The Joy of Gossiping

When I was a young disciple, I remember Osho saying that he always gossiped for an hour a day with Laxmi, and that it was valuable in all sorts of ways.  I liked that, as I had often been called a gossip!
Also I thought this is great,  a spiritual teacher sort of embracing something which all the religious types would decry,  an activity such  as gossip. Later he even described his lectures simply as gossips,  I also found that refreshing.

What we do on SN at its best is that hour a day of simply enjoying in a similar way.  But sometimes it turns colour. I like what Osho says about gossip below, we should emulate it.

“I am not against talking, but your talking should not be empty. I am not even against gossiping. I myself gossip so much. But let your gossiping also be creative, not destructive. Let your gossiping also have a quality of poetry and creativity in it. Gossip about god. What are gospels? Gossips about god. Gossip about truth, gossip about beauty, gossip about grace, grandeur. Gossip about this wonder that surrounds you. Gossip about the unknown.
What do you do with your gossiping? You are very destructive. People gossip only as a means to destroy others, to hurt others. Don’t be aggressive; then nothing is wrong in gossiping.” ¹

Parmartha

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93 Responses to The Joy of Gossiping

  1. frank says:

    Absolutely right!

    Let there please be no more mention of:
    So-called saints
    Retarded religions
    Yellow journalists
    Oregonian idiots
    Polack popes
    Hindu bullshitters
    Homosexual Prince Philip
    Ronald Reagan`s monkey
    Mentally ill Jesus Christ
    Pygmies Freud and Jung
    Muktananda sewage lagoon
    Long-faced Englishmen
    Smelly Bengalis
    Smelly Tibetans
    Retarded black people
    Californiacs
    and the rest of stupid retarded humanity!!

  2. Lokesh says:

    During this time of the year I lead quite a reclusive life. If my wife goes in to the local village I often ask upon her return, “What’s new? Did you meet anyone?”, in search of a titbit bit of news. I suppose that is a form of gossip. I find that perfectly acceptable.

    I would not feel pleased if I were to be described as a gossip. It’s not a very manly characteristic.

    I have a girlfriend who, after sharing a bit of intimate information about herself, always concludes with the following, “Please don’t tell anyone.” At first I used to wonder why on earth she always said this, until I realised she is a bit of a gossip and therefore believes everyone else is too. I make a point of never revealing anything of an intimate nature about myself to her that I would not want others to know. One must learn discretion.

    On the first occasion that I spoke to Papaji he said, amongst other things, “Be here, keep quiet, mind your own business and don’t gossip.” At first I wondered why on earth he said this to me. I took it personally, believing at first that he was indicating that I was a gossip and a nosy Parker. Upon reflection I realised he’d given me simple advice that leads to a more peaceful life. I generally stick to that advice, and yes, my life is more harmonious as a result.

    That said, I have to be honest and say that I still enjoy a wee bit of gossip, something made obvious by this particular comment. It is a very human characteristic. We are social creatures.

  3. shantam prem says:

    Gossips were part of Indian spirituality for centuries. All these stories Osho has spoken and hundred times more were in circulation for centuries. Based on them, people used to talk under the starry nights.
    Suddenly silence will descend, people will fall sleep then and there or they will go back home.

    Life was simple in agrarian societies. Osho´s concept of commune was that effort to bring simple meaningful life back in the industrial world.

    Life during the final phase of Osho´s life was such for the disciples. Meditation, chai, coffee and gossips, specially for Indians it was so, as we were not participating in the groups unless they were free for workers.

    Once western people got this taste from Indians they too started taking life easy and gossipful. It was really a big saving from the rip-off system.

    This post I dedicate to my five male Pune friends and Kavita. Her flat once was the hub of gossips and food. It became Buddhafield with heart and laughter. Few of us will tell stories about Osho and his people in such hilarious way, one must hold the belly and really roll on the floor or keep the cushion on the chest to stop laughter.

    Out of my five friends, Shashwat, became her boyfriend, being Virgo he was the master of practical jokes. He will mix and match different statements of Osho in such a way one can make him stand in ‘X Factor’ to get standing ovation from audience and golden buzzer from the jury.

    Here spontaneously I remember one of his hit acts:
    One day Osho says something like, “Sheela is very smart and intelligent, I am pleased to have her as my secretary.”
    Few weeks later, “Sheela was just a waitress. She is a bitch.”

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam says, “Once western people got this taste from Indians they too started taking life easy and gossipful. It was really a big saving from the rip-off system.”

      Shantam obviously has not visited Mexico.

    • Kavita says:

      Shantam, since you have mentioned Shashwat I would like to share this. When Shashwat had come to Poona after 14 years in 2008 Rajneesh was in Poona too & I liked to visit R at least once or twice in a week. Once during that time Swati (our friend from Dharamshala) was visiting us & she wanted to see Rajneesh; there was also her friend who had come to see R all the way from Delhi. I asked Shashwat if he would like to join us and he agreed to join us that evening.

      When we went to Rajneesh’s place there were 4-5 sannyasins lined up sitting on the floor, Shashwat found the corner-most spot & sat there with his eyes closed. After we reached R came & sat on his chair. Then the gossip started! After the gossip was done for the day we left.

      After few days, Jagdeep, a very dear sannyasin friend of Shashwat & me, came from Delhi to visit us , who is also friend of R since his Manali days but this time Shashwat declined. After Jagdeep & I came back at night after visiting R we 3 went for our daily night walk. We were at the Commune back gate, we started talking about R and after some time Shashwat said, “Yeh chabbis janvary ka jahaz bannana jaroori hai kya?” (is it necessary to be an airplane in the 26th January (India’s Republic Day) air-show?) and we burst out laughing!

