Lokesh writes:

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”  (St. Augustine of Hippo)

If you have a belief and you come against an experience which the belief says is not possible, or the experience is such that you have to drop the belief, what are you going to choose — the belief or the experience? The tendency of the mind is to choose the belief, to forget about the experience. That’s how you have been missing many opportunities when God has knocked at your door.”  (OSHO)

Osho was never big on belief. He wasn’t a believer and was much more in favour of an existential approach to life. And yet, conversely, he was surrounded by believers who believed in him. I believed that my life would evolve and move in a positive direction just by being near him. In retrospect, I suppose that my life did develop due to Osho’s influence and today, I wonder how much my belief in him had to do with that. Belief is a powerful force.

What brought this to mind was someone on SN posting a request for one of those little wooden boxes with Osho’s nail and hair clippings that used to be given as gifts at darshan. I remember how thrilled I was to receive my little round box and how I had a pouch made so I could wear it around my neck, which I did for years along with my mala. I can recall how I felt that the little box emanated a vibration that affected my heart chakra, over which it hung.

The years passed, and I can no longer remember what became of my darshan box, which does not bother me in the slightest because I now view it as a bit of cosmic nonsense I once believed in, but experience has shown me that I no longer need things like that in my life. I am no longer a believer.

Osho often played with the power of belief; often as not, most sannyasins went for it. A good example was when Osho began to use a penlight torch to shine on sannyasins’ energy centres at darshan. One would leave darshan, meet friends outside and be asked if you got the torch treatment. If you did, you were viewed as having been blessed, even though it was pure hokum.

Or how about holding your locket and being in direct contact with Osho? I believed that to be true until one day, I was in an ICU fighting for my life and held my locket and realised it was bullshit. It was a significant moment in my life because that is when I began to wake up from the Osho dream. Of course, this had nothing to do with Osho and everything to do with me. Gurus are the perfect screens to project our fantasies on. I am not sentimental about those times and rarely think about them. I have noticed that some sannyasins imagine there is something spiritual about sentimentality. There isn’t.

I sometimes wonder about some of my profound experiences during the several years I spent in Poona One. Twice I encountered Osho when he was out of his human body, in the sense that he was definitely there, but I could not actually see him. Not only that, I was with other sannyasins, and they also witnessed this extraordinary phenomenon, and the next day Osho hinted at it in his morning discourse.

And that was the thing about Osho. Although there was a lot of theatrics in his performance, he produced an incredible vibe of peace, love, awareness and enlightenment, and nobody can explain how he did that. It was unbelievable. If you experienced that vibe, you can never forget it. I’m grateful for that. So, in the end, experience won out over belief.

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  1. satchit says:

    There are often stories that the Master-disciple relation is like a passage.

    Something like “If you meet the Buddha on your way, kill him immediately!”

    So maybe belief helps one to stay in the relation and doubt helps one to get rid of the relation.

    • swamishanti says:

      Apparently, the 8th Khangser Rinpoche asked for one of Osho’s malas whilst meeting visiting Osho sannyasins recently.
      Tenzin Tsultrim Palden.

      At the age of 5 he was recognized as the reincarnation of the 7th Khangser Rinpoche who had been one of the three high lamas responsible for locating the 14th reincarnation of HH the Dalai Lama.

      Khangser Rinpoche has been appointed as the Lama Umze Vice Abbot of Gyuto Tantric Monastery.
Rinpoche is the supreme head of the Gelug lineage (Yellow Hat school), which is the largest school in Tibetan Buddhism System.

      Apparently, he reads Osho’s books:

  2. Lokesh says:

    If I met the Buddha on the way, I would ask him if I could make him a cup of tea. Everyone’s approach is different.

    Killing the Buddha means killing our conceptualizations, killing the belief that we understand it all.

    This might seem counterintuitive; after all, what’s left if we let go of our knowledge? Total exposure. It consists of the openness of all experiences, the certainty of uncertainty, the security of insecurity, and the comfort in vulnerability. It’s being courageously present, whatever that means, with things just as they are. We are each our own teacher and simultaneously each our own teaching.

    • swamishanti says:

      Lokesh: “I am not sentimental about those times and rarely think about them.”

      But you still hang onto Osho, haven`t managed to let go of him.

