Up until now, I was satisfied with the last chapter in ‘The Very Best and Worst Of Sannyas News’, although I was left with the nagging thought that it did not end the book with a big enough bang. This morning I awoke at five o’clock, feeling inspired to write an article, which will form the final chapter and be inserted into the book at a later date.
THE FINAL CHAPTER
“Spread the word I’m thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?”
“One can travel outside of the body; one can practise astral projection and know oneself to be apart from the physical body.”
It was March 1977 in Goa. I was friends with Arihanta, the English sannyasin who ran the Prem Kutira Meditation Centre in Chapora. Arihanta wanted to take a break from his duties as centre leader and travel with his wife and young daughter up to Pune to see Osho. He asked me and my partner of the time, Ritambhara Prem, if I would like to take over the running of the centre for three months. I’d only been a sannyasin for two years and I was knocked out to be offered such a prestigious job, even though it involved milking a herd of goats, something I had no experience in. Fortunately, Ritambhara took care of that aspect of our new duties.
Arihanta had been very influential in encouraging me to go to Pune to take sannyas in 1975. I loved the man. He embodied all that was wild and fun about the sannyasin movement in the early days. He meditated a lot, he smoked a lot of hashish in his chillum, he danced a lot and he was a musician, who later went on the be the front man of a sannyasin rock band called ‘Bhagwan’s Bauls’. Arihanta could sing some Beatles songs better than the Beatles did. His favourite Lennon /McCartneycomposition was ‘I Saw Her Standing There’. He could deliver that song like a runaway freight train thundering along the tracks. ‘Well, my heart went “boom”‘ and so did mine, when I sang along with Arihanta on his porch in true exuberant rock and roll style.
About a month into our tenure of Prem Kutira, Ritambhara and I returned to the meditation centre after a few hours spent dancing down at an Anjuna Beach full moon party. The garden was illuminated by silver moonbeams and, agitated by the spectral light, monkeys screeched from the palm trees. The simian community suddenly fell silent and boom, something astonishing happened. We walked into Osho’s energy field. The master was in the garden. We fell to our knees and namasted. Osho used an exotic perfumed balm. Both us us could smell it. His presence remained in the garden for around five minutes. The whole place had taken on an otherworldly glow. And then he was gone.
Ritambhara and I remained silent until we began discussing what we had both experienced. We heard, some months later, that Osho had spoken about his astral travels, and how he would eat a plate of chapattis to ground himself when he returned to the body after one of his inter-dimensional journeys.
Arihanta and his family came back from Pune and, of course, one of the first things we talked with him about was Osho’s nocturnal visit. Upon hearing about our experience, Arihanta gave a knowing chuckle and said, “Bhagwan often pops in here, during the night. What you just described has happened to me on several occasions.”
A few days later, it was after midnight and eight people, including myself and Ritambhara, were sitting on Arihanta’s porch singing…you’ve guessed it…Beatles songs. We were in the midst of singing ‘The Word’ from the ‘Rubber Soul’ album. “Say the word and you’ll be free”…All of a sudden, Arihanta stopped playing his acoustic guitar and laid his battered twelve-stringed Rickenbacker aside. Osho had shown up for a visit. Everyone present could feel the master’s presence. Everyone raised their hands prayer-like in front of their face. This time, Osho remained with us for a little longer. The feeling of love in the atmosphere was almost overwhelming. All of us entered into a spontaneous state of deep meditation. After the master had departed for destinations unknown, we sat around for some time in complete silence. When people left, they said nothing. Just a quick namaste, and that was it.
As Mark Twain so rightly said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” The story I have just recounted is true. Reflecting on it, I cannot but agree with Osho when he said, “Life is not a problem to be solved, it is a mystery to be lived.”
As an afternote, I have to add the following.
When I’d finished writing the article, I emailed it to Sannyas News. Then, in search of a little distraction to change my headspace, I checked out Facebook. The Facebook page appeared and what do I see? A black-and- white photograph of Arihanta (who died in 1993) and his family in Goa, during the seventies. The hair on the back of my neck prickled. I almost fell out of my seat. Purva, Arihanta’s ‘young daughter’ mentioned in the article, had just posted the photograph on Facebook at exactly the same moment as I emailed the article to Sannyas News. I have not seen Purva in over forty years.
