The Very Best and Worst of Sannyas News, Volume Two

Lokesh introduces his latest compilation…

Finally, after several months of work, the second volume of Sannyas News has now been released on Amazon. It was quite a challenge compiling and editing the manuscript, and it was also a lot of fun. On a purely personal level, the work process reconnected me with Osho and the Sannyas movement on certain levels. I have given it my best shot and am pleased with the outcome. I reckon this is a better book than the first one, not only in terms of content but also the way the chapters have been laid out.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. I ran into a technical hitch that almost made me give up in frustration. Due to the lack of current input on the site, I had to delve into the vaults to find suitable material that would be of interest to an astute reader. I travelled back in time as far as fifteen years ago and discovered some great articles and comments, which slowly but surely were knocked into shape.

I have taken more creative licence with this publication for several reasons, which I will now outline.

Due to a lack of female contributors I had to do a little manipulating as promoting the power of the feminine was so important to Osho, even though that power ran amok on The Ranch.

I had to beef up some of the threads so that they would appeal to a discerning reader. Part of this process involved taking the good comments from otherwise dull threads and splicing them into more interesting threads. I curtailed my enthusiasm for absurdist humour and kept it within more universal limits. Nonetheless, there is still plenty of humour at play in most of the chapters.

As a writer, I questioned what I wished to achieve with this project. More than anything else I wanted to present a balanced and comprehensive picture of Osho and his people, the highs, the lows, the good, the bad and the contradictions that were so much a part and parcel of Osho’s world. I believe this is very much in tune with the Sannyas News policy which has existed since the site’s inception. Parmartha comes to mind.

I recall how one afternoon we sat in a forest in Ibiza and discussed the possibility of publishing a book based on Sannyas News. We only spent a day together but that was enough for me to realise that Parmartha was a great guy. It is a strange sensation to work on someone’s words whom you knew and they are now gone from this world.

Only time will tell how this publication will be received. The book opens with a quote from Satyadeva:

Parmartha, Sannyas News co-founder and editor until he passed away in 2018, was clear that he wanted the site to be preserved for posterity as he felt, despite (or maybe even partly because of) its imperfections, it represents a unique grassroots record of the experience, concerns, views, conflicts etc. of Osho lovers and fellow-travellers, information that might well be both of interest and a source of entertainment for future seekers and researchers.”

If you have any questions about the book on any level please just post a comment and I will respond to the best of my ability.

The book is priced at 14e for a paperback and 5e for a Kindle download, which is about as realistically low as I could make it.

If you get around to reading the book, please write a review, the more stars the better. The giver should be thankful.

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242 Responses to The Very Best and Worst of Sannyas News, Volume Two

    • VeetTom says:

      SannyasNews is a moderated web board that works like a tiny copy of Sheelas’s commune politics. I have been there for some weeks and found out that many words and comments were changed, carved out, or completely deleted by the moderator, and three people are agreeing to anything he does.
      All together just five people – more or less – are writing their replies and comments over there. One guy is trusted to write the main articles and the others do comment on them.
      I also wrote a lot over there these days – my knee is hurting and soon has to be operated. so I can’t leave the house for long, or even work as a driver. So I watched their intelligent words in fluent homegrown English, and became their number 6 (inside joke !)
      Two of five members – just like me – saw that parts of their texts were edited and deleted and talked about it openly. The mod kept on saying the board is not safe any longer, because the old supervisor with software knowledge had left long ago, and he can’t take measures to secure it. It was just a lie.
      Power corrupts if no checks and balances are aloud. Such ways to handle power politics are as ordinary as anywhere in all human societies. The clever mind of Sannyasins is not more intelligent or egoless than any other human being on this planet earth. The idea to be more aware or loving is just a spiritual dream … If you don’t consent, go and read this heavily edited book. I did not read it – but I saw it developing in realtime.
      So of course watch for yourself.
      Love

  1. Nityaprem says:

    Well done, Lokesh. It’s good to see that the words of the people have a life beyond just the short time that an article is online.

    Osho said, any publicity is good publicity, and I’m sure he would have been pleased with the book.

    One thing that is perhaps missing from your piece is any mention of a profit-sharing arrangement with the owners of the site? Clive might be able to fund the site from even such small sums as are involved….

  2. Lokesh says:

    “All publicity is good publicity” is usually attributed to the 19th-century circus owner, Phineas T. Barnum. Goodness me, I am beginning to suspect Osho may not have been above a wee bit of plagiarism.

    NP, you say, “One thing that is perhaps missing from your piece is any mention of a profit-sharing arrangement with the owners of the site?”
    It is ‘perhaps’ missing because there are no profits to share. The last SN book generated a lot less than what I spend on petrol in a month, and I do not cover many kilometres during that time, living on a small island as I do.
    Currently the profits for this book stand at a grand total of…copy and pasted from my monthly Amazon report…
    THE VERY BEST AND WORST OF SANNYAS NEWS VOLUME TWO
    €6.31
    €6.79
    €0.00
    €13.10
    €13.10….phewee! That is enough money to buy a small can of engine oil for my gas guzzler. Not bad at all for what only amounts to approximately 800 hours work…oops!…I mean worship.

    Reminds me of when a friend of mine worked on a cover for my first book and then went all funny on me because he thought I would become famous and make millions when the book was published and his cover would be used to advertise the movie when it came out. It didn’t quite pan out like that, to say the least.

    I would have to have a hole in my head to believe a book like ‘The Very Best and Worst of Sannyas News, Volume Two’ would make a lot of money. The publishing world simply does not work like that, although there are very rare exceptions.
    This new SN book was created because I was in transit between one lifestyle and another, and I needed something to do that was fun. I spent four lovely months in a delightful country house’s transit lounge, which I rented. The place had all the silence I needed to concentrate on the manuscript and I am fortunate to have a loving partner who allowed me the space to get on with it.

    The true yogi looks not towards the rewards of his actions, but I can’t help looking forward to giving a talk about writing in a week’s time at an international language college. That will be a fun challenge.

    NP, you have a good bit of exposure in the new book because I appreciated your well-balanced comments.

    • Nityaprem says:

      I can understand that, I know what Yatri’s ebooks on Amazon have earned, it’s a few cups of coffee, no more.

      I do enjoy writing on SannyasNews, it’s a site that deserves good input from wide quarters of the globe, but so many people get sucked into Facebook, it is sad.

      Wishing you the best of luck with your lecture!

    • satchit says:

      “This new SN book was created because I was in transit between one lifestyle and another…”

      You make me curious, Lokesh:

      What is this, “in transit between one lifestyle and another”?

      • Lokesh says:

        Satchit, I know this will be difficult for you, but here is a chance for you to learn something.

        In the previous thread, you made a statement about me and this was my response:
        “Satchit enquires, “Did Lokesh not say that he changed comments and threads to make them more appealing for the thousands of readers that will come in the future?” No. I did not say that. And if I did, I have completely forgotten about it. Perhaps Satchit could be kind enough to copy and paste where he believes I said that. Talking about thousands of readers really does not sound like something I would say.”

        You did not respond to my request, which is something quite common for you in general on this site. Now you show up asking me a personal question in the hope I will satisfy your curiosity. I’m sorry. In this instance, curiosity certainly killed the cat.

        • satchit says:

          Things are simple, Lokesh:

          You are free to do what you want, I am free to do what I want. Responding or not responding.

          Seems you think you have “improved” the stuff of SN. Why not, it’s not my business.

          Ok, “the thousands of readers” was a joke from me. Did it hurt your ego?

  3. Lokesh says:

    On the subject of books, a close friend recommended that I order a publication based on the wisdom handed down by the Toltecs in Mexico. The Toltecs were a society of scientists and artists who strived to conserve the spiritual practices of the ancient ones.

    There is much to be learned from studying this wonderful book, ‘The Four Agreements’. One thing that I think is worth sharing concerns the misuse of the Word. This is highly relevant to SN because we are all using the word to communicate in one way or another. Unfortunately, some are misusing the word on this site in a very negative way. Ultimately, the individual who is harmed most by the misuse of the word is the one who is misusing it.

    Your point of view is something personal to you. It is nobody’s truth but yours. If someone becomes angry with you then you know he/she is dealing with him/herself and using you as an excuse, a screen to project their anger upon. All that emotional poison they throw at you will boomerang and poison the one who threw it

    Perhaps you are saying to yourself, “I already know all this.” This could arise because Osho was big on the power of projection, so much so that it has come to the point that such a concept has become a cliche. But just because something has become a cliche does not mean there is no truth in it.

    One pitfall to be avoided at all costs is complacency, uninformed self-satisfaction. We are never too old to learn and that process of learning in a healthy individual will continue until they take their last breath on this damaged but still undeniably beautiful planet.

    The book opens with a poignant John Lennon quote and I will close with it:
    “Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.”

    • veet francesco says:

      Funny, Lokesh who orders silence, as an alternative to applause, threatening the use of curses, with the formulas learned from the sacred texts of the Toltecs, a population exterminated by the Cicimechi, before the Spaniards arrived, with the new “formulas of annihilation” by a Jew renegade.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Lokesh said, “Unfortunately, some are misusing the word on this site in a very negative way.”

      It’s true, and it’s not a bad thing to point out people’s responsibility in managing what words and emotions they send out into the world. These things resonate, have a long life and affect many others who read the site.

      I believe in sending insight, positivity, light and creativity into the world, and I’m trying to give no attention to doubt, negativity, anger. Deprive these things of attention and they will die of their own accord.

      Personally, what inspired me most from the SannyasNews pages of the previous week was Veet Tom signing his message with:

      “Love.
      His blessings.”

      That spoke to me and made me feel as if the old days were here again a little bit. From one sannyasin to another, it was immediately understood what he meant, and it spoke to my heart.

      Thank you, Veet Tom.

      • veet francesco says:

        About the use of words I don’t completely agree with what Nityaprem wrote.

        There is also a cathartic use of voice/words; in a context like this it shouldn’t be strange, a sannyasin should know what I’m talking about: words at the service of silence…and not of the ego of those who pronounce them.

        While I do not practise the superstitious use of words, attributing to them, through magical formulas, the power to affect reality (physical and metaphysical) independently of the intersubjective aspects of communication.

        If it is true that the only world where I would like to live is the one that turns thanks to love, then my communication must be coordinated with my heart, otherwise I would be irresponsible, like a crack-smoking singer with respect to his vocal cords…although there are voices with a scratchy effect that I love, and not all of them are the result of a singing technique.

        This is my first responsibility, imv: not to hurt myself, so as not to hurt others.
        And if something goes wrong in communication I am happy to recognize it and remedy it as soon as possible, as when you don’t have the curse of dragging an ego on which your survival seems to depend, apologizing is another opportunity to love.

  4. simond says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading the book, the chapters are generally more in-depth, longer and contain some more of the intelligent responses from commentators. In addition, the chapters are more interesting than the first book, so well done, Lokesh, for producing the work. As you indicated, it must have been time-consuming and the profits (ha ha) should definitely be yours!

    • Lokesh says:

      Hi Simond, good to hear from you on SN. Thanks for the positive feedback. Much appreciated.

    • veet francesco says:

      Welcome back, Simond, I knew your resentment for Osho still lives in your heart.

      • simond says:

        Hi Veet,
        I had no idea I was resentful of Osho – do please enlighten me of how this is the case.

        • satyadeva says:

          Simond, it’s another instance of Veet F’s fertile imagination.

          Yes, good to see you here again.

        • veet francesco says:

          Simond, don’t ask me, mine is just a counter deduction from the theorem by the owner of this house.

          For him, the sannyasins who consider themselves welcome in this forum are naive people who deserve to be bullied by those like you who have achieved an existential balance and your autonomy from Osho.

          Nobody likes to be bullied, even if it happens for a good purpose, so, according to this theorem, a resentment would arise in people like me due to envy for existential examples like yours who know well how to live a long and fulfilling life of success .

          For this reason, those very welcome in this forum are those like you, who do not feel any feeling of gratitude towards the Master of Masters, in fact on your part there is no urgency to share with those who have a spiritual thirst the things you have learned while being sitting and contemplating the saint’s feet.

          My counter-deduction is that you don’t have a satisfying life at all, otherwise you wouldn’t be wasting time with people like me who are happy to live in Osho’s vision.

          The resistance that you may still find here, to your proposal implicit in the criticism of the Sangha, I believe will create some frustration for you, if you do not disappear from here as the various Franks, Frescs, etc. have done, insisting personally (and not just out of other-direction, with some algorithm suggested by some anti-cult Catholic association or by some private project experimenting in social engineering), then yes, you could develop some resentment, like when life disgusts you and you observe people celebrating it in ecstasy.