      • Kavita says:

        I have to add, after our laughter bout Shashwat said, “Well, lets not make fun of Rajneesh, Kavita doesn’t like it!”

  4. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    What I remember of Osho’s world about the laughter of the early 90s is an atmosphere of trust and relaxation, this encouraged self-irony to the point that it was fun to feed the gossip on our self, such was the confidence in own awareness, no one could surprise us in pressing our buttons.

    Probably also the general climate influenced our micro-climate; we did not know that the end of the cold war would give way to the poison of globalisation, which would have atomised us, as in the jungle competing with each other.

    It’s not the gossip that hurts when we’re already hurt, but in ignoring that we can have a list of different needs, and that a laugh will not cancel the distance between one’s needs…it’s like when one needs bread and someone else makes gossip about croissants.

  5. dominic says:

    ‘Gossiping’ in a text format is problematic and open to much misinterpretation. The energy, body language, tone of voice is stripped out. For non-native speakers there’s also another possible layer of misinterpretation. They might not appreciate the irony, piss-take and anti-authority stance inherent in English attitudes.

    “Sometimes it turns colour”, Parmartha says. I guess he means it can get a bit mean and personal. I would agree. My guiding principle is to attack the argument, not the person, even if someone is attacking or perceived to be attacking you. On the other hand, it would be dull if satire and humour were not used as appropriate weapons to often say quite profound things, and release some happy hormones!

    My own observation is that sannyas culture helped people to release their frustrations and to express more freely. On the other side, learning ‘containment’, when expression is really dumping, judgmental and destructive acting out, was perhaps not always taught so well. It may bring temporary relief, but in the end sours relationships and hurts oneself as much as it hurts others.

    Unlike on facebook, there’s no blocking function here, so you’re stuck in the same room with people you might not want to communicate with or feel it’s better to let go of, so that a vicious circle can quickly develop.

    Osho was not immune to “colour”, as Frank has pointed out. He wasn’t used to being crossed, but when he was, he could get quite colourful and emotive, e.g. Sheela was a “bitch” on “hard drugs”, and when people whooped at being told they didn’t have to wear robes anymore, he resorted to ‘tantrum yoga’!

    Towards the end, Osho’s discourses became soporific, boring gossips to me, maybe he was on tranqs or something, he was slowed down, giving long-winded 2-3 hr lectures on some zen master or other. Who cares? I usually fell asleep in Buddha Hall, it was an endurance test that I habitually failed and gave up on.

    It was refreshing for many sannyasins when they went to Papaji and all those now tedious ‘gossips’ about mythical enlightened folk evaporated. You were in the intimate presence of a ‘living master’, and were challenged in the here and now, not just to hear about the menu, but to eat the meal.

    The ‘satsang circus’ in large part developed out of this and all the hundreds if not thousands of teachers, fake or otherwise, and their followers, who trot round the globe doing their bit for global warming ;)

    If only Osho had continued his tradition of gossiping with Laxmi. I watched a clip of Arun recently saying that she felt frustrated in not being able to talk to him, of her misgivings about Sheela. Arun offered to get a letter to him, via Osho’s mother, bypassing Sheela, but she refused, saying that Osho knew everything that was going on. Even after all those years together and managing a commune, she was either perhaps afraid and/or fell into the trap of blind devotion.

    • shantam prem says:

      Seekers type you are for sure, but is it possible, Dominic, that you are not a disciple type?

      I am quite curious and observant to understand under what mind-sets people came to Osho. Was it a collective fashion or an aggressive marketing which pulled people? If someone is offering Buddha experience at discount price, why not take it?!

      One does not need even to drop, biggest obsession of our times, romantic and no-attachment sex, then why not?

      I think there is a need to gossip also our journey to neo-Sannyas and subsequently one of the worthiest experiences, Disillusionment.

      In my understanding, disillusionment is more intelligent than the feeling of fulfilment. Spoons get quite easily fulfilled. Shadow side of the spoon mentality is just a little shaking, falling of the few drops and one thinks, “My God! What an earthquake. Humanity is going to die soon!”

      • dominic says:

        Yes, Shantam, no more disciples, no more heroes, no more gods or fairy tales. No enlightenment, no happy ever after, this is the end of the innocence! ;)

    • satchit says:

      “Even after all those years together and managing a commune, she was either perhaps afraid and/or fell into the trap of blind devotion.”

      The gossip easily draws conclusions.
      There is still the third possibility that she did refuse because she did not want.

    • dominic says:

      My source for the last comment, starts at around 21 mins. I didn’t know Lakshmi but I’m getting the impression she was pretty hard done by, and dare I say it, let down by Osho, for all her devotion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO5x7ovDR2s

      • satchit says:

        Dominic, from this video it is clear that Laxmi was in a very accepting, surrendered state.

        Maybe he did let her down because of compassion to help
        her ego go.

        Why else should she laugh and say the Master knows everything? I think you see only the surface.

  6. Kavita says:

    Gossip! Well, it’s always been fun to gossip! I loved to gossip with Big Prem, not only about our common friends but ourselves too & our partners! We used to really have a lot of fun & we just go into timelessness! So much so that her partner called us lesbians!

    Somehow I have become quite a recluse now, as I enjoy having ‘me time’ most of the time now, so there is hardly much chance these days, but do get to hear all the needed gossip when I meet my friends. Sometimes when there is something on SN that I am curious about I sometimes like to ask my Poona 1 friends – maybe that too can be categorized as gossip!