I hurried into the kitchen to tell my wife about this remarkable occurrence. She wrote it off as a coincidence. Where would the world be without the German logical mind? Coincidence? For me, this was an extraordinary example of synchronicity at play. It left me feeling that somehow we are all interconnected on a level way beyond our present understanding. We are cells in a biological/spiritual matrix and profoundly meaningful coincidences, like the one I just described, tend to touch the soul.
I believe that the astral body is very close to the physical body. Some meditators will be able to leave their bodies at will. I have had moments in meditation where my astral body appears to momentarily jump and levitate a little and the physical body is left behind.
I have also had dreams where I am flying and I am able to float around in the environment I happen to be sleeping in. Once I woke up seemingly close to the ceiling and it took a while to get back in the body.
I had a girlfriend who told me she was able to leave her body at will when she was a little girl and go out of her home on flying adventures, but she lost this ability when she grew older.
So this kind of phenomenon will not be a big deal for an enlightened being such as Osho. Astral travel, however, still implies an action on the part of the individual, therefore it remains in the realm of the ego, of the ‘I’.
Osho`s Presence is also felt by disciples, not only as it was in his physical proximity, but can also be discovered inside themselves.
This connection is a mysterious happening that takes place through his absence without any `doing` on his part – he didn`t know when it would happen, and the disciple also wasn`t expecting it to happen.
This then is a much deeper phenomenon than astral travel itself, and could be said to be God`s work.
It is also different to the traditional Indian method of giving `shaktipat` – of touching the third eye , the head or other parts of the body and channeling Cosmic energy.
In Nepal in 1986 Osho said:
“Friendship is the highest flowering of love, where all that is primitive in love has been dropped and only the perfume remains. And the perfume can reach without any physical connection. In these six years I have seen it happening again and again on a vaster scale. Neither are you waiting for the energy, nor are you preparing for the energy – unexpectedly, it comes as a surprise and fills your heart.”
(Osho: `The Sword and the Lotus` Chapter 7)
Of course, this phenomenon can not simply be a belief, and can only be experienced.
An enlightened master of the calibre of Osho, fully dissolved into Existence/ God, is a rare happening. His Presence is already in the hearts of all in potential, this doesn`t mean that his mind was omnipresent and aware of all events simultaneously, however , his Being was/is, and it is possible for a disciple who is open and trusting to develop a connection to this Presence and his Consciousness.
And Osho was well aware that anyone could tap into his Presence after he had dropped his physical body. If this happens it will support any seeker in the same way that it was when he was still in the body – and its only purpose is to help others.
Enough for today…or at least a week.
Perfectly correct, Shanti!
For further information and study Swami Bhorat suggests “Autostimulation of a Yogi” by Baba Free Punani.
What was the purpose of Osho’s astral travels? What did they achieve? Besides your inference that it confirms that “life is a a mystery” how do these experiences change anything?
Clearly they add to the mystique and myth of Osho, confirming how he’s very unique, “spiritually powerful” etc. etc. but how did your experience alter your life at all?
I think everything we experience alters our life in some way. What I described happened a long time ago. I can say for certain that at the time it happened it certainly added a wow factor to my life. It was wow in the sense that I had to believe the unbelievable.
The story is in a way inspirational. Even taking into consideration all the things that happened in the years subsequent to it, the story still carries a message. Whatever became of Osho in the years following the story, the story still rings true. It was not a projection or fantasy, it actually happened and a number of people witnessed it. This means that somehow Osho was able to leave his physical body and travel around.
I find that extraordinary. It is one thing reading about such things in books like ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’, but it’s another thing entirely when you bear witness to such an occurrence. Thinking back on it in retrospect makes me see that those were very interesting times to live in.
Simond. you ask, “What was the purpose of Osho’s astral travels?” I think that is a question that should be directed towards Osho’s astral travel agent.
From AY`s Facebook page:
“Certainly many times on path from here to here, my master Bhorat also encountered many inexplicable, supernatural happenings!
One day he confided to me about night when, many years ago, he was staying at his guru`s ashram, lying on side in bed meditating furiously! He remembers first of all the mysterious appearance and familiar smell in the air of two-day-old ‘Old Spice’ aftershave of the master! His heart was thumping boom boom boom as he felt a mysterious presence climb into the bed behind him! To his amazement, he felt lingam of his guru enter from a dimension in the beyond and the behind as if were actually there! It filled his base chakra with cosmic energy and Bhorat was astonished when he felt love explosion reaching from bass chakra all the way up to back of neck!