          Come, come, and yet again come, don’t forget the Maalox.

          • simond says:

            Hi Veet,
            It’s always helpful to me if you can highlight examples for my behaviour and prejudices. As Sherlock Holmes might have said, “it’s all about facts”. So I’ll ask again, if you wish to help: be specific about what your problem is about my writing, or my behaviour, or my attitudes.

            • veet francesco says:

              Thank you, Simond, I hope your answer helps Satyadeva understand the groundlessness of his theory regarding my resentment.

              So you are welcome here, like all disciples of the Master of Masters.

              Btw, what is the meaning of the name Osho gave you, ‘Simond’ is not so popular in our honorable Sangha, in fact I believe you are the first Swami I know with such name.

              Is it true what a gossiper like Nityaprem says, that in all this time that you have been missing here you have been using hallucinogens?

              Possibly don’t just talk about the edifying aspects of that experience, don’t be like Big Pharma that omits the adverse effects of its chemical/genetic shit, NP is already quite fascinated by Lokesh’s stories on this stuff.

              I am a poppers connoisseur myself. It is readily available in the local gay bar. Amyl Nitrate can be inhaled directly from the bottle and used to enhance sexual experiences and is something I often put to good use. Come, come, and yet again come.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Yeah, nice to see you around again, Simond. Can we expect a follow-up of your Ayahuasca report? Further voyages perhaps?

      • veet francesco says:

        Come on, Nityaprem, maybe by coming here he is just looking for a refuge to stay sober…

      • simond says:

        Hi,
        No, there will be no further voyages with ayahusca.

        Looking back to the experience and my own reflections, for the article published here on the site, I’ve become more and more clear that it was a one-off.

        I was still looking for “something”, which is why I took the drug. I didn’t fully acknowledge that the search was much the same as all my previous seeking, intended to provide an answer, to provide some clarity (that I was missing).

        If it did provide any answer it was that there is nothing that can fill up the void, that my fruitless, neurotic searching is habitual and repetitive.

        It’s all good, in the sense that I had to partake in the experience, out of my own ignorance, in order to see that I don’t need the drug, I don’t need further experience of this kind.

        Enlightenment truly is in staying in the here and now, as much as we ever can, and the seeking was a means to avoid the simple, real enlightened state, which is to put it as simply as possible, “there’s nothing going on.”

        • veet francesco says:

          Thanks for sharing, Simond.

          Forget my previous comment, as I said in another recent comment the rules should be at the service of love, and not at the service of the power of the temple guardians.

          I’ll let you in without maroon robe and with an expired badge, if you don’t have one I’ll lend you one of mine, you just have to stick a recent photo of yourself on it. Consider that the rest of the guards are old hippies who aren’t very in tune with the authority, in fact they are neurotic in that role.

        • Nityaprem says:

          I can understand that, Simond. For many people ayahuasca is a gateway to self-knowledge but for those who are a little further along there is much less of a need for it.

          Your ayahuasca trip report was amusing and a good read, so from that point of view I’m sad there won’t be a follow-up. But indeed, filling up the void is a pointless endeavour. Ultimately one should be capable of being joyful anywhere, even in the empty void.

          All our paths are those of unique individuals, so I wish you good fortune in the here-and-now. “Sitting silently, doing nothing, Spring comes and the grass grows by itself” (Matsuo Basho).

          • Lokesh says:

            NP, I appreciated Simond’s ayahuasca story to the extent that I used it as an opener in chapter 2 of the new book. I also found some other reports which I tied in with the thread. For me, it is one of the best chapters in the book, especially so because it is current. There is a psychedelic renaissance underway.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Yes, I am reading the book that started it, Michael Pollan’s ‘How To Change Your Mind’, it’s a very good expose on the medicinal and religious value of psychedelics. Recommended!

              But it’s good to see that the USA (and by extension, via the UN Convention on Banned Substances, the rest of the world) are getting to understand how crazy the drug laws actually are.

  5. VeetTom says:

    You may try this enjoyably if or not experienced yet:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmZCwcGu_2I
    Groovy stuff, man !

    • Lokesh says:

      Tom, I actually watched some of this absurd movie. Towards the end Peter Fonda is flipping out in a dance bar and a band in the background is supposed to be playing the music, which is actually supplied by The Electric Flag. I have a taste for retro psychedelic music and I really dug that track. I will download the soundtrack and isolate the track in question for future listening because it really is groovy. The style of playing involves numerous turnarounds which gives the tune a fun and uplifting vibe.

      • VeetTom says:

        Yes, those Electric Flag pieces sound good.
        Also nice work by the acting heroes of those days …

        Try the other familiar movie whis is also quite authentic. Funny to see Jack Nickolson acting as the lead guitarist there….

        • Lokesh says:

          I watched ‘The Doors’ starring Val Kilmer the other night. No other movie quite captures the spirit of acid-fueled good times like that movie. Break on through…

          In retrospect, it is quite remarkable that I still have my marbles to play with after going through the sixties full tilt. I have a lot to be grateful for to Bhagwan on that level.

          Were you friends with Vasant and Anutosh during your time as a guard?

          • VeetTom says:

            I don’t really remember most names anymore.. and I was a very single person very much, now and then. So ‘friend’ is a word I rarely ever used…but happy to cope with people I liked.

            As guards we were together maybe in Aikido and Karate trainings but on duty in our guards position we were just alone and open to the public only: “Can I see your group-pass please?”

          • VeetTom says:

            …to the other side…
            Didn’t see that Doors movie yet – strangely enough. Will or may catch up with it. Good hint!

            Just saw that director’s cut again and I have to say I really love it for it’s very authentic psychedelic art taken by fine cameramen and producers. It’s so precognitive Sannyas energy – it’s amazing!

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHcNjetHydM

  6. VeetTom says:

    “There is no God but Osho, and LSD is his messenger.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHcNjetHydM

  7. VeetTom says:

    Not while being on duty…Veet San Francisco! ;-)

  8. VeetTom says:

    On Osho’s birthday or enlightenment celebration I had taken acid and was a member of the singing crew. I was reborn as a baby crying and singing like an angel of God. You have heard about that “choir of angels” in Christian art and poetry? Never before or after I experienced such an extreme divine and alive singing out of the body to the stars…Like they say, I was chanting towards God, universe, love, energy, joy as an angel of God. Stupid words now – but true.

    So, Osho and Acid go together marvellously!

    • veet francesco says:

      Veet Tom, what you describe is my experience every time I sang in Poona or Miasto, or celebrating that same ecstasy in other places.

      But I don’t know if singing is as natural for you as it is for me.

      For example, I met an actress who shared with me her admiration for my totality in singing, which was a bit embarrassing for her. She explained to me that for her, playing a character on stage didn’t make her feel as naked as when she sang.
      Maybe even for you, singing in public makes you feel exposed, to the point of requiring a little chemical help. Try looking for it in your friends next time, I’m available, forgive my accent in English songs.

      So, Osho and Friendship go together marvellously!

      • VeetTom says:

        I may have used far too dull words for that experience. Or maybe I am just so damn closed and dead compared to you. But words don’t help of course.

        There always has been a Sannyas competition who is more alive, sexy, intelligent, enlightened and whatnot. I go to your feet. Hope it helps?

  9. Nityaprem says:

    Something became clear to me last night. On the edge of awakening, half in a dream, I was in a dark, limited space, and I saw this luminous entity, which had come to visit me. It was male, and wise, and glowing. It was linked to me by a piece of writing, also glowing a beautiful golden yellow, in an alphabet I couldn’t read. Then came a small dark entity, which from its voice sounded like a master of reasoning and manipulation, which erased the writing. The luminous entity faded away…and I wiped the sand of sleep from my eyes, and got out of bed.

    As I sat drinking my coffee a little later, it seemed to me that this experience indicated that ultimately reasoning and manipulation are not paths to the light side of mystical experience. Reasoning and logic great at allowing you to manipulate the world, but it will not allow you to fly high. I did a quick search for Osho on reason and found this:

    “The absurd is needed to bring you out of your mind, because mind is reasoning. Through reasoning you cannot come out of it. Through reasoning you will move and move, but you will move in a circle. That is what you have been doing for many lives. One thing leads to another, but the ‘another’ is as much a part of the circle as the first. You feel that you are moving because there is change, but you are following a circle. You go on moving about and about, around and around — you cannot get out of it. The more you reason how to get out, the more you create systems, techniques, methods how to get out, the more you become entangled into it. Because the basic problem is: reasoning cannot bring you out because reasoning is the very phenomenon that you are in. Something irrational is needed. Something beyond reason is needed. Something absurd, something mad — only that can bring you out.”
    ( Osho, ‘No Water, No Moon’ )

    It struck me that if I had known this before I embarked on my University degree in Engineering, I would not have invested so much time and energy into the logical sciences. My life might have looked quite different.

    • satyadeva says:

      I’m surprised it’s taken so long for you to realise this, NP, especially as you grew up around Osho at the Pune ashram.

      Although it sounds as if you really do know this now, 100%.

      • Nityaprem says:

        Well, there is knowing and really knowing. In your youth you tend to pick up a lot of stuff. I used to read a lot of science fiction, did a lot of science subjects at school after we came out of the commune, although I was also good at literature and philosophy.

        You have to understand what it was like as a kid in the communes, we learned a lot from Osho but we didn’t attend every lecture, we also spent a lot of time playing and goofing off, haha.

  10. Lokesh says:

    Over the years, one thing I have noticed that is pretty standard practice for…what shall we call them?…the newly enlightened, is that when you knew them before this enlightenment thing happened to them, they tell you that they are not the same person that you once knew. Okay, we have that clear.

    When I met people that I thought were probably truly enlightened, they did not pull that number on me and behaved much as they did previously when meeting old friends. I liked that about them.

    Much in the same way some sannyasins pull the ‘I am not the same person’ number once they change their name etc. Mostly this strikes me as nonsense. Such antics can be labelled ‘spiritual behaviour’ but whether it is spiritual or not is debatable. If we examine our personalities and watch them closely, nobody is the same person they were the day before, often enough not the same person they were an hour before. Man’s name is legion.

    I think many seekers labour under a lot of misconceptions about the nature of the enlightened state. The truth of the matter is that truly enlightened people are quite ordinary in their day-to-day lives. Osho insisted for years that he was the world’s most ordinary man. What was extraordinary about that is how few actually acknowledge that fact.

    • satyadeva says:

      From what I’ve heard, the ‘newly enlightened’ require an often fairly lengthy period of integrating the implications of their realisation in their day-to-day lives. It seems a key factor might be that “there are realisations and realisations”, ie that there are different levels, depths of realisation, so it may be that while some might seem much the same as before, others need more time and space to get used to living their more profound new awareness, hence such remarks to their friends as Lokesh alludes to. Or of course it might simply be that ‘people are different’ and respond differently, whatever stage they’re at.

      • Nityaprem says:

        There is an interesting book by the American spiritual teacher Adyashanti called ‘The End of Your World’ about the enlightenment process and its effect over months and years. His own process was rather protracted, it certainly gives a peek into how a western Buddhist could experience things.

        Osho once said that the measure of a potential guru could be seen by whether you could ‘go high in his presence’.

  11. Lokesh says:

    When Nisargadatta Maharaj was asked how to go about recognizing enlightened people he said that they probably live quiet lives. Then again he also said, “There is no such thing as enlightenment. The appreciation of this fact is itself enlightenment.”

    Enlightenment is not a favourite topic for me. When people discuss it there often seems to be a very mental aspect to it, as if to say the mind can grasp the concept, when all the wise folks down the ages have said that enlightenment is beyond the mind and that it is a mistake to ask the mind to comprehend something incomprehensible. Time for a cup of tea.

    • satyadeva says:

      Yes, maybe there’s no such thing as ‘enlightenment’ but from what I’ve heard there are plenty of ‘realisations’, including there’s no death (and a load of others that I’m unable to recall at this moment, lol).

      • Lokesh says:

        Yes, there are plenty of realizations. I just realised I still have not had that cup of tea.

        • Nityaprem says:

          But is there such a thing as a ‘realised man’?

          I came across this funny story in a book of Papaji’s:

          “A swami came to visit me. He was eighty years old and had quite a few followers. He came into satsang and said to me, please don’t talk to me about Yoga, I have read all the books and know all of that. So I said, that’s fine, I won’t talk about Yoga. But what about all the other things you’ve brought with you, all those other methods and techniques? Let me help you carry them outside, then you can come in again without them. So I helped him to the door, and he stood outside for maybe five minutes, turning this way and that. Then he came in and said, “It’s amazing.” Later one of his students came to me and asked, “What have you done to the swami? He has rejected all dharmas.”