    Yes, Shantam, we have had some great times gossiping even otherwise!

    I guess we humans bond well only after a good gossip!

  7. sw. veet (francesco) says:

    Sannyas culture (Osho, for those who are not native English speakers, and kiss the Pope’s ass but not the Queen’s) has taught, before his Leader becomes too sick and soporific to do so, how to release the frustrations and to express more freely.

    And if sometimes for someone this really became dumping, judgmental and destructive acting out to the detriment of some devotee who suffered in silence, this for the Leader who knew everything and everything dripped from him, was perfectly ok.

    I love you and your gossip, Dominic.

  8. frank says:

    “She (Laxmi) refused, saying that Osho knew everything that was going on”

    She was probably afraid of opening herself to further rejection, understandably.

    Look at all these abuse cases in the Catholic Church. What do you think their attitude about negative, ‘coloured’ gossip has been all these years?

    I heard a case just the other day where a mother didn’t believe her son about his abuse stories in a boarding school despite the fact that the perpetrator (a priest) had been found guilty in court. She couldn`t let her cherished “faith” go – to that extent. Scary.

    Religious attitudes persist with cases of the feeling that all the good work of the Church/commune/guru is too valuable to be ruined. Some people give any old guru the benefit of the doubt because it disturbs their religious mind-set that they are not part of the whole master/disciple enlightenment set-up if they step out of line. People will even stick up for those sent to gaol or discredited by their own disciples in order to keep their “Master knows best and it’s a device” trip going.

    There may be some on SN!

    I have personally been shunned by disciples of Maharishi because I pointed out the badly-executed-magic trick vids of Sai Baba on youtube.
    They weren`t even his disciples and had never been near him but felt some sort of loyalty through the guru paradigm. They decided better call a friend “negative” than even watch the videos. (With friends like these, who needs enemies?).

    Also, that Mohan Lyons guy. Even after he got 10 years I had people giving me the spiel it was a conspiracy against consciousness. Like ‘The Matrix’, or something.

    He`s still up to his old tricks,by the way. If you think that is coloured gossip rather than a useful tip off… your choice.

    Not all guru stories are as nasty as the Catholic Church, thankfully, but the list grows.

    Sogyal Rinpoche is another one. He was lashing out, knocking men and women about for years. They were all confused and thought it was crazy wisdom and a teaching lesson in the classic Buddhist style. Same with Cohen. I won`t mention the fisticuffs in the jungle as it seems a sore point for some!

    If you read this and think, “He doesn`t understand the master/disciple paradigm and is caught in judgments. It`s the disciple`s failure.” Then you may just have embodied a new meaning for the expression “Catholic sannyasin”.

    Good luck with your `enlightenment`…you`ll need it!!

    • dominic says:

      Frank,
      Not sure if you’re talking to me or big P here. I agree with everything you say and more! Not sure what Parmartha means by “turns colour”. I took it to mean how posters at SN can snipe at each other, but taking corruption and hypocrisy down on the spiritual scene, that’s fair game!
      Here’s to the positive power of ‘negative’ thinking! Cheers!

    • sw. veet (francesco) says:

      You, who met Osho, must know what you are talking about, and you rarely do it with this tone of seriousness, even using exclamation points (4) to accuse that even among us may be Catholic sannyasins.

      Pity that then you claim to be believed by saying that yours is not a judgment.

      The usual faceless joker.

    • shantam prem says:

      Dear faceless =Frank, is Michael Lyons aka Mohan Singh out in open or still in prison?

      I have met him few times in Pune during 1992-93 when he came with three women. One of them, real Britisher, became my girl friend because one of them gave me the hint to approach her as she finds me spiritual.

      Mohan being from Jamaica feels like flamboyant copy of Mooji.

      I think many gorgeous-looking western women have the idea blowjobs won’t go wasted if delivered to spiritual service providers. It is their way of energy exchange!

      • frank says:

        Shantam,
        Sloppy seconds from a convicted rapist?
        That`s something to boast about!

        Interesting to know the profile of the type of person that ‘finds you spiritual’!

    • shantam prem says:

      Frank, most probably you look like a borderline case. To read you is a fun but I don´t think you have any social skills of real life communication. Even all the gurus of the world put together cannot change your nature or one can say anybody´s nature.

      • frank says:

        My psychiatrist said I`m a borderline case.
        I said “I want a second opinion.”
        He said, “Ok, you`re ugly, too.”

        • sw. veet (francesco) says:

          As I suspected, a nice face.
          If you decide to go to the dentist, I’ll give you a churchkey.

        • Kavita says:

          Frankie, your psychiatrist is wrong, you are an alien case! & I am guessing aliens may have a different concept of beauty!

      • Dominic says:

        Careful what you wish for, Shantam, on facelessbook. We can’t unsee Frank now! And why is everything borderline these days? In the past, people showed commitment, either you were a nutter or you weren’t! Simples.

  9. shantam prem says:

    This will be an interesting story for the bloggers. Years later it makes me chuckle.

    My friend and Kavita’s then boyfriend, Shashwat, are from the rustic state of Haryana. Their sense of humour is unique.

    Shashwat being three years senior to me was also an advocate before coming in Osho’s trap. He was already living in the commune with his traditionally married gorgeous wife before Osho’ s arrival. This is the beauty of Indian wife, she follows husband all the way, even votes for the candidate husband suggests. Most of Indian women took Initiation because of their Swami ji.

