Osho’s story when he sat on, and fell from, a mahua tree…
(In 1952,) while studying in college at Jabalpur, Osho was invited to participate in a debating contest sponsored by Saugar University. Osho was there for three days, and he describes what happened.
I used to sit on a tree and meditate in the night. Many times I felt that when I meditated sitting on the earth, my body became powerful and had the upper hand – perhaps because the body is made out of earth. The talk about the yogis going to the mountaintops or the heights of the Himalayas is certainly not vain, but is definitely based on scientific principles. The greater the distance between the body and the earth, the more the physical force or pressure lessens … and the power of the inner force increases. That is why I used to climb up a tall tree and get myself engrossed in meditation for hours every night.
One night I got so lost in meditation that I did not know when my body fell down from the tree. I looked about askance when I saw my body lying on the ground. I was surprised at this happening. How it happened that I was sitting on the tree and my body was lying on the ground I could not understand at all. It was a very queer experience. A bright line, a glittering silver cord from the navel of my body was joined on to me up above where I was perched on the tree. It was beyond my capacity to understand or foresee what would happen next and I worried (about) how I would return to my body. How long that trance lasted I do not know, but that unique experience was not known to me before.
That day for the first time, I saw my own body from outside, and since that day the mere physical existence of my body finished forever. And from that day death also ceased to exist, because that day I experienced that the body and spirit are two different things, quite separate from each other. That was the most important moment: my realization of the spirit that is within every human body.
It is really very difficult to say how long that experience lasted. As morning nawned, two women carrying milk cans from some nearby village passed by that way and saw my body … lying there. I saw them looking at my body from the top of the tree where I was sitting. They came near the body and sat there beside it. They touched my forehead with their palms and in a moment, as if by shere force of attraction, I returned inside my body and my eyes opened.
I felt that a woman can create a charge of electricity in the body of a man and similarly a man can too in the body of a woman. Then I pondered over the coincidence of the woman’s touch to my forehead and my instant return in the body. How and why did all that happen? Many more experiences of this sort occurred to me and I understood why in India those spiritualists who carried on experiments on samadhi (an uninterrupted state of pure consciousness) and the fact of death got women to collaborate with them. If in a deep and profound samadhi the spiritual self, tejas sharira, has gone out of the man’s physical body, it cannot return to the body without the cooperation and assistance of a woman. In the same way if it has gone out of a woman’s body, it cannot return without the assistance of a man. No sooner do the bodies of a man and woman come in contact than a current is established and an electrical circle is completed, and that very instant the consciousness of the spirit which has gone out returns.
Thereafter I experienced this phenomenon six times within the period of six months. During those eventful six months, I felt that my life span became less by ten years: that is to say, if I was to live seventy years, now with these experiences I would only live a life of sixty years. Such extraordinary experiences I had in those six months! The hair on my chest turned white and I failed to grasp the meaning of all those happenings. Then I thought, and I realized that whatever connection or link there was between this physical body and that spiritual being was interrupted and the adjustment that existed naturally between them was broken.
Text prepared by Bodhena. Read his story about what happened to the tree: The Satori Tree at Osho Moulshree
Quoted from: Joshi (Swami Satya Vedant), The Awakened One, Harper & Row: New York, 1982, pp. 55-56
Osho’s narrative is also quoted in: The Sound of Running Water (A photobiography of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and His work, 1974 – 1978, Rajneesh Foundation: Poona), pp. 26–27, under the heading, ‘The Second Satori’.
Original source: Osho, And Now, And Here, Vol. 2, Chapter 8 (Translation from Hindi). Discourse given at Bhulabhai Auditorium, Bombay, on Nov. 4, 1969
Historical photo of Satori Tree from: The Awakened One, op. cit.