Rashid shares with us his insights on sannyas – today
Oh my friends! This! All this!
This world of war, disease, poverty and ugliness; of love, health, bounty and beauty!
We have our noisy egos and we have eternal silence; we have the prison of our mind and still we know of boundless space.
We have our master.
About these noisy egos and how they’re playing out in sannyas, here are some reflections.
When power comes our way, like everyone else, we are corrupted. Even if we are meditators, we end up abusing and misusing power. Nothing new there.
When Osho was in the body, he would deal with us in discourse or in private. A public hit or a quiet job change.
Now we his people are spread across the earth. Everywhere sannyasins live and talk and teach their vision of his vision. That is how it should be.
And look! One Osho Centre has the men and women sitting separately for meditation, another one is partying with no place for meditation. Look! Some group leaders still feel free to move in sex (amounting to abuse) with any of their clients, others work with barely a reference to Osho. Some communities have powerful leaders in absolute control; some have rituals and creeds most sannyasins would not recognise. The Pune Meditation Resort, once the home, and the home from home, of tens of thousands of Osho’s lovers, is no longer visited by most of us. His samadhi – the most sacred of sacred places – is just a space for groups or meditations. His ashram has morphed into a privatised, well-marketed brand of Emotional Comfort Food.
Oh my friends – what are we to make of all this?
Corruption! Mild or severe it is everywhere. Seeing it in our sannyas world I feel disturbed. I feel responsible and powerless.
What do I mean by corruption? He left us no dogma or doctrine; he left us no rules or commandments. He left us a vision of a New Man; a whole man of the inner and the outer worlds. I think corruption is the breaking of that message of wholeness. Corruption is when the message of that consciousness is sacrificed to outer expedience; when ego drives of fear and desire predominate and material considerations over-ride the still small voice.
I feel disturbed, responsible and somewhat powerless. We are the master’s marrow, we are his nobodies and we are his testament. We lovers of Osho have to live the paradoxes of the world and of his vision: spirit and matter are not two, surrender to the master is not different from standing for your truth, non-doing is a form of doing.
We have to deal with this corruption. Are there useful ways and means to address this decay in our midst?
Clearly where it is in front of us we have to speak; speak individually and sometimes collectively. For the rest I think all we can do is suggest that friends who are doing Osho’s work or are in positions of authority have mentors or counsellors or peer critics.
We are a lawless tribe and that too is as it should be. We work from consciousness not conscience and a rule book. In the absence of liberation we need the mirror of our peers in different fields.
In the past the master’s stick fell very rapidly on people; now, it seems, it works more slowly.
We can’t make people change their ways by rules or argument. People always end up doing what they want. The only way to change things is to change ourselves. Dharm Jyoti recently said to me “All sorts of funny things are happening in the name of Osho. All that we can do is make his words and work available and those who want to meet him will find their way to him.”
Perhaps making his unadulterated words available is the most powerful thank-you we can render Osho. That and to lose ourselves in meditation. And stand up for the truth when falsity appears.
It’s a funny life – sannyas.
Rashid’s life began when he took sannyas. In Pune 1 he worked growing vegetables for the master-gardener. On the Ranch he spent a lot of time in the pot-room and the fire tower. In Pune 2, till the Master left the body, he was a bodyguard, an editor and all jobs in-between. Now he lives in Devon with Nisheetha, keeps bees, paints and makes prints, designs buildings and landscapes for sacred use, has published two volumes of poetry, grows his own vegetables and hangs out with a tribe of grandchildren. Or sits around doing nothing. www.rashidmaxwell.com
Painting by Rashid