The King is dead, Long live the King. Osho is dead, Long live Osho.
In olden days this declamation symbolised that it mattered not that the King had died – because a new King was always available to replace him. The authority and position of the King was eternal, whoever he was.
It seems that for some Sannyasins they believe in a similar principle. They insist that not only is Osho alive, but he lives in some ethereal manner known only to them.
It won’t be known to me, because I’m too much in my ” mind”, my ” ego”, or that I’m no longer a Sannyasin and have no right to comment.
If it were Christians who proclaimed such nonsense they would mostly ridicule the idea, but for some Sannyasins, the notion is unchallengeable and absolute.
I guess to challenge it, is to question the deepest preconceptions of these individuals, and they don’t like it very much. So, what are these preconceptions? Do they ever examine them or do they just believe them - like the Christians?
Osho himself began the confusion by promoting himself as someone who could transcend almost anything. We could use Osho tarot cards to keep in touch with his wisdom, we could meditate on his image, (and images were positioned everywhere to remind us of him) .
We could wear a Mala to be reminded of him; we would be his vanguard, his Sannyasins, wearing red to mark us out as different, ” better” than others. And above it all was the Master, who was “never born never died”, who was at one time a reincarnation of Buddha, at other times the only true living master.
He was a man who occasionally loved and cherished past masters, and yet on other occasions proclaimed they were all without value. A man who could even ensure that if any of his Sannyasins died around him, they would automatically die ” enlightened”. He further confused us by referring to how his essence , after death would miraculously fill the universe – if that’s true – isn’t it true of all of us who die?
I was party to it, if not always a true believer, like some still appear to do, but over time, the real humanity of the man became far more important to me than his “God like” nature.
Osho was a phenomenon of the East, and he never understood the west, despite how many books he read and digested. His conditioning and upbringing and his values are Eastern.
Yes, he valued some western techniques and therapies, and he attempted to bridge the gulf in understanding between west and east.
I’ve always felt he did a wonderful job, his time and place in history and in the development and expansion of ” spiritual ” thinking has affected many. As it has affected me.
No one can fully explain the power of Osho, or how his charisma brought people to him who had no interest in religion, how his image alone could affect. How in his physical presence a magical stillness descended on many. But we might consider that many other charismatics also have touched people, whether they are Nelson Mandela or Hitler or Gurdjieff.
It doesn’t alter the fact that he is dead now, or that Poona is now unlike anything he could have ever envisaged ; or that it cannot be possible for anyone now to become a Sannyasin once the Master is dead. Indeed ” Sannyas” itself always was a traditional eastern notion, and one that Osho apparently was uncertain of introducing at all.
What many seem to ignore is that Osho was not unlike any other human being. That his enlightenment didn’t mean he could teach us in the west, (or in the east for that matter). He may have realised a point in consciousness, but this doesn’t mean that he had transcended his conditioning.
It doesn’t mean he hadn’t finished learning, or that he couldn’t make mistakes. It didn’t stop him becoming a father figure for many lost souls. It wouldn’t stop people who needed an authority figure transferring their need and pain onto him. Indeed on occasions he encouraged such transference.
It didn’t stop him writing a book defending socialism in one decade and in a later decade proclaim capitalism.
For some investigating his contradiction or failures meant rejecting Osho. We saw this in particular after the ranch, when many were so hurt they blamed Osho. Forgetting that they were as ‘responsible ‘as Osho was.
Others stayed with him, thought thick and thin, because to abandon their new Sannyas identity would also be too painful. And when their self identify is threatened their vitriol knows few bounds.
Today it appears, many still believe that Osho ‘lives’ inside them, or outside them, that they can commune with him, feel his presence, that he is alive. To me, they are religionists, and Osho on many occasions attacked and ridiculed such ideas. They sentimentalise some notion of Sangha, the specialness of their relationship seems to know no bound. They even think their relationships with fellow Sannyasins makes them special. They gather together to discuss the past and to feel safe. They sing and sway to sickly melodic music using the words of Osho, like Jesus freaks, and sentimentalise the glorious days of Poona.
Of course there is a natural need to come together and to share, to feel safe and to explore together.
But where belief defies the facts, there is only emotion.
Osho truly did die some years ago, his message has resonance today, but to believe in the manner of some Sannyasins, is a delusion, and one Osho himself would have attacked.