Osho visits a Bistro

Osho takes an Ice-cream (in 1962)

An excerpt from Chapter 2, Life Awakening Center (Jivan Jagruti Kendra) of Laherubhai’s book ‘Blessed Moments with Osho’.

Cross Maidan Bombay. Geeta Lecture, 1972

People listening to Osho in Bombay around this time.

Since 1961-62, some institutions in Mumbai had arranged for Osho to lecture to them.  Most of the people who listened to Osho were Jains.

In 1962-63, Osho was being hosted in Shri Harshadbhai’s house. One evening when he was going somewhere with Osho, he took him to a bistro to have some ice cream. After entering the restaurant, Shri Harshadbhai felt that it would have been better if he had not brought Osho there. He felt that the atmosphere inside was not proper for a person like Osho, and he felt nervous. Osho has mentioned this incident several times in his discourses. […]

Osho talks about the Bistro Incident

‘ I used to come to Bombay, before I settled in Bombay, almost two or three times per month because the headquarters were in Bombay, the whole work was there. There I had the greatest following; and the most intelligent people in India of course are in Bombay. Slowly thousands of people started knowing me. One day one of my sannyasins – at that time I had not started sannyas but now he is a sannyasin…. He used to drive me about and just jokingly – he did not mean it, but he was not fully aware of me – just before a bistro, he stopped the car and said, “Osho, would you like to come in and have an ice cream?”

Ice cream I used to love. To tell you the truth I still love it, although there is no way to find it anywhere. I said, “That’s a great idea!” Then he became afraid. He had been joking. He had said it thinking that a religious man would say no to going into a bistro, where an almost naked woman was doing a striptease dance. He said, “Are you sure?”

I said, “Absolutely! Just open the door – because this is my last life. After this life there is no bistro for me and no ice cream: I don’t want to miss the last chance.” He waited for a few seconds. I said, “For what are you waiting?”

He said, “But if somebody sees you there, and recognizes you there….”

I said, “That is my problem.”

He said, “No, it is not your problem – they will kill me, they will say, ‘It is you who took him; otherwise how could he find that bistro? You were supposed to take him home from the meeting place, not to a bistro.’”

I said, “Don’t be worried. I will protect you and say that I insisted, that seeing the signboard, ‘Bistro,’ I said, ‘What is this? – I want to know.’”

He said, “Then it is okay. But, Osho, you are creating a very troubled state for me.”

I said, “Don’t be worried – just come on.”

I had to enter first, then he followed me; he had to follow. It was an air-conditioned place, but he was perspiring.

I said, “Harshad, – Harshad was his name – your name means rejoice. What a fool – rejoice!”

And what he was afraid of happened. The manager of the bistro had heard me: he came and fell at my feet. Harshad was just going into a nervous breakdown. Everything stopped; even the striptease dancer stopped – everything was frozen. When the manager fell at my feet, other customers who had no idea who I was started coming to touch my feet and the striptease girl came down from the stage.

I said, “Harshad, it seems even in this life it is not going to be possible.”

I told the manager, “At least bring my ice cream.”

He said, “Will you accept one?”

I said, “Accept? I am ordering one: I like tutti-frutti.” I was eating my ice cream and the whole crowd was standing around me.

I said, “What are you doing? Do your business!” And Harshad was hiding behind the crowd because if the manager saw him….

As I finished my ice cream, he came and just grabbed me. He told me, “Osho, out! I will never drive you again if you do such a thing.”

I said, “But what have I done? I have not created any problem for anyone. You had asked me, ‘Would you like some ice cream?’ so I ordered one. Moreover, in all this hullaballoo they have not asked for the bill. Go and pay it.”

He said, “I am not going inside again. I cannot go alone; if you come ahead of me….”

I said, “Then don’t bother, because nobody is thinking of the bill right now. We enjoyed them, they enjoyed us, and it is balanced. There is nothing much to be worried about. But where have you been hiding? I had to eat two long glasses full of ice cream because the manager had brought the best, the biggest glasses. Where were you? I had to eat two glasses, and two glasses that size are a little too much.”

He continued to drive me, but whenever there was a bistro or anything, he would go so fast. I would say, “Harshad, a bistro!” and he would say, “Never again!”