          • Lokesh says:

            Yes, NP, it is all Dharma-speak and only one in a thousand or so people will understand it, and even there it is questionable how it will be interpreted. This sort of thing is best encapsulated in the ‘Overflowing Tea Cup’ Zen story, which Osho was fond of telling.

            The Japanese master Nan-in gave audience to a professor of philosophy. Serving tea,
            Nan-in filled his visitor’s cup, and kept pouring. The professor watched the overflow
            until he could restrain himself no longer: “Stop! The cup is over full, no more will go
            in.”
            Nan-in said: “Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How
            can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup.”

            In answer to your question, “Is there such a thing as a realised man?”
            I would say most definitely. Once in a while you come across someone and you just know they are in a realised space. It looks good. It appears natural. The vibes are great. These people inspire one to find out how to attain that space.

            I am reminded of what it felt like to actually be with Osho. It was wonderful. Same goes for Poonjaji. Those men were somewhere that most people are ignorant of and it certainly looked worthwhile finding out how to get there, even taking into account that there is no ‘there’ to get to.

            In speaking about such matters it quickly becomes apparent that everyday language is limited when trying to describe such things. I think Sanskrit is the most developed language when it comes to describing the metaphysical because it is the world’s oldest spiritual language, is the only unambiguous spoken language on the planet and has specific words to describe inner states and processes that English completely lacks.

  12. simond says:

    One of the features of many modern teachers is how their language about enlightenment just becomes more and more abstract and unintelligible. They use a vocabulary of eastern terminology, talk endlessly about non-duality and their permanent state of nowness and liberation.

    It’s an industry now, a money-making concern, and they all say the same thing, sometimes in slightly differing ways.

    They begin to talk slowly, with as light a tone as possible, often with short gaps in between words or sentences. They smile occasionally at questions, pause to reflect inwards for an answer and trot out largely meaningless platitudes. They won’t talk much about themselves or their journey, rarely if ever speak about relationships or sex. They don’t talk about jealousy or fear of the other, they never speak of confusion or the difficulties of living with their newfound understandings.

    The undertone for me is that they are living deluded lives, and come across as deeply controlling in their manner. Clever with words but often speaking such abstractions to make no sense to ordinary men and women.

    Some have clearly realised the ‘nothing’ state, but have no ability to integrate this into daily life. Many remain deeply confused about how to do so, so retreat to small groups, where they can avoid the daily life ordinary people must live in.

    I sense a deep state of devolution taking place in the so-called spiritual world, which may itself have its own deeper purpose. Most likely a turning point may arise where people will see through the bullshit of so many teachers of enlightenment and something more real and honest will arise.

    • Lokesh says:

      A good, albeit sardonic, post from Simond. Apart from writing on SN, enlightenment is a word I rarely use in my daily life. Occasionally spontaneous satsangs happen. Sitting around with friends and we get into the deep stuff. It feels good and usually leaves me feeling that it is a great thing to have spiritually inclined friends.

      As for a devolution taking place in the spiritual world and it all being about commerce, I don’t see it like that. Things are changing and so are we. Osho was the one who gave out the most info for seekers, did a great job and covered his general spiritual topics to such an extent that nothing was about all there remained to be said. That nothing brought some people to Advaita Vedanta, Poonjaji was the vanguard of the current self-enquiry movement…leaving seekers in the ‘who am I?’ loop…a perpetual motion that can run forever. It works for some.

      Where does all that leave people today, apart from the eternal now? It depends on the person. It is like the story of seeds falling on different kinds of soil. One only needs to go over a few threads on SN to see that Osho’s influence has apparently not helped some people. Maybe even leaving them more confused than when they started. It all depends.

      When I look around I still come across the occasional guru, teacher or spiritually advanced person, who has something to teach me. There are some wonderful people around. The internet can be a great door to informing us about what is what out there in regards to new perspectives etc.

      Meanwhile, a psychedelic renaissance is taking place, which can also point seekers in a positive direction and help them to grow. In some cases weed and mushrooms in the back room. The sky is not the limit. The possibilities are infinite. Every now and zen, I do a psychedelic, which is something that still works for me. All things in moderation. Nothing quite like refined brain fuel to blow away the cobwebs of the past.

      In a recent discussion with a close friend, we talked about how it is stupid to think that doing a psychedelic will bring you there and then keep you there. It does not work like that, at least not for me. The door opens, you check it out, take a few notes, return to your normal zone and integrate what you found, a process that can take days, weeks, months, or maybe even years. I tend to remain open to whatever life brings to me.

    • satchit says:

      Not so long ago we talked about “roles” here, Simon.

      When I read your comment I have very much the feeling you play a role, the role of the detractor. It’s not you.
      Maybe you are aware of it, don’t know.

      The other option is that it is your reality and you are deeply frustrated, I guess from the search.

      Reminds me of my first Osho words:
      “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.”

    • Nityaprem says:

      I was going to write an article about how sannyasins might approach the new wave of non-duality teachers. Some are ok, like Mooji, but many have taken a crib-sheet and copied what Tony Parsons has been saying, which is mostly just a clever word scheme about “there not being anyone here” and when asked a penetrating question answering with “but who is saying that?”

      It seems likely that Simond is right and that for a lot of these so-called teachers it is a money-earning scheme of some sort. It certainly doesn’t lead me to a sense of release or freedom, which the words of the enlightened often do for me.

      I like the fact that some of them have been popularising satsang, I even heard of one who did satsang with the audience sitting in a big circle. Seems a forward step.

      A real enlightened teacher has a sense of originality to his words and expressions, something fresh. He doesn’t say all the same things that others have been saying. But they are rare.

      • Lokesh says:

        NP writes, “For a lot of these so-called teachers it is a money-earning scheme of some sort.”
        Whether a so-called teacher or an authentic teacher there may well be something to be learned from them. If a teacher is a conman and you get taken in by their scam it just means you do not know any better and you need to educate yourself, even if it means paying for it.

        The idea that one has been caught up in a money-making scheme of this sort is a recurring one for NP. This has already been covered in the new SN book. Osho charged money for his discourses and there was nothing wrong with that. Other authentic teachers like Poonjaji refused to charge money for his satsangs. He also refused, like the Beedie Wallah, to accept donations or allow people to build an ashram around him. It is a matter of individual choice.

        NP draws an odd conclusion: “I like the fact that some of them have been popularising satsang, I even heard of one who did satsang with the audience sitting in a big circle. Seems a forward step.” It seems like a step backward to me. Who wants to look at the back of someone’s head when they are expounding something profound?

        NP writes this as his final conclusion: “A real enlightened teacher has a sense of originality to his words and expressions, something fresh. He doesn’t say all the same things that others have been saying. But they are rare.”
        Well, yes and no. Seeing as how most teachers or gurus say the truth is singular and that God is everything and we are all one, there are only so many ways to go about saying that. A lot of Osho’s words were not original because he employed plagiarism (presenting work or ideas from another source as your own, with or without consent of the original author, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement).

        What made his words fresh was the way he presented them. A good example would be the expression, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived”, which many sannyasins accredit to Osho when in fact they were Thomas Merton’s words. So does this mean Osho was not “a real enlightened teacher” because he says “the same things that others have been saying”? Of course it doesn’t. What it means is that it is better to maintain a non-judgmental attitude in this particular instance.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Lokesh doesn’t seem to mind about teachers using money-making schemes. But the thing is, when the money becomes more important than the teaching, the teaching loses its essence. Look at Scientology, that has become a complete money-making scheme for fleecing believers…

          I don’t think most non-duality teachers are that bad, quite a few seem to subsist on book profits and money from retreats while treating satsang as PR. But I have found it useful to stay aware of the flow of money in a teacher’s activities, to see if they are a ‘career teacher’ or someone for whom it is a natural consequence of who they are. Once teaching becomes a business I am out of there, no longer interested except as a casual spiritual holiday.

          The question of freshness has to do with whether the teacher has ‘blossomed’, become a unique personal expression of their individuality or is just copying someone and has not much innate wisdom.

          • Lokesh says:

            NP writes about ‘”Teachers becoming a unique personal expression of their individuality”. It may well be the case that there is no choice in the matter. From the highest to the lowest everyone is a unique personal expression of their individuality right down to a person’s fingerprints.

            Surely NP would have to agree that nobody else is like you, nobody else has ever been like you; nobody else is ever going to be like you. You are simply unique. Welcome to the club.

            • Nityaprem says:

              Actually, most people are a mix of influences from all sorts of areas. They copy the expressions of a favourite music artist or YouTube personality, take on board the teachings of this teacher or that, propagate opinions they heard on the news or on Oprah, and so on. Many people are not at all original, it’s easy to be a bit lazy in today’s opinion-rich world.

              People use these elements to construct masks. You may play at being someone quite different to your mother than to your partner, or you may play a parent role towards your kids, or you may choose to fit in with a Trump-cheering family at social gatherings, only revealing the real, deep you occasionally.

              And while you can say people are still to a certain extent unique, that doesn’t mean they are always expressing that underlying unique nature.

              • Lokesh says:

                NP, you will have to take this up with Osho.
                “Nobody else is like you, nobody else has ever been like you; nobody else is ever going to be like you. You are simply unique.” Are his words, not mine.

                Your conclusion, “And while you can say people are still to a certain extent unique, that doesn’t mean they are always expressing that underlying unique nature”, is debatable.

                It could be said that people constantly express their unique nature and that people are completely unique and not just to a “certain extent”. And that they do not have any choice in the matter.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  But by this very saying you are propagating Osho’s words, you are not being ‘unique’. I consider my point proven…

                • Lokesh says:

                  I do not believe you have proven anything, NP, other than that you are not taking in the big picture. Would it not be true to say that Osho was propagating others’ words, disseminating ideas and theories widely? That is what much of his discourses were based on. Does that mean Osho was not unique? Of course, it doesn’t.

                  NP writes, “I thought the whole idea of allowing visitors to stay for a couple of weeks at most was quite good.”
                  When I was in Lucknow, Poonjaji said that what he had to share could take place in three days and then it would be good to move on to make space for other seekers. Nobody was actually asked to leave within a given time. Some friends stayed around the old boy for years.

                  What happened around Poonjaji could be viewed as quite mysterious. It took many seekers years to assimilate the impact of meeting him. I suppose the same could be said for Osho. Maybe that is how that sort of thing works for some. Who knows?

                  As for Poonjaji adopting a ‘style’ from Ramana, I find it difficult to imagine Ramana Maharshi having anything about him remotely resembling a style. Poonjaji did not wear a nappie, declare cows enlightened and completely transform people’s lives with as little as a glance. Poonjaji chewed pan, watched cricket on TV, liked the company of attractive women and laughed a lot.

                  Yes, NP, makes me think about something Osho once said to me. He told me to question everything he said.

                  On the subject of books, I think you would appreciate ‘The Four Agreements’. Cheaper than the new SN book, and potentially a life-changer.

                  Simond kindly posted this review of the new SN book on Amazon:
                  “5.0 out of 5 stars. An intelligent, irreverent at times look into the debates and issues around Osho and Sannyas.”
                  Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 10, 2024
                  Verified Purchase
                  “I enjoyed this book even more than the first edition. Having read and occasionally participated on the website for some years, there’s always been a keen debate about the life and times of Osho. This book does highlight some of the more intelligent discussions, in greater depth than in the first book. It has an irreverence towards authority figures, including Osho, and carries with it a largely English sense of humour from many contributors. The spiritual search or journey is very much a personal one, skewered through personal experience or even prejudice, and the book allows contributors of all kinds to express their understanding or lack of it. I’d say this is all the more important in these times when wokism and offence against offence have taken root so strongly.”

                • Nityaprem says:

                  What Osho tended to do was use stories and ideas in his own way, and that made him an original. He had a style that was all his own.

                  What I’m saying is that in the wider perspective many people, even those who style themselves as nondual teachers, are more copycats than anything else, not bothering to develop their own style and just using quotes verbatim. That is all.

                • satchit says:

                  “What Osho tended to do was use stories and ideas in his own way, and that made him an original. He had a style that was all his own.”

                  Osho was a Professor of Philosophy and because of this he knew how to give lectures.

                  Lectures and books were needed to become famous.

          • swamishanti says:

            Pappaji and Nisargaddatta were really just the old traditional Indian householder gurus although Niz has been Christianised by Westerners, foreigners. He didn’t speak English and didn’t mind having a shag with his favourite prostitute in Kamathipura, there is nothing in his tradition that would prohibit that.

            Those two used two main ancient techniques, ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Remember I am’.

            Osho, on the other hand, offered guidance on those two and all of the techniques from the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra and other esoteric traditions plus his own methods to get people going, and had his own fresh, new vision.

