The Long Pilgrimage

Osho comments on the Englishman John Bennett’s book on Shivapuri Baba.

long-pilgrimage

The first book is by Bennett, an Englishman, a perfect Englishman. The book is about an absolutely unknown Indian mystic, Shivapuri Baba. The world has come to know about him only through Bennett’s book.

Shivapuri Baba was certainly one of the rarest flowerings, particularly in India where so many idiots are pretending to be mahatmas. To find a man like Shivapuri Baba in India is really either luck or else a tremendous work of research. There are five hundred thousand mahatmas in India; that is the actual number. To find a real man among this crowd is almost impossible.

But Bennett was fortunate in many ways. He was also the first man to discover Gurdjieff. It was neither Ouspensky nor Nicoll, nor anyone other than Bennett. Bennett found Gurdjieff in a refugee camp in Constantinople. Those were the days of the Russian Revolution. Gurdjieff had to leave Russia; on the way he was shot twice before he escaped. Our styles are different, but in a strange way destiny may play the same game again….

Gurdjieff in a refugee camp! – just thinking of it, I can’t believe humanity can fall so low. Putting a Buddha, or Gurdjieff, Jesus or Bodhidharma in a refugee camp…. When Bennett discovered him, Gurdjieff was standing in a food queue. The food was given only once a day, and the queue was long. There were thousands of refugees who had left Russia because the communists were murdering people without any consideration who they were murdering, or for what. You will be surprised to know they murdered almost ten million Russians.

How did Bennett discover Gurdjieff? Gurdjieff sitting among his disciples would not be difficult to recognize, but Bennett recognized him in dirty rotten clothes, unwashed for many days. How did he recognize him in that queue? Those eyes, you cannot hide them. Those eyes… whether the man is sitting on a golden throne, or standing in a refugee camp, they are the same. Bennett brought Gurdjieff to the West.

Nobody thanks poor Bennett for it, and there is a reason… it is because he was a wavering kind of person. Bennett never betrayed Gurdjieff while he was alive… he did not dare. Those eyes were too much; he had twice seen their tremendous impact. He reports in his book on Gurdjieff – which is not a great book, that is why I am not going to count it, but I am just referring to it – Bennett says, “I came to Gurdjieff tired and exhausted after a long journey. I was sick, very sick, thinking I was going to die. I had come to see him only so that before I die I could see those two eyes again… my last experience.”

He came to Gurdjieff’s room. Gurdjieff looked at him, stood up, came close and hugged him. Bennett could not believe it… it was not Gurdjieff’s way. If he had slapped him that would have been more expected, but he hugged him! But there was more to the hug… the moment Gurdjieff touched him, Bennett felt a tremendous upsurge of energy. At the same time he saw Gurdjieff turning pale. Gurdjieff sat down; then with great difficulty stood up and went to the bathroom, saying to Bennett, “Don’t be worried, just wait for ten minutes and I will be back, the same as ever.”

Bennett says, “I have never felt such a wellbeing, such health, such power. It seemed I could do anything.”

It is felt by many people who take drugs – LSD or marijuana and other drugs – that under their impact they feel they can do anything. One woman thought she could fly, so she flew out of a window on the thirtieth floor of a New York building… you can conclude what happened… not even pieces of the woman were found.

Bennett says, “I felt I could do everything. At that moment I understood the famous statement by Napoleon: ‘Nothing is impossible.’ I not only understood it but felt I could do anything I wanted. But I knew it was Gurdjieff’s compassion. I was dying, and he had saved me.”

This happened twice… again a few years later. In the East this is called ‘the transmission’; the energy can jump from one flame to another lamp which is dying. Even though such great experiences happened to him, Bennett was a wavering man. He could not waver and betray like Ouspensky, but when Gurdjieff died, then he betrayed.

He started looking for another master. What a misfortune! – I mean misfortune for Bennett. It was good for others, because that was how he came to find Shivapuri Baba. But Shivapuri Baba, howsoever great, is nothing compared to Gurdjieff. I cannot believe it of Bennett… and he was a scientist, a mathematician… only that gives me the clue. The scientist has almost always behaved foolishly outside his own specific field.

