meanings with the help of graceful type and layout, smooth punctuation and hopefully accurate spelling. Then we realize how skilfully, creatively and patiently the Master Designer has crafted us into a team and the book into one whole.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:15. 11.07.1987)
Sarito on editing
“Osho has always been very concerned that his words be preserved as they were spoken. He often talked about the misfortunes that befell people like Jesus, whose teachings have been recorded and filtered through the misunderstandings of his followers so many times that we really have very little way of knowing what he actually said. So from the very early days, all of Osho’s talks have been recorded, first on audiotape and later, as the technology became easier to use, on video as well. The job of the editors for years was to work with transcriptions of these recordings to create books. Osho’s instructions were to “make it good English, but don’t change anything.”
What he meant, at least in my understanding, was that we should fix the grammar – which suffered the minor flaws of somebody who spoke English very well, but whose mother tongue was Hindi – and in doing so, be careful not to change the meaning. Even this was an interesting challenge for the editors, who were often confronted with their own misunderstandings and assumptions as they discovered that just changing one word could alter the entire meaning of a sentence.
This essential job of maintaining all of Osho’s talks in print as they were originally spoken is still the responsibility of the editors in Pune, although in the digital age there is less emphasis on making sure this “print” is on paper. The complete archive of Osho’s transcribed and edited talks is available in a searchable database on line, and a growing number of eBooks are being produced as the technology begins to settle into a set of more universal standards and formats.
Meantime, it became increasingly clear through a number of experiments that Osho’s books in their original, unabridged and hardbound form, were simply not “marketable” in the evolving world of bookshop chains and bestseller-driven publishing. So if we wanted to introduce a wider audience of readers to Osho we would have to find ways to present the material in a more commercially appealing form. For the editors this is an entirely new level of challenge, to make sure that we exercise our choices very consciously, and do our best not to compromise the message in the guise of creating a product that is appealing in the marketplace. Osho has given us all the tools we need in order to do this, really. But in many ways it requires a much deeper level of understanding of his message than simply “making it good English but not changing anything.”
I doubt we’d be doing this sort of “packaging” job at all if it were not for the advances in technology like the Internet, where we can post all of Osho’s work in its unabridged form. So even if the editors misunderstand and misrepresent the message from time to time, the original words are preserved and available for people to read.
PS There are some nice quotes from Osho related to the subject. I always treasure a little koan he gave me in response to a question I asked about words, in the last months of his speaking when there were many occasions where he seemed to be getting farther and farther away from the world of language, and would use words that (to my understanding) sounded like the word he wanted to use, but had a different meaning than he intended. He said, simply, “Think of the reader, that he doesn’t misunderstand.” Not “make sure the reader understands” – no way for any of us to do that! and a dangerous idea if we should get it into our heads that was our job. But “make sure he doesn’t MISunderstand.” Another way of saying, “don’t distort the message.” [Then follows excerpt from: Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega. Vol IV. Chapter 10]. (Ma Deva Sarito. E-mail. 07.06.2001)
Sarito on her editing work
“My work is basically to prepare Osho material for publishers in the “marketplace” – which is slightly different from simply keeping his books in print as they were spoken. So I chose material related to a subject, and work to create a readable and “market-friendly” book out of it.
I’m also famous for being rather good at finding things on the “Osho Books” CD ROM. I seem to have developed a knack for remembering the exact phrasing of what he has said, and therefore being able to go straight to what somebody is looking for… which is understandable, since I’ve worked with his words so much.” (Ma Deva Sarito. E-mail. 14.5.2001)
Savita writes on the editing of tapes
“It is worth remembering that for years Osho did not want His work divided into subject matter; the slender paperback booklets we called “compilations,” for example, which sold like hot chappatis, were only intended as appetizers. Perhaps Osho knew that listening to talk of sex, we would stumble upon meditation; or hoping to hear about the art of music making we would bump unwittingly into a chance to accept anger. It is irresistible to want to chop Him into bite-size chunks, and the outcome is compact and juicy. But remember, for Him to impact His message with full impact and take us beyond our expectations – in the body or out of the body – it is His complete discourses that will deliver the goods.” (Ma Anand Savita. Osho Times International (India), 1990:6)
Lewis Carter writes on Poona One
“After the move to Poona, the “staff” was expanded to include editors (initially Maneesha and later Bharti)…
The bindery and stationery, publications department, and tape department produced a startling array of books and tapes to be marketed locally and in the satellite centers around the world… Unknown but sizable revenues were generated by sales and distribution fees from the Media Center’s continuous production of books, audio tapes, and videotapes used in recruitment and meditation centers. These are still treasured by individual sannyasin.” (Carter 1990, pp. 78,82,91)
“Over 350 books are attributed to Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh addressing his views on all the facets of human and cosmic existence. Virtually all of these are compilations of “discourses” usually listing a “compiler” and another person as “editor”. The views are eclectic, endorsing some aspects of all major world religions.” (Carter. In: Aveling 1999, p. 182)
Veena writes on editing
“Editing was a very important part of my work for Osho. It was a gift for myself and the other editors to be so deeply immersed in his words.
I am saddened therefore by the attitude that was taken by the people in charge of the publication department after Osho’s death in 1990. I had left India after his death in order to work and earn a living but I returned to the commune, now called ‘the Resort’, whenever I could. I was happy to help out while I was there and during one of my visits a year later, I was asked to do a final check on a ‘re-edit’ of a book ready for re-publication.
It turned out that the book was one I had originally edited and loved – ‘The Grass Grows by Itself’ – but the person instructing me had no idea who I was. She told me that the policy of the Publication department was to re-edit all the early books because, I quote: ‘the early editors did not know what they were doing.’ She accused the early editors of altering things, inserting things, deleting things, rearranging sentences, even crossing out paragraphs and said that it was necessary to listen again to the tapes and return the texts to Osho’s exact words as they existed on the tape. I was horrified and told her and some of the other current new editors that these alternations had been made by Osho himself, not us, and to delete his re-writing was to alter the way he wanted his words to be put out. Neither I, nor any of the other early editors, would have ever deleted, changed or added anything without his approval. I also pointed out that the particular book I had been asked to do a final reading on had been edited by someone who had no grammatical skills and the book was incomprehensible in many places.
I was told in no uncertain terms that this was all my ego talking and that I had an investment in my importance of being a editor and that I should basically shut up and not interfere with how things were being done now.
I returned the book and left, extremely distressed – not at the accusations being flung at me, but at the knowledge that all the time and energy that Osho had invested in his editors and the re-writing that he had done to ensure that his words went out exactly as he wanted them to, now counted for nothing.
