Nirbija wondered if our shouting “Osho!” is a bridge to the Master. He did some research that resulted in insights he wants to share.
Seeds are the very stuff evolution is made of. “One seed can make the whole earth green,” is one of Osho’s encouraging messages. He often compares himself with a gardener and his sannyasins as his garden.
In one of his early Hindi discourses he talks about masters using special words as a seed to be planted in the disciple. Why? So they can use them as a bridge to connect with their master once he is no longer in the body. I remember Osho promising that he will not leave us before the seeds of awareness, love, meditation will have sprouted in us. When in 1989 he knew that he would soon leave his body, he possibly used the word ‘Osho’ as a shout to create a last tool for our transformation.
I wanted to find a discourse where Osho speaks about the spiritual meaning of a master’s name. I had been pained by the fact that these days a trademarked clone word “OSHO®” is in the hands of lawyers, not lovers. I was in search of something that could show us the inner value of the master’s name and found it in a discourse translated from Hindi. It is this enlightening quote from Osho’s talk on Krishna to an Indian audience: How can a disciple connect to a disembodied master?
“… a statue, an icon works as an esoteric bridge between the disciple and his departed master’s soul, his spirit. In the same way an awakened master’s name can be used as an esoteric bridge, provided the name is received in a meditative state. If a competent master transmits a symbolic word to his disciple, who is in a meditative state, the word becomes alive with esoteric energy. And when the disciple remembers it rightly, chants it, his whole consciousness is transformed. Such words are called beej shabda or seed words, and they are packed with something subtle, sublime…”
Has such an esoteric name transmission happened after thousands of years to us sannyasins? Is there a special period with Osho in the body, where he probably applied this esoteric tool? The shout “Osho!” marks the precise five-month period between August 1989 till his leaving the body in January 1990. I remember these intense times of our last face-to-face meetings with Osho. I taste that blissful energy again that filled the evening meditation gatherings. It was so inwardly. Just as a hypothesis, let us assume this could have been the time when Osho was sowing his name into our hearts.
From May 1989 on, Osho no longer spoke publicly. He would come to the “Gathering of the 10 000 Buddhas” in silence. We welcomed him to special music and sat with him. Seeing Osho on the podium vitally swaying his arms to the frantic drum rhythm, I did not suspect that our master would depart within months. But he knew. It is said about Buddha that months before his death he gave the teaching, “Be a light unto yourself” to his sangha to enable the disciples to cope with his leaving the body. Could Osho have given us his name as a codeword to help us? Was there more than meets the eye?
“If Krishna’s name is really your seed word, it means that it has been sown in the innermost depth of your psyche when you were in a meditative state and that the necessary suggestions have been associated with it. Remember, a seed is always sown in such a way – it lies underground for a while and then alone it sprouts and grows into a tree, which is always above the ground. Such words are pregnant with immense possibilities. […] But an empty word won’t do; it has to be charged with a master’s energy, it must be a seed word. A seed word is one that is implanted in the innermost depth of your unconscious in such a way that its very remembrance can bring about a mutation in you.“
Yes, we were in a meditative state during these precious evening meetings. And yes, we shouted the word “Osho!” in his presence with such mind-blowing enthusiasm!
Already the year before, out of a joke and playful episode with Niskriya, his cameraman, a shout of the assembly in Buddha Auditorium had developed. Osho danced with us on the podium and at the peak of the music it culminated in our shouting out “Yahoo!” full-heartedly.
Then in August 1989 a surprising message from him changed this format. The evening meditation should now be called “Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood” (add mentally: …and Sisterhood). Everyone to attend was to wear a white robe. It was then that the shouting of “Osho!” developed. The word ‘Osho’ was not directed to the Master as a person. It was more like a divine sound sent up by us into the universe. I felt it as an opening and my mind could not cope with the intensity. We were so open, energetically connected with him in those nights in Buddha Hall.
Just as a creative and healing visualization, we can imagine that he planted precious seeds in these last evening meditations. How to find words for something so invisible?
I reviewed some videos of the “Meeting of the White Robe Brotherhood” to refresh my memory. What from the outside may look like mass hypnosis was for all of us present a chance to jump out of our minds and become a witness. In Osho’s last public appearance in the historic must-see video “The Last Namaste” (Jan. 17, 1990, available as DVD from Osho World and can be watched on Vimeo) the music peaks about every 20 seconds. It leads us to a shout of “Osho!” of an intensity that now only video footage can document. Visually, he was not gently trickling out the seeds but ploughing them with force deep into the recesses of our hearts. After every musical climax, he threw his folded hands down towards us while we danced with upraised arms sitting before him. Thousands of us shouting “Osho”! It was heard for miles in Koregaon Park, the Meditation Resort’s neighbourhood.
That night, before the Master left the podium for the very last time, he gave us all a hardly visible, immensely loving Osho smile! Then the camera kept slowly panning across the audience: radiant, deeply silent faces like “… a lake of consciousness without ripples.” These are the faces of the ‘New Man’. The remembrance of Osho in these meetings has become so precious to me. What a privilege to belong to a sangha that is capable of such a splendorous flowering. Even if we are just a tiny part of humanity, our meditation continues to nourish silence, awareness and compassion. This seed can make the whole earth green. And the shout “Osho” continues in the evening meditations. We can walk the bridge over to the Master any time.
Quotes by Osho from Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Ch 13, Q1 (translated from Hindi)
Featured image from Oshodham
Note: A particularly beautiful video to download is from late 1989 where Osho blesses and sprinkles rose petals on the Japanese enlightened woman mystic Tamo-San.
German-born Nirbija took sannyas in 1978 in Pune and lived for many years in Osho’s communes. He is currently enjoying the ‘forest stage’ of life close to the bubbling Parimal sannyas community in Witzenhausen, with his fellow traveller Ingeborg. He participates in facilitating Osho’s meditations and regularly visits Italy to nourish his love for creative arts and everyday humour, fancies growing plants from seeds and is a dedicated tomato expert.