Review of Devageet’s book about his experiences during the years being Osho’s dentist.
While gliding through the corridor of Lao Tzu house on the way to the Samadhi, passing the many bookcases chock full of what comprised Osho’s library, you come upon a dental chair displayed alone as if in a museum exhibit. I’ve often wondered what stories this chair could tell if only it could speak. It was in this chair that Osho spent many hours being worked on (and working on the author) both in Pune and in Oregon. In his recently released book, Osho, the First Buddha in the Dental Chair by Devageet, we learn many of the intimate and often surprising details of what transpired in The Chair.
“Devageet, I am the first Buddha in the dentist’s chair, but make no mistake, I may be in your dentist’s chair but you are on my operating table.” Thus Osho set the tone for the sessions that, under the deft writing of Devageet, has the tone of a “page turner.” Around Osho one never knows what happens next and, even with a high-speed drill in his mouth, this was not a deterrent to his spontaneity.
“In those early days, Osho was the model dental patient,” Geet writes, “but that was to change later.” And indeed it did, perhaps given a little nudge by the quantities of nitrous oxide that Osho was imbibing during these sessions. The picture of Osho starting to speak suddenly during a session could have been something out of a Seinfeld episode: “Without warning he started to speak! His tongue moved, instantly flicking saliva-soaked cotton wool rolls into the path of the high-speed drill…” which continued to rotate at 400,000 revolutions per minute while still in his mouth.
The shock to Geet’s nervous system at this sort of incident, “heart thumping… hand’s trembling” and with the responsibility of caring for his Master while feeling out of control is palpable as you read his descriptions.
And then there was the Moustache, “the actual guardian of Osho’s oral cavity.” As Osho explained it, “You do not understand, I speak when I need to speak. I do not choose. Existence is speaking through me.” I think you can guess what came next. Using a slow-speed drill equipped with a bristle to clean the teeth things went along swimmingly until – “suddenly he spoke!” – the brush caught the hair of the moustache which then got tangled in the drill head which “dangled forlornly” while still attached to his moustache despite instructions from Osho: “Devageet, you can kill my body but do not harm my moustache.”
Throughout the sessions we are privy to the monumental stillness, the grace and beauty with which Osho faced these procedures. And all the while Osho kept talking, as if giving non-stop personal discourses to Geet and the small support group in the dental surgery. Many Zen sticks landed on the dentist’s head as he tried to take notes while being accused day after day by Osho of not taking notes properly.
The flavor of the book shifts when Osho is in prolonged, severe pain which at first is difficult to diagnose requiring that a specialist from Oregon be brought in. This resulted in the decision to pull a tooth. But the pain continued and I could feel myself cringing at the thought of Osho enduring so much discomfort as he described it, “down through the bones of my jaw into the middle of the chest.” Unable to sleep, lying in bed for hours he meditated on teeth and entered into a lengthy commentary which for me is the centerpiece of this book.
With Osho reclining in The Chair and Devageet sitting on the floor at his right side the discourse began: “Lying in my bed for hours…unable to sleep…for the first time in my life I have thought about teeth. Who normally thinks about teeth except dentists and madmen like me,” said Osho. The pain from his teeth radiated in his chest and appeared as a ball of light connecting outside of his body “like a huge sun,” he continued. “It seems that our teeth connect each individual to the whole collective unconscious of humanity.” Osho said that each person’s teeth are “their individual evolutionary link to existence itself. The enamel in the teeth is made of millions of tiny crystals and each one is like a computer chip and there are millions of them.”
He went on, “if the teeth could be used rightly to release the memories they hold it is possible to find the roots of many diseases there.” Furthermore, “The ancient-most biological male and female conditionings are found in the teeth.”
This brilliant, idiosyncratic monologue covers nineteen pages and alone are worth reading this book. Clearly these concepts were not included in Devageet’s dental school curriculum. Those of us who have spent so many years around Osho know that these are not the ravings of a lunatic but rather the brilliance of a true visionary.
As the book draws to a close, Osho directs Geet to pull out not one, not two, but nine teeth in all. As a disciple I didn’t take this as a suggestion for my path but I have to say I am curious to experience my next dental appointment accompanied with these deeper insights.
Finally Geet’s last commentary: “Was I his disciple or his dentist? Why was I his disciple? And the answers came flooding into me. Because in his presence I… felt a peace and joy beyond understanding.” One is left wondering if Devageet returned to a dental practice after leaving the commune and if so how it has been impacted by his experience of working on the first Buddha in the dental chair.
Jayapal for Osho News
Waduda interviews Devageet about his book:
A former English dental surgeon, Devageet took sannyas in 1976. In 1978 he was invited to be Osho’s personal dentist and lived altogether 21 years in Osho’s communes. He developed ‘Oshodontics’, a groundbreaking therapeutic approach to self-healing and the self-transformation of individual consciousness by accessing body-held memories from physical organs and the teeth and jaws. He lives in England and conducts teaching seminars world-wide. oshodontics.com