People came to know somehow and he had a good beating from everybody. In Bombay, in those days there were many old people who were followers of mine, very respected people: somebody was an ex-mayor, somebody was ex-sheriff, somebody was a minister. I told everybody, “Nobody is to harass Harshad; he has been punished enough.” He had perspired and begun trembling, but I simply enjoyed it; the whole scene was so fabulous. And for the striptease girl this was an absolutely new act. She may never have done it before and will never have to do it again.

In heaven there seems to be something worthwhile. But for centuries, these people have been claiming knowledge about heaven and hell; and once you get trapped in their net of knowledge, you are finished. Then you are no more alive. Then their knowledge makes you feel ignorant, inferior, guilty, a sinner. Even eating ice cream, you feel you are committing a sin. It is strange, because in no religious scripture is it written that ice cream is sin.

But the religions are against enjoying anything.”

Osho, From Personality to Individuality, Ch 28

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47 Responses to Osho visits a Bistro

  1. Klaus says:

    Ah, Osho. He’s the man. What a wonderful story, once more.

    Poor Harshad, who cannot take it, as he was not yet ‘the Blessed One’.

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Yes, Klaus, one of these wonderful stories of seemingly ancient times when the Mystic Osho began to attract masses of listeners in His homeland and the culture He was born into.

      And I´m with Kavita, when she shared her impression about the faces of the listeners one can see on the added pic: “Innocent”, she said, she spoke about “baited” too.

      Well, the story itself is then one of the numerous, showing us more of the collective social and religious mind frames behind “innocent” faces, adulation – or the opposite, resistance – to the message passed on…

      You say, Klaus: “Poor Harshad, who cannot take it, as he was not yet ‘the Blessed One’.”

      You know what I really loved when Being in His Sangha and His Presence long, long time later? That was when He made mincemeat of an individual’s fixed patterns, the habits of one of His lovers, in front of the Sangha, and stripped this person naked before the whole audience, making it clear (for the time being) that the particular ´personalised’ issue mentioned and diagnosed is one for everybody else’s meditation in the audience, and pretty much always insisted the audience look inside themselves for similar.

      For the time being that such exchange was possible. Timeless wisdom, I’d say.


      • swamishanti says:

        So past, present and future are not separate. The whole thing could have been orchestrated.

        We are all pre-programmed ‘bots’, as another Mumbai guru, Ramesh, used to say.

        The show is an illusion and our identification with our body-mind organism disguises our true nature.

        Osho, Hitlers and everything else is being orchestrated by the supreme master, the Great Arsehole.

        • swamishanti says:

          I realised just how much Indians take life as an illusion when one day, the manager of the hotel I was staying in just literally pulled a big piece of brick out of the wall, and stated, “Look – this place is finished – we will knock down and rebuild in three years.”

          It was an ancient building from the Raj era, an old British mansion that was literally falling apart. High up in the jungle hills of Matheran.

          It seemed as if the owners of the place hadn`t touched it or done any renovation at all since they`d converted it into a hotel. They were just waiting for it to fall apart and then knock it down and then rebuild it again.

          I had a huge room with lots of windows.
          A posse of monkeys used to come and sit on the windowsills and watch me meditating.
          Someone told me the British used to shoot the monkeys from the balcony.

  2. frank says:

    In the past, everything was nice.

    In the past everything was nice
    people eat ice-cream and dined on milk-rice
    as they all watched ‘It`s a Wonderful Life’.
    God was totally at ease
    sitting in a chai shop watching a nice striptease.
    When God said he was God
    you knew he was
    not some creepy perverted sod.

    In the present, it`s all gone completely awry.
    The Gods are blaggers, they pathologically lie.
    the secrets used to be about a golden flower
    now they are about revenge porn
    and wanking off in the shower.
    They bury dead bodies in the dead of night
    then dig them up again and start a vicious fight.

    In the past things were nice.
    People namasted and doffed their caps
    things happened in the moment not on some apps.
    religions were the bad guys and being naughty was fun.
    I pulled a few chicks, I was a son of a gun.
    God was comfy, he knew how to guide
    It was so great being on the right side.

