A Rolls Royce for every day of the year – Osho

The Rolls Royce Story

One of the main issues of controversy while Osho lived in the US was his apparent ownership of 93 Rolls Royces. All those American dudes and commentators took the chance to appear horribly shocked by that. (Actually Osho never owned those vehicles, they were owned by a consortium of leading disciples.)

But very few commentators, then or since, have thought the whole thing through.  Isn´t  it a genuine and deliberate  paradox that someone who is clearly a spiritual teacher,  chooses to have 93 Rolls Royces and much more so,  be open and public about that?

Indian teachers in particular often flirt with asceticism and gather admirers through fasting and some such.  But Osho was clearly “taking on” that type of ascetic conditioning of the Indian mind whenever he came across it.

Further Osho had not Indian, but the American mind in focus when he said he wanted a Rolls Royce for every day of the year..;…  he was determined to hold up the  joke to the poverty of American consumerism.

Tom Robbins (the famous American novelist) got Osho wrong a lot of the time, especially the business about him being a gentle vegetarian!. But could well have got the Rolls Royce stuff right. See his interview in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq7IUM4lCrs, calling this business of Osho’s Rolls Royces “the greatest spoof on American consumerism ever made”.

For me it was just a very creative publicity trick.  Osho himself said “no one was listening to me in USA before the Rolls Royces came along. While their mouths are dropping open perhaps I can pour some truth in.”

For me the same thinking was about his watches, which by the way – most of them were made of quartz not diamonds…but the idea was that they would look like diamonds.

Such considerations never made a jot of difference to me as his disciple, and have never done so. They only made me smile.

Parmartha

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99 Responses to A Rolls Royce for every day of the year – Osho

  1. Arpana says:

    Put us on the spot out in the world. Dealing with the unholy rabble, who either despised us for being into something to do with religion, especially when so many Rolls Royce’s were involved; and they were also suspicious we pseudo religious people might be getting more than them. Then the ones who put us on a pedestal,and who become incoherent in our presence so conversation was impossible Why OSHO why? Why did you have make life so bloody difficult for us. Rolls Royce. We hatesssss theeeeemmmmm precious(:

  2. Teertha says:

    On the matter of the cars, I think that Gurdjieff’s influence on Osho was apparent. First, there was Gurdjieff’s love of motor cars (he initially drove a 1923 Citroen, until he crashed it into a tree. He had a second serious accident in Paris when he was an old man). He drove aggressively and recklessly, something that Osho was known to do on occasion as well.

    More to the point, there was the matter of Osho’s anti-asceticism, and just what the Rolls represented (material excellence, but also decadence). A key part of Gurdjieff’s teaching was summarized as ‘Weak in life, weak in the Work’, meaning those who could not handle material reality probably could not handle the inner work very well either. This is basically anti-asceticism. Gurdjieff was always concerned with balance, the alchemical union of opposites (spirit and matter). His point was that spirituality for centuries had been neglecting matter — for example, some Gnostic and Neo-platonic schools (the source of much of Western esoteric teaching) regard matter as either ‘evil’ or at best, useless illusion. Many Eastern traditions are not much different.

    I think Osho’s Zorba the Buddha was an echo of Gurdjieff’s effort to re-establish balance in spiritual seekers. The Rolls-Royces were something like a parody of American materialism, but also signaled Osho’s interest in playfully/outrageously pointing out how disconnected our religions and spiritual traditions had become from material reality. And I found this to be confirmed in some ways by the harsh reactions many ‘spiritual seekers’ had to these cars. It brought out the hidden ascetic in many.

    Some interesting stuff on ‘Gurdjieff and Money’:
    http://www.gurdjieff.org/material12.htm

    • frank says:

      gurdjieff was a carpet seller,a market stall hustler dressed in local gear,smoking fags, boozing and pulling rolls of used notes out of his pocket like a gangster…
      osho played the holy man with beard and robes who never touched money, to the end.

      osho stuck more to the appearance of an old-style “ascetic saint”

      gurdjieff came up with the idea of the “rascal saint”
      maybe he acted like a rascal whose sainthood was hidden….

      whereas osho played the saint whose rascality unfolded gradually….

  3. frank says:

    gurdjieff certainly influenced osho.
    i said at the ranch time that osho should ditch the robes,don some levis,shave his head,beard and keep the moustache to finish the job……..

    passing under the radar here is the influence of another guy with a shaved head and walrus moustache…
    freddie nietzsche,in his book “on the genealogy of morals”
    explores in depth how what he called “the ascetic ideal” came,historically to dominate mankind.
    in this book,he coined the phrase that osho used frequently “so-called saints”
    who were the upholders and perpetrators of this ideal.
    one function of this ideal being an attempt to give meaning to suffering in life by clearly marking out who and what was to blame for it…
    the blame was apportioned to matter,the world,and of course.in this dualistic view,pleasure and luxury of any kind and those who enjoyed it…
    (this of course created guilt).
    these men possessed of the ascetic ideal were driven in freddie`s view,by “rassentiment”…resentment, desire for revenge envy and frustration
    the unhealthy sought revenge and power over the healthy….
    so the healthy,sexy,lucky,life affirming,talented rich would be made to feel guilty by the ascetic weaklings who could or would not enjoy life.
    the fortunate would be made to feel guilty(of course,the so called saints are hypocrites,they want what “the world” offers and power,too)
    they say:”it is a disgrace to be fortunate,there is too much misery”

    osho`s rolls royces and his constant attacks on mother theresa was a way of taunting these supporters of the “ascetic ideal”
    with a view to destroying its pernicious influence on humanity….
    “its wrong to have so many rolls royces,he should give the money to the suffering in calcutta”"it is a sin of pride and materialism”
    was the response of the ascetic religions…

    we said:
    “we`ve got sex,money,good looks,good fortune,rolls royces(we`re the chosen few!”)and we`re lovin` it…
    and we don`t feel guilty….
    what you gonna do about that…?”"….

