The sensational news about a very popular guru, Asaram Bapu, dominated the media with saturation coverage a few weeks ago in India.
He is alleged to have sexually assaulted a minor girl in the privacy of his special living quarters. The aggrieved girl filed a complaint against him at a Delhi police station and he was arrested in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Born Asumal Thaumal Harpalani or Asumal Sirumalani on 17 April 1941, he is a controversial Hindu preacher. Starting off as a horse carriage driver, he moved up the income ladder with various jobs and enterprises until he emerged as a guru. He preaches the existence of One Supreme Conscious and claims Bhakti yoga, Gnana yoga and Karma yoga as influences.
In early 1970, Asaram built his first ashram in Gujarat and began using the name Asaram Bapu. Presently, there are over 400 major and minor ashrams in India and abroad, and numerous followers. Asaram has been involved in several controversies including criminal cases filed against him, encroachment by his ashrams, his remarks on the 2012 Delhi gang rape when he said that the woman who was raped should have pleaded to her rapists with folded hands and termed them as her brothers. Now this charge of sexual assault of a minor has placed him in glaring limelight with his past controversies and entire empire having been probed by the media.
Osho’s name has been mentioned in different media commentaries and articles after the arrest and investigation of this well-known God-man for alleged sexual assault on a young woman. This arrest and investigation lead to ‘saturation coverage’ and later to comments on other spiritual guides in the Indian media.
Without understanding an iota of Osho’s insight on spirituality and sex, these commentators in the leading print media alluded to him. Only Osho has had the courage and the authority to talk extensively on sex – the most powerful energy of all human beings. His advocacy of transforming it into spirituality instead of merely releasing it for reproduction or repressing it has not even surfaced on their mental horizon. Instead, they mention or include his name in these opinionated articles on the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde spiritual leaders who have indulged in sex behind closed doors – away from the gaze of their followers and the public.
Osho’s acceptance of sex has been open and frank. And truly spiritual. He has the daring to speak publicly on these matters which all religious leaders shun or sweep under the carpet, pretending that they do not exist and do not affect them. Osho is not for repression of sex energy. Suppressing sex results in all kind of unnatural behavior and crime, including rape. Releasing this energy with consenting partners is the natural way. Ultimately, one had had enough and so it is better to transform it into spirituality as detailed in ancient scriptures such as the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra.
In the first discourse of his famous series ‘From Sex to Superconsciousness’ on 28 August 1968, Osho explains that love and meditation are the transformation of sexual energy, and that if sex is suppressed it cannot be transformed; he emphasises transcendence of sexual energy through meditation.
The more you go into meditation through sex, the less effect sex will have. Meditation will grow from it, and out of the growing meditation a new door will open and sex will wither away. It will not be sublimation. It will be just like dry leaves falling from a tree. The tree never even knows the leaves are falling. In the same way, you will never even know that the mechanical urge for sex is going. Create meditation out of sex; make sex an object of meditation. Treat it as a temple and you will transcend it and be transformed. Then sex will not be there, but there will not be any suppression, any sublimation. Sex will just become irrelevant, meaningless. You have grown beyond it. It makes no sense to you now.”
If we do not harness our most powerful energy to move up to divinity, then we will have wasted our most precious opportunity.