I always define science as “knowing more and more about less and less,” and religion as “knowing less and less about more and more.” The culmination of science will be knowing everything about nothing, and the culmination of religion will be knowing all… not knowing about all, simply knowing… not about – just knowing. Science will end in ignorance; religion will end in enlightenment.

All the scientists, even the great ones, have proved foolish in many ways outside their specific field. They behave childishly. Bennett was a scientist and mathematician of a certain standing, but he wavered, he missed. He started looking for another master again. And it is not that he remained with Shivapuri either.

Shivapuri Baba was a very old man when Bennett met him. He was almost one hundred and ten years old. He was really made of steel. He lived for almost one and a half centuries. He was seven feet tall and one hundred and fifty years old and still there was no sign that he was going to die. He decided to leave the body, it was his decision.

shivapuri-baba

Shivapuri was a silent man, he did not teach. Particularly a man who had known Gurdjieff and his tremendous teaching would find it very ordinary to be with Shivapuri Baba. Bennett wrote his book and started searching again for a master. Shivapuri Baba was not even dead yet.

Then, in Indonesia, Bennett found Mohammed Subud, the founder of the movement called Subud. ‘Subud’ is a short form of Sushil-Buddha-Dharma; it is just the first letter of these three words. What foolishness! Bennett started introducing Mohammed Subud, a very good man, but not a master… nothing even compared to Shivpuri Baba… no question arises about Gurdjieff. Bennett brought Mohammed Subud to the West, and started introducing him as the successor to Gurdjieff. Now this is utter stupidity….

But Bennett writes beautifully, mathematically, systematically. His best book is Shivapuri Baba. Although Bennett was a fool, even if you allow a monkey to sit at a typewriter once in a while he may come upon something beautiful – perhaps a statement which only a buddha could make – just by knocking the typewriter keys here and there. But he will not understand what he has written.

Bennett continued in this way. Soon he became disillusioned with Mohammed Subud and started searching for yet another master. Poor fellow, his whole life he was searching and searching unnecessarily. He had already found the right man in Gurdjieff. He has written about Gurdjieff, and what he says is beautiful, efficient, but his heart is dark, there is no light in it. Still, I count his book as one of the best. You can see that I am impartial.

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58 Responses to The Long Pilgrimage

  1. frank says:

    Bennett was ahead of his time.
    He was the proto-satsang junkie. A Casanova of consciousness, picking up a new exotic teacher everywhere he went. G to Shivapuri Baba to Subud to various sheiks, then giving all his property to Idries Shah.

    Osho says of Shivapuri Baba, “He was seven feet tall and one hundred and fifty years old and still there was no sign that he was going to die. He decided to leave the body, it was his decision.”
    There`s those old siddhis again!

    Btw, the picture – is that the two of them? That would make Bennett about 8 foot tall and build like a brick outhouse!!

    Harry Potter, anyone?

    • dominic says:

      Could be ‘Lord of the Rings’ in an alternate universe, where Frodo is the towering big fella and Gandalf comes hobbit-sized. He could be 110 years old, but seven feet tall? That’s a stretch I think he’s reaching there!

      Imagine going from one teacher to another when your main man pops his clogs (sorry, leaves the body) or you get bored! Who the hell here would do that?! Truly shocking!

      • swamishanti says:

        The ancient yogis used special stretching methods that could lengthen the spine by up to two feet.

        Similar traction methods have been used for spine-related problems in the West, as well as for torture.

        • swamishanti says:

          Osho always insisted on Western allopathic medicine, seemingly thinking that is was superior to the alternatives. He once said something like allopathic medicine always works, whereas alternatives only work if you believe in them, which isn`t really true.

          He was offered yoga sessions by I.S. Iyengar, who also taught J.Krishnamurti some postures, but turned it down. Fair enough.

          But his back got pretty bad and Hugh Milne offered some chiropractic (or was it osteopathy?) but he refused.

          Also, Shyam Singha, the legendary bone-breaker and back-snapper, and master of massage, offered him help but he refused, instead preferring to pop pills, prescribed by Amrito I expect.

          Western doctors do not have a clue about chiropractic and still do not recommend it or recognise it as a valid treatment for spine issues. They usually prescribe people painkillers, often of the opioid-derived types.