    • jaycpennie says:

      here here…. more sex, drugs and meditating… hopefully those participating have wised up and learned how to do all of that and still survive and not die of HIV, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, drug overdoses. Most sannyasins who were gay or bisexual, or junkies are all dead- died in the ’80′s. all of that excessive fucking and drug use happened because they like the message of Osho- use sex and transcend sex to get to the cosmic consciousness. Sadly, most hadn’t a clue what the old man was talking about, so they just fucked to excess and partied like it was 1999. even after the condom only rule took effect in 1984 people were still fucking unsafely… mostly a “guy” thing, they just couldn’t accept the fact that they couldn’t leave a present behind for their partner. With a little common sense and intelligence, a person can fuck their silly little head off and still be safe from disease. this can be extended to the Rolls Royces- everyone on this planet can have one, just use your brains.

      • No, everyone on the planet cannot have a rolls royce, they are very big heavy vehicles, take a huge amount of energy to manufacture and 8.7 billion of them would use up the world’s entire oil reserves in 1.87 years.

        • i disagree, we have had the technology for sometime now to operate motor vehicles by alternative energy sources… solar charged batteries, ethanol, bio-butanol, bio- diesel, electricity derived from geothermal sources. also hydrogen, natural gas, compressed air, algae, wind turbines. the best fuel source is electricity, via ultra-capacity battery technology. as far as car body materials- carbon fiber, and aluminum. The simple reason we’re still waiting for these things to be mass produced is “control”, who is going to get the pieces of the pie..and make big profits. Oil companies since the 1970′s have been sitting on solar technology development because who wants to distribute products that will free people from paying anything to drive their cars or even free electricity for their homes… there is no compassion and love with capitalists. “sharing” is an obscene word to them.

  4. Arpana says:

    For a lot of ‘sannyassins’, that was the end. One challenge to far. If you couldn’t, unconsciously repress hang ups about disapproval and approval, or look consciously, no way to keep going. We were so conspicuous.

  5. alok john says:

    But….

    Osho often said his movement into meditation was the only thing that could save humanity. Therefore why unnecessarily discourage newcomers by acquiring 93 Rolls Royces? I still find it very odd and hard to understand.

    My only thought was that the cars were purchased by his lovers for him, and out of his love he did not want to reject a gift. As Lokesh once said “If I had the money I would have bought him a Rolls Royce, just to hear him say ‘Thank you, Lokesh’”

  6. alok john says:

    I suppose reading about 93 Rolls Royces might give someone a hit of awareness….maybe?

  7. frank says:

    of course,the risk to the participant in this kind of philosophy/world view was that one`s inferiority complex(shame) would be simply replaced with a superiority complex(pride),in some ways similar to what happened to the nazis in the 30s (who lionised freddie as their prophet…)
    thus the fascism of the ranch had fertile soil.
    and being a conspicuous minority just served to cement the(neccesary for survival) feelings of superiority against ignorant or “unconscious” idiots and enemies.

    yet,maybe all these things were simply the price that had to be paid for confronting and exposing the “ascetic ideal” head on….
    that may have been what osho really wanted to do,the utopian commune was just a means to an end……a big magic trick…
    since those days,attitudes toward what was previously “sin” and “materialism”,sexual attitudes etc within many “religious” circles have loosened in many places throughout the world…
    like people hug more in the west(was that sannyasins or E or both?)that seemed well weird to the “unconscious masses” at the time…

    so,to sum up, my thesis is this…

    osho put the con back in consciousness
    and the sin back in sannyasin.

    • alok john says:

      Methinks it was sannyasins who put the sin back into sannyasin

      • jaycpennie says:

        What is “sin”? farting while sitting with your girlfriend’s parents? not changing your underwear every day? not flossing your teeth before bedtime? Trying to stick your tongue in a girl’s mouth on the first date? please tell me alok what is sin?

        • alok john says:

          Saying that all illnesses can be cured by a change of diet in order to make a living. One sannyasin said this.

          • alok john says:

            I might add :
            Channelling
            Aggressively promoting any therapy without knowing its effectiveness.

  8. frank says:

    on the other hand,he was probably just a small town guy at heart who fancied having a big rolls royce that he had always fancied…..
    when he was young he would have heard about about the maharaja of mysore`s famous rolls royce collection…
    sheela bought him one,showing what a good disciple she was.
    others followed.
    then people started complaining that it wasnt right for a holy man..
    so he reacted characteristically….
    this was a guy who did not like being told what to do,remember…
    ….by deciding to wind them up even more..and more..and more….
    that`s just how he was……

    then a bunch of wallys came along with their head-trips..
    “satire of american materialism…”
    “device for disciples showing their devotion…”
    “nietzschean ascetic lessons…”

    all complete bollox….

  9. Teertha says:

    Frank, good observations. I’d linked up some of Nietzsche’s ideas with Osho’s in my own book, but there are grounds for much more study in that whole area. Rajneeshpuram was a fascinating example of an attempt to give birth to an anti-ascetic spirituality that ended up a kind of failed genetic mutation. Good idea, bad implementation.

    I think the Rolls were Osho’s humor before anything else. On Gurdjieff’s influence, Osho used to say that G’s work lacked a sense of humor, but in fact G. was quite a funny man. For any who have not heard his voice before, there were a few primitive recordings done in the late 1940s at the end of his life. Here’s one, with his disciples laughing at his tales.

    The video cannot be shown at the moment. Please try again later.

