7.11 Name Change to Osho
On the tumultuous phase in 1988 with several name changes, see in Appendix: A Brief Chronology of the Name Changes of Osho. Factsheet 1996. 3 pages. And in Volume III / Bibliography / Poona Two / No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989).
On the horrific ‘Bhagwan’
“You have to understand first the meaning of Bhagavat. You have called me Bhagwan. The word ‘Bhagwan’ comes from ‘Bhagavat’. Bhagavat means ‘the blessed one’, ‘the blissful one’; and when somebody reaches to this blissfulness, the pure quality of being Bhagavat takes a form. That form we have called, in the East, Bhagwan. It has nothing to do with God. Anybody who has translated Bhagwan as God is absolutely wrong. Bhagwan is concerned with Bhagavat – the infinite consciousness.
When you open up to the ultimate, immediately it pours into you. You are no more an ordinary human being – you have transcended. Your insight has become the insight of the whole existence. Now you are no more separate – you have found your roots.
Otherwise, ordinarily, everybody is moving without roots, not knowing from where their heart goes on receiving energy, not knowing who goes on breathing in them, not knowing the life juice that is running inside them. And the moment this life juice goes out, you will be left an empty shell, a corpse.
It is not the body, it is not the mind – it is something transcendental to all duality, that is called Bhagavat – the Bhagavat in the ten directions.” Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 9, p. 168.
Name change to Bhagwan only, back in 1978
“From today on Bhagwan officially is no longer referred to as Bhagwan Shree, or Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, but only as “Bhagwan,” as this is more intimate.” (Divya 1980, p. 164. 18.10.1978)
“In the book, “The Sound of Running Water” there is a statement made by Osho in 1978, in response to a question, “Why do you call yourself Bhagwan?” Osho said: “When I see that my people have reached a certain level in their consciousness, then I will drop the name Bhagwan.”
On January 7th 1989, the name Bhagwan dropped and He became simply Shree Rajneesh.
It was later that year in September that He dropped the name Rajneesh. He was now without a name. We asked that we might call Him Osho. Osho is not a name, it is a common form of address used in Japan for a Zen master.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 268)
On dropping ‘Bhagwan’ and introducing ‘Bhante’
“Anando has brought a difficulty. All of you have now become so accustomed to calling me Bhagwan. When she comes loaded with her secretarial work, without remembering she starts, “Hello, Bhagwan!” And then she repents: “I have been preparing all the way not to use this word ‘Bhagwan’, but the moment I saw you I forgot everything.”
I have to help Anando and others also.
Buddha was called by his lovers, “Bhante” – which is far more refined, of greater implications. ‘Bhante’ means a friend who has gone far ahead – you are also on the path, but somebody is ahead of you.
So just to help you drop that old, ugly word ‘Bhagwan’, I suggest you use the word ‘Bhante’, at least for the transitory period. And if Anando does not come tomorrow with, “Hello, Bhante!” then the German Zen master. Niskriya, has to hit her three times with great compassion and love.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 3, p. 58.
Osho is mentioned in discourse for the first time in May 1988
“Ukyu said, “Osho!”
Osho is a very honorable word. It is almost used for the masters. For example Joshu Osho. Osho is not his name but his honor, his acceptance as an enlightened man.” This. This (1988). Chapter 11, p. 167.
Osho mentioned again in discourse July 1988
“‘Osho is a word signifying great respect, love and gratitude. It also sounds beautiful… Osho is a very respectful word. It is a way of calling someone almost divine. It is in essence so respectful that only a disciple calls a master ‘Osho’. Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt (1988). Chapter 2, p. 28 & Chapter 3, p. 57.
(Note: Chapter 3 is with the heading ‘OSHO!’)
Heading: Osho’s Comments On “The Bhagwan Device” And On “Osho” Before It Became His Name
“Calling myself Bhagwan is just a device. I can drop it at any moment. The moment I see it has started working, that the chain has started, the moment I see that it is no more needed, that a few people have become aflame… now they will be enough proof, there will be no need to call myself Bhagwan. If a few of my sannyasins start blooming, I will stop calling myself Bhagwan; the device will have worked.” Quotation from September 1976. The Sound of Running Water. (Asha 1980)
Ungan said, “Osho”…
“Osho” is really a great word of gratitude, love and honor. So much is implied that it cannot be translated by ‘reverend’ – that reverend looks so ugly and Christian. Osho is very close and intimate, a very loving address, full of honor and gratitude.”
January 1989. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1989)
Ungan asked, “Osho”…
“”Osho” is a word of honor, of tremendous honor, of infinite honor. There are many respectful words, but the sweetness of “Osho,” the love, the respect, the gratitude, all are together in it. It is not just like Christians using the word “reverend” – there is no comparison. Just the very sound of “Osho” – even if we don’t understand Japanese, the very sound is very sweet.
January 1989. In: Christianity: The deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to all Poison (1990).
“Osho” is a very beautiful word. It should be added to every language. Just the sound is beautiful in the first place: “Osho…” It shows respect, it shows love, it shows gratitude. It is not just a dry word like “reverend.” It is a very loving and friendly word, almost having the sense of “The Beloved.”
February 1989. In: Zen Fire Zen Wind (1990). (Factsheet. Osho Commune International Press Office, October 1989)
“From the silent magic of Let Go meditation Bhagwan catapulted the commune into a storm of confusion. After a seven week absence from Buddha Hall in December of 1988, he announced in discourse that Gautama the Buddha had entered his body, and that this had been verified by the seeress of one of the most ancient Shinto shrines in Japan. Twenty-five centuries ago Buddha had prophesied, “When I come again, I will have to take shelter in a man of similar consciousness.”” (Hamilton 1998, p. 191)
From introduction by Sw Dhyan Yogi:
“This book chronicles a twelve-day revolution in the life of Osho Rajneesh beginning on December 26, 1988, a period which altered the lives of millions of people – and most of them don’t know it.
Life has its strange ways, but this was the strangest. The Living Master, Osho Rajneesh, in a sizzling retort to thirty years of accusations and abuse about His name ‘Bhagwan’, dropped it altogether.
The explanation He gave of His simple strategy – to adopt and then drop the name ‘Bhagwan’ – dealt a paralyzing blow to two of the so-called “great religions” of India, Hinduism and Jainism. The name was a challenge they could never meet, created by a man they could never equal.
It revealed a secret which even the Master’s most intimate disciples never knew. He showed something which could never be uttered; a Master stroke was needed. One man against 900 million people, and the solitary man had won.
The third “great religion” born in India, Buddhism, then had its share of attention. For millions of Buddhist worldwide, the haunted wait for the return of Buddha’s soul was over. As predicted, the ‘Maitreya’, the reincarnated soul of Buddha, had come -and had chosen as his home none other than Osho Rajneesh.
What happened in the next four days puzzled Buddhist pundits, scholars and theologians the world over – and defeated the expectations of everyone. The Master exposed a forgotten but obvious truth: that truth itself is fresh, never old, never antique. And the whole idea of Gautama the Buddha as a returning guide is anachronism, a bullock cart in the space age. The very dream of a return to some imagined perfection of the past, He showed, could keep us from living the sweetness of this moment, from living the benediction of our own buddha nature. Another burden removed.
He showed us in these twelve discourses that this moment contains an even greater possibility than Gautama the Buddha promised, a different and greater synthesis, a vaster discovery: Zorba the Buddha.
Osho Rajneesh became that. Explained that. And moved on. He left a wild unexplored space behind, a potential. Wild flowers blooming on the slopes of Everest. Springtime.” (No Mind. Flowers of Eternity (1989). Sw Dhyan Yogi, M.D. Introduction)
On name change, December 26th, 1988
“I had come out today for a special reason.
A few months ago in Bombay, Govind Siddhart had a vision that Gautam Buddha’s soul has been searching for a body. And he saw in his vision that my body has become a vehicle for Gautam Buddha.
He was right. But this is the misfortune of man: that you can go wrong even though you have touched upon a point of rightness. Because I declared him to be enlightened, he has disappeared. Since then I have not seen him. Perhaps he thinks, “Now, what is the use? I was searching for enlightenment and I have found it…
But I hate the word [Bhagwan]! I have been waiting for some Hindu idiot to come forward, but they think that it is something very dignified and I have no right to call myself Bhagwan. Today I say absolutely, “Yes, but I have every right to denounce the word.” Nobody can prevent me. I don’t want to be called Bhagwan again. Enough is enough! The joke is over!
But I accept the Japanese Zen prophetess. And from now onwards I am Gautam the Buddha. You can call me “The Beloved Friend.” Drop the word ‘Bhagwan’ completely…
But as far as Gautam the Buddha is concerned, I welcome him in my very heart. I will give him my words, my silences, my meditations, my being, my wings. From today onwards you can look at me as Gautam the Buddha.
I will tell you about the Japanese Buddhist seeress – she has sent her picture:
“Katue Ishida, mystic of one of the biggest and most famous Shinto shrines in Japan, stated recently after seeing Bhagwan’s picture, that: ‘This is the person that Maitreya the Buddha has entered. He is trying to create a utopia in the twenty-first century. Lots of destructive power is against Him, and some people call Him Satan. But I have never known Satan to be poisoned. He is usually the poisoner, not the poisoned. We must protect this man, Bhagwan. Buddha has entered Him.”
With great love and respect I accept Ishida’s prophecy. She will be welcome here as one of my people, most loved. And by accepting Gautam the Buddha as my very soul, I go out of the Hindu fold completely; I go against the Jaina fold completely.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 1, pp. 4,7-9.
On Shree Rajneesh Maitreya the Buddha
“In an historic series of discourses during the last few days of 1988, the enlightened spiritual master, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, declared that he had dropped the word ‘bhagwan’ and accepted the presence of Buddha. From now onwards he will be known as Shree Rajneesh Maitreya The Buddha.
In announcing his presence, Maitreya The Buddha has fulfilled the ancient Buddhist prophecy that Gautama the Buddha would return after twenty-five centuries. This event, awaited by millions of people throughout the world, has been prophesied in all the ancient scriptures – Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian.
It is well documented that in the 1920’s the Theosophists Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater prepared J. Krishnamurti to fulfil the prophecy and accept the soul of Buddha. At the last moment Krishnamurti refused.
Speaking to a silent gathering of ten thousand friends, Maitreya The Buddha declared, “Yesterday you have witnessed a historical moment. I have accepted Gautam the Buddha’s soul as a guest… Lovingly and with great joy, he has accepted a strange host – perhaps only a strange man like me could do justice to a guest like Gautam the Buddha. Twenty-five centuries, so much water has flowed down the Ganges. It is a totally new world of which he knows nothing. With great respect he will have to depend on me to encounter the contemporary situation…
I am blessed to be a host to the greatest man in history.”
Describing the experience of accepting the presence of Buddha, he said, “There was absolutely darkness in the room, but I saw suddenly, with the door closed, a human being made of pure light entering. For a moment there was silence, and I heard from nowhere, “Can I come in?” The guest was so pure, so fragrant. I had simply to take him into my silences of the heart. This body of light was nobody but Gautam the Buddha. You can still see in my eyes the flame that I have absorbed into myself – a flame that has been for twenty-five centuries wandering around the earth to find a shelter. I am immensely blessed that Gautam the Buddha knocked on my doors.”
While the East has long been familiar with the prophecy, for Westerners the announcement caused confusion and misunderstanding. “The new situation, the new responsibility that I have taken upon myself, has raised many questions from different quarters,” Buddha said. “The first thing is from the chief of staff of United Press International. He has sent a telegram asking me, now that I have allowed Gautam Buddha to be my guest, have I become a Buddhist? In the same reference he asked: What about my followers? Are they also now part of an organized religion? Have they also become Buddhists?”
“The question is absolutely relevant, but my answer may baffle the chief of staff of UPI. Gautam the Buddha has taken shelter in me… There is no question of any conversion. I am a buddha in my own right, and that is the reason he has felt to use my vehicle for his remaining work…
I don’t teach Buddhism or any ‘ism’, for that matter. I teach the buddha himself. The people who are with me are not part of any organized religion. They are independent, individual seekers. My relationship with them is that of a fellow traveller.”
“Although he has taken shelter in me, I will not be called Gautam the Buddha. I will love to be called according to his prophecy: Maitreya The Buddha. Maitreya means the friend. That will keep the distinction. There will not be any confusion.” (Press Release. Shree Rajneesh Maitreya The Buddha Fullfills Ancient Prophecy of Buddha. Press Office, Rajneeshdham. 30.12.1988)
“I remember the visit of an enlightened Japanese woman to our commune. She was a small, frail and unassuming lady (I later heard she was in her mid eighties!). She was called Tamo-san (Ryoju Kikuchi was her legal name). She was a priestess in a Shinto temple in Japan…
Tamo-san was enlightened and Osho had acknowledged this in the discourse earlier by showering petals of red roses on her.” (Punya 2015, p. 285)
Punya.eu/Photos/Chapter10/No 3 NY:10,2 se mail 09.08 og fra Punya
Photo 27. Osho showering rose petals on Tamo-san in Buddha Hall.
Veena writes on Tamo-San and their later meeting in Japan
“On her return, Geeta told us that an old Japanese lady called Tamo-San, a priestess from a temple near Kamakura, south of Tokyo, had arrived with three disciples. She had explained that she had come to visit Osho to give all her energy to him as he could reach people worldwide in a way that she could not. We were awed to hear this amazing story and were very curious to see how Osho would respond.
In Buddha Hall that evening, waiting for Osho to arrive, I could see the exquisite tiny lady sitting in the front row with her disciples. She seemed so light and so full of light and so very still. After Osho had greeted us he waked to the edge of the podium and gestured to Tamo-San to come close. She gracefully got up and stood smiling up at him. Anando also quietly stood up and I could see she was holding a beautiful decorated brass bowl.
Osho took the bowl from Anando, picked up a handful of the rose petals it contained, and gently showered Tamo-San with the petals. He then namasted to her, she bowed in the Japanese way to him, and they both returned to their seats.
I was transfixed. What was I witnessing? There seemed to be a transmission without words, a conveying of knowing and understanding – and an exchange of infinite love.
Tamo-San left the next day without saying a word of what had transpired…
She then took us into her inner sanctuary to show us her shrine. In the centre was a statue of Buddha. On his left was a Christian crucifix and on his right was a picture of Osho. She touched each one gently and told us that these were the three most important beings the world had ever known and that she meditated on them every day.
I was stunned. I felt I was getting a tiny glimpse of a great mystery – particularly where Osho was concerned. How was this eighty-five year old lady, who spoke no English and who lived in comparative isolation in a tiny village in Japan, so clear and sure about Osho’s importance in this world, equating him with Buddha and Christ? And what existential force or knowledge directed her to leave her sanctuary, get on a plane and go to Poona to see Osho for an evening and then leave? It was a huge journey for such a frail old lady. This was all far beyond my understanding.” (Veena 2012, pp. 176-78)
Osho is talking on Maitreya the Buddha in No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity (1990). Chapter 4 and 5. Osho returns to Buddha Hall and resumes his discourses after a period of struggling with his poisoning. Gautam the Buddha knocked on his door and came back after twenty-five centuries.
“The hosting of the Maitreya produced many angry statements from Buddhist groups; even United Press International sent in a question asking if Osho had now become a Buddhist. The discourses started with new topics he wanted to discuss. This was then followed by a Zen story, a question by Maneesha, the jokes and the let-go meditation. In the beginning I was not particularly interested in the news. I would rather hear Zen stories and did not want to be reminded of the outside world, although from time to time I read Newsweek over a cup of coffee at the Blue Diamond hotel. But then, these answers to politicians and heads of religious groups were wake-up calls, not only for the recipients of the tirade but also for us. As far as I understood, the video recording of the discourses were then sent to the persons concerned…
He was fulfilling Buddha’s prophecy that he would come back as Maitreya the Buddha after twenty-five centuries. If more confirmation was needed, even a Japanese seeress and prophetess of an ancient Shinto shrine, Katsue Ishida, recognised Osho as Maitreya Buddha.” (Punya 2015, pp. 383,391)
On dropping Gautam or Maitreya the Buddha
“These four days I have been having a headache. I had not known it for thirty years, I had completely forgotten what it means to have a headache. Everything was impossible. He is so accustomed to his way, and that way is no longer relevant.
So now I make a far greater historical statement, that I am just myself.
You can continue to call me The Buddha, but it has nothing to do with Gautam the Buddha or Maitreya the Buddha. I am a buddha in my own right. The word ‘buddha’ simply means the awakened one.
It will be a great difficulty for poor Anando, because now I declare that my name should be Shree Rajneesh Zorba The Buddha.
I have to offer an apology to Katue Ishida, the seeress in an ancient Shinto shrine in Japan. I tried my hardest to accommodate a twenty-five centuries old, out-of-date individuality, but I am not ready to be in a self torture.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 5, p. 80.
Heading: Goodbye Gautama, Hello Zorba
“In the third and most significant in the series of historic declarations made this week in Rajneeshdham, Poona, Shree Rajneesh Zorba the Buddha declared last night that he was absolutely finished with all traditions, absolutely finished with all ideology and absolutely finished with all idiots who believe in traditions and ideologies.
“I am just myself,” he said. “You can continue to call me The Buddha, but it has nothing to do with Gautam The Buddha or Maitreya The Buddha. I am a buddha in my own right. The word ‘buddha’ simply means the awakened one. I declare that my name should be Shree Rajneesh Zorba The Buddha.”
Four days earlier, on December 26th, Zorba the Buddha declared that he had accepted the presence of Gautam the Buddha, thus fulfilling the prophecy made 2,500 years ago that Buddha would return to continue his work. But, stuck in the traditions of the past, Gautam Buddha proved unable to cope with the modern conveniences of the twentieth century. These four days have been of immense difficulty to me,” said Zorba The Buddha. “I had thought that Gautam Buddha would be understanding of the change of the times, but it was impossible. I tried my hardest, but he is so much disciplined in his own way – twenty-five centuries back. He has become a hard bone… Everything was impossible. He is so accustomed to his way. That way is no longer relevant.” (Press Release. Goodbye Gautama, Hello Zorba. Press Office, Rajneeshdham. 31.12.1988)
On dropping Gautam the Buddha
“My Beloved Ones, Geeta had to inform Katue Ishida, the seeress and the prophetess of one of the most ancient shrines of the Shinto religion in Japan. Geeta was a little concerned that she would be disturbed and shocked, but on the contrary. Ishida was immensely happy.
She said: “I have not only prophesied that Gautam Buddha would be entering your master’s being; I have also prophesied that just as Buddha himself changed his name four times, your master would also do the same.”
She said, “My only concern is your master’s health and his work. It does not matter whether Buddha remains in his being or not.”
I am immensely grateful to Ishida for understanding the situation with clarity.
Yes, it is true Gautam Buddha changed his name four times. And as I remember it, it was not worthy of him to do that. My change has taken me higher.
I found Buddha too old and too much fixed in his approach to life. Finally I dropped all concern with anyone. I have chosen my own name: Zorba the Buddha.
It has meaning, it is not just a name. It is my whole philosia; it is my whole vision, in which the lowest will meet with the highest, in which materialism and spiritualism will not be two separate and antagonistic things. That division has killed human spirit immensely. It has made man a battlefield, and I want man to be a dance, a harmony, a balance…
But I am not claiming to be a reincarnation. I am not claiming anything except that the wandering soul of Gautam Buddha has visited me for four days.
Tathagat, who is the in-charge of this commune – please write underneath “Gautam the Buddha Auditorium,” in brackets: “In the memory of his visitation for four days to this commune.” Before it and after it, it is not of mine concern.
And Maneesha, you should not use only the word ‘Buddha’. You should use my full name, “Zorba the Buddha.” That way, I am disconnected from every organized religion. I am just myself, and to be myself is not a sin.
I have my own approach to reality. I have said many times that Zorba is half, and Buddha is half. I am a whole human being. I accept the reality of the outer existence, and I love it. And I accept the reality of the inner world. To me, both are one.
Neither the inner can exist without the outer – what will be the meaning of the inner without the outer? – nor can the outer exist without the inner; they are two wings of a bird. Only with two wings the bird can fly across the sun in the vast sky of existence.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 6 & 10, pp. 94,186.
Call me Shree Rajneesh, no more Zorba the Buddha
“Shree Rajneesh declared on the night of January 7th in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium to thousands of friends gathered there that, “From now onwards nobody should be called bhagwan – neither Mahavira, nor Buddha, nor Krishna, nor Rama – nobody should be called bhagwan. It is abusive, ugly and obscene.”
Informing the assembly that he had received a newspaper editorial which accused him of creating his own dictionary because he explained the pornographic meaning of ‘bhagwan’, he said, “But the stupid editor does not produce any other meaning of the word from any dictionary. I challenge anybody to produce any other meaning of the word ‘bhag.’ It means vagina. I am not creating any dictionary; I am simply bringing to your notice the authentic meaning of the word.
Exposing the Indian fascination with the genital worship, he said, “You can see at any nook and corner of every city, the statue of Shivalinga; it is a phallic statue. The whole country goes on worshipping it, and nobody even wonders, ‘What are you worshipping?”
Later he spoke about the continuing controversy over his name Shree Rajneesh Zorba The Buddha. “All these few days I have been exposing Indian intelligence. I call myself Zorba The Buddha. But even that is hurting unintelligent people; they don’t understand the meaning of the word Zorba.”
“The Sri Lankan ambassador to America has written me a letter saying that I should not use the word “Buddha” with Zorba; it is insulting to Buddha. I wrote him: in the first place you don’t have any monopoly on the word ‘Buddha’. In the second place, anyone who is awakened has the right to call himself The Buddha.”
“I have denied even Gautam Buddha – because I don’t accept Gautam Buddha as a whole man. A man who is living only with the inner cannot be complete or perfect.”
“Zorba The Buddha is my philosophy. But if it hurts, I am helpless. I would like my editors not to put it even behind my name. I don’t want to irritate ignorant, blind, unintelligent people around the world… I renounce the whole world completely. Shree Rajneesh is enough to indicate towards me…
P.S. Our “short” way of referring to Him is “Our Beloved Master.”” (Press Release. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. 09.01.1989)
On his health and name change
“For seven weeks continuously I was witnessing a fire test. Each moment seemed to be the last, and each breath going out was not promising that it would be coming back. In those seven weeks, seven times my heart showed symptoms of failure…
But the seven weeks’ fire, the long night of the soul proved to be a blessing in disguise. It has purified me completely. And these five days of Gautam Buddha as Maitreya Buddha – that was his prophecy, that “My name after twenty-five centuries when I come back again, will be Maitreya the Buddha.
The Friend – Maitreya means “the friend.”
It was significant on his part. He was saying, the world of the gurus has ended. The world of the masters and disciples will not be relevant anymore. The master can function only in the capacity of a living friend. And the disciple has not to be a disciple, has not to surrender to anybody, he has just to listen to the Friend. It is up to him to decide, what to do or not. No discipline can be given, no dictation can be given.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 7, p. 118.
On Mehre Mehbub
“Maneesha has asked a question:
Beloved Zorba the Buddha, You address us as “My Beloved Friends.” Can we really be Your friends or do You call us such out of Your generosity of heart?
Maneesha, “generosity of heart” will be a humiliation to you, it will be insulting. When I call you my friends, I mean it.
I would have loved to call you something even better, but English does not have something better. Urdu has it: Mehre Mehbub – My Love, My Beloved One.
Remember the words – Mehre Mehbub.
I say to you, My Friends, My Lovers, My Beloved Ones. I mean it. It is not generosity of the heart. Do you understand me? Generosity of the heart will be insulting to you, and I cannot insult you in any way. I love you. Mehre Mehbub.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 10, p. 192.
On William James and his term ‘oceanic’
“In America, which has produced very few men who are worth quoting, one man is certainly significant, but seems to be almost forgotten. He is William James. He introduced this beautiful word ‘oceanic’. People have forgotten him and his word because very few people reach to that experience. But here everybody has to reach to the experience… from the dewdrop to the ocean. Unless you experience ‘oceanic’ yourself, spreading in all ten directions, in absolute freedom, you have not used the great opportunity of life.” Dogen. The Zen Master. A Search and a Fulfillment (1989). Chapter 2, p. 30.
Urban on name change
“From young Chandra Mohan Jain, he had morphed into Acharya Rajneesh and then into Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. And in the wake of the Oregon collapse, he appears to have been playing with a new series of identities and experimenting with various titles. Initially, he and his followers briefly toyed with the title of the future Buddha, who was prophesied to come for the end of this cosmic era, and Rajneesh was recognized as such by a Japanese seeress named Katue Ishida. Announcing that “the joke is over,” he dropped the title Bhagwan and briefly assumed the new name Gautama the Buddha. Thus, the Rajneesh Newspaper from November 1986 presented a series of articles under the headline “Buddha Merges into Bhagwan.” As Rajneesh put it, “My message and Gautama Buddha’s message are almost parallel – so parallel, so similar that it can be said that he was my vehicle or it can be said that I am his vehicle. Shortly after that, however, he explained that he was not to be called Gautam the Buddha himself but rather Maitreya – that is, the “friend” prophesied by the Buddha as his future representative:
I have to remind you of Gautam Buddha’s prophecy twenty-five centuries ago: “When I come again I will not be able to be born through a woman’s womb. I will have to take shelter in a man of similar consciousness… I will be called ‘The Friend.'”… Although he has taken shelter in men, I will not be called Gautam the Buddha. I will love to be called according to his prophecy: Maitreya the Buddha. Maitreya means “the friend.”
However, in keeping with his fluid, shifting, and protean nature, this was to be only “the first of four names,” which included Shree Rajneesh Zorba the Buddha, among others. In February 1989, he took the name Osho-Rajneesh and then in September 1989 simply the title Osho.” (Urban 2015, p. 141)
Heading: Twenty Thousand Hands Vote for “Osho Rajneesh”!
“In the last month since enlightened mystic Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh dropped the controversial honorific “Bhagwan” from his name and simply became Shree Rajneesh to his two million lovers around the world, a vacuum was felt in the thousands of hearts of his friends at Rajneeshdham, Poona. What to call their beloved enlightened spiritual master?
“It was a very difficult time,” admitted Ma Yoga Neelam, personal secretary to Rajneesh. “Ever since our beloved master exposed the ugliness of the word ‘Bhagwan’ and virtually condemned its use forever, we were all left in a bit of a gap.
To call our beloved master ‘Shree Rajneesh’ just sounded too formal and awkward, and yet to call him ‘Our Beloved Master’ also seemed too long, wordy and cumbersome. But in these last few days so many friends and lovers who have come here from around the world have been spontaneously and simultaneously calling Him “Osho” in their daily letters and questions that we finally all took a vote last night and twenty thousand hands immediately shot up into the air and confirmed the fact that our beloved master is now to be called – ‘Osho Rajneesh’!” (Press Release. Twenty Thousand Hands Vote for “Osho Rajneesh”! Sw Chaitanya Keerti. W.I./40. Subject: Osho 1. January 1989)
“At long last a complete break with the Hindu tradition came in dropping “Bhagwan Shree” from his name. The break with the Buddhist tradition in dropping the short-lived names of Gautama the Buddha (and his ghost) and Zorba the Buddha. Now he is Osho Rajneesh, free of any tradition. Osho is a Japanese word for a master teacher of meditation.” (Gussner 1993, p. 54)
Heading: Our Beloved Master, Rajneesh!
“For a few days Our Beloved Master has been resting, so in the evenings we enjoy meditating listening to a video discourse and live music. Our Beloved Master is in good health; this is only a period of rest. Also, His name has been changed again – now it is just Rajneesh for the outside world. Many letters had been written to Him by sannyasins asking if they could use the name “Osho” to refer to Him when talking amongst ourselves. Yesterday Anando gave us the message that it’s fine to use this name – which is a Japanese word which monks use to address their master. It is a word which is often used in the Zen sutras which He has been commenting on the last few months. In discourses He will still be addressed as “Our Beloved Master.” (Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 25.02.1989)
Heading: Announcement of September 12
“Last evening before video discourse, Anando announced: “Osho will be coming out in a day or two. He has asked me to tell you that ‘a new man will be facing you who will no longer be known as Rajneesh. He will simply be called Osho.”” (Yes Osho (Digital), 21.09.1989)
Heading: Stop Press
“September 12. Osho announced that He would be coming out again in the next few days. He said: “You will be facing a new man who will no longer be known as Rajneesh but simply as Osho.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:19)
Heading: STOP PRESS
“Osho has moved back to His old room. The magnificent new room built for Him in Chuang Tzu will now be used for Deprogramming, Mystic Rose and No Mind.” (Yes Osho (Digital), 21.09.1989)
Heading: Rajneesh Disappears Without Trace
“For the world’s orthodox leaders there is some good news and bad news from Poona. First, the good news: Shree Rajneesh, the iconoclast and maverick mystic – who somehow survived being poisoned with thallium and blasted with radiation by the Reagan Administration – has suddenly disappeared without a trace.
Now, the bad news: you can’t keep a good man down. The mystic has disappeared in name only. He is alive and well, but from now on will be known simply as “Osho.”
The announcement was made by one of his personal secretaries, who told a gathering of disciples: “Osho will be coming out in a few days. And he said that when he does come, ‘A new man will be facing you who will no longer be known as Rajneesh. He will simply be called Osho.'”