    Demands of Indian wives are also very modest: Love me, love me, and feed me!

    As I know first soul-searching challenge came before Shashwat when wife became pregnant in the commune. Readers can think over the outcome before I continue later.

    (This part is typed on mobile sitting in the train. For my two and half hours of work, one and half hours are used for commuting).

  10. shantam prem says:

    Being pregnant in the commune was one of the taboos. Choice in this situation was very simple: abort or go.

    I am not sure after all these years whether wife of the friend became pregnant after Osho’s arrival or it was before; one fact is clear, she did not abort, Shashwat chose to stay in the commune and she courageously left to go back to in-laws in the most conservative part of India.

    The best was that elder brother of Shashwat was a prominent leader in Hindu reformist movement. This movement fought against superstitions, gurudom, for women’s rights, anti-dowry simple marriages and second chance for divorcees and widows.

    Years later, Shashwat’s wife got married with an officer in the same tribe, who adopted the daughter too.

    For these reasons I have all the respect for everybody involved for playing heroic in their own way.

    One of the mostly remembered character in Shashwat’ s stories was “Rana Sahib”, highly reputated criminal lawyer in the court who was senior to my friend. Shashwat was learning criminal advocacy under him. Rana Sahib has a unique way of showing his displeasure.

    I create an example:
    Let us presume Shashwat brings Andrew Cohen for meeting. He will say, “Rana Sahib, this man is very spiritual. He was sitting for years in a cave. Now he has many followers and travels all over the world.”

    Rana Sahib will be very charming, offer warm hospitality, will listen all the tales.

    After goodbye, when Shashwat will ask, “What is your impression about Mr Cohen?”, Rana Sahib will say crisply, “Never bring such people in my chamber again.”

    No wonder it became famous in the court premises, Rana Sahib has an uncanny ability to see people below their masks. For years Shashwat was making jokes about different people, how Rana Sahib will judge them!

    • Kavita says:

      “I am not sure after all these years whether wife of the friend became pregnant after Osho’ s arrival or it was before; one fact is clear: she did not abort, Shashwat chose to stay in the commune and she courageously left to go back to in-laws in the most conservative part of India.

      The best was that elder brother of Shashwat was a prominent leader in Hindu reformist movement. This movement fought against superstitions, gurudom, for women’ s rights, anti-dowry simple marriages and second chance for divorcees and widows.

      Years later, Shashwat’ s wife got married with an officer in the same tribe, who adopted the daughter too.”

      Amrita, the wife, got pregnant in beginning of 1988, when Shashwat was in the Osho legal team; those were busy days & nights. Osho used to guide the legal team before going to court, so during that time Shashwat managed to ask Osho about this happening. Osho said she can have an abortion, so Shashwat asked commune friends about it and he was told to take her to the local clinic of Dr Ajit Saraswati.

      She said she would go home to get the abortion, but when she reached home the family said to have the child at home & Shashwat would come back home. But he didn’t until Jan 1990 and by then she was in her parents’ house & they got her engaged to a widower batch-mate of his from his community & his daughter was adopted by his in-laws, so Shashwat came back to Poona immediately.

      A little more gossip!

      • dominic says:

        Gossips are revealing!

        Did Osho advise/tell Shashwat not to have the baby, to benefit the Commune and his mission? Seems Amrita was not included in the decision. Then she went home and was told to keep the baby, and finally an arranged marriage was made for her. The impression is that she was not her own boss or agent, but decisions were made for her by others. Except when she decided to go home to have the abortion, which implies she may have really wanted to keep the baby.

        That was both the era of Osho discouraging his followers to have children (not really a long-term strategy) and the general outlook that the world was overpopulated anyway and needed to refuse ‘stork’ deliveries.

        Today, with declining western birth rates, we are sold mass immigration to make countries sustainable. Even the Green aka Watermelon Party (green on the outside, red on the inside) who used to favour depopulation thinks open borders a good idea, while advocating zero or negative growth. Confused, much?

        Never mind, the future belongs to AI robots, and people identifying as males on Monday, females on Tuesday, and everything else in between the rest of the week!

        • shantam prem says:

          What about you, Dominic?
          Do you have kids?
          From your posts I get the impression, you are not too old, must be younger than not Swami but Sir Mike Jagger!

      • kusum says:

        Amrita did right thing by not having abortion. Lots of so-called sannyasins still regret damaging their own psyche & body through abortion & sterilisation.

  11. shantam prem says:

    To be true I rarely feel touched by Osho’s brave stories cooked with Indian spices. He was always confident, he was always enlightened. I am also zero percent interested in the stories of prominent Indian or western disciples, my heart beats for common disciples who took the courage to follow notorious master whose reputation still is on the nadir.

    How much fire they have to pass in their own way is worthy of applause, the bricks in the foundation of ruined church.

    Osho inspired best in his common disciples. Most of them have stories worthy of novels. In a really sane and mature Sannyas, these common sannyasins would have got a say, the candles who can transmit master’s energy to the generation next.

    Unfortunately, disciples got forgotten and master’s essence got buried under the books.

    Thanks to holier-than-thou merchants, Osho is not a guru but ‘lekhak’.
    Lekhak means a writer. Disciples therefore are consumers.

  12. Kavita says:

    “Yes, gossips are revealing.

    Did Osho advise/tell Shashwat not to have the baby, to benefit the Commune and his mission?”

    Maybe was more of an advice by Osho.