The issue of how Osho’s books are now published remains a very contentious one for many ‘older’ sannyasins who took it to heart when he said that his words should not be altered or taken out of context and that everything he said, he said for a particular reason – including the dirty jokes!” (Veena 2012, p. 67)
In creating compilations, the policy has been to keep up with the context and to prevent distortion of Osho’s message. When Pan Music in 1989 began to distribute audio tapes with discourses on the Indian market, Osho was emphasizing that only complete answers to peoples’ questions could be included, and in the compilation of theme-oriented booklets on death, love and sex much care has been shown in the selection of proper discourses in their totality. The compilation booklets are considered a gateway for new readers to the complete hardbound discourse series.
Heading: Compilations: Vertical Marketing of Bhagwan’ Words
“For the past 18 months, a team of more than a dozen researchers, archivists and compilers at Rajneeshdham have worked together to compile special short selections from Bhagwan’s talks over the last 20 years. The idea behind the compilations of His words is to offer readers a small taste of Bhagwan.
So far these small compilation booklets have been published on the issues of women’s liberation, priests and politicians, religiousness not religion, human rights, psychology, and the New Man. Also, selected highlights from discourses given during the World Tour were published in a beautiful presentation book called Gold Nuggets.
The production of one of these booklets is no simple matter. First, a theme is chosen. Researchers and compilers then search, both manually and using the computer database, to find extracts relating to the theme. Those extracts then pass through a board of readers for final selection.
The booklets published to date have proved so popular that both published and unpublished collections are being offered to publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Great Challenge: The Golden Future, which is one of the nine books being featured at the fair, has the potential to be an international best-seller. It is Bhagwan speaking on the future of life on this planet.
Another compilation being offered at the Frankfurt Fair is an unpublished 1,500 page book entitled The World of Mysticism: Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, the Greatest Mysticism of all Time, Speaks on 300 Mystics. This volume covers Bhagwan’s talks on hundreds of mystics, from all the mystical traditions that have ever existed, from the mystics of Ancient Egypt, Greece, India and Tibet to the mystics of the paths of Christianity, Sufism, Hassidism, Tao, Tantra, Zen, Yoga and Buddhism. It also includes chapters on woman mystics and contemporary mystics, such as Raman Maharshi, Krishnamurti and Gurdjieff, as well as on frauds such as Sri Auribindo Ghose and Shri Satya Sai Baba. Contemporary poets, like Gibran, Nietzsche, Walt Whitman and Gertrude Stein, are also included.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1988:18)
Heading: News in America
“Another idea that has come up recently is to publish a book on THE COMPLETE WORKS OF BHAGWAN SHREE RAJNEESH. It came from the idea of a catalogue of His books. Each book published would have one page telling what the book is about. We could include all the books and update it yearly, indicating those that are out-of-print, not yet published, or whatever. By listing all the different languages – what a great tool – not only for lovers wanting to know what This Man has written, but for all the distribution centers as well.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:16)
Forthcoming new booklets 1987
“Bhagwan’s booklet on Basic Human Rights is now translated to Danish, even twice, both in Copenhagen and in Translation Department, Poona.
Translated and published in the main languages are three series of booklets. One series is on issues like
– Priests and Politicians: The Mafia of the Soul
– Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on Women’s Liberation
– Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on Life, Love and Laughter.
They will all be available on Master’s Day and more are to follow on Psychology, Intimacy, Sex etc.
In another series we’ll find publishing with Bhagwan’s talks on people like Nietzsche, Einstein, van Gogh, Nijinsky etc.
And the last series will be on religious and political ‘isms’.” (sannyas info, June 1987)
Sarlo on name change to Osho
“As far as the books are concerned, the first known appearance in books of the name Osho Rajneesh was in a Hindi book, Mera Swarnim Bharat, in Apr 1989. Interestingly this was some two months before any such appearance in English books. It is “Osho Rajneesh” on the cover… and an explanation on an inside page in Hindi that aligns with Osho’s Japanese Zen master explanation. Those explanations appear in other books through the rest of 1989 in various places, flaptext, colophon and inside pages, and the name remains as Osho Rajneesh” until early 1990, when it is finally just Osho.” (From Bhagwan to Osho: The Story. At: www.sannyas.wiki)
Om Mani Padme Hum. The Sound of Silence. The Diamond in the Lotus (1989) in the Mantra Series was the first title in English to be published under the new name Osho Rajneesh. On back flap it says:
“On February 27, 1989,
the disciples of
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
decided to call Him:
“OSHO” is a term derived
from ancient Japanese,
and was first used by Eka,
to address his master,
‘O’ means “with great
respect, love and gratitude”
as well as “synchronicity”
‘SHO’ means “multidimensional
expansion of consciousness”
and “existence showering from
Heading: From Bhagwan to Osho: Publications table
“The quantity and variety of books Osho has authored are second to none in the world of spiritual literature. Thus, when he changed his name near the end of his time in the body, it threw his publishers for a loop and, especially in his commune, the coping with this change was done hurriedly and chaotically. The tables below are an attempt to track and illustrate how the change was dealt with. There are five tables, dealing with:
1. New books: first editions of his ongoing talks, starting with those that had been given seven months or less before the name change, that had never been published previously in any form. Some but not all of these books came with explanations of his new name.
2. New editions of older books bearing his new name. As with the first group, some but not all of these books came with explanations of his new name.
3. The cascade of explanations printed in various parts of the new books, plus a parallel cascade of stickers inserted in old, already printed but unsold books with his old name.
4. and 5. News of the name-changes and relevant context in the official newspaper at the time, Rajneesh Times International and Osho Times International.
The data in the tables were verified from physical copies of the books. One of the authors of this page kept a record when acquiring books, mostly shortly after publication. The dates of publication were also asked from a source in the Publications department at the time. And some data were ascertained by ISBN searches.
This page is referenced by two longer articles:
– From Bhagwan to Osho: The story, which describes the birth of the name Osho and
– From Bhagwan to Osho: What’s in a name?, which focuses on the given explanations for the name-change.”
Name changes in books
“Some people have re-invented themselves: Osho de-invented himself. His name cycle began when he declared that he was rejecting the name “Bhagwan,” and taking, instead, the new appellation “Our Beloved Master.” He asked for all his six hundred and forty books to be changed accordingly. His publishers, with much hand-wringing, struggled to accomplish their task…
The anguish of the book publishers who were still monumentally struggling to complete the massive change from “Bhagwan” to “Our Beloved Master,” then to “Maitreya the Buddha,” reached new peaks. Six hundred and forty books in various states of name-change were now in a nameless limbo, in resonance with their author’s state of mystical namelessness… holding the Guinness Book of Records for the largest number of books by a single author.” (Devageet 2013, pp. xvii,xix,xx)
Abhiyana on name changes
“Each time he changed his name, the publication department went crazy trying to make the changes to his books, audio and videotapes. The publicity department was sending out one announcement after the other to all Rajneesh centers and news outlets. It was hilarious chaos. During the day, all we could talk about is what we thought his next name would be. It was impossible to take it seriously.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 474)
Amiyo on editing during the phase of name change
“Amiyo laughed through a mouthful. “They’re going crazy over in Publications. I have a friend who works there. With every name change they’re asking: do we republish everything with the new name? They don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing.”” (Hamilton 1998, p. 193)
Nirved recalls editing
“In the late ’80s I was an editor of Osho’s books in Pune, and in the editing instructions there was a quote that had a huge impact on me, and it has continued to flavor my behavior ever since. Referring to an experience He had at university, Osho says, ‘And by and by, it became a key. I suddenly recognized that whenever you are enjoying something, you are centered. Whenever you are not enjoying something, you are off-center.'” (Viha Connection, 2007:5)
In discourses from March 1987 the Police Commissioner stories have been edited out in all later editions.
