Silence can only follow Catharsis

Osho re-tells the well known story about the Sufi Master, Rumi. 

The story is worth absorbing into one’s being.

A great Sufi mystic, Jalaluddin Rumi, used to live with his one hundred disciples in a monastery. Few travellers came. The monastery was far away from any town, far away even from any roads, but people became interested – curious people can go anywhere: they go to the moon. Curious people are curious people, they can go anywhere. They became curious and they went there. It was far away from towns, off the road, but they took all the troubles of the journey and they reached the desert. The doors were not closed – because Rumi had never thought that anybody would come so far away – so they could watch what was happening inside…

Somebody was laughing loudly, madly, somebody was dancing, somebody was singing, somebody was standing on his head, people were doing a thousand and one things – and Jalaluddin Rumi was sitting just in the middle of it all, silent, with closed eyes.


So they thought, ’What is going on? Have these people gone mad? What are these lunatics doing here? And what is this man doing? He is simply sitting, with closed eyes. He should stop these people – it is dangerous; they may go beyond the limit.’ And somebody was raving like a maniac, and somebody was hitting the wall, and everything was going on.

They became very afraid. They became so afraid that they went away. But after one year curiosity took possession of them again and they thought ’We should go and see what is happening now. Things must have gone worse. Either they must have killed that Jalaluddin Rumi by now, because he was just sitting in the middle of it, or they must have committed suicide… murders must have happened!’ So they went again. They could not believe it: they were all sitting silently.

Only Jalaluddin Rumi was dancing.

But this was a worse situation because they thought at least he had been sane, now he also was insane. But they took pity on the man. They thought, ’It is natural – just to be amidst these mad people for so long, he must have gone out of his mind.’ They went away.

But after one year curiosity again took possession of them and they thought, ’We must go and see what is happening now.’

So they went there. There was nobody, only Jalaluddin Rumi was sitting alone – the whole group had disappeared. Now it was too much. What happened? They became too curious.

They went to Jalaluddin Rumi and they said, ’We want to ask what happened? Where are those nuts? What happened to them? And what are you doing sitting here alone?’

’So what has happened then? Things have completely changed.’ They thought, ’It seems this man has taken the madness of all, so that they have become silent and he is dancing.’

And Jalaluddin Rumi said, ’The work is done. Now they have gone into the wider world to find other nuts – to help them. The work is complete.’

Then they asked ’Why were you dancing last year when we came?’

He said, ’I was dancing because I was so happy that my disciples had achieved. It was dangerous, it was very arduous to release their madnesses, accumulated down the centuries, but they were really capable people. I was happy, that’s why I was dancing. Now they have gone to find other mad people. Now they will make a hundred monasteries all around the earth.’

Quote by Osho from Tao: The Pathless Path – Talks on extracts from ‘The Book of Lieh Tzu’,

Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207 – 1273 CE), aka Jalaluddin Rumi, and Mawlānā, which means Our Master, is one of the Sufi world’s greatest poets and best known simply as Rumi.  His followers began a school of mysticism to encourage and celebrate his teachings – the Sufi branch known as the ‘Whirling Dervishes’ – the Mevlevi order.



This entry was posted in Discussion, Osho. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Silence can only follow Catharsis

  1. shantam prem says:

    It seems when master has only 100 or limited number of disciples in his commune, all become enlightened.
    If master works on thousands in his commune, only some Rajneesh junior, some Dolano or two, three others highly ambitious or borderlines!

    As one knows the style of Osho, master was famous to use historic names as hooks to hang his own coat. I think facts and figures in the story tells more about His own commune rather than Rumi´s.

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam, you mention Dolano. The other day I came across a site dedicated to H W L Poonja. There was a list of his disciples that were giving satsang. Dolano was one of them. I’ve watched a vid about her. Really, though, I know nothing much about her, other than the fact that she is viewed as a Poonjaji disciple.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        Thanks, Lokesh, for taking the effort to differentiate here a bit (re Shantam´s prose).

        As long as such kind of precious parables are taken inside (and one can put the latter as ´inside´ in question – at least on a website of a Chat…); as long as such storytelling and its content is more taken to be admired in a mood of self-attached consciousness, more like an entertainment of one more of these numerous kind of ´Japanese manga stories´ (stories of ´heroes’ or ´heroines´) or some ‘Star Wars’ episodes, its very wisdom is not bound to unfold, I guess.

        Very nice, friendly suggestion of the Sannyas News Team: “The story is worth absorbing into one’s being.” Yes, it is. Very much so.

