Osho’s answer to Maneesha’s question exposes the jealousy of all the women in the commune

In the previous entry I wrote of how I had submitted a question for discourse which Nirvano, Osho’s caretaker, had implied was not appropriate and that I should replace with another one. I’d thought it was rather fun, didn’t see that it was her job to judge the work that went into Osho, and, besides, I was battling yet another migraine, so was in no mood to create another question. However, because of her reaction, I had some trepidation as I waited in that night’s discourse for Osho to reach my question….

Osho finished his commentary on the sutra about Joshu arriving at Nansen’s monastery and Nansen giving the order that he was to be afforded ‘special treatment.’ He paused, and then began: “Maneesha, in the first place your question has come neither from the mind…”

Wow! My internal commentator interjected. You’ve written something not of the mind: it must be really profound!

“…nor from no-mind…” Osho added.

Really? My internal commentator sat up, alert. But there is only mind or no-mind, isn’t there? What’s this third space Osho is about to speak of? Maneesha, you’ve discovered new territory!

“…but from migraine…” Osho finished.

Oh, no! I groaned inwardly. This is it, Maneesha. You’re in for trouble!

“I would have given you a good hit, but I don’t hit people…” If Nishkriya [the sannyasin who operated the video equipment right beside me and whom Osho had appointed in the past to deliver hits to me], Osho continued. But his hit finds its mark without the help of Nishkriya, he added, then went on to say, “If you are aware of what you are asking…. Do you see your jealousy? Do you see your woman? How do you know that people who are allowed to come to me are chitchatting? They have their work; they need instructions. They are called because of their work; it is not that they have come to chitchat. What will I chitchat about?

“They have their work just as you have your work. Others are jealous of you. You are also in Lao Tzu [house], and you have the special work of collecting my words, of editing my words. When we are all gone, Maneesha’s collections will be remembered for centuries…. But it is difficult to get rid of our jealousies.”

Osho went on to say that our first commune was destroyed because of women’s jealousies, and that the same had happened with the second commune [Rajneeshpuram in Oregon, USA]. This commune was the third, and the last, because he was becoming tired. He was the first man to allow both men and women in his commune, “But I have burnt my fingers twice, and it has always been the jealousy of women.”

I was taken aback: it was one thing to have him name one of my areas of unconsciousness; we all had them, as he had recently reminded us. But Osho was implying that through my jealousy I could interfere with his work; I could destroy his commune. That really hit home: I, who lived for his work, who so much wanted his vision to be realized, could actually get in the way!

Then he talked of Anando’s and Neelam’s work, as his two secretaries, and of Zareen, a sannyasin of just a few years who only recently had become a commune resident. He had been thinking to put her in charge of the commune, Osho said, but she had been heard to say that she would not be dictated to. That attitude is okay, Osho commented, but it would cause conflict in the commune; so instead he had put someone else in charge.

So Osho was hitting two birds, Zareen and me, with one stone. And he was not done with me yet, telling the assembly: “Now, Maneesha’s question is full of jealousy. Not only am I saying it; Nirvano brings the sutras and questions to show me; she wanted to change it. I said, ‘Don’t change it; let it be as it is’, because in commune life we should expose ourselves without fear. Love knows no fear. If something is arising in your mind, you should tell it’.”

He talked at length about there being no higher and lower in people’s work and so no need for jealousy, before saying to me: “But your question must be the question of many people. That’s why I told Nirvano, ‘Don’t change it; let it remain as it is.’

“Maneesha is intelligent enough not to ask a stupid question,” he declared. “But she suffers from migraine. And today she has a migraine. I can say it without any doubt; otherwise she would not have asked such a question. With a migraine strange ideas arise and you cannot do anything. The whole world seems to be hell. One feels like doing something nasty. It is a chemical, hormonal matter. One wants to be nasty. One wants to behave in a way that is insulting, humiliating, but the person is not doing it; it is the chemistry.” (Joshu:The Lion’s Roar)

I didn’t need his answer, Osho concluded, but an injection for pain-relief from Amrito, his doctor.

Maneesha - Anando - Sagarpriya - Nirvano

So, my jealousy was ‘official,’ out in the open, made known to thousands of people, and to generations to come!

Yet, where I might have wanted the ground to open and swallow me up, instead I feel relief. There is nothing to hide; what I had judged my least lovable characteristic was now revealed for all time. Instead of beating myself up, I told myself, “You have a tendency to be jealous. Some people have greed or pride or ambition; you have jealousy. Now you know.”

After discourse I recalled what Osho had said, phrase by phrase. Though the hit had been huge, in fact he had been gentle with me. He had given me an excuse for my nastiness in the form of my migraines and said that my jealousy was representative of that of others. Finally, he had endorsed me as his editor and caretaker of his words. To top it all off, later that evening – it happened to be my birthday and I was going out to a party – he asked Amrito (his doctor and my closest friend) if I was hurt by his hit.

That touched me so much. If there had been the smallest doubt in my mind that I was too despicable to be loved, it dissolved in an instant by his concern.

Text by Maneesha

Read Maneesha’s question from Osho, Joshu: The Lion’s Roar, Ch 2


When Maneesha joined Osho News she asked Punya what she should write about. The immediate suggestion which popped up was: “How was it to sit in front of Osho and read the questions? I would have been scared stiff.” The answer to this became a series of articles which we have published during our first year. Here are the links to all of them:

13 – Osho Making Fun of our Seriousness
12 – Women’s Jealousy
11 – The Barbarous Mind
10 – The Bursting of the Boil
9 – The Device
8 – An Old Sinner
7 – Living with a Contemporary Koan
6 – The Irreplaceable Melody
5 – The Incomparable Privilege
4 – Our Final Questions
3 – The Whispered Transmission
2 – An Experiment: Mind Over Matter
1 – Reading the Questions to Osho: How It All Started

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