    A few years ago someone was trying to flog off (for $35,000) one of Osho’s old ranch Rolls (the rainbow one), can be seen here on ‘classicdriver’ website of all places (scroll down a bit):

    http://www.classicdriver.com/uk/magazine/3500.asp?id=12586

  10. jaycpennie says:

    My feelings haven’t changed since way back when i took sannyas regarding those Rolls. i still feel that Osho is just telling us that all of us can have Rolls Royces just like him. We are all equally part of existence, no one person “Better” than the other, maybe a little more or less screwy but that makes no difference. I think once we evolve to that way of living, there won’t be any war, poverty, or another inequities. there will be living on this earth, intelligent, loving, caring, and playful individuals. A Rolls for everyone !!!! if you want one- or a BMW, or Bentley, or a mansion, yacht or whatever. We humans are still pretty stupid… Paradise is right at our fingertips, and i don’t mean in the afterlife either.

    • alok john says:

      Perhaps you are right Jay. I used to think that if the human race was intelligent, it would be easy to give everyone on the planet a high standard of living.

  11. Arpana says:

    Invoking, playing with Archetypes Frank.
    Poona 1. Simply dressed Hermit/Wise man.
    Oregon. Emperor/ Hieraphant/ Eastern Potentate.

  12. Lokesh says:

    There was nothing mysterious going on. Osho had bad taste in cars and he went for it big time. The only mistake he made was that he should have had me as his personal driver. Then we could have burned some serious rubber.

    • jaycpennie says:

      let me guess, lokesh- your idea of nice car would be a MG Midget? A Citroen? A Yugo? How about his wardrobe- too bulky? He looked like he was wrapped in window drapes? Bland colors? Personally, I would have liked to see him zoom around the ranch in a Lamborghini. In shocking pink and wrap around mirror shades. That would have driven the ma’s wild!!!!

  13. Lokesh says:

    Yes, Frank, and I enjoyed your comments.,

  14. alokjohn says:

    Just maybe…..

    Americans hate poor people and venerate the rich. So when David Koresh has a cult of poor people, the Government destroys it by force. So Osho acquires and publicises the cars to communicate that the commune is rich not poor. And this is just enough to stop an armed attack by the Government.

    This is the only other thing I can think of. I appreciate he may have wanted to ape a Maharajah with a collection of Rolls. But 93 just seems absurd to me. I could understand how owning 12 rolls royces could give someone pleasure. But not 93 Rolls Royces. You would not be able to remember them all , would you?

    • Teertha says:

      What about the photo of himself in the locket, Alok? I always found that to be quite absurd also, outrageous even. But it was clearly a powerful device. I think the cars operated in a similar fashion, although these ‘devices’ were working on different parts of our conditioning.

      There is another argument that was advanced by some (such as J. Krishnamurti), which was that Osho was in a type of funk during his silent phase at the Ranch, something like an avatar’s version of depression. In that place he sought amusements, of which the absurdity of the cars was perhaps one. He was also fond of quoting Tertullian’s ‘Credo quia absurdum’ — ‘I believe because it is absurd’, which as I recall he used to render as ‘God is absurd’. The cars were a type of supreme absurdity.

      The Ranch lasted for about 175 weeks, and he had 93 Rolls. Meaning, he was getting one about every two weeks. Astonishing how much moola was rolling through that organization.

      • Gayathtri Karthik says:

        Shirdi sai baba owned a chariot made of gold ..though controversial during his times he was still accepted ..used to charge huge amt. as guru dhakshina but people still believed him..his heart of gold, miracles compensated.Papa Ramdoss of south india almost his contemprory led a luxurious life but still trusted as he could shock u by narrating the most intimate incidents in ur life..that compensated.Osho’s asset was his own wisdom on truth as any uncorrupted mind can clearly see just on hearing if he has not experienced this he couldn’t have talked like this….bur with so much of corrupt minded listeners around him that couldn’t compensate..he was just unlucky when compared to others who were also like him.

  15. Lokesh says:

    Of course Osho was in a funk in his silent phase. Haven’t you read the reports about the hours he spent some days on the phone to the Rolls dealership during his ‘silent phase’. Watching the movie ‘Paton’ repeatedly…boring to the max! Or how about Shiva’s poignent description of catching the old boy in an unguarded moment when it was obvious Osho was very down and dejected. Osho once spoke about how an Indian guru going to USA signalled their downfall, which isn’t entirely true but turned out to be true in his own case.
    There are certain sanyassins who promote the idea that the whole ranch fiasco was a device constructed for their awakening by Osho. To me this is delussional, as is the idea that Osho wanted those gas-guzzlers for any other reason than the fact that he derived pleasure from them.
    I’m not saying that this is the case, but there exists something else that might also be considered and that is the person who is most harmed by pretending to be enlightened is the person who is doing the pretending. To have to pretend that you are no longer under the power of the unconscious requires a tremendous conscious effort and it creates a great amount of stress in the individual concerned. Taking that into consideration maybe Osho suffered a kind of nervous breakdown wherein wanting a huge collection of daft cars was part of it. In the her recent movie outing Sheela claimed that Osho threw a tantrum when she refused to purchase a particulasrly expensive model. It is believeable.
    As I said in an earlier comment, Osho often said that he was out to destroy everyones preconceptions about how an enlightened person was supposed to behave. Could it then not be a case of an enlightened person becoming unenlightened for a while and then becoming enlightened again…once he got off the valium etc. Why not? It is history now….but these stories do bring up many interesting points to be pondered.
    Teertha says, ‘Astonishing how much moola was rolling through that organization.’ Teertha in the world of money it was peanuts. J K Rowling made over a billion by writing seven books. She just gave $10,000,000 to charity. Enough to pay for a hundred rollers.