Osho dropped the title “Bhagwan” earlier this year. Subsequently, his disciples asked him to accept the word “Osho” as a new form of address, which he did, while still keeping his name – “Rajneesh.” Now that name has also gone.
The recent flurry of changes in the Osho Commune in Poona has created a new atmosphere of excitement and uncertainty. In addition to the changes in Osho’s name, disciples recently began to wear maroon robes in the commune during the day, and white robes during evening darshan.” (Press Release. Rajneesh Disappears Without Trace. Ma Prem Hasya. 15.09.1989)
Lacie: Ranch R150989
Fig. 11. Press Release. 15.09.1989. Rajneesh Times International has the announcement in the issue from 12.09.1989.
Reparere hjørne top th?
Satya Vedant writes on the meaning of Osho
“The first major misunderstanding is the meaning of Osho. Throughout his 59 years he was addressed in different ways, and finally a little over a year before his death, he announces that he was dropping all his names and would like to be addressed as “the beloved friend.” Then later, when the people around him found this too difficult, he offers to accept the name “Osho,” if everyone “votes” for it. Strangely, none of us who did “vote” stopped to ask why we could not accept his original wish.
The only comments we have from him about this are the following. First he transforms a Zen Shout, like the traditional “Kwatz” from his own unique “Yaa-Hoo” to “Osho.” A device to help find the hara, our center. Then he is asked to give a name to the new pyramidal building being constructed on the campus where he was then living in the Osho Meditation Resort, in Pune, India. “Osho” he replies. “Osho House” says the secretary as she writes this down. “No,” he replies, “Osho.” Then, in reference to what to put on the books which had been transcribed from his talks, and which now had the “wrong” name on, he dictates that “his name is derived from William James’ word ‘oceanic’ which means dissolving into the ocean. Oceanic describes the experience, he says, but what about the experiencer? For that we use the word “osho.” And finally, he later makes the comment in his room that Osho “was not his name, but a healing sound derived from William James’s oceanic.”
What is the relevance of all this you might ask. Well, the more you listen to what he is actually saying, the more you discover that he has carefully anticipated a time when he would no longer be present, a time when the traditional ideas of a “dead Indian guru or master who leaves his disciples behind” would naturally be projected onto his work…
And perhaps most penetrating, he specifically deals with how he would like to be remembered: “I would simply like to be forgiven and forgotten. There is no need to remember me. The need is to remember yourself! People have remembered Gautam Buddha and Jesus Christ and Confucius and Krishna. That does not help. So what I would like: forget me completely, and forgive me too – because it will be difficult to forget me. That’s why I am asking you to forgive me for giving you the trouble.
“And don’t be bothered about historians and all kinds of neurotic people – they will do their thing. It is none of our concern at all.”
And on another occasion when asked whether he would like to be remembered, as a mystic, a spiritual leader, a philosopher? He replies, “Just a nobody. I would like it to be as if I have never been.”” (Joshi 2017, p. 296)
Satya Vedant writes on Brahman and the ocean
“The very idea of transformation or reincarnation, which has a distinct place in the Hindu as well as Jain and Buddhist religions, sees life in its dynamic form. Again, applying the cyclic view, death in their vision is not the end of life. Death is not the other end of birth, but a temporary respite for life to start with new energy and new beginning. In yet another poetic view, Brahman is seen as the ever present ocean and all life forms as waves emanating from the ocean and again merging into it. The emerging of waves and their re-absorption keep the fullness, the Wholeness of the ocean intact, unaffected, undiminished. Brahman in this sense, according to the sutra, is “purnam”, the Full, the Whole. Hence irrespective of the manifold manifestations, fullness, are sustained through its dynamic process of growth and then are re-absorbed into the fullness, the energetic presence of the oceanic Brahman.” (Joshi 2000, p. 78)
Aveling writes on the final phase
“The year 1988 marked the abrupt beginning of the final phase of Rajneesh’s work (Sam 1997, 208-209). New “chaotic” meditations were introduced (“the mystic rose,” “no mind,” and “born again”) From then on, he expressed his core teachings exclusively through the idiom of Japanese Zen – speaking on some 28 teachers in all, according to one count (Sam 1997, 209). Rajneesh rejected the title Bhagwan on Dec 26, 1988 as being “a very ugly word” referring to the human genitals, and adding, “Enough is enough. The joke is over” (Osho Rajneesh 1989a, 7, 232-233). In this same discourse, he claimed that “my body has become a vehicle for Gautam Buddha” (Osho Rajneesh 1989a, 4). Over the next few days, Rajneesh called himself “The Beloved Friend,” “Beloved Buddha”,” “Bhante,” and “Shree Rajneesh Zorba the Buddha” (Osho Rajneesh 1989a, 7,10,29,81,234), finally announcing on December 30 that he was a buddha but not the historic Buddha. His being a buddha was confirmed by Katue Ishida, “a very famous seeress and prophetess from Japan”, to whom he dedicated the book No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity “with great love and blessings” (Osho Rajneesh 1989a, 5).” (Harry Aveling. In: Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism. 2015)
Amrito on the sound Osho
“That sound will indicate towards me. Osho is not my name. It is a healing sound, a mantra.” It’s like Ziggy Stardust… changing identities… deconstruction. “The vital bit of my work cannot happen in my presence, because that very presence is a distraction to people. There’s going to be a jump from my presence to my absence.” (Amrito. From interview. Poona. 31.07.2001)
Photo 28. Osho at podium in Buddha Hall.
Short introduction to Sarlo’s research on name change
“But – and there’s a big but – as Sarlo’s research went deeper, questions about the authenticity of this statement [Osho derived from ‘oceanic’] arose. In particular, he found that nowhere in his discourses had Osho connected the word ‘oceanic’ with ‘Osho’.
However, during the Diamond Thunderbolt Zen discourse series, preceding Osho’s name change period by some five months, the word ‘Osho’ was mentioned numerous times in the Zen anecdotes and through another mysterious twist in the story it was remembered that Osho said the words Osho and Nivedano together in one of the let-go evening meditations, a day after he had spoken on the term.
Asked about this, Nivedano recalled that after he had heard in discourse that ‘Osho’ is the most respectful and sacred way for a disciple to address a master, he sent a letter to Osho the next day and addressed him as beloved Osho instead of beloved Bhagwan. Which was met with a bit of resistance at first but in the end the letter reached Osho with this salutation and Nivedano continued addressing Osho in that way until Osho declared that henceforth he was to be called solely by that name.” (www.oshonews.com/2015/07/09)
(Note: Research on name change done by Sarlo, Sugit and Rudra. More on this issue to be found at www.sannyas.wiki).
Vidya on name change
“Always ascribing its actions to “guidance from Osho” and sugar-coating its communication with the public and with Osho’s followers, OIF says on its webside Osho.info that when Osho “renounced all his former names in 1989, he requested that he should be known simply as ‘Osho’ and that no reference to former names should be made. “Likewise, it said as early as 1989, Osho stated that “he did not want his Pune place to be called ‘ashram'”. Known as Osho Commune International till 2001, it was renamed OSHO International Meditation Resort thereafter.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 210)
“The name ‘Bhagwan’ which Osho had adopted thirty or so years earlier – to spite the Hindus who give this title to Gods, as to ‘Lord Krishna’ – was dropped the day Maitreya had come. Maneesha had to adapt her script from moment to moment to address him correctly as Beloved Buddha, then Zorba the Buddha when the Maitreya left, then Beloved Master and later Osho. In the past we had been curious to see what colour robe he was wearing for discourse; now we were curious about what name Maneesha was going address him with…
And the shouted greeting at the beginning and end of the discourses changed from ‘Yaa-hoo!’ to ‘Osho!’, reverberating around the dark neighbourhood for a mile at least.” (Punya 2015, pp. 383,384)
Om Mani Padme Hum. The Sound of Silence. The Diamond in the Lotus (1989) in the Mantra series was the first title by Osho to be published under his 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
Sloterdijk, German professor and philosopher, writes on Osho
“The truth is most probably that the world of enlightenment games too has been affected by mediatization, and the appearance of performance talents among the teachers of well-tempered impossibility was only a matter of time. No guru’s life from the last decades demonstrates this shift more clearly than that of the Indian enlightenment preacher and sect founder Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (1931-90), alias Osho, who, despite his controversial status, constitutes – along with Ramana Maharshi, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Sri Aurobindo Gosh – the fourth figure of Indian spirituality in the twentieth century whose aura emanated across the world. His exceptional standing is clearest in the adoption of Western performance techniques among the forms of spiritual instruction, which were otherwise steeped in pious routine. Like a Duchamp of the spiritual field, he transformed all the relevant traditions into religious playthings and mystical ready-makes. It was not least a testament to his lucidity that, at the pinnacle of his success, he turned himself into a ready-made and, showing a clear awareness of the change in the zeitgeist, distanced himself from his Hinduizing past. As he recognized just in time, this past was tied too strongly to the mentality wave of Euro-American post-1968 romanticism. In assuming the Japanese-tinged name Osho in 1989 – ‘the joke is over’ – he quick-wittedly connected to the recently developed neo-liberal Buddhaphile mood in the West and invented a label for himself with a promising future. This gesture announced that in the field of gurucentered antropotechnics too, the age of re-branding had begun.” (Sloterdijk 2013, pp. 180-81)
– A Brief Chronology of the Name Changes of Osho. Factsheet 1996. 3 pages. In Appendix.
– The name changes in late December 1988 are reported in: Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 02.01.1989.
– From Bhagwan to Osho: The Story; at sannyas.wiki
– What’s in a Name?; at sannyas.wiki
– From Bhagwan to Osho: Publications table; at sannyas.wiki.
7.12 Declining Health
Beyond any doubt Osho’s health was severely affected by the events during his incarceration in USA in late 1985. In several discourse series during Poona Two he is talking on those days, and we’ll see how his ability to come to Buddha Hall and meet his people is becoming increasingly disrupted until in April 1989 he puts an end to his many years of public discourses. Discourses twice daily had become once daily in the evening, and later on his silent satsangs with his disciples was to be reduced to a brief greeting from the podium before he returned to his privacy.
Discourses and health
“From his arrival in Poona in early 1987, Osho was to have increasingly frequent periods of illness, of increasingly longer duration, so he was unable to attend many evening meetings in which to give discourse. Even so, he spoke an astonishing forty-eight books from the beginning of 1987 to April of 1989.
Faced with the symptoms that Osho was suffering – hair loss, paralysis or spastic paralysis of the facial muscles, with eye twitching, an unsteady gait, painful extremities, persistent muscular weakness, and persistent lack of resistance to minor infections – Devaraj realized that “The whole picture of two years of chronic illness suddenly pointed to something more sinister: Osho’s health had deteriorated only after his incarceration by the US government.” Had Osho in fact been deliberately poisoned? All his symptoms coincided with those typical of thallium poisoning…
In late 1989 Osho was experiencing unremitting pain in his ears, mouth, neck and shoulders. It was possible that the source of this pain was his teeth, and thus he began to undergo extensive dental work. According to Devageet, his dentist, X-rays of Osho’s teeth indicated a picture characteristic of radio-active necrosis. This is a process that may be set in motion by the administration of radio-active cobalt therapy for facial cancer. Devageet came to the conclusion that Osho’s X-rays suggested that he had suffered from some form of radiation. A maxillo-facial surgeon, Dr. Darius Mody, of Poona, endorsed Devageet’s opinion.
So it seems possible that Osho was subjected both to thallium poisoning and radiation while in the custody of the US marshals. In addition, perhaps an as yet undiscovered other means of harming him was used. Clearly, if there was an intention to harm Osho while he was in jail in America, the method used would be such that evidence would be either undetectable, or at least so obscured as to make firm, conclusive proof difficult to obtain.” (Forman 2002, pp. 418-419)
(Note: Osho’s local physician in Poona One was Dr. Sardesai)
Heading: Wise Man’s Wisdom Tooth Reveals Radiation Sickness
“Independent observations by a consultant oral surgeon support Osho Rajneesh’s assertion that he was deliberately poisoned while being held in jail by the Reagan Administration in the USA.
The latest proof emerged after what was to have been a straightforward extraction of one of Rajneesh’s wisdom teeth by his dentist, Swami Devageet. Following the extraction, the wound failed to heal properly, causing the mystic severe and continuous pain for eight days.
A senior oral surgeon, Dr. D. Modi of Poona, was consulted and observed that, on the radiographic evidence offered, Rajneesh appeared to be suffering from an altered bone reaction to healing similar to that seen in radiated bone.
“The healing incapacity of Osho Rajneesh’s bone is similar to certain kinds of radiation sickness. The body’s capacity to heal itself has been severely undermined so that even a simple surgical procedure has resulted in a potentially life-threatening situation,” Dr. Modi stated. His observations were based on x-ray and other clinical evidence.
Oral surgeons learn to recognize bone-healing difficulties caused by radiation because x-ray therapy is commonly used as a cure for certain forms of skin cancer on the face, which adversely affect bones in the mouth.
Ma Anando, Rajneesh’s personal secretary, said: “Our suspicions that Osho was poisoned in an American jail are being proved correct. The medical evidence is overwhelming: the way Osho suddenly began to suffer from increased hair loss, chronic bone pain, and an inability to heal properly, all point to either thallium or radiation poisoning, or possible both.
“When you add the fact that Osho’s whereabouts was concealed by US federal agents while he was under arrest, and that he was incarcerated in Oklahoma under a false name, you have a very strong indication that he was deliberately poisoned,” she added.” (Press Release. Wise Man’s Wisdom Tooth Reveals Radiation Sickness. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. 04.09.1989. This statement is certified as medically accurate by Dr. D. Modi and Sw Devageet)
Discourses at stand by
“For the first time since I had been with Osho He began missing discourses. Some days He would be too weak to come and speak to us. He developed pains in His joints that made it impossible for Him to do anything but lie in bed all day. I had seen Osho in situations that proved He could be completely detached from pain, for instance. having a tooth extracted, and that same day coming to give a two-hour discourse. On another occasion He was having an injection into the shoulder joint, after a massage with Anubuddha, one of the body workers in the ashram…
In November 1987 Osho contracted what normally would be a simple ear infection, but which took nearly two and a half month to resolve, with repeated troublesome injections of antibiotics and local surgery by a Pune ear surgeon. It was at this time that His doctors were alerted to the possibility that He had been poisoned.
Samples of Osho’s blood, hair and urine, together with X-rays and His medical history, were sent to London for examination by pathologists and experts. After detailed and exhaustive tests, it was their opinion that the symptoms from which Osho had been suffering since being incarcerated by the US Government were consistent only with poisoning by a heavy metal such as thallium.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 248)
Speaking on his health in October 1988
“Maneesha, first I have to express my apology to you that I could not join you in your dance. The whole credit goes to President Ronald Reagan. For no reason at all he dragged me through six jails in twelve days; I thought it was sheer torture. But as symptoms of poison started appearing in my body, experts in England examined every possible kind of poison that may have been given to me.
And they found one poison which is a category in itself. It is the only poison that disappears and cannot be found either in the blood or in any other way except in the symptoms. And that poison, given in a big dose, kills man immediately.
That made it clear to me why I was dragged through six jails. It was to give the poison in small doses so it would not kill me immediately, but would take years to destroy my body from inside.
I have almost overcome the poison. Just in my hands, 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.
But the pain is not the problem for me. The problem is: if I continue then perhaps I may have to stop speaking. So it is better to let this pain settle. I hope soon I will be joining with you again.
It would have been good if Ronald Reagan had killed me completely; that would have been a great credit to Christianity and to American democracy.
But he has poisoned me through his administration in such a way that I will remain crucified for years. I am saving all my energy just for these two hours in the evening; otherwise, I am lying down in the darkness.
For me it does not matter whether death comes at this moment or the next, my purpose is fulfilled, my dance is complete. I am just lingering around for you to join with me in the great matter of enlightenment.
So I thought it is better not to put too much stress on the hands; you can understand even my unmoving hands and their gestures. But I would like you to continuously dance before I come and to continue the celebration when I leave the podium. I hope that with your love the poison will be defeated and I will be able to dance with you, to celebrate with you….
There is every evidence that from the whole body the poison has disappeared. Just in the hands it is there. It will have to disappear from the hands too, because you cannot destroy an innocent man; existence would not allow it. But I have to be a little careful now about the hands.
Why have they not been able to silence me? Truth cannot be silenced, neither love nor joy. But this is the stupid thing, for centuries people have been doing that: they killed Socrates by poison, but his voice is still ringing in the ears and in the hearts of those who want to understand the deepest meanings of life; they crucified Jesus, but that has not made any difference, in fact it gave a tremendous importance to his teachings.
I want to remind you that whether I am here or not, the celebration has to continue. If I am not here, then it has to be more intense and it has to spread around the world.
Celebration is my religion.
Love is my message.
Silence is my truth.”
Nansen. The Point of Departure (1990). Chapter 10, pp. 181,183.
On his health, 26.12.1988
“Maneesha has asked:
We have heard You have been very sick. Would You like to talk about it?
No, Maneesha. Being sick is enough. To talk about it is being more sick. And remember, my body can be sick, I am never sick. I watch everything, whatever happens. I will watch my death as I watched my life, and that’s my simple teaching to you.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 1, p. 13.
Heading: Osho’s Medical History 1987-1990. By Sw Prem Amrito.
After the already well-documented medical problems of His world tour in 1986, Osho arrived in Poona in early 1987, and during that year had to stop speaking eight times because of ill health. Still, He managed to give public discourses for most of the year…
During 1988 He was forced to stop speaking twelve times, and yet He managed to speak for much of the year…
By the end of February He was too exhausted to continue speaking. More eye problems followed. He now felt weaker than at any previous time. The wide range of treatments that had seemed to help earlier now seemed only to exacerbate His condition.
On April 2 Osho attempted to begin discourses again, but on April 10 He left the hall abruptly, unable to continue. He said He felt terrible. His final words of His last discourse were: “The last word of Buddha was sammasati. Remember you are a buddha – sammasati.”…
On May 19 He sent a public message to His people that He felt that He was not going to be able to speak again regularly as He had done in the past. He never spoke in public again…
Then Osho came out to sit silently with His disciples for the last period of time. He asked for a liquids-only diet, which He continued until He left His body. He was so weak and in such pain that He felt only staying in bed all day would allow Him enough strength to be with His people for twenty minutes in the evening…
By January 17 the pain was so great that He decided that He could come only to namaste His people. He could not remain even for the whole twenty minutes.
On January 18 He was unable to do even that.
On January 19 He left His body.”
(Osho Times International (India), 1990:7. Full text of Osho’s medical history is in: Appendix / Poona II)
“But Osho was getting increasingly weak. He stopped discourses in the morning and instead had massage sessions with Anubuddha and Japanese Ananda. He still came to speak to us in the evenings though.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 253)
Vaidya on Shunyo
“In the last three months of his life – from mid-October 1989 onwards – Shunyo was asked to leave Lao Tzu House and stopped being his caretaker. She was replaced by Anando. After this, Shunyo saw him only in the Buddha Hall. From here on till Osho’s death, Anando served as Osho’s caretaker “while Amrito stayed close to Osho day and night.”” (Vaidya 2017, p 101)
“Osho’s shoulders start hurting and He gets an ear infection and again He stops coming out. The ear specialist who is treating Osho is confused when he finds that all his treatment has no positive results. Osho’s blood is then taken to the West for a thorough check and it shows that He has been poisoned in the American jails.
His eyes are getting weaker every day and He can’t stand any light. After many days He does come back to Buddha Hall but with glasses. He looks more beautiful with glasses to me but I miss looking into His beautiful oceanic eyes.
I notice Osho’s body is shrinking every day. He is loosing weight and feeling more weak. He has to stop speaking again and again because of His ill health. Lately Osho is not meeting anybody except His caretaker and doctor.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 131)
Azima on Amrito
“Amrito was a doctor, but in recent years he had only one patient, namely Osho. He was the most rigid of the Anglo-Saxons in the house of the Master and there wasn’t much point in talking to him because he always thought he was right. More than conversing, he was imposing decisions with which you couldn’t argue. Even though I respected him for his work in taking care of the Master, there was no way for me to agree with Amrito about the practice of medicine. In fact, his whole approach to life was diametrically opposite to mine.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 304)
Meera writes on new walkway
“About three quarters of the way through the training, I send the whole group into the Lao Tzu walk-way for three days to paint watercolor in that rare and precious atmosphere. Lao Tzu House, you may remember, is the house where Osho lived from 1974 until 1990, not counting the six years he was in the United States and traveling around the world.
In the last few years, when he was frail and often sick, Osho’s personal staff wanted to find ways to keep him healthy, particularly to encourage him to exercise, as he was a notoriously lazy man and would sit for hours in his room, eyes closed, doing nothing. He moved so little that even a very expensive, self-winding watch that he kept on his wrist would stop because he didn’t move enough to stimulate its delicate mechanism.
His doctors wanted him to walk every day, so a group of sannyasins constructed a long, narrow, marble-floored walkway, that weaved its way through the dense jungle of Lao Tzu garden. Osho loved the feeling of being surrounded by trees, plants and creepers, all growing wildly and freely, so his garden really was, and still is, a real jungle.
The walkway was accessed through a door in Osho’s dining room and was about fifty meters long, enclosed with glass on both sides and on the roof, with air conditioning units strategically placed at intervals along the way. It was a perfect, sealed environment with a gorgeous view of the garden, ideal for a morning or evening walk.
Osho, I think, walked it about twice – maybe only once – and then resumed his habit of sitting in his chair, doing nothing. He then invited the sannyasin community to use the walkway as a place for silent meditation courses like Vipassana and Zazen, and this practice had continued ever since.
For me, the place is pure magic: very silent and cool, filled with the vibe of meditation, with a fabulous all-round outlook onto the green jungle of Osho’s garden: a painter’s paradise. So, every year, I send the training participants into the walkway to experience a synthesis of art and meditation, painting and silence.” (Meera 2017, p. 233)
Aveling on Osho’s passing
“When Osho passed away, his disciples insisted that he was suffering from radiation poisoning received while he was being held in American prison. He told V. Joshi in June 1989, “They destroyed my dream! They tried to destroy my body. I feel pain in my bones. My whole body is on fire! It will take nine years for the poison to go away” (Joshi 2010, 220).” (Harry Aveling. In: Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism. 2015)
Dr Azima on Osho’s health
“For many months, Osho received the bio-resonance treatments in order to strengthen his immune system, and also the Indumed treatments for pains in his back and shoulders. However, he never recovered from the thallium and radiation to which, we suspected, his body had been subjected while in jail.
Dr Gerard and I shared the same hypothesis: that Osho had been irradiated by radioactive seeds with long frequencies that penetrated his body without leaving any trace of their biochemical component. In keeping with this diagnosis, Osho’s organism started to progressively degenerate on the left side of his body, starting from the shoulder, arms and neck, then extending to the face, especially the jaw and inner ear.
In the course of the last year, he was operated on by two great Indian surgeons: Dr Jyog for his ear problem and Dr Modi for his jaw. They were called in because his bones had been infected, producing a breeding ground for disease that expanded rapidly and damaged nerve fibres, provoking strong pains. Maybe there was also an old diabetic component, a disease that is widespread among Indians, especially the well-off, which facilitated the spread of the infections. In any case, after his time in America, Osho’s body started to degenerate in the bones on one side of the body.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 324)
Rashid Maxwell on poisoning
“Most sannyasins were elated to be back with Osho. Large numbers of Americans had stayed away. Perhaps they had not made the leap in sannyas that requires a total inner let-go. For gradually the tale emerged of how Osho had been hounded round the world by agents of the CIA and how the countries that had welcomed him had been either bribed or pressured by the US State Department into taking back his visa. The US press, by and large, followed the party line with lurid imaginations and clichés about cults. As far as we were concerned Christianity had been a cult since Jesus died; we at least had a living enlightened master…
Gradually the twice daily discourses became once daily and then Osho started missing days altogether. We heard that his body was in constant pain. His hair was going white and falling out. His teeth were breaking up. He had been poisoned. It was deduced when and where he could have been exposed to radio-active isotopes and dosed with a slow acting poison called lithium, said to be favourite option of the CIA for those they wish to dispose of anonymously. After his illegal arrest on a trivial charge Osho had been denied bail and them transported to Portland Oregon by a circulation route from jail to jail.” (Maxwell 2012, p. 219)
“All of us living with Osho had many different roles in the commune. My main work was guiding Dynamic Meditation, teaching Yoga, Rebalancing and CranioSacral Balancing. Another important turning-point in my comprehension and awareness of how meditation and touch can be joined together happened for me when Osho asked me to tune in to his own energy field and function as his personal touch-based ‘doctor’ to see what could be done for the overall health of his body. In 1988, I gave him about a hundred and fifty individual sessions, each one unique, over a nine-month period. I also used a variety of electro-magnetic acupuncture devices with him such as the ‘Mora Machine’, ‘Indu-Med’ and ‘Bi-Com’ high frequency inventions.” (Anubuddha. In: Svagito 2014, p. 41)
Punya on Osho’s body
“Osho had started wearing sunglasses. His eyes must have been hurting, I thought, but I missed not seeing his eyes and missed not knowing where he was looking. Maybe he was looking at me? I felt him to be more distant and paid more attention to his words. Also his gestures, which had been as expressive as his face, had become minimal because a bone in his hand was hurting and impeded movement. He had even stopped crossing his legs after sitting down, something we had seen him do for so many years. All the robes he wore now were black with tiny decorations in gold. These fitted well with the Zen discourses.” (Punya 2015, p. 380)
Devageet writes in February 1988
“Time is running out for Bhagwan’s body. He is the last one to get serious or long-faced about such a small thing, nor should we. But the facts are there. He has been ill for much of this year, and these latest discourses have the special quality of laughter in the face of illness. Biology has no hold over this man. His pilgrimage has long finished. His laughter rings out among the stars, and heaven help the saints when He comes marching in.” (The Great Pilgrimage (1988). Introduction)
On the brink of death
“These seven weeks I have been lying in darkness almost the whole day and night, silently witnessing the body and keeping my consciousness unshadowed by anything. I was struggling with death. It was a fight between death and your love. And you should celebrate that your love has been victorious. This time Jesus has been crucified in America by Christians themselves.” Jesus Crucified Again (1988). Part III, Chapter Four, p. 212.
Osho on various poisons in question
“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. It was a simple thing; according to the best expert available here, Dr. Jog, it cures in four days at the most – but it continued for seven weeks. He has never come across such a case in his life. He could not believe it, because no medicine was working. He tried all kinds of medicines, all kinds of ointments. Finally he had to do an operation, but then the wound of the operation was not healing. Doctor Devageet thought perhaps it was something to do with my teeth – he is my dental surgeon – but nothing was found.
My personal physician, Dr. Amrito, immediately informed all sannyas doctors around the world and asked them to contact the best experts about poisoning, because his own analysis was that unless I have been poisoned there is no possibility to explain why my body has lost all resistance. And as this idea became stronger in his mind, step by step he started searching into the matter and he found all the symptoms that can happen only if some kind of poison has been given to me…
And one of the doctors, Dr. Dhyan Yogi, immediately took my blood samples, urine samples, samples of my hair, and went to England, to Germany, to the best experts. The European experts suggest that after two years there is no poison which can be detected in the body, but all the symptoms show that a certain poison has been given.
No resistance against disease, falling weight without any reason, hair becoming white before its time, hair falling out without any reason, tingling sensations in the extremities, loss of appetite, tastelessness, nausea, the bone pain in my right hand…
One of the experts, a doctor from Germany had come twice to check my bone; he could not figure out what kind of disease it is – because there is no disease. The expert here – Dr. Hardikar, a man who loves me – has been here continuously watching for three months and has not been able to figure out why this pain should be there.
The European experts in England and Germany have suggested a name of a certain poison, thalium. It is a poison of a family of poisons of heavy metals. It disappears from the body in eight weeks’ time, but leaves its effect and destroys the body’s resistance against diseases. And all the symptoms that I have told you are part of thalium poisoning.
The American experts have suggested a different poison which they think has been used by governments against rebellious individuals. The name of the poison is synthetic heroin. It is one thousand times more dangerous than ordinary heroin. All the symptoms are the same as with thalium, but the poison is more dangerous and after two years there is no possibility to find any trace of it in the body.
The Japanese experts, who have been working in Hiroshima and Nagasaki on atomic radioactivity, have suggested that these symptoms can also be created in a more sophisticated way by radioactive exposure – either while I was asleep, or food can be exposed to radioactivity and there is no way to find any trace of it…
Dr. Amrito’s own research… is about a fourth, very uncommonly used poison. The name of the poison is fluorocarbon. This poison disappears immediately. Even within minutes, you cannot find any trace in the blood, in the urine, but all these symptoms indicate towards it.
It does not matter which poison has been given to me, but it is certain that I have been poisoned by Ronald Reagan’s American government.” Jesus Crucified Again (1988). Part III, Chapter Four, pp. 212,213,216,217. Poona, 06.11.1987.
Madhuri writes in The Poona Poems
“To People Who Say, “What will you do when He’s gone?”
Would you rather die
after a life impoverished
scrabbling at grey crusts
on a dirty, grudging table
or would you rather die
after a life lived swimming
lucent, tropic seas
eating each fruit
loving bodies silky, gladly given?