          • Parmartha says:

            Shanti
            This debate between allopathic and alternatives is too either/or.
            Frankly a bit of humility on both sides would be good, in a lot of illnesses neither really work, though they often claim it.

            On Osho, he did get massage, but clearly not from egotists like Hugh Milne and Iyengar.
            Shyam Singha was actually an acupuncturist as far as I knew, but he had a very large ego… acupuncture is now available in some UK NHS surgeries.

            Osho certainly atttracted many people from the alternative healing worlds, and it was always a surprise to me, even at the time, that he seemed to have so little time for it.

            This may be because in Indian consciousness, as it was then, it was clear that in somethings like TB, cholera, polio, diabetes (from which Osho also suffered) etc., it had some enormous successes, and this was universalised to a much broader range of illnesses, where it had much less success.

            • swamishanti says:

              Shyam Singha was a practitioner of not only acupuncture, but also bone-crunching, chiropractic, massage and dietary nutrition.

              I met a couple of people trained by him at his centre in Suryodaya and he was certainly a master teacher, judging by their skills.

              Yes, western allopathic medicine did wonders in India with serious diseases but Osho’s refused to try any traditional medicine or ayurveda, that could have saved him a lot of hassle.

              Just sitting in his chair in Poona 2, complaining about Ronald Reagan, digestive problems, gas and bloating, slurring on valium or whatever Amrito gave him (shall we try some qualudes today?) surely some good old ayurveda could have sorted or at least helped a bit without the chemical side-effects.

              • Parmartha says:

                Thanks, Shanti. Not disagreeing in particular with you, just chatting.
                I knew Sham Singha a little, back in the seventies. He ran a small underground centre in Bell Street, which was said to have been the first Osho centre in Europe, though I don’t know that for a fact. I used to go there.

                He was a wild one, and not surprised Osho did not want him playing with his back.
                He regularly drank a bottle of vodka, and ‘exaggerated’!

                His close friends reckoned that he went mad once with Osho in the early days, and Laxmi tried to bring it to an end, etc. But Osho said let him cathart, and Shyam was said to have done so for 3 days and nights! After which, well – permanent bliss…which. as you know, the latter I am generally sceptical of.

                • swamishanti says:

                  I heard that Shyam Singha went a bit nuts and laughed for three days in Pune. Someone (Osho?) said it was a satori.

                  Osho later complained that Shyam was always trying to massage his feet in darshan. He also gave him a big hit where he called him a “quack” in Rajneeshpuram.

                  But Osho gave these hits to lots of people on the Ranch. Earlier, he had said Teertha, the group leader, was a channel for his energy, or something similar, later he said Teertha was just shit, poisonous.

                  I once had a lunch that Shyam had cooked (with meat) and many pots, at Bell St., and it really was delicious.

                • frank says:

                  Omg, Shanti, all that drivel, don`t forget the palace in Kashmir where he was born – no address ever given! Or being Gurdjieff`s cook despite not being mentioned anywhere in the many biogs. of Mr G.

                  I was down at Shyam Singha’s Bell street Centre one evening in the 80s. He was doing an evening with 20 or so people.

                  At one stage he was demonstrating some of his chiropractic moves on a woman on the floor. Already well pissed, or maybe ‘pretending to be drunk’, he had already sunk the best part of a bottle of vodka by that stage. As he ‘worked on’ the woman who was prone on the floor in front of him he complained to her and the audience that she needed to trust him more and let go, be less resistant.

                  Then, he suddenly produced a large meat-cutting knife from under a pillow and held the shiny blade right up to her throat and shouted, “Do you trust me?”

                  She kind of gurgled nervously and flushed red, and was mighty relieved when after a couple of minutes of this drama he eventually put the knife away. This was all taken by the faithful as a test of surrender etc.

                  Later, someone asked him why he drank so much and he likened himself to Ramakrishna who had to eat a lot to keep him grounded to the earth plane. “When I stop drinking, I will be gone in three days”, he grandiosely pronounced. Then got several members of the audience to feel how swollen his liver was (very) and oddly, boasted about it how drunk he was and how he was still aware, altho` he was slurring by this point.

                  Mohan Singh/Michael Lyons is Shyam`s most famous and successful disciple.

                  Crazy wisdom on the left-hand path? Or one of the most extreme and sophisticated forms of denial and lying ever invented by substance and people abusers?

