There was no guru movement

Letters / Opinions

Nirguna’s letter to Henriette Hanky, the author of the essay, On the Afterlives of the Osho Mala, first published in #gurumedia.


Hello Henriette Hanky,

I read your article On the Afterlives of the Osho Mala in Osho News.

There are some deeper secrets in the mala beyond those things you write about in your article. Osho has talked about it in the early days in Mumbai 1971. Here below is an excerpt from the book, I Am the Gate, Ch 3, Q 1.

It also helps to understand that Osho never was a guru and there was no guru movement. This may sound like a paradox. Yes, it is a paradox. Looked from the outside it seemed to be a guru movement. But looked from the inside it never was.

You write, “In Oshodham, image, video and sound were used to make the absent master present.” The master was always absent, even when he was in his body. Yes, another paradox. So after all it doesn’t matter if there are pictures of Osho everywhere like in Oshodham or there are no pictures like in the Pune ashram. Just outer differences. The absence of Osho is the same as it always was. And only this absence is the real presence.

Chapter title: Occult devices and the spiritual search
18 April 1971 am in Bombay, India

Beloved Osho,

In the last sitting you spoke about the mala, about changing the color of the clothing, about changing the name, and the reason for these things. Why do you wish your own picture to be worn around the neck, especially when you deny being an guru?

I deny being a guru, but I do not deny your being a disciple. One should never be a guru, but discipleship is something without which nothing is possible. And when there is no guru, then discipleship is something inner – an inner discipline. Both these words come from the same root. ‘Discipleship’ means a mind which is ready to seek, search, learn – a mind which is open and vulnerable. So I deny being a guru, but I do not deny your being a disciple.

Another point… the mala with a picture has so many reasons behind it. One, the picture is not mine. Had it been mine, I would have hesitated to put it there. No one would be courageous enough to put his own picture. Everyone would think of putting it there, but no one would put it there. The picture only appears as mine, it is not. No picture of me is possible really. The moment one knows himself, one knows he is something which cannot be depicted, described, framed. I exist as an emptiness which cannot be pictured, which cannot be photographed. That is why I could put the picture there.

Two or three things more are to be understood. The more you know that picture, the more you concentrate on it, the more you come in tune with it, then the more you will feel what I am saying. The more you concentrate on it, the more there will not be any picture. But this is something you will have to do to know. In the evening meditations, concentrate on me for forty minutes without closing your eyelids even for a single moment. Those who concentrate for forty minutes continuously come to know so many times that I am not there. The place becomes empty and vacant. And unless one knows this, he has not been able to concentrate.

So this picture is given to you for some meditation. The more you will go into meditation, the more you will know that the locket is empty, and once in concentration with this locket you become attuned to me. Only in that moment when there is no picture, when you know that the locket is vacant, that there is no one, when nothingness is there, can you communicate with me. That is also why I have given it to you.

One more reason: you are to develop in so many ways. the more one progresses, proceeds toward meditation, the more one becomes meditative – the more one becomes sensitive and vulnerable to so many influences, any of which can be harmful to you. Ordinarily, you are not so vulnerable, not so sensitive, because ordinarily you are not so alive.

With meditation going deeper and deeper you will be more open to many influences. So many of them are harmful to you, and you have to be protected. So this mala, this picture, this locket, will protect you. But that is a great science. So I can only indicate something that is a great science. It is only symbolic. It means that unless you become so strong, unless you become so deeply transformed that you need no protection, continue remembering me. That remembrance will be a help, a protection – with this picture. Unknowingly, unconsciously, many times in the day, you will remember me. I cannot rely upon you. That is why this picture. You may forget, and the gap may prove harmful.

Once I have given you sannyas, once I have become your witness, once I have initiated you, I have become in so many ways responsible. In a way, you have surrendered to me. I must look after you. You cannot always be with me, but I can always be with you. So the locket is to make you remember unknowingly. Others will make you remember. Anyone who comes to you will ask the first question about the picture. And the moment you remember me, even unknowingly, in a way I am there. But this you will come to experience by and by.

So many more reasons are there, but I will not talk about them. This much is enough. Other reasons will be revealed, and it is better that they should not be revealed now. There are things which should not be talked about, because even by talking about them they become superficial. There are things which should remain occult, should remain secret, because they work in secrecy, otherwise they won’t work. They are just like roots of a tree; the roots must remain underground, in the dark, unknown to the tree. Only then do they work.

So there are occult things which must remain unconscious, underground. You must not know them – only then do they work, otherwise they will not work. The roots must not be known. They must remain hidden. So there are many things you ask that I will not answer, or I will answer only up to that limit where the hiddenness is not uncovered. The hidden must remain hidden. You will come to know, but only by experience.

After three months you will not be able to remain a single moment without the mala. You will feel the difference. But that will be your knowing. It is so great, it cannot remain unfelt. And by and by, as the experience grows deeper and richer, you will not feel the picture there. With your deepening consciousness, the locket will become empty. Everyone will see the picture, but not you. When this happens, then you can communicate with me directly, immediately, without any medium.


Sw. Anand Nirguna
from Munich, Germany

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