Kaiyum reviews Svarup and Premartha’s (Svaprem) book.
A novel. A story. Fiction. Entertainment. Definitely all this, along with many profound reminders. A quest, as in all the great traditions. But not, as in The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, one in which Good struggles against Evil (and of course, in the end, wins), but a spiritual quest in the pursuit of Truth, Unity and the flowering of Love. There’s certainly no violence, but deeper inner struggles as layers of Ego are removed, Karma is balanced and healing at all levels takes place. The discerning reader will be aware of the fragrance of the Sufi story of Mojud, of Coelho’s The Alchemist, but above all of the world of Osho and all ancient traditions of enlightened masters.
Premartha de Koning and Svarup Disegni are long-time sannyasins, friends and lovers as well as business partners (since 1986). Together they have considerable experience as trainers and above all therapists, with a broad range of expertise including Childhood and Sexual Deconditioning, Tantra, Essence Work, Primal and Fresh Beginnings. Their various professional fields of education include psychotherapy, art, philosophy and astrology. They love living in nature and they love travelling … and writing seems to be a new expression of their passion for Life. primaltantra.com
This is the second book this couple has produced. The first, Twice Born, already translated into several languages, describes the processes involved in healing the past and creating a new future. Compared with this new book, Twice Born is ‘serious’ and ‘therapeutic’. And yes, The Little Buddha does include serious themes, yet the general effect is one of entertainment in a spiritual setting. It is certainly not therapeutic for the reader, even though it includes a large number of scenes where the characters undergo significant personal transformation, which can serve as reminders for those reading with an open heart.
The setting is like a theatre full of rapid scenery changes, with a cast of actors that appear, disappear and reappear, sometimes in the same role, sometimes in a new one. And the segues are highly reminiscent of a James Bond film, where the scene shifts instantly from one part of the globe to another, and time is compressed to a state quantum particles would envy.
An enlightened master – the key figure in the story – sets the scene. He progresses through several reincarnations, has amazing and colourful experiences, meets fascinating and equally colourful fellow travellers who weave in and out of his lives as the story progresses. Locations include Shambala, Goa, Peru, Istanbul, Athens, New Zealand, and a Greek island (perhaps Corfu!). His adventures bring this Buddha character in touch with ancient karma that has to be resolved before true healing takes place and he can continue to grow. One thing is certain, this book makes clear how even enlightened masters – yes, even a Tibetan High Lama who chooses to reincarnate as a monkey – still have lessons to learn as they progress on their path.
As befits such experienced therapists, Premartha and Svarup cleverly integrate topics and therapeutic methods such as meditation, the Bardo, Essence Work, astrology, a Spiritual Constellation, Zen, Indigo people and various sorts of healing. In a delightful way, they ensure, too, that Osho continually reappears, artfully as ‘the Controversial Master’.
A primary leitmotif in this highly readable book is that of change:
Twenty minutes before moonrise,
everyone sits down on chairs,
cushions and benches,
and listens to an audio talk
by the Controversial Master.
His words resonate high and clear all around:
You have to keep moving.
Slowly slowly, you will understand
that there is no home,
that movement itself is the home;
that there is no end to the pilgrimage
but the pilgrimage itself is the end.
Osho at his best, even if in disguise!
The word ‘Charavedi’ (movement, keep on moving) makes an important appearance early on and reappears throughout the constant change of scenery in the story:
… There is too much mental activity in the modern world
to be able to just sit down and watch.
The Controversial Master knows this humanity well,’
the Little Buddha says,
‘and he realizes that it needs to de-stress
and understand how its mind functions before it’s too late…
And this is but another one of the many ‘quotable quotes’ to ponder on and treasure.
The book, more than 320 pages, is divided into a fascinating Prologue that is worth re-visiting at times during the following 32 chapters. Each chapter is prefaced by a full-page, full-colour frontispiece in the style of the cover, a kaleidoscope of scenes whose significance is as unclear as the specific portrayals.
Just as Osho’s English is sometimes rather … shall we say, ‘quaint’ and definitely original … so, too, is the writers’ English ‘quaint’. It’s an interesting hybrid of a fascinating range of vocabulary, non-native grammar, and highly inconsistent spelling and punctuation. It may remind some readers of the ‘quaint’ unreliability of Indian plumbing and electrical installations. The impression is of a severe lack of attention to third party editing and above all proofreading, which in no way reflects the more familiar quality expressed in the world of Osho. For some, this lack of attention to the linguistic ‘packaging’ could detract from the pleasure of this otherwise roller-coaster ride story.
Kaiyum, Osho News
Available as ebook from ebookmall.com
Watch the book trailer on YouTube