All editions published from 1989 onwards are with “Osho” as used name in all questions, if mentioned, thus changed from former “Bhagwan”.
In books with questions and answers discourses are called: Sessions. In sutra books the used term is: Chapters.
“Ok, Maneesha” is used throughout a whole series, and “Ok, Vimal” also throughout a whole series, according to who of them figured more often in the appropriate series.
From January 1989 Osho is addressed “Beloved Master” and not “Beloved Bhagwan.”
Heading: Hindi Subtitles – A Story
“In 1987, Osho began a practice of assigning subtitles to his Hindi books. By that time of course, they could only be added to out-of-print older books that were being republished, and compilations and translations from English, as he was no longer giving Hindi talks. In all, some 46 subtitles were given before he left his body in Jan 1990.
Sw Shailendra Saraswati, one of Osho’s brothers, has made a deep study of these subtitles. He says that ten, or nearly half of the subtitles Osho gave in 1989, explicitly point to or strongly hint at his upcoming departure from this planet less than a year later. But the Hindi-speaking sannyas community has not noticed and talked about the pattern of the subtitles that he has observed – it is not like it’s a big, well-kept secret – so the matter is not a clear-cut and obvious one. For one thing, the books involved were not all published right then, but over a period of years, so most people would be hard-pressed to notice this potential “message” Osho was sending to the community…
About subtitles in general, Sw Chaitanya Keerti has said that Osho would ask from time to time about out-of-print Hindi books. And “whenever he asked, the names of the titles were sent to him. At that time he would give the subtitles and choose his pictures that would be used for the cover page. We would send design samples to him, and he would pick one cover put of the sample and approve the design. Subtitles came along with those inquiries”.” [Then follows a table with 36 Hindi subtitles. See also article at oshonews.com/2018/05/26]. (Sarlo. www.sannyas.wiki 29.05.2018)
(Note: See more on Osho’s foreknowledge about when he would be going, at the above mentioned www.sannyas.wiki / Hindi Subtitles – A Story. 2018)
See also www.sannyas.wiki: Editing of Osho’s Words, Osho’s name change and the subsequent reediting of his books.
In this subsection the reader may benefit from knowing that more sources on publishing and editing covering the post-1990 period, are to be found in: Appendix / Poona Two.
Headline: International Network of Translators
In the process of translating Bhagwan’s discourses on Basic Human Rights into 23 languages, it became clear that there are people all over the world who want to help in distributing His words.
It also became clear that many of these people are currently out of contact with each other. People want to help but don’t know where to help; people want help but don’t know who to ask. We have even managed to translate one book twice into the same language! [Danish] Similarly, people who are translators are not necessarily in contact with people having business skills and contacts in the publishing world. Some people translated manuscripts, sent them to Rancho Rajneesh, and have heard nothing since.
The first priority seems to be for the sannyasins, who speak each language to set up for themselves a coordinating group which can keep track of what is happening in their language. The Rajneesh Institute for Publications needs a contact point for each language group, who can organize themselves from there. That coordinating group needs to be able to help the translators at one end of the process work with the business people at the other end. In the middle there is a need, for example, to make sure that the computer hardware that is purchased is compatible with other people’s machines and also with the hardware used by the publishers.
Obviously the market in each language may differ and different titles may be more suitable in some cultures that others, at least to start with. Before embarking on some massive translation job, it is clearly worth making sure that the translation has a chance of being published. Here the business-minded people can help the translators go for the best choice.
Some languages are simpler to coordinate than others. Thus, German language translations are mainly for one part of Europe and are fairly well advanced, as are Dutch translations.
By contrast, not much has been translated into French yet, and the French speakers of Europe need to coordinate their efforts with those in Canada. Portuguese is also split between two continents, although most of the action is clearly in Brazil at the moment. Spanish is a very complicated situation: the Spanish speaking world is split between at least two continents and divided by endless national borders with different import-export regulations and so on. Decisions have to be made about what kind of Spanish is used. Some people have said that a mid-Atlantic Spanish is best, one that is easy for European and South American readers.
The function of the Rajneesh Institute of Publications is the following: we can help with cover pictures, technical advice and copyright information. In addition, we want to be sure that the translations that are done in each language reflect Bhagwan. To this end we would like to see translations done by two people together, preferably a man and a woman, with a third person to help when choices are awkward. Finally a fourth person who has a good feel for Bhagwan’s work in English should read the manuscript. While this may sound laborious, it will make sure that the translations do reflect Bhagwan and will allow experienced translators to act as helpers for a greater number of new translators, so the overall output will be greatly increased.
Bhagwan’s discourses currently fill about fifteen hundred pages a month so there is plenty to do!
Finally when it comes to making compilations of Bhagwan’s work, these compilations need to be approved by he Institute. Several very successful compilations have been produced in Germany and Dutch so far, and these kinds of books might be very attractive for different markets. We are currently compiling a few in Poona and we will see if they are successful. One advantage is that they can be tailored to particular cultures. For example, one consisting of several discourses from the Bible series is being translated into Japanese. Their choice of subjects was of course totally different from that of the Brazilians. The Human Rights book might be a model for this kind of publication.
To facilitate this work, we are in the process of setting up a research department in Poona where there will be access and references to all Bhagwan’s words on particular subjects. The first result of this will be a series of three books, each about two-hundred and fifty pages: One with fifteen or so pages on each of Bhagwan’s most controversial topics, a second with His words on particular people, like van Gogh, Nijinsky, William Reich, Nietzsche and so on; and third, on the “isms” – communism, fascism, catholicism, hinduism, and so forth. Obviously these three books will be available for translation and the research material and references made available if particular subjects are needed for particular cultures.
In addition, a new book detailing a good many of Bhagwan’s meditations, other than those in The Orange Book, should be compiled in a month or so. That could be translated even before it is published in English.
Currently 45 translations in several languages are in process already, a figure that will now increase considerably. If anyone has a translated manuscript without a publisher, please sent the details to Ma Uma, c/o Rajneesh Verlag, Cologne, and she will pass the information on to the other people involved in translating and publishing in that language.