      Even with very limited experience of him.

      • swamishanti says:

        I didn’t celebrate Guru Purnima but I appreciate Urdu ghazals.

        “Mere hamdam, Mere dost
        Mere sathi, Mere geet
        Mere hamsafar, Mere meet
        My heart, My friend (in Urdu)
        My companion, My song
        My fellow travellers, My friend.” (in Hindi)

        Ma Amrit Priya, Ma Amrit Sadhana and others sang this song after Osho’s last but one discourse, on 10th April 1989.

        Abheeru recently recorded a version of this song, by friends in Brazil, for Guru Purnima, for Osho and his enlightened bodyguard Vasant Swaha:

      • satyadeva says:

        Lokesh is more than capable of answering for himself but I feel moved to mention one or two things here.

        Shanti, do you really think that, despite missing the Ranch and Pune Two, Lokesh had “very limited experience” of Osho, having spent 7 years in Pune One, including many one-to-one darshans where he received first-hand intimate advice from the Master?

        Your remark seems rather odd and I suspect you have a need to hold such a belief in order not to be faced with having to relinquish feelings of ‘superiority’, of being, in contrast, a ‘true disciple’, without which your self-appointed raison d’etre for being here might tend to crumble at its foundations.

        However ‘selfless’ you might believe is your motivation for taking a stand against what you perceive to be anti-Osho sentiment at SN, a sort of ‘corruption’ of how Sannyas and Osho should be presented, such remarks do tend to give the egoic game away, although I somehow doubt that you’re willing to acknowledge this.

  3. Lokesh says:

    Hawkwind and Shyam Singha are two things Shanti seems to want to draw attention to. Apart from the obvious, the band and the doctor were both based in London. They do share something else in common. They both underwent a process of demystification.

    Hawkwind were an early seventies underground band. I saw them perform at least a couple of dozen times. It was a bit like, let’s drop some acid and go and see Hawkwind. I liked them. Hawkwind were ahead of their time, so appeared better than they actually were. They were not brilliant musicians. Mind you, that was in an era when I saw Cream, Pink Floyd, B B King etc., in small clubs, so the competition was pretty stiff.

    Shyam Singha was a doctor who ran a small sannyasin scene down on central London’s Bell Street, if I remember correctly. Shyam Singha was an intelligent and highly eccentric man who could be intense to be around. He was an early sannyasin and revelled in the mystic vibe that came with that in the early days. I have met several people like him along the way. Some are still trying it on, although with the passage of time that is not so easy to do. People are better informed today and therefore recognize the mystic mud for what it is.

    Back in London from Poona during the seventies, I had a couple of acupuncture sessions with Doctor Singha, who relieved me of my physical ailment. I’d grown up a bit by then and saw his game for what it was, but that didn’t matter because he was, at heart, a good guy. In my eyes, he’d gone from being a sophisticated rebel to another fish in the tank. He was ahead of his time, but time caught up with him and dissolved his cloak of mysticism. Osho also caught up with him, going so far as to describe him as a quack, deceptive and a man who exploited sannyasins.

    Isn’t that how life goes? One decade’s cutting-edge, radical, breakthrough, front line, is the next decade’s old hat, clichéd, been there done that. It is rare for something more universal and eternal to raise its head. But it does happen.

    • swamishanti says:

      I have no real interest in drawing attention to Hawkwind or Shyam Singha, even if I have occasionally posted some of their videos which I appreciated and may be of interest to some Englishmen and women from a sannyas background in the last century. I heard recently that the lead singer and sax player Nik Turner of Hawkwind passed away last year, who also played in several other bands and a couple of his tracks featured Pragito’s poetry, and apparently one of Hawkwinds guitarists died this year.

      I never knew Nik Turner, I know a couple of other people who did. I heard he was busking in Carmarthen at one point from a young women. Why that was of particular interest to her, I don’t remember.

      Hawkwind were part of the kind of particular experimental, psychedelic hard metal progressive space rock sound, with a spiritual vibe, that you could find not just in little clubs but also blasting away into the night at one the old UK free festivals.

