Anando reading the questions for a second and third day? Even changing Maneesha’s questions? It all got resolved through spontaneous…
We continue on from where the previous entry left off: I’d missed one discourse because, though my carelessness, I thought I had a cold. Osho had delivered me a hit through that discourse, one that had really stung….
As it happened, a cold didn’t develop, so the following day I asked Shunyo to tell Osho that I was now perfectly well. I felt very happy: though I had missed a discourse and been hit for behaving with such unawareness, I had got the point and would now be able to pout the incident behind me, returning to the work I loved so much.
“That’s great that you’re okay,” Shunyo smiled warmly at me, “but Osho says that Anando should continue reading the sutras.”
Why is Osho having Anando continue in my place when I am perfectly okay? I wondered privately. I was too proud to let my confusion and hurt show, so I grinned my compliance to Shunyo.
So: it was to be a more enduring hit, I thought. What is Osho showing me? What am I to learn from this? Am I going to discover that I am attached to my role in discourse, or maybe that there is some latent rivalry with Anando? She and I had had a somewhat stormy history over the previous three years. Friends at Rajneeshpuram, with a cooling in her attitude towards me during the world tour, I didn’t understand the tension that had existed between us for some time now. It is true I envied her her role as Osho’s secretary and the contact that that gave her with Osho, but I was not aware of feeling antagonistic towards her because of it.
As it happened, a day or so later Shunyo herself fell ill, and Anando was her replacement. Now she was not only continuing her role as one of Osho’s two secretaries and reading the sutras in discourses, but taking care of Osho throughout the day. The device was not limited to me, clearly: Anando was constantly working, night and day, with hardly a moment to herself. By contrast I had less to do than I ever had and was raring to go.
As the device extended into days, I continued to observe my internal process: I still couldn’t detect any antagonism towards Anando or negative feelings towards Osho. Osho had said that I should continue to create the questions that accompanied each discourse anecdote, and so I did. But when he read them out Osho would refer to them as Anando’s; in addition, Anando was creating her own questions and also altering mine slightly. I suppose she felt that, with Osho ascribing the questions to her she wanted to change them sometimes in accordance with her own take on things.
That got to me. Osho said I was to make up the questions! At least leave that to me! I silently protested. It didn’t occur to me that Osho might have suggested that Anando could also submit her own questions. I was too proud to say anything to Anando, and she said nothing to me. She must have known I was dying to get back to my work and clearly she was on overload. But the whole drama was being enacted without either of us acknowledging what was happening.
For three days I managed to maintain a façade of Good Disciple Undergoing Effects of Master’s Hit with Grace and Gratitude. By the fourth day I was fuming: Damn it! I said to myself. If Anando is going to alter the questions, and mine are also going to appear in her name, she can jolly well write the question for tonight!
Having taken this rebellious stance, that evening in discourse I wait for Osho to appear feeling defiant, and also somewhat apprehensive. I am sure Osho knows I have not submitted a question and he will know too that that is my way of protesting. He will know he has managed to provoke me; that I’ve reacted to the device.
He enters the hall and, as has been his custom over the past few days, barely looks at me.
I mentally make mincemeat of the discourse, hardly taking in what Osho is saying and not feeling the least bit meditative. I am totally engaged by my mind – brooding on how unfair this all is, how stupid I’ve been, how at ease Anando looks in my place, how perfectly unruffled Osho is. I imagine that my job is gone forever now: I have abused my position. All these years as a sannyasin have come to nothing: I’m an ungrateful, spoilt, unconscious disciple, unworthy of that name, and might as well leave the commune and become a housewife in suburbia. I see myself packing my clothes and stealing out of the commune at night; an alternative scenario is of leaving during the day, with fellow sannyasins sobbing, clinging to me begging me not to go. Another version has me walking out the gate with no one giving me so much as a glance.
Another part of me quietly reminds me that this is a device; that I am reacting, and, instead, can simply understand the lesson, and wait. But waiting is just what my mind cannot continue to do, so I fall into darker ruminations. I’ve been in this frightening space only once before, in Pune 1, when I actually started thinking that suicide was the only way out.
In fact my thoughts become so torturous that I am forced to divert my attention elsewhere, so I start listening to Osho. He is talking about how, after they have had their orgasm, the female of a certain species of spider eats up the male. “Just when he’s coming, he finds he is going!” Osho jokes. He’s told us about this before, but listening this time and envisaging the poor confused male, it suddenly strikes me as hilarious and I break into a peal of laughter.
In that instant my psychic boil bursts. All the thoughts that were spiralling downwards, the anger, the confusion, the hurt and self-recrimination distintegrate in a split second. The laughter had cut through the whole drama of the past few days. Suddenly I am my usual, buoyant self. Life is, once again, simple and existence is not in fact conspiring to hurt and alienate me. In my state of suddenly restored joyfulness, nothing matters anymore – who does whose job and whose question is whose, and what Osho might mean by doing this or saying that and should I then do this or that…
At the end of discourse Osho stands up to namaste us, and his eyes alight on me with his former warmth. A few days later I am back in my usual role. Only in retrospect did I realise that my hit for being serious and unconscious was – fittingly – resolved through laughter.
As it happened, there would be another chapter in the saga between Anando and myself that would be played out in discourse. I would be delivered the most particular and public hit ever….
Read the continuation of the story in: The Barbarous Mind
Text by Maneesha
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