    “Today, with declining western birth rates, we are sold mass immigration to make countries sustainable. Even the Green aka Watermelon Party (green on the outside, red on the inside) who used to favour depopulation thinks open borders a good idea, while advocating zero or negative growth. Confused, much?

    Never mind, the future belongs to AI robots, and people identifying as males on Monday, females on Tuesday, and everything else in between the rest of the week!”

    I think in those days Osho was saying, “If humans stop having children for 10 years the world would be a different place.”

    Seems Amrita was not included in the decision. Then she went home and was told to keep the baby, and finally an arranged marriage was made for her. The impression is that she was not her own boss or agent, but decisions were made for her by others. Except when she decided to go home to have the abortion, which implies she may have really wanted to keep the baby.

    I thought so too that the only decision actually she took was to go home. She basically was not interested in Osho & had come along only because she wanted to be with her husband. Theirs was an arranged marriage, they had only seen each other’s photos till the wedding day, rest all was arranged by Shashwat’s siblings.

    Since his parents had died when he was a teenager he mostly lived in hostels after that. So his siblings felt responsible to get him settled in family life. He had postgraduated in English Literature from Chandigarh & finished his LLB from Delhi University, was working in Rohtak. She was a graduate when they married, he encouraged her to do her postgraduation, which she did.

    He was frustrated with his life somehow and discussed with his reformer brother, who suggested to do SN Goenka’s Vipassana, so he booked himself for it, then on the train to Igatpuri he met a sannyasin who told him to try Osho’s Vipassana, so instead of going to Igatpuri he went to Poona. Osho was in America at that time, this was around early April of 1984.

    When he came to the Ashram Swami Narendra Boddhisattva was leading the Vipassana meditation. S was so swept away he decided to wind up his belongings and return. When he went home & told Amrita she was shattered but asked if she could come along, to which he agreed, and they both took sannyas in May 1984 from Maitreyiji .

    Later, Osho came from America and S was inducted in the legal team, that’s the time he could hardly spend time with her and she was not happy about the erratic timings as the police would come for Osho even in the night. Somehow she got pregnant, S was so engrossed in the commune and she left in June of 1988.

    When she reached his family house she told his family about this but they told her not have the abortion & assured her that he would return after the baby was born in Dec., but he went only after Osho died in Jan 1990. By then she was in parents’ home & engaged to be married soon to one of his school batchmates* who was a widower. Her parents adopted the grandaughter so their daughter could start life on a clean slate. S thought it was best to leave it at that, so came back to Poona immediately .

    Amrita has 2 children with her husband & they lived in America few years back, now they have returned to Delhi.

    S’s daughter is a medical doctor & has married last year.

    Last year Pratibha Ma from Books Dept of OIF sent me a message through Krishna aka Guru that in Delhi during their book Exhibition Shashwat’s daughter had visited their bookshop & enquired about her father.

    S was seen in Haridwar, he has become a bikshu** according to some sannyasin sources who met him & said that he looks full of light. Few friends did go in search of him but couldn’t find him.

    Anyway, the last we spoke telephonically was in July of 2009, I had told him I would find him, whenever it happens!

    Anyway, this is all the revelations for now.

    MOD:
    *batchmates – CLASSMATES
    **bikshu – A BHIKKHU (MONK)

    • Parmartha says:

      Good story and good gossip, Kavita.
      I hope that the daughter finds her father…sometimes it just happens somehow or other.

      Shashwat doesn’t sound like someone who should have got married. I am always amazed how Osho avoided the compulsory Indian ritual.

      • shantam prem says:

        “I am always amazed how Osho avoided the compulsory Indian ritual.”

        Parmartha, when we see master’s photos from childhood till the last day, they give clear impression He was the man on a mission! Many people become gurus, few are born to be the one.

        Other than going to America by trusting disciples, I don´t see a single step where Osho was not the master of the game.

        In Urdu, there is a wonderful timeless couplet:
        “ye jabr bhī dekhā hai tārīḳh kī nazroñ ne
        lamhoñ ne ḳhatā kī thī sadiyoñ ne sazā paa ī. ”

        This savagery has seen by the eyes of history
        Moments made the mistake, centuries got Punished

        Rajneeshpuram was one small blunder….

    • Parmartha says:

      I think that bikshu usually means a ‘wandering’ monk who never aspires to home ownership or having a home! Something we in the west would call a Friar.

      One presumes that is why Shashwat is difficult to find!

      As a matter of interest/gossip, I played cricket with an Australian swami in London in 1978, whose name escapes me at the moment, but who SD would remember as he was in the same team. He was famous for approaching the wicket in a lunghi, though he was quite an accomplished player.

      He ‘disappeared’ in 1981 when Osho left India, but there were those who said he was later spotted some years later in one of the holy places, wrapped in the linen of a bikshu.

      • frank says:

        I heard he got converted…
        ……..to football….

      • satyadeva says:

        That was Satyamitra, not a bad exponent of right-arm slow-medium, as I recall. What a character, just back from Pune and totally unselfconscious in that bizarre (for cricket in London) outfit.

        Not a bad chap at all – never thought he was officer material myself, but there again, one never really knows…

        Ah, those were the days…Be a good chap and pass the port, would you, please, AP?

        • Parmartha says:

          Thanks SD. Yeah, Satyamitra…
          A chap distinguished by his friendliness and laid back approach to everything.
          Lived in squats when in London, and can’t really remember him dressed other than in clothes he must have brought from India.
          One of the ‘disappeared’….

      • Kavita says:

        Parmartha,
        Somehow in 2008, when I asked if he would like to see/meet his daughter sometime, he had said that someone showed her from far at some function (social gathering) & she looked like him but also added it was better this way for both of them.

