The reality of Osho’s death

Letters / Opinions

Because of recent allegations and comments that have been made publicly, Ageh Bharti wrote a letter to shed light on the circumstances of Osho’s death.

Osho's body

Many Osho friends have been asking me to share my understanding about Osho’s death because there has been lot of hue and cry on social media recently and attempts to impose allegations about some Resort officials, in particular with statements by Dr Gokani. I wrote an article on the topic in Hindi and hundreds of friends thanked me and said that now the issue was clear to them and they were feeling great relief after having been in utter confusion and tension. Then some friends asked that I should write in English too and let also others see the real picture.

Firstly, I would like to say that everyone knows that Osho formed an Inner Circle and that he chose Jayesh as Chairman, Amrito as vice-Chairman, and Anando as Secretary; i.e. all three are western friends. Well, Osho trusted western friends more than Indians because in the past, several Indian friends proved themselves to be untruthful to Osho and his people.

The second thing I would like to remind about is that Osho is the man of Krishna, Buddha and Mahavira’s stature. Naturally wherever he lives, a divine glow, silence and sacred serenity surrounds him. Hence, he himself had to choose his caretaker, personal physician, dentist, cook, secretary and others who were necessary for the existence of his extremely delicate and fragile body. Not every disciple was worthy of being in his close proximity.

If seen in aforesaid light, Dr Gokani’s doubts, if any, just fade away. When he was called for and was told that Osho was leaving the body, he started to weep; Amrito asked him not to weep. Poor Dr Gokani wants to say that something was being concealed, that’s why he was not allowed to weep. It is a very common fact that weeping cannot be allowed in such a situation. I hope he too knows it but with mal-intention he is being tricky to turn this too into an allegation. Dr Gokani’s own statement is enough for any sannyasin to understand that he was not worthy of going near Osho in those moments. If he had been permitted, he would have cried even more noisily and thus caused pain to Osho who has been teaching his whole life to celebrate death.

Dr Gokani states that when Osho was leaving his body, why wasn’t Osho’s mother informed between 1 pm and 5 pm as she was living so close in the Ashram. It is so obvious that she was not informed because of the same reason. She is a mother, far more closely attached. She would have beaten her chest, weeping loudly seeing her son dying and it can only be imagined how much pain and disturbance Osho would have felt. In fact, Amrito and Jayesh deserve appreciation and respect that they behaved like perfect disciples by protecting Osho against unwanted emotions while he was leaving the body.

It was a most extraordinary moment. A Buddha was leaving his body as if discarding clothes. Any slightest noise or expressed emotions, at that moment, would have been a cause of great pain and inconvenience to the Master.

Dr Gokani appears childish by presenting the most positive acts of Amrito and Jayesh as being negative. At such a time, if it is necessary to move around, one has to be very slow and calm, not only physically but mentally as well. If Dr Gokani has not understood yet how to be near a Master, he was certainly not worthy to be near Osho 26 years ago.  But his ego got hurt that he was not allowed to go near Osho and so he is taking revenge after 26 years.

Osho was given slow-working poison in an American jail and was passed through radiation which resulted in dramatic deterioration of his physical body. He understood well that the body was no longer worth living in. Only then did he ask for his Samadhi to be made in Chuang Tzu, saying that he needed a new bed in there. For this purpose, marble came from Mumbai and it was created as per his guidance and direction. Perhaps for one night he slept there also, and then moved to his previous bed again.

Before leaving the body, he suggested to Amrito that after burning his body, the ashes are to be kept under that new bed and sannyasins can sit and meditate there. He had realized absolutely that the pain of the joints was not curable and living in the body would be immensely painful. In fact, he never let his disciples know about the severity of pain he was suffering in knees and other joints and because of that he decided to leave the body. He made several preparations – in addition to the Samadhi, he had all Ashram buildings painted black; he recreated the energy-field that had become scattered during his absence.

It appears Dr Gokani sought an ugly way by creating a drama to become a widely-known figure after 26 years, and he did indeed become world famous. But he lacks even simple common sense seen in the points raised by him. For example, he raises the question as to why Osho’s body was taken early to the burning ghat. It is absolutely credible to his disciples that he gave such an instruction to Amrito because it carries his vision behind it. He had been asserting his entire life that he is an ordinary man and behaved exactly as such. He had his last rites done in the same way as it was done to disciples who died in Pune previously. That is, the body to be kept in Buddha Hall for ten minutes for Darshan, then singing and dancing, then the body taken to the burning ghat and celebrating by burning the body on the pyre. In this lies the last message of the Master to his disciples that he had been an ordinary man, and they too ought to be ordinary.

Dr Gokani says when Osho was giving directions before going to bed to leave the body, why was it not video-recorded? It makes it clear that Dr Gokani could not become a disciple but remained a student because this is an utterly childish allegation. It shows he was totally unaware as to what a great and historic event in the world’s spiritual history was happening there. Only silence could be the right thing to be maintained. If Amrito and Jayesh had done a recording of everything they would have proved to be nothing more than fools.

It was an occasion to maintain absolute silence. A greatly significant thing was happening. A great enlightened Master of all time was leaving his body exactly as we leave clothes behind. The event needed be watched in absolute silence.

Amrito and Jayesh deserve respect for they proved to be the right disciples when Osho needed them. Dr Gokani’s view appears to be childish in that he tried to narrate all positive things as negative. He presents things in such manner as to make Osho’s death a mystery. This is a very wrong route of becoming world-famous. Here one can see the clear shortcomings in his discipleship. It feels Dr Gokani never understood the Master. Osho was a Master and he remained a Master till his last breath.