  16. frank says:

    bhagwan shree rajneesh annual report 1985……

    english….must brush up on his tendency to leave out definite articles…
    history….really must stick to the facts more…
    religious studies…..excellent,if a lttle unorthodox…
    chemistry……must try harder,the world is made up of more than just nitrogen and oxygen..
    geography…..rather slow–it has taken him 4 years to find out where the redneck riviera is …..
    philosophy….very good,but really must stop drawing in his text books…
    politics….lamentably misguided..
    phys ed……bone idle,just sits in his room doing nothing all day…waving his arms about for a couple of minutes a day just not good enough.
    dance…a bit wobbly,but the rest of the class seem to find it entertaining
    film studies…….really must learn to branch out a bit….
    driving…….very poor
    media studies…. needs to try to grasp that all publicity is not neccesarily good publicity.
    citizenship…..doesn`t seem to be taking the subject seriously at all

    headmasters` report………all in all it is very sad and dissappointing to see such a promising student fail so badly,he seems to have lost his enlightenment completely this term and his diruptive behaviour, dishonest attitude and substance abuse have offended almost everyone who has come in contact with him
    this leaves expulsion as the only option.

  17. Lokesh says:

    Arpana, that is your opinion about my opinion. Opinions are, no matter how educated, two a penny. I don’t believe that it is obvious that I see myself above anyone, or below anyone for that matter. Another person reading my words will come away with an entirely different impression. You are not describing something that is consensual but rather personal. What you see is simply what you see. Can you show me the demarkation line between what is your subjective and objective perceptions. I do not believe you will be able to do that, because the border between the two is blurred. When we judge another it does not so much define who they are but rather who you are. Well, at least that is my opinion ad infinitum.

    • Arpana says:

      No such thing as objectivity. Everything is always subjective. So.

      • Lokesh says:

        Well your perfect master thought otherwise. Basically he said that Subjectivity had to do with religion and that Objectivity had to do with science. Do you actually sit and think a little before you write, or just generally blurt out the first thing that enters your mind?

    • Arpana says:

      Lokesh.
      You wouldn’t have a Sannyas News to go to, to mouth of and condemn Osho at, if it wasn’t for Osho

      • Lokesh says:

        Arpana, once again you are projecting something onto me that does not fit, I am not condemning Osho. In my books he was a great man. The differance is that my vision of him is a bit more all warts an’ all than yours. I don’t go for this perfect master boo hoo. Osho was a brilliant man who was capable of performing some very daft actions. JC is right: you are wearing heavy duty blinders that are warping your perceptions. I don’t know why you choose to do that and I don’t care. It looks stupid to me and typical of party line sannyasins. Not really my business. Who am I to interfere if somebody wants to play blind? It is up to you.

        • Arpana says:

          I am a perfectionist, but because of Osho and Meditation,(Note Meditation. Important that!!!!) my notion of perfection has become an either and or perfectionism. (Warm strokes AND cold pricklies. Not one. Not the other. Both.) If their is room here for you with your ego to espressos yourself as you do, then their is room here for me with my ego to express myself as I do. (Spare me the stern, admonishing headmistress voice by the way.)

          • Lokesh says:

            Ego!…oh wow!…hold on, let me take a few notes…this is really deep stuff.

          • big egos are often perfectionists. yet again forgetting your obsessive feelings regarding osho- dissolving the ego-”mind is diseased”.. you are full of diseased mind and blind to that fact… got back to your closet and stay there please, until you see the light!!!

        • unless of course by living that way that person(s) starts screwing things up for others… just like, religious fanatics… they say one thing but then go out and try to force people to live according to their psychosis. i wonder if it’s a genetic thing- people can’t seem to shut up and mind their own business.. control freaks, domination, religion/gurus, enlightenment all just excuses to dominate and control others.. sannyasins included. one reason i deliberately “flip out” on the people running SN. Authority/Bosses need to be challenged, not just questioned, ALL of the time.

      • Lokesh says:

        What is this? A poor attempt at creating a koan?

  18. Lokesh says:

    I was just having a very interesting talk with a friend by the sea, watching the waves rolling in. My friend expressed the opinion that he found it absurd that people still put Osho up on a pedestal after all the hypocritical crap he lectured. The example he gave was drug use, or misuse, depending on how you look at at. Osho was basically, like most gurus, against drugs. There are many quotes, this one will do nicely, ‘All religions have been against drugs. The reason is this: if you become an addict then the whole possibility of your higher dimension, of your higher unity, of achieving buddhahood, of becoming a christ, is lost. They are not against drugs, in fact. They are not concerned with drugs, they are concerned with your higher unity. If you start falling backwards in your mind, and if you become attuned with the lower unity of nature, then who will evolve? Then you have frustrated the very effort of nature through you. It was going to achieve God — and you are satisfied with a drug.’
    Yet Osho became hooked on a drugs himself, and in my opinion not very interesting ones. Nitrous Oxide is good for a laugh but taking steel bottles full of it is for dummies. So how does that fit into Osho being enlightened? Like the 93 luxury automobiles, was this also a device created for our awakening? If you believe that you might as well believe the world is flat. Teertha is right in saying that the cars were a supreme absurdity. But to imply that any of this had a spiritual dimension to it is pure nonsense. Remember, this is only my opinion.

    • jaycpennie says:

      Arpana, most of us want to put our “savior” on a pedestal. For most sannyasins, osho was their savior, saving them from a miserable life they were leading prior to coming across osho; for others, osho was either a party king, or someone who allowed them to let loose their ego. So, this notion of condemning osho is plain ludicrous. You can’t see your own mind involved, your bias, what was it that osho used to say- “Just drop it”? You can’t even do that, i think you suffer the same ailment as most religious extremists – a extreme thought that no one can criticize your “god”, your prophet, your guru- whatever you want to call it. Too bad, just chalk up another failure on osho’s part…. more idiots he’s created, why couldn’t he just keep his mouth shut?

      • Arpana says:

        This from the guy who had an hysterical, paranoid tantrum when his posts didn’t go up fast enough. Gosh I’ve got such a lot to lean from you.

        • Lokesh says:

          Arpana, you are attempting to undermine JC’s comment and it doesn’t work because what he says is true. Bear it in mind that JC and I don’t always agree but in this instance I do. Just drop it, man.

