Rashid writes about a daunting episode that he experienced at the Resort in Pune.
It’s possible to graft onto one wild apple stock many different kinds of apples – for cooking and eating and cider, for late and early cropping, for freshness at harvesting and staying power in storage – the possibilities are endless. There are in fact over 7000 known apple varieties.
I was recently in Pune city on book business. For many years I had lived there while Osho was in the body. The ashram has my heart and soul, tears, sweat and blood in it and I was not moved to visit. But the invitation of old friends prevailed. Just before Christmas I paid my 2100 Indian rupees and walked, wondering, into that blessed landscape; one so deeply etched into my being.
It had been a long time. Ahh these marble paths, these black-painted walls, the smiles and the arms of the waiting friends – old timers both – but where were the shade-giving trees, the roof over Buddha Hall, the maroon-robed throngs? I was in awe, almost wordless. Hugging, being hugged.
Here – as we stand outside the main office – striding along comes a well-known white-locked, white-bearded figure. We took sannyas around the same time more than 40 years ago; we had little kids who were best friends back then. I break off from the huggers to meet him and we hug. As we pull apart, looking in each other’s eyes, he says, “We don’t wear malas here. Who let you in?”
I step back open-mouthed. I point to the main gate. My mala was under my robe as per instruction at reception. He must have felt it as we hugged.
“Why are you hiding it? Do you think Osho would want you to hide it?”
Eh …? What …? But …. Am I mad or is he…?
If I was speechless before, I am now in shock. Old confusing fears and conditionings (eviction, banishment) mingle with outrage and disbelief. (Who has the right to come between me and my master!) For two more minutes he blisters me with a barrage of words then strides on his purposeful way.
The old timers and I, we had to laugh. And cry. It was painful. Osho is a stock from which a hundred thousand flowers, buds and fruits are growing. This is Osho’s genius, his gift to modern man; he includes the whole universe in a movement of his hand.
He left us no priests, no beliefs and no rules. Each and every sannyasin is connected to Osho directly. It seems to me he respects the infinite variety of our stupidities, and too, of our intelligence. There are a myriad ways to the singular truth of who we are. India has honoured and explored them for millennia. Osho’s people from around the world are exploring all of them. The Way of understanding – jnani – and the Way of devotion – bhakti – are fruitful and preeminent. We each must find what works for us. And have the freedom to choose.
There cannot be, there must not be a right way of living Osho’s sannyas. In nature it is crucial for the survival of an ecosystem to have a wide variety of different living organisms – a broad-based biomass pyramid. The variety and richness of Osho’s work and of his people needs to expand – not to be contracted.
So let’s not cut an enormous, fruit-bearing section – bhakti – out of the great tree of Osho’s heritage.
We live in a world that shows advanced signs of illness and Osho was back then prescribing the medication for us now. In such times of crisis people polarise towards extremes – towards the old or the new, no or yes, towards hierarchy or networking, separation or cooperation.
Soon Osho will be just a name, an historical figure (at any rate in the West, though in India he has widespread recognition). For most of us, including those who were graced with the privilege to live and play in his communes, it is clearly understood that Osho’s loving, all-embracing, humanness is what equips him to be the healer of our ailing, troubled world. Does it make any sense to de-humanise him?
Osho’s lovers are not a ‘movement’ but a richly diverse collection of individuals working to realise their own true nature. By this very work the level of universal consciousness is raised. Let spiritual diversity flourish amongst Osho’s people around the world and perhaps humanity will awaken to its own divine, limitless nature: not just survive, but bear wondrous fruit.
Related discourse excerpt on Osho News
Each sannyasin has to be my successor