When Amrito was helping Osho back from the bathroom to his bed, Osho hinted to go to the chair. Amrito suggested to the Master that his body has become so weak, that he should go to the bed instead of the chair. At this, Osho tells him like a Master to take him to the chair, and Amrito does so and gets him seated. Sitting on the chair, the Master gives the instructions that you all know. And then he is helped to go to the bed where he lies down and closes the eyes.

And then happens the great event of his leaving the body exactly as Krishna has said in the Geeta, as one leaves the clothes.

Here I would like to share something about the Master’s charisma which is not known to many disciples. When we watch the video in which Amrito is reporting on 19th January as to how Osho left his body, there comes a moment when Amrito’s breathing stops for a bit, his face swells up, his eyes brim with tears and he becomes virtually speechless! Seriousness covers the entire congregation in Buddha Hall but suddenly Amrito laughs aloud and simultaneously the whole congregation laughs too. Actually, some sannyasin had gifted a clock to Osho that crowed like a cockerel every hour. Osho had asked to put amplifiers on every gate and set the timing from 5 am to 11 pm so that every time the cockerel crows it is a reminder that one more hour has passed from life! So, it is really the Master’s setting that when the entire gathering became serious and aggrieved, the cockerel from the clock crowed as it became 7 pm and everyone laughed aloud at the Master’s arrangement to dispel the seriousness!

When Osho came to Buddha Hall on 17th January to bid goodbye to his people despite his doctor’s advice not to go due to acute weakness, Osho remained standing up with folded hands for about 19 minutes, namasteing each disciple and looking into their eyes – what was that, Dr Gokani? His body’s weakness was such that he was unable to stand rightly and once his legs even started trembling.

That day many friends could feel that Osho was bidding goodbye. Many people told me so. I can remember two such names who realized it so clearly that they responded with a heavy heart, “OK, Osho, goodbye.” They were Swami Yoga Pratap Bharti, a long time ashramite, and Ma Jivan Mada from Canada. And if my memory serves me right, Ma Shunyo said the same in her book. What was all that Dr Gokani? You are an Osho disciple as you say but you could not understand anything.

On 18th January Osho did not come to Buddha Hall and on the 19th he left the body at 5 pm. Friends who were not present in Buddha Hall on 17th January, must watch the video ‘The Last Namaste’ if they have not watched it yet. And they can see and understand that Osho had really come to say a final goodbye.

Dr Gokani is an unfortunate disciple, who had been running his business and now, to become known, he is pointing his finger at people who had left their homes, prestigious professions, and their countries to remain most loyally with Osho. They were handcuffed along with Osho and went to jail. They were not only with Osho during his world tour, but it is they who managed the tour. And the most significant thing is that Osho liked them to be close to him while he was leaving the body.

In having the body burned the same evening, it was really Osho’s farsighted intelligence! It is far beyond the capacity of Dr Gokani and alike people to understand.

Even when Osho was in the body, finding accommodation in apartments and hotels of Koregaon Park was not that easy for visitors; one had to try hard to find any. If Osho’s body had been retained for a day or two, there would have been great difficulty in getting accommodation for the many who would have come pouring into Pune. Maybe many would have had to camp on the roads with their entire family and then some of Pune’s loafer-type people could have misbehaved with our women and the possibility of quarrel and fighting cannot be overruled. In the past, such incidents had happened and in such cases unnecessarily we would have been on the receiving end of the antagonism from Government officials too. To prevent all discriminating possibilities Osho gave the best instructions possible.

When the body was burnt there remained no urgency for his lovers to rush to Pune at once. Friends living far away came even later, at their convenience. And those who rushed at once, many of them left again after a day or two. Thus a beautiful population balance in the area was maintained. This certainly was the beauty of the Master’s farsightedness otherwise not only lovers, even opponents would have crowded in to look and it would have been so hard to manage such a large crowd. On that day, the price for one rose flower rose to Rs 500.

Furthermore, Dr Gokani charged that when Neelam informed Osho’s mother, the latter commented, “They killed him.” Mata-ji (Osho’s mother) rightly said so. She meant the American Government. She used to listen to Osho’s discourses in which Osho had repeatedly said that when he was in jail in America, he was given slow poison and was passed through radiation that had ruined his health. She had been in Rajneeshpuram where she had seen Osho in such good health before going to jail. It was after the release from jail that his body developed multiple problems.

She saw all that and had great affection for Jayesh and Amrito and others who were taking so much care of Osho. Had she not trusted them she could have said it then and there. I was in Rajneeshpuram for four months in 1985 as Osho’s personal guest and was meeting Mata-ji almost every day because I stayed in no. 54 Town Houses which was barely a two minutes’ walk from Mata-ji’s. Either Neelam misunderstood Mata-ji’s comment or tried intentionally to shape the three word comment later in order to create doubt and controversy because she was banned from entering the Resort. She remained angry with the Resort officials. Her resentment can be seen by the fact that Osho said that the Ashram was his body and Neelam once protested and threatened to break each brick of the Ashram.

There is no mystery about Osho’s death. Can Dr Gokani explain why Osho had all Ashram buildings painted with black color about two years before his death? And why he had the Samadhi built in Chuang Tzu? And why he came to Buddha Hall against his doctor’s advice on 17th January, only to say Namaste to his people, standing for 19 minutes with folded hands? Why, on that day, did he look into the eyes of each and every disciple present with a good-bye gesture?

Ageh BhartiAgeh Bharti is a regular contributor

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