              • frank says:

                Penicillin/antibiotics was a miracle-like invention. Likewise vaccines, for example. There`s good and bad in each.

                Valium and the -azepams are just shit drugs, period. No one in their right mind thinks that that stuff has been worth the harm done, but they still hand them out like Smarties.

                Like Big P says, the alternative/complementary dichotomy is useless. Go to the doctor but use your loaf, ask questions, hassle them, do your own research online etc. It`s a risky way to go to follow doctors blindly…

                Now, what does that remind me of?!

                • frank says:

                  Re. Shyam Singha…
                  Permanent bliss?
                  That was a typo.
                  It was piss.

                • frank says:

                  Permanent piss.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Osho apparently got onto valium sometime around his US period.

                  It was regularly prescribed by doctors at the time, it would have been difficult for Amrito to say no if Osho kept asking for it. But do we know if he was still given it during Pune 2? Not really.

                  But there were also reports of barbiturates being used in Osho’s house on the Ranch, which are much worse than Valium.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Did Shyam claim that he was Gurdjieff`s cook? I didn`t see that anywhere. He was old enough to have met Gurdjieff, he died at almost 80, in 2000.

                  He was in Aurobindo`s ashram, that I have been told by someone who knew him there before he went to Osho.

                  As far as Michael Lyons is concerned, I have no idea. But I am sure that Shyam trained a lot of people well in the skills that he taught.

                  Vodka? Well, if he was part Russian that would explain that one.

                • frank says:

                  SS,
                  He claimed a lot of things.
                  That he was G`s cook.
                  That the fact that his place in Finchley was in the same road as Maggie Thatcher`s place was significant as he was exerting some kind of spiritual influence on the UK.

                  He was aggressive and boorish, putting people in the group down and them thinking he had “given them some energy.”

                  Omg, just being reminded of it – the utter weirdness of the sado-masochistic master/disciple
                  therapist/therapee game. Ugggh!

                • swamishanti says:

                  I get the impression that Shyam Singha came from a super-rich family in India. These families are a bit like the elite old upper classes of the 19th and 20th century, these lords and ladies would get interested in Indian spirituality and Buddhism, and discuss it all at dinner parties. Some of them translated old Indian texts into English.

                  The elite Indian upper classes often moved in the same circles and knew about Krishnamurti, Aurobindo, Osho and whoever else was around.

                  I have heard from a reliable source who spent a long time in Pondicherry with Aurobindo and the Mother that Shyam Singha was there, doing a lot of meditation and also sometimes having access to Aurobindo’s bedroom.

                  Which means he could have been cooking for him or doing other services.

                • Dominic says:

                  We’ve all been there, Frank, some still are! If you wanna watch a classic case study of the theatre of domination in a mega-group format, there’s Tony Robbin’s documentary. ‘I Am Not Your Guru.’

    • sannyasnews says:

      Yeah, Frank.
      We think this is Osho exaggerations, to say the least, when in the dentist’s chair where he dictated the text of ‘Books he had loved’!
      Here’s another picture of Bennett in old age…

      • frank says:

        Lieutenant J.G. Bennett 1918.

        Hanging with crazy dudes around the East certainly more fun than this! Respect.

        • Parmartha says:

          Thanks, Frank.
          John Godolphin Bennett was actually nearly fatally wounded in 1918, so if this is him, then it must have been before that! He says in his autobiography that this near death in 1918 is what began his “wake up”.

          I would say his life later was worthy of the description ‘interesting’.
          His ability with languages must have been astounding. Turkish in six months, and then being able to work as an English spy in Istanbul at that time effectively…and finding Gurdjieff, not just finding him, but being able to recognise something singular in him out of the tens of thousands of refugees at that time coming to Istanbul.

  2. shantam prem says:

    Wonder English gentlemen and ladies still going to India to find Babas!

  3. shantam prem says:

    When people don’t have birth certificates and passports it becomes easier to bluff about the age.
    If we don’t have exact birthday of Osho it will be so easy to say master died at the ripeness age of 108!
    108 meditation techniques, 108 years was the life span of the master, therefore World Teacher!

  4. Kavita says:

    Shivapuri Baba’s (photo) body language seems similar to Osho’s – probably Osho was also 7 feet tall!