    In the present, you can support the groovy-looking guys
    and still end up with your face covered with pies.
    Long hair doesn`t even hide a red neck
    and enlightened ones don`t give a flying feck.
    their behaviour`s a disgrace to the human race
    they puff up with delusions and smash in your face.

    In the past things were nice
    people eat ice-cream and dined on milk rice.

    • sannyasnews says:

      In the past,
      Some had their arms broken by Zen Masters,
      Others tore their eyelids off,
      Others were held under water until they nearly drowned.
      Don’t think times have changed in the Master/Disciple stakes just because of the melodies of Frank; his iambics can’t change the truth!

      • frank says:

        Oh yeah,I remember those Zen stories (but do you have any evidence for them? Could be just hearsay and gossip,remember):
        Child abuse
        Beaten to death for looking at a passing hottie
        Murdering cats
        Beautiful women tearing their own faces off
        Chopping body parts
        Out and out misogyny
        Dudes thrown off the top of buildings
        Bunch of celibate blokes holed up in the mountains whacking each other with sticks.

        If that`s your scene, well hey, whatever floats your boat, man.

        I`ll stick to poetry!

        • anand yogi says:

          Again the ignorant western baboons fail to understand!

          It is utterly necessary for the guru to oversee severe beatings in order to batter disciples into non-violence with selfless compassion!
          Beating people unconscious in order to raise consciousness is something that over-logical western mind which is nothing but mind can never hope to understand!

          It is indeed a paradox that can best be understood and administered by those wearing a pair of docs!

          Parmartha is the guv`nor and is perfectly correct when he gives loving reminder that the use of threats, sticks, knives, fists, samurai swords, boots, glasses, lathis and other devices are all devices which are indispensable part of the Master /disciple relationship.

          Following the vision of the hardmen of mighty Bhorat, “good kickings” for devoted disciples such as Dhyan Raj can become daily occurrence in zen paradise jungle meditation bootcamps all over world with Parmatha and Ozen as chief droogies at helm of Clockwork Orange people!

          Arun`s support for Zorba the Buddha Modi shows he is man not afraid to do genocide and ethnic cleansing in name of religion and also shows esoteric understanding of absolute necessity of violence on spiritual path that left-wing, homosexual, snowflake westerners with mind and ego cannot understand!

          Taste of fascism can become full thali of fascism with extra desi ghee!

          It is Swami Bhorat`s feeling that, in accordance with Osho`s mandate, it is necessary to update old bullock cart methods for the modern world, so it is absolutely necessary for ashrams and retreat centres to be equipped with waterboarding facilities!

          Swami Bhorat has registered trademark already @ Osho Neo-Waterboarding™ and is following dictates of master to train best therapists in world!

          The expertise of Devageet will be employed, following wisdom revealed to him by Osho of importance of teeth and their removal, how to best knock out teeth of disciples for maximum karmic effect and settling of Akashik scores and records!

          Swami Ali has been appointed to oversee the project! Also, several experienced therapists and rapists from Govan area of Glasgow will be drafted in to open third eye of resistant disciples with time-honoured methods including Caledonian Pulsing and Neo-nutting™!

          Kevin Spaceyji and Harshad Weinstein will be invited to conduct tantra workshops (age limit 23) so all can understand workings of glorious past religions of East and use Osho`s legacy to get leg-over!

          The vision of meeting of wisdom of East and wisdom of West is happening!

          We are bringing together wisdom of mighty Ganga and Clyde and will move forward with participants drinking bottle of Buckfast tonic wine before Dynamic meditation to increase cathartic effect and hopefully bring back hoo hoo hoo hooligan old days of Pune 1 where broken arms, legs, black eyes and thick ears abound in riotous religious ruck to drunk-on-divine, bare-knuckle nirvana!

          Also, as Kavita shows, it is utterly necessary in the world of enlightenment, in between eve-teasing marathons, it is to harass women about the clothes they are wearing!

          Ah! My heart aches with the spiritual longing of a sixty year-old man with erectile dysfunction staring at pair of naked 18 year-old titties in the shower, for the day when Resort becomes ashram again and Shantam and Avatard Nozen on podium giving discourse about true meaning of words with timeless classic wisdom such as “In the matter of words it does not matter if the underpants are outside the trousers” as he exercises droit-de-seigneur with innocent until proven guilty females of the gora race!