A life of many houses, various
and opulent, where occupants,
guests and servants
change roles all day till they are dizzy,
and fall down laughing?
And where a light burns to welcome you
home from your wanders
in the green and sturdy hills?
…and the stretchings
into ever-new endeavours
which challenge and delight you
So that at the final moment
the wind gutters
candle-flame of joy
(Madhuri 2017, p. 140)
Mistlberger on Osho’s health and nitrous oxide abuse
“Osho’s death was not entirely sudden – his health had been declining since 1987 when an ear infection spread and caused him to become seriously ill, revealing that his immune system had deteriorated – but it still came as a surprise, and indeed a shock, to his many followers. When he passed away in his Pune ashram on January 19, 1990, he had only just turned fifty-eight the month before. He was not an old man, despite his long wispy white beard and archetypal wizardly grandfather appearance… What was found – and anyone can confirm this for themselves with a bit of research – was that Osho’s symptoms more closely matched those of nitrous oxide abuse than they did of thallium poisoning…
Several other factors have been taken into account in this mix: Osho had been diabetic for many years, always had immune system problems (he was frail, asthmatic, and had several allergies), and, last but not least, he had been subjected to enormous stresses during and after the Oregon debacle…
As his health declined alarmingly in January of 1990, just a few days before he died, he claimed that he was being attacked by a type of mantra being used by one or more people sitting in the main hall where he sat with his disciples during the evening. In effect, he claimed that a kind of black magic – the same ‘evil forces’ used by Goshalak against Mahavira – was being used against him. He would ultimately declare that the CIA was behind it. His caretaker disciples did what they could to search for and find the perpetrators, standing and sitting in various strategic places during the evening meetings, to try and flush out the person or persons doing this. Predictably, no one was found, and Osho, seeing how the whole issue was upsetting his people decided to suddenly drop the matter.” (Mistlberger 2010, pp. 376,378,382)
Anando on media turmoil, AIDS rumor and agent provocateur
“Two days after Bhagwan’s story [Discourse 06.11.1987] appeared in the Indian press new headlines screamed out that Bhagwan was not poisoned but was suffering from AIDS. The source of the story, which was published in newspapers all over the world, was a press release written and hand delivered to all the major Bombay newspapers and wire services by a young doctor, I.S. Gilada. Gilada had written in his press statement that he was an AIDS expert, and he had signed it as “Secretary-General of the Indian Health Organization.”…
Inquiries about the author of the “AIDS” press release proved very interesting. Dr. Gilada was a small-time, low-ranking medical officer who worked in the skin department of a large government hospital in Bombay. He was a mere MBBS from Aurangabad College who had failed his MD examination five times…
Gilada was, however, very enterprising in other areas. A few years before he had formed the Indian Health Organization, of which he was the sole member, officer and employee. But he had printed up very elaborate letterhead which displayed the symbol of the World Health Organization – implying that his “organization” was somehow affiliated with that body. Inquiries to officers of the W.H.O. however, revealed that they had never heard of the I.H.O., and were certainly not associated with it in any way…
Another interesting discovery was that Dr. Gilada had, only a few weeks before he issued the press release, been on a short trip to the U.S.A., funded by a U.S. “donation” to his I.H.O.
So Gilada had American connections, and he had a history of being a paid “agent provocateur”… the perfect person to spearhead a campaign to discredit Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and to make sure Bhagwan’s accusations against the U.S. government faded into obscurity. Whether the idea of using the AIDS rumor was Gilada’s or his backers is irrelevant. The fact is that he moved very quickly, very efficiently, and very very effectively. The size and the extent of the operation showed that it could not possibly have been the work of one man. (The story appeared in every major newspaper throughout India and the world).
The only people who could have had any investment in burying the story of the U.S. government’s poisoning attempts were agents of the U.S. government. The fact that they moved so quickly and effectively to quash Bhagwan’s accusations says much about the validity of those accusations.” (Sue Appleton. In: Jesus Crucified Again (1988). Part IV, Chapter Five, pp. 276-278)
Quote from Osho
“We are not the body, the mind or the emotions. Human beings are rooted in existence itself. We are part of the beyond, but we have forgotten our roots.” (Devageet 2013, p. 195)
Anando writes on Osho’s health after 1985
“4. That entire day (November 7th) and for the following days, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh suffered from severe nausea, headache, and loss of appetite. His weight had dropped from 150 pounds prior to his arrest to 140 pounds. He was released from the Portland jail on the evening of November 8th, and had spent the following week under medical care at his home…
6. Over the following two years his weakened body succumbed to one minor disease after another. Barely six weeks at a time would pass without discourses being canceled because he had caught some cold or other ailment. Sometime during this period he noticed that he had lost much of his hair, and that what remained had turned totally white. He also found that his eyesight had deteriorated to the point where he could no longer read books, and he began to suffer aching arm and shoulder joints that inexplicably refused to respond to treatment.
7. In September, 1987, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh developed an ear infection. It was immediately treated by an ear, nose and throat specialist who advised it would heal within seven days. It took forty-seven days, and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh almost died in the process.
8. Alarmed his doctors realized they were dealing with more than just an aging body which was taking time to recover from rough treatment at the hands of the US marshals. They took samples of Bhagwan’s hair, blood, urine, and x-rays of his bones, to the best forensic laboratory in Harley Street, London. A series of exhaustive tests there ruled out all possible diagnoses except for poisoning with a heavy metal substance, probably thallium.” (Appleton 1988, p. 8)
Startfoto fra www.sannyas.wiki, Buddha Hall
Photo 29. Evening meeting of White Robe Brotherhood in Buddha Hall.
Devageet on Osho’s teeth
“In September 1989, after a week of intense facial pain from a localized bone infection following the surgical removal of a lower wisdom tooth, Osho’s health declined quickly. The wound was not healing. The surgical site, the bone socket where the tooth had been, was exposed and infected. Painkilling drugs and antibiotics were not helping much. He asked for dental sessions two or three times each day and night to ease the pain. I regularly irrigated the socket and dressed the wound, but the pain steadily increased… [Following nine extractions of teeth Osho recovered].
Over the course of the next days, two or three times each day I was called. I would renew the dental dressing and clean the wound. He was in severe, undiminishing facial pain and I felt utterly helpless. At each dental session, Shunyo, Devaraj, Nityamo, and Anando were present, and Osho continued his masterly games. Now, he concentrated on Shunyo and Anando. His ego-blasting methods reminded me of the times in Rancho Rajneesh when he had continuously accused me of wanting him to stop speaking, and of interrupting him. This time it was Shunyo and Anando who were receiving the masterly bombshells designed to dissolve their egos.” (Devageet 2013, pp. 194,232)
Devageet on Osho’s akashic record in last dental session
“I quickly switched on the lights, seated him in the dental chair, and then sat on the floor at his right side. “Shall I get a notebook?” I asked bemused.
“No, just listen carefully. No need to write anything down. Let it go deep. You will remember what you need to remember. During these last few days the pain in my teeth has been terrible. I have not been able to sleep. Lying in my bed for hours, for the first time in my life I have thought about teeth. Who normally thinks about teeth, except dentists, and madmen like me?
What I am about to tell can prove to be of great significance to you and to every true seeker. I do not think it has ever been told before, perhaps not even known. Maybe in some ancient mystery school it may have once been known. It is possible that this information has been hidden, more likely it has been lost. I have never come across it before, and I have read all the esoteric books possible…
Devageet, it seems that each person’s teeth are their individual link, their evolutionary link to existence itself; the teeth hold memories connecting each person to the human collective unconscious mind. The teeth of each person contain a complete record of all their memories back to the time when he was a monkey, maybe before. The teeth are a personal akashic record of everything that has happened to an individual during their whole evolution.”” (Devageet 2013, pp. 202-204)
(Note: Author’s note on p. 222: Osho spoke these words to Devageet in October 1989. They were written, as recalled, on February 18, 2001)
“The Akashic Transmission gave me the task of finding a way to access the path taken by individual unconsciousness on its journey towards consciousness. Osho’s finger pointed to memories accessible through the teeth and the body. By 1992/3 the way emerged and since then The Akashic Processes have become refined and distilled…
The dental sessions were a specific device which affected those present in unique and different ways. I was the only one present when Osho gave the Akashic Transmission. If you want info on that let me know, although the essence is in my book.” (Devageet. E-mail. 02.09.2015)
Heading: Mystic’s Revelation On Man’s “Monkey” Molars. Excerpt:
“Osho, the enlightened India mystic, has made the revolutionary discovery that the whole history of human suffering, and the ancient record of mankind’s animal past, is imprinted in the dental structures of the human head…
He also said that complete disidentification with the body may not be possible until a person’s teeth have been treated to separate that person from man’s inherited animal past.
Devageet explained that Osho’s intense dental experience had severed him completely from his own physical past, and perhaps that was why he had decided to drop the name Rajneesh and be known only as Osho.” (Press Release. Mystic’s Revelation On Man’s “Monkey” Molars. Ma Prem Hasya. 15.09.1989)
Osho on death of a mystic
“When Al-Hillaj Mansoor, a Sufi mystic, was killed by the fanatics and the bigots, there were thousands of people who could not believe that when a man is being killed in such a cruel way – not even Jesus was killed in such a cruel way – he can stand aloof. First they cut his legs, then they cut his hands, then they took his eyes out – piece by piece. But all this time, when blood was flowing from every part of his body, he was smiling. Somebody asked, “Why are you smiling?”
He said, “I am smiling because you don’t know what you are doing, you are fast asleep; if you had been awake, you would have understood my smile. My smile indicates that you are not killing me; you are killing yourself. By destroying my body I am not destroyed, but by destroying my body you are destroying the only example you had amongst you of your future glory, of your future growth, of your future actualizations.
“When I say you are destroying yourself, I simply mean this: you are removing from your being the person who could have awakened you. You are so afraid. It is out of fear that you are killing me, out of fear that ‘This man is going to wake everyone up – and you don’t want to wake up. You are so much invested in your sleep, and in your dreams, you don’t want to know the truth.”
Almustafa has no complaint against these people, but only a deep compassion – and this has been the case with all the mystics…
When mystics are alive they are condemned.
When they are dead they are worshipped.
If you find any mystic being worshipped while he is alive, remember – he must be dead. In fact, he may be breathing, but just breathing is not life; he may be eating, but just eating is not life.
Life consists of all that is beautiful – of the songs of the mountains and the trees, of the silence of these birds singing just out of abundance, of the flowers, of dances, of love, of meditation…
Life consists of all great treasures. It is not only breathing and eating and sleeping. Saints that are worshipped while still alive… you should have another look at them: they must be dead. People cannot worship them if they are really alive. People worship them only when they are dead, because the dead cannot love, the dead cannot dance, the dead cannot sing, the dead cannot enjoy, the dead cannot laugh. The dead cannot become my disciples.” The Messiah (1987). Vol II, Chapter 23, p. 490 & Chapter 24, p. 517.
Osho talking on his health in August 1988
“As my days are becoming fewer and fewer on this earth, nothing matters except one thing: that I should pour myself into you as much as possible. Tomorrow I may not be here, so I should complete the celebration today. Tomorrow you may have to celebrate alone.
The whole credit goes to Ronald Reagan. Poisoning me he has taken away from you at least twenty years of my life. I am fighting with the poison and it has been a good challenge for me, but for you it can be a loss any moment. I am just living on the fringe. So when I go to sleep I say good-bye to the world, because I don’t know for certain that tomorrow morning I will wake up. When I wake up I am amazed that there is one more day, one more celebration, one more day to laugh with my people, to be part of their silences, to have my heart beat with their hearts. Looking at the watch has become irrelevant.
I go on wearing the watch so that you don’t become afraid. Because if I don’t wear the watch, you can be certain that my time is up.” The Miracle (1989). Chapter 8, p. 208.
Osho talking on his health in December 1988
“For seven weeks continuously I was witnessing a fire test. Each moment seemed to be the last, and each breath going out was not promising that it would be coming back. In those seven weeks, seven times my heart showed symptoms of failure…
But the seven weeks’ fire, the long night of the soul proved to be a blessing in disguise. It has purified me completely. And these five days of Gautam Buddha as Maitreya Buddha – that was his prophecy, that “My name after twenty-five centuries when I come back again, will be Maitreya the Buddha.
The Friend – Maitreya means “the friend.” No Mind. The Flowers of Eternity (1989). Chapter 7, p. 118.
“It appeared that there was a three-way feud going on between Osho’s caretakers. There was Amrito, Osho’s doctor, in one camp, Anando, his secretary in another, and Nirvano his caretaker for so many years. They apparently didn’t trust each other. When I lived with Astha in Osho’s house in Poona I for a few months, I saw firsthand a lot of freak-outs, as the unconscious seems to just come tumbling out, especially for close proximity to the master.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 450)
Heading: Stop Press. The Garden of the Beloved One.
“On May 19, a community meeting was held at Rajneeshdham. Sw Amrito, Osho’s personal physician, and a Anando and Ma Neelam, His secretaries, relayed messages from Osho about His health, and about the restructuring and expansion of the ashram.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:11)
“A year before he left his body, Chuang Tzu Auditorium was transformed into a bedroom for Osho. He used it for a few days only (apparently because of the loud air-conditioning) and moved back to his old, much smaller room. In the East, the place where the ashes of a saint are kept is called a samadhi.” (Punya 2015, p. 116)
Azima on Osho’s Samadhi
“In addition, Osho was preparing, without anyone being aware of it, a temple for the period after his departure. He asked for a ‘new bedroom’ inside Lao Tzu, to be located in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, the place where he gave discourses in the early days of the commune, and the place where I had received my initiation in 1978.
The auditorium contained a space that was really big for one bedroom and many of us thought the Master was hiding something, but certainly none of us – not I, nor most of the residents – could think this would be his samadhi, the place where his ashes would be kept. And for his part, he did everything to keep us from realizing that he was constructing the place where the ashes of his body would be placed. But as the work went on, for almost two years, more and more people understood that in this huge space, with white Italian marble floor and high walls, absolutely empty and with high, tinted windows reaching from the ground more than 30 feet high, he would never make his bedroom.
The work inside Lao Tzu accelerated, and was done in continuous shifts. Osho was pushing to finish it quickly, so there was a steady increase in the number of bricklayers and carpenters to complete the project. Everything was in turmoil and it seemed like we had returned to the times of the Ranch, when frantic construction was the basis of our being together.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 335)
The rebuilding of Chuang Tzu
“The day shifts in the garden were quite different due to a lot of building activity in and around Chuang Tzu Auditorium. Workers were tearing the guts out of that place and, by and by, rebuilding it into what was to be a new bedroom for Osho. It almost broke my heart to see the place demolished where I had spent such beautiful times during Hindi discourses and darshans back in the old Poona days. And when Osho’s new room was finally ready for him to move in more than a year later, from what I heard he spent a couple of nights there and then back into his old bedroom.” (Bodhena 2016, p. 165)
Heading: PRESS STOP
“In view of the somewhat confused press coverage in recent days, Amrito wanted you all to know that the prolonged resting has proved very beneficial to Osho’s health. You should be assured that He is able to walk, talk, and He gets up twice a day for His regular meals. Indeed, Anando’s announcement below is guide to how beneficial this period of rest has been.
Anando has just announced that Osho is planning to come out for the Guru Purnima Celebration which is happening July 14th to 18th.
Osho has also said, “I am here and this is my Buddhafield. What can happen here cannot happen anywhere else.”
So – see you at the celebration!” (Osho Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 22.06.1989)
(Note: Guru Purnima was later in 1989 renamed ‘The Festival of the Full Moon’)
Heading: Osho Rajneesh Is “Perfectly Okay”
“The rumor that I am dying is being spread because I am not coming to speak, but I am perfectly okay!” declared Osho Rajneesh in a rare response to one of Germany’s most respected magazines Wiener. “My vehicle has been inhumanely and cruelly damaged by the US government. Experts say that it is thallium poisoning. But I am not dying. I aim to live to fulfill my dream of making a beautiful commune based on a totally different social, economic and philosophical structure.
When Wiener magazine specifically asked whether Rajneesh will be living for the next 100 days, the controversial mystic replied “Perhaps, These questions cannot be answered with any certainty, but I have managed to live so far despite all these gifts from America.” He then promised that “I will still be here in 100 days more!”. When the German free-lance journalist Michael Kneissler asked what people will think about Rajneesh 100 years from now, the mystic laughingly replied “Who cares?”
This rare interview comes only a week before the five-day Osho Rajneesh Full Moon Celebration at the International Rajneesh Ashram, where thousands of friends and lovers are already arriving from all over the world to celebrate in the presence of Osho Rajneesh.” (Press Release. Osho Rajneesh Is “Perfectly Okay”. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. No number. Subject: Osho okay 1. 09.07.1989)
Heading: Doctors Say Osho Rajneesh Is Now Definitely Recovering
“After months of concern about the health of Osho Rajneesh, his doctors have determined that he is now definitely recovering from the long-time effects of thallium poisoning administered in 1985 by agents of the Reagan Administration while he was in jail in the United States.
“No one else could have survived the onslaught of the poisoning as he has,” said Swami Amrito, his personal physician. “No one but an enlightened man, who can disidentify himself from physical pain and suffering, could have endured the amount of poison that must have been administered to keep him so sick for so long.”
Immediately following his arrest by officials of the U.S. Government in October 1985, Rajneesh was dragged across the country for 12 days, being moved from jail to jail, his whereabouts kept hidden even from his own attorneys.
“He was held as part of a persecution campaign by the Reagan Administration, whose only aim was to destroy the City of Rajneeshpuram in Oregon – as U.S. Attorney Charles Turner publicly admitted,” said Swami Amrito. “Immediately after Osho’s release and deportation, his health deteriorated to a point where he was almost crippled.”
A significant indication of Rajneesh’s ability to recover from his ordeal was his appearance on three successive nights, from August 11-13, during Rajneeshdham’s monthly meditation camp.
“It was immediately apparent to the whole gathering of disciples that Osho’s health has markedly improved,” said Amrito. “Now the worst is over. His appetite is good, his weakness is receding. It will be some time before he is fully recovered, but one thing is certain: The Lion of India is back.” (Press Release. Doctors Say Osho Rajneesh Is Now Definitely Recovering His Health. Ma Prem Hasya. No number or subject. 14.08.1989)
* Jesus Crucified Again, This Time in Ronald Reagan’s America (1988), Chapter 1. Osho reveals here, among other places, the effects his incarceration in 1985 has had on his health.
People who gathered in Poona 1989 could watch a constant flow of changes that to me, who had the good fortune from June to November to participate in these events, was Osho’s way of preparing his people for the time when he was no longer to be physically around and these new structures, colors and name change were all to support the continuation of his work.
Osho talking on mystery school 1979
“I have a few secrets to impart to you, and I would not like to die before I have imparted them to you – because I don’t know anybody else now alive in the world who can do that work. I have secrets from Taoism, secrets from Tantra, secrets from Yoga, secrets from Sufis, secrets from Zen people…
I have lived in almost all the traditions of the world; I have been a wanderer in many lives. I have gathered much honey from many flowers.
And now the time, sooner or later, will come when I will have to depart – and I will not be able to enter again in the body. This is going to be my last life.
All the honey that I have gathered I would like to share with you, so that you can share it with others, so that it does not disappear from the earth. This is going to be a very secret work. Hence, I cannot speak about it. I think I have already spoken too much! I should not have said even this.
The work will be only for those who are utterly devoted… And there will not be much talk between me and you either. More and more I will become silent, because the real communion is through energy, not through words. As you will be getting ready to receive the energy in silence, I will become more and more silent. But I am keeping a great treasure for you. Be receptive…
And as my work goes underground and becomes more secret and more mysterious, more and more rumors and gossip about it are bound to spread all over the world. People become suspicious of anything secret. And because they cannot find any clue, they start inventing their own ideas about what is happening there. So be ready for that too. But don’t be worried about it. It is going to be a mystery school – such schools existed when Zarathustra was alive; he created such a school. Many such schools existed in Egypt, India, Tibet. When Pythagoras came and visited this country he noted the fact of the mystery schools. He was initiated into many mystery schools in Egypt and in India. Jesus was trained by the Essenes, a very secret mystery school.
All that is beautiful and all that is great in human history has happened only through a few people who put their energies together for the inner exploration. My commune is going to be a mystery school for inner exploration. It is the greatest adventure there is, and the greatest dance too.” The Book of the Books (1983). Vol II; The Book (1984). Vol III, p. 135.
“Meanwhile, the leadership of the community also underwent an important shift during these years. On April 6, 1989, Osho established a committee known as the “inner circle” that consisted of twenty-one disciples who would take care of the mundane, practical affairs of the commune. Foremost among the disciples were Jayesh (Michael O’Byrne) as chairman, Amrito (aka George Meredith, formerly known as Swami Devaraj) as vice chairman, and Anando as the secretary. Some sannyasins, such as Ma Prem Shunyo, also suggest that there was an earlier “secret group” of thirteen that was formed eight months before the twenty-one-member committee. There appears to be only partial overlap between these two groups.” (Urban 2015, p. 143)
Osho on Shunyo’s writing and a secret group
“It was on one of these occasions that Osho said, “Chetana can write a book,” and He gave me the title, My Diamond Days with Bhagwan, subtitled, “The New Diamond Sutra.”…
He didn’t give me any guidelines for the book, nor, as time went by, did He even enquire if I had started writing. He mentioned Diamond Days only once to me and that was a mysterious happening. It was in August 1988 and Osho called me on the beeper system… I unlocked the door, and saw that He was sitting up in the bed wide awake, the room in darkness except for a small bedside light. The cold air and minty fragrance of the room woke me up. “Bring a notepad,” He said, “I have something for your book.” I returned with a notepad and pen and sat on the side of His bed where He could observe what I was writing. He dictated the following page to me, and said for me to write the names in a circle. He made sure I had got it right and then lay down and went back to sleep. I never queried it with Him, or even mentioned the list to Him. I simply put it in my file and that was that. I never told anyone about it, and have always considered it to be ‘for the book.’ It is interesting to see that although He spoke of twelve people, He gave me thirteen names. But then, Nirvano’s name was to be dropped although that was not known at the time.
In the center of the circle is ‘Bhagwan’ and going around the circle clockwise the names are: Jayesh, Avibhava, Nitty (Nityamo), Nirvano, Kavisha, Maneesha, Devageet, Neelam, David, Chetana, Hasya, Anando, Amrito.
He said: “Twelve can be named. The thirteenth remains unnamed. This has been my secret group. The secret group of thirteen. In the middle the unknown Bhagwan.”
It was eight months later that Osho formed the Inner Circle of which there are twenty-one members. The above “secret group” was never given a function to perform by Osho, they simply remain what they are – a secret group.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 264)
“According to Shunyo, eight months before forming the Inner Circle, Osho called her one night and dictated 13 names. She said this was in the middle of the night in August 1988 when she was serving as Osho’s caretaker and the Master called her on the beeper. She hurried down the Lao Tzu corridor with the worrying thought that Osho may be having an asthma attack. “I unlocked the door, and saw that He was sitting up in the bed wide awake, the room in darkness except for a small bedside light.” Osho asked her to bring a notepad and gave her 13 names to be written in a circle with ‘Bhagwan’ in the centre. The names around the circle clockwise were: Jayesh, Avirbhava, Nitty (Nityamo), Nirvano, Kaveesha, Maneesha, Devageet, Neelam, David, Chetana (Shunyo’s former sannyas name), Hasya, Anando and Amrito. He called it his “secret group of 13.”” (Vaidya 2017, p. 89)
Osho and the Inner Circle
“On April 6, 1989,
Osho gave instructions
for the setting up of a committee
to be called “The Inner Circle.”
The aim of the committee,
He said, was to reach unanimous decisions
about the continued functioning
and expansion of the commune and his work.
“I am tired,” he said, “and I want to retire.”
Over the next few months
Osho eventually finalized the committee at 21 members,
whom he said had been chosen
to represent the commune departments and his work.
He stressed that the inner workings of the committee were to remain a secret.
He also said that the committee
is not to be involved in spiritual considerations,
but should look to the mundane work, the practical problems of the commune.
“The “Inner Circle” is not a club to discuss philosophy. It is a pragmatic and practical way to decide things.” (Osho Times International (India), 01.02.1990. Quoted from: www.sannyasnews.org/archives/758)
Heading: The Inner Circle
“On April 6, 1989, Osho gave instructions for the setting up of a committee to be called “The Inner Circle.” The aim of the committee, He said, was to reach unanimous decisions about the continued functioning and expansion of the Commune and His work. “I am tired,” He said, “and I want to retire.”
Over the next few months Osho kept close watch on the workings of the committee members. Eventually He finalized the committee at 21 members, whom He said had been chosen to represent the commune departments and His work. He stressed that the inner workings of the committee is not to be involved in spiritual considerations, but should look to the mundane work, the practical problems of the commune: “The Inner Circle is not a club to discuss philosophy. It is a pragmatic and practical way to decide things.”
Osho said that when any member dies a new member is to be chosen unanimously by the remaining members.
The 21 members are:
Mukta the Greek
(Osho Times International (India), 1990:3/4. Supplement. 01.02.1990)
Inner Circle member names are also to be found in: Urban 2015, p. 228.
Mistlberger on the Inner Circle
“The problem of the politics of succession has not spared his surviving movement. There was no individual successor (there rarely is for larger-than-life-gurus) but he did appoint a body of twenty-one close disciples – called the ‘inner circle’ – to carry on his work, mostly in an administrative context. The number he chose is of interest if only in passing; he claimed his enlightenment occurred at age twenty-one, and in 1984 he declared twenty-one of his disciples to be enlightened (although later revoking the claim and declaring it had all been an elaborate joke/device)…
The number is also the product of Gurdjieff’s key Laws of 3 and 7. But whatever his reasons for choosing the number twenty-one (and doubtless he would have claimed it unimportant), the original group itself did not remain intact for very long. By 1994, four of them amicably departed (and were replaced), and by the late 1990s an effort was initiated to begin de-emphasizing the personality cult element.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 438)
Sw Amrito meets the press in Krishna House 21.01.1990
Heading: We Are Here to Meditate
“The names were selected by Osho. He said the inner workings of the committee should be secret. It’s a group of people who are not particular public. So, it’s a way of doing things in a gentle and unobtrusive fashion.
I don’t feel to discuss all the people on that list. They’re all well-known sannyasins. It’s a very wide-ranging group. There are 11 women and 10 men. I think the word Osho used about it was that it should be representative. And if any member of that 21 should die, then we would select somebody else…
As He always said, “I’m just a door.” When you actually get to the door, you don’t find Osho, you find yourself. That’s what the device of a master is, because without the master there, without his presence, you won’t even get that far…
Through many years He’s drawn us – with all our mistakes, with all our faults, with all our problems. But it seems we arrived at the door, because that silence the night before He died – He was coming and then He couldn’t come – and there it was, as if He were there…
I just asked Him what we should do, and it was obvious – all through that night – every moment was painful and it was obvious by the next morning that He wasn’t doing well. He was in very bad shape. So I asked Him what we should do, if He wanted to get a cardiologist. He didn’t want anything. I told Him I thought he was dying. He just nodded…
I just take His words for that. He said to Jayesh, “Existence is timely,” or “Timely existence,” I don’t remember…
No, I didn’t [call a doctor], I did what He said.
Osho talked about the expansion of His work. You’re going to find that His work will expand incredibly. Our job is going to be trying to keep up with what’s going to be coming…
For about four months, He’s been taking only liquids. It was basically milk, but we managed to see that He’d get enough protein. We gave Him soya milk, and then added some grain for the protein complement. Every now and again He’d say, “This one is necessary?”
He liked things that were very cooling. He always took His milk with peppermint flavor with some nuts, so that it was actually quite a nourishing diet. But it was only liquid…
For me it’s clear that what happened when He was incarcerated in the United States – it was from that time that His body started to deteriorate, and clearly the whole destructive process has been going on in front of our eyes now for years…
Yes, I asked Him, I said, “What do we do? Do you want us to build a samadhi, or…?” And He said, “No, no – just in the bed.” Just like that. (Laughter). He left instructions – He had done that some time ago – for what should be inscribed on His samadhi…
I think basically His message has always been the same. There is only one essential issue, and that is to meditate. There’s only one essential meditation, and that is to witness. That’s clear. Meditate or we’re finished. It’s as simple as that.” (Osho Times International, 1990:5. 01.03.1990)
“A major initiative in 1989 was the introduction of a committee of top sannyasins called the Inner Circle for the running of the Commune. Created in the middle of 1989, the top three positions in the Inner Circle – a committee of 21 sannyasins – were held by Jayesh (Chairman), Amrito (Vice-Chairman) and Anando (Secretary). The other members were simply informed that this decision was taken by Osho. While Osho may have agreed to the formation of this committee, as with many such claims of decisions-taken-by-Osho, there was never any evidence in the form of audio / video recordings or documentation that Osho had approved the finer details. These were always worked out by Jayesh and communicated to the rest.
