Three excerpts from Anando’s newly-published book, Osho: Intimate Glimpses.
Can you say something about the last nine months Osho was in the body?
On 10 April 1989, Osho had just started a new series of talks on Zen. But after he left Buddha Hall that night, he told Shunyo, ‘I am not going to be speaking anymore. Something happened to me tonight. Something broke; some connection broke in my body.’ When he repeated this to me as he ate his supper that night, I didn’t understand what he was talking about. He said, ‘I am not going to be talking anymore.’ I was very surprised, because he had just started a new series of talks. But, in fact, that was his last public talk. So that last discourse was not intended to be the last. People make a big thing about it; as if that discourse is something special—that Osho had known it was to be the last. But that was not so. It was only at the end of that discourse, as he stood up to leave, that something happened, he said, in his body.
That was in April—just on nine months before he left the body. Many years later, I found a talk he had given in the 1960s, in one of the Yoga books, when he said that somebody who is aware and enlightened feels something disconnect in the body nine months before they die, and they know then that they only have nine months left to live. He said it depends on how long they were in the womb. If they were in the womb for eight-and-a-half months, then eight-and-a-half months before they leave the body this disconnection will happen. It happens to everybody apparently, but only an aware person can feel it.
Before a person dies, almost exactly near about nine months before, something happens. Ordinarily we are not aware, because we are not aware at all, and the phenomenon is very subtle. I say almost nine months because it differs. It depends: the time between the conception and the birth will be the time. If you were born after nine months being in the womb, then nine months. If you were born after being ten months in the womb, then ten months. If you were born after seven months in the womb, then seven months. It depends on the amount of time between the time of conception and birth. Exactly the same time before death, something clicks in the hara, in the navel center. It has to click because between the conception and birth there was a gap of nine months: nine months you took for birth; exactly the same time will be taken for death. As you prepared nine months in the mother’s womb for birth, you will have to prepare nine months to die. Then the circle will be complete. Something in the navel center happens. Those who are aware, they will immediately know that something has broken in the navel center; now death is coming closer. Approximately nine months.
So Osho knew that he only had nine months left in the body. It was in those nine months—I don’t think people are aware of this—that he created the concept for how his work and the Resort would continue.
Although he was no longer giving discourses, he worked very hard. He gave instructions for what we would wear—the maroon robes (for everyday activities in the Resort), the white robes (for the evening meditation), and the black robes for the therapists (those leading courses in the Multiversity). He created the Multiversity with all its faculties—Therapy, Healing, Mysticism, Centering, etc. Before that, there was just a group department. He devised the three-day meditation camps and designed the black pyramid buildings with blue glass which are the newer buildings in the Resort.
In the beginning—in 1974—Pune had been an ashram. Soon after, the ashram became a commune, a concept Osho loved very much. When we went to America, the commune concept was kept, but was massively expanded, so the ranch became a city—we created our very own city. When we came back to Pune in 1987, it was again a commune. But the problem with a commune, Osho said, is that people get dependent on it, and the commune faces difficulties financially when it has to support thousands of people. It is not financially feasible for the commune to feed and house them all.
In response to that reality, Osho created the concept of a spiritual resort, where people would come and go. They would come for as long as they could afford, and then go back home. On 19 May 1989, he dictated a message to me to deliver in Buddha Hall, explaining this concept, and also outlining his vision for the birth of the resort. I read the message aloud to everyone there—‘he says we are going to have black pyramids with blue glass, we are going to have a swimming pool, tennis courts, discotheque, and a cappuccino bar’. Everybody roared with laughter because it was so far away from what was in existence at the time; it was like a dream. Yet that’s what happened. He created the whole vision of the resort in those nine months. It was in that period that he basically established the mechanism for his work to continue in the future after he left the body.
Osho also had the samadhi built in those nine months, and on 17 November 1989, he gave me the wording to go on it: ‘Osho. Never born, never died, only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931—…’ I remember when he dictated those words, I looked up at him and asked, ‘Can you see the tip of your nose?’—because he had once said that when you can’t see the tip of your nose anymore, you’re dying. He just chuckled. He pretended this new room was to be his bedroom, but actually it was clear he was building a samadhi. It was a magnificent creation, a beautiful marble and glass bedroom, and the most wonderful bathroom. He moved in there when it was finished, in September 1989, only for two weeks—I guess just to give it some energy—and then he moved back to his old bedroom, which he loved so much.
