Dayanand – Bliss of Mercy – One who belongs to the ancient wisdom of India – the story of the times Dayanand came to meet Osho – from the book ‘Past the Point of No Return’, compiled by Bhagawati.
It was 1970 and the Vietnam War was in full bloom; young kids like me were dying in Asia for nothing. I rebelled against everything that moved – I was angry, confused and lost.
At least there was the music I could identify with; I danced, grew my hair long and talked with like-minded friends, hoping for a way out, to find freedom, love.
Then one day my prayers were answered and I was blessed with a very powerful inner experience, an experience that changed my life forever, which turned everything upside down: I saw the light, I met my self, my true self, and I tasted true freedom. That experience unlocked a door to the beyond that would never close again.
After that I craved more, I wanted to live in that space forever. I tried to find other people who had a similar kind of experience; I started reading every spiritual book that I could get my hands on and practiced various meditation techniques. In doing so, I came across the teachings of the East, and especially India with its countless gurus, saints and teachers.
I wanted a teacher, a guru, someone to hold my hand to encourage me, give me tools, someone who knew.
One night I had this dream, this lucid dream; I woke up in the dream, in a totally different reality, the body was sleeping but I was awake. So waking up in this dream I looked down at myself and I had this orange robe on and I didn’t know who I was , I didn’t remember my name. I looked around and I was alone, completely alone, but at peace, at home.
I had read in books about the Indian tradition of swamis and sannyasins wearing orange robes, orange clothes, like in the Paramahansa Yogananda or the Ramakrishna order. I thought maybe I am supposed to become a monk and go to one of the ashrams and don’t ever leave again until I am awake?
As the saying goes, if you really want a master he will find you; and it was clear to me that he would be waiting for me in India.
Meanwhile I was meditating for hours and met some spiritual teachers who passed through; I took a few steps with some, stayed longer with others but I could not commit to any as a disciple. Finally in 1973 while I was working at a center for kids with cerebral palsy, and had just about 900 German Marks in the bank, I knew suddenly that the time had come. I had to go now… this was it… now was the time. I quit my job although it was very satisfying work and I adored those kids, but I had to go.
Two weeks later I boarded the Orient Express in Munich headed for Istanbul. In those days the roads were open from Europe all the way to the magic Orient – Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and finally India. The hippy trail was jammed with seekers and drop-outs. India here I come.
While boarding the train in Munich, I passed a compartment with people in orange clothes. At first I thought they were Hare Krishna followers, but when I looked again, they had long hair and beards just like me and they didn’t look anything like Hare Krishna devotees. I sat down in the compartment next to them, and the next morning when I woke up in Bulgaria I went next door. I was curious and asked them, “Who are you, where are you going, why the orange outfit?”
They answered, “We are going to India, to see our teacher, our Master.” So I wanted to know, “Who is your Master?” They pointed at a small photo of some guy who looked a little chubby and had some flower garland around his neck, saying, “This is our Master, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.”
I had never heard the name before or seen his photo. They said they had been to India before where they had met their Master and were going back there now to see him again.
And I said, “That is interesting, I am going to India too.” We talked and I liked them right away; they where different. I was not attracted to the picture of the guru; I was attracted to the people.
We met again at a hotel in Istanbul and then again on the Asian side where we boarded yet another train; this time I joined their compartment. Somehow I knew those people were from the same tribe, there was a magnet that pulled me to them. I remember at some point in the train they did Dynamic Meditation, jumping up and down, shouting hoo, hoo, hoo, and they did some crazy breathing. Those guys are nuts, I thought – and – I like it.
We talked some more and later they gave me a book to read, ‘I am the Gate’. It was one of the first books that had been published in English from this guru.
When I was reading the first few pages of ‘I am the Gate’ I noticed that there was something very different, very new, something that I hadn’t read or heard before. I couldn’t put my finger on it. And it definitely had its effect. One of the sannyasins, as they called themselves, was crazy Austrian Anandadas, the other one was Shivadas from Berlin and his wife Ananda and another couple. We kept on going, we got closer and closer to each other, and by the time we reached Teheran I thought, I really want to meet this master. “Why don’t I just come along with you, where is he?”
“He is in Bombay,” they said. “OK, let’s go!” I answered. “Well,” they said, ”if you are serious about this, last time we left for Europe he gave us some names and malas to give to anyone who wants to take sannyas and we have one left. You can have it, you can take sannyas. But you have to wait until Afghanistan because you need to have an orange robe; this is one of the conditions – you wear orange-colored clothing, you wear the mala, you use your name. Three conditions and the rest he will tell you.” I said, “OK, alright, I’ll do it, I want it.” It seemed all very simple from the outside but inside I was about to make a huge commitment; I was about to surrender my life and I knew it.