It was around June, 1989 that Anando informed a select group of top sannyasins about Osho’s decision to form a secret committee to manage the Commune, with Jayesh, Amrito and Anando at the top. This was the 21-member ‘Inner Circle’ which the Commune claimed in a press note was formed by Osho on April 6, 1989. In his Witness Statement [before the European Union Intellectual Property (EUIPO)], Jayesh states that he played an important role in the formation of this body which was announced by Osho in May 1989 after having discussed with him “in private for two months.” According to him, Osho made him Chairman of the Inner Circle which he created “as a body of individuals responsible for the continuation of his work in India, including operating the Osho International Meditation Resort, formerly known as Osho Commune International.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 86)
On November 17, 1989 Osho gives instructions to Anando, his secretary, about what should happen when he leaves his body. He also asks for a group to be formed to translate his Hindi books into English and gives further instructions on how the Inner Circle will function.
From Savita’s epilogue
“Osho had stopped public speaking some months before he left the body, and had created three new meditation therapies that were to become his signature work for his final years: Mystic Rose, No-Mind and Born Again. He had also set in place the Evening Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood, in which his people gather to dance, view one of his discourses, and participate in a short meditation together, saying this was to be the “highlight” of his sannyasins’ day.
He left no individual successor. Instead, he stated before he left that “I will be dissolved in my people.” To control the administration of his commune, he had set up a managerial Inner Circle of 21 sannyasins whose purpose, he had declared, was to take charge of his commune after his death. He made it clear they were not to propagate anything concerned with spiritual matters.
This motley group of 21 such broadly disparate characters seemed as a whole to round off the personality of his ‘new man’. By selecting not one, but 21 people, it appeared Osho intended to eliminate any possibility of the kind of autocracy that had so dogged the Ranch experience. According to him, each of the Inner Circle members’ decisions were to be acted upon only after full agreement, where all were in accord.
However, as some moved on and were replaced and others died, the remaining few assumed more responsibility. Increasingly, this potentially dynamic round-table assembly became little more than a handling committee. So, once again, the decision-making and financial arm of his central work fell into the hands of the very few – Inner Circle members plus those recruited by them.” (Savita. In: Savita 2014. Epilogue, p. 237)
Satya Vedant on the Inner Circle and Poona Two
“In 1989 I returned to Pune to be with Osho. Almost immediately, Anando informed me that Osho had invited me to be in the Inner Circle, which was meant to look after the Osho Commune in Pune, and in the Presidium, which consisted of five members to look after Osho’s international work. Jayesh was the chairperson of the Inner Circle, and hence I never doubted that the messages were from Osho given through Jayesh. IC members were to work with consensus, however Jayesh could use his veto when needed…
I was part of a team and hence was required to carry a collective responsibility. Yes, I could express my viewpoint, but all in all, as instructions were, the decisions needed to be unanimous. And the process was that on any given issue anyone having a different view would surrender to the majority view, realizing maybe the majority was closer to the truth. However, eventually, it might turn out that the minority view was closer to the truth; then the majority would happily surrender and accept the differing view. The point was that a collective and harmonious perception would make work happen quickly and without wasting much energy….
I later left Pune for two reasons. First, it became apparent that for whatever reason, I was not as welcome as I had been for so many years. I recall, when I finally returned from the US in 1989 to be with Osho, I was invited to have darshan with Osho. Among other things, He said, “Now this is your home, this is your family; now no need to go anywhere. Get totally involved in my work.” I felt immensely blessed, and Pune remained my home from then until the time I felt unwelcome. Secondly, existentially, I was invited to be a professor at a university in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. I willingly accepted the offer, since I had no funds of my own to stay in Pune outside the Commune.” (Viha Connection, 2015:5)
Vaidya quoting Jayesh’s statement before EUIPO 19.07.2011
“Jayesh said that nine months prior to his death, Osho asked Neelam and Hasya to stop attending his meetings with Jayesh, even as Jayesh continued to meet with Osho “alone on a regular basis” during the last three months of his life. (Not only is it strange that Osho asked his personal secretaries to stay away from important meetings but it seems that hectic developments were apace in the final months before Osho’s death.)
Jayesh said that Osho rarely saw anyone in private other than “members of a very secretarial team, “his caretakers, dentist and doctor, and in the last nine months of his life, Osho met only with four persons – Amrito, Anando, Ma Shantam, Avirbhava. As Osho’s health continued to deteriorate, “Over this same nine-month period, my meetings with him increased to the point where we were meeting in the morning, in the evening, and often in the middle of the night,” Jayesh said.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 90)
Photo 30. Osho’s chair in Buddha Hall.
Mistlberger quoting Osho
“Later, in a series of talks he gave in September of 1988 on Zen, he remarked:
The first commune was destroyed because of women’s jealousies. They were fighting continuously. The second commune [the Oregon commune] was destroyed because of women’s jealousies. And this is the third commune – and the last, because I am getting tired… Still, I am a stubborn person. After two communes, immense effort wasted, I have started a third commune, but I have not created any difference – women are still running it.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 282)
“Only a week after our lighthearted table talk, Osho ended his discourse with the words: “Remember that you are a Buddha: sammasati”
Next day his new secretary Anando, an Australian lawyer, told us he wouldn’t be speaking to us again, but would come out intermittently to sit with us in silence.
Osho began to give guidelines for the commune in the years to come. All the buildings were to be black, all windows of blue glass. He designed huge pyramids to be set in the midst of the ashram gardens.
A group called the Inner Circle was to reach decisions about the continued functioning and expansion of the commune and his work. He chose twenty-one members and stressed that the inner workings of the committee were to remain a secret. The committee was not to be involved in spiritual matters.
“It is not a club to discuss philosophy,” Anando reported. “It is a pragmatic and practical way to decide things.”
Osho included a most unusual stipulation. All decisions of the Inner Circle must be unanimous! I shook my head when I heard it. No voting, no behind-the-scenes finagling to get votes: Could such a far-out idea possibly work?
I scrutinized the list and shook my head again. There were Devaraj and Devageet, Chetana and Mukta, Arup and Anando, Jayesh and three members of the Hollywood set: Hasya, Kaveesha and John. Each one was a strong individual, and their backgrounds were as different as the world offers. If they could be unanimous, it would be a miracle.
Osho appointed Jayesh as chairman. I’ve always had a soft spot for Jayesh. Perhaps it’s because he’s a fellow Canadian, or because he plunged so absurdly from playing polo in Palm Springs to serving an infamous master in the Oregon desert. Or perhaps because he sparked the miraculous translation of Osho’s vision into bold reality, all in six short years.
Jayesh is a very private person who hates to speak in public and gives no interviews to the press. But once when he talked to me in one of the bright offices, relaxed in simple cream tunic and pants, a 10-minute scheduled interview expanded to more than an hour. He told me stories of his pre-Osho years with the Arica Institute in America, and how its founder, Oscar Ichazo, fully supported his sudden urge to join Rajneesh.” (Hamilton 1998, p. 193)
(Note: “Osho gave these three disciples new names: Devaraj became Amrito, Chetana became Shunyo, and Arup became Garimo.” (Page 194)
“Towards the end of monsoon in August it was time of great celebration in the ashram when Osho came to sit with us in silence. It seemed as though we were entering a new phase with Osho and the joy of seeing Him again was not dampened by the message He sent with Anando for everyone. His message was, “Few have understood my words.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 273)
Heading: White Robes For Meditation
“Osho Rajneesh suggested to his secretary, Ma Yoga Neelam, yesterday evening that all friends and lovers who will be sitting in meditation with him for the upcoming Osho Rajneesh Full Moon Celebration from July 14th to the 18th wear white robes. Rajneesh further explained that these robes should only be worn during meditation as it creates a certain atmosphere which intensifies the energy when all meditators are dressed in one color.” (Press Release. White Robes For Meditation. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. No number. Subject: White robes 1. 29.06.1989)
Heading: White for Meditation
“Osho has suggested that when sitting with Him in Buddha Hall and when meditating, we wear white meditation robes, which we wear only at that time. He said that when people are dressed all in one color, it creates a certain atmosphere which intensifies the energy.
Designers are busy creating flowing robes which will be available at the ashram – but don’t hesitate if you wish to create your own design.” (Osho Rajneesh Newsletter (Digital). 01.07.1989)
Jyoti on choice of colors
“I am shocked when Osho sends us the message to wear white robes in Buddha Hall. In Indian tradition people gather in white clothes only when someone dies. I get another shock when I see all the commune buildings being painted black.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 132)
Abhiyana writes on colors
“In Poona I, we wore orange robes, kurtas and pajama pants. In Oregon, it was red cowboy outfits. Now in Pune II maroon, black and white robes were the outfits du jour, but only inside the commune. The change to maroon robes was inviting. First, it was really nice to wear robes again. Belted pants cut the body in two. Robes are so much more comfortable and flowing, especially in hot, humid India. With the wearing of simple, unicolor robes, the Sangha stays subtle connected. Maroon is the Tibetan Buddhist color for monks and nuns. I felt at ease in maroon.
Group leaders and session givers were asked to wear black robes with a white sash. This really made us look like priests! I don’t know why black robes were chosen for the therapists. It certainly made them stand out in the sea of maroon. I heard that black helps you disappear as an ego, but when I wore a black robe, my ego puffed up.
On the auspicious day of Guru Purnima July 14, 1989, we began wearing white robes while meditating together in the evening. The robes were only to be worn during meditation, so they could accumulate the meditative energies. Sitting with Osho and thousands of white-gowned meditators each evening was extraordinary. I altered between just two robes, to keep the vibes concentrated.
I believe it was October of 1988 when Osho instructed all the buildings to be painted black – even the windows were heavily tinted to deep blue. The unofficial explanation was that this helped keep the energy in, as black absorbs all other colors. Sound-proof, air-conditioned pyramid-shaped multi-stored meditation and therapy buildings were built, all in black granite. He said blackness contrasted beautifully with the maroon robes and lush green of the gardens.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 401)
“In the middle of 1989, Osho decided that inside the ashram we would wear specific colours. Outside we were free to wear any type of clothes we liked, but during the day, inside the ashram, we were asked to wear maroon robes, which were a mixture of wine red and blue, with a bit more shade of red, rather like the robes of Tibetan monks. During the evening meditation with him, we were asked to wear robes that were completely white. The therapists, when working in groups and individual sessions, now had to wear black robes with a white belt at the waist…
From that time on, Jesus and his disciples dressed in white, creating the White Robe Brotherhood, and making many converts on the way to India. Many ancient Arabic texts talk about a certain Jesus and the White Robe Brotherhood that stopped along the way to India and preached a new doctrine. Often, they stopped for a few months and then continued toward the East. Among other things, these texts report the precise names of some of his disciples…
Two thousand years later, Osho reconstructed an energy field that had become an underground movement with the passing of the centuries, mainly due to persecution, and that a few followers had secretly kept alive. Osho was now opening this energetic field to hundreds of thousands of people. It was as if he was bringing together different esoteric spiritual traditions in one vessel that didn’t have a name or specific rules, but that was ready to sail the seas of the unknown dimensions, the seas of ‘religiousness’ and no longer those of exclusive sectarian doctrines.” (Rosciano 2013, pp. 350,352)
Heading: The Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood
“The Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood had an auspicious beginning – born on the full moon of Gurupurnima, July 14,15 and 16, 1989.
That was the first time the White Robe Brotherhood assembled in the presence of its Master, Osho, in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium, Poona. It was to be the beginning of a new, and final phase – the ten minute ‘Evening Satsang with the Master’. That night was also Osho’s first appearance since April 10th, when He had given what was to become His last discourse.
Osho was not able to attend the meetings again until the 21st August (with one exception when He came to celebrate the first meditation camp on August 11th). However He sent a message saying that He loved seeing everyone in the white robes, and that the robes should always be worn when in His presence or when watching the evening discourse video.” (Osho Times International (India), 1990:16/17)
Heading: “White Brotherhood” Shows Osho Rajneesh Is Alive And Kicking
“The “Orange People” have changed colour. Once they wore red and orange robes. Then they disappeared as a distinctive group by wearing ordinary western-style clothes. Now they gather in thousands in long white robes to meet in silent communion with their spiritual master.
They are the disciples of Osho Rajneesh, the controversial Indian mystic, who recently created a special group of white-robed disciples called “The Osho Rajneesh White Swan Brotherhood.” The group meets every night in a huge meditation hall in Rajneesh’s Poona ashram. The new-look meetings mark the end of a four-month period in which Osho Rajneesh made few public appearances – an absence that prompted the European media to speculate that he was on his death bed.
“People keep trying to bury Osho, but he is very much alive and kicking, and the number of visitors coming here is higher than ever before,” said Ma Prem Hasya, Rajneesh’s international secretary.
Rajneesh, who in the Seventies asked his disciples to wear bright orange clothes plus a necklace of wooden beads with his picture hanging from it, advised his disciples to drop the distinctive color in 1986 to avoid difficulties when entering and leaving India. Now he has suggested long white robes for the nightly gatherings in his ashram, and has dubbed the congregation the “Osho Rajneesh White Swan Brotherhood.”
The mystic and his disciples meet in silence. In a recent statement, Rajneesh explained: “That which cannot be said has to be experienced. Something is experienced in this gathering which no one has been able to define.”
Another recent change is that Rajneesh has dropped the provocative title “Bhagwan,” which offended Hindus who believed he was calling himself God. Instead, his disciples have voted to call him “Osho”, a term of reverence used in the Zen Buddhist tradition of Japan.” (Press Release. “White Brotherhood” Shows Osho Rajneesh Is Alive And Kicking. Ma Prem Hasya. No number or subject. 23.08.1989)
Heading: Osho Rajneesh Inaugurates the “White Swan Brotherhood
“Disciples regard the nightly communion as the highest peak of their daily meditations in the ashram. And they take special care of their white robes, which are not used for any other activity. “There is a mystical gathering of energy in these robes,” stated Rajneesh. “Day by day as it becomes older, it gathers more potential. Just putting on the robe you will find yourself moving into the same space each time.” (Excerpt from Press Release. Osho Rajneesh Inaugurates the “White Swan Brotherhood.” Ma Prem Hasya. No number or subject. 23.08.1989)
Satlok on recent changes
“Satlok started by informing me that for the evening discourses everybody was now wearing white robes and that Osho had given a new name to the event: ‘Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood’. He told me that Osho would come to the hall to meditate in silence with us but then leave after the ten-minute meditation and that the discourses (and the let-go with the gibberish) were video tapes and no longer live.
And what a show it was when Osho entered and left the hall! He would move his arms in an up and down motion faster and faster, raising them high above his head and then suddenly stop. At that point the frantic music also stopped and everybody shouted “Osho!” He would stay in that position, unmoving, for what seemed like eternity. Everybody remained silent, with arms raised, looking at him, ready to detect the first movement of his hands, a signal for the drummer to start the music again. This interaction took so long that it exhausted both the audience and musicians but at the same time filled them with energy. And what about Osho? Satlok had the impression that Osho was putting out all the life force he had left in his body – and urged me to go back immediately. According to him, Osho did not have long to live. I did not waver for a second and took his advice, applied for a visa, booked a ticket and within a week I was in Pune” (Punya 2015, p. 394)
Nandan writes in 1992
“In retrospect, we can see clearly how Osho, already a year before his death, started to directly prepare us for the end of his visit to the Planet Earth.
1. He replaced the names Bhagwan and Rajneesh by Osho. This word ‘oceanic’ indicated that a new phase was coming: Master with oceanic cosmic consciousness but without a sick and tired body.
2. He replaced the symbol of the two birds, representing the Master and the disciple flying together in the sky, by a whitesilver swan, flying up to the universe, alone.
3. He stopped speaking. Sannyasins had to get used to the Master only being available via books and tapes.
4. He had a new bedroom built, faced with marble. In fact it was meant to be a complete mausoleum from the very start, a samadhi, suitable to serve as a future place of pilgrimage.
5. About 9 months before his death he created an Inner Circle of 21 sannyasins, who were to take unanimous decisions about practical (not spiritual!) affairs concerning his inheritance.
6. He confirmed the contemporary and important role of the therapists in the structure of leadership. A modern form of priesthood. Their togas were to be black robes.
7. Maroon robes were to be worn in the ashram. Maroon is the colour of ‘working with wisdom’. Another indication that his direct guidance would be gone soon.
8. The celebration of the White Robe Brotherhood was created. Daily gatherings with the Master, anticipating his absence. And later, when he was absent, the empty chair became important. A ritual comparable with the consecration in the Catholic Church, meant to give presence to the absent Master.
9. He allowed the concept of sannyas to be taken beyond the extent of only being a phenomenon between an Enlightened Master and a disciple. Giving sannyas to people by representatives is – certainly when the Master has gone – the same as what baptising is in the Christian churches.
10. He ordered all buildings to be painted in black, the colour of death and transcendence. A warning for those who could see; the time of big changes was imminent.
11. He gave the clear message that he wanted to be spoken of only in the present tense, not in the past tense, as if he were still alive. Compare the words of Jesus: ‘And behold I am with you all through the days that are coming, until the consummation of the world’.” (Nandan 1992, p. 4)
Purville, astro-therapist, writes
“All that has been done in Poona has been done as Osho wanted it. And his work is going on. For five years he had foreseen his death and so organized his succession. For example, the Master had chosen 21 disciples to succeed him. 21 persons as in the major tarot cards. It’s the world map symbol where the soul masters the four energies.” (Joy Purville. In: Futurastral, no. 3, July-August, 1991. Also in digital Press Echo distribution, 1991)
“Already a year before, out of a joke and playful episode with Niskriya, his cameraman, a shout of the assembly in Buddha Auditorium had developed. Osho danced with us on the podium and at the peak of the music it culminated in our shouting out “Yahoo!” full-heartedly.
Then in August 1989 a surprising message from him changed this format. The evening meditation should now be called “Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood” (add mentally:… and Sisterhood). Everyone to attend was to wear a white robe. It was then that the shouting of “Osho!” developed. The word ‘Osho’ was not directed to the Master as a person. It was more like a divine sound sent up by us into the universe. I felt it as an opening and my mind could not cope with the intensity. We were so open, energetically connected with him in those nights in Buddha Hall.
Just as a creative and healing visualization, we can imagine that he planted precious seeds in these last evening meditations. How to find words for something so invisible?
I reviewed some videos of the “Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood” to refresh my memory. What from the outside may look like mass hypnosis was for all of us present a chance to jump out of our minds and become a witness.” (Nirbija at www.oshonews.com/2018/05/05/)
Marion Goldman writes
“It is possible to discern progression in the Osho movement and its continued survival, albeit with diluted central authority and amorpheus cultural influence. First, Rajneesh ostracized Sheela and attributed all crimes and difficulties to her and her lieutenants. Second, the movement vacated the site of most extreme controversy, dispersed its members to other centers, and reclaimed its original headquarters far from the abandoned communal city in central Oregon. Third, Rajneesh renamed himself, the movement, and its headquarters. Fourth, he established a central council to carry on organizational duties. Fifth, he and the Inner Circle who governed after his death redefined the movement as one of meditation and personal growth informed by Osho’s philosophy. Finally, after Osho’s death, the movement reemphasized and underscored his focus on organizational diffusion and inclusive spirituality. Success was about truth and influence rather than organization and growth. Thus his legacy became: “Never born. Never died. Only visited this Planet Earth between December 11, 1931 and January 19, 1990.” (Goldman 2004, p.134)
Veena on Nirvano’s heath
“I hoped so much that she could get better for her own sake but I also knew that Osho missed her very much. It had been my feeling from early Pune 1 days that she was Osho’s anchor to the planet. I can’t even find words to describe the connection I sensed between them. The energy was tangible yet something out of this world – and she was the grounding force. Osho had spoken many times of how enlightened beings needed something to anchor them to this earth because basically they were no longer in the body and there was no reason for them to linger on. My feeling had always been: take care of Nirvano and Osho would in turn be taken care of. So my motives in helping her were twofold. I sensed that Osho would be leaving us soon and if he could be persuaded to stay because of Nirvano being healthy and strong again, then it was worth every effort to help her. She was convinced herself that this was the right thing to do…
And I have long pondered Osho’s comment on her health – his words were: ‘Her death was untimely’. I hesitate to interpret anything that Osho did or said, especially when it applied to other people and not me personally, but I put forward the conjecture that he knew he would be leaving the body soon and that once he was gone, Nirvano would be free to function without considering him – meaning she could seek the medical treatment she needed to recover. But while he was still in the body, he wanted her near him, no doubt for a huge variety of reasons which we can never fathom.” (Veena. www.oshonews.com/2018/05/03)
(Note: Nirvano had confided to Veena about a common female complaint, PMT, and that she felt bad she couldn’t get control over it. Her health was affected by some inbalance in her hormones, but according to Veena there were no signs of schizophrenia or her being bi-polar as some had suggested).
“On December 9, 1989 I am shocked to hear the news of Nirvano’s death. I remember in one of His early discourses I had heard Him say that when a master leaves the body those who are deeply connected with Him won’t be able to survive and He mentioned Nirvano as one of those people. I wonder if Nirvano’s death affected Osho’s body in some way.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 133)
Vaidya on Nirvano’s passing
“In the last 18 months of her life, Nirvano who had first seen Osho when she was 21 years old in Bombay and had been physically and emotionally closest to him as his lover and personal caretaker since the early 1970s, was romantically involved with Jayesh. Osho’s senior sannyasins recalled that in 1989, Nirvano, who had been extraordinarily protective of Osho in the previous decades, would now often be with Jayesh in Bombay or at his room in Krishna House, but not in Lao Tzu. One version had it that she was kept away from Lao Tzu “because of her mood swings” but this had made her extremely unhappy. She died in suspicious circumstances on December 9, 1989, barely 41 days before Osho passed away. The circumstances of her death were hushed up and she was cremated swiftly and unceremoniously.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 103)
Yes Osho reports
“And during the celebration, Ma Prem Nirvano left her body on the 9th of December, last Saturday. The doctors were unable to determine the exact cause of death, but it seems it was due to an accidental overdose. Amrito put a very beautiful piece about it over the echo that I hope you have read already. We were all very touched by it, but it has been a very quiet and somehow private affair. Everyone feeling whatever they are feeling but what to say about it?” (Yes Osho (Digital). 16.12.1989)
Nirgun writes on Nirvano
“While I waited for Saguna, another much-loved friend Vivek, left forever. Since the rebirth of the Poona commune our paths had seldom crossed. I heard she was deeply depressed and spent much of her time traveling. In the commune she chose to live in Krishna House rather than Lao Tzu, leaving the care of Bhagwan to Chetana and Anando. I never saw her on the paths or in the cafeteria.
But in White Robe she became alive, an explosion so vivid, so total – her heavy brown hair flying, her eyes wide and flashing, every particle of her body and being dissolved into the dance – I could only stare in delight…
Alarmed, I sought out Chetana, told her my fears. “Vivek looks like she’s on the point of death. Is anyone keeping in touch with her?”
Chetana’s face echoed my concern. “We’re all trying, Nirgun,” she said. “We call on her but she sends us away; says she’s fine, just doesn’t want visitors.”
Three weeks later I heard Vivek had died from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. Her body was cremated the same night, with only a few close friends present.
I think her death was not accidental. Like me, she had known Osho’s new bedroom for what it was: a samadhi.
Osho said, “Vivek died an untimely death.” (Hamilton 1998, p. 199)
Vismaya writes on Osho and Nirvano
“Many years later, when our dreams had become our nightmares and Rajneeshpuram had disintegrated so catastrophically, I could understand the terrible loneliness of Bhagwan. Osho as he was then called. His old friends, such as Laxmi, had gone, manoeuvred out by Sheela, or had left because the dream had shattered and they were in the process of killing the Buddha in order to come to themselves. The best of this crop of disciples had left him, as planned, and he now had around him only those who hadn’t surfed the wave, who had held tight to their boards, perhaps thinking the board was the thing, not the ocean. Every country he tried to visit refused him entry and he had returned to the ashram in Pune. Then his partner, Vivek, committed suicide. She presumably killed herself because she was in unbearable pain, though this is never talked about. Her suicide is seen as a personal aberration, she was manic-depressive, ill. There is no enquiry beyond that, into how our collective dream had made her so unhappy. The commune betrayed her too. Just as it did Osho. Just as it did us. Yet we were the commune. We had betrayed ourselves.
I think by the time she died, Vivek alone was carrying the full burden of Osho’s humanity. Everyone around him, in all directions as far as the eye could see, thought him a god. By that time, those of us who had worked out Osho was a man, with all the shadowy dark turbulence that involves, were deep in our own dark turbulence. We were angry at the sense of betrayal all devotees feel when their god reveals himself to have been like them all along, a human being with the same frailties and failings. There was no one left close to him, who knew him as a man, who fought and argued with him, lounged around and watched videos with him, laughed in irreverent disrespect. Except for Vivek. Perhaps this profound isolation is what led her to kill herself. And perhaps the same terrible loneliness led Osho to do the same.” (Geraghty 2007, p. 200)
Veena writes on Nirvano’s passing
“Towards the end of Pune 2 I was living in a room in Riverside because I was no longer working in Lao Tzu House as Osho had put me in charge of Creative Arts. I was very busy one day and the next day I took the day off – we could do that in those days. I only came to the commune for the evening discourse. That night I was opening the right-hand door of the podium when he went into Buddha Hall. The other two positions were the left-hand door and the car door. I always privately thought to myself that the right-hand door was the ‘hot seat’, because when Osho had finished greeting everybody and turned to leave the podium, you were right there in front of him and totally exposed! Nowhere to hide! He could see into the innermost core of your being. Scary!
That night I took my position but I was aware of something strange. I couldn’t make it out. And of course, we didn’t talk. Then Osho drove up in the car and got out and I was immediately engulfed in a huge oceanic wave of sorrow. These are the only words I can use to describe it. I was totally shocked. I had never felt anything like this before. It was as if there was a thick cloud of existential sorrow surrounding him and touching us. When I went to my seat I was shivering with a kind of cold – not of fear – but of unease, alarm, and deep, deep sadness. After the short sitting we took our places again to open the doors and the feeling was more intense. When Osho rounded the back wall behind his chair, for the first time ever I felt I was intruding when I looked at him. He was so open there was never a feeling of being intrusive but this time I could not look at him. I closed my eyes and bowed my head onto my namasted hands and took a small step backwards so as not to intrude on his space in any way. Yet still he stopped and put his hands around mine, nodded slightly, and went to the car.
I was desperate to get away and went straight home to try to understand what had happened. It was only when I went back to work the next morning that I heard Nirvano had died the afternoon before.” (Veena. www.oshonews.com/2018/05/03)
Abhiyana writes on Nirvano
“Ma Yoga Vivek was one of Osho’s first English disciples and became his caretaker and companion in 1972. She was totally devoted 24/7 to Osho’s well-being; she had no life of her own separate from her master.
“Look at Vivek, who has been with me longest – for fifteen years. When she first came, she was only twenty; now she is thirty-five. Almost half of her life she has been with me. And she has served me with immense devotion, love, care, such that you can only find in ancient stories about women, not in reality. From the morning when I wake up, till at night when I go to sleep […] She has no time of her own, every moment she is devoted. Just to serve me is her joy.” From Bondage to Freedom, Ch. 13.
Vivek was known to be moody, introverted and hard to get close to. I had some small talks with her while I was brewing up Chinese teas for Osho in Poona I. Vivek suffered from dramatic changes of mood. She was diagnosed with what was then called manic-depressive disorder. This was kept secret, but her few friends knew. And it ran in her family, as it does in mine.
People who lived with her in Lao Tzu House saw it. She could be irrationally angry one moment, and weepy the next. It didn’t seem pathological, as that kind of behaviour was not unusual in Osho’s house. I witnessed enough in the time I lived there.
In 1977, Osho insisted she find a lover. Vivek was given photos of many of the Ashramite men, so she could “interview” them and choose a boyfriend. She interviewed my old friend Amrit and then chose Hamid for a while, both doctors.
Around 1988, Anando and Shunyo became his caretakers, and Vivek – now named Nirvano – left his house. After 15 years of dedication in taking care of Osho’s body, it was difficult for her to just be an ordinary disciple. I heard her depression and manic episodes grew. She had medication, but did not take it regularly. She left the Ashram for a psychiatric facility in England, and returned in 1989…
I heard she often talked about wanting to die. In the last months, she was hermetical and did not want to see anybody. The day before Nirvano died, Osho stopped the car in front of her on the marble walkway while leaving the meditation hall. From where I sat, I watched as Osho whispered something to her through the open window, and she got in the car; that was their last meeting…
No one knows if she killed herself or took an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. But it was the day before Osho’s birthday celebration; did she choose this day deliberately? Osho was reported distraught when he heard about her death. Anando told me later that Osho had said: “You think you miss her? You cannot know how much I miss her!” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 486-88)
Shunyo writes on Nirvano
“It was better for me to stay away from her, because I used to pick up her unhappiness very easily. On the last few occasions that I did visit her she would tell me about the anxiety and incredible pain she had felt in her ‘hara’ or lower stomach. For years she would wake up each morning with a feeling of nausea in the pit of her stomach…
When I close my eyes to remember her I can only see her laughing. When she was happy, she was the most ecstatic, alive person I have ever met…
I know that Osho tried everything possible. He gave her everything she wanted. He wanted to keep her here, but she was also free to go anywhere in the world she liked…
I think that if she could have stayed until Osho left His body, that would have been the ‘click,’ the turning point for her. He said that her death was untimely…
I could never really know, but I have an idea, just how much He loved her. There was a magic between them that was never disturbed from His side by her moods and temperament…
Although I have had no experience of past lives I always had the impression that their relationship was ancient. He said in a discourse in 1978 that she had been His girlfriend in her past life (just forty years ago) and she had died at the age of seventeen of typhoid and had promised to come back and take care of Him.