        He has asked his family to give her all that belongs legally to him. He had earned some money giving lectures & talks on the Rohtak radio which, when he came here to Poona, he got transferred to a joint account and used 80% of it for his rent & other expenses. He always asked me if I needed any, and when I said I didn’t he would say then I don’t need to earn any money!

        Somehow he didn’t like it here so he went to Goa and was there till August 2009. In July 2009 when I spoke to him he was bored of Goa too. Our friend Swati had gone to Goa looking for him after I gave her his Goa address. He had left that place, we guessed later that he left for Haridwar then.

        Maybe he has travelled to some other place by now! Shashwat had built himself a small kutiya (bamboo hut) & was wearing an orange lunghi & kurta (Indian shirt) when these sannyasins met him. Somehow he is very particular about his health & hygiene in all circumstances and a Yoga & walking freak.

        Somehow I think & feel I shall find him, whenever that happens in this life. Insha existence!

        • Parmartha says:

          Nice reply, Kavita.
          Has the ring of gentle gossip, of which I approve!

          • Kavita says:

            Parmartha, like you, I think Shantam also didn’t approve of Osho’s Jabalpur days gossip, but I thought/felt it is also needed to know the facts, if true, that Osho did not force himself onto any women without their choice, unlike other so-called masters who these days we often read/hear about.

            • dominic says:

              Kavita, I also don’t applaud “Osho’s Jabalpur days” from what I am hearing, though it is still rather sketchy.

              Here in the West, if a teacher or therapist is having a string of sexual encounters with their disciples or clients, it is grounds for being discredited. The reason being, I guess, is that there is a lot of imbalance in the power relationship, with transference and undue influence. If they are also pressuring women on whether to have an abortion or not, it gets even darker.

              Anyway, a problematic area, and not exactly inspiring if the guru’s stage persona is to give the impression that he is beyond it all. And yes, it’s usually a ‘he’ as part of the patriarchal culture, imbued with these tendencies. Not to say that (usually) attractive women are merely victims, as they are also captivated by alpha male players (who may not be much to look at!).

              • satyadeva says:

                “Here in the West, if a teacher or therapist is having a string of sexual encounters with their disciples or clients, it is grounds for being discredited. The reason being, I guess, is that there is a lot of imbalance in the power relationship, with transference and undue influence. If they are also pressuring women on whether to have an abortion or not, it gets even darker.”

                True, although I suggest if someone is a genuine tantric master (ie a master of tantric sex, which is supposed to be purifying love – and not many of them seem to be around), particularly if he/she is ‘enlightened’ (which might, I suppose, be a prerequisite credential) then such condemnation might well be unnecessary.

                However unpalatable it might be to our ‘democratic, politically correct, we’re all equal in the bedroom’ mentality it’s possible that different rules might apply to encounters with such people.

                Mind you, IF the pregnancy/abortion story is true then that’s not exactly a glowing testimonial for such a situation.

                • dominic says:

                  So how do you know “if someone is a genuine tantric master”? How do you know “if he/she is ‘enlightened”? Because they say so, or because one believes it?

                  If they say they are, they can’t be trusted to be disinterested, because they have a vested interest, e.g. financial gain, sexual and egoic gratification. If you want to believe it, it’s a leap of faith on your part but have no objective criteria. Moreover, as a man you are unlikely to have the chance to confirm or deny.

                  “It’s possible that different rules might apply to encounters with such people.” It’s a hypothesis, without evidence as far as I can tell.

                  We have plenty of evidence of historical abuse, especially but not only, from gurus from other cultures, putting undue pressure on often young and impressionable women with their ’spiritual’ claims and status, that my advice would be to stay well away (unless it’s me of course ;) ).

                • satyadeva says:

                  “So how do you know “if someone is a genuine tantric master”? How do you know “if he/she is ‘enlightened”? Because they say so, or because one believes it?”

                  I guess one can only go by ‘one’s lights’, as the saying goes, Dominic. Not just by reading or hearing someone’s words, although these have their place, but by spending enough time with him/her to see whether their presence resonates positively within, brings one to a deeper, stiller, more ‘real’ place.

                  You might ask yourself how you know if you love someone, or, more to the point, how you know if they love you.

                  Of course everyone has to be careful and use their common sense and experience as there are plenty of charlatans and liars out there, as well as well-meaning fools. But that doesn’t imply everyone is a phoney, just that the genuine article (like you and me) might be rather rare (to put it mildly).

                • frank says:

                  Well, yes, if I was about to have sex with a tantric master, I would definitely ask him to get his credentials out first!

                • dominic says:

                  Frank,
                  I didn’t know you were into that sort of thing, but I’m glad to hear you would get a copper-bottomed guarantee before pushing ahead! You’re no mug, are you?!

                  Anyway, I got my tantric master’s licence from Bangkok U, my permit from Phuket, and a load of testesmonials, if anyone wants to book a sesh!

              • Kavita says:

                Dominic, well, it’s not about anyone approving/not approving in the West/East, humans are humans everywhere. I have only stated what I heard.

                SD, I am only guessing Osho was very clear he didn’t want to marry and also have children without marriage.

                I can’t talk about how the women dealt with their abortion issue, in India women have children after marriage unless they are prostitutes. Of course, few decades ago, some women have broken that conditioning/trend but these women were from the upper class/film industry/ artists.

                Guess In Jabalpur/India, the middle class don’t approve of children without marriage, even today.