  19. frank says:

    sadly.
    some of sai baba`s disciples actually believe that even though he was a paedo,he was still executing the divine will,his crime is vindicated by his divine status…..
    some of free lunch babas disciples think that eating his shit with jack daniels chasers was a spiritual experience….
    even old krishnamurti was talking against sex , claiming it was violence and he didnt need it and at the same time banging his secretary`s wife.
    and it doesn`t make his fans question…….

    credo quia absurdum.
    i believe because its absurd.

    are osho disciples with their famous phds,university degrees and recievers of the benefits of innumerable “devices” from an enlightened master falling into the same pit…?
    surely we would have more sense than to end up lumped in with those retarded idiots and so-called saints……?

    • i thought old krishnamurti had balls drier than osho’s jokes. as far as his winkee, i heard he carried around a pair of tweezers and shaved his crotch hairs just to be able to see that damned thing… so he was banging his secretary… very interesting.

    • Teertha says:

      There are so many things that only become more clear with expanded perspective, which means distance. Things we can’t recognize when too close to them, become clear with some distance.

      A good example is Osho’s tendency to rarely blink. The standard way this was viewed by the average sannyasin was that this was the ‘sign of an enlightened one’ (still mind, etc.). But anyone with a modicum of understanding knows that the key to inducing a hypnotic state is rapport, which leads to relaxation. This then opens the ‘doors’ of the conscious mind, allowing the software of the subconscious to have programs downloaded.

      Osho rarely blinked, spoke slowly and melodiously, etc., which allowed for tremendous psychic rapport between him and his listeners, followed by relaxation, ‘opening the heart’, ‘falling in love with the master’, etc. None of these things can be directly recognized when ‘in’ them, obviously, otherwise they wouldn’t be what they are. But they allow for all sorts of ‘other’ possibilities. Such as behavior that conforms (following Sheela’s dictates), blandly accepting absurdities (the cars, or occasion absurdities that Osho would say).

      I think that the Rolls Royces were both absurd, and a device at the same time. I grant Osho the consciousness to indulge both of these possibilities. (He did, undeniably, have a very powerful mind). But even if the cars were merely an avatar’s indulgence — that is, not a specific intentional device — they clearly still were a device, by virtue of the fact that they triggered strong responses — what Gurdjieff called ‘pressing corns’. It’s not necessary for a corn to be pressed intentionally for the pressing of it to be a device.

      Gurdjieff used to say, ‘I provide the leather — you make the shoe’. The ‘leather’ is all the weird stuff that goes on around a guru, especially one greatly idolized. The ‘shoe’ is what we make of it, in terms of what it shows us about our own mind.

      My personal major ‘reaction’ to Osho was probably jealousy. I was jealous of the adulation he received. But I could barely recognize the jealousy, overwhelmed as I was by the respect/admiration/love I felt for him. I felt guilty about the jealousy, and so repressed it. It would surface, on occasion, as anger/judgment toward him, and that anger/judgment would require a target. The cars were as good as any, but because I was not (and am not) a materialist by nature, they were not my major trigger. I simply wanted followers the way he had.

      And so I set about creating that — became a therapist, then groupleader, and by 1994 had my own community, and a devoted group of about 50 followers. It lasted for about 6 years before I burned out. And I never got one bloody Rolls or Mercedes. Not even an Impala. Just a Datsun B510 :)

      The lesson always boils down to the same thing, recognizing our projections, our ‘corns’. But for one who seeks to objectively assess a guru, you’re dealing with juggling what Lokesh called ‘opinions’, while at the same time seeking to move beyond them to something more significant. Plato said there is ‘knowledge’ and ‘opinion’, the latter subject to error, the former, not. The idea is that we can have knowledge about ourselves, but about another person, only opinions.

  20. martyn says:

    If just using ‘ffing expensive cars as a device for changing the world then why don’t all those who were transformed by this supreme and wondrous insight just write a long and incomprehensible letter to Rolls Royce and tell them. I’m sure they’d be in stitches after the first few words.Oh and don’t forget the RR airplane engine division, a slogan perhaps for personal development ,something like ‘we get you there because we care’..

  21. martyn says:

    Parmartha is your favourite programme on telly doesn’t happen to be Top Gear …
    Roll the credits, deep bellowing Clarkson voice:
    ”The average male punter thinks a lot about speed , power and girls when driving.. but tonight we bring to you THE superthrusted story of :
    The Guru’s Garage and the story of a community of Rolls Royce devotees driven to exhausted stupidity…..the simple plan to impress the world with a story straight from James Bond

  22. Lokesh says:

    Teertha, well put, baba. I enjoyed reading the above comment.

  23. prem says:

    Osho did that Rolls-Royce feat to try to disturb our spiritual ego’s.Shirdi Sai Baba used to throw stones at people to wake them up.But Osho’s Rolls Royce trick was nothing compared to this baba’s heavy vehicles feat-take a look at this- http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-11-22/varanasi/28066394_1_heavy-vehicles-genitals-feat now dont try this at home.

    • Teertha says:

      Prem, that’s an old practice in India. When I was with Osho in Nepal in ’86, I got stopped by a yogi somewhere in Nepal, who offered to lift up a 100 hundred pound stone with his dick as some sort of ‘tantric tourist entertainment’, in exchange for 100 Rupees.

      I declined his gracious offer. I still remember him then approaching, staring wildly at me, and obviously trying to use an aggressive hypnotic ‘siddhi’ against me so as to get me to open my wallet. He then noticed the sannyasin locket around my neck. He looked at Osho’s face, and then backed away, grunting. I realized then that the mala functioned as a type of amulet, with the capacity to ‘ward off’ something. The power was not in the object, obviously, but in my own mind, and what my subconscious believed about the locket. The ‘iron-dick’ tantrica then picked up on that. (By the looks of his Don King hair, maybe he had been using a combination of Viagra and Rogaine).

