BOWING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
A positive sign of the changing times
While most of my contemporaries were earning degrees in university or becoming alcoholics, I was off in India in search of that most vague of commodities: ‘The Truth’. After a decade I returned to Europe in the early eighties. Not with the answer to the answer but with a disease that nearly gave me a permanent out-of-body experience. After being in such close proximity to death I decided for a while to focus on more down to earth matters, like finding a decent place to live, accumulating money and having love affairs with cars that consumed a lot of petrol. Life went on and I had some good times and some terrible ones. I suppose you could say I’ve led an interesting life.
One thing that happened during those times was that I drifted away from Osho, both on a physical level and a psycho-spiritual one. I’d had enough of the yogic lifestyle ( I practiced dynamic and kundalini religiously every day for years and scrubbed stairs with toothbrushes for weeks on end in Koregaon Park) and I now wanted what most people want in life: a bit of security. Not being a particularly materialistic person, this required most of my energies.
Meanwhile, on a more subtle level, the burning question – Who am I? – continued to flicker in my heart. In 1991 my wife travelled to Poona, to do a few groups, and then up to Lucknow, where she met H W L Poonja, who made her most welcome. When I picked my wife up in Ibiza Airport after her latest sojourn in India, I saw immediately that something wonderful had happened to her. She was radiating a light that even a blind man could see.
‘You have to go to Lucknow and meet Poonjaji,’ was the first thing she said to me. I groaned inwardly and thought, oh no, not filthy India and another bloody guru.
Two months later I was sitting at Poonjaji’s feet. I could write a book about what I went through in the two months I spent in Lucknow but what I want to share with you today will not require such a drawn-out process.
It was during my time with Poonjaji that I reconnected with Osho. This came about for a number of reasons. The main ones being that the transmission I received from Poonjaji would not have been possible had it not been for Osho preparing the ground and secondly: there were many ‘insiders’ from Poona in Lucknow and very few of them had anything good to say about Osho. I listened to many accounts about what had been going on behind the scenes during the last years of Osho’s life. I suspected that at least some of the scandal was true. After a month of listening to this and that I sat down and, for the first time in a decade, invoked the spirit of Osho. It came to me what a psychological wreck I had been when I first sat on Osho’s porch in early 1975 and how thanks to the master’s guidance I was returned to a state of wellness. The only thing that Osho ever took from me was my ignorance and in return he gave me his valuable time and almost infinite patience via the twin channels of being a friend and mentor. As I sat in Lucknow recalling all this, it struck me like a thunderbolt what a wonderful man Osho was and how blessed I had been to have received so much of his undivided attention. From that day on, I ceased to listen to the gossip and will forever hold Osho dear to my heart.
It was round about then that Poonjaji gave me a good talking to. He called me forward in satsang one morning and, after establishing that I had little desire to be born again said, ‘You stay here, remain silent, don’t gossip and mind your own business.’ All things considered, those might not sound like pearls of spiritual wisdom but if you practice those four simple instructions the rewards can be phenomenal.
Stay here: The best place to be if you want to disengage from the mind.
Remain silent: It is only in silence that the gentle words of truth can be heard. In silence you grow.
Don’t gossip: Well…not unless you want to feed the chattering monkey in your head anymore than you are already doing.
Mind your own business: There are many good reasons to do this. In my case it is a simple recipe that helps me live a peaceful life.
My point is this. I distinctly remember Osho saying that, if the need existed, he would guide his sannyasins to other masters when he was gone from this world. You yourself may have heard this, because he said this on more than one occasion. My question is this, why is there so much opposition within the sanyasin community to this happening? Instead of viewing sannyasins as ‘traitors’ and ‘ex-sannyasins’ for becoming involved with other masters why not encourage sannyasins to do this because the need exists? That way this ‘them’ and ‘us’ attitude that has developed will fade away and a socio-spiritual experiment that was based in unity will not deteriorate into one of separation where the walls go up if something new develops. And something new has developed because the good news is here and it is this. The real master lives in your heart. All others simply show you the way. This is the truth. How do I know that? I’m not quite sure, but I am certain that if I bow down to Osho and Poonjaji and give thanks I am bowing in the right direction.