        Processing such inside, it is working by itself – miraculously as mysteriously – as an essential peace-maker, that´s the least I could share in words.

        And there´s much more about this than propagating a daily ´Dynamic Catharsis´, an ´Encounter-Therapy-Group’, primal screams or whatsoever as a ‘must’ and as ´THE´ (only) solutions for dissolving obstacles.

        However, sure, all of it can work as part of the pilgrimage, and some of us here have experienced that too (me too…and…#METOO).

        Aaaah, I love experiencing (listening to) these Sufi tales…and their wisdom. And thank you for bringing it up here.


  2. Kavita says:

    Now, this is such a relevant story in more than one way!

  3. preetam says:

    Teaching which understand love’s great intensity. In our times it’s the same aim and same arrow. Osho’s approach is perhaps a little different, appropriate to our times. It needs a bigger screen for aiming and Osho wants to provoke all humanity to jump, so that our collective does the quantum leap – from a degenerate order into creative, inspired societies.

    But as it has been all the time, the mean spirit splits community spirit. Not without meaning, the Sufis meet at midnight.

  4. Lokesh says:

    I think the whole story emphasises the fact that catharsis is something to be passed through and not something to become attached to once its use has run its course.

    If, after being a sannyasin who has practised cathartic meditation techniques for some years, one has not moved on to a more sedate form of meditation, it might be a good time to examine one’s life and see where you went wrong.

  5. shantam prem says:

    Catharsis is typical Osho contribution to the world of meditation techniques development. I don’t think there is any other historical instance or any school, cult, religion or sects practising it.

    Being a master Orator, Osho has the capacity to weave atmosphere with words where one can see Buddha sitting in Lotus position and ten thousand Bhikkhus doing catharsis. Many of them were travelling on their horses from faraway Brazil and Chile!

    • satyadeva says:

      Re your first paragraph, Shantam, I think you’ve overlooked a few instances where cathartic cleansing happens as part of ‘religious’ practices.

      Eg the Subud movement (formed 1920 in Indonesia and now spread worldwide) can include types of catharsis, depending upon the natural inclination of the individual. As do shamanistic dance rituals, and even certain practices of some Islamic sects, particularly when inspired by contact with a psychically powerful ‘leader’. Not to mention African tribal happenings orchestrated by ‘witch doctors’, where afflicted individuals are cleansed of ‘possession’ by ‘evil spirits’.

      As for the Osho quote under discussion, I tend to agree with you that he was using Rumi for ‘convenience’, his main purpose being to illustrate the nature of his own work. After all, he did deny Rumi was any sort of master, even that he was enlightened!

    • Parmartha says:

      Odd, Shantam.
      Did you read Osho’s story about Rumi?
      Clearly, Rumi was using cathartic methods if this is to be believed, to be passed through, and then, as it were, out the other side simply sitting one year later…

      You sometimes seem to be grandiose about numbers. When I was wandering around in your home land I did meet one Master who had one disciple, and only one. Just sat at the entrance to a temple, and I could never find him again. But that one disciple…amazing.

      I am reminded of the Englishman Bennett who considered he was a leading light around Gurdjieff. I don’t share his grandiose view of himself. But I do recall when he turned up with 100 students of his own in Paris, and ‘gave’ them to Gurdjieff.

      G. had a laugh about this and then a worldly comment to another student, “Less than ten will be worth working with, and getting money out of all of them will not be easy…and then getting rid of those 90 deadwoods, that won’t be easy either!”

      • Lokesh says:

        Good comment, PM.

        Yes, Shantam’s comment is ironic in relation to the article’s content.
        A great master is not the one with the most disciples, but the one who helps most people to become masters in their own right.

  6. satchit says:

    The sentence, “Silence can only follow Catharsis” is wrong.
    Not all so-called Osho Meditations are cathartic.

    What’s with Nadabrahma? Is there no silence possible?

  7. Prem says:

    Catharsis is not meditation. Catharsis is vomiting.

    By witnessing, that which we witness becomes calm and harmonious. Silence comes only through witnessing, not through catharsis.

    The flame of awareness brings to the surface and dissolves every inner trauma. You simply feel the pain, and when you watch it lovingly, the pain is dissolved by awareness.

    Catharsis without meditation is worthless.

    Silence doesn’t come after catharsis. Only more catharsis. You can cathart forever.

    If catharsis worked, then all the heavy metal fans would be enlightened after years of singing along to heavy metal.

    Catharsis is good to open the wounds, but the only thing that heals those wounds is loving witnessing.

