Beloved friends at Sannyas News
Firstly, I would like to express my regrets for not seeing the comments with regards to my open letter about Osho’s death (Osho’s Death: An Open Letter from Ageh Bharti) that you posted on June 13, 2017 until now because of my multiple engagements. When I saw the postings today, I was a bit horrified. However, I decided to respond to the comments of friends with details of interest.
I do not take Shantam Prem seriously because I don’t consider him more than a journalist who pretends to know all though knows nothing. He says, my relationship with Osho is like one of Indian women who stick to one husband all their lives. No, I am a lover of beauty – it may be a beautiful poem, a song, a dance, a well-worded sentence, a beautiful face. And what to say of enlightened Masters! Really, words fail! But I am not at all confined to Osho, the person Shantam knows. And what can he know about me by visiting my residence at Satna for few hours or a day or two?
Then he wonders if I have read, “Who killed Osho?” written by one of the finest unbiased journalists? No, neither have I read it nor do I feel like reading. What a journalist can write about the death of a Master! Being unbiased is not enough to know about the death of Osho. It needs certain insight. No doubt Shantam knows English enough to teach me.
Other friends have raised many questions. I will try to respond in brief in this article. First my biography, asked by some friends.
I passed my high school (10th class) in 1953 from a small town in Pratapgarh district of U.P.,India. The economic condition of the family was not satisfactory so I had to give up my studies and look for a job. Found a job at Indian Railways and after 10 weeks’ training, I was posted at Jabalpur where I arrived on 26th Jan 1955. I was initially a worshiper of Krishna who was very happy with me. Within a minute or two his picture won’t remain a picture. It would become alive and his lips smiled so beautifully. And my worship would complete here. But that got dropped in 1960 because I thought I must know the Truth myself. Thus I became a seeker of Truth/God from 1960 onwards. During that search, I met several Gurus but after one or two meetings, I used to realize that I was better off being alone.They appeared to be just mediocre, couldn’t be my guide on the path. My aloneness was too profound. Even in a crowd, I felt to be alone. I started writing poems in 1964 and read Kahlil Gibran in 1965. Felt his presence with me all the time. I had accepted him to be my Master though he had already died.
In July 1964, I attended a condolence meeting of a VIP’s son who had died at age 41. I saw Osho there for the first time. Every speaker expressed sorrow at the untimely death. In India, the most respected person of a meeting speaks last. So, Osho spoke as the last one. I remember his first sentence even today. It was enough to give a jerk to awaken but I remained unconcerned as I was fully occupied in those days with poems and search of inner psychology of womankind and ultimate Truth as well.
He said, “Dear ones, no death is untimely….”
I was fond of reading good books. On 2nd Oct 1966, I saw a book by name ‘naye manushya ke janm ki Disha’ means ‘Way to the birth of New Man.’ Very title attracted me. I opened one page and read one sentence. Aha! I felt too good. I asked the shopkeeper if he had more books of this author? He showed two more books, one, ‘Singhnaad’ means ‘Lion’s roar’ and ‘Ahinsa Darshan’ means ‘philosphy of Non-violence.’ I enjoyed reading these books so much that I finished all the three in one sitting. And kept them in my peronal library and forgot.
Then sometime in November or December 1966 something happened that changed the whole course of my life. I realized to be enlightened. I was living all the virtues of an enlightened one e.g. I was deathless. Living only in the present. Awareness was all the time. No attachment with any thing or any person. I felt so much energy that if I wished, whole earth would come into my fist and as I wished it would get crushed into.pieces on its own. But what a wonder, no desire, no wanting. Aware even during sleep. All that I saw, heard, and the unseen, unheard, the entire existence was nothing but God. For me death disappeared, fear disappeared, the greed, the lust, the anger, the ‘I’ disappeared. There was no difference in men and women. I was all. Love became the state of my being. Even if a snake appeared to be coming towards me, I would not like to disappoint it. I was no longer a doer. I was only a watcher.
I was a locomotive pilot in those days but I no longer felt that I was driving. I was only a witness. I was really the God. Everyone was a God but asleep. One day, everyone is bound to realize his/her Godhood. Even a small particle in the street is on the same journey. One day it too will realise to be God. Bliss became my state of being. Enjoyed everything. In February 1967 I felt that someone else too should say this.
