Reviews of ‘Osho, India and Me’ by Krishna Prem (Jack Allanach)
New edition published by oshoworld.com
Osho, India and Me by Krishna Prem: A Tale of Sexual and Spiritual Transformation
If you were not there in Poona One – reading this book is a must.
Krishna Prem has resurrected those extraordinary days. He lived them and he kept a diary. His writing has the ring of truth, the bloom of spontaneity and the vivid hues of a disciple’s devotion. Krishna Prem was one of Osho’s early western sannyasins. We are lucky that he happens to have a natural gift with words, a sense of narrative and a heart bursting with excitement and love. I find this book a joy and an inspiration. And an accurate history too.
Krishna Prem starts by describing the car accident and his ensuing moment of bliss and luminosity that brought him to India and Osho. He describes in rich and humorous details the India of the early seventies, its discomforts and diseases and the devices Osho used to start his people’s wake-up processes. Krishna Prem describes, completely openly, the sexual triangle that is part of his own unfolding path, his sexual and spiritual transformation.
He goes on to describe how love and trust developed into devotion and surrender, essential ingredients of the master-disciple relationship. He records being given tasks by Osho that he could not fulfil – how hour after hour, day after day he sweated and wrestled with the introduction to a book or the functioning of the Press Office until, in the end, he learned the knack of stepping aside, of inviting Osho’s help, of letting the work accomplish itself.
Krishna Prem of necessity had many dealings with Laxmi, Osho’s secretary, so the reader gains many insights into the inner and outer workings of the commune. Dealing on behalf of Osho with politicians and the world press, radio and TV companies he has wonderfully shocking and entertaining stories.
“The wheel that Buddha moved has stopped. The wheel has to be moved again and that is my life-work and yours.” said Osho in a discourse that Krishna Prem quotes. That day i arrived in Poona for the first time. He writes how he shivered in anticipation then at so great a challenge. So do i now. We are at a critical time in the history of civilisation. Osho has the vision and compassion that humanity longs for.
Krishna Prem is a worthy messenger.
“AMAZING! Absolutely devouring it. Gobbling it up in huge chunks. Can’t get enough of it. It’s just like “our” (sannyas) family history! Each time I have to sop (eyes won’t stay open, middle of the night), I lie in bed with tears falling. No particular reason – it just reminds me of everything that I have ever loved about Osho / sannyas/ community etc.”
I have just finished reading your manuscript. I have to confess it is now in a complete mess as I have been reading it in the bath, in bed, on the train and so on. I was gripped. Many of the pages are very wet – either from bath water or tears. It’s been a roller coaster ride, funny, illuminating, tragic and awe inspiring. I have really enjoyed reading it and vicariously sharing your life – a privilege I have to say.
Michael Mann, Watkins Publishing
Published in The Pioneer, India, July 7, 2013
In the Master’s Shadow
The book, Osho, India and Me, by Jack Allanach, who became Swami Krishna Prem while living in India at a commune of Acharya Rajneesh, called Osho by his followers, is about his experiences in Mumbai and Pune. The author came to India in search of spirituality that finally brought him to Osho’s commune and made him take sannyas. The book is largely about the mystic aura surrounding Osho, the experience of dynamic meditation which the author received at the commune, and his take on the controversial views of Osho on sex and consciousness. It is an account of many unknown details of Osho’s life and times as well as the quaint events taking place in the commune. The author must be credited for his acute observations, his unique story-telling ability and his penchant for using humour effectively.
The book offers interesting insights not only into the phenomenon like dynamic meditation or Osho’s ability as claimed by the author to read minds, but also about Indian people and culture. “The Indians love to bargain, I see the disappointment on their face when the tourist pays the first price asked,” says the author. This is based on his personal experience in Mumbai. Perhaps, this is why the author writes: “The average Westerner could easily go berserk in India — three hours to cash a traveller’s cheque, a day of countless forms to make a train reservation or post a parcel, hotel clerks who insist on finishing their tea in peace before acknowledging one’s presence, and queue upon queue upon endless queue. To accept it, to relax into it, is the only way.”
The author’s description of Mumbai is quite accurate. He describes the city as one that “pulls no punches” and where “wealth and poverty, joy and misery, health and sickness, cleanliness and faith, fate and emaciation, life and death — all rub shoulders in her steaming streets”.
The author’s understanding of the Indian society is also interesting and is laden with philosophical moorings. After all, it’s a society where life is accepted as it is — death with birth, famine with feast, pleasure with pain. Perhaps, this is the reason why people throng to India in search of ‘truth’, as acknowledged by the author. A very appropriate comment has been made by the author that India is “a land where human condition is on parade, as it is, no holds barred, where man’s puny judgements — right and wrong, good and bad, ugly and beautiful — pale in the presence of a greater reality”. India, as experienced by the author, is a country where a strange harmony emerges from the apparent dissonance. He finds an unfamiliar beauty surfacing through the chaos and confusion of the street — the beauty of contrast, the beauty of India.
It’s a wonderful narration in which the author links the weird with the spiritual and gives due credit to Osho, whom he calls an enlightened mystic. He describes rather meticulously the attainment of the desired state, the beginning of his inner journey. He claims to become something else with this attainment and owes this to his master’s mystical aura. The greatest advantage of the author has been his long experience in television and public relations. He has the eye for details that catches even minor things and presents them effectively. This has made this book a lucid account of various events which the author has observed and experienced.
In the 10 chapters, the author has described his entire experience — from the first encounter with Osho to the total transformation of his self as a result of the magical influence of the great mystic. It appears as if someone is giving a running commentary, a ball-by-ball description of all that was going on and that is the beauty of the book. And to cap it all, the final account as given in the epilogue scores over all narrations. In a touching account, the author has given the sum and substance of his entire life quite succinctly. A life fully lived, a life realised. Interestingly, it is also the sum and substance of the Indian philosophical thought. Consider his words, “Now as I prepare to vacate this body in which I have resided as a tenant for so many years, there is nothing I did not do that I wanted to do… I am going with no regrets… It feels good, life feels complete.”
This feeling at the time of death can only come under the tutelage of a great master that Osho was. Undeterred by death, the author lives on through this book.
Pramod Pathak, Professor, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad (Jharkhand)
Krishna Prem left his body five years ago. His partner, Sourabh, says she felt he stayed with us despite his illness just to finish the book.
KP, as we all knew him, took sannyas in the early 70’s and had a very special relationship with Osho who loved his wit and outrageousness!