Birthday and book launch: an enchanting event

'The Only Life' in the Media Events Laxmi in the spotlight

Kul Bhushan participated in the event at Oshodham on December 11, 2017 – celebrating Osho’s birthday and the launch of the book about Laxmi, ‘The Only Life’, that has held the media’s attention for days.

Imagine a birthday celebration with a book launch in a huge pillar-less auditorium packed with over 500 maroon-clad devotees, listening to two movie celebrities, a host of VIPs, a media contingent and some guests and you get a fair idea of a festive celebration on 11 December 2017, Osho’s 86th birthday.

A slight drizzle adds to the freshness of the abundant greenery surrounding the jam-packed Buddha Hall without any side walls in Oshodham, a meditation campus on the outskirts of New Delhi. Open to lush green landscape on all sides, the hall is dominated by a giant portrait of the Master, a podium and a screen announcing the launch of ‘The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi and a Journey of the Heart’ by Rashid Maxwell, published by Simon & Schuster.

The book portrays the life of Ma Yoga Laxmi, Osho’s first secretary and describes the significance of the master-disciple relationship and provides insights into Osho’s vision. Rashid Maxwell writes with an English turn of phrase laced with Osho’s vision to provide stimulating reading.

The guests were welcomed at the Oshodham entrance decked up with huge maroon strips showcasing a giant signature of Osho in white and many posters about the book and the meditations at this venue.

The visitors were made up of four groups: VIPs, senior sannyasins who knew and interacted with Laxmi, Laxmi’s sister Azadi; senior executives from the publisher, invited guests, and a media group.

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Featured above are Atul Anand, Rashid Maxwell, Subhash Ghai, and Kamlesh Pandey

The event started with a warm welcome by Swami Atul Anand who unveiled the book by untying the ribbon and opening the package to hold it up for photographers. A forest of arms holding mobile cameras went up instantly to click the moment, in addition to the photographers.

The chief guest, appropriately dressed in a maroon velvety jacket, Subash Ghai, film director, producer and screenwriter, revealed that his super hit movie, Taal (1999), was totally inspired by the vision of Osho who advocated rising in love instead of falling in love.

The music and dances in the movie were also stimulated by Osho; when Ghai contacted the Oscar winning music director A. R. Rehman, he narrated the story and urged him to compose ‘divine’ music to match the story. Being a divine person himself, Rehman gave his best and the music became a sensation. The soundtrack made the list of “Greatest Bollywood Soundtracks of All Time” and clinched all music awards.

Recalling another scene from one of his films, Ghai talked about a mafia don seeking shelter for the night in a monastery to escape the police. In the morning, he walks up a hill to escape when the guru confronts him to pose a question, ‘Where will you run away from yourself?’

The don replies he has read all scriptures and doesn’t need advice. The guru answers with two words: Bhagwan (God) and Bhagyya (Luck). Ghai then weaved in Osho’s insight to explain the difference and how we are really God-like and how we blame luck when we fail.

Advertising executive, screenplay writer for films and TV, and above all, an Osho disciple, Kamlesh Pandey regaled he audience with his escapades after he was initiated by his master. Pandey is well-known for his screenplays of over 40 films including many box office hits like Rang De Basanti (2006). For TV, he has scripted one of the first detective serials ‘Karamchand’, Indian parlour games like Antakshari and many others.

After meeting Osho, he donned saffron garments on taking sannyas. When he went to his office in the ad agency, his colleagues were surprised but dismissed him as dressing up for an ad shoot. As he continued wearing saffron, his boss called him and admonished him for wearing this colour at an international company. Later, he was taunted when he went to watch a movie and was gazed at in dismay when he went for a beer in a bar. So, he went to see Osho about his predicament and Osho told him to carry on as he wanted his sannyasins to work and enjoy life.

The author Rashid Maxwell spoke about how he was persuaded to write this book and when he started, how much more he learnt about the master-disciple relationship and Osho’s vision.

After the launch, everyone went for tea and many bought the book with the author signing copies in a merry mood of smiles and laughter. The guests departed and it was time for the evening ‘White Robe’ meditation. Everyone was seen swishing in white robes for the evening meditation and sannyas (initiation) celebration.

Actually, the celebration had started a day earlier at a tea party hosted by Swami Atul Anand for selected old-time disciples who knew Ma Yoga Laxmi personally. One by one, they recalled their experiences and interaction with this petite dynamo of energy and total surrender to the Master. Everyone was gifted with a signed copy of the book by the author and a mug printed with the book cover.

clippings Laxmi
clippings Laxmi

Hard news about the book by top news agency of India PTI was published in many print and web media. The book revealed that former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi sought the help of Ma Laxmi to persuade her son Rajiv to enter politics after the death of her son Sanjay in a plane crash. And its coverage continued after the launch.

Everybody was enriched with the memories of an enchanting event and many with a copy of this book that motivates and inspires.

Kul BhushanKul Bhushan is a regular contributor

More articles by the same author on Osho News

Review by Bhagawati with links to where you can buy the book
The Only Life: Osho, Laxmi and a Journey of the Heart

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