      That was before old Maggie Thatcher’s (dubbed ‘Madame Medusa’) by the UK reggae band UB40, government decided it had had enough of the UK festival scene, alternative lifestyles and the convoys, and decided to crack down on the scene which was growing larger each year, preventing the 1985 Stonehenge Peoples free festival, which had grown to an attendance of 100,000 by 1984.

      That involved roadblocks and bringing in the riot police to attack the Peace Convoy as they arrived with vicious ferocity as they arrived to set up the event (later dubbed ‘the Battle of the Beanfield’). Eight miles from the Stones they were ambushed, assaulted and arrested with unprecedented brutality by a quasi-military police force of over 1,300 officers drawn from six counties and the MoD.

      These were some of the same people who were also involved in the organisation of various areas the Glastonbury festivals .

      Some of them remained in Sevenoak Forest and thus avoided the violence.

      Police tactics used included unprovoked excessive violence, smashing the windows and windscreens of the line of vehicles along the road and pulling people out.

      The convoy attempted to avoid this by moving into an adjacent beanfield.

      The unmarked police then trapped those in the beanfield and beat lots of people up and smashed up lots of vehicles and people’s homes in the process, covering up of ID numbers so they could not be identified, subsequent lies when reporting events, and deliberate “loss” of most of the police radio and video recordings, the only surviving video footage , and not the worst, being from ITN. The worst ITN footage was intentionally “lost”, in a similar way to when the US government officials who admitted in a videotaped press conference that there was absolutely zero evidence of Osho’s involvement with Sheelas gangs crimes that he himself exposed to the FBI, was also hidden and “lost”.

      One of the few independent witnesses to the violence of ‘Operation Solstice’ was the Earl of Cardigan, David Brudenell-Bruce. The convoy had camped on his estate in the woods of Sevenoak forest the previous night and he followed some of the vehicles to Stonehenge the next morning.

      The Earl has vivid memories of what he describes as “the appalling excesses carried out by the police”. He recalls two officers running towards a “very pregnant woman” who had climbed out of a coach. “Both of them clubbed her over the back of the head with their e batons until she fell,” he says, and he witnessed another women being showered with glass from a smashed windscreen.

      Women present at the beanfield recall their babies lying in their beds, being covered in smashed glass and taking cuts from broken windscreens.

      Some of the police radio log has survived and gives evidence that the police had already planned a violent assault, and had already mentioned that ambulances would needed to be called in to take away the injured, before the Peace Convoy even arrived.

      The Peace Convoy had previously squatted the base at the cruise missile site RAF Molesworth where they set up the Rainbow Village, and been evicted by the army and 1,500 troops.

      The government later brought in the public order act in 1986 which contained various sections related to public gatherings.

      After the week long Castlemorton Common free festival rave in 1992 attracted around 30,000 + people, which were mostly gatecrasher ravers from the cities, Maggies successor John Major brought in the widely opposed Criminal Justice and Public Order Act ‘94, which contained tough new restrictions in the form of draconian new laws on music festivals , raves and free gatherings and designed to destroy many traditional rights of travellers and squatters and then over commercialised future events. When Tory boy came back into power again in 2010, David Cameron criminalised squatting which left lots of old , empty,long unused properties, often left behind by deceased or uninterested owners, idle and vacant. It used to be accepted that if an empty property was squatted for 12 years it became the property of the squatter.
      I often see large old, long abandoned properties lying to waste, often with very overgrown gardens.

      In combination with various other new policies , Tory boy created double the amount of people sleeping rough on the streets under his premiership.

      I occasionally like to listen to pieces of Hawkwind, which are sometimes pretty good, although I am not familiar with the majority of their catalogue. Hawkwind are a very popular band but personally I prefer the live jam style of other psychedelic festival bands such as Thandoy. Some of the original Thandoy’s live improvisations are mindblowing when they get going and Pragito sometimes plays with a Hendrix style guitar. Both groups used to play at commercial fairs and festivals as as well as free events.

      I also prefer the Ozric Tentacles, to Hawkind, another psychedelic space prog rock band, which also incorporates elements of electronica, ambient, and dub, that was founded at Stonehenge Free Festival in 1983 after a conversation around a fire and a subsequent jam which attracted a crowd of people, they are still going today, inspired by the old improvisational psychedelic free festival bands such as Hawkwind, Gong, Here and Now, Thandoy/Karmakanix etc, but are almost purely instrumental.