Similarly, if anyone has skills in this direction – translating, typing, computer hardware, space, time, publishing contacts – or any other resources that might be useful for this work, let Uma know. She will pass on the information so that the sannyasins from each language can organize themselves into a network that ensures the dissemination of the words of our beloved master.
For any further information, contact The Rajneesh Institute for Publications, c/o 17, Koregaon Park, Poona – 411 001. India.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:6. 25.02.1987)
Osho on translating jokes
“Just the other day Chaitanya Keerti was translating a few of my talks into Hindi, and he was puzzled because the Indians will not be able to swallow them. Those jokes will get stuck in their throats. So I told Chaitanya Keerti, “You are an Indian, and you know perfectly well what will be troublesome – drop it. You are not only translating into Indian language, you are also translating for Indians. Keep in mind that they cannot understand jokes. You are in a totally different climate, in a different atmosphere. They are not in the same situation. They are afraid to enter the door.” Hari Om Tat Sat (1989). Session 18, p. 192.
Ma Raga on translating
“Whenever we transpose Bhagwan’s words from one language to another, again and again we are trying to re-create an atmosphere. Since His words are spoken before a live audience, conveying the atmosphere becomes imperative when translating Bhagwan’s discourses. So let us see how to create an atmosphere. Always bear in mind that we are dealing with live words, this is our major guideline…
Most of the discussions about conflicting views of this or that translation, this or that term to convey a precise meaning, cast a light on our own stage of growth, as well as the difficulties of focusing several minds together on the same point…
These different qualities that make the final outcome so enjoyable are more easily reached when both qualities of language, that is, sound, and meaning, are used with balance.
This is even truer in the case of Bhagwan who is taking us through so many different spaces with His words. So first, it is important to read His words with the mind and with the inner ear, always paying attention to where the sound, the atmosphere is leading. Once we get there, it is a good idea to rest there for a while and find out through the feeling we get, whether there is a similar space, a similar sound, a similar atmosphere in the other language. That’s it!” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:12)
“In order to prevent the nightmare of discovering that you have been translating an Osho books for five years when it has already been done by somebody else, Osho International Foundation is issuing “permission to translate” agreements, which secure your rights. Write to OFI, Rennweg 34, Zürich 8001, Switzerland, for further information.” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:21)
Photo 22. Display of Osho’s books at RLY bookstall.
“The evening before, I had received the copies of my translation of the Osho Tarot Deck Pearls of Wisdom, and I was very happy to see the final version of this long piece of work, which had undergone numerous delays. It was therefore with enthusiasm that I spent the next day posting the orders for this little book, which we had offered for sale in advance of its publication.” (Berthout 2001, p. 67)
Osho on his books being published in the Soviet Union
“Governments are ordering newspapers, news media, that even my name should not be mentioned. And I can see… Just during the last days the international exhibition of books in Moscow ended. We received information from Lani that our exhibition has been the greatest success; no other stall was so overcrowded. We could not manage: we had the biggest possible stall, but an average of one hundred people were continuously there the whole day, thousands came and went – and other stalls were empty. But the newspapers have reported about all the stalls except ours; my name should not be mentioned in the news.
The government officials have come to visit all the stalls except our stall, but the opinion of the people was totally different. An old man used to come every day in the morning; because he had no money, he would sit there and read as much as he could manage until closing time. And he said to Lani – obviously asking her not to mention his name – that Russia needs Rajneesh, not vodka!
Because people don’t have private money they started stealing books, and I informed Lani to encourage them to steal! Three KGB agent were continuously present at the stall, watching carefully the people, who are coming, and by the second day, even the KGB agents had become immensely polite end interested. They said, “This is a strange place. You people are allowing anybody to take anything.”
I had told them, “Ignore if you see somebody stealing because it hurts the person’s dignity. Just don’t see it – let him take! Let the books reach to the people. Just tell them to read it and pass it on; that is the price!”
They confiscated all our tapes and videos, because first they must see what is in them. After two days they released them and thousands of people had tears in their eyes. “We have been living for seventy years in absolute darkness; we don’t know what is happening outside.”
When Lani comes she is going to bring many beautiful stories. Even the president of the exhibition took her aside and asked her, looking at my beard and my pictures, “Is this man something like Leo Tolstoy in India? We never heard about him.”” The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Session 18, p. 222.
Lani recalls promoting Osho’s books in Moscow
“First thing I meet Greek Amrito who was going to Athens to do a press conference about Osho’s book on human rights that was published in Greek. She asked me, “Do you want to come with me?” I said, “Yeah, I do.”
Before I left, Uma who was working with Neelam told me that Rebel Publishing had been invited to the Moscow Book Fair to present Osho’s books. My family comes from Russia, so I said to myself, “I have to go, I want to go!” From Athens I flew to Germany to get a visa for Russia.
While I was in Cologne, all of a sudden I am meeting people involved with Osho’s books. They were talking about the possibility of publishing Osho in Hebrew. I was given so many options and I didn’t know which way to go. But finally I went back to Pune and then flew to Moscow from Mumbai. In Moscow I met the team: Shahido (from Germany), Mohani (a German sannyasin who translated Osho’s books into Russian) and Nirvano (the German translator of Osho’s books).
When we arrived at the book fair I was in tears, I had goose bumps a lot of the time. There were still curfews in Moscow. It was the time when Gorbachev opened the doors and here we are with Osho’s books that hadn’t been allowed before. At the book fair people would come up to us whispering, “I am a sannyasin.” They were able to come out for the first time. You can imagine! I met for the first time Shantam, who organizes groups in Odessa, and Nisarga, the painter. Our stall was about 3 meters square; we displayed all of Osho’s books and the most beautiful photograph of Osho with is long beard and a fur cap playing chess. He looked like Tolstoy,
We had a whole wall of the booklet The Basic Human Rights which had been translated and published in Russian. The second day I noticed that some of the books had been stolen. I got in touch with Hasya and told her about it; the next day she said, “Osho said to tell you to let people steal the books.” So we started giving the books away, because it wasn’t a book fair where we could have sold the books. We were there only to display them.
I knew the KGB were watching us; they had put us strategically under a catwalk. We had brought a video of Osho speaking about Gorbachev that we dubbed in Russian. So the KGB would come with their cameras – I knew it was them from the way they dressed, I told them to come closer so they could take better picture. When we put the video on, I asked, “Do you want me to make it louder so you can hear better?” People were glued to the screen and crying. We were even invited into people’s homes. It was the most amazing experience for me.” (Ma Shantam Lani. Interview. www.oshonews.com 14.05.2017)
Heading: Bhagwan’s books bestsellers in Japan
“In Japan the intelligentsia and even the business sector seems to accept Bhagwan much more than in Europe and America. Can you think of any German businessman learning English from one of Bhagwan’s books? No way. But this is happening in the top management echelons of the Seibu Company, one of the biggest railway equipment producers and owner of a huge chain of department stores in Japan. Thirty junior executives are learning not only English grammar and vocabulary from The Rajneesh Bible, they are also simultaneously tasting Bhagwan’s message to humanity…
Can you visualize a Catholic abbot recommending Bhagwan’s books warmly to his novices? Yet a monk in a Buddhist monastery in Japan became so fond of The Diamond Sutra that he ordered one copy for each of his disciples!…
Yet in both Tokyo University, the most renowned in Japan, and in philosophy classes in a women’s college, copies of The Supreme Understanding, The Song of Mahamudra, and one of the Tao books are studied carefully. One professor became so enthusiastic that he took sannyas, which was reported to us by Ma Prem Bhuti, who discovered Bhagwan for the first time in this professor’s seminar.