    Wondering if he had not appointed his doctors & had become a wandering hermit he would still be around!

    • Parmartha says:

      Yes, Kavita, some similarity…
      What do you, as someone born in India, say about these seemingly absurd claims to such long life?

      I would be more interested myself in the book, ‘The Long Pilgrimage’, and to see what he taught, if he was seen just as an old Indian yogi who did not really know his age, but had something interesting to say.

      • Kavita says:

        Parmartha, I think this claim by enlightened ones about long life is not absurd to me, in the sense that if one has the will to live, for that matter any other thing, it’s possible.

        About death I am reminded of the Indian epic, a character in Mahabharata, Bhisma/Ganga Putra has this gift called ‘ichcha mrityu’.

        “His father granted him the boon of Ichcha Mrityu (control over his own death — he could choose the time of his death, making him immortal till his chosen time of death, instead of completely immortal which would have been an even more severe curse and cause of suffering).’”"ref – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhishma .

        Well, in another sense, everyone who commits suicide is enlightened!

        Yesterday, I read a bit of his https://www.scribd.com/doc/253515663/Right-Life-Teachings-of-the-Shivapuri-Baba

        Somehow Iam not really interested in Shivapuri Baba.

        I checked the Wikipedia of Shivpuri Baba, which is not certain about the dates & his real identity:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Govindananda_Bharati

        • frank says:

          Back in the day, I was friends with a pro magician called Magical Michael. He spent quite a bit of time travelling in India, living from doing his close-up magic tricks to anyone who would watch. (It’s not too hard to get a crowd in India!).

          I learnt a few simple card numbers with a trick-deck from him. As a misdirectional patter, I would rabbit on about psychic powers and getting in touch with energies etc. It was a good line because when I fluffed the trick, I could say the energy wasn’t very strong and I would have to take some deep breaths etc. and try again, or even blame the audience for their negativity.

          Now, when I did these tricks on westerners they were amused by the patter but generally wondered how is the trick done, the mechanics.

          Indian people, however, tended to believe that real magic/psychic powers were involved (this was just basic `pick a card, any card type stuff`). This included sannyasins who had meditated for a long time and ones who had western/modern-type jobs. One I remember was the wife of the Jabalpur ashram guy, Vijay, who was a friend of Osho in student days (was he the one with the Osho sex machine stories you came out with? I never heard those).

          Anyway, lovely woman, actually she was a doctor at the hospital but she really thought I was doing supernatural magic altho` it was just a tapered deck (the most basic trick-deck you can buy).

          Michael was a very good magician with a large repertoire so the villagers got good value for money. Nevertheless, he was taken to be a holy man many times on his travels, feted with garlands, people touching his feet and carried through the village etc. etc.

          He could easily have donned the lunghi and declared himself a holy man and all the rest of it. He was more interested in the adventure, having fun, food, lodging and smoke.

          • Kavita says:

            “I remember was the wife of the Jabalpur ashram guy, Vijay, who was a friend of Osho in student days (was he the one with the Osho sex machine stories you came out with? I never heard those).

            Anyway, lovely woman, actually, she was a doctor at the hospital but she really thought I was doing supernatural magic altho` it was just a tapered deck (the most basic trick-deck you can buy).”
            If I am not mistaken, this Vijay is the Swami (I have seen him in the Poona commune) who runs the Jabalpur Osho Centre; his girl-friend Aparna (or Archana?) (I have not seen her), is sister of a sannyasin acquaintance & a common friend, Swami Alok.

            http://www.oshoamritdham.in/about.php

            Actually, as a child I have watched some magic shows which I enjoyed.

            The last one I went to was when working in the Poona commune in the late 1990s, the commune had some free passes for this show so a few of us sannyasins had gone for it, only I don’t like the the over-acting & the gaudy clothes these pro-magicians wear!

            Near the Osho Nala Park there are always few magicians who come to earn their daily bread, even today.

            • frank says:

              “Near the Osho Nala Park there are always few magicians who come to earn their daily bread, even today.”

              I`m glad to hear it. I hear street magic is a dying business. Pity.

