Monday, August 28, 2017

thirty seven banana peels #28 - Osho

How do I describe the impact of Osho on my life? To put it very simply, I would not have been on the spiritual path if not for him. Given I have restructured the very way I am living to focus fully on the path, it doesn't leave much else to say does it?

Whether I would have come across the path another way if not for him is a pedantic exercise which will result in conjecture. Connecting the dots back in my life, he forms the first limb. My second and third limbs are a direct offshoot of the first limb.

"Everybody wants freedom as far as talking is concerned, but nobody really is free and nobody really wants to be free, because freedom brings responsibility. It does not come alone. And to be dependent is simple: the responsibility is not on you, the responsibility is on the person you are dependent on."

My introduction to Osho happened when I was sixteen. It looks like an accident, but they say life has no accidents. My dad got an audio cassette of his talk titled "Happiness". He got it form my mother and asked her to listen to it. To go with it, there was a book called "Gold Nuggets" as well.

One lazy session, I picked up the book and was perusing the book. I might have walked through a door that said "Enter at your peril". I was an energetic 16 year old and I had never been exposed to material like that. It was like I had moved into a void and as I flipped the pages, the feeling was like kilograms of crud comprising of borrowed knowledge, assumptions and beliefs being stripped off.

"Yoga means now. You will have to be a harmony. You will have to become one."

I remember being very scared, yet very light and free. While I did not exactly articulate it that way in my mind then, the clear understanding at the end of the exercise was to question everything that has been handed over. I did make the classic mistake of getting to the other end of the spectrum for a brief period.

This was to rubbish age old traditions and cultures. One reason for this was Osho is very happy to contradict himself. There are many doors through which something can be approached and some paths may seem contradictory even though the reach the same destination. He freely moves without baggage and gives himself fully to that viewpoint. An earlier viewpoint about questioning got embedded firmly in my head and this questioning became rubbishing of rituals. I realized later that I fell into my own trap of concluding without questioning.

"Discipline has its own beauty, it is not all slavery. And freedom has its own dangers and is not all beautiful. A real person is always capable of infinite discipline and infinite freedom – he is not a slave or an addict to anything."

It took a few more months to settle down to these contradictions and it got to a point where nothing ever he said unsettled me. It seemed like I always understood what he was trying to say.  Back to Gold Nuggets, I remember re-reading this a few times. Then I remember hearing that audio cassette on Happiness. That was the first time I heard his voice as well.

This led to a period of osho-binge. This would continue for the decade or so where I binge watched, heard and read his words. I used to think that I read almost all his books. There are 600 of them and it is never true I read them all, but it felt like that. I became a seeker the moment I laid my eyes on the words of Gold Nuggets. It was like he showed me the Spiritual path and said "keep walking on this path and you will meet  your Guru". That confused 16 year old lad would have never guessed this.

"If you love a person, you will not interfere his personal life. You would not dare to break the boundaries of his inner world."

As the first sign, apart from the impact his words had, it was the impact Ilaiyaraja's music had in me. Just a month after I read the book, tears would start dripping when I started hearing certain songs even as I was passing by a shop playing them. These were songs I had been hearing all the time because there were part our milieu. The first time the tears happened, I was overwhelmed and confused. I then realized a doorway had opened. A doorway I never realized existed thus far.

He held the candle on the path until I met my Guru when I was 25. He has sort of receded into the background. Now my Sadhana forms the core focus of my spiritual path.

"Respect life, revere life. There is nothing more holy than life, nothing more divine than life."

I find it appalling and disgusting that India has missed him so badly. Granted he did not make it easy for people to like him. He spared no bones being provocative and offensive. His way was to either kindle your intelligence, bring a fragrant meditative mind scape or to ruthlessly prick your ego. The masses have largely received the last and have treated this at face value. If my life is any indication, they've missed him so badly at their own peril.

Dear Osho, is there a way to put a value on what you've given me? Given where I am now is a result of walking through that one doorway you opened, I realize I was at a cross roads then. Where would have the other roads led me? What would I have been if not for you? Should I say thank you?

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