Swami Gyanodaya travelled for months as a book salesman on behalf of the Merkmal Company, a large distribution company. He met many professors on his journey and learned that most of them had read Bhagwan’s books. One of them told Gyanodaya, “His books are so beautiful. They are beyond any criticism and while reading them, I can feel that something in me is changing and leading me into meditation.”
The Master’s books are available in most of the university bookstores. “That’s how I came in contact with Bhagwan,” says Swami Premartha, a former law student, now translator of Bhagwan’s books. Many of Bhagwan’s books are bestsellers, too. The first book translated into Japanese, The Supreme Understanding, has been reprinted 12 timers which means total sales of 60,000 copies within 10 years. About 20 books have been translated by now, including such worldwide favourites as My Way: The Way of the White Cloud, and The Orange Book.
“In Japan, it works like that,” explains Gyanodaya. “As long as a book sells well, it has an eyecatching place in the stores. So for years, Bhagwan’s books have been placed in prominent places. This is due first to the strong demand, and second, the salesmen in the bookstores simply like Bhagwan.” In some bookstores, special corners are set aside for displays of Bhagwan’s books, along with posters and advertisements. In this way, The Orange Book and The Diamond Sutra were sold out in a very short period of time…
Swami Gyanodaya is now a publisher with the Meiso Company in Kagawa on the Shikoku Island. The first publication, The Diamond Sutra, sold out within a year of its publication. Another new edition of 5,000 copies is in progress. The next project is the booklet On Basic Human Rights which has been translated and will be coming out soon. Meiso Company used a brilliant device to get good detailed information about readers. A response card was included in each copy of The Diamond Sutra; it was sent back by most of the readers. The feedback was mainly positive and the cards showed that the circle of readers had expended beyond students and workers into groups like psychologists, theologists, monks, journalists and so on.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:11. Reprint by Ma Deva Shanta in: Die Rajneesh Times)
Osho on translating
“Just a few days ago a man from Japan who is translating one of my books on the Dhammapada – Gautam Buddha’s greatest scripture, “the path of religiousness” – wrote to me, “I was surprised: you don’t know Japanese, you don’t know Pali, you don’t know Sanskrit. And in your talks on the Dhammapada, in many places you have changed words which have been put there by the Christian missionaries.” He was simply amazed because he looked in the Japanese translations and he found that I was right every time. He could not believe how a man who does not understand Japanese can say that instead of ‘faith’, there should be the word ‘trust’.
I can understand his difficulty, but it is not a difficult matter for me. I am not a commentator. When I speak on anyone, I have no commitment except to my own understanding, to my own illumination. And when I say that something is changed in a wrong way, translated wrongly, it does not mean I understand the Japanese or Chinese from which the translation has been done. It simply means that I know the very heart of Gautam Buddha. I know the emptiness of that heart, it is my own experience. No master who has touched the emptiness of the heart can talk in terms of faith. Faith is only for the blind.” The Buddha. The Emptiness of the Heart (1989). Chapter 3, p. 66.
Publishing in Japan
“In these 10 years, books by Osho have taken up a lot of space of the ‘Spiritual World’ shelves in many bookstores. There are many readers of his books in Japan. He has talked on Zen in many of his discourses, for example, in The Heart Sutra and in The Search: ‘The Ten Bulls of Zen,’ etc. And he often remarks on Zen in other discourses, too. What is special about Osho is that he dares to make statements on subjects which are related to society, subjects that old Zen masters tried not to touch.” (Zen Bunka, April 25th, 1988).” (Forman 2002, p. 488)
During 1988-89, the Zen Institute in Japan published one of Osho’s books, a major stamp of approval from one of Japan’s foremost bodies in this field. This publishing in Japanese was booming in the following years.
Heading: Reading Bhagwan in Korean
“The Korean translations of seven books by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, all from one publisher, are now on the market in Korea. Three of the books were shown to Bhagwan recently and He is reported to have liked them. The books include The Art of Dying, which has been reprinted five times in three years, The Grass Grows by Itself, into its second printing in five months, and The Empty Boat, Bhagwan’s commentaries on Chuang Tzu, reprinted seven times in three years.” (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:12)
Lani promoting in Korea and becoming Osho’s World Ambassador
“Back in Pune Anando asked me, “Would you like to get involved with Osho’s books?” Well, here I am with books again – considering that I don’t like to read. But you know, when you are asked to do a job like that you don’t say no. So your first job was to look where to publish Osho’s books, the best quality, the most economical and the most practical for worldwide distribution. So of course we started in Mumbai, the quality was terrible.
Then Anando suggested, “What do you think about going to Korea?” I said, “OK!” but the next day I asked her if she was joking. “No,” she answered. “I don’t mind going but I would love to work as a team with somebody.” So they recommended I call Vibhavan…
When we arrived in Korea we went to a bookstore to look for names of publishers. In that bookstore we found 32 of Osho’s books translated in Korean.
Nobody knew about them. I called Hasya again. At that time there were no copyright laws in Korea. We called one of the publishers and asked them how this was happening. They said people were translating the books and being paid. So we asked for the phone number of one of the translators and we started meeting people. The first one we met didn’t even know Osho was alive and was in tears when he heard he could take sannyas. And that’s when the first Koreans started coming to Pune – from this trip…
I was wearing this most beautiful sari – I loved wearing saris – and Hasya and I went to see him together. The minute I walked into his room I completely relaxed. Hasya sat in the back of the room and I sat right in front of him. And he said to me, “I hear you have been doing very good work and, if you know of anybody who can translate my Hindi discourses, the Korean people would really appreciate them.” And then he went on, “You will now be my World Ambassador.” I said, “Nooooo,” because I was in shock, and he said, “Yes!”
I said to him, “It’s so funny, I talked to my dad a few days ago on the phone and he said to me, ‘The way you travel around the world you are like a foreign ambassador.” So Osho had a little giggle and then said to me, “There is going to be a book fair in Delhi next month. I want you to take my books and make the biggest most beautiful stall at the book fair.”