I have heard Osho say never judge a person by his deeds, his actions, by what he does. With Nirvano this was so clear to see how on the one hand she was a beautiful “soul,” or energy, and on the other hand a very difficult person.” (Shunyo 1999, pp. 298-300)
(Note: On Vivek’s early days with Osho, see also: Volume One / Bombay)
7.13 Meetings, Satsang and Meditations
In four months. since Osho in April 1989 had put an end to his public discourses, he had not been able to meet his disciples in Buddha Hall due to his failing health. Then in July a new name for the evening meetings was introduced, now known as the gathering of Osho Rajneesh White Swan Brotherhood. An evening celebration with the whole audience dressed in white robes and with wild live music guided by Osho’s hands beating the rhythm after he had arrived at his podium and namasted his people, before he sat down in his chair for some 10-15 minutes in silent satsang. Then after he had left Buddha Hall a discourse video was shown followed by guided meditations. In his very last evening appearances he was only able to walk slowly round the podium saluting his disciples before he returned to Lao Tzu House for further resting. New guided meditations were experimented with at the evening meetings: Gibberish and Let-go. And the Mystic Rose, No-Mind and Born Again were new meditative therapies being now offered in the commune.
Osho on satsang
“This has been called, in the East, satsang. This is something which is unique to the East. The West has never been able to develop anything parallel to it, because it simply means: to be with the man who has arrived. It is not necessarily needed that he should speak. It is not necessary for you to ask, but just being in his presence is a great experience. His very vibe is transforming; his joy is contagious; his silence finds ways to enter into you; his heart suddenly starts moving your heart in a harmonious dance.” Zarathustra. The Laughing Prophet (1987). Chapter 22, p. 519.
Shunyo on guided meditations
“Evening Meeting Meditation. This is the last meditation created by Osho. It happens at Osho centres throughout the world at 7:00 pm each day and is in four stages. We begin with about ten to fifteen minutes of music, celebration and dance. Then we sit silently, listening to music that is interspersed with sudden gaps of silence. After three drumbeats, this part of the meditation ends and is followed by an Osho talk. The final stage is a special Gibberish and Let-go meditation guided by Osho himself.
In the last two years of his life, at the completion of each discourse, Osho included a guided meditation where he would guide us to our hara centre, about two inches below the navel.” (Shunyo. In: Svagito 2014, p. 57)
Last discourse in the series Live Zen (1988), 26.05.1988
“(Bhagwan appears tonight after an illness of many days – one of several periods of weakness and ill-health He has suffered since His incarceration by the American government in 1985.
During the last two weeks, a new meditation therapy has been launched, with “Zen Master Niskriya” leading the pilot group. Called the “No-Mind Meditation,” it consists of a week-long program of gibberish followed by silent watching (see the following chapter).
Tonight, Bhagwan brings the No-Mind Meditation to the assembly in Buddha Auditorium, establishing a new format for the nightly meditations at the end of each discourse.)
My Beloved Ones,
I am introducing you to a new meditation. It is divided in three parts.
The first part is gibberish. The word ‘gibberish’ comes from a Sufi mystic, Jabbar. Jabbar never spoke any language, he just uttered nonsense. Still he had thousands of disciples because what he was saying was, “Your mind is nothing but gibberish. Put it aside and you will have a taste of your own being.”
To use gibberish, don’t say things which are meaningful, don’t use the language that you know. Use Chinese, if you don’t know Chinese. Use Japanese if you don’t know Japanese. Don’t use German if you know German. For the first time have a freedom – the same as all the birds have. Simply allow whatever comes to your mind without bothering about its rationality, reasonability, meaning, significance – just the way the birds are doing.
For this first part, leave language and mind aside. Out of this will arise the second part, a great silence in which you have to close your eyes and freeze your body, all its movements, gather your energy within yourself.
Remain here and now.
Zen cannot be understood in any other way. This is the last part of the series Live Zen.
In the third part I will say, let go. Then you relax your body and let it fall without any effort, without your mind controlling. Just fall like a bag of rice.
Each segment will begin with the drum of Nivedano. Before Nivedano gives the drum, there are a few things I have to say to you…
I am extremely sorry that I have not been physically here for many days, but I am also extremely happy that you never missed my presence.
I was in your heart
and I was in the wind and in the rain
and the thunder of the clouds.
I was in your tears,
in your nonsense utterances…
I was absolutely present here with you –
and those who are present know it perfectly.
I was absent only for those who themselves are absent. At least today, don’t go anywhere.
Nivedano, give the first drum…
Live Zen (1988). Chapter 17, p. 288.
Nivedano on playing Oshoba high-energy samba music
“During my last years in NYC I had a group of drummers that performed every day on the streets of Manhattan; 5th Avenue and Columbus Circle by the Plaza Hotel was our day-time gig… Imagine, 35 years ago, in the middle of the afternoon on 5th Avenue, between 54th and 55th Street, these amazing drummers came by, all professionals – 9 to be precise – all dressed up as aliens, holy people, etc. And the sheer force of the beat could stop traffic and people. It was such a realization when that happened that when I got to Pune I wanted to try it for the energy darshans. However, politics didn’t permit it and we had to wait until later, when Milarepa and I had a squabble about music. This was in 1989. It was decided that from that moment on the music for the White Robe would be played only with drums, and no more sing-songs. Osho loved it and the mood in the ashram soared with the sound of the beatless beat.” (www.oshonews.com, 12.09.2014)
Punya on Nivedano
“Rumour was that he had been a drummer with not only Santana, Weather Report and Pink Floyd but also with Miles Davis and John McLaughlin – and to be invited to play with him was certainly an honour.” (Punya 2015, p. 309)
Nivedano on Osho when beating the drum
“Even though he was the commander and chief, his calling Nivedano was not, ever, a command. He was so kind and generous to pronounce it with so much love that every time he did so, it was Gachchami time, touching his feet, on and on, like the song goes! A command is something to be obeyed. His calling was never a command, it was more like pointing to the obvious, pushing, like nudging to where the nameless abides. There were times when, by observing his breathing, I could place the sound of the drum right into his calling. All that was heard was the drum and not the boring Nivedano name. He told me to keep my eyes open during the meditation. Like that, then, I could observe every and most subtle nuances of his breath and place the boom right into his calling. That game became increasingly intense because he would try to change the flow of his breath to fool me into playing off-time. I had to be very attuned to his rhythm in order not miss the beat. For months it went on and, I suppose, no one ever noticed what was going on. That was indeed my most sacred experiment into oneness with the universal, all-encompassing conscious flow.” (www.oshonews.com, 12.09.2014)
Margot Anand recalls an evening meeting in Buddha Hall
“For this, we need to return to an ashram in India, where, on a cool winter’s evening in February 1988, I was sitting with about a thousand disciples in front of Osho.
He had just finished giving a discourse on Zen, rounding it off with a couple of racy jokes, and was now leading us into a “gibberish” and “let go” meditation.
“Speak any kind of language you don’t understand,” coached Osho. “You are carrying so much mental rubbish. This is the right moment to throw it out.”
A thunderous hit on a huge drum was the signal for us to start loudly uttering all kinds of nonsense sounds and imaginary words, as a way of unloading the clutter in our heads. Our eyes were closed, which was just as well, because the entire hall must have looked like a madhouse.
After a few minutes…
The next drumbeat sounded the signal for total silence.
“Let you body become completely frozen, no movement,” instructed Osho. “Now, look in! Gather all your energy and rush like an arrow to the center of your being.”
A few minutes more and then…
“Now, let go,” continued Osho. “Let yourself fall down, wherever you are. Feel that your whole being has relaxed. Let go.”
Let’s switch to the present tense…
Each of us has indeed fallen back on… well, whatever is behind us: the marble floor, their shawl or cushion, a person’s foot, arm, or belly.
It is a bit of a challenge to let go in these cramped quarters, with everyone lying on everyone else, but it doesn’t matter. Only Osho’s gentle voice matters. Now, with a relaxed but alert consciousness, I let go of any tension in my body as best I can.
“Feel the Buddha within,” says Osho. “Allow this Buddha to be with you. Let the Buddha inside accompany you as you go about your life. Be the Buddha. You are the Buddha. Remember it!”
“Now gently come back, as a Buddha.”
This signals the end of evening meeting with Osho. After his departure, each of us, quietly and slowly, gathers any personal belongings and leaves the hall.” (Anand 2017, p. 310)
“The No-Mind Meditation: Therapy Through Gibberish
During the period of time when these LIVE ZEN discourses were happening, Bhagwan introduced a new meditative therapy – the No-Mind Meditation – and Niskriya was asked to lead the first group! Every afternoon, Zen Master Niskriya could be seen, elegantly dressed in kimono and pajama pants (and wearing his Chinese cap!) on his way to No-Mind.
Since that time, hundreds of ashram guests have participated in this new “therapy through gibberish.” It is a week-long program, consisting of two hours each day. The first hour is gibberish, where all the rubbish of the mind is thrown out in nonsense language. The second hour is spent sitting, with eyes closed, enjoying the silent aftermath.
Some of the participants in the No-Mind Meditation groups have offered their comments on the following pages…” (Live Zen (1988). Appendix, pp. 294-299)
Osho on gibberish
“It has never been used by groups, but the very word ‘gibberish’ comes from the name of a Sufi mystic, Jabbar. He used to talk nonsense. You would ask about the moon, and he would talk about the sun; he never answered the question he was asked. He would make up his own words. It is because of his name, Jabbar, that the word gibberish came into being; it is the language of Jabbar. He is one of the enlightened Sufi masters. He used gibberish for others; otherwise he was silent. For days, if nobody came, he would be silent. If anybody came and said anything to him, then that person triggered him. Then he would say anything – sentences without meaning, words without meaning. You would not make any sense of what he was doing.” The Path of the Mystic. Talks in Uruguay (1988). Chapter 15, p. 161. Punta del Este, 11.05.1986pm.
Osho on gibberish practiced in Mt. Abu meditation camps
“When I was allowing gibberish meditation in the camps in the mountains…
It is difficult to allow it here because the neighbours start going mad. They start phoning the police and the commissioner, saying, “Our whole life is being destroyed!” They don’t know that if they would participate in their own houses, their lives would come out of the insanity in which they are living. But they are not even aware of their insanity.
The gibberish meditation was that everybody was allowed to say loudly whatever comes into his mind. And it was such a joy to hear what people were saying, irrelevant, absurd – because I was the only witness. People were doing all kinds of things, and the only condition was that you should not touch anybody else. You could do whatever you wanted…
Somebody was standing on his head, somebody has thrown off his clothes and become naked, running all around – for the whole hour.” Satyam Shivam Sundram (1988). Session 25, p. 297 .
Punya on Gibberish and Let-go meditations
“Not long after the discourse on Kasan’s beating the drum Osho added another feature to the closing meditation: gibberish. These were a few minutes where we could speak in tongues and throw our arms about. These stages were also introduced with a drum beat. It was enough for Osho to call: “Nivedano!” for the drum beat to come. Even if by chance Nivedano was absent and another drummer was standing in for him, the command was: “Nivedano!” Just as the wording “OK, Maneesha” was the signal for the end of discourse, so other names became like signals…
The following morning Sarita asked me to join her in the Press Office. She badly needed someone with an ‘office mind’ to send out press releases. They were ready to be typed and sent out by post and were entitled ‘Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh leading meditations’ and the text read something like this: ‘For the first time in more than thirteen years, disciples and seekers have the opportunity to experience a meditation process in Bhagwan’s presence, under His guidance.’ I had never thought about the historical implication of our new let-go meditation; I was just living my life in day-to-day wonder.” (Punya 2015, pp. 371,357)
Davapath on meditative therapies
“When I came back to Pune in 1987 I saw Osho was inviting all kind of therapies, including those focusing more on understanding the mind, throwing his net as wide as possible to attract people. But in the end, just before he died, he closed the circle of Osho therapy, by creating his Meditative Therapies, which are certainly beyond intellect and therefore a provocation to all analytical approaches.
Osho’s Mystic Rose Meditation is a brilliant meditative therapy process of twenty-one days. It’s a reminder that catharsis is the essential cleansing process for the body, mind, heart and spirit. In this way, Osho’s vision of therapy gets the final touch: a synthesis of Western encounter therapy and eastern Vipassana meditation…
The final meditation for the therapist and the group in the evening is the Osho White Robe Brotherhood, now known as the Evening Meeting. It was an opportunity to fall deeply in tune with him, while listening to his words and imbibing his vision. Shortly before he died, Osho created this unique meditation that we still do today. It begins with a twenty-minute meditation of dancing and relaxing into soft music followed by a video recording of one of Osho’s discourse.
In his book, The Secret of Secrets, Osho talks about the secret transmission from the master to the disciple in the tradition of Tao, saying that one of the greatest secrets is, that sitting by the Master’s side, the disciple starts breathing in the same way the master breathes.
This is the greatest gift for a disciple: to fall in tune with the breath of the master. He can become part of his inner being. This is what happens when I listen to him. This is the moment when I can forget myself and relax into a deeply peaceful energy.” (Devapath. In: Svagito 2014, pp. 278,282)
Punya writes on Mystic Rose
“The same series of discourses brought us another meditation, called ‘The Mystic Rose’. It was first tested in the hall at the end of a discourse and consisted of three five-minutes stages of laughing, crying and sitting silently.
Leela, a therapist from South Africa, was appointed to create a three-week group process. The sessions were in the morning and lasted three hours. In the first week we had to laugh…
For the following week, the crying phase, the facilitators had arranged a darkened room with languid Western classical music… The final week was called ‘The Watcher on the Hill’. We sat on meditations stools, watching what movies the mind had in store for us that day.” (Punya 2015, p. 360)
Savita writes on Mystic Rose
“Mystic Rose involves three weeks of mornings: one week of laughter, one of tears and one of witnessing in silence. No-Mind is a week-long morning gibberish and witnessing meditation; and Born Again – also one week of mornings – has participants re-living their early childhood with playfulness and let-go.” (Savita 2014, Endnotes, p. 258)
Punya.eu/Photos/Chapter 9/No3 NU: 9,2
Photo 31. Osho greets audience in Buddha Hall.
“Within the Meditation Hall, Rajneesh added his own new touches to his discourses, now held at night. In early 1988, he introduced the greeting “Yaa Hoo!”, the new “sannyasin salute”, with both hands raised, based originally on a dirty joke (Rajneesh Times, 16 April 1988). He then extended this greeting into a meditation stretching over three weeks, involving three hours of laughter every day for a week, followed by a week of weeping for three hours each day, and finally a week of silent Vipassana meditation mixed with dancing. The Rajneesh Times hailed this “Mystic Rose Meditation” as “the first major break-through in meditation” since the time of Buddha (16 June 1988). To follow his discourses the new “Let Go” meditation of gibberish followed by complete relaxation was begun (Rajneesh Times, 16 May 1988). Finally, the common wearing of robes, only while on the ashram premises, was re-introduced: red robes for daily wear, black robes for group leaders, and white for meditation (Rajneesh Times, 16 August 1989). Malas were not worn.” (Aveling 1996, p. 198)
Osho Rajneesh To Celebrate July Festival of the Full Moon
“In an announcement yesterday, Ma Deva Anando, the personal secretary to Osho Rajneesh, declared that he is planning to come out and celebrate with his friends and lovers for the five-day Festival from July 14th to July 18th.
The controversial mystic has been resting for the last few months recuperating from the heavy metal Thallium poisoning he suffered at the hands of the Reagan Administration three years ago. Anando revealed that Rajneesh hoped he would be strong enough to talk and give his evening discourse, but if not he planned to come and sit in silence with his people.
This festival is known as Gurupurnima in India. However, Rajneesh stated that the word “guru” had taken on ugly connotations and that he was not in favor of the idea of gurus. So Rajneesh has renamed this five-day festival “The Festival of the Full Moon.” More than ten thousand international friends and lovers of Osho Rajneesh are expected to attend this year’s celebration.” (Press Release. Osho Rajneesh To Celebrate July Festival of the Full Moon. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. No number. Subject: Full Moon Festival 1. 24.06.1989)
“Gurupurnima Festival of Full Moon begins. Osho comes out for 7 minutes. This is the first appearance of the White Robe Brotherhood.” (www.oshoturk.com/osho-life/10-68-notes.htm)
Heading: 10.000 White Robed Sannyasins Celebrate As Osho Reappears in Public
“Thousands of sannyasins, all dressed in beautiful flowing white robes, clapped ecstatically in Buddha Hall as Osho made His first public appearance in four months.
Osho’s black robe with His bird symbol gorgeously applicated on the front of the robe, made a sharp contrast to the sea of white-clad sannyasins, who were wearing long flowing robes again for the first time in eight years. As He walked in to the echo of Avirbhava’s delighted scream, the enormous love flowing between the packed Buddha Hall and this most beloved Master of Masters was almost tangible. He namasteed us while His smile brought tears of joy to many eyes. He moved His hands to the music and then sat down for some precious moments with us while the music was playing. Then He stood up, namasteed all of us, hands moving with the music, and we stayed… this is as far as I wrote, when the following article appeared on the desk. It is such a unusually lovely article that we’ll let it take over the description: [Here follows: A Visitation of the Guru. Milind Kolhatkar. Indian Express. 16.07.1989. See below].” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 16.07.1989)
Heading: A visitation of the Guru
“Slowly, slowly, haltingly, ‘Osho’ Rajneesh walked out into the bright lights. His hands were upraised in the traditional ‘namaskar’, his mouth trembled slightly behind the grizzled beard, his feet placed themselves resolutely, deliberately, one before the other. Into the clapping, laughing, weeping mass of white-robed meditators stepped a frail figure, a quiet, weary-seeming shadow. Swathed in a slim-fitting, angle-length, black-as-black gown, stepped the ‘godless godman’, the ‘wordy man-of-no-words’, the world-famous ‘controversial Indian mystic’, Rajneesh.
And the array of expression on the faces that greeted him were canvas worthy of any painter. The nuance of emotion that unfolded before him were symphony worthy of any composer. Some smiled as if their life’s goal had been achieved. Others stopped, but to stare in amazement. Many were the eyes glistening with unshed tears. And before long some had bright crystal streams coursing unashamed down their cheeks.
Seeing their ‘guru’, their ‘lover’, their ‘friend’ for the first time in four months, the Rajneeshites let their emotions run free.
The man, himself, was visibly moved. Ma Prem Hasya, Rajneesh’s International Secretary, had said in her introduction, “He hears our ‘Yaa’Hoo’ each evening with joy. He wants to see us celebrating and dancing. We do not need to see him; he needs to see us.” His eyes, seemingly exhausted with the effort, swung across the crowd of sannyasins, stopping now and again at a particular well-loved face, and then the tired man was – for a moment – glad. Waving the seated listeners to more joyful clapping, Rajneesh made a brief tour of the podium, and settled into his chair.
Silent at the centre of the emotional upsurge, the black-clad man sat in utter silence. His hands folded in front of him, totally relaxed, entirely moveless he remained, as the gathered sannyasins sat taut and upright, waiting for the moment when he would hold up his hand for silence.
That moment never ‘happened’.
Five minutes after having sat down, ‘Osho’ Rajneesh slowly opened his eyes, carefully stood up, and, hands raised in salutation, began to bid his people goodbye. With feet moving haltingly, almost painfully, he turned to face every side of the bursting hall. The musicians led the crowd in an exuberant expression of their devotion to this man, as he shuffled his way along the periphery of the podium. Leaving behind an image of a willing spirit in a weak body, ‘Osho’ Rajneesh took the quickest, surest steps of this appearance only two meters from the exit doorway. Quickly he returned to his Rolls, and was whisked away…
Before Rajneesh made his entrance, his two secretaries had announced that in spite of ‘stupid journalists’ pronouncing that ‘Osho’ was dying, Rajneesh was, in fact, alive, and – though not well – certainly not dying. The journalists, they said, would be better advised to write about the illegal poisoning of their ‘lover’ at the hands of the fascist Reagan administration’. “It is not Osho who is dying,” they said, “It is the American idea of democracy, freedom of speech, and respect for the individual which is dying.” This did evoke a murmur of agreement from the crowd, but Rajneesh’s appearance caused a gasp of dismay.” (Milind Kolhatkar. Indian Express, Poona. 16.07.1989)
Heading: We will see Osho again on the 18th.
“Today it was announced that Osho is coming out again, on July 18 – the Night of the Full Moon, to sit with us again. So come if you can…” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 16.07.1989)
Heading: A darshan under a full moon
“As the full moon scudded across a dappled sky, some 12,000 devotees, lovers, friends, journalists and a fair spattering of gawkers gathered today beneath the Buddha Hall canopy at Rajneeshdham for the second of two rare ‘darshans’ of ‘Osho’ Rajneesh in the last week.
The white robes created their spectacle and sat down to wait. The Ashram band rang their rhapsody, scaling higher and higher peaks of enthusiasm each time. Expectation sat craning its sinewy neck on every shoulder. Doubt, longing, hope, fear glistened in every eye. The clapping roared. The Rolls-Royce purred. And into the new-named ‘White Robe Brotherhood’ stepped Rajneesh.
Tonight, his night-black robe was studded with a million stars. And tonight that face, beloved of so many, for half of the world’s symbol of ambivalent emotion, shone lustrous behind the salt-and-pepper beard.
With the twinklingst eyes you might ever have seen, this man ‘turned’ the audience ‘on’ like nobody else could have done. With folded hands urging his ‘friends’ on, he caressed each corner of the full-and-brimming-over hall with his eyes. And his faithful sannyasins reciprocated unstintingly. Their clapping and cheering resounded about the auditorium and their ‘Yaa-Hoos’ shuddered the genteel atmosphere of Koregaon Park.
As he had done on July 14, Rajneesh merely sat silent in his chair, eyes lightly closed, hands beating time in their delicate lotus-position. For a few supercharged moments he sat there still in the centre of the raging emotional storm. And then he stood up and began to make his way out again.
This brief halt in public seemed to have fatigued the aging ‘guru’. His steps as he walked away from his people seemed just that little bit more weary than when he arrived. Yet, his encouraging glance was nothing lacking, and his ‘namaskar’ keeping rhythm seemed to say “Whether I am on my way in or out, whether I am with you or not, celebrate.” (Milind Kolhatkar. Indian Express. Poona. 19.07.1989)
Heading: Osho Will Come Out All the 3 Days of Next Meditation Camp
“Osho has said that He will be coming out for all the three days of the next Meditation Camp on August 11,12 and 13. He may only be with us for ten or fifteen minutes on each night, but as of now He will definitely be there! The latest developments on His suggestions for the new color arrangements for robes: He would like us to wear white robes only for the discourse/video discourse – whether or not He is physically present – and for meditating alone. For all the groups the participants will be wearing maroon. This does not include the School for Centering – Sufi, Gurdieff Sacred Dances, Hassid, Yoga, Vipassana and Zen – for which Osho has chosen a whole range of new colors and designs. The group leaders and those giving individual sessions will wear black robes with a maroon sash. The participants in the monthly Meditation Camps will be wearing maroon too, as well as participants in all the daily meditations in Buddha Hall. The colored robes are not for general use, but are for the particular events concerned. Similarly, the mala is not for use everywhere. It is a special thing and can be kept for meditating.” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 30.07.1989)
Heading: Rajneesh To Give August Darshans
“His health having apparently improved substantially Osho Rajneesh will appear for three-evening darshans at the upcoming August 11th, 12th and 13th meditation camp at the International Rajneesh Ashram in Poona. Thousands of Rajneesh’s friends and lovers from around the world are expected to attend the new 3-day meditation camp which will become a regular Ashram feature scheduled for the second week of every month.
“It’s so wonderful that our beloved Master is coming out to be with us once again!” declared an exuberant Ma Yoga Neelam, secretary to Osho Rajneesh for Indian affairs. “In September, our Mahaparinirvana festival will be immediately followed with our monthly meditation camp, so, if everything goes well, Osho will also be with us for seven days.” (Press Release. Rajneesh To Give August Darshans. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. No number or subject. 30.07.1989)
Heading: Osho Rajneesh’s Health Improves, More Public Appearances Scheduled
“Osho Rajneesh is scheduled to increase the number of public appearances that he makes in Rajneeshdham, Poona, over the next two months, quashing media rumors that he is on his death bed. He will join his disciples in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium for meditation on three successive days in August and on seven successive days in September, ashram officials stated.
“We are delighted to say that Osho’s health seems to be improving steadily and he is now able to make more appearances,” said Ma Prem Hasya, Rajneesh’s International secretary.
“However, he is still weak from the poison administered by agents of the U.S. federal government while he was in jail in America,” she added.” (Press Release. Osho Rajneesh’s Health Improves, More Public Appearances Scheduled. Ma Yoga Neelam. No number or subject. 01.08.1989)
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Photo 32. Osho leaving Lao Tzu House for White Robe Brotherhood in Buddha Hall.
Heading: Special Announcement
“Osho is planning to come and sit with His friends in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium on the last evening of each monthly meditation camp (the second Sunday of every month).” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:15)
Heading: Osho Coming Out In September for 7 Days
“Osho has said that He will come out for the Meditation Camp on August 11,12 and 13 AND in September He will come out for the Mahaparinirvana Celebration plus the Meditation Camp: September 4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10!” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 03.08.1989)
Heading: Osho Rajneesh Looks Much More Healthy
“Disciples of Osho Rajneesh expressed their delight and relief yesterday, noting a marked improvement in their spiritual Master’s health as he appeared in public for the first time in four weeks.
The mystic sat in the presence of 7,000 disciples for ten minutes in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium, Rajneeshdham, on Friday evening, the first day of the ashram’s monthly meditation camp.
“There was no doubt about it. He looked better, he walked easily and well, and he delighted us all by dancing with his hands in time to the music and showering us all with his blessings,” exclaimed an ecstatic Yoga Neelam, Osho’s secretary for India, after the darshan was over.
Many other disciples agreed with her. “There has been a marked improvement in his health since we saw him in July,” observed Ma Prem Hasya, Osho’s international secretary.
Speculation that Osho would also speak – he has maintained public silence since April this year – ended just before his arrival when his personal secretary, Ma Anando, told the gathering:
“Osho is a man of spontaneity. He does not speak unless his whole being is full to shower with words. Right now, he is living in silence, but silence is a far greater transmission. What words cannot express, silence can, so this is a greater opportunity than hearing him. It is meditating with him. It is melting.”
After Osho Rajneesh’s ten-minute appearance, which was accompanied by music, the disciples remained in the hall to watch a video recording of an earlier discourse by their Master.” (Press Release. Osho Rajneesh Looks Much More Healthy, Say Delighted Disciples After His Latest Appearance. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. No number or subject. 12.08.1989)
Heading: Stop Press
“OSHO will now be coming out to sit with His friends, lovers and disciples in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:16)
Heading: Osho’s Coming Out Again… and Again
“As Osho’s health has improved substantially, He will be coming out to sit with His disciples more often than reported in the special announcement in Rajneesh Times Issue #15.
Osho will be present at darshan every evening from September 4 to September 10, during the Mahaparinirvana Festival and the overlapping meditation camp, September 8 to 9.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:16)
Heading: STOP PRESS 21.08.1989
“Osho will be coming out every night.” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 20.08.1989)
Heading: Osho Rajneesh “The Lion of India” Is Back. Excerpt:
“”Osho will be coming out every night!” declared Ma Yoga Neelam, Osho Rajneesh’s secretary for India, to a cheering assembly of thousands of international visitors at Rajneeshdham, Poona. “His health has improved so much these last few days dancing and sitting in silence with all his friends and lovers.,” Neelam observed “that he is now going to come out and sit in darshan with the White-Robed Brotherhood every evening!”…
“But the last few days of this weekend’s dancing celebration have made it clear that Osho’s health has miraculously improved,” said Amrito. “It seems that the best attempts of the international press to put Osho Rajneesh on his deathbed have embarrassingly failed. Dead men don’t dance. One thing is absolutely certain – The Lion of India is back and celebrating every night.” (Press Release. Osho Rajneesh “The Lion of India” Is Back. Sw Chaitanya Keerti. 21.08.1989)
Devageet recalls Osho dancing at the evening meeting
“Osho’s dancing was a unique art form. He would stand during the evening meditation, facing the crowd of dancing, clapping, white-robed sannyasins, beating time with both hands, moving his arms and shoulders in what appeared to be the rhythm of the music. But appearances with Osho hide a deeper reality. He would usually start slowly, slower than the music, and the musicians would slow down their music. He would speed up, and again the musicians would try to keep pace.
The loose sleeves on his magnificent robes would sway and flap madly as he took control of the beat, winding it up to a level where the musicians mostly lost all semblance of control, often dissolving into a frenzied wild dissonance, with only Nivedano, Osho’s brilliant Brazilian drummer-percussionist, managing to stay in rhythm with the Master.
