In the years following ‘Wild, Wild Country’ coming out on Netflix I found Osho’s negative media image frankly to be a burden. The social media pushes its images at you, and in dealing with it you necessarily pick up some of the archetypes: sex guru, cults, diamond watches, ninety-three Rolls Royces…It distracts you and turns you away from the Buddha Field. I was in that situation, wondering if I should continue as a Buddhist seeker instead. I still had things to learn.
Then came my time at SannyasNews, which was a bit intimidating, and some of the following re-evaluations here have been negative in tone: Erin Robbins’s letter about her sexual relations with Osho was quite painful, the talk about abuse in the communes, and reading ‘The Guru Papers’ as recommended by some here also shook me up a bit. There was quite a lot of soul-searching on my part after that education. Was Sannyas a cult?
In the end I felt a moment of choice, where rather than becoming disillusioned I ended up following what my heart said, and turned my back on all the negative talk about Osho — I went back to what I felt about my spiritual friend, because he was always that for me, and after a while I started reading a few of his books again and listening to a few of the discourses. I let all the rubbish disappear from my mind, and reconnected to Osho’s words.
A new appreciation of Osho as a human being went along with that. His insights were beautiful, and every book of his that I read made me more free. He was very extraordinary, and at the same time still human. The master has feet of clay, but in rediscovering him there was a new feeling of compassion towards him. I think a real connection with Osho is a heart connection, and it’s best not to let the mind second-guess the heart’s decisions.
You see, for all that he expressed his sexual nature, and that he had a magpie’s eye for beautiful and shiny things, I think these just showed his human qualities, the things that kept him on the Earth with us. At the same time, he had something transcendent about him, I recall an aura of cleanliness like the light of the full moon from when I sat at his feet; he shared his presence with us, and I feel he had good intentions towards his people. I loved him for that.
Sannyas to me after that is a beautiful gift, an attitude, a way of living. At various points in my life I’ve lived with other sannyasins and I’ve always learned things from it: not to get too hung up on things, to trust a lot (and tether your camel), to celebrate, to laugh more often. Without Osho that wouldn’t have been possible.