      Come to think of it, the Rolls were a type of talisman (the opposite of an amulet), in that instead of ‘warding things off’, they attracted stuff, by the bushels. Mostly hostility and judgment.

      Apparently the cars were…“necessary for the spiritual growth of greedy Americans who wanted more material things than true human connections in this worldly life.”

      At least according to this piece here, which has to be one of the funniest and stupidest pieces ever written about Osho and the Ranch:

      http://www.huliq.com/10282/rajneesh-and-his-wicked-ways-revealed-30th-anniversary-oregon-cult

      • back in the early ’80′s N.Y.C. a sannyasin friend of my told me his story of going to a local street fair in Brooklyn and coming across a Haitian voodoo priest offering consultations and prayers- for money, my friend sat down and immediately was told by the “priest” that osho was “protection” from harm by “evil” spirits. My friend stood up and left- didn’t have to pay anything… funny you should mention your experience in Nepal Teertha.

        • Teertha says:

          JC, I think that deep trust in a guru is an immensely powerful protection, but I’ve come to conclude that the power is arising entirely from the disciple’s belief. We could have been wearing a mala with a photo of Alfred E. Nuemann, and it would been as potent if the belief and trust in Alfred was there.

          Granted, Osho had to earn that trust, and he did, by virtue of his powerful charisma and obvious developed qualities. But Christian fanatics get the same power from their crucifix if their faith is strong.

          • jaycpennie says:

            it certainly is up to the individual, but nevertheless the person in question, in this case osho does need to have abilities , or gifts, or energies. kind of like a mozart, he would have been a great composer even without the guidance of his father… the cosmos works in crazy ways.

          • Arpana says:

            When I took sannyas I had lost all trust in my own perceptions, discerning ability, although I realise in retrospect I must have unconsciously trusted my instant trust in Osho. Trusted that sense of rightness that went with, for me, everything he said.

    • Gayathri Karthik says:

      Yes prem..

  24. Gayathri Karthik says:

    Hope no one is fighting with him in the celestial plane for owning so much of stars & plantets..ha.ha.
    Osho.

    • osho’s “spiritual” abilities or better still – stature, is plenty of protection for him… i’m not worried in the least for the old man. humans are only aware of only a fraction of the “rules” of the game… there is so much more, people don’t have the ability to mentally handle the complete set of rules. Osho, along with only a handful of other masters knows what’s going on. it’s just one of those limitations inherent to humans.

  25. Lokesh says:

    Prem,’Osho did that Rolls-Royce feat to try to disturb our spiritual ego’s.’
    This kind of logic is lifted right out of George orwell’s 1984.
    The need to have some authoratarian figure who can do no wrong and is above it all lies in childhood conditioniong.
    Osho did not need to resort to such bufoonery to disturb spiritual egos. He had already done an excellent job of that for thirty years. Why can’t you dumbies relax and allow Osho to simply have enjoyed his toys instead of reading all that kindergarden spiritual nonsense into the story? I’ll tell you why. You are stupid.

    • Prem says:

      Well I feel that Osho was enjoying (playfully) winding up the traditional Indian/Western idea of impoverished spirituality with the Rolls,and the saints who have renounced all riches and comforts.
      But surely there must have been an element of pushing his own followers ego`s,all those sannyasins wearing the orange and mala`s and promoting him everywhere,and having to explain the Rolls ,and all the diamond watches..difficult to stick on a pedestal

  26. Teertha says:

    There is a view out there among some ‘authorities’ in the field of human transformation that Osho was largely an unrepentant guru, not much more. The idea is that he would retroactively apply meaning and interpretation to events, to as to get them to conform to a teaching. I see this as a tendency among ‘rogue’ teachers.

    Classic example was the matter with Sheela, when shortly after her expulsion, Osho declared that he had knowingly allowed it all to unfold so as to give us a ‘taste of fascism’. Another one was the 21 disciples declared ‘enlightened’ (or at least some of them, the rest to be enlightened upon Osho’s death or sometime before or whatever). After six months he canceled the enlightenment certificates. They were not enlightened after all. It had all been a big device, etc. The Rolls fell into a similar category.

    Osho was ‘just a guy’, but he also spent years telling his disciples that he was anything but just a guy — he was Awakened, we were not. He was ‘the Gate’, we were the ee-stupid disciples. And so it is an intense double-bind. Two messages are being simultaneously given: trust me, surrender to me, I am your leader, your light, your highest potential (and wear my face around your neck while you’re at it); and I am just an ordinary man, a human like you, so go away and let me have my Rolls and my gigantic bathrooms and my nitrous oxide and take responsibility for your own awakening.

    There seems to be no way out of the double-bind as a disciple, that is, it is inherent in most guru-disciple relationships. We get out of it only by transcending the guru-disciple relationship. We have to ‘kill the Buddha on the road’, but the problem always lies in the timing. Kill the Buddha too soon, and we acquire a cynical edge that makes us bitter and sour and sarcastic. Never kill the Buddha and we remain childish.

    Gregory Bateson put forth the idea that schizophrenics become how they are as children when faced with the double-bind condition, the mixed messages — the mother who is saying ‘I love you’, but is doing it while staring with a cold and hostile expression; or the father who says ‘I’ll be home at this hour to take you here, for sure’, but who comes home 3 hours later drunk and hostile. The child can’t process the mixed messages and can’t get out of the family, and so splits internally, into inner compartments — i.e., becomes inauthentic.

    I think a similar situation happens easily for disciples of controversial gurus, difficulty in processing the mixed messages, which often shows up as dysfunction in life. (I lost track of how many sannyasins I knew who couldn’t hold a job, or who thought that making it in life consisted of having a night table with a photo of Osho on it).

    • Arpana says:

      You said.

