Essays Osho at Universities — 04 January 2017

A brochure written by Satya Vedant about the Osho Chair, its meaning and importance in today’s world.

campus

What is an Osho Chair?

Because of its dignity, a Named Chair brings attention to the field that it is meant to enhance or develop.

The Osho Chair shall allow the donors to spell out the particular area of research required for publication and teaching.

Osho Chair creates a path by which the donors make certain that something that is precious to them and valuable for the welfare of humanity continues to be known, understood, researched, studied, taught, and transmitted in perpetuity at the distinguished V.N.S.G University, Surat (Gujarat), and through it, in the Academy overall.

Why would the Donors establish an Osho Chair?

Because of the distinguished nature of named Chairs, it immediately brings attention to itself from all over The Academy, having a “ripple effect” across higher education worldwide. Due of this, the factors listed below become significant:

Legacy: A Chair adds honor, value and dignity to the legacy of a beloved individual.

Transformation: Can transform an existing discipline by bringing an added dimension through the task and functions of the Chair.

Exposure: Exposes a large student population both in the institution where the Chair exists and elsewhere.

Establishment: Can establish a new field or area of study (a ‘discipline’) which illuminates the work of the named, honoured person.

The main objectives of Osho Chair
  • Designing a well-planned curriculum for the study of Osho’s multidimensional work.
  • Making available the vast literature of Osho (over 1000 titles) for the purpose of research and publication.
  • The Chair may be supportive in preparing for a Master’s or a doctoral degree.
  • A systematic program for conducting research seminars and conferences will be the integral part of Osho Chair.
  • The Chair and its work will be brought to the attention of students and academicians through various publications and the Internet.

Under the auspices of Osho Chair, currently the following events are planned:

  • Four seminars: January 7 & 8, 2017.
  • Formal inauguration/celebration of Osho Chair by Pujya Shree MorariBapu on Sunday, January 22, 2017.
  • One day meditation event in February 2017.
  • Talks on Osho’s Vision by renowned invited guest speakers.
Purpose of the Osho Chair

Why should Osho’s disciples and friends concern themselves with higher education? During the lifetime of a self-realized, enlightened founding leader, Osho, a global movement such as the Osho Worldwide Community has continued to meet success and growth through increasing membership and participation (grass-roots effect).

  • However, the legacy of an enlightened founder of the caliber of Osho needs to continue growing in perpetuity; self-renew; remain vibrant; become a source of wisdom for decision makers worldwide.
  • To become a widely accepted ‘paradigm for understanding life’ as well as an ‘action/application tradition’, the establishment of the Osho Chair in a prestigious institution such as the V.N.G.S. University, makes an immense impact in strengthening and crystalizing a great legacy in the powerhouses of the temples of learning.
  • Why does this matter? By reaching tens of thousands of students over time through the work of a Chair and its ripple effect, disciples and friends of Osho are able to enact wide-spread dissemination of the teachings of Osho far into the future.
  • With familiarity and respect for his name, comes the potentiality and then actuality of Osho Studies entering the lexicon of the Academy and transmitted to the student populations and educated youth worldwide.
  • The spiritual brilliance of Osho deserves a wide legacy including integration in the halls of knowledge. Through the establishment of a Chair in his name at a respected academic institution, the depth and breadth of his work will become widely known.
  • The application of his teachings then becomes widely available to future generations of bright young minds. This creates influential thought leaders, informed and impacted by Osho’s legacy.
  • Osho’s greatest gift has been the development of a clear and cogent trans-religious contemplative paradigm applicable to all areas of human activity. The Osho Chair would provide the impetus to study this important contribution from multidisciplinary perspective (relevant to multiple fields).
  • Application of Osho’s teachings to education, sustainability, relationships, conflict resolution, ecologically conscious economic activity, consciousness studies and much more thereby becomes possible. Osho’s Work becomes thereby a preeminent model for synthesis in higher education.
  • Osho Chair shall flourish as a pioneering educational endeavor for interdisciplinary and interreligious spiritual thought, study, and practice, making a tangible difference for the greatest good and serving as the place where spiritual insights are applied to real world problems and concerns. Innovative insights that represent Osho’s teachings and thought would find a comfortable home at Osho Chair.
  • “A real education will not teach you to compete; it will teach you to cooperate. It will not teach you to fight and come first. It will teach you to be creative, to be loving, to be blissful, without any comparison with the other.” Osho
Relevance of Osho’s message

