Richa Anirudh, well-known Indian radio jockey and television personality, writes about Osho and some of the lessons she has learnt from him and has tried to imbibe in her life. Published in thequint.com on January 19, 2018.
We go to a doctor only when we feel physically unwell or unfit. We seek a guru only when we feel mentally and emotionally unwell. That’s what happened with me about 10 years ago. There were problems, issues, from so many ends in my life that I literally didn’t know how to hold myself. ‘Zindagi Live’ had started and I was hearing stories of pain and trauma on every shoot, and it was making it worse for me. Never in my life had I heard such tragic stories so closely. I was touching people’s lives, but my own life was slipping out of my control.
That’s when it happened like a miracle. Someone gifted me a book, The Book of Understanding: Creating Your Own Path to Freedom by Osho.
True to the cover page of the book, I too have been creating my own path to freedom for the past 10 years. I started reading more of Osho, attending meditation camps in Dharamsala and Najafgarh and – what worked best for me – playing his audio discourses in my car while commuting.
I am a very slow reader. Sometimes, I can take months to finish a book. But I still remember finishing that 270-page-book in one day. I just kept reading and reading and reading. Perhaps, that day, the book gave me an escape from all the other troubles I was going through.
But here’s how I would like to see the day, looking backwards: That day, through that book, Osho chose to be my life coach, my guru. It’s true that in a guru, we seek help and guidance, but it’s also true that the guru chooses us. And I am blessed to have been chosen by Osho!
A photo of Osho with his disciples in darshan at Poona in 1977. (Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
People often question me about all the controversies attached to Osho’s life and work. Honestly, I have always kept myself away from reading about that, and it has never affected me. Once, on Twitter, when I raised an environmental issue related to a spiritual guru’s organisation, I was trolled and abused. One person wrote. “Your guru has died, now you have a problem with other gurus.” My reply was, “Sir, abuse my guru as much as you want. I will not abuse you back. That’s the test of his teachings and my learnings.”
So let me share some of the lessons I have learnt from Osho and have tried to imbibe in my life:
Be Responsible for Your Own Happiness, Peace and Freedom
Often we become so dependent on our relationships, on people who we claim to love, that our loved ones start controlling our lives and we try to control theirs. More often than not, our love relationships, whether husband-wife, parents-child or any other, is more about power play. And there is no happiness, no peace and of course no freedom at all. Do not give the remote control of your life in someone else’s hands and do not take theirs in your hands either.
If You Really Love Someone, Love them Unconditionally
Osho says we love only those who are ours. And that’s not Love. So often we see relationships breaking up and people talking negatively and rubbish about each other. Which means that there was no love in the first place. Because if you genuinely loved someone at one point of your life, even if it was for a short period, you can never speak ill of the person even after the love is gone. Love should be like a fragrance of the flower called relationship. Even after the flower dies, the fragrance should stay.
Love and Respect Yourself First
There are two advantages of practicing this. First, if we love and respect ourselves, we don’t seek it from others. If we get love and respect from others, it’s great, but even if we don’t get it, we are still happy because we love ourselves. Second, if we love and respect ourselves, we naturally become loving and respectful towards others. So, if all of us become compassionate towards ourselves, imagine how the world would change!
Happiness Should Be a Natural State of Your Being
Osho says it’s OK to feel sad, it’s absolutely fine to cry, to sulk, to feel all emotions like anger, jealousy etc. But one must always be conscious of their emotions, their state of being, their thoughts and keep bringing them back to the state of happiness and peace. Because, that’s where you ultimately belong.
Don’t Take Your Life Too Seriously
Try to surrender and be more accepting. This is one lesson that I keep forgetting, but it keeps coming back to me whenever there is a crisis in my life. We all take ourselves too seriously, and Osho says, you are just a part of the drama. Look at yourself as a character on stage. Let things happen, let people come and go, let the scenes unfold. You just watch. I know this is one of his toughest messages, and it’s not easy to give up on that ownership that we all feel towards our life… It’s not easy for me too, but I am still learning and working on it.
Forgive, Forget and Let Go
Let go of negative situations, people and thoughts. Forgive yourself too. Stop feeling guilty of the mistakes you may have made. Learn from them and move on. It’s not the end of the world.
There are many more lessons that I am still learning from him and I shall never learn enough. All of us are on a journey, we really don’t know what’s coming our way, but we can definitely try to make our journey more interesting, more enjoyable, by keeping one simple thought in mind — life is beautiful.
Osho is that anchor, who has showed me the beauty of life. Because of him, I have seen God in a flowing river, flower, tree, and child. They called him ‘Bhagwan’, but for me Osho is not God, Osho has shown me the God that is within me and all around me.
He left his body on this day in 1990…. but he stays with his sannyasins every moment. Yes, he answers my questions, he holds my hand, he guides me through my troubles, and he has taught me how to rejoice.