  5. dominic says:

    Gordon Bennett, this is a ‘tall’ story! You couldn’t make it up! Oh wait, Osho did! Well, most of it. Perhaps it was just to say, “Never leave a Mastaaah for another, even when he’s gone, or you’ll miss, you poor fools!”

    Reading the wiki page on Bennett, I get a very different impression of the man and his relationship to one shiny bald-headed dome with handlebars. He never seemed to stop thinking or being influenced by Mr G until the end. His first meeting with him, according to wiki, was not by dramatically spotting him because of “those eyes”, all bedraggled in a refugee camp. He was introduced to him and Ouspensky “through Prince Sabahaddin, a reformist thinker who had introduced him to a wide range of religious and occultist ideas, including Theosophy and Anthroposophy.”

    Any more porky pies – er, I mean “exaggerations”? Well, Bennett met the Baba two years before his death, so when he was nearly 150 (allegedly!) not 110! Ok, we’re splitting long grey beards here, it’s not about the facts, is it, especially when you’re in the ‘dentist chair’ under er…‘anaesthetic’ possibly?

    His paragraph below and the clever inversions are lifted from Konrad Lorenz:
    “I always define science as “knowing more and more about less and less,” and religion as “knowing less and less about more and more.” The culmination of science will be knowing everything about nothing, and the culmination of religion will be knowing all…not knowing about all, simply knowing…not about – just knowing. Science will end in ignorance; religion will end in enlightenment.”

    Bennett at least seemed very passionate about his quest and open to new ideas. Osho’s theme of ‘betrayal’ seems pretty rich from someone who never had a ‘master’ themselves, an unnecessary negative spin serving a personal agenda, his identification with Gurdjieff perhaps. The talk is littered with a cascade of judgemental slurs “idiots”, “find a real man”, “betrayed”, “waver and betray”, “All the scientists…have proved foolish…They behave childishly”, “utter stupidity”, “Bennett was a fool…a monkey..at a typewriter”, “his heart is dark”. And so it goes, until the final dubious last line: “You can see that I am impartial”.

    • frank says:

      In nitro veritas.

    • satchit says:

      “Bennett at least seemed very passionate about his quest and open to new ideas. Osho’s theme of ‘betrayal’ seems pretty rich from someone who never had a ‘master’ themselves, an unnecessary negative spin serving a personal agenda, his identification with Gurdjieff perhaps.”

      Interesting argumentation, Dom.

      Talking about “personal agenda”? But it functions only if you think and believe that he was on the same level of consciousness as you with your personal agenda. Btw, would also mean his “personal agenda” was to get as many RR* as possible in his life.

      *RR = Rolls Royces

    • Parmartha says:

      You seem to miss that Osho was a gossip. He even said that about his mainstream talks, let alone those from the dentist’s chair.
      You hold him to too high standards for a gossip.

      On Bennett:
      In around 1920, Bennett was working as an intelligence officer (spy) for the British Army occupying Istanbul after the First World War. He was said to have almost perfect Turkish.
      He courted friendship with some of the old leaders of the Ottoman empire for that purpose.

      One was Sabahaddin. It was Sabahaddin who fed Bennett spirituality by encouraging him to read ‘Les Grands Initiés’ (‘The Great Initiates’) by Édouard Schuré.
      Sabahaddin also introduced Bennett to an English woman living in Istanbul, Winifred “Polly” Beaumont, whom Bennett later married.

      Bennett himself wrote an autobiography called ‘Witness’, which I am trying to source. That might give us his own account about his first meeting with Gurdjieff, which was certainly in Istanbul around this time.

      • frank says:

        P,
        When you find the book you will discover that Bennett`s account is that Bennett first met Ouspensky, who told him the basics of the work. Then he went to a concert by De Hartmann of G music fame, and thought his wife Olga a stunner.

        Then, a short time later he met Gurdjieff at dinner by Sabaheddin`s arrangement, by which time Sabaheddin had already told Bennett about a fascinating occultist, explorer and linguist that he had met. It`s all in Chapter 5.

        The chance meeting in the refugee camp story does appear to be a fabrication.

      • dominic says:

        Big P, is being in a “dentist’s chair” code for taking drugs such as nitrous and valium? I genuinely don’t know.

