Respect Osho’s Words

Letters / Opinions

It’s not the first time I have come across discrepancies in what Osho says in an audio discourse and the written form in a book or text.

Maybe I feel super sensitive to such editing caprices as since Pune 1 days when I worked in the press office, it had been made abundantly clear that we were not to change anything Osho said, and I remember the book editors were also advised to just use punctuation; and if there was something they felt strongly about it, they could ask Osho for advice and in some rare cases Osho accepted a change.

This morning (May 6, 2013), while as usual listening to the ‘Osho No-Thought for the Day’ as the beginning for my morning meditation, I realised that the audio was different to the words on the screen:

No Thought

Osho however, is saying,

And everybody is coming out with a mask which is smiling,
happy looking, so everybody is deceiving everybody else.

Why would anybody want to change Osho’s words and thus also change (even subtly) what Osho said intentionally? I am reminded of Osho speaking about Sarjano’s attempts to change Osho’s words while translating into Italian. He sent a message to Sarjano that he has to do it exactly as it is:

Don’t try to improve upon it. Leave it as it is. Raw, wild, illogical, paradoxical, contradictory, repetitive, whatsoever it is, leave it as it is!”

Tao: The Golden Gate, Vol. 2, Ch 4, Q 1

He also says,

I say a word; I mean one thing. But if ten thousand people are listening there will be ten thousand meanings, because each will listen from HIS mind, from HIS prejudice, from HIS concept and philosophy and religion. He will listen from HIS conditioning and his conditioning will supply the meaning.”

And the Flowers Showered, Ch 9

Osho entrusted his words to his editors. If any editor changes a word on a whim, this means to me breaking that trust. The mind comes in and offers a different word, which always will have a slightly different meaning.

The pundits who came after the great masters have done editing jobs during millennia. In those days there was first only the oral recital from memory, later came the manuscripts. The message of the sages was watered down and adapted to the scholar’s ideas and nobody could prove otherwise. As for those sannyasins that are editing and able to listen to the original audio recordings of Osho there is no excuse.

[…] once a master dies people start editing his words according to their own idea of what he should have said. The day Buddha died, just the next day, there were thirty-two schools immediately, thirty-two sects differing about what Buddha had said.”

The Razor’s Edge, Ch 15, Q 1

I call upon all those who work with Osho’s discourses and books to respect and take the responsibility to remain true to his words. We don’t want to go down the same slippery slope the old pundits did, do we?

Bhagawati, Osho News

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