            Paying for the pass to get into the Indian ashram wasn’t that expensive and included a programme of meditations as well as Osho’s discourses and food pass card.

            The money from that plus the cash paid for the groups, trainings and therapies offered also helped to create a beautiful ashram with marble pathways and waterfalls and ponds with frogs and fountains, and clean drinking water that you could drink straight out the taps.
            Later of course, millions where needed to purchase the Big Muddy.

            It’s probably a lot more expensive to get in now, I wouldn’t know as I haven’t been there for years.

            Osho didn’t actually personally make any money from it, he could have lived comfortably off the proceeds of his books if he wanted to.

            A wealthy sannyasin Mukta also purchased the old Raj property with Osho’s bedroom which was luxurious enough with marble walls and floor, and a nice bathroom.

            Nisargaddata lived in a tiny flat in Bombay red light distinct next to a public toilet which is appealing to the Christian mindset because it looks humble.

            But he may have turned down the offer of an ashram because he only wanted disciples he felt where ready to work with.

            • Lokesh says:

              Shanti writes, “But Nisargaddata may have turned down the offer of an ashram because he only wanted disciples he felt were ready to work with.”

              This is pure speculation. Nisargaddata spoke about why he did not want an ashram and made it clear that he did not want to be trapped by such an institution. He liked where he lived in Mumbai and enjoyed to walk the streets where he had worked and brought up a family. His apartment was not in the red light district, it was in a nearby neighbourhood.

              I find Nisargaddata to be a very interesting man with a remarkable story and that is why I have read several of his books and books about him. If he wasn’t unique, who is?

          • Nityaprem says:

            Papaji was an interesting case because he often taught in the style of Ramana Maharshi, his teacher, using similar principles though his own expressions.

            I thought the whole idea of allowing visitors to stay for a couple of weeks at most was quite good.

            • swamishanti says:

              Actually, Pappaji did have some disciples who stayed with him long-term, for five years even.

              He had a tendency to help people have satoris but apparently was not discriminating in pointing out those people who had reached certain depths of awakening were not yet enlightened (unlike Osho with Michael Barnett (Somendra), for example).

              Although Michael Barnett may have reached one of the stages of enlightenment according to the Buddhist tradition, but Osho was perhaps stricter than Gautama Buddha when it came to enlightenment, of course I am not talking about the rules that some Buddhist monks follow, begging bowls, etc, but rather the various planes of consciousness.

              Pappaji had no commune, but his long-term disciples included old sannyasins too, one of whom married his daughter.

              • swamishanti says:

                Michael Barnett (Somendra) in the last years of his life with a photo of Osho on the wall again: https://youtu.be/zpXloDC6d7w?si=TBMjEUbZoEnDOhcc

                • satchit says:

                  The wall belonged to an Osho Centre, not to Somendra.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Are you sure of that, @Satchit? That it was an Osho centre and not Michaels own home and centre Onelife? On his website, it is just mentioned as a ‘summer festival. ’ : https://michaelbarnett.net/video-library/light-love/

                • swamishanti says:

                  Even if that is true. Michael Barnett still considered Osho his master after he left , and was still wearing orange. There is one video interview where he mentions that he stopped for a while and lay down in a group in Germany and felt enlightened and asked someone to bring his mala back to put it back on, that he wanted to ‘merge with his master.’:

                  https://youtu.be/_70ple2Rk6c?si=kdXBjg7sHSs-lFRb

                  Perhaps he also felt the need for protection from Osho. You can die from enlightenment that’s why in Hatha yogis prepare the body for years. Although I suspect that’s not the case, he just felt he genuinely wanted to be merged with Osho at that time.

                  Although he is dishonest in the video , when he was asked if he believed he was enlightened in Pune. He denies it, but several times he was convinced he was enlightened yet Osho dismissed it as premature. And also when he left Osho at the Ranch in 1982, to start his own commune, he was again believing he was enlightened.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Apparently, the vast majority of ‘enlightenment’ happens at death. So the living ones who are truly ‘enlightened’ must be relatively few and far between, though many who have various ‘realisations’ along the way might think they are and/or claim to be. Well, that’s what I’ve understood anyway.

                • satyadeva says:

                  That would be quite a change then from the perspective he’d held for many years, summed up by his response to a question on where he stood re Osho: “I am neither for him nor against him.”

                • swamishanti says:

                  Yeah, well, Osho never really recognised him as enlightened, although did say that he had come ‘very close but moved far way’ once in Pune One.

                  Somendra was convinced he was enlightened several times in Pune One and once wrote in a letter to Osho telling him that “if you don’t recognise me I will kill you”, or something like that.
                  Osho responded with “I need a Judas.”

                  There is also a response to a question from Somendra from Pune One where Osho appears to describe Somendra’s state at that time, where he had transcended the mind but not yet enlightened.

                  In 1982 at the Ranch Somendra left, believing he was enlightened and wanting to start his own commune, and refused to attend a personal darshan with Osho. Probably because he knew that he would be told he wasn’t enlightened again.

                  When Osho declared 21 people enlightened at Rajneeshpuram in 1984, some of them where already very developed and had transcended the mind, but Osho later said that only one of them was really enlightened and the thing was a joke to see how people would react.
                  And he included Somendra on the list even though he had left. Somendra wrote a letter thanking him but Osho said he wasn’t enlightened, and was still competing with Teertha.

                  But perhaps he was ‘enlightened’ according to the Buddhist tradition like I wrote before, as they have four stages, or perhaps he did become enlightened later on.

                • swamishanti says:

                  SD:
                  “Apparently, the vast majority of ‘enlightenment’ happens at death. So the living ones who are truly ‘enlightened’ must be relatively few and far between, though many who have various ‘realisations’ along the way might think they are and/or claim to be.”

                  Mother Meera said somewhere that enlightenment only usually happens before death or at death and ‘awakening’s something else. But she does contradict herself as has also describes different samadhis at other points, although she does not have the same depth of esoteric knowledge of various ‘stages’ and systems as Osho did, although she also understands other things that Osho didn’t.

                  Osho also sometimes described ‘awakening’ as different from ‘enlightenment’ when he was asked about it.

                  Osho also knew he would be more available after he left the body, and pointed out the difference between
                  ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Mahaparinirvana’ in the life and death of Buddha. I think ‘full enlightenment’ or ‘Nirvana’, as in Osho’s case, is quite rare and the vast majority of teachers are not like that, as you said.

                  I guess he was one of those masters who only comes along every couple of thousand years or so with a new vision and contribution to human consciousness and his last life was about that.

                  But perhaps awakened teachers who are not ‘fully enlightened’ keep coming back and being reborn to help people until they reach Nirvana. (Nirvana=Extinction).

                • Nityaprem says:

                  So far as I’ve been able to tell, all sannyasins are a little bit enlightened, as long as they remember to smile and celebrate!

                • swamishanti says:

                  Are you sure of that, @Satchit? That is was an Osho centre and not Michael’s own home and centre Onelifezuhouse? On his website it is just mentioned as a ‘summer festival’: https://michaelbarnett.net/video-library/light-love/

                  And in this photo of his centre, it is the same room as in the video:

                • satchit says:

                  I am sure.
                  At the beginning of the vid is written: ‘Gut Hübenthal’, which means Osho Centre: parimal.de.

    • VeetTom says:

      Those 1001 Buddhas don’t always shine like those few great masters. Blue Diamond split into thousands of pieces. Tiny ones, small ones, bigger ones…but if you are in a receptive mood to look at one of them…the same light is reflected.

      Almost sounds wise, but I’ve heard it before so many times.

  13. Lokesh says:

    Shanti declares, “Papaji and Nisargaddatta really offered nothing new, they were just the standard Indian householder gurus.”
    Easy to say that, but is it true?

    This sounds like Osho parrot speak. Osho said that there was a Nisargaddatta in every Indian village. That would be a remarkable thing were it true. Nisargaddatta’s ‘I Am That’ is regarded by many as one of the world’s greatest spiritual books. I’m inclined to agree with that.

    As for HWL Poonja being a standard Indian householder guru, that is difficult to believe. He really was a rare kind of man and one of the most exceptional I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He could appear quite ordinary from a distance, in Shanti’s a great distance indeed, seeing as how he never met the man. One-on-one Poonjaji was a force to be reckoned with, a very benign, loving, compassionate, playful and awakened force.

    • Nityaprem says:

      I totally agree with that, Nisargadatta and Papaji were very significant figures among the enlightened of the Twentieth Century. Though I would add that ‘I Am That’ was also partially the creation of Maurice Frydman, a Westerner who translated and edited the talks that would become the book. Nisargadatta considered him a jnani and was at his bedside when he died in 1977.

      I’m currently having fun reading Papaji’s satsangs in ‘Wake Up and Roar’, there are a lot of nice pieces about how just one minute of keeping quiet can lead to enlightenment; how no true teacher would tell you ‘do this’ or ‘do that’ but instead a teacher would free you from all activity, all concepts, all burdens; how meditation is unnecessary. For those of us who weren’t there, these books are a valuable resource.

      As you said, Lokesh, a lot of this is about how you integrate things. Not just psychedelic experiences, but even the books you read. That is one path to becoming more original, more ‘yourself’. To not just adopt things wholesale from a book or discourse, but to really see what it means to you.

      • swamishanti says:

        ‘I am Twat’ is an excellent book, but also came through his American translator Maurice Frydman, as NP points out. Although some of the essence of that line is no doubt there, “I am the Akash” (‘the Destroyer’)is a statement from Niz at one point in the book.

        No doubt much of Niz’s swearwords and sexual innuendos were left out, and Maurice Frydman is likely not to have had such a good grasp of Marathi as Ramesh Balsekar. There were several translators and according to reports of people who were there, Ramesh’s translations were considered the best.

  14. simond says:

    The debate around older Indian gurus is pretty tiresome – they are largely dead, and their influence has waned in the West except amongst some aficionados here on the website, and those copycat western teachers who change their name to an Indian-sounding one.

    These western pretenders speak softly, and as one commentator here mentioned, express themselves in a feminine way – afraid to say anything too direct or masculine for being attacked as “too male”, or forceful.

    This seems to be where we have got to, where they won’t speak with any real authority, afraid to offend their often female audience. They won’t speak of sex, maleness, simply as they might lose their audience.

    Osho never fell into that trap, he was happy to offend anyone, his great strength was his self-knowledge about these subjects and awake to his disciples’ confusions and problems.

    As to the notion of satsang, this was the way of past Indian teachers and makes no sense today. I don’t want to sit in front of some teacher and take in their energy of silence – I want to ask them real questions and, like many in the West, am desperate for some real clarity. I want to know what they know, I want to ask real questions about my fears, my anxieties, about work, and how to create a life balance, I want to talk about money, and my fear of the future – these are the real daily queries men and women want. So-called spiritual ideas about enlightenment and awareness and staying in the now are simply deflections from the real issues we face.

    I have no issue with any of these types making money, that’s an aside.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Simond said “I want to ask them real questions and, like many in the West, am desperate for some real clarity.”

      The kinds of questions you seem to want to ask are more for a modern life coach than for a spiritual teacher, I think. I had a go at talking about life balance and money a bit in the article ‘Sannyas and Time-Rich Living’ a few weeks ago but not many people picked up on that.

      The fear of the future is something that is fanned by all kinds of segments of the media for their own reasons: eco activists, climate activists, assorted doomsday preachers and so on. In reality, things will carry on as they have always carried on.

      • simond says:

        One hundred percent incorrect, NP, the real questions of the so-called spiritual life revolve around the causes of our unhappiness, our struggle with meaning, with the profound lack of self and self-worth we all feel. You can package up the spiritual life around “awareness” etc. or you can delve into the issues that you yourself feel, or in some ways that you fear. Like talking about pain, loss, death, sex or your lack of it.

        As to your disregard or lack of interest in the future, you may also deny how you personally are constantly referring to the past, and by default, your own future, but to do so you are ignoring the many times you worry and think, incessantly. Observe this in yourself, see how you are plagued by insecurity, or, of course you can deny what I’m putting forward. One day you’ll wake to the realisation.

        • Nityaprem says:

          You seem to be very much caught up in the mind, Simond. Ninety percent of all unhappiness has its origin in the mind, so I’d advise grappling with the teachings of some of those older gurus you look down on, there is wisdom there.

          I’ve taken some distance from the mind and have found peace and happiness in doing so. I have few worries and am not plagued by insecurity, I leave that to others, being content with a balanced view of the world.

    • Lokesh says:

      Simond writes, “As to the notion of satsang, this was the way of past Indian teachers and makes no sense today.”

      I have to disagree. ‘Satsang’ can be translated as ‘hanging out with good people’. It doesn’t just mean sitting at the feet of some wise person and listening to what they say or feeling those ever-so-spiritual vibes.

