A special kind of birthday

Letters / Opinions

Damini writes about Osho’s birthday and his impact on humanity.

Osho banner Jabalpur festival
Banner for events on 11th December
Shiv Mani (drummer) banner
Dignitaries at Osho Mahotsav 2019
Japalpur credit Ageh Bharti
Osho banner Jabalpur
Decoration at Jabalpur festival
Osho Manotsav daytime
Visitors milling around
Speech
Speech 2
Resting
Clebrating Osho at Jabalpur festival
Queues
Auditorium
Osho Manotsav night

Photos: thanks to Kul Bhushan and Ageh Bharti

It’s Osho’s birthday today. And it is a special kind of a birthday.

For the first time in history, Osho’s home state in India, #MadhyaPradesh, is celebrating its rebellious son.

The Department of Spirituality’s MP Sarkar has organised a three-day festival in Jabalpur with meditations, talks and performances by many artist friends of Osho.

Osho is the first spiritual globalist of our times. I’d be happy to be corrected, but in my understanding so far, none of his contemporaries in the 20th century have innovated upon the spiritual teachings and created meditation practices based on the wisdom traditions around the world.

The gurus from India who went westwards offered teachings from the Indian traditions. To clarify, this is NOT to criticise them. I am a deep disciple of the Indian mystic traditions myself.

But this son of India in the 1970s-80s started a wave in the world that could be called the first #globalsprituality, a precursor for the 21st century, The Age of Internet.

Osho hails from a small village near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. His whole education happened in the village schools, in Jabalpur and then Sagar University, MP. No studies even in the educational hubs of the times, even within India. No Calcutta, no Bombay, no Madras, no Doon, no Simla, no Ajmer, not even Delhi. Nope.

With his considerably simple background, Osho took a radically global vision on spiritual practices. Throwing open the doors to Truth traditions from all world cultures. Zen, Sufi, Christian Mystics, Indonesian Mystics, Ancient Shamans, Chinese Tao, and of course, the wide ambit of all kinds of spiritually diverse paths within India – Yoga, Tantra, Vedanta, Folk… – you name it, you’ll find him speaking on it.

This, by all accounts was radical. And, of course, it had its own drawbacks, it attracted criticism from the Gurus of the traditions: of watering down the precepts, making them too accessible, too… easy come, easy go.

That was during the 1970s-80s. This is nearly 2020. Where every knowledge is google-able. Every wisdom capsule is a 15 seconder. Everything is easy come, easy go. And everything is global. From the computer I am writing on, to the mobiles you are likely reading this on, to the app I am posting on.

In this. Now. Comes the time of perhaps our world’s first #GlobalistMystic – a wise rebel – much ahead of his times.

The celebration on his birthday by his home state is a mere sign of things to come. Keep watching, “…the circus,” as he’d say!

“Seriousness is sickness, it is not a device. It leads to death, not to eternal life. Life is playfulness, fun, because the whole existence is a tremendous circus.

“It is all fun – all the colors of the flowers, so many beautiful animals, birds, clouds, and for no purpose; they don´t serve any purpose. There is no goal to life. Life is a play unto itself. It is sheer abundance of energy, overflowing energy…”

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol 3, Ch 21

In Delight,

Damini

Photos thanks to Kul Bhushan and friends

Damini

Damini is an award-winning filmmaker and photographer and facilitates immersive storytelling and meditation groups. daminijosh.comfacebook.comyoutube.comtwitter.com

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