Each evening, as the musicians were swept into their evening device with the Master, the audience of hundreds of sannyasins would be ecstatically clapping, swaying and dancing as Osho’s dancing brought the energy in Buddha Hall to a crescendo. As the energy peaked, Osho would signal with his hand, and Nivedano would give three mighty drumbeats, each followed by the audience loudly shouting ‘OSHO!’ Osho would then quietly and gracefully namaste his “ten thousand Buddhas,” and take his seat in silence. His stillness and grace guided the joyous energy in Buddha Hall into a pin-drop silence as each person directed their energy inwards…
For many months, he had been modifying and refining the sequence of the component parts of the evening meditation: fifteen minutes of music and celebration and dancing with the Master, followed by music and silent meditation in his silent presence, followed by his spoken discourse, concluding with a meditation guided by Osho himself… It was only after he had left his body did I realize that during this preparatory period Osho had been creating an energy vehicle, a ritual, for his people to connect with him each night.” (Devageet 2013, pp. 187-191)
Heading: The New Darshan: A Mystical Gathering of Energy
“Osho has given a new name to the evening darshans with Him in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium – the Osho Rajneesh White Swan Brotherhood.
This brotherhood gathers together in silence, in music, sharing Osho’s energy. Not a single word is uttered. Osho has said: “That which cannot be said has to be experienced. This is a great experience of getting into the inner space. Something is experienced in this gathering which no one has been able to define.”
“This,” He said, “is the highest peak of the whole day’s working, meditating, or doing groups in the commune.”
The white robes of the brotherhood will be adorned with cloth swan emblems – the emblems are designed by Osho, and are currently being manufactured. Osho wore a robe with a prototype model of the emblem to darshan on the night of the announcement. The model was slightly larger and more colorful than the ones the Brotherhood will wear.” (Rajneesh Times International (India), 1989:19)
Heading: Announcement Made Before Darshan On August 25. Excerpt:
“Osho has given a new name to the evening darshans with Him in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium – the Osho Rajneesh White Swan Brotherhood.” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 02.09.1989)
Heading: Announcement In Gautama the Buddha Auditorium On August 24. Excerpt:
“Anando passed on from Osho the following message about the difference between His discourses and these new meetings:
“At first He thought you would understand from His words, but it seems to be an impossible thing. But with silence you don’t have to understand, just see and feel. In the first years programmed minds were coming in. Now there is no question of the mind. He is simply showering flowers.
“We are just at the beginning. We have really to reach heights. So put your TOTALITY into it. And don’t be too serious – it should be a delight. It is really going higher. You will start feeling the changes in the commune and seeing them in the faces. And more heights are there.” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 02.09.1989)
Heading: Announcement of August 31
“Anando announced that Osho would not be able to be with us in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium for the following three evenings.
One week previously Osho had a wisdom tooth removed, and despite his doctors’ advice, He has continued to come to celebrate with us each night. Commenting on the suggestions of His doctors, Osho said, “That’s their work, to take care of the tooth. I am going to do my work.”
Despite the fact that the wound was not healing and He has been in intense pain, He has insisted on coming to the auditorium every evening.
He said that the only time He has been free from the pain has been when He has come to the auditorium. Indeed, He has said many times that every time He sees His people, He totally forgets His body.
The problem is that Osho’s body has been so weakened from the poisoning by the U.S. government that any healing is difficult.
Finally, however, His doctors have ordered Him to stay in His room for three days, by which time we hope the wound will have sufficiently healed to allow Him to be with us again.” (Yes Osho Rajneesh (Digital). 05.09.1989)
Heading: His Silence and His Tears
“On September 18, before darshan, Anando made this announcement:
“As you saw last night, Osho is looking quite fragile, even though as He says, He forgets His body as soon as He is with His people. But still, the fact is that He has had ten teeth removed in the last few weeks just because of the radioactive poisoning to which He was exposed in the United States jails.”” (Yes Osho (Digital). 20.09.1989)
Azima on Osho’s appearances
“From May ’89 till the end of that year there were many interruptions in his public appearances that lasted a few days, in which Osho couldn’t leave his room to come to us in Buddha Hall. But the rest of the evenings, he came every night to meditate together with us in silence, without his incredible discourses, without his wonderful sense of humour, without his jokes and that mischievous smile.
We sat with him in silence. After long silences, interspersed with brief musical pieces, he had us do the gibberish meditation, then silence again, sharing with us the state of pure presence of the Buddha. He went on like that until the end.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 370)
“Our Beloved Master, We were told that our total participation in the Yaa-Hoo is needed for Your work on us. It is that a crescendo of sound in the Yaa-Hoo, and the intense experience of silence in the last stage of meditation, lead to exactly the same space – the “sea of consciousness”?
Yes, Maneesha. Yaa-Hoo can lead even deeper because Yaa-Hoo can become more intense, one-pointed. It can hit, deep down. You just watch when you make the sound Yaa-Hoo. It is not a word, it means nothing. It is simply my finding, amongst many sounds which have been used by different mystics in different times. I have found that Yaa-Hoo goes the deepest.
It has never been used. Hoo has been used; it has been used as part of Allah-hoo. If you repeat “Allah,” which is the name Sufis give to God – if you repeat it continuously, Allah, Allah, Allah, soon you will find it is becoming “Allah-hoo, Allah-hoo, Allah-hoo Allah-hoo” Then Sufis dropped the “Allah.” There is no need, you can just shout “Hoo” and it hits at the very center of your being.
But my finding is that “Hoo” only touches your being and immediately comes back. It does not go deep, like an arrow, penetrating. For that, my experiences with Yaa-Hoo has made me absolutely certain that is goes deepest in you. It goes just like a sword. It all depends with how much intensity, urgency, totality, you do it.
It is not a mantra. It is simply using sound to reach the soundless silence. After Yaa-Hoo you are left in a deep silence. So it is part of my work on you, and as you get deeper into it, you will find changes happening to you.” Joshu. The Lion’s Roar (1989). Chapter 7, page 149.
Heading: The Osho Salute
“From now on YAA-HOO! is out and OSHO! is the way we greet our Master when He opens His arms at evening darshan.
The announcement by Swami Amrito before darshan on October 15 filled thousands of hearts with gratitude. Amrito said that one evening a few days previously Osho had observed, “It is very difficult because everybody wants me to dance with them.” He told Amrito that His arms were so sore that He started to do only the YAA-HOO!s instead of dancing so strongly. Then Osho added, “Tell them YAA-HOO! was good for training but now it should be OSHO! – and tell them to practice a few times before I arrive.” Osho has asked Amrito if it was O.K. with sannyasins that the celebration period be shorter, and Amrito told Him he was sure it was fine with everybody.” (Osho Times International (India), 1989:21)
Photo 33. Osho with meditators in Buddha Hall.
Heading: Gossip from Abha and Prasad
“Tonight [15.10] before darshan, Amrito announced that Osho’s arms had began tiring Him, due to the incredible zapping that has been happening.
So now, He will not be playing with us in the same way… instead He will give us the Yaa Hoo salute, with both arms outstretched. Oh and one little thing… the “Yaa Hoo” has been a good training, but now instead we can shout OSHO!” (Yes Osho (Digital). 16.10.1989)
Message on reading his books
“28.11.1989: there is a message from Osho that people buy and read his books. From now on the reading of Osho’s books will become an integral part of the groundwork for all ashram groups.” (www.oshoturk.com/osho-life/10-68-notes.htm)
“Tonight Osho was wearing a robe with beige panels on the side, the first time He was coming out in anything of a light color for quite some time. AV [Avirbhava] is away at the moment so there are no fun and games with her. However, Osho has recently started walking around the whole podium, which He was not doing before. Even more people have arrived, and more are coming every day as we get closer to His birthday celebration.” (Yes Osho (Digital). 02.12.1989)
Yes Osho writes from Buddha Hall
“Last night everyone in the first rows almost had a heart attack, as Osho’s feet were half way over the edge of the podium. Neelam rushed up to protect Him and He just stepped back. He has been going closer and closer to the edge as He goes around the edge of the podium namasteing the Hall.” (Yes Osho (Digital). 16.12.1989)
Yes Osho reports
“Osho looks very good and last night He was wearing a robe with pale grey side panels which looked amazing. Just before He came into the hall He viewed a great piece of artwork put together by Swami Shivananda as an advertising board for the different faculties under the umbrella of the Multiversity. It has about 7 or 8 panels to it and the on-going theme throughout all the panels was a blue wave. Osho really enjoyed seeing it and particularly liked the ad for the group “Who Is In” which is simply a mirror! The photographers got some good shots. Which will appear in print some time in the future.” (Yes Osho (Digital). 30.12.1989)
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Photo 34. Osho visiting exhibition at Multiversity Plaza 29.12.1989 to have a look at Sw Shivananda’s artwork
Heading: Stop Exercises to Create Silence
“This is the new title given by Osho for the videos of evening darshan (the Meeting of the White Robed Brotherhood). Every meeting is a living experiment where Osho, the alchemist, finds new ways to establish energy contact with everyone present.
The celebration reaches a crescendo as He arrives… and incredibly He raises the energy even higher with His eyes, arms and hands. Suddenly He stops – holding His folded hands high above His head – in that moment there is the possibility that the mind will stop its constant movement and a merging with the Master happens. And just as suddenly He releases… and everything falls like a waterfall upon the waiting earth.” (Osho Times International (India), 1989:20)
Azima on black energy in Buddha Hall as in his own vision
“One evening in December 1989, Osho made it known, through an announcement by Amrito, that someone was intoning mantras that were hitting him in the energy centre of the hara, weakening him so much that they were bringing him toward certain death. In these days, when he stepped onto the podium, he was tottering like I’d never seen before and his body was clearly suffering. In the space of two years he had visibly aged: he looked more like an old man of a hundred than a man in his fifties. He was no longer able to give discourses, but continued to join us most evenings, to share his silence with us for twenty minutes. After the meditation he left like a cloud disappearing in the sky without leaving a trace.
The first evening that Amrito relayed the message of the Master, I think many sannyasins didn’t take it seriously, but for me it was a heavy blow received from a still sky. These words brought back the vision that I’d had a year and a half before. In the following evenings, Osho made it known through Amrito that, according to his information, this energy attack on him through the mantras was intensifying and that soon it would be impossible to escape from it. In record time, slabs of lead were installed around his chair, in the hope that the vibrations couldn’t reach him then, but during the following nights his messages didn’t change…
Every evening we waited anxiously for the message from Amrito, nevertheless the essence of what was being communicated didn’t improve. The Master let us know that only Indians and Tibetans knew mantras that were this powerful and we needed to look among ourselves. A distrustful paranoia that I had seen clearly in my vision, took over the ashram. At the entrance of Buddha Hall and sprinkled around the crowd, the sensitive ones among us were asked to ‘feel’ the presence of possible suspect persons…
As the days passed, people became more and more worried, and while the commune continued to function normally, we felt helpless against this invisible energy that was taking our Master away. The trust and friendship we once enjoyed was replaced by suspicion. As Kaveesha had said in the vision, we could only wait.” (Rosciano 2013, p. 340)
Abhiyana writes on noise in Buddha Hall
“In December, a blacker magic began. The week after Nirvano’s death, Osho reported that someone or a group of people in Buddha Hall were repeating a mantra. The mantra was hostile and was designed to harm him in the hara center below the navel. Osho was definitive as to where the sound was coming from; I saw him pointing to a place at about 2 o’clock from his perspective. The guards checked everyone sitting there, and on at least one night, that section of the hall was cleared of people. Black tape was laid on the marble and a pie slice of the auditorium was kept empty, yet Osho was still pointing in that direction! He said the sound was coming from somewhere close to him. Since no one else could hear it, Buddha Hall was combed for any device employing ultrasonics.
Night after night went on, with Osho maintaining that he was being attacked by black magic, and that was being done by the same group of people who had destroyed the commune in the U.S.A. Was this for real or was it some kind of parting “device?” Was Osho losing his mind, a kind of dementia? Was he right that there was someone or something designed to kill him – a high-tech esoteric assassin? Was he pointing to his own death? We will probably never know. Swami Rajneesh has written that Osho died in the process of “correcting the Buddhafield.” Perhaps.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 492)
(Note: Sonic attacks and ultrasound devices may be occurring; e.g. U.S. diplomats were exposed to ‘sonic attacks’ in Havanna, Cuba, effecting their physical health in 2016-17. The event was called ‘mass psychogenic disease’ by experts. (AP, 13.10.2017; The Guardian, 12.10.2017; New York Times, 05.10.2017). “A device the size of a kitchen matchbox could emit high enough amplitudes at close range to induce feelings of anxiety or difficulty concentrating.” (The Guardian, 24.08.2017))
Noise in Buddha Hall
“Osho had recently been complaining that during the White Robe Meditations he heard disturbing noises from a certain direction. The following night a section of the hall was emptied to see if the noise came from electrical cables or other devices…
Then on one of the following evenings it was announced that Osho was not going to join us but that he would meditate with us from his room. (Punya 2015, p. 398)
On mantra in Buddha Hall
“8. In the last weeks of His life, Osho was attacked with deadly mantra aimed at his hara, in an attempt to force Him to leave His body. Osho told that the man doing it was in the 4th row, the row of therapists of the multiversity or residents. One night Osho himself finger pointed the man chanting the mantra in the 4th row. Dheeraj, the leader of Tibetan Pulsing Healing, was the one videotaped by Nishkriya, who was finger-pointed by Osho as the responsible for the death mantra aimed at Him. The videotape was stolen from Nishkriya room after WRB and the whole thing was covered up and silenced. The stealing was managed by Dheeraj and supporters.” (http://free.hostdepartment.com/r/rajneeshrebels/truth.html. 16.12.2003)
Osho’s last days in Buddha Hall
“The last days of his life Osho came to Buddha Hall to greet us and to sit with us a while. Some sort of potency was being aimed against him. It was coming from the far right quandrant of the Hall. Whether it was physical or psychic I never knew. On the seventeenth of January I was in charge of guards in Buddha Hall. We cleared that section of the auditorium and I sat there in the middle of the vacant space alone. I’d always known my life was nothing if it could prolong his life. Guarding him was one way I could show my gratitude.
When Osho entered he was very frail. He had to put a hand out to the wall to steady himself. After he was seated, slowly, painfully, he turned in my direction. His eyes, for as long as I had known him, had been the eyes of patient oceans, of ineffable tranquillity and lovingness. Now, as his gaze passed above my head towards the source of danger, I saw the sun’s core burning in his eyes. My heart was quarried out. I can’t say more. I’ve never told of this experience. There are no proper words for it. It was my last time in his presence. Now in my quarried heart there is an edifice more luminous and airy than the Taj Mahal or Chartres cathedral.
Two days later the nineteenth of January 1990, Osho left his body. We his people took the body to the ghats and burned it. For days a huge bird hovered overhead. In the beauty of the ashram with its marble walkways, waterfalls and leaning greenery, we hugged and danced and let the salty tears flow; tears of sorrow, love and gratitude. All of us were one. All were love itself. For weeks there were no separation. Jai Osho!” (Maxwell 2012, p. 226)
Disciple recalls black magic announcement, December 1989
“black magic announcement appear in the buddhafield a mantra is in the air lookout and go deep inside hear and search the sound of the mantra it will kill bhagwan…
for the very first time in the entire life of bhagwans countless appearances buddha hall is divided at 45 degrees with a tape on the floor all indians are to be seated to the left of buddha hall and all foreigners on the right side the message is bhagwan will in his flight of deep meditation hands moving higher and higher point out to some indian person or persons who will be gently tapped on the shoulder and not touched again but gently asked to move and go towards bhagwan and leave the hall by the steps next to his podium.” (Rajnish 2008, p. 206)
“One evening Osho’s physician announces in Buddha Hall that someone is chanting mantras during satsang and throwing some negative energy towards Osho and it is hurting Him in His navel centre. He requests the person to stop it. After a couple of days the announcement is made again that a person is trying to hurt Osho intentionally, using black magic…
The seating arrangement is changed for a few days but it is all in vain. The chanting of mantras continues and in spite of all this Osho continues coming out to Buddha Hall.” (Jyoti 1994, p. 133)
Sound waves in Buddha Hall
“On January 15th, my birthday, I received a message from Shunyo: Osho wanted me to take an x-ray of his abdomen. We met in the dental room. Osho’s body looked thin and wasted, yet I felt him powerful present. I knew from Shunyo that he was sleeping more than twenty hours each day, saving what remained of his physical energy for the few precious minutes in Buddha Hall each evening. Osho told me that his body had been very much weakened by the sound rays of his attackers. He said there were probably three of them, two men and a woman sitting in a special formation in order to focus the sound waves and target his body.” (Devageet 2013, p. 257)
“Osho Meditation Camps in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium.
Upcoming Camp Dates: December 8-10, 1989. January 12-14.1990.” (Osho Times International (India), 1989:22)
Disciple recalls from Buddha Hall, December 1989
“on the podium he arrives slowly and extremely deliberate in each and every move utter stillness deep as the ocean gripping the air each and every gesture unseen forces moving swift and with uncanny precision i am amazed at what i see arriving and sitting still on his master surgery chair…
a month passes but the damage is too deep higher voltage is required to cut deeper and stronger every particle is needed for this cosmic battle the buddhafield has been damaged on the left wing the ashram walls black help it to lean to the left for healing and repair bhagwan arranges for nivedano and his bombastic music group to shift the speakers and the entire music group from the balanced centre of the buddha hall to the left… i awaken to the new day the gentle and vibrant vivek has moved on winged like an angel into the sky perhaps to prepare for the great awaited one in the infinite skies synchronicity with the master… in loving memory of ma prem nirvano who died an untimely death born march 19 1949 died december 9 1989” (Rajnish 2008, pp. 197,202)
car porch music 3
Photo 35. Osho with Anando at Multiversity Plaza.
Laheru writes from late 1989
“After stopping discourses, for a few months, Osho would not come to Buddha Hall because of illness. From August 1989, again he started coming to Buddha Hall for sitting in silence. He gave darshan and paid obeisance with folded hands to everybody. For the evening meetings, which Osho called as ‘White Robe Brotherhood’, everybody was instructed to wear white robes. Up to January 17, 1990, everybody got the rare opportunity to experience effortless awareness with dance, music, celebration and silence in Osho’s presence. On January 18, 1990, before the evening meeting, his personal physician, Dr. Amrito, came in Buddha Hall and informed that, “From now, Osho will make his presence felt to the seekers during the evening meditation at 7.00 PM, sitting in his room, because his physical pain has extremely increased. Also Osho has expressed his wish that every seeker, whereever they are, would sit for meditation at 7.00 PM, their local time.” (Laheru 2012, p. 175)
Shunyo on Osho in Buddha Hall, December 1989
“Osho had stopped dancing with us as He entered Buddha Hall, two months previously. He would walk around the podium very slowly and greet everybody in the Hall. So slowly, right foot sideways, then the left would slide to meet the other, hands folded in front of Him, in namaste. He would sometimes look at someone in the first few rows and then His eyes would scan the horizon as though looking at a distant star.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 306)
For further insight into meditations guided by Osho, see Punya 2015, pp. 106-7.
Osho’s last public appearance greeting his friends with Namaste took place in Buddha Hall on the evening of January 17th, 1990.
Satsangs in early January 1990
“Each evening, on entering Buddha Hall, Osho would slowly namaste the whole audience as he made his wavering way to his chair. He sat in silent meditation with us for fifteen minutes during which time the massive audience became merged into a temple of silence, a lake of consciousness without ripples. The consciousness of the master and his people melted into a profound peace beyond mind and body. Then, slowly, with growing difficulty from his weakening body, he would get up from his chair, and once again acknowledge his people while walking slowly backwards, his fine hands steepled in front of his heart in farewell, his body swaying perceptibly with its decreasing vitality. Each evening it seemed that he was saying his final goodbye.” (Devageet 2013, p. 255)
Disciple recalls Osho’s last days in Buddha Hall
bhagwan appears for the last time to sit in meditation he has become extremely weak and losing balance while entering sitting in deep meditation moving in a weak manner and distant
bhagwan slowly walks on the podium smiling and twinkling eyes a distant look into the horizon namaste each direction slowly slowly for eternity his last namaste to be
bhagwan remains in his room in deep samadhi.” (Rajnish 2008, p. 208)
“In Osho’s last public appearance in the historic must-see video “The Last Namaste” the music peaks about every 20 seconds. It leads us to a shout of “Osho!” of an intensity that now only video footage can document. Visually, he was not gently trickling out the seeds but ploughing them with force deep into the recesses of our hearts. After every musical climax, he threw his folded hands down towards us while we danced with upraised arms sitting before him. Thousands of us shouting “Osho”! It was heard for miles in Koregaon Park, the Meditation Resort’s neighbourhood.” (Nirbija. www.oshonews.com/2018/05/05)
www.osholifeandvision.com/biography/ se under: 1990
Photo 36. One of the last photos taken of Osho. January 1990.
“On 17th January, 1990, ten thousand people were sitting in Buddha Hall for evening Satsang Meditation with Osho. Each evening at 7 p.m. Osho used to come to Buddha Hall for this meditation. At that time the alarm of the Meditation Center clock would also ring. (In the Meditation Center at Pune, an alarm clock is installed which makes the sound of a cock crowing every hour and can be heard throughout the Meditation Center). That day, a few minutes before 7 p.m., Ma Anando, Osho’s personal secretary, came to Buddha Hall and said that Osho would come there just for ten minutes. She also suggested that during those ten minutes, everybody should keep their eyes open. (Usually many people used to close their eyes in meditation soon after taking their seats in Buddha Hall).
That day, with the sound of the crowing cock Osho entered the Buddha Hall with folded hands. He appeared so frail that it was difficult for him to stand. Despite the pain in his body, Osho was managing to stand and greet everybody with his Namaste, his eyes glowing and face smiling as usual. That day his Namaste lasted for a good ten minutes which was much longer than the usual one. It seemed he did not want to miss even a single person. Each one in Buddha Hall also greeted Osho with Namaste when he or she would feel that Osho is looking at him or her. After this Namaste, Osho left the Buddha Hall.” (2012, p. 252)
Heading: An announcement [on 17.01.1990]
“Tonight, before Osho came out Amrito gave an announcement in Buddha Hall. To give you some background, for the past couple of weeks there has been a noise in Buddha Hall that has been disturbing Osho. We have tried many different methods to discover what exactly the noise is but so far have not found where the noise is coming from. Osho has visibly become weaker over the past few days. The noise has disturbed Him during the silent phase and so now He is continuing to come each night but now, He will come to namaste and then leave.
What Amrito said was:
“Osho has said that He feels sure that these attacks on His body are being done by some CIA type organization from the U.S. or Germany. He says there are clearly several people in this group. They are using black magic and it is always destructive, never creative.
“He repeated that He could return these effects, and this would certainly harm those who are doing this. But, He said, “My reverence for life is total, even towards those who want to harm me.”
“The effect of all this on His body has been immense. He has been very badly affected. However, once He is no longer exposed to this we are hoping He will rapidly feel better. He said as He goes deep into the silence, to help push us deeper into meditation, the more vulnerable He is. So His work has been double – to protect Himself and to help us go deeper into meditation.
“From today He is not going to be sitting with us. He will however, come and namaste us as usual but will then leave immediately. He said to tell you that He will be continuing to meditate with us after he has left the hall, and is safely back in His room. He has said that in this way, no longer affected by these attacks, he will be able to help us more, and the silence will go even deeper.
“So this is the arrangement. He will enter as usual. The music and the celebration will continue while He namastes us just as it has been in the past days.
“However, after He has namasted us all He will leave. Avirbhava will open the car door for Him and, Anando, Amrito and Avesh will leave to take Him home.
“We will all be here with eyes open as He namastes us, and as He leaves the podium, we will close our eyes and the first part of the music will start as usual. The musicians have been told to continue the music meditation as before.
“We will keep our eyes closed throughout the music and silence, as usual.
“At the three drum beats a few people right here at the front who have to move their cushions for the video will move, everybody else will stay where they are, in silence, while the music continues, Then almost immediately, the lights will dim, the music will fade and the video will begin.
“Osho has said that anybody who is not going to stay for the whole evening, the namaste, the music and silence, and the video can leave now. There names are to be taken and they will not be allowed back in. So there will be no need for anybody to move after the three drum beats. You can just stay where you are right now, except for those who are right in front of the screen, who have been given places for the video.
“He has said that from tomorrow, anybody who does not want to stay for the whole meditation, His namaste, the music and silence, and the video should not come. Without exception, he said, everybody who comes must stay till the end. Amrito, Anando and Avesh will return to their seats as soon as they have finished their work.
“Tonight then, anybody who is not staying for the whole evening should leave now. Tomorrow, if you are not prepared to stay for the whole evening, He has said then please don’t come at all. He said, in future if people do leave, then the guards will simply take the name and that person will not be allowed in again
“If tomorrow you want to sit in a place where you can see the video better, then do so tomorrow so there is no movement after the gongs. For tonight just stay where you are now, so there is no disturbance between the drumbeat and the video.
“About the video He has said, it doesn’t matter if you have seen it before, there are many layers and each time you will find a new layer.
“So as those who normally have to serve in the kitchens will be staying till the end of the video, you may have to wait a little longer for dinner. So you can relax, and take your time after the video.
“Finally, He said, emphasize the point, that now your meditation is going to go deeper than ever.”
Back in the office to send this out Maneesha was here, and on talking about this evening she gave me this piece:
“I did gulp, as I expected quite a few others in Buddha Hall did, when Amrito read out the lengthy message from Osho. Is it a new phase? Is His hand gradually withdrawing even more from ours? I don’t know. But it certainly feels – more then ever – that the onus is really on us, individually now, to meditate (In fact in the video discourse later, He said something like: My problem is that your diseases are many, and I have only one cure – meditation. You have so many problems – I can discuss them, but my difficulty is how to bring your question around to my answer!?” Which really says it all.)
But back to darshan. The announcement was also read out in Hindi and Japanese. Then shortly after the music had got into full swing, Osho arrived. I personally have to admit I found it difficult to feel joyful. I just looked at Him – standing still just where He is first visible to us all – and thought of the immense power of this man, that the silence He is, and is taking us into, is such a threat that someone wants to harm Him. And simultaneously, His extraordinary, breathtaking fragility, so that everything in you wants to leap forward and be in His every step, His every turn, in case…
His namaste in a small semi-circle to us must have lasted fully five minutes, perhaps more. As He left, the music that we usually sit in meditation with Him, began. He had said through the announcement that He would be meditating with us in His car on the way back to His room. Usually, when His car is circling the hall, we continue to dance and clap, but tonight, we were utterly silent, eyes closed.
It was phenomenal. We really were as one – with Him and with us. It is curious, but the silence felt an even deeper experience for me as He drove away. Perhaps it was because I realized for the thousandth time that this silence is the only lasting connection we can have with Him, and that that is the only thing worthwhile, worth nurturing.
After the music meditation was over, the lights in the hall immediately faded, a few of us near the screen needed to move, but otherwise everyone was absolutely still.
And so a beautiful continuum was maintained, from the meditation into the video. It was the most silent video meditation yet. Awesome.
It is not the first time I’ve thought: Whenever something seems to be changing, for the worse, around Osho – such as His appearing to be withdrawing – I’ve only ever discovered that in fact it has a definite up side. Always, the miracle of You, Osho!” (Yes Osho Computer Newsletter. Vol IV, No. 25. 17.01.1990)
The evening of 18.01.1990
“On the evening of 18th January, 1990, Buddha Hall was filled to its capacity. At 7 p.m., the sound of crowing cock echoed throughout the Buddha Hall, but instead of Osho’s arrival, a message was given that everyone was to sit in meditation while Osho would participate in the Satsang Meditation from his room.” (Niranjan 2012, p. 252)
Heading: Existence decides its timing. The events from Jan 16-21
“On January 16 Osho came out to sit with us throughout the evening meditation, for what was to be the last time. The following night, Osho’s personal physician, Amrito, made an announcement to the assembly in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium: “From today, Osho is not going to be sitting with us. He will, however, come and namaste us as usual but will then leave immediately. He said to tell you that He will be continuing to meditate with us after He has left the Hall.” In addition, everyone was requested to stay for the entire meeting. Those who chose to leave would not be allowed to return.
Osho’s namaste that evening was slow, deliberate, covering every inch of the Hall. His body was obviously in a very fragile condition, and He reached out to the wall for support as He left the podium. After He left, the meditation of music and silence happened as usual, while Osho was taken back to His room to be with us from there.
On January 18 Amrito came to announce that Osho’s body was in such pain that it was very difficult for Him to walk, and He would not be able to come out to see us that evening at all. However, He would be in His room meditating with us, beginning at seven o’clock as usual.” (Excerpt from: Osho Times International (India), 1990:3/4. Supplement. 01.02.1990)
Shunyo on Osho leaving Buddha Hall for the last time
“He moved to the back of the podium and just before He left, He turned and, looking slightly to His right – way out into the sky, beyond Buddha Hall, beyond all the people – I saw in His eyes a smile. It was something between a smile and a chuckle. I can try and say it was the look of a traveler who, having traveled a long time, sees his home in the distance. It was a look of knowing. A smile that I can still see if I close my eyes, but I can’t describe it. It was in His eyes and it gently brushed His mouth.” (Shunyo 1999, p. 309)
7.14 Mahaparinirvana January 1990
Here follow sources to events on January 19th, 1990, the day when Osho left his body.
The Buddhist term ‘Mahaparinirvana’, meaning ‘great, complete Nirvana’, is usually referring to the ultimate state of Nirvana (everlasting, highest peace and happiness) entered by an Awakened Being (Buddha) or ‘arhat’ at the moment of physical death.