                But seems Osho did attract a lot of women students/his fans during his Professor days. Guess these women were adults/above 18 years and could make their choice, and as SD suggested, if one is a genuine tantric how else is it possible to experiment?

                • dominic says:

                  Thanks Kavita, good gossips and Indian food for thought!

                  “Humans are humans everywhere”, but cultural conditioning is very diverse. As you say, consenting adults can make their own decisions.

                  As far as ‘tantric masters’ go, people are going to be split into sceptics and believers. Some would give them the peace prize, others would give them the sleaze prize. Guess which camp I fall into?

                • satyadeva says:

                  But do you actually know any, or even know of any, Dominic?

                • dominic says:

                  I think you might be one, SD, or shall I call you Barry? ;)

                • satyadeva says:

                  Oooohh, you little flirt! Sorry to disappoint though, Dominic…I’m booked up until September….

                  Seriously though, how can you make a confident judgment if you don’t know any such people or even know of any? Or know no one with any relevant experience.

                  Btw, do you think that sort of thing might have been ‘ok’, perfectly credible, even ‘respectable’, around a thousand years ago in, say, Khajuraho (which I believe you mentioned here recently)? Or do those sculptures merely imply just more “sleaze”?

                • Kavita says:

                  “Here in the West, if a teacher or therapist is having a string of sexual encounters with their disciples or clients, it is grounds for being discredited.”

                  Actually, Dominic, I should have said, “So what?” – maybe you would get global food for thought!

                • dominic says:

                  “So what?”
                  Yes, Kavita, just because something is the norm, or frowned upon, doesn’t make it ‘right’.
                  I say, Indian snacks for thought, because you give us an insider’s perspective we are unlikely to get from westerners.

                  In any case, it seems to be an activity between male ‘tantric’ gurus (or charlatans, take your pick) and female fans, kind of like rock stars and groupies, so it won’t affect my life. Who knew Mick Jagger and his new 21 yr-old gf is a tantrika! With the help of a little blue pill today, every man can be!

                  Have you tried a tantric master, btw, just between you and me, you seem to have some feelings about it? Oh dear, I’m starting to sound like Shantam! ;)

                • Kavita says:

                  “In any case, it seems to be an activity between male ‘tantric’ gurus (or charlatans, take your pick).”

                  Dominic, u may have not read/heard about female tantrics. I had come across a tantric, who in 2000 was known to Swami Satyaprem (a family friend from Bihar) and had lived in a women’s tantric ashram in Assam.

                  Yes, I have been with a tantric, as Shashwat was into Tantra and quite excelled in it, if I can say so.

                • dominic says:

                  Well, SD, it’s not widely known, but the Khajuraho erotica was actually carved by some of Shantam’s ancestors. So yeah, pure sleaze!

                  Male elephant seals aka ‘Beach Masters’ have harems of 100+ females, now that’s an authentic tantric master!

                  As you can see from my frivolous replies, I’m not that bothered, but consider it a ‘slippery slope’ activity for any teacher to engage in with followers, and historically open to exploitation and abuse.

                  Partaking in a workshop or training without shagging the leader is another matter.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Well, I wouldn’t necessarily trust a workshop or training leader, or anyone else who claims to be ‘into tantra’, unless I were convinced of their psycho-spiritual credentials. Very few would probably qualify, but that’s not to say such people don’t exist. I trust two such individuals were the genuine article in my lifetime.

                • frank says:

                  The German Madhukar (still alive, guru) is a case in question. He is a tantric to his supporters and a sex-crazed sleaze-bag to his detractors.

                  For my part, I sat with him once in the German Bakery, Pune. He was dressed in an expensive-looking gold thread lunghi, immaculately shaved head, perma-tanned all over, neatly coiffed fingernails and lots of gold bling. He looked every inch of what was known in my pre-PC days as a total ponce. He had disciples, younger blokes buzzing around in expectancy of some kind of trickle-down.

                  He reminded me of the sort of smoothie that might pick you up hitching in the 70s in a two-tone Ford Capri, smoking JPS, smelling of Old Spice, accelerating through accident black-spots whilst boasting about his birds and how many he had, but you would get the feeling that after a couple of Pina Coladas he would probably swing both ways.

                  I was amazed that people actually took his enlightenment seriously as I was of the distinct impression that as far as getting a transmission from him it would most likely be in the form of a nasty little rash.

                • Kavita says:

                  “Yes, Kavita, just because something is the norm, or frowned upon, doesn’t make it ‘right’.”

                  Well, I didn’t say that.

                • frank says:

                  Isn`t it similar to any paranormal/psychic/superpowers debate where the burden of proof is always on the one making the outlandish claim, not the other way round?

                  I think someone should devise some double-blind experiments!

                  99.9% of blokes can`t tell the difference between a tantrica and Sharon from down the Dog and Duck. Even more don`t care!

                • dominic says:

                  You nailed it, Frank! A total creep, a narcissistic, sexsang ponce!

                • Kavita says:

                  Quite right, Frank. Now this/that does not mean anything to Shashwat & me but I would not deny what I have experienced, even though it seems eons ago!

                • frank says:

                  I hate all this gossip from people who weren’t there!

                  I can tell you, Jim fixed it for me!

                • dominic says:

                  Ok, Kavita, now you got my interest, “a women’s tantric ashram in Assam”. I might be open for some abuse after all!

                  Thanks for your inside-her memories with Shashwat, but presumably he wasn’t your guru, using his power and influence to work his way through a swing door of starry-eyed ‘boobs’.