      Once in a while, I find myself at a gathering of friends and it gets kind of spiritual, meaning it moves beyond the purely superficial on a conversational and energy level. It is fun and feels familiar. When the meeting breaks up I sometimes comment, “That’s satsang over for today.” Maybe someone will laugh because I am joking, but everyone knows what I mean. Therefore, to say the notion of Satsang makes no sense today makes no sense to me.

      In today’s chaotic and fractured society, I find it very important for people to gather together and share something of a deeper nature beyond the purely superficial that passes for dialogue in the internet age. That is why I never use emojis (a joke).

      • satchit says:

        “I have to disagree. ‘Satsang’ can be translated as ‘hanging out with good people’.”

        Yes, one can translate it how one wants it.

        I don’t think storytelling is ‘satsang’. Satsang means being with the truth, which means a meditative space is needed.

        • Lokesh says:

          What Does Satsang Mean?
          Satsang is a Sanskrit term derived from two roots: sat meaning “true’”and sangha meaning community, company or association.

          It can be translated as “associating with good people” or simply “being in the company of truth,” and refers to the act of gathering with like-minded, uplifting people, especially those on a spiritual path.

          Satsang may also refer to a group of people engaged in a spiritual dialogue. Although the term is generally used to highlight the importance of community on spiritual growth, by definition satsang can additionally be considered as a lone relationship with truth.

  15. Lokesh says:

    NP writes, “Nondual teachers are more copycats than anything else, not bothering to develop their own style and just using quotes verbatim.”

    What? You mean like Osho used “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.”? Osho probably used other people’s quotes verbatim more than any other public figure in recorded history. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. I’m saying NP’s desire to illustrate how original Osho was has taken a wrong turn. One only needs to know a little about Osho’s life to realize how original he was, but not in the way NP is trying to depict him.

    It strikes me as someone needing to wave a flag for Osho, something which many sannyasins are prone to. Osho waved his own flag while alive and now that he is dead that flag is still fluttering in the breeze of passing time. If you feel you need to help that flag flap a bit more energetically by blowing hot air on it, go right ahead.

  16. VeetTom says:

    Concerning this originality thread I asked Swami Chat GPT about it.
    Here’s the original quote!

    ChatGPT
    “Osho, formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, was a controversial spiritual teacher and public speaker known for his teachings on meditation, mindfulness and various spiritual philosophies. His works often drew from a wide range of spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Sufism, Taoism, and Western psychology.

    It’s widely acknowledged that Osho referenced and incorporated ideas from various mystics, philosophers and spiritual traditions into his teachings. However, the extent to which he directly copied or borrowed from these sources varies. Some critics have accused him of plagiarism, alleging that he appropriated the words and ideas of others without proper attribution. On the other hand, supporters argue that he synthesized and reinterpreted existing teachings in a unique way, offering fresh insights and perspectives.

    In his discourses and writings, Osho often referenced spiritual texts, poems, stories and teachings from a diverse array of sources, including ancient scriptures, classical literature and contemporary works. He would sometimes quote directly from these texts or paraphrase their teachings to illustrate his points or to provide context for his own ideas.

    While it’s true that Osho’s works contain elements borrowed from other mystics and spiritual teachers, it’s also important to note that he added his own interpretations, commentary and personal insights to these teachings. Ultimately, opinions on the originality and authenticity of Osho’s work vary among scholars, followers and critics, and it’s a topic that continues to be debated.”

    • satyadeva says:

      The scholars, followers and critics might carry on debating the originality and authenticity of Osho’s words for eternity, while missing the presence, the consciousness, the vastness, the courage, the love, the very being of the man.

    • satchit says:

      Maybe you should ask the ChatGPT:

      What is the sound of one hand clapping?

      • Nityaprem says:

        Puts me in mind of this…

      • VeetTom says:

        ChatGPT says:
        “The question “What is the sound of one hand clapping?” is a classic Zen koan, a type of paradoxical riddle used in Zen Buddhism to provoke contemplation and challenge logical thinking.

        The question itself challenges the notion of duality and seeks to push the practitioner beyond the realm of conventional thinking. It’s meant to encourage a shift in perspective and an exploration of concepts like non-duality and mindfulness.

        From a literal standpoint, one hand can not produce the traditional clapping sound that occurs when two hands come together. However, the purpose of the question is not to find a definitive answer but rather to inspire introspection and insight into the nature of perception, existence and consciousness.”

  17. Lokesh says:

    As Anand Yogi used to say, “Perfectly correct.”

  18. VeetTom says:

    Alternative forms: nothing new under the sun

    Etymology: Calque of Latin nihil sub sōle novum, itself a calque from the Hebrew אֵין כָּל חָדָשׁ תַּחַת הַשָּׁמֶשׁ (en kol chadásh táchat hashámesh, “there is nothing new under the sun”).

    Proverb: there is nothing new under the sun

    There is nothing truly novel in existence; every new idea has some sort of precedent or echo from the past.

    (Wiki)

  19. Lokesh says:

    What exactly does Shanti believe he is doing collecting all this second-hand news about Somendra and all this was or wasn’t he enlightened? I suppose we all have our hobbies. I make books. I sometimes wonder about that also.

    According to Osho, the only one capable of recognizing an enlightened one is another enlightened one. This makes it a bit of an exclusive club that none of us unenlightened ones will gain admittance to anytime soon.

    I did a couple of groups with Somendra back in Poona One and got to know him a little. He was a nice enough guy who struck me as someone who wanted to be recognized as being special. He surrounded himself with an aura of hokum at the time and many were so naive back then that they went for it. Much in the same way that many of us went for Osho’s torch pen-checking your aura gimmick. Did you get the pen at darshan? Yeah, it was super intense, but I think he realigned my chakras because I feel really blissed out. Wow!

    By the looks of that video Shanti posted Somendra continued what he was doing back in the seventies. I guess it is harmless enough and passes for ‘spiritual’ in the New Age zone. I’d rather have people like Somendra doing their thing than people dropping bombs on cities, that is for sure. As for his level of enlightenment, I really could not care less.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Lokesh, you’re so serious…if Somendra wanted to pretend he was enlightened, by all means let’s laugh and cheer him on. Maybe we could have an ‘enlightened for the day’ hat to pass around!

      On a related note…in the satsang-in-a-circle situation I was describing earlier, the satsang-giver passed around a baton for who was supposed to answer the questions. So someone in the circle would ask a question, and another satsang attendee in the circle would answer.

      • Lokesh says:

        Serious? You’ve got to be joking.

        • VeetTom says:

          I heard about such Satsang clubs as well where everybody acts as if he has his own authority to be the satsang-giver. Just another mind game, but funny maybe for some time.

          I remember Somendra from a Berlin gathering with a very big Sannyas crowd all around him. He played the Super Medium, some sort of spiritual Tesla Energy Antenna for the masses. A cameraman danced around him for close-ups on the big live screen. The game was about focussing the full attention to raise the energy and then refecting it back to each one of us. This trip he played there was something known to super-therapists in those days, who felt able for energy darshan events.

          • VeetTom says:

            Teertha finally gave energy darshans in Poona One when Osho stayed home. Coming out of the ‘cinema’ I walked just like him above the gravel of the driveway…as others walk like John Wayne…after the curtain falls.

        • Nityaprem says:

          Not even a little bit serious? My mother was relating a story this morning about Somendra trying to get into her pants after a group in Poona 1. So you see, all the enlightened chase the girls.

  20. Lokesh says:

    NP writes, ‘All the enlightened chase the girls.’

    That is a bit of an assumption, to say the least. For example, Osho was not interested in chasing the girls.

    • Lokesh says:

      As a point of interest…
      There is enough space for one more chapter in the new SN book. A new closing chapter.
      This thread could provide suitable material, with a bit of tweaking. There are some good comments and some fresh perspectives that an astute reader might appreciate.

      So watch out, Swami G is…

    • Nityaprem says:

      It was meant in a spirit of good humour…and according to his own statement in the Last Testament, Osho had had so many girls that he couldn’t count them.

      • Lokesh says:

        Yeah, but he was really a celibate.

        • satyadeva says:

          But whatever might be the truth of Osho’s sex life, it was all a device though, surely?

          • Lokesh says:

            Most definitely, SD. It was all a device for our awakening. Look how many people were awakened due to the master of masters collection of 93 Rolls Royces, a device to get rid of the riff-raff, which included many of his closest disciples. A remarkable device that heralded the arrival of the New Man and raised the consciousness of mankind to dizzying new heights. Jai Osho!

            • VeetTom says:

              That’s Sannyas mainstream “no-mind” ;-) of course. Who would not agree?

            • Nityaprem says:

              Hahaha…I don’t think the Rolls-Royces ever enlightened anyone, or else the Roller factory in England would be a Mecca of spiritual development.

              I do think it’s interesting that a device to get rid of followers was necessary. Maybe it was similar to Neem Karoli Baba’s feelings here:

              “Once I was chastising Maharajji for giving photos to people who were worldly and didn’t care about him. He said, “You don’t understand me. If I tell a man he is a great bhakta (devotee), I am planting a seed. If a person already has the seed planted and growing, why should I plant another?” I said, “You are telling these drunkards, liars, and dacoits that they are real bhaktas. They will just go home and carry on their old behaviours.” Maharajji said, “Some of them will remember what I said of them, and it will make them want to develop this quality in themselves. If ten out of a hundred are inspired in this way, it is a very good thing.”
              (Ram Dass, ‘Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba’)

            • swamishanti says:

              Indeed, many did get enlightened when Osho had the Rolls Royces, and one of the best things about it was that he moved us away from the old religious conditionings, the old cult conditioning and programmings that we had to live next to a public toilet or in a cave or hammer nails into your penis to get enlightened.

              Although for some, the Rolls Royces are more important than enlightenment. And those cars helped him to get rid of some who were not really into him, which was always good because it meant more space for his energy for those who most needed it. And also only attracted those who where really interested in him, not just those instantly put off by the cars.

              “It is part of my whole device to change the very structure of human consciousness.
              The past has revered poverty, asceticism, masochistic attitudes.
              A man was respected if he was renouncing all that is pleasant, all that is comfortable.
              He was respected for torturing himself; the greater the torture, the greater the respect.
              The whole human past is masochistic, and all the religions have contributed to this insanity.

              My effort is to change such a vast past and its influence. So it has been only a device. I have not been creating desires for materialistic things in people; they are there without anybody’s creating them.

              Yes, they have been repressed so deeply that people have even forgotten that they had them. I am not creating them; I simply want to remove the cover-up, the repression, and to make the person realize that he wants a Rolls Royce more than enlightenment.

              This realization will be a basic step towards enlightenment, because it will make him aware of his own reality, his greed.

              There was no need for ninety-three Rolls Royces. I could not use ninety-three Rolls Royces simultaneously – the same model, the same car.

              But I wanted to make it clear to you that you would be ready to drop all your desires for truth, for love, for spiritual growth to have a Rolls Royce.

              “A deep unconsciousness, a great blindness exists, and I am fighting against a mountainous unconsciousness, darkness.

              Naturally they will be very much annoyed.

              They would have loved me, they would have worshipped me.

              And it was so easy for me to do what they wanted, but then I would have been continuing the old misery, the old disease, the old stupidity.

              I decided to be unrespectable, but not to help any nonsensical value.

              It is a very simple thing to see why ascetics – self-destructive people engaged in a kind of slow suicide – have been respected; it is because it is unnatural, because you cannot do it.

              They are doing something which you cannot do. If somebody is standing on their head on the road, there will be a crowd immediately, but you are walking on your legs – no crowd will be there!

              What is that man doing that attracts the crowd? He is doing something that the crowd cannot do.

              He is proving mind over body, he is proving spirit over nature. Torturing his body he is proving that he is not the body, it does not affect him.

              By fasting, not sleeping, or standing for days he is proving that what you cannot do he can do; he is superior to you.

              You also can do what he is doing, you just have to be a little stupid, you just have to be a little suicidal, destructive.

              All that you need is a certain pleasure in pain and you can become a great spiritual saint.”

              Osho: ‘Beyond Psychology’

              • Nityaprem says:

                Of course he is talking from an Indian background, Swamishanti, of the sadhus and Eastern monks. It is already a reach for a European or American to think of such people as saints, who might be used to Saint Francis or Saint Anthony of Padua miraculously talking to the birds or preaching to the fish.

                These men could also do what ordinary men could not, but through the Grace of God, not through circus acts of endurance. That whole set of Christian ideas has tainted the Western psyche for two thousand years, it will take time to dissipate.

                But I think in a way Western spirituality was more shallow than the Eastern. There is no equivalent to the Vedas or the Upanishads in the Western tradition, for instance.

