Prem Geet writes on the significance of establishing Osho Chairs worldwide and the support needed for the early phase of the project.
Even the word ‘celebration’ is too pale to describe this most amazing development – the reality of the first academic Osho Chair at a prestigious University in India. For years Satya Vedant (Dr. Vasant Joshi, PhD) has been designing the program and building bridges for this Chair. On January 22, 2017 the first Osho Chair was inaugurated at India’s Veer Narmad South Gujarat University.
This project represents the ultimate irony of ‘teaching’ university students about unlearning within the hallowed halls of higher education!
The Osho Chair with its curriculum design is certain to reshape the future of education and be the first to emphasize the more than 300 new forms of meditation developed by Osho, a curriculum that utilizes the vast body of Osho’s work (more than 1000 titles), referencing his personal library of 150,000 books, and a balance of humorous content.
Satya Vedant says, “By reaching tens of thousands of students over time through the work of a Chair and its ripple effect, disciples and friends of Osho are able to enact wide-spread dissemination of the teachings of Osho far into the future.”
The Osho Chair project will be shared at multiple universities in the future; Osho Niranjana Meditation Center of California (ONMC) is functioning as a bridge builder between the US and projects in India, with the aim to create ‘Sister’ Chairs. Many meetings and sessions have taken place at ONMC in order to define an Osho Chair and how to create and launch more in India and also in the US. Last year, a positive full-day meeting with academic and philantrophic dignitaries from California was held.
Vedant cited the main objectives of the Osho Chair:
– Designing a well-planned curriculum for the study of Osho’s multidimensional work
– Making available the vast literature of Osho for the purpose of research and publication
– The Chair may be supportive in preparing for a Master’s or a doctoral degree
– A systematic program for conducting research seminars and conferences will be the integral part of Osho Chair
– The Chair and its work will be brought to the attention of students and academicians through various publications and the Internet
ONMC, as one of the primary project incubators for the Osho Chair, has been helping to solidify a program infrastructure for over a year now. Testing public interest for the Osho Chair has had nationwide and global receptivity. Co-founder and Co-Executive Director of ONMC, Amritanand says, “Osho lovers in the USA and elsewhere have been working on the project since 2013 and are now involved in the development of curriculum for graduate and undergraduate courses; recruitment of qualified professors; integrating into existing and various departments in religious studies or philosophy; bridging into academic institutional requirements.”
The creation of an endowed Chair can be a very long process involving a lot of time in academic leadership meetings, consensus-building, talking to potential funders, writing, planning, events, and presentations. It is also expensive as it is intended to last year after year with top talent teaching.
Necessarily financial support is needed for supporting the early phase of the first-ever program and the huge initial task of developing a curriculum for actual courses offered, as well as classroom teaching, which can be a lengthy process. Although friends are already working on events, interface, coordination with university staff including professors, dealing with bureaucracy – all this takes up much time and cannot be adequately sustained only by volunteers. Hence ONMC has established a site as an invitation for everyone to jump in and show their support. All contributions will go directly to the Osho Chair project.”
Notable dignitaries around the world already describe a world that very much needs and is ready for more Osho who has the highest level of respect among the world’s most erudite leaders. Khushwant Singh, former editor of The Times of India once said: “Within a few years from now Osho’s message will be heard all over the world. He was the most original thinker that India has produced: the most erudite, the most clear-headed and the most innovative. And in addition, he had an inborn gift of words, spoken and written. The likes of him we will not see for decades to come… He has to be judged as a thinker, and as a thinker he will rank amongst the giants.”
Former president of India, K. R. Narayanan, once said: “Enlightened people like Osho are ahead of their times. It is good that more and more young people are now reading his works.”
“Never before or after have I encountered anybody having such a harmonious and immensely creative view encompassing art, science, human psychology and religiousness. Certainly we would lack substantially without his vision of the new man.” Dr. A. Schleger, Ph.D., Institute of Technology, Switzerland.
“Osho is such a vision that stands for the welfare of the whole of humanity, transcending the narrow boundaries of religions. Though today’s man is so caught up in his myriad problems, all of Osho’s books and discourses suggest simple and easy ways for man’s liberation.” Lokendra Bahadur Chand, former prime minister of Nepal
“I believe that Osho was well ahead of his time in terms of his teachings, his thinking and as a practical man. This is very clear that the message of Osho is universal in nature. This also means that the right to his message is equally universal and should be available to any individual. In fact each one of the 6 Billion of us that inherit the earth today have a right to the words of Osho.” Padamshree Dr Raghunath Mashelkar, renowned scientist, Director General CSIR and Chairman of the committee of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Clearly, the Osho Chair will have far-reaching benefits for humanity!
Osho Niranjana is an independent non-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to share the teachings of Osho and is not affiliated with any Organization in the US and abroad. Osho Niranjana is situated in Valley Center, CA, 40 miles north of San Diego and a two-hour drive south of the Los Angeles International Airport. The diverse participants and special guests come from all over the world. The Center is solely operated by volunteers year-round. oshoniranjana.com
More on Osho at Universities in Osho News
By Prem Geet