By the time he managed to collect himself and look round, there was no one there! He never told anyone for years but later found out that many disciples had also had identical experiences!
Certainly Bhorat`s guru`s asstroll body was very powerful!
In his nocturnal outings he was able to project his vital prana at impressive distances so as to compassionately shower his disciples with it!
Certainly life is a mystery to be lived, not a case to be solved!
Great to hear from Yogi.
No doubt about this, Lokie! I can relate to you as well as to your wife.
In 1994, one summer evening after a Buddha Hall discourse, Shashwat (my partner) & me were walking from the back gate towards the Indian village, where we were living at that time, it was just the two of us on that road, we were walking silently hand-in-hand…then suddenly when we approached lane 3, I felt as if there was someone holding my other hand, we both turned at same time to see and I saw a figure like Osho’s, probably Shashwat too saw this, we kept walking maybe about for a minute, then he was gone.
We just could not talk to each other that whole night. Next morning I went to the Commune as I was working in the Post Office and we never spoke about this to each other.
Much later, I did share about this with Big Prem, but we just hugged each other!
Yes, at times I think &a feel everything exists only to indicate nothing exists!
Once again, Kavita, it is a mystery to be lived.
Eureka! Someone got the idea of facebook, some young chap thought about Amazon or Airbnb.
Most of us religious-minded people get also Wow feeling. Even a sceptical one like me got the call of Cosmic Wisdom on 20th October, maybe one day I will tell the story.
I am not from a Jaina business family, so won’t be able to create business line out of that.
There must be some wonder, some mystery, something intangible, even in China!
Those people also make love beautifully, maybe with sacredness, who have not read any nonsense about the Fucking Tantra; The money-making machine of Not-so-New-anymore cult.
There is the famous Chinese story of
There are also very beautiful countrysides in China: mountains, rivers etc.
Not to forget the elder wise ones.
Shantam, when you speak about religious-minded people like ‘us’ you can count me out. I am not at all religious-minded, as in relating to or concerned with religion, or in any way in accordance with the principles of any religion. If anything, I am closer to being irreligious because I hold no religious beliefs.
Always quoting this or that departed person, giving the reference of this or that guru is a sure sign of being religious.
Anyway, a few people think their guru was not a guru and then they will quote his words, “I am just a friend”.
Persons who are no more on earth are neither friends nor strangers, masters definitely not.
Shantamm, I think you do not understand the meaning of the word ‘religious’.
relating to or believing in a religion.
having a strong belief in God or gods.
belonging or relating to a monastic order or other group of people who are united by their practice of religion.
treated or regarded with a devotion and scrupulousness appropriate to worship.
I do not fulfil any of those criteria.
Lokesh, by pasting dictionary meaning of ‘religious’ shows you as a wordsmith is short of creating new definition of ‘religious’.
My definition is when more than one person discuss most of the time some or many dead person´s contribution, they are ‘religious’ by nature.
Your definition of religion as “more than one person discussing some dead person`s contribution” would have to
to include many things and activities which are not normally seen as “religious”.
For example, Marxism, which is based on interpretation or discussion of a dead man`s writings.
Then what about theatre? For example, are Shakespearean actors, directors, critics etc. religious?
And what about philosophers, poets, musicians? They could all fall easily into this categorisation. Pretty much any form of politics or culture, really.
Indeed, in the vernacular we say that people “do something religiously”, meaning with keen and repetitive application. This of course can apply to anything: sport, gardening, cleaning, walking, reading or watching porn!
In the vernacular sense we are all a little religious, I expect.
In the dictionary definition sense, probably not so much.
On the subject of what is religion, here is a good one:
For me, that is a truely wow story.
As Swamishanti wrote in the other thread
Osho’s is the path of ‘bhakti’
Thus, Lokesh’s experience to me shows his capacity of feeling
bhakti – love – devotion (non-traditional, of course) at all as well as for his teacher:
…”The feeling of love in the atmosphere was almost overwhelming.”….
The other path is the path of meditation:
For instance, intensive Vipassana practice in a retreat centre. The stress there is on observing the appearance of mental and physical phenomena, their characteristics; with the help and advice of (a) meditation teacher(s).
My experience on this path started out with a lot of pain and confusion i.e. the first noble buddhist truth. I did not feel a relationship to the teacher(s) nor to my meditation companions. There was a lot of struggling. It felt rather very impersonal.