          In the interest of fair play, Parmartha must be offered the workship of ‘Master of Discipline’ so that Zen beatings can be administered with a polite, compassionate, British way with cricket bat and “It is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” awareness.

          Hari Om!
          You`re gonna get your fuckin `ead kicked in, oi oi oi!

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Thanks for this kind of very British-flavoured ‘Nostradamus-play-like-Website-Update’ – and much more of such contribution, Anand Yogi.

            One does not speak in vain about the Secrecy of Secret Services in terms of cheating, hooligan-wise harrassing, beating, blackmailing, disinforming etc., playing with kicking out and installing into, to get a system constellation setting ´done´- and sad enough, some parts of so-called spiritual groups do not make any exception to otherwise worldly scenes compared to the methods, measures and means of contemporary war-zones and its media-activism.

            Too bad, I´d say.


          • Lokesh says:

            Yogi once again delivers elements of fun and satire in an otherwise ho-hum thread. I think it was a pity that The Guv put a stop to the outpourings on the Ozen thread because, at least for me, it was the most entertaining thread SN has had in some time.

            Osho in a bistro and rewinds on Laxmi just aren’t my cup of strange brew. Much too orientated to days long gone. Round about now is so much more interesting and in the spirit of Sannyas.

            • frank says:

              Totally agree. McLoke. I was also very disappointed that the guv`nor closed down ‘Parrots of the Caribbean’ – the sequel, the best and most current SN movie for a while.

              Plus, the guv`nor seems to support Dhyan Raj`s pathetic, pseudo-reasonable contribution (what a remarkable change of tone a “good kicking” can bring) instead of following his own hard-core Zen aggro-bovver-hardest-man-in-Nirvana philosophy and getting a few good romper-stomps on him while he is down!

          • Kavita says:

            Yogi, you make everything so crystal clear!

            • Klaus says:

              @ Yogi:

              Bang on gong – got it on!

              Ignorance is ignorance. EastsWestsNorthsSouths.

              • Kavita says:

                No doubt about that .

                • anand yogi says:

                  Perfectly incorrect, Kavita and Klaus!

                  At this very moment, Swami Bhorat is in Zurich speaking with lawyers as part of an important delegation in talks with Swamis Thikk and Thikkar, Dhum and Dhumma, Arun, Amrito, Jayesh, and all other members of OIF, OFI, OAF etc. with aim of taking out copyright on stupidity, trademark on ignorance and patent on idiocy!

                  Competition is red hot!

                  Hari Om!

                • Kavita says:

                  Yogi, you are perfectly un-refutable !

  3. Whenever I see old photos of Osho from early days I feel like laughing sarcastically on those who have made the living of doing Osho´s work.
    Osho as Acharya was attracting hundreds of thousands of living people and there was no trust or a big foundation around. These little priests want to sell them the books.

    As I feel, from the crowd Osho wanted to fish out his people, he wanted to create his own loyal people and these little disciples with big purified egos are just happy to count how many books are sold, how many clicks are on youtube videos.

    These stories of the past don´t make me sentimental anymore. Reason is clear, this past has no resonance in the present.

  4. Kavita says:

    After seeing this photo, seems most look so innocent in it.

    Perhaps only the innocent can be baited!

  5. Parmartha says:

    Seems Shantam, your tunes do not change.
    This story of Osho and the Ice cream I had never heard before, and actually I had no idea of the number of Jains who used to come and see him before he was known outside of that community.

    It is not without significance on a number of fronts, so your view that to know a little of Osho’s past has no resonance in the present is as silly as Henry Ford saying “all history is bunk”.

    As for you harping on endlessly about those two people who have ‘served’ Osho for 30 years, at his request – well – your comments are so ill considered. Look at those Jains in the crowd in the picture, many “loved” Osho at the time, but as soon as he began to upset their presuppositions, especially about sex, they left in enormous droves.

    Osho was good at attracting people, and also getting rid of those he did not want to work with!

    I continue to be amazed that the moderators here continue to still pass your posts as they are very often the same views put in many different ways and responses, and therefore tedious.