In his old bedroom, there was a very small veranda on one side, and the previous year we had decided to glass it in, air-condition it, and make a little art studio for him because he made such beautiful paintings. He only used it once for painting. Shunyo and I were there with him, and she had brought him an airbrush to try out. He had such fun with that airbrush—he got more paint on Shunyo and me than on the paper. Then he said he wanted to move into the studio. Asheesh made a bed for him, and I think he was there for six months or so before moving back to his old bedroom. He called it his little hut. It was completely surrounded by garden, and just outside was his favorite tree—the Himalayan almond tree, which became magical in autumn when the sun shone through its red leaves.
The last months he was in the body, however, he didn’t even look at the garden anymore. He had all the blinds closed. The room was always dark. He said that we would all get to the point where we don’t need to look out anymore. [p. 64-68]
Why did Osho always have women in positions of responsibility?
It is true that Osho gave a lot of attention and power to women. He said women had been under male domination for centuries. So he put women in charge everywhere. He explained that feminine energy—loving, supportive and nurturing energy—was needed in the world, and that kind of energy needed to be more in charge. Mind you, many of the women he chose to be in charge were not really what you would call soft, feminine women [laughs], but what to do….
Anyway, from the moment he left the body, the men took over, and now it is all men at the top of the organizations he set up.
His concept, as I understood it, is that femininity is an essential quality in creating, nurturing, managing and maintaining, and therefore an essential quality in a work environment. It’s also essential in supporting people to be creative. He always said that work in his communes should be made available so that everyone could contribute, that everybody should be supported to contribute what they could. The feminine energy helps that. The male energy is more goal-oriented—cut to the chase, get to the point. The female energy is more about the journey.
In Osho’s library corridor there is a large book open at the flyleaf where Osho has written in big letters, ‘The journey is the goal’. I walked past ‘The journey is the goal’ so many times, always in a hurry, so many things to do, and I never saw it. One day I suddenly saw it. It pulled me up short. I realized that I was always focusing on the goal, and missing the journey of getting there. I also realized that, as a result, I had often overlooked the qualities of other people. If they weren’t right there with me, thinking the same way I was thinking, thinking as fast as I was thinking, I would tend to dismiss people, cut them out.
I realized how wrong that was, how I had missed the whole richness of the journey and the magic of all the different things that people contribute—qualities that I didn’t have. So that was a wonderful insight for me. [p. 132-133]
Did Osho leave something like a will?
Osho left no will as far as either Neelam or I are aware. He had nothing to leave. He didn’t own anything of value. Amrito told me that as Osho was going around his room on the day he left the body, after he designated a couple of things to go to certain people, he said, ‘Anando will take care of the rest.’
[Editor’s note: This comment is added later, after the initial interview:] I understand that a supposed Will of Osho has surfaced in a court case in the last few years—some twenty-three years after Osho left the body. I am not familiar with all the facts, but it puzzles me. Clearly the signature on it was not from the date Osho supposedly signed it, as the signature is the same as his signature in the seventies, and when the Will was supposedly signed (1989) his signature was very different. You only have to look at the books he signed and dated in 1989 to see that. When challenged on this by handwriting experts, the people who produced the Will apparently admitted that it was a manufactured copy. I read in the newspaper that they claimed the original will had been torn up by Osho’s caretaker, Nirvano. However, Nirvano had moved out of Osho’s house, and the job of caring for him, more than nine months before the Will was supposedly made, so would not have had access to Osho’s room. Also, Osho’s caretakers and cleaner check his cupboard daily, and none of us ever saw any papers there. And if the Will had been somewhere else, then presumably it would have been noticed that it was torn up. Nirvano left her body more than a month before Osho, so if she did tear it up, there was plenty of time to create a new Will for Osho to sign. [p. 133-134]
Osho quoted from Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 8, Ch 1