      There seems to be no way out of the double-bind as a disciple, that is, it is inherent in most guru-disciple relationships. We get out of it only by transcending the guru-disciple relationship. We have to ‘kill the Buddha on the road’, but the problem always lies in the timing. Kill the Buddha too soon, and we acquire a cynical edge that makes us bitter and sour and sarcastic. Never kill the Buddha and we remain childish.

      Where do you place yourself on this spectrum Teertha.

      • frank says:

        from the point of view of the double-bind,there is no spectrum,just a binary oscillation…..

        for myself,
        i am cynical and childish
        sweet and sour…
        highly intelligent and a feckin idiot…
        c`est la vie
        amor fati
        and i never killed no buddha,i never touched him,honest,guv……

      • Teertha says:

        Arpana — being an arm’s length type of guy, I was always resistant to attachment (probably because I feared losing it if I gained it). So I was something of a lone wolf sannyasin, an ‘outsider’. Yes, I lived in Osho communal houses for two years, worked at the Ranch, went to Poona II, sat with Osho for a month in Nepal, etc., but in truth I never quite felt ‘in’. I see this now as more a function of my personality armoring, etc. — that is, it was all my own process, nothing to do with ‘sannyas’ or even Osho — but the bottom line is that ‘killing the Buddha’ for me was never too much of an issue because I never got too attached to the Buddha in the first place. (I have vociferously defended Osho at times over the years, but more from a place of trying to make people aware of what he actually offered, beyond the ludicrous yellow press views of him).

        At times I had to deal with the strong belief that I had ‘missed’ something — probably the funniest version of that was when I failed to arrive in time for the July ’84 summer festival at the Ranch, arriving the day after it had ended. I recall passing hundreds of sannyasins going that way while I was going the other. It was common experience for me. I took sannyas during Osho’s silent phase, so for me the whole thing was very much an ‘inner sense’, not dependent on anything Osho said to me because he never said anything to me. In later years, when I became a facilitator myself, I got a taste of what it was like to have people attached to me, and saw how incredibly delicate and complex the whole process is — essentially all being an elaboration of what Freud called *transference*, one idea that Freud appeared to nail.

        I think Frank’s point about the oscillation between these ‘poles’ is valid, but the whole ‘killing the Buddha’ thing seems especially important for one with attachment-issues. The standard two approaches to attachment issues are fusion and distancing. I tend to distance, not fusing (which is why I found sannyas life, with all the endless hugging, very hard at first).

        When Osho died I gave up on the whole thing and went Buddhist and Advaita for many years. These paths were helpful in some ways, but also made me appreciate Osho in a bigger context.

        • Arpana says:

          That makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve never felt any thing particular about him as a physical presence. Hes internalised, and displaced Jesus,God, the devil, all authority figures that were fucking me up when I took sannyas, and exists now internally as a completely nonjudgmental, unauthoritarian presence. I have a trial and error life now.

          I liked Franks remark a lot. My name means the loving surrendered one, but actually means the loving hateful resistant surrendered one.

    • alokjohn says:

      I got dysfunction in life because I was grossly abused at home and at school. I suspect a lot of first generation sannyasins had a poor start in life. Also remember there was a massive baby boom after WW2 but economic stagnation in the 70s, so no wonder lots of people did not get careers. If it was not for Osho, I think I would have died of tuberculosis in a cardboard box off the Thames Embankment.
      I really doubt he was “just a guy”, Teertha.

      • Lokesh says:

        Robin Brown, a writer aquaintance, once told me he met Rajneesh in Diptis milk shake bar in Bombay’s Colaba, back in the sixties. He told me that Rajneesh offered him a deal if he could bring potential western disciples to him. At the time I thought Robin was pulling my leg, even though he swore he was telling the truth. Today I find his story beliveable, although unlikely. Sign of the times.

        • Teertha says:

          That is an entirely believable story, although as always, context is everything, and context is what is usually missing from the memory of distant events.

          The period of Osho’s life that especially interests me is that earlier phase, such as his college years and early years of teaching. Osho’s post-Bombay years are well documented, perhaps as well documented as any guru’s life has ever been. But the years 1953 (his satori-year) through to around 1970 are vague in contrast. I’m considering submitting a proposal to my publisher for a full-length bio of Osho, a major project obviously, and one that require different angles of approach. The story you mention intrigues because it hints at Osho’s street-smarts, something I think he had, despite his refined and elegant intellectualism.

  27. martyn says:

    Cor blimey. I thought I couldn’t hold down a job cos of the capitalist survival education five days a week repetitive misery ethic surrounded by
    Social democratic anonymisation and a lack of declared and understood absurdity amongst the vested interests who deliberately f you over from cradle to grave by controlling all the financial and ideological exploitations that we call working for a living.
    That and being born lucky I suppose in a universe that loves me…. but which doesn’t answer complaints.

    I’m just not into

    • jaycpennie says:

      “… in a universe that loves me.” frank- you’re a riot; following the stupid new age mantra, “the universe loves me”… no dear; never did and never will. it’s a cauldron of craziness, insanity; a giant insane game going on in a kettle with the heat on high. stop this dance with romanticism.

  28. Lokesh says:

    Great well constructed post, Teertha. Personally speaking, I don’t see myself in a double bind kind of relationship in regards Osho. He was a gate and I gratefully passed through it and learned much in the process. I find that sannyasins who still cling to big brother Osho are completely stuck. Bhakti yoga was never really my cup of tea and the value system it presents highly questionable and based in authoratarianism.There are others, therapists etc, who use their relationship with Osho to promote their trip. I notice recently that Osho has an attained an aire of respectability around him in the mainstream that could not possibly have existed were he still alive.
    One thing I found particularly refreshing about H W L Poonja was that he was not interested in building a cult of personality around himself. Basically he was saying that what he had to give as a teaching could be grasped in three days and he would prefer if you buggered off after that. On that level he was a truly liberating force. Like Osho, I don’t know if Poonjaji was enlightened but he certainly had something worthwhile to share. People sat listening to Osho speaking about the finger pointing at the moon and how stupid it is to become attached to the finger. Yet, often as not, when I point this out to Catholic sannyasins I get pegged as being anti Osho, something which I am not. What I am dead against is spiritual parrots who don’t have the guts to stand on their own two feet without the crutch that a master can represent to people like them. They bleet on and on about freedom and liberation, when in fact they are terrified of the reality which those words describe.

