Remembering Osho on his Mahaparinirvana Day

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On the occasion of Mahaparinirvana Day this year, Anand Arun writes about his experiences in a meditation camp conducted by Osho in Dwarka, Gujarat, in October 1969.

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Osho with black hat

On the very first day Osho said, “All the Hindus say that the soul is immortal, but nobody has experienced it, it is only a concept, an idea borrowed from the scriptures. One enlightened person is enough to enlighten a whole village.”

Three decades have passed since my master Osho left his body at his Pune Ashram in India on January 19, 1990, and today is his Mahaparinirvana Day. The day he dropped his body and his consciousness merged with his existence. When a person attains enlightenment and becomes liberated, that day is called his nirvana day but even after attaining nirvana he remains in the body due to his past karmas and sanskaras. He works for the upliftment of human consciousness and makes connections with the people. A part of his energy is also engaged in maintaining the body and body-related relationship and work. Even though he is liberated from all his worldly attachments and bondages, a master is still not totally free because his consciousness remains confined or centred with the body. But once the master drops his body, he becomes totally free and the Buddha has coined a very beautiful word for this. He has called this state as Mahaparinirvana – the ultimate freedom.

Osho has mentioned that remaining in the body was an imprisonment for him and he sometimes felt suffocated. Once the master drops his physical body his energy becomes totally free and available for a disciple, his consciousness becomes one with the existence and then only he becomes all powerful and universal in the true sense.

On this day of his Mahaparinirvana, I remember the incidents of the first meditation retreat that I took with Osho which changed my life forever.

On the evening of March 29, 1969, Osho returned to Jabalpur from Patna by the Toofan Mail Express. I had first met Osho in Patna and had heard his lecture for the first time. After hearing his fiery words filled with wisdom and rebellion, Osho – who was then known as Acharyashree – left a great impact on my youthful mind and I started writing letters to him. My life was filled with questions and was full of problems; I started writing about my personal situation to Acharya and he used to reply with beautiful handwritten letters. They used to be short, but filled with guidance and messages for me. In one of his letters he wrote, “Meditation is the only solution to your problem. From meditation, you will get spiritual energy and when this energy overflows, it will clear all the obstacles and solve your problems. There will be a meditation camp at Dwarka in October, if you can manage then come so that you can meditate and we can talk in detail.”

Traveling long distances alone in India at that time was not so easy for a young boy from Nepal. So I requested some of my friends to go with me, but nobody was ready for that. I half-heartedly returned home to Kathmandu for Dashain holidays. Still, there was a strong force that was pulling me towards Osho. I could not enjoy the festivals at home, rather I seemed to become more anxious. I finally decided to travel to Dwarka alone. As soon as I made the decision, I felt a strong energy arising within me. As usual at festival times, it is very difficult to get a reservation on the trains, but for some reason I easily got a reservation! I was surprised to find many people on the journey who were very helpful and friendly. It felt as if their existence was helping me and wanted me to reach my destination. After a long journey, I reached Dwarka in Gujarat. It was the month of October in 1969.

I was thrilled to be there. Dwarka is at the mouth of the Gulf of Kutch and faces the Arabian Ocean and the venue of the camp was ideally right next to the sea. Ocean is both my delight and weakness. Even today whenever I go near it, I feel a certain mysterious aloneness and inner bliss. My futile ego surrenders in front of the widespread endless ocean and I feel inner silence, peace and elevation.

Osho Meditation Camp Many thousand years ago, Dwarika was ruled by Krishna and it was his favourite place for leisure. The background of the Arabian sea, and above all the mystical presence of Osho took my consciousness to newer realms. The meditations on the sandy beaches of the sea triggered a deep transformation within me, and turned the whole course of my life.

Osho’s presence, his discourse and meditation on the art of dying took us into a deep inner awareness of undying. Later, the discourses given in that camp were published as a book called Mein Mrityu Sikhata Hun [And Now, And Here, Vol 1].

Most of the participants in the camp were from Gujarat and Maharashtra. I was the only one who was from outside India. For the first time I found myself in the company of open, friendly and happy meditators, free from all hypocrisies and social conditionings. Although I was far away from home, I had never felt so much at home in my entire life.

On the very first day Osho said, “All the Hindus say that the soul is immortal, but nobody has experienced it, it is only a concept, an idea borrowed from the scriptures. One enlightened person is enough to enlighten a whole village.”

He further said:

“As the presence of a beautiful woman changes the ambience of a room, as a blooming flower can change the surrounding by its fragrance, similarly an enlightened soul can totally transform the spirit of a place. There are more than 10 million traditional sannyasins and ascetics in India and most of them claim themselves to have realized the divine. All of them have their own ways to attract people by going through various self torturing practices and austerities. This is not meditation, but rather a religious circus. The country would not have been in such a mess if there were 10 million enlightened beings. These are not saints but they are all hypocrites hiding in the garb of a monk. In fact it’s all because of them, we are poor and losing our morality. It is because of them that young and educated people are losing interest in religion.

“Ordinary people are not to be blamed because they have been the same all the time. If there is anything wrong then it is because of so-called saints and ascetics. They go on saying that they will change everyone’s character and make people more moral, but they don’t know that this is next to impossible. Common people will remain the same. If we are to change the world then a few people are enough. And they have to go through an intense transformation that can be the centre of a revolution, and can guide millions of souls. That’s why I only need one hundred such people. If these people can reach the heights of consciousness then the rest of humanity will not remain the same.”

His words echoed through the beach.

“Gurdjieff and Vivekananda used to say, ‘If I get one hundred true, dedicated meditators, I will change the course of time.’ But they could not get hundreds of such people and had to die in frustration. I also need one hundred such people, but I am not going to die like them. I will travel to each and every place, I will look into the eyes of each and every one, and if I find anybody that has the potential, I will pull him out of all the bondages of life and put all my effort and capacity into transforming them. If you have courage and strength then come to me I will reveal to you that secret beyond life and death.”

I was completely moved by the fiery words of the Acharya. It shook me to my core. His words were not just words but carried great energy and vitality and they pierced my psyche like arrows of fire. After the lecture, everything inside me was in a tremor as if something had arisen in me. All night I couldn’t sleep and remained in an ecstatic energy and was shivering due to the overflow of energy within me. In the morning I wrote a note and gave it to the Acharya that became the foundation of my new life. I wrote to him, “Acharyashree, now you only need to search for 99 people, one has arrived.”

Fifty one years have passed since that day when I gave that note to my master, but the revolution that the young Acharya had created in me is as alive and burning and will remain with me until the day I breathe my last. On this day of his Mahaparinirvana I pay my highest respect to my master and thank him for creating this revolution in me and changing my life forever.

Small meditation camp image by Osho News

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Anand Arun

Anand Arun is the founder and coordinator of Osho Tapoban – an international commune and forest retreat centre in Nepal – and the author also of ‘In Wonder With Osho’ and ‘Lone Seeker Many Masters’. tapoban.cominwonderwithosho.com

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