It was at that time that I went to see Osho in the first week of February. It was 12.30 pm. He was asleep. I took the mailing address from Prof Arvind Kumar, the then secretary to Osho, and went home
On reaching back home, I wrote a letter to Osho:
Respected Acharya Shri,
I had come to see you today but I learnt that you were asleep. Through the work that God is actualising through you, the body may be getting tired. Therefore, if something has to be done, rest is an absolute necessity. So l did not feel any discomfort in returning without seeing you. However, I will be coming to see you until I can see you at least once. And I feel if I want I can see you right now, here, at my residence. ( My intention to write so, was the same that if earth could come in my fist why a man of six feet can not come.) But what a wonder! No desire is left. You will say this boy is talking contradictory things. Once he says he wants to meet, and if he never meets he will not feel bad either. But it is so.
Rest until we meet.
After posting the above letter, I took a break and then went on my railway trip to Itarsi. Took a break and returned with another train. Rested. And then I went to see Osho on 10th February 1967 at about 06.20 pm. Arvind ji told me that Osho was taking a rest and that I could come to Shahid Smarak Bhavan on Sunday to attend the meeting. I said, “I am not interested in a meeting. Does he ever meet one to one with anybody?’ Arvind ji said, ‘Yes, then you may come on Sunday at 2 pm.” I told him that I was a locomotive pilot and where I will be on Sunday I don’t know myself. Then he asked, “Do you have time today?” I chuckled and said, “Well, I have time today, that’s why I have come.” He said, “Ok, then come at 8 o’clock and see him for 10 minutes.” I said, “Ok,” and went out and spent about one hour and 39 minutes dancing on the road. It was an elite area. Couples would pass, looking at me with strange eyes. I enjoyed walking there. Exactly at 7.59 pm I rang up the call bell. Arvind ji came and took me to Osho’s study and asked me to take a seat and He would come in a minute or two. After two minutes Osho arrived walking in his most magnificent style as if he was walking on rose petals.
We exchanged our pranamsto each other. We took a seat on a wooden cot which had a mattress and achadar over it and two cushions. There were also some books kept. He told that he was to reply to my letter in a day or two. I said smilingly, “I have come now myself.” in my very first meeting I addressed him as Bhagwan and Gurudev.
“Since how long you are in Jabalpur?” He asked.
“Twelve years,” I said.
“Have you attended any meeting ever?”
“Have you read any literature?”
“No.” (I had no memory of those books)
Then He asked smilingly, ”What brings you here?”
Since I was allotted ten minutes time, and he had been talking until now, my time was to start at this point and I looked at my wrist watch, so that I could say my thing in 7 to 8 minutes and he too gets two minutes to comment.
Osho said, “Tell me in full detail, do not worry about time.”
Then I narrated in detail in about half an hour as to what happened, then what happened, then what happened. And that “Now I feel I am enlightened. And I think since God has showered this limitless grace on a fool like me, it is for me now to spread his message that love is the only religion. All other religions have no relevance today. So I have a mind to leave the family and spread this message all over. I don’t exactly know why I have come to you before leaving.”
Osho commented so sweet and lovingly. He said, “It is not enlightenment. It is the highest stage of mind which is rare, it is not common. In enlightenment, there is no happiness either. Only an emptiness remains. A great zero. And there remains nobody to remember as to what happened. But it is very rare, not common. Due to some very good deeds of past lives it has happened, otherwise it is rare. The mind is capable to get a glimpse of Truth. And who will leave whom? No need to leave the family. And whenever you feel like coming, doors are open.” Our meeting was over. Very joyously and lovingly I took his leave, offered my pranam to Him and left dancing again. About six kilometres I came to my home dancing, though I had my bicycle with me.
Then I used to go and tell him often what was happening to me. He would lovingly interpret. After a few visits family members noticed that Osho gave me much uplift so they stopped asking why I wanted to meet him. Thus, in Jabalpur, I alone had the privilege to see him without any appointment. Then our meetings developed and he took away two of my works – both were my hobbies – i.e. writing and gossiping. He would ask, ”Is your gossip going on?” I would respond, “Yes!“
He never told me what he meant by gossiping nor did I feel any need to ask. For me there was no other topic than Osho. Answering people’s questions, removing their doubts… Swami Anand Swabhav, who later became Osho’s Ambassador for India, asked me for a one-to-one talk in 1972 at Mount Abu Camp. He had a mind to leave Osho. After I chatted with him for about forty-five minutes, he said, “Now even if the whole world leaves him, I will not leave him.”