Devageet recalls January 19th
“During the second week in January, Osho’s body becomes noticeably weaker. On January 18, He is so physically weak that He is unable to come to Gautama the Buddha Auditorium. On January 19, his pulse becomes irregular. When his doctor inquires whether they should prepare for cardiac resuscitation, Osho says, “No, just let me go. Existence decides its timing.” He leaves His body at 5 p.m…
It was 4:30 p.m. on January 19th: I was in my room with my girlfriend when there was an urgent knock on the door. Maneesha, looking pale and stressed, asked if she could use my room phone. I knew she would only ask if there was something unusual happening. Acting as temporary secretary she was phoning the Inner Circle members telling them to immediately come to an extraordinary meeting in Krishna House.
Osho had set up a commune management team of twenty-one people fifteen months earlier, naming it the Inner Circle. He made it clear that their job was to manage the day-to-day running of the commune. I was not in the original selection, but had been asked to join a few months later.
After phoning, Maneesha said, “Geet, you heard what I was telling the others. The meeting is in the Blue Room on Krishna House roof. Can you go there right away?” Before I could ask any questions she vanished hurriedly into the corridor, clearly involved in another important task. I had felt strangely exuberant most of the afternoon. Despite the turmoil of outer affairs I had been feeling elated for days. There was an inexplicable dance of joy in my heart. Inside I felt euphoric, blissful.
Arriving in the Blue Room, I saw that most of the Inner Circle were already gathered there. The atmosphere was tense and strained. My own euphoria seemed out of place. I sat and waited.
After a few minutes Jayesh entered with Amrito. Looking around briefly to see that we were all present, he said in a firm, though hushed voice, “I guess there’s no way to wrap this up. I’ll just tell you straight. Osho left his body a short time ago, at about 4:45 p.m.” Stunned, I looked at my watch. It was 5:15 p.m.” (Devageet 2013, pp. 273,258)
Amrito on Osho’s passing in Buddha Hall 19.01.1990
“The following evening Amrito came with an announcement before the gathering. He was just holding himself together, reading from a piece of paper which was shaking wildly in his hands. Barely able to hold back his tears he came with the news which everybody dreaded, but which everybody knew would come sometime: Osho had left his body.” (Punya 2015, p. 398)
Photo 37. Osho’s stretcher carried from Buddha Hall by Amrito and Anando.
Heading: Existence decides its timing. The events from Jan 16-21
“On Friday night, January 19, Amrito entered the Hall just before seven o’clock and took the microphone. “I have an announcement to make,” he said. And continued in a voice cracked with tears, “Osho has left His body.” Cries of shock came from the assembly, and Amrito quieted them, repeating, “Listen, just listen to what Osho has to say.” He then told us Osho’s last words to His people, and said that, in accordance with Osho’s wishes, the body would be brought to Buddha Hall in an hour for ten minutes and then taken to the burning ghats. Some with fiends who were not present left to inform them to come. Throughout the time of waiting, music and the sound of “Osho!” filled the air.
Osho’s body, draped with black velvet and flowers, was brought into the Hall to rest on the podium for ten minutes. Then the body was carried to the ghats in a long procession. Many people remained at the ghats, singing, humming, in celebration and in silence, until the early hours of the morning.
As Osho’s funeral pyre continued to burn throughout the next day, preparations were made in Chuang Tzu Auditorium for His Samadhi. The assembly gathered in Gautama the Buddha Auditorium at 6:45 pm where Amrito read a text he had prepared with all the details of Osho’s last hours, and His messages to us. There were tears, of course, and at just the perfect moment there was a beautiful reminder that Osho is still with us.
A few months ago, at Osho’s request, a Swiss clock with the sound of a cock crowing on the hour was installed at all the gates of the main commune properties to remind us to wake up. As Amrito read, “Osho has given some very specific guidance for His work…” the cock interrupted, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” and sent the whole assembly into gales of laughter.
Amrito’s reading was followed by the regular evening meditation and video discourse.
On Sunday morning, January 21, Osho’s ashes were brought back to the commune as sannyasins lined the way, showering rose petals and singing and celebrating. The ashes are now in the new Samadhi in Chuang Tzu Auditorium, with a plaque which reads:
“Osho – Never Born, Never Died. Only Visited this Planet Earth between December 11, 1931 – January 19, 1990.”
Just as Osho predicted, people are now pouring in from all over the world. The evening meditations are more intense that they have ever been. The pin-drop silence unspeakable… and, yes, Osho is here.” (Excerpt from: Osho Times International, 1990:3/4. Supplement. 01.02.1990)
Neelam recalls Osho talking on his Samadhi
“I remember it was last week of Nov 89. Me and Anando went to see Osho for work. Osho asked us “When I leave my body what we should write on my Samadhi”?
I was shocked to hear this and tears rolled down my cheeks. Looking at me Osho said, “I am not leaving it now. I am just talking about it.”
Anando suggested a couple of sayings. I suggested a Kabir’s saying in Hindi to which Osho replied, “It should be original and in English.”
Then he asked, “Which bedroom will be better for Samadhi, this one or Chuang Tzu?”
Anando said, “Chuang Tzu. Nirvano has always felt that you are not making your bedroom but your Samadhi in Chuang Tzu”.
His next question was, “Do we have extra marble from Chuang Tzu floor?”. “Yes, we have was our answer.”
After that we started talking about other subjects. The next morning I came to know from Anando that Osho has already selected the marble piece, dictated the wording to be inscribed on it in gold letters.
After few weeks, on Jan 19, 1990, Osho left his body. Amrito, his personal physician announced in Buddha Hall that when asked Osho what we should do to his Samadhi?, Osho replied, “Just put my ashes in Chuang Tzu under the bed. People can come and meditate there.”
Respecting his wish the selected piece was inscribed and His Flowers (bones & ashes) were put under the bed. A beautiful Samadhi is made for a beautiful master Osho, the Beloved one. It became the heart and soul of His commune. An energy field which has attracted seekers like a magnet. For all these years, people have been coming there to meditate. The place is so much charged with his energy that just to sit there in silence is in it self a meditation.” (Neelam. E-mail. 03.09.2007)
Maneesha on Osho leaving his body
“For years, and particularly over the last nine months, Osho was preparing us for the day he would no longer be with us physically. He had promised that he would not leave until, in his physical absence, we could feel his presence as strongly as if he was with us. Not until Osho actually did leave his body we could know if indeed we were ready to be without his physical support. But the celebration of his burning and the subsequent months have proved that, as always, Osho’s timing is perfect and that he has kept his promise. That the commune in Poona is flourishing is validation of Osho’s lifelong work.” (Forman 2002. Epilogue, p. 419)
Amrito’s announcement in Buddha Hall 20.01.1990
“That evening, before the White Robe Meditation, Amrito stepped in front of the gathering again and with more sheets in hand told us in detail about the events of the last few days. I was touched to hear that Osho had given precise instructions about how his room was meant to be left – in a matter-of-fact way as if he were leaving for a weekend – to whom the stereo was to be given; and that the room should be re-marbled. Osho had mentioned again that the deterioration of his body was thanks to the “Christian fundamentalists in the United States government” and that he had kept his pain to himself, but “living in this body has become a hell.”
“Never speak of me in the past tense,” Osho had said. “My presence here will be many times greater without the burden of my tortured body. Remind my people that they will feel much more and they will know immediately.”
Amrito also said, “About nine months ago Osho formed The Inner Circle, a group of sannyasins now numbering twenty. Osho said he would have no successor. The Inner Circle would be his successor. The function of the Inner Circle is, in Osho’s words, to reach unanimous decisions about the continued functioning and expansion of the commune and Osho’s work.” (Punya 2015, p. 400)
Heading: I Leave You My Dream
“The evening after Osho left his body, Swami Amrito addresses the White Robe Brotherhood and movingly described Osho’s last moments, including his last messages to his people. The complete text follows:
As you know, over these last few days Osho’s body has been becoming noticeably weaker. What you may not know is that He has also been in considerable pain. By the night of the 18th, the pain in His legs was so severe that He was not able even to come stand on the podium and be with us.
Over that night He became weaker and weaker. Every movement of the body was obviously agonizing. Yesterday morning I noticed that His pulse was also weak and slightly irregular. I said I thought he was dying. He nodded. I asked Him if we could call in the cardiologists and prepare for cardiac resuscitation. He said, “No, just let me go. Existence decides its timing.”
I was helping Him to the bathroom when he said, “And you put wall-to-wall carpet in here, just like this bath mat.” Then He insisted on walking over to His chair. He sat down and made arrangements for the few items that He has in His room.
“Who should this go to?” He said, pointing to His small stereo. “It is audio? Nirupa would like it?” He asked. Nirupa has cleaned His room for so many years.
And then He went carefully around the room and left instructions for every item. “Those you take out,” He said, pointing to the humidifiers, which he had found too noisy recently. And always make sure one air conditioner is on,” He continued.
It was incredible. Very simply, in a very matter-of-fact, and precise way. He looked at everything. He was so relaxed, as if He were going for the weekend.
He sat on the bed and I asked what we should do for His Samadhi. “You just put my ashes in Chuang Tzu, under the bed. And then people can come in and meditate there.”
“And what about this room?” I asked.
“This would be good for the Samadhi?” He asked.
“No,” I said, “Chuang Tzu will be beautiful.”
I said we would like to keep His present bedroom as it is. “So you make it nice,” He said. And then He said He would like it remarbled.
“And what about the celebration?” I asked.
“Just take me to Buddha Hall for ten minutes,” He said, “and then take me to the burning ghats and put my hat and socks on me before you take my body.”
I asked Him what I should say to you all. He said to tell you that since His days in the marshal’s cell in Charlotte, North Carolina, in America, His body has been deteriorating. He said that in the Oklahoma jail they poisoned Him with thallium and exposed Him to radiation, which we only came to know when the medical experts were consulted.
He said they had poisoned Him in such a way that would leave no proof. “My crippled body is the work of the Christian fundamentalists in the United States government.” He said that He had kept His pain to Himself, but “living in this body has become a hell.”
He lay down and rested again. I went and told Jayesh what was happening and that Osho was obviously leaving His body.
When Osho called again, I told Him Jayesh was here and He said for Jayesh to come in. We sat on the bed and Osho gave us His final words.
“Never speak of me in the past tense,” He said. “My presence here will be many times greater without the burden of my tortured body. Remind my people that they will feel much more – they will know immediately.”
At one point, I was holding His hand and I started to cry. He looked at me, almost sternly, “No, no,” He said, “that is not the way.” I immediately stopped and He just smiled beautifully.
Osho then spoke to Jayesh and talked about how He wanted the expansion of the work to continue. He said that now that He was leaving His body, many more people would come; many more people’s interest would show, and His work would expand incredibly beyond our ideas.
Then He said, “I leave you my dream.”
Then He whispered so quietly that Jayesh had to put his ear very close to Him, and Osho said, “And remember, Anando is my messenger.” Then He paused, and said, “No, Anando will be my medium.”
At that point Jayesh moved to one side, and Osho said to me, “Medium will be the right word?”
I had not heard what had preceded it so I did not understand.
“Meeting?” I said.
“No,” He replied, “for Anando, medium – she will be my medium.”
He lay back quietly and we sat with Him while I held His pulse. Slowly it faded. When I could hardly feel it, I said, “Osho, I think this is it.”
He just nodded gently, and closed His eyes for the last time.”
[“A separate press release from Osho Commune International stated: “Osho left His body at 5:00 pm. An Indian physician, Dr. Gokul Gokhani, gave the clinical cause of death as heart disease.””]
“Osho has given some very specific guidance for His work.
About nine months ago, Osho formed “The Inner Circle”, a group of sannyasins now numbering 21. Osho said He would have no successor, that the Inner Circle would be His successor. The function of the Inner Circle is, in Osho’s words, “to reach unanimous decisions about the continued functioning and expansion of the commune and Osho’s work.” Anando is preparing a full account of Osho’s guidance on the workings of this group and who is in it. It will be available for you all to read tomorrow.
We are preparing in the next Osho Times what Osho has said about what will happen when He leaves His body.” (Osho Times International. Vol III, No. 3/4, pp. 2-3. Supplement. 01.02.1990)
Amrito’s account in Buddha Hall 20.01.1990 of Osho’s last hours was recorded on video, I Leave You My Dream, and transcribed text first printed in the above mentioned commemorative supplement to Osho Times International.
‘I Leave You My Dream’ can be read also in: Yes Osho Computer Newsletter. Vol IV, No. 25, 20.01.1990; Laheru 2012, pp. 177-179 and Vaidya 2017, pp. 122-24.
In progress, medtages
Amrito in Buddha Hall. I Leave you my Dream.
In the feature with Amrito’s announcement in Buddha Hall 20.01.1990, a few quotes by Osho are included on the continuation of his work. “One of the things Osho always said is, “Always make room for sannyasins to contribute to my work.”” (Osho Times International, 1990:3/4. 01.02.1990)
Amrito in interview 2018
“Can you give your own account of what happened?
So I’m saying to him, “We need proper intensive care now, should I call the cardiologist?” And he says, “No, existence has its timing.” So then you’re a doctor sitting there, like “Well, the guy says no to any further medical intervention and it’s his body and one thing he’s always been quite clear about, everyone has a right to their own body, no one else has any right to interfere.” When people go, “Someone must have killed him,” it’s like, that’s such a crap.”
Did you ever feel that your ethical duties as a doctor conflicted with your devotion to Osho’s teaching?
No. He was really scientific. I mean, this is a really funny role, but in a way I was a research assistant, that’s really what I was.” (Amrito. Interview by Anna Silman. In: The Cut, 24.04.2018. www.thecut.com/2018/04)
Chaitanya Bharti writes in 1993
“What is ‘Osho Guidance’? It was announced by Sw. Prem Amrito, Vice Chairman, Inner Circle, in the Buddha Hall on 20th January, 1990, “It will be available for you all to read tomorrow.” (ref O.T. supplement Vol III #3 Feb. 1, 1990).
Why is this not available even after more than 3 and a half years. The game behind it?” (Osho Space magazine. 1993)
Interview with Anando in Osho Times (Hindi edition) 1995
“The 1995 annual issue of Osho Times, an official publication of the Osho Commune, published an interview with Anando which proved to be revealing on two counts: the approximate time of Osho’s death and the anointing of Anando as Osho’s “medium” – the person through whom Osho would communicate with his followers after his death. The interview was conducted five years after Osho’s death when the controversy around his death had not just subsided but been forgotten. The interviewer, Amrit Sadhana, asked Anando the significance of Osho’s words at the time of dying: “Anando will be my medium”. Sadhana notes in her interview in Hindi titled ‘Aakashganga ke tat par’ (On the edge of the galaxy): “As I asked this question, Anando suddenly became silent. She closed her eyes, became introspective and then said, ‘I don’t know. Osho never told me anything. He said this to Swami Jayesh and Amrito and then merged with the infinite sky.'”
When Anando was asked to recall the moment when she first heard of Osho’s death, she shared this anecdote: “On the morning of January 19, I did Osho’s work as per the routine and then Amrito took charge. In the afternoon, something strange happened. I normally take my plate and have lunch while sitting outside Lao Tzu. That day, however, I left my plate and went on the Lao Tzu terrace, right above Osho’s room and was enjoying the sight of trees swaying in the breeze under the open sky. How could I know that downstairs Osho was slowly leaving the body? When I came down the stairs, I saw Jayesh standing there. And he said in a low voice, ‘Osho has left the body.'” (Vaidya 2017, p. 146)
(Note: The interview appeared 1995 in the annual ‘commemorative issue’ called SMARIKA, coming out in December on Osho’s birthday as a supplement to the Hindi Osho Times)
Abhiyan writes on Hariprasad
“The great bansuri flute player Hariprasad Chaurasia came, and his concert in Buddha Hall was a divine gift. Later Hariprasad came to Sedona and played in our Osho Academy; he loved playing for meditators. He said: “Next time I come, I will play all night!” Sadly, he never came back, but he did tell us about his relationship with the master: “What can I tell you about Osho? He was not one, but he was many. He was the best speaker in the whole world. He was the best philosopher I have ever seen. He used to play flute very beautifully. I have not seen a person having so much knowledge of all kinds of activities going around. Very calming and down to earth. There was a time when we were friends, when nobody knew him, he was not famous. But then, he became internationally famous, everybody knew him. But, he wanted to keep the friendship with me which we had earlier. He did not change; his love did not change. So, I used to come often to Pune to play for him, to record for him. When he left this world, when he left us, I do not go there anymore. It was he for whom I used to go to Pune so often.”” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 469)
(Note: When Osho left his body Hariprasad Chaurasia’s CD ‘Eternity’ was on his cd-player. (Personal information)
To the burning ghats
“While walking and playing behind the stretcher I could see Osho’s head in his black cap studded with beautiful natural black and white pearls. His head was slightly moving from side to side with the rhythm of the steps of those carrying the stretcher and from time to time I could also see his cheeks. They were glowing with light. I could not believe that this was a dead body. His face was more filled with light than of any of those walking in front, on the side or behind him!
Down at the burning ghats on the riverbank the stretcher was laid across a shallow pit in the ground and logs of wood were carefully placed around and then on top of his body. One of Osho’s brothers, according to Indian tradition, sprinkled ghee over the logs, then lit the fire. The ghee, together with the resin in the wood, produced a beautiful white cloud studded with tiny pieces of red amber which danced in the air. As the wood pile became smaller and smaller we played on our instruments and sang all the songs we knew, crying, laughing, dancing – feeling sad, exhilarated, joyful, in despair, silent and expressive, all at the same time.” (Punya 2015, p. 399)
John Hogue recalls Osho being carried to the ghats
“When the body of Osho had been brought into Buddha Hall for its final farewell on the evening of 19 January 1990, several thousand white-robed followers danced and celebrated in front of the flower-festooned bamboo bier, in the most unusual and happiest funeral I have ever experienced. There were certainly a lot of tears but even in the midst of grief, most of the faces in that hall were filled with a glow of gratitude and love for a man who for them was he most remarkable person they had ever known and loved.
After ten minutes the body was carried off on its final journey to the burning ghats, the simple funerary crematoriums one finds along Indian rivers. Chance would have it that I walked alongside his body all the way to the ghats and because of the pressing crowds stayed next to the fire all night until the dawn broke. In the next three days and nights I took turns guarding one of the four corners of the burning pit. On the third morning I was guarding when his ashes were collected and walked back in an urn, held by his eldest brother, Vijay, where they would be laid in the Chuang Tzu auditorium that had been converted into his Samadhi – a master’s resting place, around which disciples could meditate.
Escorting the bier to the ghats I could see him perfectly. Osho didn’t look dead at all. Now I understand the stories about Zen disciples who resisted burning their master’s body until they were sure he was really dead and not just playing a prank. Osho was just lying there. Very transparent, delicate, as if he were glowing from the inside. He was the most alive corpse I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe he was actually dead until one of the pall bearers got a little carried away by the energy of the celebration just for a brief moment and his dancing gait made Osho’s head and neck bob from side-to-side like rubber.
There were 2,000 to 5,000 people in white at the ghats. Still guarding, I stood in the first row gently asking people not to press closer. When the crowd had settled I sat there until dawn, so close to Osho’s burning body that my face and hands the day after looked like they had been sunburned. Before the fire was lit I was very close to the final preparation of setting up the funeral pyre. I must have been next to the videographer because my memory of my last sight of Osho’s peaceful face bathed in electric torches in a pit made of wood was just like what you see in the video as the final logs and flowers were lowered on to the funeral pyre. This was performed to the sounds of musical instruments and thousands of voices singing a stirring devotional song. The verses warmed the cold and humid Indian winter night air with the words, “Step into the holy fire, walk into the holy flame, oh! Halleuiah! Halleluiah!”
Soon a great flame leapt up from the funeral pyre and all danced, sang and celebrated. Osho’s family was to my right. They were crying like children. His younger brother Amit, in particular, was sobbing with such innocence and beauty that I was carried into his sobs. But even as the tears came I sensed a presence, a heresy, growing inside me over the next three days and nights that I was on my final watch as one of his watchmen and women.” (Hogue 2017, pp. 66-68)
Veena on Osho’s robe
“One day we heard that a Japanese priestess from a temple in Ito, a part of Japan where pearls are cultivated, had come to visit. As gifts she had brought some incredible pearls…
One of the ‘art wool’ pieces of fabric was just being made into a robe so we decided to put the pearls on the matching hat. The fabric was a silvergrey check and, as the pearls were a beautiful silvery colour they went well with the whole ensemble.
Osho loved both the robe and the hat and, when he left the body a few months later, it was that robe and hat that he wore on his final journey to the burning ghats.” (Veena 2012, p. 111)
Photo 38. Osho’s cremation. The funeral pyre at burning ghats.
Devika writes from the night and following morning at the ghats
“All night we sit there watching the fire. I see parts of Osho’s body burning. I watch the flames and it seems to me as though the energy is rising into the sky – Osho’s energy. My head moves upwards and upwards as though Osho’s enlightened spirit is rising from the flames and filling the air above. Hour after hour passes and the night remains dark. The fire goes down slowly and I begin to feel cold again. I do not care. The night is coming to an end. People start leaving. Finally only a few of us are left sitting there by the smouldering embers. Somewhere I hear a bird sing.
I have no idea of the time, but suddenly I feel that I have to get up and go back to the Commune. My morning shift in the kitchen begins at six o’clock, getting the breakfast ready for everyone. For Osho’s sake I will go back and do it.
I am afraid to get up from the fire. Here is Osho, the last of him in these ashes. When I get up from here I am leaving him forever and there will be nothing left for me in this world. My life will be finished. What is there for me in the world without Osho?
I stand up, and what a surprise I get. It feels as though the whole air is filled with his fragrance. There is not emptiness as I have expected – there is fullness. Osho’s energy fills the air. The whole sky seems to be full of him. I am amazed. I walk away from the fire expecting this feeling to get less, but it does not. All the way back to the Commune the whole sky is filled with his presence. There is silence and peace everywhere – such stillness, such beauty as I have never known before. The very air seems to be full of joy and rejoicing. The thoughts come into my head, “This is the most beautiful night I have ever known.’ How strange – I had expected this to be the worst, most terrible night of my life. I am so surprised.” (Devika 2008, p. 183)
Vaidya on Osho’s Samadhi
“Accordingly, every effort was made to create a dazzlingly beautiful hall where Osho’s ashes were placed in an urn after they were brought to the Commune in a procession. The route from the crematorium to the Commune was lined by sannyasins who showered rose petals and celebrated with singing and dancing.
Shunyo, who had served Osho for many years on his personal staff, noted that preparation for the Samadhi were made towards the beginning of 1989 itself. It was Anando who had reported that Osho had given her instructions to transform the Chuang Tzu Auditorium into a new bedroom for him. “Osho had given instructions to Anando a couple of months before that He wanted Chuang Tzu Auditorium to be made into a new bedroom for him. She found people to do the work, the materials were ordered from all over the world and the work was progressing.”
This was originally a large open hall in Lao Tzu House where Osho had given discourses when he first arrived in Pune. As per the plans, a 20-foot diameter circular crystal chandelier became the main attraction of the Samadhi, reflected majestically on vertical sheets of dark blue glass panels that encircled the auditorium. Outside was a landscaped garden with rocks and a mini waterfall. The floor of the Samadhi was made of chemically-untreated marble brought from Madhya Pradesh where Osho, as a child, had been fascinated by the marble rocks of Bhedaghat near Jabalpur.” (Vaidya 2017, p. 214)
Arun recalls an early discourse
“I still remember during And the Flowers Showered series, Osho had spoken on death, and given a clear instruction of how his body should be treated after his death. On the fifth discourse of the series, given on the 4th of November 1974, Osho had instructed that his body be preserved after his death.
He has said, “When I am dead, don’t bury my body, don’t burn it, because I will be involved in you, many of you. And if you can feel, then a sage remains alive for many years, sometimes thousands of years, because life is not only of the body. Life is en energy phenomenon. It depends on the involvement, on how many persons he was involved in. And a person like Buddha is not only involved with persons, he is involved even with trees, birds, animals; his involvement is so deep that if he dies, his death will take at least five hundred years.”
It is unfortunately that, despite his clear guidance, his body was cremated in haste.” (Arun 2017, p. 164)
(Note: Arun is on p. 166 referring to three consecutive issues of the Indian weekly Blitz, Conquest of Death, 27.10.1990ff., where Dr R. K. Karanjia has reported on Osho’s death. See also: Where Living Is A Festival And Dying A Celebration! Press Release – Osho Publications. November 1990. Karanjia’s feature is also distributed at digital Press Echo)
Osho on the death of other enlightened beings
“Many diseases may begin to occur once the energy begins to flow upward, because biologically you have disturbed the whole organism. Buddha died very ill, Mahavira died very ill, Raman Maharshi died with cancer, Ramakrishna died with cancer. And the reason is that the whole biological system is disturbed. Many other reasons are given, but they are nonsense.” Meditation. The Art of Ecstasy (2006), p. 87.
Mistlberger on Osho’s passing
“Osho died a few days after his claim that he was being attacked by black magic. It was a strangely macabre closing chapter for a man who throughout most of his life – and, according to his personal physician, during his actual moment of death – had been the embodiment of dignity. However, the issue of Osho’s death will likely remain a mystery, a type of Zen koan like ‘why did Bodhidharma go to China?’ His body was cremated within hours of his death; the evidence, if there was any, went up in smoke, and Osho, as he always maintained he would, dissolved into existence.
The story of his demise is ultimately secondary. A perhaps more useful approach to Osho’s death is to examine our own preconceived notions, conditioning, belief systems, and expectations about perfection, spiritual authority, trust, surrender and rebelliousness, and all the matters related to his death. We do better to look deeper into the mirror, rather than attempt to validate our fears, suspicions, or attachments by seeking closure to a mystery that has no solution.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 384)
“The next day we lined the marble path, and showered Osho’s ashes with rose petals, carried in an urn by his brother. Ashes of enlightened beings in India are known as sarira (flowers), relics in the Buddhist and Christian tradition. The flowers were laid to rest in Chuang Tzu Auditorium – now his Samadhi (mausoleum), where we could meditate near them.” (Abhiyana 2017, p. 500)
Amrito on Osho’s health. Excerpts:
“On January 21, 1990, Swami Amrito, Osho’s personal physician and vice-chairman of the Inner Circle, met with the press in Krishna House to answer their questions some of which are printed below.”
“I just asked Him what we should do, and it was obvious – all through that night – every movement was painful and it was obvious by the next morning that He wasn’t doing well. His pulse was irregular, weak. He was in very bad shape. So I asked Him what we should do, if He wanted to get a cardiologist. He didn’t want anything. I told Him I thought he was going to die. He just nodded…
He said it would be a relief for Him not to have to carry His body…
I would just take His words for that. He said to Jayesh, “Existence is timely,” or “Timely existence,” I don’t remember…
Well, dealing with Osho as a doctor is quite an interesting situation to be in… I am talking about someone whose whole existence is a sort of strange, delicate tightrope walk, and often what would have seemed like a very harmless gesture “perhaps that tablet might help, or that tablet might help” – but suddenly you find you’ve given Him a tablet and you’ve upset His tummy and that upsets His breathing and in no time, you’re in trouble.
I listened to Him very carefully, and didn’t walk in there with sackfuls of stuff saying, “Try this” and “Try that” and “Try the other, “because we wanted Him here as long as He could be here, and one false move… When there was something that seemed like a good idea, we tried it.
For about four months, He’s been taking only liquids. It was basically milk, but we managed to see that He’d get enough protein. We gave Him soya milk, and then added some grain for the protein complement. Every now and again He’d say, “This one is necessary?”
He liked things that were very cooling. He always took His milk with peppermint flavor with some nuts, so that it was actually quite a nourishing diet. But it was only liquid…
For me it’s clear that what happened when He was incarcerated in the United States – it was from that time that His body started to deteriorate, and clearly the whole destructive process has been going on in front of our eyes for years…
I think basically His message has always been the same. There is only one essential issue, and that is, to meditate. There’s only one essential meditation, and that is to witness. That’s clear. Meditate or we’re finished. It’s as simple as that.” (Unverified print. 1990. 2 pages)
Testimonies from three physicians on Osho’s health:
– Osho’s Medical History 1987-1990. By Sw Prem Amrito.
(Osho Times International, 1990:7). See Appendix.
– Affidavit by Dr. Gokul Gokani. 14.12.2015. 4 pages. In: ‘Who Killed Osho?’ (Vaidya 2017, pp. 140-43)
– A comprehensive account of Osho’s medical history is in Dr Azima’s book ‘My Life With Osho’ (Rosciano 2013, pp. 318-70). In the final Chapter 34: ‘The Last Celebration’ the author is recalling the events on January 19, 2000.
Much can be said to indicate developments following the embers of Osho’s passing, and some more sources on this issue can be found in the Epilogue. Maybe the most important thing to be said is that nothing has indeed ended and Osho’s work is still continuing.
Photo 39. Return of Osho’s ashes from burning ghats to his Samadhi.
Osho on when he is gone
“It needs tremendous insight and meditative understanding to have a little glimpse of the world of the enlightened person. I have criticizsed many: only a few of them were enlightened, most of them were simply frauds. The frauds have to be absolutely exposed to humanity.
