Book Reviews Mindfulness — 19 December 2016

Swati Chopra reviews Chaitanya Keerti’s latest book.

I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, hoping to gain the perfect pearl of the formless.
Tagore, Gitanjali

mindfulness-coverThis collection of Swami Chaitanya Keerti’s columns, written over a period of time, indicate the intensity of his spiritual search, as well as the depth of his understanding.

As Tagore says in the lines from Gitanjali quoted above, the aspirant dives into the deep sea, much like a diver in search of a pearl that is as rare as it is elusive. When he dives in, there is no guarantee that he will find anything other than empty shells. The process is arduous and often filled with doubt and self-conflict. The fact that the aspirant does emerge with a “perfect pearl” – of enlightenment, insight, awakening – can only be described as a miracle.

For Swamiji, the ocean he dives in time and time again is undoubtedly the wisdom of his master, Osho. For many of us, it is difficult to fathom the entire breadth of Osho’s teachings, so wide and varied they are in their spiritual and intellectual reach. Upon reading Osho’s extensive commentaries on texts as complex as the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra and as obscure as The Book of Mirdad, and his expositions of the teachings of legendary teachers like the Buddha, Jesus, Kabir, and Lao Tzu among others, one can only marvel at the truly “oceanic” nature of Osho’s wisdom. Osho is the kind of guru who is not just an illuminator of ignorance; his luminescence is as close to being an actual source of spiritual light as can be hoped in human incarnation.

Swami Chaitanya Keerti, who has had the good fortune of directly receiving the master’s teachings, emerges not just as an ideal conveyor of these teachings, but one who is able to tailor them according to this day and age, as the need might be. This happens several times in the book, as in the chapter, ‘Meditation: An Individual Revolution’, where he comments on a cover story in Time magazine on the “mindfulness revolution” sweeping the US, and places mindfulness in its proper meditative context. Or in ‘The Escape Within’, where he tackles the trauma caused by earthquakes with a Zen story that exhorts one to go within when there is an upheaval without.

It appears that Swamiji has been able to absorb the master’s wisdom, arrived at a place of knowing regarding the truth that they point to, and put them into actual practice in the world. In this sense, he is able to not just look at the ‘finger that points to the moon’, as the master would be described in Zen terms, but actually see and experience the moon of spiritual wisdom for himself. Swamiji’s words, in that sense, act as pointers to others, those of us struggling on the spiritual path.

One endearing quality of Osho’s teachings, which Swami Chaitanya Keerti seems to have imbibed from his master, is that of witty repartee, coupled with the rendering of weighty philosophy in easy-to-understand everyday language. Anecdotes and jokes are employed to dispel the reader’s mental lethargy and freshen the mind to keep it alert to the task at hand of understanding that which is being said.

For readers interested in spirituality, this book has the potential of becoming a credible and trustworthy companion on the path. For those who are looking for something deeper in their lives but do not quite know what it is, this book can be a starting point, the beginning of an adventure that is sure to last at least one lifetime, if not many.

Review by Swati Chopra, author of ‘Dharamsala Diaries’and ‘Buddhism: On the Path to Nirvana’

Available at

Read an excerpt on Osho News: Power of Meditation Exploited for Mundane Achievements

Chaitanya KeertiChaitanya Keerti travels around the world to facilitate Osho meditation retreats. He is an editor of Osho World and the author also of ‘Osho Fragrance’. More articles by the same author on Osho News