In Memory of Osho’s disciple Yog Chinmaya: Bodhichitta’s spiritual journey at his feet & Bhagawati’s visit to his commune in Bageshwar.
Living together with Yoga Chinmaya – by Bodhicitta
Relax into your being –
stop doing so much –
live in non-duality.”
These words are his last words to me in April 2019. He was Osho to me since I met him in January 1986 in Kathmandu. He said then, “I can offer you intimacy, Bodhicitta.” Carolyn and I tore up our return tickets to America, moved to the Pokhara commune, and have lived with Chinmaya-ji for most of the last 34 years. 10 years ago, I asked him, “Swamiji, when you answer me, how much is you and how much is Osho?” He answered, “There is no one here, it is all Osho.”
Swamiji was a different mirror to each person. These are Bodhicitta’s recollections. When Pune 1 disbanded, he asked Osho, “Where should I go?” Osho said, “Go home.” Chinmaya said, “Where is my home?”
He traveled around India and Nepal collecting the small group who became loyal to him and have remained with him for 40 years, to this day. They bought some land in Pokhara, Nepal and started a small commune there, Osho Teerth. Osho called him and his fellow travelers back to Pune in 1987, saying that he did not have long to live and they should be in his presence.
After Osho left his body, Chinmaya proposed starting the Osho Neo-Yoga Institute in Pune; his plan was a program to move people from the fourth body to the fifth body. His conditions were that he should choose who was acceptable to the program, and that half the people should be on scholarship because most of the Indians could not afford Resort prices. The inner circle rejected his request. He told me, “They do not understand me here.”
A couple of weeks later he and Swami Krishna Saraswati, his personal secretary of forty years, asked me and Carolyn to move to the Himalayas with them. It was an instant YES. A new community was started in Bageshwar, Uttaranchal. Between 20 and 30 of us lived there full-time. Hundreds of devotees from all over India, Europe, America, and Japan would circulate through. Chinmaya kept an increasingly private profile. He forbade any photos to be taken of him in the last 20 years. He asked that no mention be made of him or us in Osho publications. He never tape-recorded any of his talks nor published any of his remarks.
I remember when around the year 2000 a visitor asked him how Osho’s work in the world was going, he said, “Osho’s work is going fantastically. 90% of it does not have an Osho label on it!”
The visitor reproached him for not leading camps and being a public figure the way several other prominent sannyasins were. He said, “What we are doing in Bageshwar is supporting the meditation of 90 million people around the planet. You cannot understand what is happening.” He said that the forces that destroyed the commune and Osho were still active in the world, and that the esoteric work would continue to be conducted telepathically amongst those who are able to access it. It is unhackable.
In about 2002, on a rooftop in Munsyari (about 100 km northeast of Bageshwar), he said to Carolyn and me, “Osho is as available today as both a continuous energy and a moment-to-moment guiding intelligence, as he was when he was in the body. It is our receptivity that determines how much we receive.”
His main methods were:
Living together with us.
Sitting with us at lunch and dinner and for an hour or more after each meal. We would sit in silence in a circle. Occasionally someone would ask a question.
We would either listen to or watch Osho discourses every other night.
Individual meetings, sometimes several hours long, when we requested them and he thought us ready.
He also loved to travel around the Himalayas and would pack us in the van for short trips to view sunsets and sunrises, local beauty spots and places where enlightened teachers had lived. There were 2 to 4-week long trips through to Tibet, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Assam and Kashmir. He had no tolerance for spiritual ego trips and would find ways, devices, that would allow people on the trip to leave of their own volition. He took no sides in the political squabbles amongst Osho people. He would often show us videos and discuss other enlightened Masters. Anandamurti was his favorite. He also commented on and shared with us Krishnamurti, Meher Baba, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Tony Parsons, Gurdjieff and Neem Karoli Baba, to name a few.
Around 2015 he moved to Delhi, and then to Goa because of his declining health. Hundreds of sannyasins from around the globe continued to visit him though he became increasingly physically inaccessible. In 2016 he picked me up at the airport, and on the way home to the house he said to me, “I am just a happening and you are just a happening, Bodhicitta. There is nobody here.”
He said to me in a meeting that the costume and the mala and the club of sannyasins were no longer necessary for Osho to be spread in the world. He made it clear that the transmission, the attunement and synchronization of energy with other people was the essential transmission. That the words, thoughts and understanding came later and did not necessarily require a Pledge of Allegiance to Osho.
The next year I asked him if I was enlightened; he replied “Perhaps, perhaps not.” This is my koan.
This spring I was preoccupied with the world situation, both domestically and internationally. I sent word to him about my concern.
Wake up into no-mind
hence all thoughts and concepts disappear –
they are the source of the problem.”
Visiting Yog Chinmaya in Bageshwar – by Bhagawati
More than a decade ago, during one of our holidays in North India, we had our base in Papersali, Santosh and Amrita’s then home in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the region of Uttarakhand. The following is an excerpt from my travel notes.
One afternoon while we leisurely hang out on the porch of their house, we see a man coming up the hill who looks vaguely familiar. One can see far from where we sit on the verandah. It turns out to be American Bodhicitta, a friend from India days long past who now lives in Bageshwar in a community of about twenty people who have gathered around Yog Chinmaya, ‘Swamiji’. He insists we must come and visit.
After some days we decide to visit the sannyasin community in Bageshwar before we leave. Manooj, a friend from Lucknow who is visiting Santosh and Amrita as well, will come with us. ‘Us’ is Anatto, his sister Romina, and me.
The incredibly versatile and well-connected Mr. Tara who owns the only shop in the Papersali area and stocks an interesting melee of goods as well as offering a wide range of services, arranges for a taxi van and a driver. Surprisingly this road is in rather good condition with very few menacing vehicles around. The driver’s rear-view mirror is festooned with a parrot and a bell that tinkles during the entire ride; whenever the car goes through an uneven spot (about every five seconds) the bell hits the parrot on its head; this is quite mesmerizing.
Descending from 2,000 to 1,000 meters altitude, we pass lush green valleys and terraced fields, sparsely populated. The few small villages consist of houses precariously stuck to hill sides, white-washed with windows and doors painted a dark blue.
After 2,5 hours we come to a stop at the small Rajneesh Ashram; a cleanly-lined unfussy grey building perched on a hill. We walk up through a beautiful small garden displaying an abundance of dahlias and roses – and receive a cheerful welcome from so many old friends, Indian sannyasins; they line up to hugs us.
After we admire the impeccable premises that Nirvesh guides us through, we get to see Yog Chinmaya – Swamiji. He too embraces us warmly, and we then sit down and talk. The energy feels loving and gentle, he smiles a lot and speaks for a long time to us; he lines out how we need to redefine the mind, creativity, reality even, and the soul; to see the interplanetary, to remember Osho (only visited planet Earth…). I sense he is well versed in the Sumerian Anunnaki stories and their past and future impact on all of us.
We are offered an exquisite meal which is taken more or less in silence by the entire community together. Later Bodhicitta shows us the impressive agricultural part; the community is largely self-sufficient with vegetables and has its own water source from a mountain spring. The property has a superb view over the river valley. As we leave, Romina falls flat on her butt before getting into the taxi. She giggles and says she feels intoxicated. And indeed we are all in high spirits.