  21. VeetTom says:

    In that commune’s group this is not the only article on possible sexual abuse. One former Dutch Ma speaks again and again about being molested by elderly Swamis while being a teenager. I saw the documentary on German tv some years ago. It is mostly about her mother not taking care at all and dropping her somewhere in the kids-group. Later the daughter tries to revive the feeling of being left alone by her mother and they both talk – together and alone – in front of the camera.

    This documentary film was (of course) wrapped by the producer or broadcaster in such a way to diss and blame the complete Sannyas thing. But I felt ok about the film itself because if you neglect this typical media damnation it was just a personal story about a daughter-mother conflict.

    Some Sannyas kids may have felt without parental loving care and were lost in a young commune with errors of all kinds. Some stupid Swamis may even have taken advantage of young virgins who were without motherly attention and advice, I do not doubt that completely. Many things may have gone wrong and are not to be excused. Such things may pop up later on and have their right to be spoken about.

    But that group I just left – even if it tries to expose hidden injuries and violations – is more yellow press gossiping than true information and discussion. Ok, so be it. But those troubled possible victims may need real therapy or even the law while hate and bashing on social media does not really go deep and in a healing way.

    All this may still be a phase to go through – but that ridiculous blow-job story reveals a distracted persona. If you listened to Sheela about Osho you had the same impression of bullshit produced by a mind that wants to hide instead of shedding light.

    • Nityaprem says:

      I heard about this. Apparently some young teenage girls on the Ranch had sex with hundreds of men? I was totally oblivious to it at the time, except for noticing there were never any girls around of my age, which left me very frustrated with my own sexual impulses. I was 13 during that last year on the Ranch, a difficult age.

      This was when all the kids slept in kids trailers, with the matresses all next to each other and 5-6 to a room. There was a twenty-year-old or so to supervise, he had a room to himself. This was at the bottom of the path that led up to Magdalena kitchens and bakery.

      • swamishanti says:

        What constitutes ‘abuse’ is debatable. “Hundreds of young teenage girls having sex with hundreds of men”, exaggeration or not, doesn’t necessarily constitute abuse, depending on the individual situation.
        I mean, in an international community like in sannyas, we had lots of Dutch sannyasins whose age of consent in their country was 12, lots of Japanese whose age of consent was 13, Germans whose age of consent was 14, Italians 14, UK 16.

        India has scriptures such as Laws of Manu which recommend that a man can take a wife of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 etc, Osho’s mother was married when she was 7. But didn’t begin sleeping with her husband until years later. There tantric scriptures which say that if tantra is practised with a young woman she has to have started her menstration and one of them recommends the age of 12 as a starting point.

        India has now, in more recent years, adopted foreign American age of consent which is the highest in the world at 18 although many arranged marriages will still happen much younger.

        ‘Paedophilia’ is a term that is being misused in recent years.
        What the definition of paedophila actually means is someone who is an adult or older adolescent who experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.

        Nowadays it is being used to describe anyone who is attracted to someone under the age of consent.

        • Lokesh says:

          The age of consent in the Netherlands 12? I very much doubt that to be true.

          • Nityaprem says:

            The age of consent is currently 16, with exemption for teenagers who are close in age.

            “Although the age of consent was often reported internationally to be 12, this was partly misleading, because sexual acts up to 16 remained open to prosecution. The Netherlands has gained an international reputation of being extremely liberal on sexual issues, with some of this due to exaggerated reports in foreign media and claims by foreign politicians, rather than based on reality.”
            ( Wikipedia )

        • satyadeva says:

          Yes, Shanti, of course it depends on individual circumstances, not all such liaisons are going to be exploitative. Yet quoting ages of consent isn’t good enough, it’s still a flawed way to attempt to lessen cases of abuse, obviously for instance as teenagers’ levels of emotional maturity varies considerably.

          I’m inclined to think that it’s naive to believe that many men didn’t make a point of targeting young and vulnrerable girls simply because it was just so easy in that climate of total freedom, where any unwillingness on the part of the girl might well be crushed by a few choice quotes from the tantric master Osho himself. There’s nothing like the potential prospect of sex to inspire the misuse of such words, and no doubt there were plenty of selfish (and/or deluded) manipulators ready and well-primed to stalk their prey.

          And by the way, when were these Indian scriptures written? I suggest they date back many centuries to when that land was more innocent, uncorrupted by the false values and inbuilt obscenities of the world you and I and the younger generations have been surrounded by, far more structured societies where everyone knew their place and sexual relations were largely confined to marriage, whether polygamous or not.

          That sort of social set-up was far more likely to foster a sense of responsibility towards the very young girls than the sort of free-for-all goings-on around Osho’s people which was a happy hunting ground for those who really didn’t give a toss, they wanted what they wanted and fuck the consequences (as it were). In that sense, by the way, rather resembling immature, spoiled kids themselves.

          • swamishanti says:

            I had an English girlfriend who told me she had lost her virginity and had her first relationship at age 13 to an older man, but she had wanted to do that and felt there was nothing wrong with it. She never felt she was exploited or used in any way.

          • Nityaprem says:

            I reckon that a lot of those comments which are now coming out of the FB groups have some basis in fact, and that there were quite a few men who didn’t stick to the American age-of-consent laws in Rajneeshpuram.

            Those who consider themselves victims deserve to be heard, it’s a good thing that there is openness about what is sexual abuse. I’m very much in favour of the Me-Too movement.

            • swamishanti says:

              Indeed.

              But this also appears to be exploited by one of those anti-cult/CIA groups: we have a woman who is claiming to have suddenly realised she was in a ‘cult’ after 40 years; before, everything was ok, now she comes out with bullshit stories that he was holding her throat, even drugging her – she was hallucinating all night – she was threatened to be killed.

              WARNING: ‘Bullshitter alert’: https://youtu.be/FRMA0ENx-wg?feature=shared

              Offering ‘help’ and a list of books from failed sannyasins who got not enough out of it, like Jane Stork who got no prison time for serious crimes and was probably offered a deal – a transparently bogus story and only good for a laugh. Veet Tom wrote about how crazy this woman sounds but his comment went missing.

              Either a paid agent nutcase or AI technology. Either way a scam.

              • swamishanti says:

                Yes it is the story is funny and a scam.
                This has been cooked up recently since Osho has become more popular in recent years.

                Any sannyasin who can’t see through this is a little gullible and easily led. But one has to be aware of the manipulation of the media ,and it’s importance to the vested interests, the games that go on.

                For example, certain state(s) are actively promoting Sheela’s version of Osho across social media, YouTube to undermine him, alongisde the book ‘Who Killed Osho?’, which also contains some falsehood that Parmartha’s lived in Oshos house, which is completely false, taken from the site of a crappy American Roman Catholic ‘anti-cult’ guru who claims he is part of Niz’s lineage , but doesnt have a clue about it.

                We know that there are still undercover agent sannyasins from the 1980’s hanging around in the Facebook groups. (I noticed that this sentence in my comment was edited out last night so I had to put it back in).

                What I mean is that the story it is so blatantly untrue that it looks absurd and clearly has the involvement of some religious group or another in powerful positions. And religions are powerful.

                First she was ‘hypnotised’. Now she has changed the story that “she wonders if he gave her some drug because she was hallucinating all night afterwards..”

                - it is not difficult to see how the group behind this rubbish is trying to make her story of people being hypnotised and drugged fit another ex-sannyasin turned agents book, who left the Ranch on 1982, more credible.

                One can only feel sorry for sannyasins who felt good at the time and then later began to believe they were in a cult or brainwashed and then betrayed one of the most enlightened men of the last century.

                There is a letter from the same women written in 1983, in support of Osho to the US government, she was present in 1985 when Osho told the press reporter that he was not always celibate and that making love does not destroy enlightenment, on the contrary, it enriches it, and that his sex life was ‘always consensual’, of course.

                She had every chance to leave , but rather followed him on the world tour, there is a photo in Neelam’s book of her and she looks incredibly well, followed Osho back to Pune Two until he left the body, and spent time with sannyasins with Poonja afterwards, and never made any complaint. She would have read Milne’s book as everyone did and dismissed parts of it as rubbish, yet chose to stay and never complained about anything.

                What really gives it away is in the ‘recovery’ section,(lol!), one of the books listed is ‘Who Killed Osho’ by Abhay Vaidya, the same book that is being promoted alongside Sheela’s version of Osho as a corrupt businessman, in the media, which undermines his legal defence as well as the Westerners close to Osho who wrote in defence of him, and exposed some of the lies in Milne’s book , they are now being blamed for killing him while Sheela is being promoted as some kind of hero who tried to save Osho from evil foreigners – Ma Yoga Neelam also exposed that this story was being put out in several Indian newspapers – that foreigners – the living closest to Osho had killed him- those living in his household – after Osho left his body. Of course, the CIA also have people working for them in many media outlets all over the world so it isn’t clear exactly who was behind that.

                • Nityaprem says:

                  Swamishanti said, “Yes, the story is funny and a scam…clearly has the involvement of some group or other.”

                  I don’t think you can call the Erin Robbins letter a scam. It was clearly heartfelt for her after she worked with that well-known anti-cult therapist Dr Janja Lalich. But that too is a kind of framing, it is a reframing of an old set of experiences in a new context by a therapist who is establishing her own narrative. I think Erin just isn’t particularly strong minded, and gets blown in the wind a bit.

                  The fact is, she was an adult at the time and making her own choices. To bring forward what was a consensual relationship as abuse is not right in my eyes. Yes, Osho occupied a position of special esteem in many sannyasins’ eyes, but so do many politicians, officials, company directors with their respective audiences. A power imbalance is not unusual in human affairs.

                  The whole set-up of the website of erinrobbins.life shows to me that the primary desire is to do a hatchet job on Osho and the Sannyas movement, the very quote by Janja Lalich, “How could the Supreme Master be a malignant narcissist and brutal abuser of women…now she can tell the world who Rajneesh really was” shows that Lalich had her mind made up before she started. It also doesn’t ring true in the wider context. Osho was great on respect for the rights of women, and had them in most positions of authority.

              • VeetTom says:

                Yes, that part and more disapeared here, so I thought they were deleted.
                Mod might agree or say he did not interfere…Strange things happen on this board, you may have seen, but comments come so quickly we can overlook such details easily.

                Is there a hidden agent with admin powers? Phanthomas?

                MOD:
                The site isn’t secure, unfortunately, which has been the case since the original tech guy, Dharmen, passed away in 2017.

                Clive does advise on such matters but is far too busy himself to help practically any more, and a full revamp of the site will be too expensive.

            • swamishanti says:

              Indeed. Everyone does have the right to be heard. And be careful of what you read. Facebook is also one of the tools of the CIA.

            • VeetTom says:

              Nityaprem says:
              18 March, 2024 at 9:22 am
              “I reckon that a lot of those comments which are now coming out of the FB groups have some basis in fact, and that there were quite a few men who didn’t stick to the American age-of-consent laws in Rajneeshpuram.
              Those who consider themselves victims deserve to be heard, it’s a good thing that there is openness about what is sexual abuse. I’m very much in favour of the Me-Too movement.”

              Of course, Nityaprem,
              Btw, most stories of child misuse come from that English ‘Osho Ko Hsuan School, if I heard that right.

              • VeetTom says:

                Maybe it’s all made up? The thing is if it happens more than just once people are extremely sensitive and the press jumps on that because sexual misuse is almost deadly for the suspected perpetrator, wherever he may show his ugly face.
                Almost impossible to come out of it.

                Anyway, we must wait for legal ways to deal with whatever…and just watch it…as always.

                I have a lot of sympathy for anti-authoritarian schools. Before Ko Hsuan there was Neill’s far-out Summerhill in England. I had been on Hermann Lietz boardingschools as a kid with no occurrences of that kind… Another residential school, the Odenwald school, had to be closed because evidence was that heavy it was shut down for ever.

                Let’a change subject?
                Yesterday Bhakti Marga was the subject in a witty late night show. Again it was depicted as that typical mean cult with an imbecile spiritual masquerade and intensely exploitative money-making of course.

                Bedingungslose Gehorsamkeit: Bhakti Marga und ihr Guru | ZDF Magazin Royale

                Unconditional Obedience:
                Bhakti Marga and its Guru – ZDF Magazin Royale

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F45HwAkc1A

                • Nityaprem says:

                  That was vaguely amusing about Bhakti Marga, VeetTom. I ended up watching the whole thing, good for my German.

                  But I did note that when they were talking about the alleged sexual abuse they said the idea of consent was ‘problematic’ because of the social dynamic and the power imbalance convincing people to do stuff that might go against their personal principles. Interesting.