Understanding the phenomenon called ‘Osho’ has proved strangely elusive. Perhaps that is inevitable because at the root Osho represents the greatest potential paradigm shift in the history of humanity. Osho is basically putting humanity on the couch and unraveling hidden madness. He surgically describes all that is insane with the world around us and how those lunacies are simply expressions of our own inner schizophrenia. And vice versa, he takes all our inner distortions and shows how these create the outer barbarity that passes for ‘civilization’. And at every turn, he would explain, and demonstrate with his presence, the fundamental medicine for the disease – meditation.

Osho Chair for Research in Human Consciousness and the Study of Individual and Collective Awareness

The Osho Chair, created at V.N.S.G University, Surat (Gujarat), is aimed at making available academic resources for scholars and students to study the wide range of the contemporary visionary Osho’s contribution to human life, knowledge, and evolutionary growth.

Presently, we can see a peculiar combination of forces at play – both integrating and disintegrating.

Ethnic conflict, racial intolerance, religious fundamentalism, ecological degradation, the spread of AIDS, and nuclear proliferation are some of the painful realities of the twenty-first century. Throughout human history we have, unfortunately, created self-sustaining processes of overt and covert forms of violence in the name of religion, justice, freedom, and progress. Indeed, we are a wounded civilization.

The existing scenario also demands that we acknowledge the way traditionally followed institutions such as marriage, family, neighborhoods and communities are either changing or proving to be irrelevant. Consequently, we find children and young adults too often abused, brutalised, or abandoned.

All of the above clearly reflects the concern over weakening social, political, and religious institutions. People, at the moment, are indeed searching for answers; they are looking for a new vision and ways to create common strategies which may bring about a collective awareness toward sustaining and enhancing the quality of life on planet earth.

Clearly, the main implication of this state of affairs is that we urgently need a radical reordering of our perceptions and priorities. We need a paradigm shift in freeing humanity from its conditioned ways of equating success with power and authority, from equating living with perpetuating outdated modes of thinking and behavior, and from equating religion with following stifling catechisms and stultifying rituals.

In view of the current state of affairs, the insights given by the enlightened mystic, Osho, are extremely relevant and valuable for not only revolutionizing the whole understanding of what life is all about but also for enhancing the quality of individual and collective responsibility for the wellbeing of humanity as a whole.

The premise on which the Osho Chair is established is as follows:

  • An individual or a group of individuals has to realize that there is a need for change and work toward it with awareness, courage and commitment.
  • Once committed, a systematic approach must be made to examine and study the issue. This would work best within a free and supportive academic environment because, it helps bring out wider perspectives and it creates a shared understanding.
  • Besides working on a wide-ranging and insightful vision of Osho, the Chair will also provide a pragmatic framework for an effective and meaningful learning process.

Through meditation, which is central to Osho’s work, one can get out of the past and move dynamically into exploring the future. One can also learn how to face life with full awareness. It will keep the learning process bring about a sense of peace, joy, and creativity.

This dimension may include meditation techniques from different sources, such as the Yoga, Zen, Tao, Sufi, or Hasid traditions. It may also teach the Martial Arts – the art of self-defense, without weapons, a form of meditative practice.

Sponsored by Osho Chair, a talk was given by Swami Satya Vedant organized by the V.N.S.G. University Main Library on Thursday, August 4, 2016:

“If education can make every person aware that one is enough as one is, and can enable him to experience the bliss of it, if education can make facilities available for the full growth of what one has – facilities for growth, not for ambition; facilities for love, not for competition; facilities for self-awakening and consciousness, not for conflict with others – then such education will be able to bring about a fundamental revolution in the world. As long as education is not able to do this, it is not in the interest of man; on the contrary it is harmful to man, it poisons the human mind.”