I went to Delhi for three weeks and worked with the Delhi sannyasins. Before I left he asked me to make a business card saying “Osho’s World Ambassador – Ma Shantam Lani.” He was very specific. He even chose a photograph of himself and cropped it and wanted it silver-foiled. I still have these cards. I thought, “Oh my God, what does it mean to be his ambassador?”
I thought it had to do with book fairs because all my experiences have been with books. So I got a list of book fairs around the world but didn’t know how to prioritize it. I said to myself, “You know, the world is a big place.” So I sent Osho a couple of questions. My first questions was how to prioritize where to go. Do I go to China, do I go to Yugoslavia which existed at that time? He said, “No need to go to China, no need to go to Yugoslavia; you go where the energy is needed, you follow your energy.”
Then I asked him if I should start embassies around the world and he replied, “Wherever your suitcase is, is an embassy.” (Ma Shantam Lani. Interview. www.oshonews.com 14.05.2017)
Publishing in 1987
“A Spanish publishing company recently wants to publish 20 books by Bhagwan and has asked us to select suitable titles.
Two Japanese publishing companies are in the midst of publishing Zarathustra, A God that can Dance, Zarathustra, A Laughing Prophet and the second volume of Take it Easy.
In Yugoslavia, the first compilation of texts by Bhagwan in Serbo Croate entitled “The Ultimate Pilgrimage” is almost sold-out!
A top bookstore in Ecuador is currently ordering heaps of His available Spanish translated books; and even expressed interest in publishing.
And perhaps the most phenomenal publishing revolution of His words is happening in… Korea! Yes, believe it or not, more than 30 select Bhagwan books have been independently translated by odd and sundry philosophers, university professors and intellectuals and published to great demand. Bhagwan was the best selling author throughout Korea in 1982, ’83 and ’84 and according to a letter from a well-known publishing company, and feedback from Korean sannyasins coming here, our beloved Master is looked upon as a Saint!” (Rajneesh Times International, 1987:22)
Heading: Italian Bookclub Features The Rajneesh Bible
“Italy’s largest bookclub, Club Degli Editori, with a membership of 800,000, has offered its readers volume one of The Rajneesh Bible. In the club’s November mailing, La Bibbia di Rajneesh leads the featured books in the “quality” section where authors such as Freud, Gorvachev and James Joyce appear… Over 54 books by Osho Rajneesh are in print in Italy.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:6)
Akarno and Oshoba’s 20th anniversary in Italy
“”It was wonderful to work on Osho’s magazine and to distribute it to our fellow travellers – that was enough of a reward,” he says. But soon he noticed that the expenses were too high to bear and that there was always less and less time to do the ‘proper’ work. Something had to be done. Videha, who had been involved in finding publishers in Italy to print Osho’s work, suggested they sell his books. At the time, unlike now, they were hard to find in the bookshops and the publishers were of minor importance and with only limited distribution. “We created an advertising page on Osho Times to promote Osho’s books and so we became distributors in Italy. Once you start… once the cat enters the house, as the Zen story goes… it never ends – because soon the next question came: what about the meditation CDs and Osho’s videos? So this is how Oshoba started,” Akarmo recalls…
(Do you remember that Oshoba is also the name of the high-energy samba music which Nivedano and his band used to play for Osho before the White Robe meditation?)” (Akarno. www.oshonews.com/2013/07/13/)
Book sale of Over de Rechten van de Mens at the Boekovski Foundation Congress in Holland
“But… the organizers are upset when they discover that the book on human rights is authored by Bhagwan. After an initial refusal of the display and an obvious disagreement about this decision, the book is offered for sale provided there is no sannyasin behind the counter.
A congress on human rights where they are having difficulty with a book about human rights!… According to Abhivandan the book was displayed in such a way that not one copy was sold. (Translated from the Dutch Rajneesh Times. Reprinted in: Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:15)
“Swami Dhyan Aadhar is preparing to publish Polish translations of four Osho books. In a small publishing office in Kodz, he and friends are translating and editing the following titles: Sermons in Stones, The Book of the Secrets, The Orange Book and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh: The Most Dangerous Man Since Jesus Christ.
Although they face difficulties in obtaining enough paper for printing they plan to publish 10,000 copies of each book.” (Osho Times International (India), 1989:21)
Heading: Bhagwan’s books go Spanish! Ole!
“South America. The network for translating, distributing and publishing Bhagwan’s books, booklets and stories is starting to happen throughout South America. Sannyasins in Columbia write they are connecting with sannyasins in Ecuador and Mexico to make it happen. Thanks! GREAT!
Swami Prem Nyaz from Brazil has just left Poona and will try to publish and distribute (mainly in Brazil and Chile) the new booklet by Bhagwan On Basic Human Rights and others on the way. Good luck!
Spain. Ma Sargam and Ma Nirupo have their own publishing house and are working on Spanish editions of several of Bhagwan’s books, as people in Spain are very interested in His words right now. Also, translators are working on Bhagwan’s commentaries on the Sufi story The Man with the Inexplicable Life from The Wisdom of the Sands which will come out with beautiful colored illustrations.
Thanks to everyone for your help! And if you wish to collaborate in translating, distributing or publishing our Master’s words, please write. Our address: Rajneeshdham. Spanish Translation Department. 17, Koregaon Park. Poona, MS. India.” (The New British Rajneesh Times, 1987:9, p. 3)
Heading: From an Athens newspaper, press conference in Athens
“Ma Deva Waduda, who was present at the conference, says in a letter to Rajneesh Times, “In the press conference and in the newspaper reports the day after, one of the crucial accusations was that we were being political. One of the journalists found it very “strange”, even “fishy” that Bhagwan had dedicated the book to Gorbachev. They accused Him of “sour grapes” towards the USA.
We answered that it was the first time Bhagwan had dedicated a book to anyone, and it was dedicated to the ‘man’ Gorbachev, not to Russia, because Bhagwan sees a ray of light in him and his work. That Gorbachev is not a politician, but “a man in politics”. (The Rajneesh Times (India), 1987:16)
(Note: Earlier on, Books I Have Loved (1985) had been dedicated to Alan Watts)
Osho on Dutch Publisher
“One of the Dutch publishers, who has published a dozen books of my discourses in Dutch, wrote me a letter a few months ago saying, “Now you are talking dangerously. we cannot risk our publishing company. We are business people. What you were speaking before, we could manage; but now it is beyond us. So I will not be publishing any more books, and I want to be completely disassociated from you. And I am also not going to reprint those books. If sannyasins want to, they can take all those books at cost price; otherwise, I will keep them in the warehouse but they will not be sold. I simply don’t want to be associated with your name…
I have been holding back many things; now I don’t want to hold back anything, and there is no reason to – because all that they could do against me they have done. So I just want to settle in a small place with a small group, and people can come and go easily. There is no need to make any noise. And whatever I say, all that is needed is to publish it in all the possible languages. That will be your main work, because now you will not find publishers to publish it. Now we will have to publish it with our own resources; we will have to translate it ourselves, publish it ourselves, make arrangements for the marketing. And that great responsibility falls on you. The word should reach. People may understand today or tomorrow or day after tomorrow – that doesn’t matter – but one day they will understand it. One thing I can say, that whatever I am saying is going to become the future philosophy, the future religion, of the whole humanity; and you are blessed to be co-creators in it.” The Path of the Mystic, p. 284.