                • VeetTom says:

                  Good you understood that mocking German, Nityaprem. This “anchor man” Böhmermann is a satirical actor who goes to the extremes with his friendly humour and the research of his team is well founded mostly, hitting the centre of the dart board.

                  If you look and google there is a terrible amount of stupidity concerning this imbecile religious sect that is even worse than the usual Hindu bullshit. This guru may have been sexually misusing some of his male followers. A gay guru – that’s something new somehow… maybe…

                  Those victims say he did it to them in four nights. How come? one asks himself automatically. Why not stop this right away?

                  The respect for and surrender to those in power can slow down the process of coming out with all that and resist.
                  Christian churches are not the only gangsters. Some of those things are still in front of the court, another sexual abuse case. So we can’t get rid of this stuff it seems. But well, this is nothing new.

                • swamishanti says:

                  Here’s an article from Surendra, one of the teachers at Ko Hsuan, who lives in Japan as a photographer, on “sexuality” at the school: https://www.oshonews.com/2016/09/06/osho-ko-hsuan-sexuality/

            • swamishanti says:

              Veet Tom,
              I have known a few people who were students at Ko Hsuan, and all appeared to have enjoyed the experience and none of them complained of abuse. I remember that one kid who was new there told me that he witnessed that students where allowed to argue with the teachers , and encouraged to express their feelings fully, which was very different to what he had experienced before his old school.

              I visited Ko Hsuan for several of the festivals there there was some good live music from sannyas musicians as well as some of the kids, and some nice woods round the back, a bar in the main house, and the kids had a half-pipe in a large field. With some very large trees and a swing.

              As far as the private Sannyas Facebook groups are concerned, whatever complaints or issues are there, be aware that governments and the intelligence agencies, deep state machinery that work behind them also actively spread disinformation and propaganda on social media and employ agents to do this. We know that some agents even from back in the ‘80’s are still hanging around in those groups,

              Here is a Loveosho podcast from one of the students at Ko-Hsuan, who spent 6 years there, and it was clearly a very positive experience for her. She said that if there was a school like Ko-Hsuan again she would definitely also send her own kids there. She is a trained therapist and bodyworker.

              Episode E128: Finding trust in life:

              https://www.sannyas.wiki/index.php?title=LoveOsho_podcast_E128_Gyana

          • swamishanti says:

            SD:
            “That sort of social set-up was far more likely to foster a sense of responsibility towards the very young girls than the sort of free-for-all goings-on around Osho’s people which was a happy hunting ground for those who really didn’t give a toss, they wanted what they wanted and fuck the consequences (as it were). In that sense, by the way, rather resembling immature, spoiled kids themselves.”

            And I wonder, how much, of any of that you actually witnessed when you where in Pune One. Somehow I doubt you did.

            We are really comparing very different things. I know that a lot of kids/teens didn’t experience any abuse in Osho’s communes, even if some have complained later, in private Facebook groups, recently, or felt they were abused.

            As far as the Indian past is concerned, we are in a very different situation, women that were completely controlled by men, they were like servants.

            They are beautifully feminine in their roles and graceful and have an acceptance of life and patience that Western women lack, but are trained to serve the husband and the men completely.
            All an Indian man has to say is “chai” and she will bring it. Actually, any women present in the household will bring it, wife, sister, mother.

            This is a very different situation to Osho’s communes where women had tremendous power and total equality, actually much more power than men. All a girl, approached by a relationship with a man, would have to say is “no” or “I don’t want to” and he would leave her alone. I really don’t think we are talking about rape.

            Indian women had no choice in their marriage. And are married at very young ages.
            Osho’s mother was married to his father at age 7, although she would have lived with other women who taught her the ways of being a wife, Osho was born years later.

            There was an era in India where there where whole cities of Tantric temples and stone artwork , in various parts of the country. Most of those where vandalised and destroyed by invading moghul armies. Many of the old tantric scriptures where burnt.

            As far as the tantras are concerned, they teach respect for women, as well as a positive attitude towards sex.

            “The vagina is Mahamaya and the penis is Sadashiva. Worshipping them, one becomes liberated while still alive, there is no doubt about it.” (Yoni Tantra, Patala 5)

            “Liberation is achieved through enjoyment. Happiness is gained through enjoyment. Therefore, by every effort, a sadhaka should become an enjoyer. The wise man should always avoid blame, disgust, or shame of the yoni.” (Yoni Tantra, Patala 6)

            https://www.aghori.it/yoni_tantra_eng.htm

            Some of them are very open-minded: “One should practise tantra with one’s wife, another’s wife, a prostitute, a student, a maidan.” (Kali Tantra).

            • satyadeva says:

              The issue isn’t about women, it concerns teenagers, Shanti.

              And my point about the tantric texts is however respectful towards women and positive towards sex they are, they can readily be used to manipulate the vulnerable young, a prime example being the very instance you yourself quote: “One should practise tantra with…another’s wife…a student…a maidan.”

              Similarly, however much power and respect women enjoyed in the Sannyas world, there were quite large numbers of younger people who were left for lengthy periods to fend for themselves and were targets for ‘tantra-talking’ predators.

              This might make you feel uncomfortable but it happens to be true.

              • swamishanti says:

                No, it doesn’t make it feel uncomfortable. I don’t know how much of what you claim is true. I could be wrong but I don’t think you ever visited the Ranch.

                The tantras offer a very high level of respect to women actually. Women are worshipped like goddesses.

                “ The divine yoni is as brilliant as tens of millions of suns and as cool as tens of millions of moons.” (Shiva Samhita, 15th century)

                “Worshipping this causes Shivoham. Listen, Parvati! Krishna, after worshipping Radha’s yoni, became God Krishna. Sri Rama Janaki Nath worshipped Sita’s yoni. Vishnu, Brahma, the saints, and I myself all were born from a yoni. What knowledge in the three worlds can match the magnificence of the yoni?” (Yoni Tantra, Patala 4)“

                “If one should worship a hair-adorned Yoni, one becomes like a king. All acts become fruitful, no doubt of it.”

                “The vagina is Mahamaya and the penis is Sadashiva. Worshipping them, one becomes liberated while still alive, there is no doubt of it. One should offer Bali, flowers and so forth. If incapable of this, worship with wine, O Durga.”

                “If a person should gaze at a Yoni while ritually bathing, his life becomes fruitful. There is no doubt of this. One should look at one’s partner’s Yoni, at another woman’s Yoni, the Yoni of a maiden — in the absence of a maiden’s yoni one should gaze reverentially at the Yoni of a pupil.”

                (Yoni Tantra)

                “ The yoni, which has bled is suitable for worship. Do not worship a yoni, which has never bled. Worshipping a yoni, which has never bled causes loss of siddhi on every occasion.
                In the absence of the yoni of a maiden or a beautiful woman, worship the yoni of a sister or of a female pupil. Worship the yoni daily otherwise pronounces the mantra. Do not perform useless puja without yoni puja. “

                (Yoni Tantra)

                • satyadeva says:

                  Yes indeed, Shanti, but so what, are you really so naive? All that is grist for the mill for a predator.

                  I was at the Ranch only for the summer festival in ’83, but I’ve heard things from one or two people who lived there long-term. How about you?

  22. Lokesh says:

    The perpetrators of the serial abuse of underage girls in the various Osho communes have been named and shamed, Sheela’s tough titties were exposed in a glossy magazine, and Erin Robbins, known as Maitri, makes you wonder why it took her 43 years to write a letter to the Osho community, telling of her middle-of-the-night sessions with the master of masters.

    None of this news adds up to very much in today’s world, where millions of children are starving to death, bombs are dropped on innocent civilians daily, and rogue nations declare all-out war on their peaceful neighbours.

    “We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!” (Colonel Kurtz)

  23. Nityaprem says:

    None of which really addresses the legacy of Osho in our lives today. The commune was a mix of good and bad, for me it resulted in a very turbulent childhood, but also a wonderful introduction to the ideas of spirituality and Osho’s New Man.

    I think Lokesh was right to highlight the meeting with friends which had a satsang-like quality. Here in Holland we also have meetings of my extended family once a year or so, all my aunts and nephews and nieces, where people come together in love and friendship. That has something of a sannyas quality.

    For me, being with the people I love is a source of joy, and having a form of creative endeavour that I can engage in is important too, next to the chopping-wood-and-carrying-water. It was Osho too who pointed out that so many things that we think about are not important, but that love, intelligence and creativity stay.

    I still enjoy using that intelligence to see what I can encounter in books of spiritual teachings, nonduality, and even a bit of fiction. Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld. books are great light relief.

  24. Nityaprem says:

    I wanted to share this, I have just begun reading it, but even just the introduction has the flavour of a real work of devotion. Wonderful that it is now freely available over the internet…

    “In 1967 I met my guru. That meeting changed the course of my life, for through him I came to perceive my life in spiritual terms. In him I found new depths of compassion, love, wisdom, humour and power, and his actions stretched my understanding of the human possibility. I recognised in him an alliance of the human and the divine.”
    ( Ram Dass, ‘Miracle of Love’ )

    Later on in the intro Ram Dass talks about the availability of his guru even after he left his body, through the stories and anecdotes that people collected about him.

    ‘Miracle of Love: Stories About Neem Karoli Baba’, by Ram Dass
    https://maharajji.love/files/downloads/pdf_downloads/Miracle_of_Love_v1.pdf

    • Lokesh says:

      “I remember once lecturing in a hall back in the early 70s. At that time most of my audiences were very young and they tended to wear white and they tended to smile a lot and wear flowers. At that time I wore beads and had a long beard. I recall that in the front row of my audience there was one woman who was about 70 and she had on a hat with little cherries and strawberries and things like that on it, false ones. And she was wearing black oxfords and a print dress and she had a black patent leather bag and I looked at her and I couldn’t figure out what she was doing in the audience cause she was so dissimilar from all the rest of the audience.

      Our audiences were like a gathering of explorers clubs where we would come together and we would just share our experiences. So I started to describe some of my experiences, some of which were pretty far out and I looked at her and she was nodding with understanding, and I couldn’t believe that she could understand what I was talking about. I was describing experiences that I had had after using psychedelic chemicals, experiences that were very precious and far out.

      So I would try a little further out experience. I’d look over at her and there she was nodding away. I began to think maybe she had a problem with her neck that led her to nod and maybe it had nothing to do whatsoever with what I was saying. And I kept watching and getting more and more fascinated and getting more and more outrageous in what I was saying and she kept nodding and nodding.

      At the end of the lecture I couldn’t resist, I just kind of smiled to her so intensely that she just had to come up and speak to me.
      And she came up and she said, “Thank you so much. That makes perfect sense. That’s just the way I understand the universe to be.”
      And I said, “How do you know? I mean, what have you done in your life that has brought you into those kinds of experiences?”
      She leaned forward very conspiratorially and she said, “I crochet.”

      And at that moment I realized that the ways in which people arrive at spiritual understanding was certainly a much wider variety of paths than what I had anticipated. I had begun to think that my way was the only way, which seems to be a common illness of people who get into spiritual work.”

      (Ram Dass)

  25. Lokesh says:

    Over the years on SN, Shanti often adopts the role of defender of all things Osho and Sannyas, battling with the infidel to the point of appearing absurd. If evidence is needed look no further than his defence of Osho’s Rolls Royce collection, created to scare off the unfaithful. If you believe that bit of ridiculous Osho spin you are capable of believing anything. What Shanti misses is that the Sannyas movement was an experiment and experimentation involves making mistakes and things going wrong, as they often did. Anyone for a spot of salmonella dressing in their salad?

    Now we have Shanti going on about the age of consent in order to defend socially unacceptable behaviour by a few horny swamis in the communes, who could not keep their hands off the jail bait. And yes, they were named and shamed. And I know for sure that some of the guys genuinely regret what they did, for various reasons, and apologised publicly, because I talked to them about it, although after they expressed their regrets. Pretty decent men in my book, who made a mistake and had the guts to acknowledge it.

    Shanti comes across like he is condoning or promoting paedophilia. All that flimflam about yoni worship does not cut the mustard. “The vagina is Mahamaya and the penis is Sadashiva.” Hardly a line to use in a singles bar, maybe a tantric one.

    On my way home today I passed a group of young teenage girls chattering excitedly with each other and I thought to myself, what mature adult male would want to have sex with any of them? Nobody I know came to mind. Maybe Shanti?

    I always enjoyed Billy Connolly’s take on going to Muslim heaven and being greeted by twenty virgins. “Twenty fucking virgins! That’s a fuckin’ nightmare. Give me two fire-breathing whores any day.”

    • satyadeva says:

      Haha, yes, wonderful from ‘the Big Yin’!