Osho, Revolution in Education, Ch 3 (excerpt, translated from Hindi)

Osho’s Vision

Osho is not just a social or a political revolutionary. Rather, he is aiming at something which goes much beyond than that. While his vision and work have sown the seeds of social revolution, that was not his primary purpose. He is, in fact, aiming at changing, transforming the very nature of life and living. He has indeed created a revolution in consciousness but his method and approach is more in terms of being a rebel rather than a revolutionary. Osho is essentially a rebel because he challenges the conventional ways and means of mankind by doing what is forbidden by the society, the religion, or the establishment – in his own way, in his own time, and at the place of his choosing. A rebel does not fear whether what he does is forbidden because he does it in the interest of the future of mankind. Osho has worked to create a New Man/New Woman for creating a New Society – not simply a changed society. He is not interested in a refurbished, extended, redesigned version of our present-day society – but a totally new society. This premise has to go deep into our understanding Osho, his Vision and his Work.

One level of reality is that we are simultaneously experiencing economic revolution, technological revolution, information revolution, sexual revolution, a post-industrial revolution. We are actually living through a general crisis of an overly grown advanced civilization. As a rebel, Osho cuts through the existing dichotomies, dualities, paradoxes and contradictions by creating what he calls “an awareness attack” while providing radically curative methodologies, incisively diagnosing the malaise and helping humanity to become conscious of the unconscious ways, means, and patterns of mechanical life which lead nowhere but to darkness. His primary approach has been helping humanity create the consciousness, the awakening needed to undertake the control of this very moment in the process of its future evolution.

Through his rebellious but provoking words and methods he has not only made an imaginative use of his enlightened vision but he has also channeled change so that one may reach out to one’s ultimate potential, being a materialist-spiritualist, what he calls – ‘Zorba the Buddha’. In doing so, he gives an impetus for the mankind to make, what the Marxists call, a ‘qualitative leap’.

Osho says,

“To be a rebel, to me, is the only way to be religious.”

The Rebellious Spirit, Ch 11, Q 1

He is a rebel, not a non-conformist. He is not the one who like the reactionaries goes from one extreme to another. He is always in a balanced state. Osho is not a rebel as defined in the dictionary in the sense of one who is “fighting back,” or “fighting against.” Indeed, Osho’s rebellion is of that nature, but “fighting back” gives only half of the picture; it is incomplete. Osho not only fought against all that is wrong, he not only dismantled the old, the rotten, and the irrelevant, but he has also brought a new perspective, a new light in which we can see ourselves and the world around us with greater clarity and understanding. He completed the other half of the rebellion – he has created a new vision for the entire humanity so that it may live a better life. This is why Osho is a self-defining phenomenon – he is his own definition.

In Osho’s view, self-transformation requires a conscious human intervention, a meditative process of awareness. In Yoga, Ayurveda, and such ancient physiological practices, their work was revealed and made known through inner meditative techniques. While in a way, modern physiology is known through dissection, the ancient physiology was known through meditation, not dissection. So, transformation is not the same as ‘change’. We all change, we are changing; our body, mind, attitude go through changes. Transformation, per se, however, is a voluntary and intentional change.

Perhaps this “paradigm shift” can be explained by way of an analogy. All the attempts to change the world, to date, have been from above down. Whether it is from the priests, the politicians, Hitler or Marx, the solutions are all top down solutions. Amongst Osho’s insights spread in his 650 books we find him stressing the fact that each individual will have to change inside out; he or she will need to go within and search rather than look for a magic wand outside. Top down solutions may end up being dictatorial, while inside out change is purely transformational – individually and by its very implication, collectively. Since ancient times, sages and enlightened Masters have shared the spiritual science of Meditation which governs human consciousness. Osho has refined this science in ways similar to how other sciences are applying the methodology of observation, experimentation, repetition, and the evident proof of transformed lives of meditators. Hence, Meditation, as explained by Osho, is as much a religion as it is a science.

In short, while it may be necessary to stop the madness in front of us whenever we can, we shouldn’t be fooled that there is any long-term solution until we humans, individually, one at a time change.

And in case one may feel this is all a bit academic, there is a clear implication that, given the current direction of humanity, we don’t have another twenty-five centuries to play with.

Swami Satya Vedant (Dr. Vasant Joshi)
Ph.D., University of Michigan, U.S.A.
M.A., Ph.D., M.S. University of Baroda, India

Satya VedantSatya Vedant is a regular contributor

More articles by the same author on Osho News


Share