      I once spent some time with a girl in a field, who became part of circle of friends, who shared a mutual appreciation of the Ozrics Tentacles, whose family were friends with them and lived across the road from them when they lived in London, anyway she said they where really great guys. And I can believe it , from the music. She liked me a lot and asked me through someone else, but I was not interested in that particular girl at that time.

      Not because she wasn’t attractive, but at that time I had became interested in one of my other closer female friends.

      An offshoot of the Ozrics are the techno outfit Eat Static. I have their second two cd’s, Abduction and Implant somewhere. I remember first hearing one of the tracks from Abduction on a pirate radio station and being impressed.

      As far as Dr Shyam Singha goes, from the few times I met him I remember him as a warm and friendly man who cooked excellent Indian food which included a choice of meat and veg dishes , where sannyasins gathered for lunch in the underground tunnels which were part of his basement Bell Street London centre, which also happened to be first Osho meditation centre in the West, and I recall attending his large birthday party at his huge Suryodaya natural health centre in Suffolk, where there was tables of food on the lawn and bottles of champagne in buckets of ice and Shyam would end up at the end of the night, smashed, singing gibberish on the stage along with the band. I have friends who spent considerable time with him. He was a very talented practitioner of several treatments: acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, nutrition and diets, and a naturopath who knew his stuff and successfully treated celebrities, including Princess Margaret. He sometimes told a few tall stories, but certainly no quack.

      Yes, Osho did say those things about him at the Ranch but that would have been based just on one or two stories he had heard from sannyasins who perhaps felt exploited.

      Osho didn’t know about every detail.

      • swamishanti says:

        And remembering Shyam Singha and the psychedelic festival bands here’s one of Pragito’s later bands, ‘House of Thandoy’, from a set at the Cosmic Puffin festival in 2009. Playing together with Gong’s Mike Howlett on bass:


        ‘House of Thandoy’ took its name from the original much earlier group ‘Thandoy’, a psychedelic space rock group which incorporated elements of improvised jazz and cosmic grooves, a popular band on the UK festival scene during the late ‘70’s until the mid 80’s, when people were still to be found roaming freely naked at the festivals and there was little or no police presence. Various members of the group also played as Karmakanix from around 1981.

        Here is five live psychedelic festival tracks which I found on soundcloud from the original incarnation of Thandoy, which included Swami Pragito guitar vocals , Swami Subs on bass, Rob Bougie in drums, Swami Eric on electric viola, and Twink and Maz from ‘Here and Now’ and ‘Zorch’ on synths.

        Hopefully some of these excellent pieces of music will be made into a YouTube video.
        Music from Ashton Court 1979, Stonehenge 1981, Rougham Tree Fair 1981

      • swamishanti says:

        This is a couple of short films of Stonehenge festival in 1983. They were large festivals, the site became like a town which grew to approximately 100,000 people during in the late eighties until the last one in 1984 and many sannyasins were also there, still wearing the red and mala’s of course, was before sannyasins stopped wearing the red and mala as mandatory especially visible in the second clip. (For non-sannyasin readers, sannyasins stopped wearing the warm colours of the sunrise and the mala as a mandatory requirement in 1986, unless they wanted to, and later switched to maroon and white robes in the ashrams and centres only. )
        Of course at the UK festivals there were also other groups such as the Hari Krishna’s and the Druid’s.

        I think the second clip may feature Hawkwind in the background:–lA?si=NKRNh0fOCz5XK0XP

        I recognise a few people in the vids and remember them from other festivals. I was at Glastonbury that year.
        Below: revellers arrive at the Blue Moon Fayre, 1982.

  4. Lokesh says:

    Osho knew Shyam Singha well enough to know that he did not like him. It is all water down the Ganges now, but if you want to read more, you can follow this link:

    That wasn’t really my point. My point is in the concluding paragraph. Not that it makes any difference to anything.

    • swamishanti says:

      I know, I have read it. But it was also a well placed hit from Osho. I wouldn’t go so far as to say “he didn’t like him.”
      If you get to the end of his response to that question you find:

      “Just now his telegram has come as he heard about Sheela that, “Can I come and I can help the medical centre if there is any need?” I have told him, “No, and forever no, because medical centre is a part — you will simply start treating me that I don’t want. I’m tired of your treatment.” So it was simply, he was a harassment to me. So nobody else has kicked him; I myself have kicked him.

