Anand Haridas reviews whosoever’s new book.
The book Shivoham Shivoham is by a man who now prefers to be called ‘whosoever’. Born in 1942, whosoever was initiated into sannyas by Osho in 1970 (as Swami Chaitanya Bharti). Osho instructed him in 1974 to conduct meditation camps and he has done so ever since. In these camps he was called ‘swamijee’ and then ‘gurudev’, before opting in 2010 for his present no name.
Shivoham Shivoham, presents twelve talks given during a ten-day meditation retreat in Mysore, July 2007. Whosoever’s talks were supplemented each morning and evening by eight of Osho’s discourses on the Mahageeta. There were regular periods of meditation and six guided meditations are included as an appendix to the book to encourage the awareness “that I am not separate from the whole.”
Osho gave a total of 91 discourses on the Mahageeta (some are in Enlightenment: The Only Revolution). They are not for the fainthearted. Neither are whosoever’s discourses. They ask the big questions: ‘what am i? who am i? where do I return to? to whom does life and death happen? what is that, which is beyond life and death’? The answers will perhaps be most comprehensible to ‘a saint, a jnani, an awakened one, a liberated one’.
The big questions receive big answers: ‘aham brahmasmi … I am that’ and ‘my real nature is sat, chit, anand … existence, consciousness, bliss’. However, whosoever, like Shankara whom he discusses in the first chapter, prefers to emphasize what we are not: not the mind, not the intellect, the body, the ego, the breath, the senses, the evil inclinations or the desirable qualities of life. This is the process, as the upanishads teach, of ‘neti-neti … denying and discarding the objects which keep on appearing until a seer alone exists’.
The human experience that ‘i am’ is not the true story. After knowing that i am, it is necessary to go deeply into the feeling of amness. What I really am is ‘the soul’, ‘pure being, pure existence’, or ‘consciousness’. The person who is awakened goes beyond false duality and identifies with pure consciousness, through ‘thinking consciously’, through meditation.
The result is liberation: “the day it is discovered – what am i, the search will be over; the misery will disappear; will not be found anywhere. only then will it be understood, that the misery I was going through, was not necessary to go through – was unnecessary, and then a lot of laughter will happen; then seeing at others you will feel pity that people are unnecessarily suffering; and no relevance for their suffering will be apparent.”
There is much laughter in these talks but no jokes, except for the repetition of the phrase ‘ho jaaye’ (let it happen), a riff on the popular smash hit from Slumdog Millionaire, ‘Jai ho!’ (let victory prevail!). Whosoever is convinced that it can happen for all of us, whoever we may be. Ho jaaye! Jai ho!
Review by Haridas, Osho News
Also published in Hindi, the English version was published in 2015 by Osho Dhyan Leela
Available at theworldbookshop (at) gmail.com
Swami Chaitanya Bharti (addressed as whosoever) is recognised as a spiritual teacher in his own right and was initiated into sannyas by Osho in 1970. He was Osho’s first official photographer and appointed by Osho to facilitate meditation retreats since 1974. In 1990 whosoever declared his awakening and founded Osho Dhyan Leela Foundation to spread the teachings of his beloved master Osho. He resides in Karnataka, South India, conducts 40-day meditation retreats and guides seekers from around the world. www.dhyanleela.com