    • Arpana says:

      Methinks the lady doth protest to much,. So defensive.

    • Teertha says:

      Poonja was the consummate spiritual householder, the guy who looked like your mechanic (or your mechanic’s father) but who also was very passionate about awakening. Hell this was a guy who was passionate about cricket. I think he was a good ‘next step’ for many sannyasins — an earthy Gurdjieff-like counterpoint to Osho’s regal airiness — but he did have his share of inner-software glitches, pointed out most clearly by Andrew Cohen, who despite his irritating NYC stuttering nerdiness, does have a certainty clarity.

      But yes, I hear your point. Individuating, differentiating, etc., and all the other fancy psychological terms that refer to the need to become distinct from parents and family, also applies to becoming distinct from guru. We have to be an individual before we dissolve. The question for many disciples of charismatic gurus is, ‘did I force my dissolving, and how authentic is/was it? And do I need to reclaim my individuality? For myself, back in the late ’80s, the answer to that question was clearly ‘yes’.

      • Arpana says:

        Reckon everybody has a personal Osho. Reading this tells me your Osho is different to mine. Our own personal Osho is always a reflection of our own evolving values, and so much more. Obviously! (They’re all part of this huge family with the same name. )

        Like the sound of your Osho, although my Osho is obviously more rockin’ than yours. Just the luck of the draw really. (^o^)

  29. frank says:

    teertha,
    re. the mixed messages of the double bind…
    surely the double bind (in the schizo sense) remains a problem only if you are not aware of it?
    that is,the confused child can,over time come to learn and be aware that he is confused,how it happened and that sense can help her not remain stuck totally and for ever in the mixed messages from her mum and dad….?
    likewise, realising that you have been stitched up by a guru who has said “surrender your will to me ” and “you are free”
    “drugs are against consciousness” and then getting whacked out of his head.. etc ,
    you will get the point …its an obvious trick….
    is that neccesarily “transcendence” ? “enlightenment” ?or whatever?
    rather than the goose being out of the bottle,it is more like the cat is simply out of the bag…..
    the magic trick wont work any more,once you have seen the magician pulling the queen of hearts out of his sleeve,that`s all!
    you don`t have to “kill him on the road” for that…
    you may have still enjoyed the show!

    the idea of having to kill the buddha if you see him is just another stage of double bind (authored by the master/disciple tradition remember)to keep you stuck in the bind …

  30. Lokesh says:

    Besides, if you get caught killing the buddha you’ll get life in prison for murder. Better just namaste and keep on truckin’.

  31. martyn says:

    Teertha have you tried phoning the ‘emergency schizo enlightenment helpline for people with advanced cynicism and a desire for running Buddhas over on the road?’ I think its a free helpline run by the Oshoholics Ononymouse Foundation…If they can’t help try the flat upstairs …they run absent healing evenings..(but they are often out)…

  32. Martyn says:

    Other items apart from Rolls Royces have also been recently discovered in a treasure trove of ‘found objects ‘ to have been used and invented by our favourite Guru..for transforming consciousness.

    The Paper Clip… was first used by Osho to transform humanity ..knitting them together in a string for hanging his washing from …symbolically of course …for we are all in the underpants of life until we get fully dried out by understanding and the winds of change

    The humble Biro..first used en masse by Osho to stir a mug of Tea with in 1967 at the Liptons Guru of the Year master Metaphor and Transformation conference.

    The Bicycle Pump… once used by Osh and now available in a 14 carat gold special Pumping Baba edition…The humble pumper indicated ones levels of awareness when the inner tube or To BE was over inflated and went Bang.. causing the cyclist to veer off track into the bush for some further evening pumping.

    The Condom…Allegedly used by Osho as a humanity transforming metaphor.. first used as a set of helium filled ballons at the All India Propane and Profane family Planning Yantra Tantra and Mantra Festival 1972.

  33. Prem says:

    Someone told me that Ramana used to ride in to his ashram on a monkey.
    He could never afford a Rolls.
    But apparently he wasn`t completely clean.
    He got addicted to Betel Nut which is a narcotic.

  34. Does anyone know where I can find a complete collection of the photos of all of the RR’s?
    I remember seeing a newspaper article one time about the cars which featured full color photos of many of them. I think it was the Rajnessh Times from the Ranch when it was still flourishing. What most people don’t seem know is that most, if not all, of the cars had incredible and creative paint jobs that clearly showed the humor and joy which the sannyasins contributed to the cosmic joke of Osho’s so called “consumerism”. God we are so blessed to have a Master with such an incredible sense of humor lol!!

  35. Lokesh says:

    They were probably right.

  36. Lokesh says:

    Yes, Tushar, especially taking into consideration the joke is on you. Very funny indeed.

  37. Gayathri Karthik says:

    @teertha..”.he was Awakened, we were not. He was ‘the Gate’, we were the ee-stupid disciples. And so it is an intense double-bind. Two messages are being simultaneously given: trust me, surrender to me, I am your leader, your light, your highest potential (and wear my face around your neck while you’re at it); and I am just an ordinary man, a human like you, so go away and let me have my Rolls and my gigantic bathrooms and my nitrous oxide and take responsibility for your own awakening.”
    Yes teertha..it is mandatory under Osho to reject the maya & be fixed on love & truth..if one hates this very basic demand from truth..one has to change to soft hearted Master only.Love.