      And if he wants to come back, he has to learn, because my sannyasins are taking every care, that’s why for four years I have not had a single attack. Every sannyasin is careful about perfume, cigarettes, they come to see me then they take bath that no smell is there, that they are not perspiring — that’s how they have been keeping me in health — otherwise just a slight smoke, dust, perfume, and I am in a danger.

      So Shyam Singha is, to me, almost like a disease: I don’t want him. You can tell him.

      Q:* YES.

      A:* Yes. He is…I love him, he is always welcome if he behaves.”

      Shyam used to insist on massaging Osho’s feet and wanted to give him acupressure for his allergies, and was an excellent practitioner of what we now call ‘alternative medicine’, which is really older forms of medicine. Osho didn’t appreciate that treatment for himself, although he had previously sent sannyasins to Shyam’s place in London.

      Osho wasn’t really into alternative medicine, he rated allopathic medicine highly, which is why he always wanted his own doctors’ approaches. Although he did receive some bodywork, massage and herbal treatments in Pune Two.

      • Lokesh says:

        Perfectly correct, Shanti, due to your penetrating insights into all matters concerning Osho. In saying, “I wouldn’t go so far as to say “he didn’t like him”" you demonstrate, once again, your profound understanding of the master of masters’ mysterious ways.

        Osho, an embodiment of perfect compassion, going by your worldview, called Shyam Singha a quack, a liar and a person who deceived sannyasins, almost like a disease, claimed he didn’t wash, stank of perfume and personally had the pseudo doctor kicked out of the ashram, but this was all a device for Shyam’s awakening and had nothing whatsoever to do with viewing the man as “a pain in the neck” (Osho’s words), but was rather “a well-placed hit”, which had, in your esteemed opinion, something to do with Shyam Singha being a practitioner of alternative medicine, which you deem fit to inform us “is really older forms of medicine.”

        Thanks for sharing that illuminating snippet of information. And thank you also for shedding light on days long gone. Were it not for you, I, like many others, would have believed that Osho did not like Shyam Singha. Now we know the truth. Osho loved Shyam Singha!

        Shanti, you are a beacon of light, cutting through the darkness of ignorance like a lightning bolt. Your wisdom knows no bounds. You are the supreme manifestation of that which Osho supported with unreserved enthusiasm…being a joke unto oneself.

  5. satchit says:

    The mind is the devil. You give too much power to your mind. The mind is evil. You even try to convince others that they don’t get it.

    • Lokesh says:

      Satchit declares, “You even try to convince others that they don’t get it.”
      Get what?

      • satchit says:

        Shanti declares that he has a blissful connection to Osho.

        And what are you doing?
        You try to convince him that this is not possible and that there is something wrong with him.

        As if your way, having an Osho-phase and then saying
        bye-bye to him, would be the only way.

        • Lokesh says:

          Satchit, you are entitled to your opinions and you are free to express them how you wish. Just don’t ask me to take you seriously, for that is something I find impossible to do.

          • satchit says:

            Certainly I am free to express my opinions, Lokesh.
            Strange that you delete your comments.

            My opinion, in this way SN will not have much future.

            Well, Satchit, you’re allowed to comment on the article instead of waiting to comment on others’ comments, and then blaming others for not commenting!

            • satchit says:

              Seems you did get it, MOD.
              He deleted already his comment on the article. I am bored of this game.

              Everyone has the right to delete what they’ve posted, Satchit. Why not make a comment on the article yourself, or are you solely interested in others’ comments?

              • satchit says:

                There is a difference: he can delete it by himself, we have to beg the MOD to delete it. Surely I can make a comment.

                Why not you too or one of the hundreds who post here?

                No need to exaggerate, Satchit. You don’t “have to beg”. As the Lord said, just ask and thou shalt receive. As for “the hundreds who post here” – oh, the irony!

                By the way, I wrote the current article so it’s more than premature to expect me to comment on it (if that’s what your last sentence suggests?)!

  6. Lokesh says:

    The devil? Are you living in the Middle Ages?

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