Excerpts from Ageh Bharti’s recollections about the meditation camp held by Osho from December 9 – 12, 1969 at Junagarh, Gujarat.
The camp was organised by Dr. Hemant Shukla and Magan Bhai Tanna.
Osho left Jabalpur for Bombay on December 7, 1969 and flew to Junagarh on December 9. Ageh Bharti arrived a day earlier and had brought with him a bundle of the newly published Hindi book ‘Satya ki Khoj’ for Jaya as per Osho’s instructions. This book contained Osho’s discourses delivered at Junagarh itself and had been published by Jaya and her husband, Dr. Hemant Shukla.
Satya ki Khoj inner cover (left) and dedication by Osho (right)
Osho stayed at the State Government House and I met him there. He inquired about my journey and well-being. He also suggested coming to the Circuit House if it was inconvenient for me to stay at my accommodation. I replied to him in the positive.
The next day, he asked again, “Are you comfortable there?”
I replied, “Yes.”
He asked further, “Didn’t mosquitoes bite you in the night?”
Now there was no way to hide. So I told him, “I could not sleep almost the whole night because of mosquitoes, and I am feeling a little feverish too.”
Osho got worried and said, “This is not right. Better you come here to the Circuit House.”
“Acharyaji, two or three people have become friends, if I come here, they will be disheartened. So, it will be better if I stay there,” I said.
Hearing this, he suggested for me to sleep on the terrace where the mosquitoes wouldn’t disturb me and at the same time Dr. Shukla rushed to get some medicine for my fever. I have observed Osho taking a lot of care of his lovers.
City Gate Junagarh (also called Junagadh)
During the camp, Osho delivered an hour long discourse in the morning as well as in the evening, followed by 15 minutes of meditation. In the afternoon, he used to meet devotees between 2 and 3 pm. Afterwards, a one-hour long sitting in his presence followed. Listening to him was a great meditation. Moreover, sitting in his presence, one used to go into a meditative trance. He devised wonderful techniques that are extremely helpful; one comes to know what silence during practical life is.
Osho’s meditation camp was a different world altogether. Even just being there was being in a different world where caste, creed, religion did not exist, where only a very loving meditative atmosphere prevailed. It felt as being in the garden of God himself.
On December 11, many friends went to the Circuit House to congratulate Osho on his birthday. Some carried magnificent gifts with them.
In the evening, when I met Osho, I asked, “When people congratulate you on your birthday, I am not able to understand. Do you really have any birthday? Because I never have the feeling you had any birth.”
Osho replied smiling, “See how people spread rumours.”
On the evening of December 12, Osho’s last discourse was of a very high pitch, it flowed like a river. Somebody outside cracked explosives and some of his lovers became alert and went to look around.
In the middle of the speech Osho said, “Don’t bother. Children often explode crackers and some mature people also remain childish. Whosoever has exploded the crackers, hasn’t done it with awareness; otherwise it would not have been possible for him.”
And he continued the discourse. What a coincidence! At this moment he spoke about life with awareness. When he got up after discourse and moved towards his car, hundreds of students chased after him. I was exactly behind Osho with Praveen Bhai and others. The group of students jostled with one another and we found it very difficult to keep them at bay.
I felt quite depressed. I never cared for the state government, power, or for conventional old people, but finding the young people failing to understand Osho, made me feel sad. I also realized that nobody could guard Osho. And he was absolutely alone because as we followed him towards the car on the right side, the group of students walked hurriedly on the left to stand on either side of the narrow path through which the car rolled out. The crowd was massive and the path was so narrow that we found it difficult to walk close to the car.
We had to leave Osho to himself but I had some solace that Jaya was in the car with Osho. The car crawled along the path, we saw it from a distance. Osho greeted one and all on either side with folded hands and a smile. Dr. Hemant told me, “R.S.S. (1) has a great influence in this area and it is they who do such stupid things.” After finally passing through the narrow lane (about 150 metres), the car resumed normal speed and Osho was driven to the Circuit House.
On the way I thought, “Osho’s life is far more important than any leader’s on earth today. How unsafe he was! What was the arrangement for his safety? There are enormous arrangements for leaders. Many vehicles pilot their cars, other vehicles follow them. And being a political leader is not as rare as it is to be a great Enlightened Master like Osho. The earth had to wait for thousands of years. They do not pay any attention to him today, but tomorrow they may have to shed tears?
I reached the Circuit House, entered Osho’s room and pulled the curtain aside. Laxmi and Jaya were already there. I burst out, “Acharyaji, for a few months in the recent past I have been using an adjective for you, i. e. a ‘dangerous’ man. And I feel that one day all that is going to happen with you. So, the first thing I want to know is: Do you know about all that?”
“Yes, I know,” said Osho.
I replied, “Being in love with you, we are in great difficulty. Please give us the energy so as to bear with it.”
Osho answered with tremendous love, “You will get energy.”
I asked, “Acharyaji, is such a world possible where good people can live?”
Osho replied, “Certainly, such a world is possible. However, we have to make efforts to create such a world. Certainly, it is possible. And the world today is better than what it was in the past; otherwise Jesus was very mild, Socrates was very generous, but they were killed. The way I speak, they never spoke. They were very generous. Had it been the world of two thousand years before, I should have been killed on the very first day. Humanity is better today. When Jesus was being crucified, about one thousand people had gathered there but it was difficult to find even eight sympathisers. In spite of the way I speak, many people love me. So humanity is better today. And certainly, we have to bring about a day when good people can live.
“They try to disturb my meetings, they oppose, but there is nothing to worry about. In 1916, when the Banaras University foundation was being laid, Gandhi was there. Gandhi was not well-known until that time. After great recommendations he was permitted to speak only for five minutes. But when he spoke, people got utterly displeased. Even Annie Besant and Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya (2) objected to Gandhi’s speech because he was speaking against the prevalent norms. Lastly, people started to shout and Gandhi could not speak even for five minutes. But within three years, they started to follow Gandhi and in three years, Gandhi became very popular. So there is nothing to worry. Opposition is also necessary.”
Listening to his comments, I thought, “You are really great. One may meet you from any angle, may ask anything from any angle; you never let one feel disheartened. You never see disappointment in anything. Fear and doubt do not belong to you.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Hemant entered the room. He besought Osho to cancel the next day’s meeting.
Jaya said, “The meeting will not be cancelled.”
I also repeated, “The meeting shall not be cancelled.”
But Dr. Hemant repeated his request again and Osho said smilingly, “Well, tomorrow’s issue will be seen tomorrow. Today it is time to sleep.”
And Osho slipped inside the mosquito net.
(1) Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is a right-wing volunteer, Hindu nationalist, non-governmental organisation.
(2) Indian freedom fighter, politician, and also an eminent educationist.