  6. satchit says:

    “He had said it thinking that a religious man would say no to going into a bistro, where an almost naked woman was doing a striptease dance.”

    Is this still up-to-date in India, that you get an ice-cream, striptease included?

  7. Parmartha says:

    One definition of Bistro is a small nightclub with a floor show. That seems to be the meaning here.

    One doesn’t know how much Osho ‘got around’ when he was young, but maybe more than the official biographic mind allows.

    I remember in August, 1985, when Osho ‘visited’ our discotheque on the Ranch unexpectedly. He stayed above 10 minutes, and did a lot of hooping with his arms, and we were all dancing around him respectfully.
    Later he commented there was too much smoke there, but he seemed to enjoy it well enough!

    Savita, Sheela’s number two, was driving him, and she did not look amused at all…A few weeks later, Sheela, Savita and Sheela’s whole gang left….

  8. Klaus says:

    As I currently understand it, past-present-future are not separate. Rather than seeing it horizontally – they are vertical. If not circular. At least, nothing can be excluded in the multi-dimensional.

    And/or my English is poor. That’s also possible.

    • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

      Yes, Klaus, even before humankind used the cross for crucifixion´s sake, there existed this ancient symbol, where the vertical meets the horizontal. This special meeting point, where both directions meet, some call ´the Heart´( even now…) – and when that point is met, some say, it´s of the timeless quality of the Presence.

      Other cultures use the mandala as a symbol or use the symbol of ´the wheel´, or call it Dharma Wheel.

      If our contemporary present time of ´Information-Age´ and artificial lntelligence and so on, with all its asynchronous measures and means will destroy all ways symbols are working for the Human Soul, we are yet to see.


    • swamishanti says:

      Sometimes just watching these old black and whites videos and pictures, one can get the fragrance of Osho in the present.

      I remember Osho explaining, eternity is not from A to B, B to C, C to D and to Z so on. It is more like A to a deeper A, A to A1, A1 to A2, A2 to A3, etc….

    • satyadeva says:

      What use is this ‘understanding’ if it’s not an actual reality in your experience, Klaus? Unless it is, of course….

      • Klaus says:

        I have read on:
        *’Difficulties for spiritual seekers…’

        “We can all benefit from each other’s energy levels for growth progress completion on the path.
        But students, after some realisations, immediately wish to become masters for others themselves.
        However, the unconscious mind is not fully cleared before fully reaching (enlightenment, arahatship, whatever).
        Thus there cannot be a full understanding (sic!) of the inner dynamics of any individual. Therefore any advice given at this stage cannot be trusted.”

        Baba therefore teaches slow progress incl. clearing of the unconscious mind…

        I found that advice extremely helpful: benefit from the energies available, apply own wisdom (inner things like energy level, perception, mood, distinction of phenomena feelings images thoughts ideas etc.) and common sense (outer things like money, dependency, free movement, closeness etc.).

        Klaus, THE LINK ISN’T RIGHT.

  9. As an Indian, let me try to share the history of those days of Osho sharing the story of ice cream.

    During those days, four big cities of Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta and Madras had some night clubs famous for their cabaret dances. Interestingly, ‘Lido’ was the first choice of names. I think there must be some kind of Lido restaurants in the red-light areas in England.

    Many Hindi movies of that time used to have cabaret dances for titillating effect. One link of 1967 movie is enclosed. Because newspapers were published only from these four metros and distributed around the country, everyone was aware about cabaret bars due to their advertisements.

    It was quite an adventurous thing for small town businessmen to visit these Lidos during their business trips to Delhi, Mumbai etc. So when they used to tell their brave experiences to their colleagues back home it was a common curiosity, “Do the dancers remove all clothes?” Full frontal nudity was not allowed till today.

    During late 1970s, licence was cancelled for such clubs with the pretext they encourage flesh trade. Years later, Cabaret Bars reinvented themselves only in Mumbai as Dance Bars. They too were axed by the moral politicians.

    The word Bistro was not much used in India. It is during last 10 years it is mentioned once a while.