    • Kusum says:

      Prem, catharsis is not just screaming & shouting but it can also be expressed through hard work.

      Some people, even if they have money, they like to work because it is sort of releasing the stress. Catharsis in the form of work is creative. It is useful for the society & useful for oneself.

      Centre of cyclone is always calm but the cyclone derives its powers from a calm centre!

    • preetam says:

      Whole humanity is an open wound at the Moment ;)

    • Lokesh says:

      In relation to Prem’s comment about witnessing, it can be viewed on a certain level that Osho’s teachings about becoming a witness are not in themselves complete. Most of Osho’s commentaries on witnessing were for beginners. There were other gurus who took it further than being simply a watcher on the hills.

      Osho never went into too much detail about the nature of the witness, hence the misguided notion that by simply witnessing you have somehow managed to land in the enlightened state, when in reality it is a preliminary stage, which can lead one to a deeper state.

      For example, how can one ascertain that by witnessing one is simply not indulging in a glorified spiritual ego trip? How does one know for certain that is what is happening etc?

  8. Parmartha says:

    All I can say re recent posts about catharsis and meditation is Osho himself told me personally in darshan that he did not want me to do the vipassana meditation group until I had done the encounter and other cathartically expressive groups. Only then could I “fall into” vipassana. And then after that he said the group to end all groups after vipassana, work/worship in the ashram to which he encouraged me, which cost nothing and which had no end….

    One imagines that Rumi, if asked, would have said the same.

    My own experience was that after a certain stage, catharsis slipped away of its own accord, and one fell into a natural quietude.

    • Kusum says:

      Parmartha, how much did it cost you to do all the groups? Mostly it was suggested to do all the meditation techniques first & then choose one that suits oneself as every individual has different body (some young, some old) & different needs. Most young ones need active meditation & old ones prefer just to sit.

      • Parmartha says:

        Not sure of the tilt of your question, Kusum.

        In 1974/5, Osho always recommended doing a “Meditation Camp”. As I remember, 10 days of doing the complete meditation programme as offered by the Ashram, including the morning dynamic at 6am. Hence all the quieter meditations followed dynamic if you stuck to the programme as Osho recommended it.

        It was not expensive, I remember feeling at the time it was a good deal.

        Later, the groups were introduced. Osho would recommend those to individuals such as myself personally in darshan. In my case, it was just five groups, with the last one being vipassana, followed by becoming an ashram worker.

        They also were not expensive, and the costs were modest.

        Where are you coming from?

        • Kavita says:

          Kusum is from India & is actually Mr. India (invisible) for sure!

        • Kusum says:

          Thanks, Parmartha. It was suggested by Him to do vipassana for three weeks in total silence & isolation for three weeks. But I could only handle for two weeks. Also was suggested to carry on with Kundalini meditation tech. which for me is evergreen meditation tech.

  9. shantam prem says:

    Osho in his vulnerable body, months before finally embracing death, was leading for months collective Gibberish packed with 4500-5000 people. Not to remember those days and that atmosphere for me will be betraying legacy of the master.

    On this level, I sleep with contentment that I could witness and be part of meditative lifestyle around the master. Who was Rumi or who was Buddha or who is Jaggi Vasudev plays no role anymore.

    I see people who think they have become free from Osho and his commune yet can’t imagine their days without his words.
    No problem for me.
    It simply shows we are not in the same boat anymore.

    • Lokesh says:

      Shantam, only a fool would think that they are in the same boat as you are. The only sense that we really are on the same boat is that we were all born into this world. From there on in, everyone is in their own boat.

      In other words, being born means you create a personal world around yourself with you at its centre. You are imprisoned by the world you created.

      The only way out of that prison is to deny its existence, which apparently includes the removal of ‘you’ from the picture. Gulp!

  10. shantam prem says:

    Silence of a criminal or a coward can be the same silence as of a mystic or a warrior?

    Just like ‘love’ and ‘God’ and other such high profile spiritual words, ‘Silence’ too has more dimensions than the fashionable interpretations and wishful thinking.

    • satyadeva says:

      Shantam, the depth of these statements is terrific. When is your next satsang, please?!

      • shantam prem says:

        Shantam´s satsang!
        Most probably when transit Neptune is in the 9th or 10th house of the horoscope, one gets temptation to go public.

        In my case, it can be during next 10 years or maybe next life!

        Religion too is a profession or a vocation. Satsang givers too are human beings, just like other entrepreneurs.

      • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

        Yes, Satyadeva, true, “terrific” seems for me too the convenient response to a quite realistic stance of Shantam´s questioning, as in: “Silence of a criminal or a coward can be the same silence as of a mystic or a warrior?”

        And above that meets the quest of the topic theme in the Chat, targeting a point or an issue, nobody here did mention yet amongst these disembodied entities of contributors with sannyas names (who haven’t met in the flesh, so to say, or even would be unwilling to do so?).

        Indeed, when happening to end up temporarily in a mafia structured or corrupt kind of lobbyist´s gang and area (isolated and harassed), you can well encounter and experience that kind of ´silence´ these tribally organised members call the ´Omerta´. According to that point, I´d second Preetam’s diagnosis: “Whole humanity is an open wound at the Moment.”

        - more so than just following Lokesh´s advice ( at 10.51 pm yesterday) which by fortune comes from apparently quite another spot (island) and geo place;
        - or more so, than just following your apparent sarcasm, Satyadeva (to ask for a satsang);
        - or more so, than just reading Parmartha´s stance about big G., the day before yesterday: “G. had a laugh about this and then a worldly comment to another student, “Less than ten will be worth working with, and getting money out of all of them will not be easy…and then getting rid of those 90 deadwoods, that won’t be easy either!” (which made me freeze like pretty much always when big G. is just quoted for ‘one hit or another´ re nowadays times).

        It’s all mixing and merging nowadays, more than just a bit, isn´t it?

        And who of us here would want those kind of guys going into action just like this ´by catharsis´, without sharing a ´safe container’, with support to be centred on someone with a capacity and self-experience in meditation for quite a while, and by that having earned some authority by his or her experience?

        We´re all, when committed to the pilgrimage inside and to sharing that, needing a ´safe container’ (safe i.e. trustworthy surroundings and a way to bond and have exchanges with fellow-travellers).

        Needing for a time being some Presence of authority in a human form, who is able and willing to hold a safe place, being further evolved to walk this bumpy way from here-to-here and to now.

        The Beauty of this Sufi parable topic points for me to – as well as insight – outside happenings and how to deal with obstacles on the way. And tells beautifully about a safe container too.

        And tells about a mastery which truly is worth its salt (as Lokesh would express it?). Inner-View, as Outer-View – like so often in these parables – embracing each othet.

        Joining a viral chat like this is a challenge. Very much so re ´safe container’ issues. If walking the path of a viral chat-connection a little bit longer, some intuition may be happening, joining the yearning to share some stories of ´the Living´.


        • shantam prem says:

          Are you from German ancestry? Your English and expressions don´t feel like German. Maybe it is the influence of Osho´s multi-cultural. multi-racial Ashrams you were part of.

          Maybe it sounds too boisterous to the hard-skinned, top-notch Osho disciples who were touched by the master personally, it is only an average disciple like me who can offer “safe container” in Pune for fellow disciples @ mere 500 Euros per month all-inclusive.

          • madhu dagmar frantzen says:

            Thanks for your offer, Shantam.

            I am right here, where I ought to be, at the moment.

            And yes: when meeting the Master and the Sangha, a radical change re becoming a universal citizen of this world has taken place and such still is demanding its toll all these decades.
            To speak of ´times’ or ´nationalities’ or ´colour of skins’, ‘mother tongues’, ´justice´ is so utterly obsolete in such a context.

            In former times, we sometimes spoke of having surpassed (by sannyas) a point of ´no-return´.
            (Blissfully unaware what that really means).

            Anyway, also this processing – accompanied by many shocks of all kinds (!) – needs to be integrated, to be of any use.

            And as you rightly stated it recently, such can take lifetimes (or not), but surely is – in its possibilities of ´completion´ – not in my/your/anybody´s hands.

            Just knowing that any Living is by nature never, ever ´completed´, may serve as a consolation – a´lubricant – up to the moment also such ´consolation concept´ just falls apart…

            This KOAN of ´effortless-effort´, do you remember?

            So, Shantam – a ‘safe container´ is much more than a material little flat (or also an Ashram) to live in, wherever; besides these material basics it is meant as an energy field you are situated in.

            Anybody can feel it when such is missing (like Preetam or others, or like you too (?)) and everybody feels it when such invisible shelter is functioning, and functioning as a nourishing support.

            Nobody, really nobody, can enforce such to happen. Neither you temporarily in Freiburg can ´make it happen´, nor me here in Munich; we´re both just (exactly) at the places we ought to be, I´d presume…as uncomfortable as it sometimes may feel to be….