By the end of this process I felt (immense) gratitude towards the teachers. However, I would not call it love.
According to Osho, both paths meet (fully) in the end: Meditation leads to love, love leads to meditation. The paths are intertwined.
I guess it is fate that makes us tread on this or that path.
For me, the Buddhist meditation intensive chronologically came before the Osho period. Thus my meditation perception was rather impersonal – neti neti. The emphasis in the Buddhist retreat centre was on observing the arising-staying-passing away of mental/physical phenomena – seeing their emptiness, non-substantiality….
I spent two months travelling in Burma/Myanmar after the meditation period. There was a mountain monastery near Inle Lake in the upper Shan State where a guide took me on a boat. The abbot there recited the “Mahasatipatthana Sutra” to me – even though a was a lay person.
Later, the guide, some locals and I were sitting in the compound of the monastery. Someone told a story which the guide translated for me:
“The Sayadaw (leading abbot of the monastery) sometimes flies during the night across the sky visiting other places. While at the same time his body remained seated in the temple. He could bi-locate and tri-locate as well.!
I did not observe this. Howevere, I asked: “Why would someone who is enlightened act in such a way?”
Answer was: “This is his way of ceaselessly helping people grow on the path.”
I see the appearances of Osho in the same light, although I have no such experience. Regarding the development of bhakti it took me until 2005 after taking Sannyas in 1984 to fully feel:
“Man, I really love this man with all of my (small small) heart!”
Meditation has its obstacles and hindrances.
Love has its conundrums and twists and turns.
It happens to everyone in a different way. Isntitso?
Klaus says, “Osho’s is the path of ‘bhakti’.”
I’m not so sure about that. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of the religious way and Osho was not at all a religious man. Bhakti Yoga is based a lot on belief. Osho was not a believer.
Klaus concludes, “Lokesh’s experience to me shows his capacity of feeling bhakti – love – devotion (non-traditional, of course, at all) as well as for his teacher: ”The feeling of love in the atmosphere was almost overwhelming.”
There are certain substances that one can take that produce the feeling of being overwhelmed by love and beauty. I fail to see the link between bhakti and devotion. You can experience being overwhelmed by love and beauty without there being a religious aspect to the experience. Certain types of people might become religious after such an experience. I am not one of them.
On the other hand, Bhakti Yoga addresses itself directly to the feelings and brings together not people who think alike, but rather people who feel alike. That I can relate to. It is always good to leave the door of possibility open because love can enter your life from many different directions. I have no need to bhaktify that love.
Fully agree with your last psragraph…”no need to bhaktify love.”
No need for belief, just plain feeling, there may be no link between bhakti and love.
My words were a bit plain….
From Yogi on Facebook:
“Certainly the unconscious secular western baboons can never understand true religion and bhakti!
Devotion to master or religious figure means dropping the mind and simply allowing the supreme being that is acting from the beyond and the behind to do his thing!
I have never told before the wonderful story of my master Swami Bhorat`s wife, Bhorati`s supreme bhakti as a young disciple:
She was utterly devoted to the master Shri Ghandoo which led to her becoming Ghandoo`s right-hand man which meant she had to fulfil all duties of guru`s right hand including important practices that allowed master to linger on the earth plane a little longer!
Later, in important ritual she was repeatedly initiated into tantric initiation by the master and several of his senior disciples, notably Swamis Jamal Savnil, Giri Gleethar and Rafia Harish!
Despite becoming paralysed from the waist down and being confined to a wheelchair for rest of her life, Bhorati remained utterly devoted and would not hear a word spoken against her master and remained in dignified silence ever since!
Such is the true religion and bhakti!
First of all, thanks to Frankie & Mark Zuckerberg!
What a revelationn, Yogiji _/\_ !
You truly are the Blessed one!
I used ‘Bhakti’ in a comment on the previous thread – for want of a better word. I used the word because the English language is limited when used for spiritual experience.
Generally the West is still widely immature in regards to the spiritual dimensions.
Americans in particular often appear to be childish and still wearing their diapers when it comes to understanding spiritual phenomena that are ancient in the East.
For example, the relationship between the Master and the Disciple is an ancient one in the East, yet you will find Americans have changed the word ‘disciple’ to ‘student’.
‘Student’ has a totally different connotation and implies someone who is intellectually learning something from a teacher.