My first orange robe was made by an Afghan tailor; I put it on and it felt very comfortable and I threw away my parka and all my other clothing. And then they gave me sannyas: they gave me the paper with my new name Dayanand Bharati, we did chanting, and kirtan, and now I really wanted to see this Man. I was sincere about it, had never met this guy and I felt yes, and I didn’t know why, this is my Master. I was a sannyasin on 16 April 1973 in Herat, Afghanistan.
Before going to sleep that night I remembered the lucid dream with the orange robe, but now I had a name and I felt almost home.
Before we had been traveling slowly, hanging out here, hanging out there, but all I wanted to do now was go straight to Bombay, just go. I wanted to see him; I did not want to wait. So we crossed Afghanistan, Pakistan and then over to India. I remember I took a conscious step at the border; I took that step very, very consciously. I stood in Pakistan and I made that step into India. Something was beautiful about that, finally I am home. I had been dreaming about it for so long and had been hoping and imagining, and there I was in India. I remember the first restaurant I went to: I ate this dhal, this chili-fire hot dhal, it burned everything inside of me. I was in India, and it was wonderful. Our money of course was going very fast; the other guys had less money than I, so we shared and hitchhiked on the top of trucks to Delhi and then on by third class train to Bombay.
When we arrived in Bombay and took a taxi, the driver asked, “Where are you going?” We said we want to go to see our Master, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. And he said, “Oh, he is giving a discourse tonight in Cross Maidan, a park in the middle of Bombay, I think it is just about right now.” And I said, “Yes; let’s go, take us right there.” He drove us there and it was just starting, people were milling in, there was this huge space fenced in with a stage and we walked in. A few people in orange sitting around in the front were welcoming us like family: they said come on, you are sannyasins, sit up on the stage with Bhagwan, and so we sat up on the stage not knowing what to expect. He was to arrive in about fifteen minutes and then a curtain opened and he walked in and oh my god, oh my god, I was in tears, he was so beautiful, and I felt like yes, yes, I am home, I am home, I found him! He found me! And I was sobbing like a baby just looking at him, he was so clear and I knew him and he was more real than anything I had ever seen. The connection was instant; it was like meeting a long lost beloved friend again after a long, long time. And then I just sat there while he spoke in Hindi and I was in bliss.
The next day we went to Woodlands where he lived on the first floor of this huge apartment building, set on the highest spot of Bombay; a small apartment, a few rooms. I was about to have darshan, meeting the Master eye to eye. I walked in and there he sat smiling at me, I sat down at his feet and bowed my head in surrender … I loved the smell of his scent (I can actually smell it right now) – Haridas was there and he translated for me because my English was very poor in those days – and I took my mala off and I said, please give me sannyas. And he gave me sannyas from his hands. And he said, “Where have you been, I have been waiting for you.” I was in bliss, I was just so grateful.
It wasn’t easy to live in Bombay but we found a place two hours away from the center in Ghat Kopar. Every morning at 4 a.m. we got up and took this Indian train stuffed with people to Bombay to do Dynamic Meditation on Chowpatty Beach which is right in the middle of Bombay, with curious Indians watching us at six in the morning! But I wouldn’t have missed it for anything; I wouldn’t have wanted to change it for anything. That was it, the beginning of my journey with Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, my Master.
The master can only give you certain hints about how to find your path. He can give you certain indications whether you have found it or not, can give you certain criteria to judge whether you are moving towards the goal or away from the goal. But he does not give you guidelines. In the very nature of things, it is not possible.
The moment you have found a master, you have found the path. And who is the master? – not one who fulfills your mind expectations. A Christian mind has Christian expectations, a Hindu mind has Hindu expectations, a Buddhist mind has Buddhist expectations.
A master is one who fulfills the longing of your heart. It has nothing to do with the mind. It is a love affair.
You simply find that you are in love. You simply find that your heart feels at home, at ease, that your heart has found a treasure, feels a tremendous benediction. And as you come closer to the master — in your love, in your trust — your peace deepens; your silence becomes not something dead, the silence of a graveyard, but something singing and dancing, alive.
The more you are moving towards your life’s fulfillment, the more your life becomes a rejoicing, a deep joy for no reason at all, a blissfulness so deep and so abundant that you can start sharing it with others. In fact, you have to share it with others because it is overflowing, you cannot contain it.
Osho, Beyond Enlightenment, Ch 10, Q 1
Excerpted from the book, ‘Past the Point of No Return’, compiled by Bhagawati