Paritosh Yogena reviews Swatantra Sarjano’s recently published book and says, “The reader will receive gentle reminders and sincere wake-up calls.” The book is now available also in Italian language.
Sarjano has always been a great source of entertainment for contemporary ashramites. His questions to Osho were bold and bizarre and sometimes embarrassing. Sarjano chronicles them all here and more: He tells his own story, beginning it in the days prior to meeting Osho in the ’70s when Sarjano had his own commune in Sicily. The book ends with the final days when he operated the Italian restaurant in the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune some time after Osho left his body.
I’m not sure if anyone submitted more questions and got more responses from Osho but from all appearances Sarjano has far exceeded anyone else.
As with all of us the relationship between Master and disciple is an intimate one-on-one, but that intimacy becomes public when the Master elects to make his answer public in front of thousands of people in Buddha Hall. As Osho has said on many occasions, when that happens, his response is for all of us and not just for the questioner, so don’t remain aloof and separate when enjoying this book.
Osho often roasts or gives a hit to Sarjano, accusing him of pilfering, and being egotistic, and at other times calls Sarjano his greatest follower, and as always, speaks lovingly.
Sarjano interviewed Osho in Kathmandu about the American government’s persecution of the Ranch, and this excerpt really struck me:
What was the fear? The fear was not of nuclear weapons; the fear was not that this commune was going to conquer them. The fear was that this commune is transforming from a dream that is hidden in every man’s unconscious. […] The fear, the paranoia, in the American government’s mind, against a single man and his small commune is a proof of its absolute success.
The reader will receive gentle reminders and sincere wake-up calls, and I find this one of Osho’s most inspiring:
Sarjano, my deepest longing is to make all kinds of people enlightened and to make enlightenment a very ordinary, simple, and innocent experience – nothing special, nothing holier-than-thou, humble; non-pretending, not claiming spirituality, just being joyous and full of light, radiant with joy, overflowing with love, ready to share their experience in whatever way they can.
Sarjano tells the story in a unique way, by telling it in the third person singular. Instead of saying “I”, Sarjano says “he” about himself. It makes the reading a bit confusing at times.
Be prepared for a bombshell near the end as Sarjano takes a wild swing at the establishment. Knowing Sarjano as you do by now, you may strongly support this swing.
Hats off to Sarjano; to a Herculean job in compiling a book that will be read by many for the decades and perhaps ages to come. The book gives an intimate look into Osho’s being, especially for readers who may have missed him in his body.
Review by Paritosh Yogena, previously published by Viha Connection magazine
Sarjano was born in Rome, Italy. A photojournalist and organiser of spectacular rock events in Italy, he created a commune in Sicily. Hearing about Osho from friends, he left for India and took sannyas in 1978. At the ashram in Pune 1 and 2 he worked as a photographer, translated Osho’s discourses into Italian, and became famous for his cooking skills. The author of ‘Food Is Home’, ‘Dalla separazione all’amore’, and ‘When A Real Lion Meets A Real Master’, he also created a restaurant in Vagator, Goa, and now lives in Rome. All articles and recipes by this author on Osho News.