I want first to talk about Osho’s movement in relation to who is and who is not a sannyasin.
To be a sannyasin is something inner; to be a sannyasin has something to do with your being and not your words and actions. Actions and words are not necessarily a reflection of your consciousness, of your being. We know that people can deceive, they can pretend. We know that it is possible to be false. So it is important to understand, that to be sannyasin has nothing to do with the outer.(what people wear, whether they wear a mala, etc).
There are currently 1 billion or more Muslims on this earth. The majority of them are Muslims because they were born in a Muslim family. The majority of them are Muslims in name and in form. They fulfill all the prescribed rituals of their religion. The read the words of Mohammad etc. etc. etc.
There is only one problem though. The majority of them do not have the experience which Mohammad had, so how can they be sure that their being is truly Muslim? The actions and words of Mohammad were a response from his being to the situation that he encountered in the 8th century. There is nothing fixed about his response, because his response was a living now response.
But the current response of Muslims is not a living response. They are not encountering the present situation and responding out of awareness. To know the being of Mohammad, something else is necessary. What people call Sadhana is necessary. A Master is necessary, an enlightened one. What Rumi calls the fountainhead, the source. Someone who can help you enter the stream, as Buddha says. A living proof, a living testament.
The majority of people who are calling themselves sannyasins, are not necessarily sannyasins. It is not words that mean anything, it is not actions which have some significance. It is the being that is meaningful and significant. Once a person’s being is a sannyasin, once a person’s being has come to the same enlightenment to which Osho came, then the words and actions of such a person will reflect the being that is within. And this being’s response to the present time may not be the same as Osho’s response. His words and actions may not be consistent with Osho’s words and actions, because times change, the situation changes, and devices will also have to be changed. The response cannot remain the same, it will have to change, it will have to be fresh, living.
Now those people who judge persons calling themselves enlightened based on some past standard, perhaps the words and actions of Jesus, of Mohammad, of Buddha, of Mahavira will not be able to encounter the present moment. They will not be able to come into contact with a living buddha, a living enlightened one. Because their prejudice, their expectations work as a barrier to their ability to come into contact with an enlightened one who is living, who is in the body. Now an enlightened one has no obligation to fulfill expectations, the actions of such a one cannot be judged by your standards because you do not understand the being of such a one. You only see from the outside. Just as during Osho’s lifetime, people would come as spectators and they would try to find out what is happening without becoming a participant, and that is just not possible. Otherwise enlightenment would be observable in a laboratory, we could have bottles with love, beauty, joy, truth, freedom, enlightenment and they could all be given labels. But that is not the nature of such things. That is not the way it works.
For example, Maitreya Ishwara, (someone who was an Osho sannyasin for many years in Osho’s lifetime) He may be enlightened, he may not be enlightened. There is no way to judge from the outside. It is better to go to him, without prejudice, without judgment, with openness, just as Buddha went to the teachers in his area. Because if he is enlightened and you are rejecting him, this is going to be detrimental to you, not to him. He is not going to lose anything by your rejection, but you are going to lose an opportunity which you could have used for your own transformation. And there is no way to know from the outside. The only way to know with certainty is through direct knowledge. Knowledge without the use of a medium, whether it is the mind, or the senses, but since there are very few people with such a capacity, there is no way to judge or to reject someone. Because there is every possibility that they are enlightened…and you are not enlightened so how can you know? How can you judge? It would not be in your best interest to judge. All you can do is to be sincere, authentic, and an intense seeker.
There have always been enlightened masters, so to say that the reason “I am not enlightened is because there are no enlightened masters around” is to deceive oneself. The truth is that there has always been a lack of disciples, and not masters, there has always been a lack of seekers who are willing to risk. For those who are authentic seekers, there are many opportunities available but they remain unseen. Zen masters have often been mistaken for unenlightened individuals because they appeared very ordinary.
If there was any way to know who is enlightened or not, do you think Jesus would have been crucified, do you think Mansur-al-Hallaj would have been murdered? Do you think Buddha would have been rejected by the Hindus, and Jesus by the Jews? Why were these people rejected? Because the people during those times had expectations, they judged, based on words and actions. The Pope appears to be Christian, a devout Christian, but do you think that this means that he is? Maitreya may appear strange to some people, but we all know how Gurdjieff would change his appearance to send away people that he did not want wasting his time. So how can we judge?
The real tradition of Osho is the conscious tradition which he has created, just like Sufism, just like Zen, Yoga, Tantra etc. etc. etc. Now this conscious tradition is a tradition of enlightened masters. The exoteric tradition has the words, the actions of Osho, but the esoteric has his being. And that is the real thing. So we have to understand that all this recent debate (as it often appears in sannyasnews) is over the outward tradition and it has nothing to do with inner transformation. Something to remember is that orthodox Muslims have rejected the Sufis as heretics and many of them have been killed. But we know who the real inheritors of Mohammad are. Zen is not recognized by the orthodox Buddhists, but you and I know to whom Buddha gave the flower.
Now do you deny that orthodox sannyasins reject enlightened masters, because they judge based on outward signs and symbols? We all know the rumours spread about Osho in his very own lifetime. Isn’t it possible that the same thing is happening to Osho’s enlightened inheritors? If you are an authentic seeker, you will not reject someone based on words and actions, based on rumors by others that he is unhinged for example, because we know that people said about Gurdjieff that he was wicked, evil, a murderer etc. etc. etc.
So do not be deceived, because Jews rejected Jesus and Hindus rejected Buddha. Do you think that sannyasins are exceptional and that they cannot commit unconscious mistakes and reject an enlightened one? There is every possibility that some Osho sannyasins are enlightened, and to reject them because of prejudice or some sort of preconceived notion can be very harmful, especially if it turns out that they are, in fact, enlightened. Beware, meaning: be aware.