  10. satchit says:

    At 1962 his Life Awakening Movement was supported by the Jains and
    I think they wanted him to be some new star on the Jain sky. But what he liked more was ‘provoking’. This shows also this small incident. “Provoco ergo sum” was more or less his lifestyle.

    I think he invented the Neo-Sannyas movement only to provoke the Indian society.

    • “I think he invented the Neo-Sannyas movement only to provoke the Indian society.”

      And then few white girls and boys occupied Neo-Sannyas movement to provoke the western society!

      Because societies were provoked and to avoid further provocations, Information Technology was invented. Through IT words lost their provocative value. Words are just data!

  11. frank says:

    “People came to know somehow and he (Harshad) had a good beating from everybody”

    These were top notch Jains- who base their religious trip on non-violence!!!

    I bet they all sat around talking about the past and present being vertical, and having `real` experiences of this and that, states of enlightenment and all that rubbish, in between beating up people who behaved against their fucked-up beliefs.

    I once stayed near a Jaina settlement for a while when travelling in Karnataka, South India. I remember sitting cooking dinner with friends in their hut and there would be these blood-curdling screams and howls.
    “What the f**k is that?”
    “Oh, it’s just the Jains,” they replied casually.
    “What are they up to?”
    “Don’t ask,” they laughed.
    Some kind of weird shit was going down, and it went on all through the night. Whether it was abuse or self-flagellation or a mix of the two of some sort I never found out. It sounded pretty sick.

    Osho spoke about abuse/sex scandals around Acharya Tulsi that were going down back in the time when he was still connected with them. It was a key moment in his attitude of condemnation of celibacy as I remember. The story is in ‘Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic’.

    They sound like the Christian brothers with less underwear and jewellery to me.

    Funny, this obsession with violence that Parmartha supports through the Zen stories and reaches down to Brian and his crew knocking shit out his devoted disciples.

    You might as well join the Hell’s Angels if you want to get enlightened!!

    • frank says:

      Actually, my first guru, when I was 15, was a Hell`s Angel.
      He was called ‘Ready’ Eddie. He was definitely enlightened. You didn`t mess with him, then he was the kindest, funniest dude you could hope to meet. He had a job in a beer factory and drank 6 pints of bitter a day.

      He had bitten the head off a chicken as a initiation ritual, had a blonde girlfriend who road pillion on his gleaming Norton Commando 750 and had a massive collection of heavy rock albums.

      I wanted to be like him!

  12. dominic says:

    Osho: “That is my problem.”
    Harshad: “No, it is not your problem…”
    Osho: “Don’t be worried. I will protect you and say that I insisted…”
    People came to know somehow and he had a good beating from everybody.

    Moral of the story? Never trust a guru! ;)

  13. Prem says:

    This ugly game, where the disciples attach their prestige to the prestige of the master, their own self-importance is derived from the respectability of their master – and then they try to dictate to the master what to do.

    Very, very ugly game. Most discipleship is just an ego trip.

    So the other disciples were going to be violent towards Harshad for destroying their master’s prestige.

    The problem was not the icecream, it was the striptease dancer.

    In Osho’s place, I would have tipped the stripper, elegantly inserting a banknote in her bikini…just to mess with those stupid disciples.

    • anand yogi says:

      Perfectly correct, Prem!

      These very, very ugly disciples who try to dictate to master what to do!

      Certainly, as you say,you should have been in master`s place and would have dealt with situation much better!

      Ha! The ludicrous ego trips of disciples!

      You say:
      “The problem was not the ice cream, it was the striptease dancer.”
      A truly enlightened insight! Only one who had meditated deeply on the matter could come to such an earth-shattering satori!

      It is a great tragedy that Osho did not have beautiful disciples of your calibre on hand to make such razor-sharp perceptions as this!


  14. frank says:

    “I would have tipped the stripper, elegantly inserting a banknote in her bikini…just to mess with those stupid disciples.”

    That`s nothing, Prem.
    Nozen Avatard woulda offered her a diamond ring, 5% shares in his bootcamp, slipped her a micky finn, taken her home, whipped his willy out, uploaded it on youtube…

    THAT`s how you mess with stupid disciples!
    It works, too.

  15. Lokesh says:

    That’s what comes of practising Nozen.