In mid-November, 1989, a meeting of all Hindi-English translators was called in Lao Tzu House, in which Amrito and Anando passed on a message from Osho. Osho said that he wants the translations of his Hindi books into English to happen very fast and the translators were not to spend too much time agonising over one word. And he said to start with the Upanishads. (Sadhana Foundation. New Books from Osho. 1997)
Heading: Osho Translations
“The number of Osho books that are translated and published in foreign languages continues to grow at an astonishing rate.
Here are some current totals:
In addition a great many have been published in the various languages of the Indian subcontinent, plus smaller numbers in Danish, Russian, Greek, Slovak, Serbo-Croatian, Chinese, Finnish, Norwegian, Hebrew and Swedish.” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:20)
Meditation: The First and Last Freedom
“Published in 14 languages by 16 publishers in 25 editions: Chinese, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Malayasian, Marathi, Portuguese, Spanish and Tamil.” (Osho Times International, 1995:8)
As of November 1990 there were over 200 titles from Hindi being translated into English coming up. (Maneesha. Yes Osho. 07.11.1990. Digital Osho newsletter echo)
On Publishing see also in Appendix / Poona Two:
– I Leave You My Dream / Ma Prem Lolita. Osho Times, December 1997, pp. 11-17. Report on the publishing of Osho’s books.
– Thirty Years of Osho International Publishing. 1975-2005. Osho: “Make Me Available around the World”. January 2006, page 34-41.
The time Osho earlier used for reading during Poona One was, after the weakening of his eyesight, spent on his total involvement in the design and production of his books. Next to his daily discourses and meetings with his disciples this is what kept him occupied until the very last days before his passing.
Anando in interview
Q: What is Osho’s involvement in His books?
A: “Osho loves books. And especially His own. He takes an intimate personal interest in each one, involving Himself in every phase of its production right from choosing the subject and the title. ‘How does this sound?’ He asks. Then He checks each night how many more talks are left to the end of the series so He can round the book off. Even the question and answer talks always have a distinctive theme for each series – His vision in terms of the world, or a special emphasis on the master-disciple relationship, for example.
And, as usual, He gives us a task just bordering on the impossible – to create beautiful hard-bound editions of His books (He doesn’t like paperbacks) and yet have them available to the public at the lowest possible price. He is the one who proposed the cost price policy for His books.
Q: What does it mean, cost price?
A: It means you can buy His books from the publisher in Cologne (The Rebel Publishing House GmbH) or from the Osho Bookshop in Poona, at a price which is the actual cost of producing the book, with no profit margin added. This applies to private individuals as well as the book trade, and even for orders of only one book.
Q: It is true that Osho’s books are beautiful – the jacket designs are always exquisite. Is Osho also involved in that?
A: Each book absolutely has Osho’s touch. He selects the photo for the front cover, sitting back in his chair with his legs crossed, watching slide after slide go through the projector.
Sometimes there are so many, the machine overheats and jams up. He just goes on sitting, chuckling a little while I wrestle to pull the stuck ones. Sometimes He flicks them back and forth so fast that I lose track of the slide number and can’t note down the ones He chooses. It is amazing how He can make a person sweat in a room of 14 degrees!
Next he points out precisely where on the photo the lettering of the title should go, and what colour it should be (He loves gold and silver embossed, as you may have noticed). Then he chooses the pictures for the end papers and the back cover, sifting through photos and paintings and making two piles on the floor. He has a great way of putting down things He has finished with. He throws them down so totally that it is clear He has finished with them for ever.
Finally, when the first book arrives from the printers it goes straight to Him. He looks it all over, says ‘It has come really beautiful,’ asks the price and signs it for His library.” (Anando. In: Osho Loves Books. Remarkable Books from Remarkable Publishers. The Rebel Publishing House, 1992. Leaflet. 10 pages)
Anando on Osho designing his books
“And at least with one book ‘From Darkness to Light’ he drew the original sketch for the design of the jacket cover. He also chose pictures for the books and to the publishers left his choices for future book jackets as well as future titles to use. The care invested in the design has in 1997 made Rebel Publishing win two design prizes in India, for ‘India My Love’ and for ‘Tantra the Supreme Understanding’. And before he left his body in 1990 he left a series of titles – ‘Notes from the Grave’ being the most intriguing – for future publication, many of these titles already been used for recent publications in the 1990’es.” (Anando. Amended from leaflet: Osho Loves Books. Remarkable Books from Remarkable Publishers. The Rebel Publishing House, 1992. Leaflet. 10 pages)
Sambodhi Prem writes on working on the graphic design
“I got involved with Osho’s books in 1990, after he left his body. The climate was very supportive and we learned a lot from each other. At the time we had the biggest number of Macintosh computers in the whole of India! Plus a linotronic to run out film, all computers were connected through a network, something we now take for granted. Oh, yes, on Thursday afternoon there were often power failures! I learned to save my work regularly.
At the Feet of the Master was done on an SE 30 Mac, with a screen the size of a postage stamp! But it was great fun to learn this new tool and because there were so many people coming and going, there was (and still is!) a fertile ground to exchange ideas and to learn things…
His books are still finding new people I’m sure, and now there’s the iPod where you can listen to him, without anyone knowing. I like that: it does not matter if your husband is against Osho, you can still listen to him. When she asks, “What are you listening to darling?” You simply say, “Oh, the Dire Straits!”…
I’m designing the cover for Osho’s audio books, a lovely project that I’ve been involved for the last 5 years.” (Sambodhi Prem. E-mail. 05.11.2009)
Meera on her paintings and book designing
“Not long after I’d arrived, Anando, a cheerful, no-nonsense Australian woman who was now one of Osho’s secretaries, asked me to bring all my paintings to Lao Tzu House, a very private part of the campus where Osho was living. Since Anando also lived and worked in the house, I assumed the request came from her own personal curiosity.
“Oh, you want to see my paintings?” I said, a little surprised, because until then she had not expressed any interest in my work.
She shook her head and smiled. “No, it’s not for me. Osho wants to see your paintings.”
This was a real surprise – one of the biggest of my life.
Recovering quickly from the shock, I asked, “Can I show them to him myself?”
“No. He wants me to do that.”
This made sense, because it was very rarely that Osho ever invited anyone to his private rooms. But it also posed a practical problem.
“My paintings are very difficult,” I explained, “Because sometimes you don’t know what is up and what is down. And the main paintings are three or four panels together – they need to be arranged in the right sequence.”