In 1969, Osho authorised me to write articles in his name even on topics he hadn’t yet spoken on, and not to delay if some magazine demanded an article on such topic. I had to do that only one time though. Once he sent me a message to write an article on Dadda ji (His father) although people from Gadarwara were staying as inmate in the Ashram who must have known much more about Dadda ji. In fact he liked my write ups so much. One example of May 1989 i.e. only seven months before leaving the body. When something was published in a news paper or a magazine, be it ‘for’ or ‘against’, it were sent to Laotzu House at about 10.30 and all those clippings would come back at about 2 p.m. During the entire Poona days, one and two, only once a slip came attached to it which read :’ Osho had not enjoyed any article for past several days as he enjoyed the article of Swami Ageh bharti published on a news paper. It should be published in Hindi and English Osho Times and ageh bharti to be advised to continue such write ups.’
Lokesh is puzzled as to how does Ageh Bharti deem himself fit to say that Osho is the man of Krishna, Buddha and Mahavir’s stature! My dear Sir, I would like to make it clear in a simple way. Let us suppose that in a village 1000 people live. All of them are blind since birth. One man’s eyes opened as he had been working on it but they closed again after few months. Now he is not the same person like the others. He has seen the green and the red and the moon and stars. He provokes people to work on their eyes with him. Then he hears lectures of a person whose eyes have opened forever so when he talks of the green and red, moon and stars this man whose eyes got closed in a way again, knows by his own insight that he is saying the truth. Believe me, if somebody writes a small letter to me, I know where he stands.
Osho of course knew what I thought at a certain time, even I knew what Osho wanted at a certain time. There are hundreds and hundreds of instances when words for Osho will fall short. Let me say humbly that it is not necessary to be in Pune to know how Osho died. Do you mean, all people living in Pune at the time know how Osho died?
It is not without reason that I was blessed to be with him on several of his tours. Laxmi, Keerti, Neelam, Satya Vedant etc were once upon a time so eager to sit near Ageh Bharti. During my second or third visit with Osho to Ludhiana, Neelam had come to listen to Osho for the first time. She one day requested me to go to her home. It was so difficult to find time because I used to be surrounded with people asking about Osho thousand and one things. But Neelam’s loving insistence made me to go to her home for 30 minutes only. Its not my ego saying so, it is true. It is not without reason Sir, that moon and stars and the sun move at a certain speed on a certain path.
Lokesh seems to be in love with HWL Poonja. It reminded me of my meeting with him in October 1991 in Lucknow. Since it is relevant, I would like to share here.
I reached Lucknow in the afternoon of 23rd October 1991 to be with my friend Swami Rakesh Bharti who did his Ph.D. on Osho. In the evening he asked me, “Would you like to visit Poonja ji tomorrow morning?” I asked him, “Who is Poonja ji?” He said, ” He is working as an enlightened Master.” I said, “I am not interested, dear friend.”
He said, “In the last month I have been to Osho’s Ashram in Poona. Whosoever came to know that I am from Lucknow, became anxious to know about Poonja ji. Is he inside the city or outside of the city? A large number of sannyasins are going there. Is he really enlightened?”
I then said I’d certainly go because poor Neelam will not leave her office and come to Lucknow to check it out. And the next morning we both reached there. It was a small hall, accommodating 40 to 50 friends. There were cushions kept on the ground. At the extreme end was a bench. We both chose to sit on the cushions of the last row. The entire hall filled up. After a while a tall and serene man entered the hall from inside the house. He wore a simple kurta and trousers. I whispered into Rakesh’s ear, “I love this man.” Some people touched his feet, some simply greeted, saying pranam. Some did nothing. He was calm, smiling and serene. Then, after some time he started speaking. After listening to him for five to seven minutes I told Rakesh that according to me he is enlightened. I enjoyed his talk. After about one hour he ended his talk. We came out. There was arrangement of cookies, tea and coffee etc. While leaving the campus I told Rakesh that he is certainly enlightened but I am finished with him.