        I’m not sure what you’re saying about it being a “gossip”. Does that mean to expect much ‘exaggeration’ (to put it politely) and misinformation? Then why bother to listen?
        The main theme I get from this passage is a kind of guilt trip/scare tactic of telling people to stay devoted to the ‘Super-Master’ even after death, or you will miss.

        This attitude seems to have been reflected in the way he spoke of and treated others who had moved on from his own inner circle. Wasn’t it called ‘ghosting’ during the Ranch period? This creates a cult mind-set and an inability to deal with conflict, that tends to collapse movements from within.

        The modelling for this and the language of ‘put down’ above, is given a green light by Osho, and then copied by others as acceptable, even encouraged. Sheela’s ranting with anyone who disagreed with her being the culmination of this.

        When one listened to Osho in a discourse with others, one was put into a light trance and critical mind tended to switch off. There were no discussion groups after. But here, it’s different, you can look at what he’s saying and have some ‘illegal opinions’ about it, although the thought police will come after you, to attack you, not your ideas. For you, this is “gossip”, for me, a subtext of emotional manipulation around betrayal, or ‘apostasy’ even, to use a fundamentalist term.

        It’s all insecure, old-fashioned, cultic bollocks and putting our thinking caps on means not buying into it. It’s fine to disagree, but then construct an argument to explain your angle. To say, “You seem to miss that Osho was a gossip” is to say nothing at all, or to whitewash anything he says, and not dare venture any opinion of your own.

        • satchit says:

          “The main theme I get from this passage is a kind of guilt trip/scare tactic of telling people to stay devoted to the ‘Super-Master’ even after death, or you will miss.”

          Guilt feelings are part of your story. Others see it simply as a hint that it is better to stay with one guru, instead of doing guru-hopping.

          “For you, this is “gossip”, for me, a subtext of emotional manipulation around betrayal, or ‘apostasy’ even, to use a fundamentalist term.”

          Yes, one can analyse it like this, perfectly correct.
          But the question is: What conclusion will someone make who sees it like this?

          • Dominic says:

            An enlightened one such as yourself, Satchit, knows perfectly well there is only one Guru here, posing as the many, one Life appearing as the all!

            But if you need proof of the merits of ‘guru-hopping’ – before Osho dies, none of his followers get enlightened. After Osho dies, and they go visit others, there is no end of!

  6. Parmartha says:

    Even in G’s circle, TB played its part. For example Kathrine Mansfield died of it, and in his commune in France. He had constructed a room where the vapours of the communal compost continually were breathed by her – no good, she died just the same. Not sure when TB was beaten, but clearly it was, and had the western cure been available Katherine might have survived to outlive her Master!
    When educated Indians saw that western medicine “cured” such things, when they had seen their friends dying of the bloody illness for years, it does explain why people like Osho seemed to have little truck for the smells of the compost and that type of alternative medicine…
    Shivapuri Baba clearly lived a long life. I guess his recipe was hermiting, and vegetarianism and no fraterising with women?!

    • swamishanti says:

      And lots of fasting, probably.
      Many yogis water fast two days a month.

      • shantam prem says:

        Swamishanti, do you do something else other than reading stories about Yogis? I wonder, are you an old Indian soul from the mountains trapped in whiteman’ s body?

        It is really a spiritual side-tracking to contemplate over the people one has never met but read only, and more than that, who have died long ago. Is this here and now?

        • Lokesh says:

          Shantam, living in the here and now means being present in your actions, witnessing the mechanics of the chattering mind etc. It does not mean you should not contemplate the lives of dead people, it just means that you try to be aware of what is taking place inside and outside of oneself.

          Besides, who are you to speak? You are very past-orientated, trying in your own feeble way to return the Resort to what it was in your glory days, restore Osho’s legacy, whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean. Every time you point a finger, three fingers point back at you.

          • shantam prem says:

            Resort example can be given by those only who know Osho through his words and his physical presence.

            I am not hankering for the past but feel compelled to take the stand for the restoration of the original.

            Only Indians know how to preserve masterly work without distortion. Master/disciple thing is part of India’s DNA, it is not borrowed or stolen concept.

            • Lokesh says:

              Shantam says, “I am not hankering for the past but feel compelled to take the stand for the restoration of the original.”

              Shantam, what do you feel compelled by?
              Careful, it’s a trick question.

