Ravi Nagahawatte wrote in The Nation, Sri Lanka on 27 October 2013 as part of his ‘Osho Files’ column:
I must begin my writing this week by saying I am little disturbed about the ratings I’ve got for my column ‘Osho Files’. In journalism jargon the hit rate for the column has remained low. Just the other day I went to The Nation Editor Malinda Seneviratne and was quite frank about the readers’ response to ‘Osho Files’. I wanted to stop the column and come up with a fresh idea to pen in another column instead.
This is ‘wisdom era’ (browsers already have adequate knowledge of what they are interested in) when it comes to internet use. Therefore I believe, as with all ambitious users who post commercial content on the internet, I must also get a fresh start on the World Wide Web every day. This is because my newspaper puts all its content on the internet and thus has the potential to attract a global readership. But this fresh start that people talk about hasn’t worked for me and I am concerned, for all good reasons. I want only what ‘sells’ to go in my newspaper.
Osho, the great master, spoke about patience as one of the key virtues needed for spiritual growth. My editor wants me to be patient and continue with the column. ‘Patience’ in the language Osho spoke, had a lot to do with the form of religion he popularized. As with my column I am sharing with readers some of Osho’s thoughts and how they worked for me. In this context I have realized that I shouldn’t shove ‘religion’ down people’s throats if they don’t fancy reading this type of article.
I fancy Osho’s way of thinking because it gives followers time and space to adjust to a new ‘life’ or get ready for a transformation. Hindu scriptures tell us that this transformation takes years for some people. Buddhists believe one starts his or her spiritual journey from where they stopped in their last birth. Hence there is a history to your thoughts on spirituality. There is a certain frequency that one has to tune to with regard to spirituality. The mind has to be conditioned to understand spiritual teachings. This is why Osho said, “A Buddha can be misunderstood.”
My editor offered me courage by saying that I (this writer) am not alone and there are two other writers, he and Fahad Al-Hatim, contributing to this page titled ‘wellness’. “You might have got lost doing your own little thing called ‘wellness’ if you were alone on that page, but there are two others sharing your idea,” he joked.
My editor believes that time needs to be invested for ‘change’ to happen. It’s like acquiring a new habit. The word ‘embrace’ wouldn’t serve as the best verb to accompany ‘change’ when religion is the topic. People wouldn’t hurry to accept a new thing or line of thinking in a society where what’s acceptable as just, right, good, taste, tasteless and bad boils down to perspective. Change would have happened fast if Osho was alive and wrote this article, but it’s been a good 23 years since he closed his eyes and left his physical body.
Sometimes I argue with my editor that deep analytical pieces on any subject should be offered to readers in small doses. This might mean we give readers as little as 150 words to read on a subject, at the start, if there is a lot to chew. My mind runs back to the days when little or tiny ads by unknown companies were inserted in the main section of The Nation when the newspaper was at its infancy. They were just feelers to check whether there would be responses from readers and hence there was potential to get returns from paid advertisements in the newspaper in the future. Doesn’t a writer have the blessings to test the pulse of the readers the same way?
People’s minds have been made dull by substandard creations in print and electronic media. Probably it’s the fast paced life that leaves our brains drained of energy that the only thing we’d do is listen to some soft music, grab a bite and then doze off to sleep when we get home. What has to be done is give them glimpses of what could satisfy their thinking at an intellectual level, if they upgrade themselves. My brother Rishi told me once that Sri Lankan farmers had the habit of finding writing poetry in the night a good way to relax after a hard day’s work in the field. The brain like any other muscle tires itself after slogging the whole day. We writers need to write stuff which stimulates ‘the exhausted brain’.
All those who feel to support the ratings can visit this article on: www.nation.lk