Niyam’s take on the showing of the Netflix series Wild Wild Country and the resulting global interest in Osho and his books.
“I understand the Osho ashram isn’t what it used to be. Is there any group of people who are genuinely following his teachings and have some sort of a commune in India?”
Rajneeshpuram happened 33 years ago. Osho left his body 28 years ago. Yet here he is, waking people up from their sleep, such as my midnight friend. Perhaps in the name of Osho my friend also feels justified in texting me at 1:19am. Hoping to dismantle any romanticism around Osho, as well as notions of goody-goody bullshit my friend might harbour about Osho, I sleepily text back: “Have you watched Wild Wild Country?”
“Binge-watched all six episodes,” comes the prompt response with a smiley emoticon.
Now I’m awake. After watching those gun-totin’ reds? Those crazy people attempting what is labelled as the largest bio-terror attack? The hostility and xenophobia of the local ranchers? The conspiracies of the US government? Why would someone born when Rajneeshpuram collapsed, thirst to experience that life, today?
The next morning, I check the web. Viewership of the trailer of WWC crosses a million views. The Osho channel on YouTube crosses 70,000,000 views just days before the launch of the Netflix series. The Osho office reports a dramatic increase in phone calls and request for Osho’s books.
“Can someone point me in the direction of the Ma Anand Sheela fan club please?” It’s not just about numbers. This gem is from Twitter. Here’s another: “#WildWildCountry stays crazy until the end. Ma Anand Sheela is a character you could not dream up if you tried.” The new generation has just erupted with memes of Sheela, especially of her famous “Tough titties” quip. “There’s an Emmy / Oscar awaiting whoever plays Ma Anand Sheela,” says one tweet, with this: “And just imagine that actress bringing Ma Anand Sheela as their plus one to the Globes. The DRAMA.”
It’s easy to understand the mass of people who step back bewildered or horrified, but I’m only interested in the sparse few who are fascinated by, and feel even more drawn to Osho. “How could such an enlightened man stoop so low, be so cheap, and call Sheela a “perfect bitch!?” Asks one. Hate him. Love him. He’s stirring the same intense passions he did in the hipster generations of his era. “What brings you to Osho?” I ask another over Facebook. “I love the Man and what he stood for (and still do after seeing this),” says an IT geek and professional who’s often watched Osho from the side-lines. That parenthesis is telling.
Tough titties indeed. It’s easy to place Osho and his philosophy, books and discourses, on a pedestal, point to it, and say this is what I love, while living in denial of Rajneeshpuram. So I hone in further. Of course, no one has answers to what really happened. It’s a classic Zen-master koan of a muddle. Any stance anybody takes only reveals their bias, and there are many shades of it. Still, behind all the babble erupting in homes, cafes, and on social media, I can hear the call:
Draw near, draw near, draw near, draw near
And I will whisper in your ear
A name whose radiance
Makes the spheres to dance:
And so, behind the muddle, lies the answer to this beautiful mystery of cosmic attraction that brings newer and newer people to Osho, in the Wild Wild Here and Now:
It’s in the second verse of this soulful song, composed by Swami Anubhava in the hazy peaks of Poona 1. Sung in the monsoons of July, on a Guru Purnima Day in the late 1970s:
Just one glimpse
Of a real man standing there
We are love, love, love, love,
Love, love, love, love, love
Niyam Bhushan is inspired by Osho to make the world more beautiful, more intelligent, and more creative through Niyam’s specialization in design. He works, consults, and trains in User-Experience (UX) Design, and in Design-Think. He is also a writer, author, editor, and a public speaker. designrev.in – niyam.com – fb.com/niyam.bhushan.7 – twitter.com/niyambhushan
More about this docuseries on Osho News
Also read the reviews written by other contributors to Osho News:
Wild Wild Country – by Roshani
WWC: Wired, Wired Country – by Dhiren
WWC: A footprint in consciousness – by Purushottama
WWC: The bottom-line – by Bhagawati
WWC: Zen cowboys in the naked city – by Harp