Sohum by Manish


Manish Vyas shares with us a track from his latest CD ‘Shivoham’ and tells us the story behind it.


This song came to me in the most surprising time of my life. I had just finished a 40-day meditation retreat and had just fallen in love with a beautiful woman. I was so overwhelmed with all this that two months later, sometime in March 2012, I decided to go in silence for 21 days. I was blessed to be given this chance and space at the Osho Mystery School in South India. This is the place which is run by Whosoever, one of the first disciples of Osho who was appointed by Osho, for the very first time in 1974, to conduct meditation camps on his behalf.

There I was given this big room. The Mystery School is surrounded by beautiful lush green fields, right at the banks of river Kaveri, which is also known as the Ganges of South India. All one could hear is wind, birds and the sound of running water. A perfect space to go deeper within!

The silence retreat I was doing was strictly following Osho’s instructions. He had given very clear directions of how one should follow this practice: one is supposed to be in silence for the full 21 days, spend all the time by oneself in a room, absolutely no kind of contact with anyone, no phone, no e-mails. One is allowed to do two meditations a day, but no reading, writing, nor listening to music or Osho discourses. One is suggested to take a walk in nature for an hour a day, that’s all. Otherwise one is supposed to be in the room for the whole day, just being in silence, witnessing.

So I followed these guidelines and went into silence. Every night, I used to go on the terrace of my house and watch the moon and the stars, simply gazing at the sky for an hour or so. There were days when I could not handle the silence and wanted to come out of it. One night, after returning from the terrace, I fell asleep instantly. That night, Osho came into my dreams.

The surrounding is the porch of Lao Tzu house where Osho used to give sannyas and talk to people in the early days. In this dream, Osho is sitting somewhere on the side, with Vivek. So I go up to him very quietly and sit at a distance. After a while, he sees me and signals for me to come closer. While I move towards him, while still sitting, he says something to Vivek and, as I am now sitting at his feet in front of him, he puts his hands on my head and says to me, “You will be fine, don’t worry, I will take care of you.”

I remember crying in my sleep.

The next night, while sitting on the terrace, still amazed by this dream… all of a sudden a melody starts descending, with the words of the mantra ‘Sohum’, which means ‘I Am That’. And within a few minutes the whole song was there. I had nothing to write, or record. But then I remembered Osho’s instructions where he says not to write anything during the silence retreat. If anything is worth being remembered, it will be remembered even after the silence is over, I thought.

Somehow the song stayed with me till the silence retreat was over and, finally two years later, it is out on my CD.

Jai Osho.


Read the review of the CD ‘Shivoham’ by Manish

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Manish VyasManish grew up in a sannyas family in Gujarat, India, and was initiated into sannyas by Osho in 1978, when he was just 7. In 1986, Manish moved to Pune originally to study engineering, but instead became involved in the music department of Osho’s Commune. He played live for Osho together with musicians from all over the world. This period helped his musical horizons expand. Manish has since performed, recorded and travelled with Prem Joshua, Chinmaya Dunster, Snatam Kaur, Shastro, Praful, Sudha, Maneesh and many other musicians. He has also composed mantras for Deva Premal.

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