The ‘disciple’, on the other hand, is absorbing the enlightened Presence of a Master, and no words are actually necessary for this transmission to take place.
A disciple can catch the transmission from the Master, and with a true Master, a disciple can begin to merge into the Consciousness of the Master.
In Indian language, this could be called ‘devotion’ or ‘Bhakti’ or perhaps simply being a ‘disciple’.
In India, the Master/disciple relationship is so old, and the transmission is understood. This relationship is so ancient and respected in Indian culture that Indians will treat gurus with a certain reverence, with humility.
I would not call myself a devotee of Osho, however I have come to experience and understand a little of how he works with his disciples/devotees. I use the present tense because I can experience Osho is a living presence very much in the here and now.
I think that one of Osho’s greatest gifts and strengths was freeing his listeners of any obligation towards him, and, cutting into the religious traps of fear of hell/greed for heaven that have plagued humanity for centuries.
To many Americans, still wearing their diapers in the spiritual/consciousness dimension, however, submitting and surrendering to a guru as a central authority figure will be treated with suspicion. The ego will feel threatened.
To a society as spiritually immature as the US, a guru can be labelled as the ‘cult-leader’ and his sangha will become a ‘cult’.
Even a guru such as Osho, who went out of his way to encourage disciples to think for themselves, to question him and everything else and contradicted himself to avoid any dogma – is still the big bad wolf to many.
Osho spoke of the essence of religion, and spent a lot of energy talking against organised religion.
“Perfectly correct, Swamishanti!
Certainly, the childish Americans in their immature diapers are simply sartorial pygmies compared to Shantam and Ramana in their spiritually superior underwear!
Also, the US is only 200 years old whereas Shantam has been wearing same diapers for over 400 years! Certainly in gravely important matters of spirituality American students have much to learn!
In glorious Bhorat we have been bowing down before lingam of holy ones for thousands of yugas!
If a guru says to cut testicles like Rahim Singh, faithful easterners out of reverence and respect will immediately fetch rusty serrated vegetable knife! And when Paedo Baba demands that holy lingam needs to be oiled by 12 year-old disciple, those steeped in mighty superior traditions you speak of will immediately comply, unlike egocentric westerners whose egosare threatened and will treat him with suspicion, cry out “cult-leader”, “paedo”, “nonce”, “rapist” and demand justice!
See the madness of the western mind which is nothing but mind!
Swamishanti must be a Nepali with a British Passport.
This Astral travelling reminds me of the wonders of Jesus.
Wow, my master is really special, good proof that he is not an ordinary human being.
No wonder that a follower of Jesus will see Jesus and an Oshoite will see Osho.
One should not underestimate the power and skills of the mind!
I’ve bought a kindle version of your book. I was pleasantly surprised at much of the discussions within the chapters. There was very much less of the worst of Sannyas News; where some of the discussions sometimes descended into pettiness and mean speaking. In contrast, I observed how many of the observations from commentators were genuine explorations on the subjects raised. You did a great editing job and I thank you for the hard work you clearly put into the venture.
I can’t help but feel that, of late, there are very few new commentators and very little demand for further debates around Osho, on this site. Perhaps this aged band of older sannyasins has had its time. I certainly feel I have little further to add. If the site is to continue it needs to attract new people, with new ideas, perhaps a FB version might, after all, be better suited to do this.
In any case the financial contribution to the site that I offered is still valid, and I wish the editors and site organisers my full support in whatever decision they decide to make.
Re your last paragraph, Simond, thanks for your support. We’re still waiting for details from Clive, SN’s chief financial suppoorter for the last three years, re where to send financial contributions. Info should come in next few days.
Nice post, Simond. Thanks for the positive feedback.
Yes, some new blood is needed on SN. As for Osho topics, having gone through so many in the last months everything has been pretty much covered on that level.
Perhaps a Facebook page would garner more interest. Easy enough to set up. I could put some energy into that.
Meanwhile, here is a new CD cover for Swami G’s and Tan Tan Tanit’s next release. Just have to compose the music for it.
Some new tunes here. Check out ‘Hey Joe’. You can check out tunes here. https://soundcloud.com/luke-mitchell
‘Bee Hive’ is a good track we played around with a couple of years ago…life affirmative…great keys.
Check out Osho blog sites. SN is viewed as the most relevant.
Big up yourself and give it up for all the primates at SN:
The most relevant, intelligent,
of personal development
in da Buddha`hood.