Anando thought for a moment and said, “Okay, you can arrange an exhibition for Osho in his library.”
Then she said, “But you have only one hour to prepare.”
Now, who can prepare an whole exhibition in an hour! But on my travels I always carried a portfolio of my best works, and by chance I’d been sorting through them, preparing for a public exhibition in Mumbai. We quickly arranged three plywood panels in the library, on which I hung my larger paintings, with smaller paintings lying on a table, and more taped to the walls of the corridor outside.
That was an exciting moment for me, working at high speed to create an exhibition for Osho. I was so high. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
One of the librarians told me afterwards that Osho spent forty-five minutes looking at the paintings and chose several of them to illustrate the back covers of new books containing his discourses…
Each day, as soon as Osho had finished speaking, the audio recordings of that particular discourse would be transcribed by an editorial team, and when a series was complete it would be published as a book, so there was a continuous stream of Osho books being published. Now I was being appointed the ‘court painter,’ decorating his books, inside and out – jackets, end papers, chapter title pages…
His guidance was simple: ‘meditate in discourse while I am speaking, then paint.’ By this time, he was talking mostly on Zen, and this made things easy for me because almost always he included in his discourses Zen haikus and poems – by Basho and other masters – and these were filled with references to nature…
I used to send my paintings to him every two weeks – most of his Zen series lasted between 10-14 days – and I’d submit about thirty paintings every time, nicely mounted for the master to see. Altogether, he chose 500 paintings for 42 books, and I must have produced over 1,500 paintings during that time.
Of course, I needed assistants, because otherwise the mounting business would have taken all my time. So I found myself becoming part of the publishing team.
I worked regular, ordinary hours, starting at nine in the morning and ending at four in the afternoon, with a break for lunch. To some people, this may seem strange, after all, we artists are supposed to stay up late in the night, wrestling with a vision, torturing ourselves to grasp the mystery… and so on.” (Meera 2017 pp. 225-228)
Meera on paintings, cover art, and book illustrations
“Now, almost eight years since my art groups, I was back in Poona, again prepared to work at anything, but was almost immediately called in to see Anando – by now Osho’s main right-hand lady and his mouthpiece – and she asked me to bring my folder of work. I was surprised…
So a friend and I rapidly set up a display of my works in and around Osho’s library.
After he had been in there looking at my paintings, one of the librarians sidled up to me.
“Osho was looking at your paintings for 45 minutes!” she said.
There were 35 paintings in all, and as I walked around, I saw he had put book titles under 12 of them. This was the moment I understood what it was all about – Osho wanted to use my paintings for his books.
From then on, although I wasn’t told how the paintings would be used, I was told to paint only for his books. So, every day, as soon as he had delivered the morning talk, I translated the previous evening’s and that morning’s talks into paintings in black and white – one for each discourse’s chapter heading.
Not long after I’d sent the first few paintings in for him to review, I received a message from him describing what I should paint for which book. This one you dedicate to snow, with a snow theme, he said, and this one to bamboos, and this to midnight…
Then the Zen series began, based on 12 Japanese and Chinese Zen masters, and he had me painting for those. I was like a bush fire, blazing, working feverishly – and discourse with Osho every day inspired me to keep on painting with fresh energy.
I was to show the works for every series; so when each ten- or 11-day series was over, I would put a nice folder together and send it in to Osho. It was so exciting finding out at the end which painting he’d chosen and which he he’d rejected. I’d often sent 30 or 40 paintings in to him in one go and then, after a day or so, get his feed-back.
One message I got was: “Your painting is getting darker. Put more light in.” In another one he said… “Why just one sun? Why just one moon? – Don’t be stingy!” Or: “Overlap the whole of existence with a rainbow” and “Paint a rainbow in the dark night.”
So with all this guidance from Osho, I felt I was his paintbrush.
I was very high around this work, which I did for one and a half years, both in black and white and in color. Nothing else was important for me. I used to paint every day at home in my top-floor apartment overlooking the river, where the light was bright and I was undisturbed.
Each time Osho had viewed them, he would put a green dot on whichever painting was to be used, and on the back side of the mount would be written which one was to go into which book – which for the endpapers, which for the jacket…
He was very precise, If he’d put a dot on the front but nothing added on the back, it meant that that one was for a chapter heading.
Then came the one series where he gave me a specific direction for each painting: “You paint rainbows and winter branches…” he told me for the first of the three Zen series. So I painted about 20 good paintings, and then I chose the best eight…” (Meera. In: Savita 2014, p. 217)
(Note: Three titles by Meera where she writes on her painting are in: Volume III / References)
“… I had also done a course given by the Chinese calligraphy master, Qui Zheng Ping, the one who illustrated Osho’s last book of discourses: The Zen Manifesto. He had been invited to come to the commune by Osho himself and the book had been illustrated by him at Osho’s specific request… When Alok, who was now the translator in the classes, met Master Qui in China and showed him a signature of Osho, he had apparently exclaimed “But this is a great calligrapher.” (Punya 2015, pp. 417,419)
Book design and name changes
“The graphic designers were at a loss with all these changes as they had corrected the jackets for the new books a few times already and were not sure at what stage the final layout could be sent to the printer lest there was a change again. As an exception, the name Osho Rajneesh was kept for the Italian book market as Videha had managed to bring Osho’s books under the name Rajneesh high up in the charts and it would have been a shame to spoil all those marketing efforts.” (Punya 2015, p. 384)
Krishna Gopa recalls
“I worked in the office for many years both in Pune 1 and at Rajneeshpuram with love and joy…
So, when I returned to Pune in 1988, I wanted to work at something which would also help me when, eventually and inevitably, I would have to leave the commune again. So I chose the publications department. I wanted to work on Osho’s books. I was taken under the wing of a couple of generous designers who taught me much about designing text and covers, and continue to be grateful for what amounted to a really wonderful apprenticeship.
I loved it and it was great fun. Also, when Osho was alive he was very much involved with the books, and every cover and interior and illustration passed by him for approval. It was a joy to get a message that, yes, everything was good, or perhaps tweak this or that a bit.
The first book I worked on was “Words from a Man of No Words” for which I also drew all the illustrations…
In Publications there was a coordinator who was not so much a boss as someone whose job was to oversee the many jobs and made sure that all the pieces came together in the correct way at the right time. The rest of us were designers, typesetters, editors, proofreaders and darkroom people (computer typesetting still being in its infancy at the time).” (Ma Krishna Gopa. www.oshoworld.com/onlinemag/feb13)
See also in Appendix: On Paintings Osho Chooses / Ma Krishna Gopa and Sw Shivananda interviewed by Ma Prem Garimo and Ma Prem Yuthika. Osho Times International, 1992:12. 16.06.1992. Two pages illustrated with six pieces of artwork in color.
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