Chapter 21 from Laherubhai’s book ‘Blessed Moments with Osho’, about a special one-day-only sannyas initiation during the camp at Matheran.

Matheran Regal Hotel

A meditation camp was organized at Regal Hotel, Matheran, near Mumbai from January 8, 1972 to January 16, 1972. The subject of the camp was ‘Sarvasaar Upanishad’. In the camp, almost eight hundred to one thousand seekers had come to participate from all over the country.

Osho’s stay and that of other friends was arranged in the Regal Hotel. One evening Osho was sitting in an easy chair on the verandah outside his room. We gathered and sat around him. Then some friends raised the matter of my sannyas again, but I did not have any desire or feeling to take sannyas.

In the initial days, when I had heard Osho, he was talking against and criticizing sannyas and other such things. I was also afraid because of my family and society. I was fond of wearing colourful clothes, too. Because of all these reasons, though my friends kept insisting that I take sannyas ever since the Manali camp, I kept avoiding it.

But at the Matheran camp, these friends made me literally cry in front of Osho. Everybody started saying, “You are so close to Osho; it does not look good if you do not take sannyas.” They all loved me so much that I could not say anything. When Osho saw me crying he said to the friends, “Don’t make him cry.”

Next day, on January 14, 1972, in the morning sitting of the camp, it was announced by Chinmayji, in Osho’s presence, that the friends who could not have courage to wear orange or white clothes could wear any clothes of their choice. However, they would have to wear the mala with the locket having Osho’s picture so that it could be seen by people, and the people taking sannyas from Osho in this manner would be addressed as Sadhak and Sadhika.

As Chinmayji announced this, I immediately went in front of Osho with my mala and gave it into Osho’s hands. Osho put the mala around my neck, and as a Sadhak gave me a new name, ‘Sadhak Anand Sagar’.

Immediately after that, Bagmarji, Sarita and another hundred to one hundred and fifty people took sannyas from Osho as Sadhaks and Sadhikas. The number of people taking sannyas increased so much that we fell short of malas. (After the Manali camp many people took sannyas from Osho every day. Laxmi, Ishwarbhai and I kept malas for sannyas ready, so that we could make them available to Osho immediately, when needed.)

Osho gave sannyas as Sadhaks and Sadhikas for one day and the next day he stopped giving such sannyas. At that time, I felt that Osho was so benevolent to me, that he had made all that arrangement only for me.

Review by Tarpan: ‘Blessed Moments with Osho’

Available as a hardbound book directly from the author: laheru.shah@gmail.com

LaheruLaherubhai (aka Chaitanya Sagar, Laherchand B. Shah) was born in August 1938. At the age of 28, in 1967, he met Osho. He has been running his own business in Mumbai and Osho insisted he continue his job, along with meditation, and asked him to remain in ‘the market place’. In the same building as his office, he and other Osho friends started the first meditation centre. Laherubhai lives in one of Mumbai’s busiest districts.

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