I have just finished writing my third novel. This completes the trilogy that I first began creating ten years ago. In my third book I use Osho as a character.
I don’t know if any other writer has used Osho as in character in a work of fiction before. I am considering bringing out all three books in one 460,000 word long magnum opus. Because of this I have returned to my first book, Mind Bomb, and started revising it for the umpteenth time. What follows below is a short excerpt describing my main protagonist, Angus, attending Osho’s cremation. I wasn’t actually there and had to develop this account from various sources. This is where SN punters come in. I’d like you to read it and if you see anything that does not sound right or is inaccurate please comment. I have worked in the creative arts for most of my adult life and am therefore accustomed to creative criticism. Fire away. Thanks, Lokesh. (writing name Luke Mitchell)
“The funeral pyre was burning as hot as a furnace. Angus’s robe clung to his sweating body like an extra layer of thick skin. He wanted to stand back from the fierce heat but couldn’t, because he was hemmed in by hundreds of people. They were crowding round to say a final farewell to their beloved spiritual master.
Osho had died in the milieu in which he’d become accustomed to while alive. During the last thirty years of his life he had been constantly surrounded by controversy, levelled by detractors, which was buffered by the ceaseless love of his devotees. The current debate was centred on the cause of his death. Was he, as the guru claimed, a victim of thallium poisoning? This highly toxic chemical element allegedly mixed with food given to him by employees of the U.S. Government in a plot hatched and implemented in 1985, when the guru was arrested and detained within the shadowy confines of the American Penal System. Or had he, as others claimed, succumbed to the combined effects of a chronic neurological disease and an alleged addiction to prescription tranquillizers coupled with massive inhalations of nitrous oxide? There were even rumours circulating that the master had requested his personal physician to inject him with a lethal concoction of barbiturates and curare-like poison to end his life, which would have explained the rush to cremate his corpse, thus avoiding the legal complications that would have arisen had an autopsy been carried out to determine cause of death.
Standing by the funeral pyre, none of these possibilities coloured Angus’s perception of this anarchistic, Zen-like master’s sudden departure from the earthly plane. He was certain that the world had just lost a crazy diamond from its crown of creation.
The searing heat of combustion was not the only phenomenon that was intense down at the cremation ground that evening. The powerful charge of psychic energy permeating the atmosphere was so tangible it could have been bottled and sold as ‘Incredible Vibrations’. Angus felt like he was witnessing a scene right out of The Bible or some other religious storybook. Everyone present, including himself, was wearing a white robe that, by reflecting the light from the fire, glowed with vibrant shades of orange. To the sound of frantically beating drums, voices raised in song and intermittent screams, the master’s extended international family of lovers, disciples and friends could be seen going through the whole gamut of human emotion: grief, desolation, anger, bewilderment, joy, ecstasy, bliss and even madness. It was all there, registered on the faces of those gathered around the blaze.
In the background loomed a tall banyan tree. Angus looked up and could see people sitting upon its thick boughs. The pupils of their eyes were glowing like rubies, illuminated by the fire and highlighted by the jet black backdrop of a moonless night. By the banyan’s long hanging roots stood a small Shiva temple. Over the past few years, Angus had gone there many times to share the company of wandering mendicants, who would use the pilgrim’s shed by the shrine as a stopover for the night on the road to nowhere.
When an updraught of cool air fanned the flames rising from the pile of wood, soaked in boiled butter, his attention returned to the blaze. The fire crackled, roared and flared. At the heart of the inferno the sage’s body was burning and vaporizing, his once noble head reduced to a charred and broken skull full of bubbling brain matter. It was Osho who had first introduced Angus to the radical concept that death could be seen as a cause for celebration rather than sorrow. He’d described death as a beautiful experience, so intense there is nothing in life that can be compared with it. Nevertheless, the master had often drawn comparisons. Angus had heard Osho portray the release that came with death as being like a cosmic orgasm or, to use a more down to earth metaphor, like removing a too tight shoe from one’s foot.
During the last years of his life, Osho had been plagued by ill health and suffered extreme physical discomfort, to the extent that it would have driven a lesser man to distraction. Now that the master had stepped out of a pair of shoes that were a few sizes too small for him and dissolved into an ocean of bliss, Angus let out a cry of exaltation. The physical form of the most remarkable man that he’d ever had the pleasure of meeting was gone. However, Osho’s rebellious spirit would live on unabated as a palpable presence in Angus’s life and others like him all over the world.”