Even those who were enlightened have become only a tradition, a convention, a dead belief. You have to be freed from their grip also, because they cannot help you, they can only hinder your path. They can become your chains, but they cannot become your freedom.
I can become your freedom.
I am your freedom.
When I am gone, I hope there may still be courageous people in the world to criticizise me, so that I don’t become a hindrance to anybody’s path. And those who will criticize me will not be my enemies; neither am I the enemy of those whom I have criticized. The working of the enlightened masters just has to be understood.
You should remember only one word, and that is compassion – compassion for you, compassion for all those who are still not centered in their being, who are still far away from themselves, who have to be called back home.
Satya Shivam Sundram (1988). Session 6, p. 68.
In a discourse 19.01.1989 Osho answers a question from Maneesha, one year before his passing
“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 yet 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.
I am reminded of one of the great Indian poets Rabindranath Tagore. He was a Nobel Prize winner. He has written six thousand songs which can be sung and put to music. They are not just poetries to recite, they are composed according to musical instruments. In the English language only Shelly comes a little close to Rabindranath Tagore. He has two thousand songs which can be put to music, but Rabindranath is far ahead – six thousand songs.
When Rabindranath was dying, one of his friends was there and also his uncle – a great painter, just as Rabindranath was a great poet – was sitting by his side. His name was Avanindranath Tagore. In this century in India nobody has surpassed Avanindranath Tagore as far as painting is concerned. They were almost of the same age.
Rabindranath was dying – both were old – and Avanindranath said to Rabindranath, “I see tears in your eyes. You should rejoice. You are leaving six thousand songs behind you. There is no single poet in any language who can be compared to you. You can die with dignity and pride. Withdraw your tears.”
Rabindranath said, “These tears are not what you think. They are not of despair, they are not of fear, they are not because death is coming. The reason for them is that I have sung six thousand songs, but the song that I have come to sing, I have failed. That song I sing again and again, but something else comes out. That song remains hidden deep in my soul.
“I am crying because I was coming very close. This is not the moment for me to die. God is absolutely unjust with me. A whole life of rehearsal – all those songs are just rehearsals, rejections – and the song that I wanted to sing still remains unsung.”
But that is not going to be the case with me. I will sing the song; I will try from every angle to approach you, from every possible dimension, in every possible way and device. My song is not of words, my song is me. I want to share my whole being with you, hence the questions.” Yakusan. Straight to the Point of Enlightenment (1990). Chapter 3, pp. 117-119. 19.01.1989 .
Vasant Joshi writes from Poona One 1981
“Part of the answer was revealed just one month before he stopped speaking in public. One question he was often asked was what would happen after he leaves his body. To this question, he gave an elaborate and clear reply:
“As far as I am concerned, I am not at all interested in the next moment. Even if this sentence remains incomplete, I will not make my effort to complete it. I will even put a full point to it. I have no desire to dominate, but I cannot go on saying to people, “Don’t worship me,” because that is the way to create worship.
People always misunderstand. While the master is alive they will not come to him because while the master is alive, they cannot be allowed to misunderstand. They will come to him only when he is no longer there, because a dead master can be controlled, manipulated.
First, I am a man who is consistently inconsistent. It will not be possible to make a dogma out of my words; anybody trying to make a creed or dogma out of my words will go nuts! You can make a dogma out of Mahavira – he is a very consistent man, very logical. You can make a philosophy out of Buddha – he is very mathematical. You can make a philosophy out of Krishnamurti – for fifty years he has been simply repeating the same thing again and again; you cannot find a single inconsistency in him.
It is impossible with me: I live in the moment and whatsoever I am saying right now is true for this moment. I have no reference with my past and I don’t think of the future at all. So my statements are atomic; they are not part of a system. And you can make a dead institution only when a philosophy is very systematic, when there are no more flaws, when no fault can be found, when all doubts are solved, all questions dissolved and you are given a ready-made answer to everything in life.
I am so inconsistent that it is impossible to create a dead institution around me because a dead institution will need the infrastructure of a dead philosophy. I am not teaching you any doctrine, I am not giving you any principles. On the contrary, I am trying to take away all the philosophies that you have carried all along. I am destroying your ideologies, creeds, cults, dogmas and I am not replacing them with anything else. My process is of pure de-conditioning. I am not trying to recondition you. I leave you open.
I am simply sharing my vision, my joy. I am enjoying it, and whosoever wants to enjoy it with me is welcome. Naturally, when I am gone there will be a few fools who will try to figure it out, to make a system, although I am making it almost impossible.” The Goose is Out (1982); (Joshi 2010, pp. 155-56)
Osho on the issue of successor
“As for becoming a successor to a master, it cannot be an election, it can only be a transmission of the lamp. Only the master can choose. But it was a strange situation because the master refused to accept the most intimate three followers. This shows something special about Zen – that it will not choose anything less that the best…
This man was chosen by the master as a successor. This is not an election. This is just finding out how deep the person has gone and whether he has realized truth or not. Only that way in Zen is the successor chosen. Just in some instances where the master has found that nobody is ripe enough – then too it shows such a devotion to truth that he will not choose anybody – will he then leave it to the assembly. “It is better that all together you find out who is going to be the successor. I am not going to commit the mistake of choosing an unenlightened person. You are at least free. You are unenlightened. What else can you do? You can choose an unenlightened person, very scholarly, learned, clever, a good speaker, a convincing logician. You can do that. But I cannot do something in my last moments of life for which I will be forever condemned by the buddhas.” Hyakujo. The Everest of Zen (1989). Chapter 9, p. 180.
“Our Beloved Master, You have often said You will have no successors. But won’t all those who love You be Your successors in that we carry You in our blood and bones and so You are part of us forever?
Maneesha, the concept of the successor is bureaucratic. The very idea of succession is not the right idea in the world of consciousness. That’s why I have said I will not have successors. But you are right in saying that you will carry in your bones and in your blood my love, my insight. But don’t use the word ‘successor’, rather say that you will be me. Why be so far away, a successor, when you can be me? Be so empty that I can make a home in you, that your emptiness can absorb my emptiness, that your heart can have the same dance as my heart. It is not succession; it is transmission.
The very idea of succession is political. Only one person can be a successor, so there is bound to be competition, ambition. There is bound to be a subtle struggle to be closer to the master, to force others away. It may not be on the surface but, underneath, the problem will remain in the disciples: “Who is going to be the successor?”
I destroy the whole conception. Every disciple who has loved has become one with the master. There is no need of any competition, nor one successor. It is for everybody who has offered himself in deep gratitude, who has become one in a certain sense with the master’s presence. There is no need of any competition. Thousands can have the same experience, millions can have the same experience.
To avoid politics in religion, I have said that I will not have successors. I want religion to be absolutely devoid of ambition, competition, being higher than another, putting everybody lower than oneself.
With me you are all equal. And I trust and love you, that you will prove this equality. In equals there is no competition; there is a combined effort. You will all carry my message, but nobody will be higher or lower, nobody will be a successor. All will be my lovers and they will carry me.” Nansen (1990). Chapter 2, p. 30.
Osho speaking in August 1977 on seeing other masters
“A few days ago in the morning discourse, bhagwan told us that when he was gone, when he was no longer in the body, that he would guide those of us who had not been able to attain enlightenment with him to a live master, that this was part of his responsibility to his sannyasins, part of his compassion for us. I remember it well. Sadness and joy, love and gratitude mingled in me as he spoke.” (Krishna Prem. In: The No Book. No Buddha. No Teaching. No Discipline. A Darshan Diary (1981), p. 281)
Osho on other masters
“The master as a friend can help immensely, but the master should not become an owner. He should not ask for any surrender to him. The surrender has to be for the whole of existence, not for any individual.
Hence my emphasis is that you should not become attached to me. You should not become in any way obedient to me. You should not be surrendered to me. You don’t have any commitment to me.
You can take the help, and the beauty of help is, it is not binding. You can take my help and you can take anybody else’s help too. There is no question of commitment. You can accept help from every corner available. Why should you become attached only to one person? You should become available to all the wise people around you from whereever any ray of light comes towards you. You should be ready and receptive. It does not matter from whom the ray of light comes. If it leads towards truth, if it makes you more free, more independent, more integrated, more of an individual, solid, like a rock, then you are absolutely free to accept all the help possible.
A real friend cannot make you a slave. He cannot tell you, “You have only to accept my help.” If he is a real friend, he will say to you, “You have to learn to accept advice, wisdom from whereever it comes.”
Help is absolutely necessary. Just remember that I do not want to become in any way a bondage to you. I want to be remembered by you only as a freedom giver, not as somebody who enslaves you. And then from whereever you feel your thirst can be quenched, your heart starts dancing; you feel that you are moving, moving towards a more beautiful space, then go without hesitation.
You can have many friends. You are on your feet; you have to move with your own energy. You have to see with your own eyes. You have to experience with your own being. Even on the right path there are so many pitfalls, so many places you can get stuck. Somebody is needed who has traveled on the path. Somebody who has traveled can be of great help, and one should not be ashamed of taking help from whereever it comes. One should be humble; one should be ready and open. Rather than getting into bondage with one person it is better to be available to all the wise ones in the world – living and dead. They all indicate to the same truth, because there are not so many truths. There is only one.
There are thousands of fingers pointing to the same moon. You should not become attached to the finger, because the finger is not the moon. You should forget the finger and look at the moon, and move towards the moon.” The Sword and the Lotus. Talks in the Himalayas (1989)
Satyananda recalls returning to Poona Two and Buddha Hall
“Es hatte für mich nie einen Zweifel gegeben, das Rajneesh ein erleuchteter Meister ist, und ich zweifelte auch zwei Jahre nach dem Untergang seiner Kommune in Oregon nicht daran. Mein Problem bestand darin, dass ich nicht wusste, in welchem Verhältnis ich zu ihm stand. War die Meister-Schuler-Beziehung vorbei? Konnte sie überhaupt zu Ende gehen, bevor man selber erleuchtet war? Und wer beendete sie – der Schüler oder der Meiste? War ich noch ein Sannyasin, obwohl ich mit der sogenannte “Neo-Sannyas-Bewegung” nicht mehr zu tun haben wollte? War meine Beziehung zu Rajneesh eine Herz-zu-Herz-Beziehung geblieben? Ich zweifelte daran. Ram träumte fast jede Nacht von ihm. Ich nicht. Ich hatte Rajneeshs Foto in meinem Zimmer. Aber war das Bild nur noch Dekoration? Merkwürdigerweisse konnte ich diese Fragen nicht einfach auf sich beruhren lassen. Die Unklarheit meiner Beziehung zu Rajneesh beunruhigte mich. Ich wollte Klarheit haben. Und so ging ich zum Reisebüro am Loretto Plaza und kaufte ein Ticket nach Bombay…
Sie [Purna] hat einen sogenannten “Frontsitz”, einen Platz in den ersten fünf Reihen. Ich wollte mich gerade, total erschöpft, ins Hotel absetzen, aber Purnas Angebot is zu verlockend. Eine halbe Stunde später sitze ich in der Buddha-Halle. Hinter mir die Musikanten: Synthesizer, Geigen, Querflöten, Gitarren, Trommeln. Die Halle is voll. So viele Menschen hat es hier früher nicht gegeben. Viele neue Gesichter, aber hier vorne, wo die alten Poona-Jünger sitzen, die Veteranen von Rajneeshpuram und die sogenannte Prominenz, geht es sehr vertraut zu. Auch Durga ist hier, unsere Durga vom St. Francis Way. Wir winken uns zu. Tiefstrahler flammen auf. Die Videokamera läuft. Die Musik steigert sich. Durch das dichte Gebüsch am Rande der Halle, die nach den Seiten hin offen ist, dringt das Scheinwerferlicht des Rolls Royce.
Dann steht er vor mir – ER, gross geschrieben. ER trägt flaschengrünen Samt an diesem Abend. Faltet die Hände – wie immer – zum indischen Namaste vor dem Gesicht. Die Brillianten auf det goldenen Rolex blitzen. Da ist das vertraute Lächeln, der Liebe Blick der grossen, schwarzen Augen, die wie in Öl eingelegt sind…
An diesem Abend in der Buddha-Halle lasse ich zum ersten Mal los. Die Vortstellung, dass ich diesen Mystiker unbedingt verstehen muss, fällt von mir ab. Plötzlich weiss ich: Mystiker sind noch nie verstanden worden. Sie werden entweder gehasst oder geliebt. Und ich liebe… Es ist mir egal, wie andere Leute das finden. Ich will nicht mehr erklären, was ich mit ihm zu tun habe und warum er dies oder jenes tut. Ich fühle mich nicht berufen, für ihn Reklame zu machen. Er schlägt die Trommel selber laut genug, zettelt Skandale an, ärgert, verletzt, stösst vor den Kopf, jagt Angst ein, tut alles, um aus dieser Menschheit, die mit selbstmörderischem Fatalismus auf den Abgrund zutreibt, Funken zu schlagen. Er macht seine Sache, und ich mache meine Sache, und zum ersten Mal empfinde ich meine Beziehung zu ihm als eine völlig private Angelegenheit.
Es ist ene Wiederbegegnung und ein Abschied zugleich, denn an diesem Abend wird mir auch klar, dass es nicht mehr meine Sache sein kann, mich zu Füssen des Meisters auf Dauer niederzulassen. Ich gehöre in die Welt und muss meiner eigenen Weg gehen. Ich mag wenig wissen, aber ich habe eine innere Stimme, auf deren Weisheit ich mich verlassen kann. Ich muss nur auf sie hören. Sie sagt mir, was jeder wahre Meister seinem Schüler sagt: Erkenne dich selbst, und sei dir treu! Sei dein eigenes Licht!” (Elten 1990, pp. 313,317,318)
Gilhus writes on the laughing guru
“For Bhagwan, like many of his predecessors in the history of religions, laughter was an opening up of the body. That does not tell us anything new. Nor is it new to think of the body as a gateway to the soul. What is new is that the body has now lost its lasting significance and been deprived of its future: eternal salvation or damnation is no longer waiting for it. Bhagwan’s epitaph sums up this position and reflects one of late modernity’s dreams, the belief in reincarnation: ‘Never born. Never died. Only visited this planet Earth between December 11, 1931 and January 19, 1990.’ While humans are visiting this earth, they are tied to a body.” (Gilhus 1997, p. 133)
On Osho Multiversity Attunement Conference in August 1990
“Jayesh was the first, and had everyone falling out of their seats with laughter as he played up his reputation for being somewhat of a recluse: “I’ve always felt that Osho wants me to be a backroom player,” he said, “so if you don’t mind I think I’ll just go back to my room now.” He didn’t though, he stayed and recounted his memory of guidance he had received from Osho over the last years.” (Yes Osho (Digital)). 11.08.1990)
A general meeting was held in Buddha Hall on 09.08.1990. Jayesh started telling how he heard Osho speak on his buddhafield and the importance of the evening meetings of the White Robe Brotherhood. Devageet spoke on his experiences as Osho’s dentist, and Neelam on the significance of participating in the evening meetings. (Yes Osho (Digital)). 14.08.1990)
One more message from Osho on the significance of the evening meetings was passed on by Amrito in Buddha Hall 20.08.1990. (Yes Osho (Digital). Vol V, 1990:28. 22.08.1990)
Heading: What Is an Osho?
Amrito is talking on Osho’s work triggered by the question raised by a newcomer in the resort: What is an ‘Osho’? Excerpt:
“Perhaps the most important thing to see is the process. When the first people arrived, Osho would sit every night and answer questions on everything and anything – from God to girl-friend and boy-friend problems. Then slowly he withdrew from that. And eventually stopped answering questions at all, even in his public talks. While initially he never missed a daily talk, year in year out, he slowly brought us to a point when we never knew if he would be well enough to come at all. Then he would come in silence for only a few minutes a day, and then on the day before he left the body he managed that the whole process happened perfectly without his physical presence. One thing is clear, he wanted nobody to be in any way dependent on him or on anybody else, which would be against his fundamental insistence on freedom.” (Amrito. www.tabaan.de/oshowhat.htm 12.10.2005)
Photo 40. Osho’s Samadhi in former Chuang Tzu Auditorium. Lao Tzu House. In August 2018 renamed Chuang Tzu Meditation Hall.
On the Inner Circle
“In the new set-up, Swami Jayesh as chairman of the inner circle is considered the unofficial successor to Rajneesh. Swami Amrito, inner circle vice-chairman, describes Jayesh as a “professional sannyasin” who joined the commune during the Oregon days. Ma Neelam, who had been Rajneesh’s personal secretary and ‘caretaker’, says: “Jayesh looked after the legal affairs of the commune, and you know with Osho, these cases would keep popping up. He was part of a very intimate group and was in close contact with Osho.
“The workings of the inner circle are secret – and that’s how Osho wanted it to be,” claims Amrito. And indeed, secrecy seems to be the inner circle’s distinguishing feature. Swami Jayesh is elusive and Amrito, who acts as the group’s official spokesman, is not prepared to disclose any details about the Osho ashram. Amrito is equally evasive about the precise legal status of the inner circle. Does the inner circle only administer the ashram or does it own the whole complex, the Rolls Royces and everything else? Amrito merely says: “You could say that it isn’t marriage, but only a live-in relationship.”
A salient feature of the inner circle is the dominance of ‘foreigners’. Apparently, only five of the circle’s 21 members are Indian: Zareen, who is in charge of initiating Indian sannyasins, Satya Vedant, vice-chancellor of the Osho University of Creative Arts, Neelam, secretary of Indian affairs, Jayantibhai, who would look after the commune, during Rajneesh’s trips abroad, and Tathaghat, who handles the day-to-day running of the Pune ashram.” (Heaven can’t wait. Farewell to the most colourful of gurus. Adite Chatterjee. Sunday, Bombay. 04.02.1990)
“Shades of the Sansad announcement on the Ranch – another 21 people! This time I wasn’t jealous – what a headache to be responsible for running the commune; what a formula for disaster! The 21 had disparate takes on what the Master meant in any given situation. As I see it, in order to reach consensus, Osho trusted the committee to meet in meditation together.
After Buddha’s death, many sects sprung up from his disciples, who had heard and understood in different ways what the Buddha had spoken. 2500 years later, in the age of audio and videotapes, after Osho’s leaving the body it was happening again. Rumors were rife concerning the discordance of the Inner Circle. Factions arose. The Inner Circle sent orders to various commune departments, often contradicting the previous order. Clearly there was no consensus. In a few years, the infighting got so bad, that four members abruptly left, even though two of them – Hasya and Yogi – were smack in the middle of leading the Women’s and Men’s Liberation groups. It was a shock that went through the whole commune.
I was walking through the Ashram that fateful day in 1992 when I heard guitars and people singing. What’s going on? I came upon a scene of rose petals adorning the flagstone path, singing people on either side, and Kaveesha dancing her way to the front gate. She and several other members of the Inner Circle were leaving for good: Avirbhava, who Osho loved to make scream; Yogi who financially supported Osho’s “World Tour;” David, Kaveesha’s consort and Hasya, his international secretary…
Many more members of the Inner Circle left. A major rift occurred between factions of Indian disciples, and Neelam and Tathaghat left. A few died, and today 17 years later, the committee appears to be mostly a rubber stamp for its chairman. In my judgement, we failed the master again.” (Abhiyana 2017, pp. 483-86)
“Earlier I suggested that the people who were most attracted to running sannyas as an organisation were, subconsciously, the very people who felt most threatened by it…
Certainly the people who lived in the ashram were always such goody-goodies. All along their only interest seemed to lie in making Osho respectable; – and there’s no more ghastly misservice you can do a Tantra master. What Osho, or any other Tantrika is doing, is calling attention to everything which is repressed in any given situation; and saying that it is in fact this repressed element which is the dynamic one. “It is better to be crucified than to be respectable,” he is reported to have said during the last months of his life; and this wasn’t just bravado. To start to whitewash over the things about Osho you find threatening, the way the ashram does, is to take away the whole cutting edge from his work. Look at what happened to poor Krishnamurti. There he is, stuck in his row of religious paperbacks – he’s respectable all right, and for all the effect he’s having, he might as well have never lived. Penguin books are the kiss of death.” (Sam 1997, p. 243)
Mistlberger on Osho’s legacy
“Be that as it may, Osho’s legacy is notable and undeniable, mostly for his revolutionary efforts to bridge Eastern and Western transformational technology but more principally for his accent on honouring the self and the ending of the ‘enslaved’ condition of the average person. What Crowley and Gurdjieff were pointing toward – a new spirituality that is self-inclusive, that steers away from puritanical models and personal debasement, that is individually empowering as well as enlightening in the true sense of the word – Osho carried effectively to greater numbers of people. I personally know of literally hundreds of people whose lives were powerfully and positively impacted by Osho’s work. Also, it would be mentioned that a large number of teachers, facilitators, and writers in the field of human transformation in the late 20th and early 21st centuries were in fact initiated disciples of Osho, although many no longer openly acknowledge this for various reasons.” (Mistlberger 2010, p. 439)
Khushwant Singh on Osho
“Osho lives and will continue to live if not physically, within the hearts and minds of millions of his followers. The man plays magic with his eyes, his voice, his language and his combination of words.”
“Osho is… a philosopher… an original thinker and a man of enormous intellectual integrity, who has the courage to debunk and denounce the irrational in every religious system…
There is much more in Osho’s scholarly dissertation than I can hope to match. He has an uncanny gift of making the most abstruse philosophical concept appear as simple as a child’s fairy tale. Therein lies his power as the latterday messiah of our times.” (Khushwant Singh, March, 1989)” (Forman 2002. Appendix, pp. 480-481)
Max Brecher on Khushant Singh’s obituary
“Kushwant Singh, a Princeton-educated senior Indian journalist, who had interviewed Rajneesh several times at the beginning of his meteoric career, described him as ” the most original thinker that India has produced: the most erudite, the most clear-headed and the most innovative.”
The obituary, which appeared in fifty Indian newspapers, went on to say: “With the going of Rajneesh, India has lost one of its greatest sons. India’s loss will be shared by all those who have an open mind throughout the world. Within a few years from now, his message will be heard all over the world.” (Brecher 1993, p. 396)
Sheela on Osho’s passing
“I remember the day very clearly. I was in France at that point, in Alsace, and my attorney called me to say that Bhagwan had died. And I said, “No, that’s not possible,” and he asked, “Why?” and I said, “When you say so, I accept it, but my heart doesn’t believe it, because I know I would have felt it if it was a natural death.” And I would say it wasn’t a natural death.” (Sheela Birnstien. Interviewed by Serena Menon. Elle India, 07.09.2018)
“Some have argued that if Osho had been truly enlightened, he would have operated in a less confrontational manner and taken responsibility for caring for others. Yet, there is always a response – that this would have been at odds with his aim of inducing a transformation in consciousness rather than providing consolation or conforming to the expectations and needs of others. The answers to whether Osho was a manipulator, addicted to power, etc., or a radically enlightened spiritual master who continues to offer a joyful, authentic and enriching – if at times turbulent – path to those who open their hearts to him, seems to rest with the one asking the question, and with posterity.” (Fox 2002, p. 51)
An assessment of the future
“The future of the Osho movement, claiming as it does a radical and revolutionary approach to spiritual enlightenment, will depend to a large extent upon the ability of its members to read its own sacred teachings (the writings and lectures of Osho) in terms of a wider social ethic which challenges mainstream values.” (Carrette 2005, p. 158)
Osmen on Osho’s Ashram
“The extraordinary aspect of this ashram is its power of instant sacredness. For the purposes of this book it illustrates with great precision the very essence of what creates a sacred place. First there is clearly the “business” of spiritual learning happening inside this “temple” – spiritual learning in the sense of inward-looking activities. The circle of the ashram does not primarily concern itself with the outside world, except insofar as it solves or helps to understand the inner mechanisms and their connection with outside activities. Second, there is present the essence of an enlightened master. Since he left his body on January 19th, 1990, it seems almost as though his atmosphere has grown stronger. The story is told that when Buddha himself died his essence remained within the area of his life for five hundred years thereafter, and Osho’s people have, since their Master departed, increased the energy of making their ashram a sacred center.” (Osmen 1990, p. 193)
Dalai Lama never met Osho but visited Poona in 1993
Heading: Dalai Lama becomes first major religious leader to visit Osho Commune International
“The Dalai Lama, exiled ruler of Tibet, was given a warm welcome by Osho’s disciples and toured the 33-acre commune for about an hour on December 4. When he reached the statue of Gautam the Buddha outside the Commune’s main meditation hall, the Dalai Lama bowed down in reverence.
“You have a very beautiful place,” he told Swami Satya Vedant, Chancellor of the Osho Multiversity, as he walked through the Commune’s beautiful gardens. “It is like being in a forest,” he said. “It is very peaceful.”
At the bookshop the Dalai Lama was shown all 650 English titles by Osho covering all the major religious traditions. He was surprised to see so many books on Zen and was particularly drawn to a ten-volume series of discourses on Buddha’s teachings titled The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha. The Dalai Lama received a copy of one of Osho’s Zen books, And The Flowers Showered as well as Meditation, The First and Last Freedom.
When Osho was still in His body, the Dalai Lama once said of Him, “Osho is an enlightened Master who is working with all possibilities to help humanity overcome a difficult phase in developing consciousness.”” (Viha Connection, 1994:1)
Marion Goldman writes on the “four-R’s” of self-transformation
“Rajneesh renamed himself Osho and created a central council to carry on organizational duties at the end of his lifetime and afterwards. By redefining Osho as an avatar rather than an embodied master, the Pune leadership could concentrate on reinterpreting and popularizing his message. Strategies of distance and diffusion effectively overcame the conflicts during the movements first two decades of controversy and transformed it into a twenty-first-century cultural force.
The movement’s transformation began when Rajneesh and his devotees blamed Sheela and her inner circle for the movement’s debacle and ostracized them. Then the movement began to recover because it had the money to reopen the Pune Ashram and turn it into the vibrant Osho Meditation Resort. Successful relocation rested on a handful of members’ substantial monetary support and the skills and dedication of hundreds of other devotees.
After it moved to Pune, the Osho movement successfully engaged in the “four-R’s” of self-transformation: Relocate to a special destination. Rename the movement. Reorganize the leadership structure. Reframe doctrine to support new practices and substantial outreach. These four-R’s have also been part of the process of individual transformation that makes the Osho movement so attractive to spiritual seekers. Individuals seeking self-transformation may relocate to new homes, find new names and personal identities, reorganize their priorities, and reframe their life histories.
Osho paved the way for his movement to survive and even thrive, when he urged diffusion of its focus to worldwide cultural influence:
“There will be no need to make any special nook and corner for me. I will be dissolved in my people. Just as you can taste the sea and it is salty, you will be able to taste any of my sannyasins and you will find the same taste: the taste of Bhagwan [Osho], the taste of the Blessed One.””
(Goldman 2014, p. 192. Quote is from: The Goose is Out (1982), 2001 edition, pp. 239-40)
Süss writes on Osho
“Nach dem Tod des Stifters kursierte unter den Sannyasin ein Papier mit dem Titel ‘Organism not Organization’, eine Zusammenstellung von Stifterworten über die Struktur der Gemeinschaft. Darin spricht sich Rajneesh ganz entschieden gegen jeden Versuch aus, eine hierarchische Struktur zu institutionalisieren. Niemand soll sich höher gestellt fühlen als andere. Vielmehr fordert er Respekt vor sich selbst und anderen als die einzige und entscheidende Ethik des Kommunelebens.” (Süss 1996, p. 187)
Satya Vedant writes on Osho
“What is the relevance of all this you might ask. Well, the more you listen to what he is actually saying, the more you discover that he has carefully anticipated a time when he would no longer be present, a time when the traditional ideas of a “dead Indian guru or master who leaves his disciples behind” would naturally be projected onto his work…
And perhaps most penetrating, he specifically deals with how he would like to be remembered: “I would simply like to be forgiven and forgotten. There is no need to remember me. The need is to remember yourself! People have remembered Gautam Buddha and Jesus Christ and Confucius and Krishna. That does not help. So what I would like: forget me completely, and forgive me too – because it will be difficult to forget me. That’s why I am asking you to forgive me for giving you the trouble.
“And don’t be bothered about historians and all kinds of neurotic people – they will do their thing. It is none of our concern at all.”
And on another occasion when asked whether he would like to be remembered, as a mystic, a spiritual leader, a philosopher? He replies, “Just a nobody. I would like it to be as if I have never been.”” (Joshi 2017, p. 296)
An appropriate way of putting an end to these writings might be acknowledging a member of the European intelligentsia by quoting Peter Sloterdijk, German professor and philosopher, who in his book ‘Selbstversuch’ writes on Osho:
“Um keine Zweifel aufkommen zu lassen: Ich halte Rajneesh noch immer für eine der grössten Figuren des Jahrhunderts – er war ein Mann mit Geist, Energie und Spielsinn, wir werden nie wieder seinesgleichen sehen.” (Sloterdijk 1996, p. 105)
“Let there be no doubt on this point: I still do recognize Rajneesh as one of the greatest figures of this century – he was a man of spirit, energy and playfulness, we will never again see anyone like him.” (Own translation)
(Hence, O Traveler, march along, march along).
(From Aiterena Bhramana in the Upanishads)
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