                  I was wondering if you’d had any ‘liaisons’ with Brian/Nozen and if he played that role, if I may ask such a thing. All in the spirit of good relaxing gossips, of course!

                • dominic says:

                  The spirit of Tantra is not just about sex, it’s about finding pleasure, joy and celebration in life. A positive affirming attitude towards the body and the senses, which Osho encouraged as did neo-Reichians like Alexander Lowen in the West. In this way, it provides a good antidote to the often life-negative, nihilistic tendencies of buddhism, advaita and other forms of mystic mistakes!

                • dominic says:

                  “I trust two such individuals were the genuine article in my lifetime.”
                  Ok, SD, we need names, a case by case study, and how and in what manner they showed you their ‘genuine article’.

                • satyadeva says:

                  No, Dominic, because, as your rather glib manner (above) indicates, you give the impression you’ve already made up your mind about ‘masters’, ie that they’re all untrustworthy, immoral, and/or useless tricksters, and besides, as you indicated today, you don’t really give a damn anyway.

                  So, no casting of pearls from me…On this topic…you’re fired!

                • Kavita says:

                  “Presumably he wasn’t your guru…”
                  Dominic, when I met Shashwat in 2008 we were each other’s masters but in a friendly way. I never felt this with the other guys I was with before. I am quite sure it’s the same for him!

                  No, dear, didn’t have any such thing with Brian/Nozen.

                  Frankly, no desire for any such activity now. I did have 2 boyfriends at the same time, from 1998-1999. I have been open about all of this with my near & dear ones & had shared about that through letters & telephonically with Shashwat. Now those 2 guys are (hopefully) happily married men with growing children.

                  Shashwat has been the last man in my life as of now.

                • Kavita says:

                  “The spirit of Tantra is not just about sex, it’s about finding pleasure, joy and celebration in life.”

                  You are right, to which I’d add, celebration is a very overrated word these days. To me, celebration is enjoying oneself without any outer need to show anyone.

                • dominic says:

                  Cheers, Kavita, seems you and Shashwat were matched tantric masters to each other! Perhaps now, in the snakes and ladders of life, you have passed from snake to ladder, from sex to superconsciousness.

                  Like most of us here probably, it gives more time for gossip!

                  Brian Nozen (or Slomo as we called him in the cashram) stayed in our communal house once, many years ago in London. He had a young, pretty, blonde, English girl with him, who we tried to ‘de-programme’, as I remember. Maybe he has a type.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Lol!

                  Nah, you’ll go on and on…Leopards ‘n’ spots, ol’ boy, leopards ‘n’ spots….

                • swamishanti says:

                  Here is a clip of a female Aghori tantric yogini, “Sheila Chandra”:

                  https://youtu.be/mjGFVyyBprI

                • frank says:

                  Kavita`s testimony stands.
                  Whereas, SD, unless you actually had sex with these guys, your testimony can only be hearsay.

                • satyadeva says:

                  And that’s fine by me, Frank. (Btw, who said they were guys?!).

                • frank says:

                  Non-binary tantricists?
                  Cool!
                  Very new-fashioned!

                • dominic says:

                  I’m sorry, SD, a 3 second eyeballing contest with Mother Meera, or being buried in the bosom of a baby elephant, wearing incontinence knickers, doesn’t count as a tantric practice!

                • satyadeva says:

                  My God, ’tis the sound of desperate barrel scraping – and laughably misplaced assumptions!

                  Leopards ‘n’ spots again…

                • dominic says:

                  Swamishanti, that’s not Sheila Chandra, just her music. Sadly the lovely singer Sheila Chandra has burning mouth syndrome since 2009, and is unable to sing, speak, laugh or cry without suffering intense pain. She has thus been rendered effectively mute and communicates with sign language.

              • frank says:

                “What is that bulge in your lunghi, oh advaitantric Master, is it your dick?”
                “It is time to drop this conceptual habitual pattern of mechanical thoughts taking place in your mind, grasshopper, look closely: it is but an impersonal arising of energy in the web of space-time.”
                “Yes Master, do you want to go on top, again?”

                • swamishanti says:

                  I also looked and saw that Sheila Chandra used to live in London and starred in ‘Grange Hill.’

                  There are a few female tantrics out there. They don’t advertise themselves, of course, unlike the Osho and Western ones. Just living traditionally in huts.

                  Many traditional forms of tantra in Bengal, some say, mainly centred around Shakti worship.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Frank, I looked at the website of the German Madhukar who still gives satsang, who you sat with in the German Bakery in Pune.

                  On his site he makes no mention of Osho and lists his spiritual lineage as Ramana and Pappaji.

                  So he is another one of the ones from Poonja.
                  So was he in Poona to pick up new disciples, or an old sannyasin who ditched Osho but kept his sannyas name?

  13. Parmartha says:

    I would say that tantra is a pretty dangerous path for someone trying to help people to a different level of being. There are all sorts of problems with that.

    It seems to me that a good gossip is much less of a danger, and likely to relax the disciple and the Master both, and a joyful form of intimacy and guidance can develop that way.

    Which brings us back to the actual topic again….

    • Kavita says:

      Maybe there was a joyful form of intimacy, that’s the reason these women didn’t have any complaints which have been published till now!

      Sex to Superconsciousness was perhaps not just his imagination as many think.

    • dominic says:

      I don’t belieeeve it! Parmartha and myself are in agreement!

      C’mon, Kavita, there’s something you’re not telling us, in which “maybe there was a joyful form of intimacy”!! Hmm….