In the evening, Rakesh asked me if I would like to visit his Osho meditation centre? Some 7-8 friends would gather there for Dynamic Meditation. I consented to go gladly and went there in the morning. Eight friends were there and Rakesh wanted to meditate and I had to give instructions for Dynamic. In the end I went myself so deep that when the meditation was over, I remained in deep silence on my easy chair. I smelled jalebis and samosas. Then after some time it struck me that may be, one or two persons could be waiting for me to come out and then leave. So I took 15 to 20 long breaths to come out of meditation. When I came outside two friends were really waiting to meet me before leaving. I was silent and couldn’t speak. Rakesh asked me to eat sweets and samosas but because of the deep silence I didn’t want to disturb my meditation by moving the mouth.
Then he asked me, “Shall we go to Poonja ji’s meeting?” I gazed into his eyes to remind him what I had said yesterday that I was finished with him. But he could not guess my intention perhaps and asked again. Then I submitted by an affirmative gesture. We reached there quite on time… Poonja ji came shortly after and started to speak. I wrote a question and passed it on. It reached Poonja ji who kept the folded paper beside him until the discourse ended and then went inside the house.
I asked Rakesh to go. He told me that may be, in second session he takes your question. I said it is not much of a question for which we should remain here. Then he told that he runs a Osho meditation centre and here, 100% were Osho people. I said ok I get you now. I talked to many friends to visit the Osho centre some time which is just close by, when they are free and heard later that some people had visited and had enjoyed it. After a 40 or 50 minutes break, we again sat in the assembly. All took their seats. Then Poonja ji came and took his seat; he took the paper bearing my question – if it can be described a question. I had written, “Beloved Poonja ji, I do not know what should I ask you but I would love to hear you say something to me.” It could have taken hardly two seconds to read but he remained looking at the paper for about 2 minutes. Then he looked at the audience and asked, “Who is Swami Bharti?” I raised my right hand a little above my right ear and said, “Sir.” He looked at me too for more than a minute and said,” Please do not activate your mind. You are already in the state of no-mind. Your work is finished and I bow down in front of you!” And he bowed down physically with folded hands in front of all his audience and I too bowed down in the same way simultaneously.
It is not less strange that I was in Lucknow for three days and on none of the days did I want to go to Poonja ji and on all three days I had to go.
On the second day’s evening, Prakash Yatri, an Osho disciple arrived from Kanpur and Dhyan Prem Bharti arrived from Faizabad. Rakesh asked me, “Do you know Prakash Yatri is my long-time friend?” I said, “Yes.” He then said, “He has come to see Poonja ji for the first time.” I said,” No problem, you go with him, I will be here at home.” Dhyan Prem Bharti said, “I too will go to Poonja ji.” I asked him, “Haven’t you been to him before?” He said that he had visited several times but he wanted to go again. I said, “If everyone is going there, then what I will do here alone? I too will join you but then let us go there in the break after taking a good bath and then have a comfortable breakfast.” They gladly agreed to that.
We got ready after shower and breakfast, and very contentedly arrived at Poonja ji’s residence. As we entered the boundary wall, Rakesh pointed to a certain person, telling me that he is Poonja ji’s son. Things happened so spontaneously, unplanned. I went to him and namasted him and asked, “Yesterday I had asked a question and Poonja ji gave a beautiful answer. Can I see him in person right now?” He said, “I will ask and let you know.” He went inside and returned saying, “Yes, you may go in.” I used to tell Rakesh that Poonja ji is pure love. He misses the fiery flavour. Here it happened that I proceeded to meet Poonja ji in person in his room and three of my friends followed me. I namasted Poonja ji who was very, very humble. As the fourth person was to enter, Poonja ji said to a volunteer standing close-by in a sharp tone and raising one hand, “Stop now.” Here I saw his fiery flavor too. And the fourth person could not enter. And the beauty is that he was not with me. And those three with me had entered. All this happened in a blink of eyes. And lo, Poonja ji says, “Come Bharti, come.” He made a gesture to sit near him and I sat down close him on the same bed. My friends touched his feet and sat on the carpet on the ground. I told Poonja ji that both my feet keep burning and I had to wrap wet cloth around them and only then could I sleep.”
Poonja ji answered so simply that as far as he had seen the scriptures, only Kabir’s legs were burning like this. He further said, “Nothing to worry about. Let it be burnt completely.” Ok. Then I reminded him that perhaps break time is over. He smilingly said, “Yes,” and we took leave and came out. We entered the hall and took our seats as Poonja ji entered from the inside. In the second session, he read letters that were for him and chatted lightly. After the second session we dispersed, talking only about Poonja ji.