      • sannyasnews says:

        You mean, as well as no food, no liquids also?

        • swamishanti says:

          I have personally never tried dry fasting without water and wouldn’t want to.

          Hatha yogis and others often fast for 48 hours, or three days a month.

          I fasted for two days after getting sick from Indian food about three years ago, and found the experience incredibly purifying. The longest I had ever fasted before that had just been for 24 hours.

          I had no appetite the first day because I was sick, but by the second day I felt incredible and a sense of lightness and peace. And by the end of the fast the stomach bug was completely gone. No antibiotics, no hassle.

          So I experimented again several times over the last few years and enjoyed two day fasts, then tried a three day fast which is much more intense, but incredibly puryifying.

          The sense of well-being that comes after starting eating again is quite something.

          But after a three day fast I had to learn to go quite slowly when reintroducing food, at least for three or four days, because the system had slowed down and had to get used to digestion again.

          But a two or three day water fast will repair the gut lining and clear a lot of toxins.

          The longest fast I ever attempted was a seven day water fast, but that was by far long enough for me.

          But the heightened awareness of the body that comes from water fasting and reintroducing food slowly is also something.

          Some people go for 21 day fasts but two or three days is more than enough for me.

          Have not done any for over six months.

  7. samarpan says:

    “Bennett himself wrote an autobiography called ‘Witness’, which I am trying to source.” (Parmartha)

    Here is the basic bibliographic information of the edition published in London:

    BENNETT, J. G. (1975). Witness: the autobiography of John G. Bennett. London, Turnstone Books.

    Here are the ISBN numbers and a description of ‘Witness’, in case that helps:

    10 digits: 0855000430

    13 digits: 9780855000431

    Description: ix, 380 pages, [8] leaves of plates: illustrations, portraits; 22 cm.

    • frank says:

      Or you can look on Amazon.
      When you get there, click on ‘look inside’ and you can actually find the bit about the lead up to their meeting, but it cuts off by copyright just before the dinner party.
      Chapter 5: ‘Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’, page 60.

  8. swamishanti says:

    I should add that there are some health conditions where fasting is not recommended.

    I usually fast for either two days and two nights or three days and three nights. The latter takes some time for the body to build up digestive enzymes and get used to eating again; I usually spend the first two days just drinking fruit juices and then introduce fruits and yoghurt.

    When I fasted for seven days and seven nights I lost a lot of weight and it took about a month to be able to eat regular portions again.

    But some people do much longer fasts.

    I always start with just one cup of green tea at the beginning of the fast on the first morning because otherwise caffeine withdrawal can be too intense on the first day. I spend most of the time resting and just an hour or so walking in nature, and always sleep incredibly well.

    After the second day the body starts producing ketones which cleanse the body.

    Fasting does become addictive though, a bit like doing dynamic every day for a long time. It takes a while to get off it again. My experience anyway.

  9. dominic says:

    Sounds good, Swamishanti. I should try it again, a lot of time is freed up when not busy with food. I once did a seven day fast, just water, with twice daily colonics, for a deep clean of the intestinal wall, with some exercise to move stuff in that area. You have to be careful coming off it gradually, as I discovered with some struggle.

    Short fasting means one can still function normally, like the 5:2 diet which I did for a bit. It all works, like everything, it’s just finding the motivation.

  10. swamishanti says:

    Yeah, breaking the fast really is the hard part, especially with a 7 day one. And a hassle.

    Actually, I found 7 days too long for me.

    I found out how to break a 3 day fast slowly, but it does take a lot of patience.

    But nothing quite like that first glass of juice or a good cup of tea again. Or a nice spoon of tahini or some thick live yoghurt for some protein.

    But, it all takes time, and I am usually too busy for fasting. I think if I fast again I would just go for a 1/2 day option.

    I never tried the 5:2 diet, I think that is designed for people to lose weight.

  11. shantam prem says:

    Another kind of fasting for purifying the inner software is to go away from everyday life and spend few days or weeks in a retreat.

    Masses of tourist going to sunny islands come back home with some freshness.

  12. satyadeva says:

    Isn’t that called a ‘holiday’, Shantam?! I’m having one now, which is why I haven’t been around here for a while.

  13. shantam prem says:

    Are not holidays the holy-days?