Responding to the news about the inauguration of the Osho Chair in Gujarat, India, Anugraha writes to Satya Vedant.
Dearest Beloved Swami Vendantji,
I am very grateful for all the mails you have sent me concerning the establishment of the Osho Chair. I loved the write-up on the Osho Chair that you have authored explaining its significance, the video invitation and the description of the seminars in the first week of January. This is a matter of immense celebration and joy for me. Please accept my congratulations and gratitude for the work you have done to make this reality possible. I deeply regret that I will not make it to the January 22 celebrations. This is painful to me but I ask for your forgiveness.
I will now share a few developments that have been personally very meaningful for me over the years – I do so in a spirit of gratitude to you Swamiji, as I am so moved by the coming to fruition of your valiant and tireless efforts to establish the Osho Chair. On the face of it, for those who don’t know me, this letter may sound boastful – however, as Osho’s sannyasins, we know that I cannot be humble because I have not achieved anything – what can I be humble about? Today, I have only one mission that makes me blissful – to introduce Osho’s work to as many people as I can. I can speak for hours and days and weeks, introducing people to Osho and I am never tired! For every thousand people who are moved or inspired to read an Osho book today, through simple contagion, there will be several hundred thousand people who will be engulfed by his fragrance in a matter of years!
My energy is dedicated to working with people who may never have heard of Osho (and may never otherwise hear about him) and my delight comes from seeing how much their hearts open and their burden dissipates when they read an Osho book for the first time! I can never ever forget what happened to me when I read my first Osho book, Joy, – even my son who was barely ten at that time says his own life changed completely the day Osho entered his father’s life!
I was a late bloomer to Osho’s work having discovered his writing in January 2008 when I was 46 years old. By November 2011 the spirit of his work had permeated my being and infused my life with an incandescent joy and lightness of being. I decided to apply myself to introducing Osho’s work to those who may never have heard of him. I could not bear the idea that so many people whose lives would be instantaneously transformed may be blissfully unaware of Osho’s profound genius.
As I was sitting in this quandary, a five-hour monologue almost descended upon me. It was a monologue that I would begin to deliver that would introduce Osho to people and do so by directly addressing the angst, alienation and the discontent of modernity with humor and self-deprecating personal examples of my own somnambulism, accompanied by Osho’s brilliant insights. I would never speak for Osho and I would make it clear that although I have nothing to offer personally, I can point them across the shore to where Osho’s work resides. I am just like Osho’s ‘compounder’ who can make people aware of Osho’s medicine or like Osho’s boatman who can take you in my boat to Osho!
I called the 5-hour monologue presentation Why Life Sucks: Enjoying the Lightness of Being, speaking to the constant unhappiness inherent in modernity on the one hand and the emancipatory relief that comes when people connect people with Osho’s work, on the other! Although I began by holding one session every month, since 2012, over 6500 people have attended these free seminars to date and have been introduced to Osho’s work. The monologue combines storytelling, theater, stand-up comedy, poetry, rock songs, pantomimes and guided meditation, bringing Osho’s work to the participants. My greatest joy is when I see people turning on their devices and ordering Osho’s books even as I am speaking!
Soon participants wanted new topics and I added several, using each topic to publicize and promote several of Osho’s books. My son Elliot came up with catchy, provocative titles that preserve the fragrance of Osho’s paradoxes – The Ecstasy of Love and the Agony of Marriage, The Success of Failure and the Failure of Success, The School as Factory: Protecting Your Children from Manufactured Ignorance, Staying Awake in a World that is Sleepwalking and Thriving in Illness. I even taught a semester long honors course on The Crisis of Modernity and the Enduring Relevance of Osho, at Baldwin Wallace University which the students absolutely loved – with several writing that this course should be one that every student at the University should take.
In 2015, representatives from an international training organization, Institute of Management Studies (IMS) that selects “cutting edge” thinkers and introduces them to global audiences of Fortune 500 companies, sat through my seminars and decided to arrange my national seminar tour in five cities around the US. The seminar I presented – Manager as an Enlightened Presence – was inspired by and based entirely on Osho’s work, and became an opportunity for me to introduce managers everywhere to Osho’s work and to distribute his books as the reading material. The participant evaluations were so robust and strong from these seminars (of course they would be as the sessions were based on the life, spirit and humor of Osho!), that I was among only five presenters selected subsequently from literally hundreds of IMS faculty, invited to present a sample of the seminar at the Advisory Board Meeting of IMS to an audience consisting of nearly 75 companies and IMS Chapter Chairs from nearly 20 cities in June 2016.
In the meanwhile, I continue my public seminars that enable me to introduce Osho’s work to thousands every year. By word of mouth, my seminars have taken several interesting turns. I am pleased to share with you that the Cleveland Clinic will be granting CME (Continuing Medical Education) on April 12, 2017 to its physicians in the Internal Medicine Department if they attend a presentation in their ‘Grand Rounds’ that I have developed based entirely on Osho’s work and its implications for health care. I will also be presenting Osho’s work on January 12, 2017 at the Cleveland Clinic in another seminar on the implications of Osho’s work for nurses and other medical professionals. The Cleveland VA (Veteran’s Administration) has already granted CEUs and CME’s for their physicians and nurses for the presentations I have delivered at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in repeat invitations to speak at their ‘Grand Rounds’.
At all of these events, I have introduced people to Osho’s books and message and made his books the basis of the presentations. I have attached a photo of me [see above, ed.] delivering the keynote address at an event at the NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland in which I introduced people to Osho’s work, while wearing my Osho gown and mala! I am frequently invited to deliver talks and seminars at local organizations, companies and hospitals and every one of these is a gate for me to walk dozens of people through to the orchard of Osho’s work and to direct contact with Osho who is always readily smiling upon the new faces with love!
I will hold a public seminar in Washington DC on January 22, 2017 on the campus of George Mason University to celebrate the establishment of the Osho Chair in India. I am thrilled to be able to do that. On January 20 and January 21, 2017 I am scheduled to teach a graduate class in Washington DC at the George Mason University. I have dedicated those days to developing, distilling and presenting the ramifications of Osho’s ideas for organizational change, knowledge management and public policy. I will add on a public seminar for January 22, 2017 as a celebration of the Osho Chair that you have established. I seek your and Osho’s blessings to be able to join in the celebrations in this manner through sympathetic vibrations although I will not be there physically.
For your support I am eternally grateful.
With you, holding your hand and Osho’s hand in my hand and your voices in my heart, I will move forward playfully on my journey. Thank you for giving me sannyas in Brampton, Canada and for the emotional support I have received from you on difficult personal matters – your compassion has freed me to do Osho’s work with much more energy, authenticity and irreverent humor.
With boundless gratitude and love to Osho and to you,
Indian-born Deva Anugraha (aka Dr. Param Srikantia) is a Professor and seminar leader with twenty years of leadership experience in six global conglomerates. Before joining the faculty at Baldwin Wallace University, he was a consultant at the World Bank and has authored over 35 papers in Management. He has taught at Case Western Reserve University, George Mason University, University of Iowa, and Jamnalal Bajaj Institute. Anugraha has playfully embarked on public seminars based on Osho’s work reaching nearly 6500 attendees in the United States where he lives.
More information about the Osho Chair can be found in Osho News under: Osho at Universities