    • swamishanti says:

      Lokesh:
      “Shanti comes across like he is condoning or promoting paedophilia.”

      I wrote clearly in one of my comments:

      “ ‘Paedophilia’ is a term that is being misused in recent years.
      What the definition of paedophila actually means is someone who is an adult or older adolescent who experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children.

      Nowadays it is being used to describe anyone who is attracted to someone under the age of consent.

      So how am I am promoting paedophilia? I have written that the term has become wrongly associated with attraction or sexual activity with someone under the age of consent.

      If some younger women have complained and their ex-lovers on a private Facebook group, some men felt genuinely bad about it and apologised, or just apologised because their ex felt upset, that is one thing. But I know that many did not feel mistreated and that is why I remembered my ex-girlfriend’s `jailbait` story.

      Sex is a big problem for some of those with a Christian conditioning and that includes most of the Western world,

      As well the Rolls Royces. Clearly the Rolls Royces bother you and it is something you consider a ‘mistake’. You took it seriously.

      I mean if someone believes that Osho was genuinely interested in collecting the same model of Rolls Royce over and over then it just looks silly to me. Not that you are a stupid man but perhaps a cog is missing.. or a little innocent.

      That time when he was in a period of silence designed to help lose people who where no so much into him, who where not ready for the deeper work as it were. It is difficult to understand for someone who has never had that heart connection to him, to a master.
      And many lost trust in him , but some still want to hang around on here, or feel he needs to be told off for not following the old ideas about spirituality.

      I can understand non-sannyasins or people who are new thinking like that but, for sure, it was his device.

      I know it bothers people and Osho knew it bothered people and he enjoyed provoking people. Also in an environment he was aware was surrounded by fundamentalist Christians.

      MOD:
      “I wrote clearly in one of my comments (and I noticed that a couple of lines were edited).”

      Your comment was certainly not edited by me, Shanti.

      SHANTI:
      I wrote something about an age in India where there lots of tantric Temples that were vandalised or destroyed by Muslim army invaders, that disapeared so I wrote it again.

      MOD:
      I haven’t seen that at all, Shanti.

      • satyadeva says:

        “If some younger women have complained about their ex-lovers on a private Facebook group, some men felt genuinely bad about it and apologised, or just apologised because their ex felt upset…”

        And/or perhaps some men felt scared of possible legal action taken by their ex-lovers?

    • satyadeva says:

      “What Shanti misses is that the Sannyas movement was an experiment and experimentation involves making mistakes and things going wrong, as they often did.”

      This key fact seems so often to be forgotten or ignored by those who prefer a rose (or even an orange)-tinted portrait of Sannyas and of Osho himself, denying even the possibility that he was capable of making a mistake. It’s one thing to be a master of one’s inner being, and a great spiritual master as well, another to take on the world’s greatest power in its own territory – daring, but misguided, ultimately beyond his capability. The appointment of Sheela being an obvious poor decision.

      • swamishanti says:

        The appointment of Sheela I agree was a big mistake.

        93 Rollers not so. Perhaps they bother you.

        • satyadeva says:

          Sorry to disappoint, Shanti, but I don’t recall being particularly bothered by the 93 RRs, I was too busy with more personal concerns.

          Apart from behaving like an archetypal eastern potentate, fascinated by baubles from other lands, it was, it seems to me, not so much a means to weed out ‘undesirables’ from his movement, but a consciously absurdist stunt designed to stimulate media attention – and controversy – in the belief that “all publicity is good publicity”, ie to spread his name and what he was up to far and wide, in the confidence that he’d ultimately be able to win over America or at least create huge public awareness and debate about religion, society, politics, moral values, sex, love…with his own commune providing a living example of a new style of living.

          A gamble, of course, he must have known he was up against massive odds, but Osho was a gambler and enjoyed it – and no gambler has a 100% record of success. No need to spell out the story again, we all know how it ended. There’s sometimes a fine line between courage and recklessness, and Osho seems to have underestimated the ruthless determination of the forces lined up against him that he provoked in a number of ways, notably through the appaling Sheela, his very own appointee.

      • satchit says:

        “The appointment of Sheela being an obvious poor decision.”

        No, sorry, it was a device.

        Tell me one experiment in the world that did not fail!? It had to fail by its very nature.

        And it failed beautifully, a great story.

        • satyadeva says:

          Here we go again…the foolish, naive notion that Osho had infallible judgment in all circumstances and of all people.

          “it failed beautifully”, did it, when the effects of failure included the incarceration and poisoning of Osho, considerably shortening his life?

          • satchit says:

            Nobody speaks of “infallible judgment”. His intuition did choose Sheela and the outcome followed.

            Not everbody believes in his poisoning, there are some who say it was because of the laughing gas.

            • satyadeva says:

              So what was “beautiful” about the failure where Sheela played a pivotal role by alienating many people and the powers-that-be? It was a clumsy, stupid policy, perhaps suited to India but showing no understanding of the dynamics of American society.

              To cite the gas as the chief cause of Osho’s severe ill health is clutching at straws, the evidence we’ve heard points the other way. Nothing “beautiful” there, apart from his determination to keep appearing before his people, if he possibly could.

              And nothing “beautiful” about his imprisonment.

              • satchit says:

                Maybe he did choose Sheela to get rid of a few disciples.

                Being attached to the master or to the Ranch can not be the goal.

                Poisoning or gas is a question of opinion.

                Maybe you should read Lokesh’s new famous book.

                • satyadeva says:

                  Satchit, my main point is that you’re mistaken to describe the demise of the Ranch (and thereby the whole American enterprise) as “beautiful”. You haven’t provided an answer yet.

                • satchit says:

                  SD, if you are the watcher on the hill, and Osho surely was, then even destruction can be beautiful.

                  I remember in a lecture he mentioned how beautiful was the destruction of a building in the ashram.

                  Maybe Shanti finds the quote (Pune 1).

                • satyadeva says:

                  Satchit, this is totally specious, sentimental nonsense. I ask you again, what was “beautiful” about Sheela’s arrogant antics, about how Osho was treated in various US prisons, about the serious deterioration in his health following his imprisonment (confirmed, by the way, as due to having been poisoned by thallium)?

                  And let’s take your “watcher on the hill” rationalisation to an extreme: Do you think Osho would have viewed the destruction of large parts of the world and countless millions of people through nuclear war as “beautiful”?

                • Lokesh says:

                  Political power is ugly. Power over others is ugly. It is inhuman, because to have power over somebody means to reduce that person into a thing. He becomes your possession. (OSHO)

                • satchit says:

                  Specious, SD?

                  I have explained it to you and if you don’t understand or don’t want to understand or you want to be with your opinion,
                  it’s ok for me, I am not here to convince you.

                  Btw, do you think Arsenal has a chance against Bayern Munich?

                • satyadeva says:

                  You’ve failed to answer my very specific questions, Satchit. You often make similarly unsatisfactory responses here, resorting to unconvincing, out-of-context generalities (well outside your own experience of course) which makes it generally unrewarding to engage in dialogue with you.

                  You give the impression of living in a pseudo-spiritual dream, threatened by anything that might disrupt your ‘waking sleep’.

                  (As for Arsenal/Bayern, I expect goals at both ends, and make Arsenal slight favourites over the two legs. But I wouldn’t bet on this one).

                • satchit says:

                  “You’ve failed to answer my very specific questions, Satchit. You often make similarly unsatisfactory responses here, resorting to unconvincing, out-of-context generalities (well outside your own experience of course) which makes it generally unrewarding to engage in dialogue with you.

                  You give the impression of living in a pseudo-spiritual dream, threatened by anything that might disrupt your ‘waking sleep’.”

                  SD, if something is unsatisfactory for you it is because of you, not because of me.

                  Nobody did force you to do unrewarding dialogue with me.

                  What would be rewarding for you? Yes, whatever SD says is perfectly right?

                  Yes, I live in a pseudo-spiritual dream.

                  Would this make you happy?

                • satyadeva says:

                  Bothering to provide proper answers to my (and others’) questions would be a good start, Satchit.

                  But as that won’t be happening any time soon, rather than being sucked into your orbit I’m withdrawing my attention from you.

                • satchit says:

                  SD, I can understand that you have fear to be sucked into my orbit, because I talk a bit irrational.

                  For example, I am not a believer like you who believes in the poisoning.
                  I say, maybe it has happened, maybe not.

                  Btw, You also don’t answer my question:

                  Tell me one social experiment in the world that did not fail.

                • satyadeva says:

                  What you do a lot, Satchit, is provide so-called ‘answers’ that while purporting to explain everything, in fact explain nothing. A common flaw among lazy, shallow (while pretending to be the opposite) thinkers, notably perpetrated by those who misuse spiritual concepts as a substitute for making an effort to really look at issues.

                • satchit says:

                  Thank you for your projections and judgements, SD.

                  What shall I do with them? Nothing. No need to defend myself against them.

                  You don’t know me at all and you also don’t know my motivation here on SN.

                  But I don’t blame it on you. Reason is certainly also the narrow communication on the net, keyhole communication.

                • satyadeva says:

                  A predictable response from someone who never gives a straight answer to questions which might show him up.

                  As for “you also don’t know my motivation here on SN”, well, perhaps you should explain this yourself, Satchit, as I don’t think the SN clientele includes any remote mind-readers.

                  So what exactly is your purpose here? A little gentle exercise to help you go back to sleep? It’s time to reveal the answer to the mystery!

                • satchit says:

                  Really, SD, I did expect more from you.

                  I am here for fun.
                  Meanwhile, it has become the fun that one has in a madhouse. Comments are changed or deleted.

                  One parrot screaming in the dark: “You never ever give an answer… you never ever…you never…!”

                  MOD:
                  “Comments are changed or deleted.”
                  Be specific about any such complaint, as if you’re insinuating some sort of corruption here then you’re 100% mistaken. Any more of such gratuitous garbage and you’ll be banned.

                • satchit says:

                  Nobody speaks of corruption.

                  “The site isn’t secure.” Are you sure that others don’t have access?

                  MOD:
                  What do you think “the site isn’t secure” means, Satchit?

                  Today, for instance, I noticed that the list (at Admin.) of all the articles ever published at SN now contains dozens of legal articles, nothing whatever to do with the site.

                  And re “Nobody speaks of corruption”, see today’s exchanges with Veet Tom.

        • Lokesh says:

          Experiments, both failed and successful ones, can be used to test a hypothesis. Besides, there is never a failed experiment because sometimes unwanted data may lead to groundbreaking discoveries such as the discovery of X-ray and cosmic microwave background.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Well written, though, this comment by Lokesh on Swamishanti’s defence of Osho.

      The whole idea of Osho as some kind of spiritual superman is very much rooted in Indian thinking on gurus. Personally, I think Osho’s gifts did not extend to infallibility. And I don’t feel the need to defend him as such.

      For me, Osho’s words make me feel more free when I read them. They lift the burden of ignorance I carry, enlighten my view of the spiritual world, and help turn my gaze towards the divine. That for me is the real function of a guru.

      The book on Neem Karoli Baba that I am reading also speaks a lot on the nature of the Indian guru, it is excellent.

  26. Lokesh says:

    Showing in a cinema near you…

  27. Nityaprem says:

    I think a lot of the anti-cult websites and YouTube channels carrying stories of sannyasin teenagers who suffered abuse have their own agendas. As if any even slightly cult-like movement has to be painted as totally negative. It’s their schtick, their reason for existing.

    Even with Erin Robbins’ story, if you look a little deeper you can see the influence of her psychotherapist in formulating it. These people also have reputations to protect, as an ‘expert deprogrammer’ or so.

    It’s all negative stuff. It’s the recent discovery that negative social media is more effective in persuading people to engage than even cat pictures. Many of the things in your Facebook feed try to make you upset, angry, off-balance. It is not life-positive.

    • satyadeva says:

      That’s right, Nityaprem, and it’s always been true of newspapers, radio and tv news as well. Barry Long, a former newspaper editor in Australia, used to say “the media carry the contagion and spread it far and wide”, infecting the population with and preying upon its negative emotions.

      • Nityaprem says:

        True, the regular news media have long known of the power of the provocative and the worrying and negative. It’s the reason why I only take a small amount of news every day — the Dutch national news service website once a day is enough for me.

        But anti-cult news is very specific in that it has a negative standpoint to certain movements, the very name already says it. I listened to a few of these, to see what had become of the kids I used to know, but I very quickly stepped away from it.

        I try to fill my days with something more positive, and try to help bring a little more light into the world.

  28. VeetTom says:

    Easter is around the corner so I was drawn towards interesting Jesus discussions again. I listened to so named Thomas quotes from his Gospel, doubted by the Church…etc.

    About his disciples I saw a German movie about the other, the Doubting Thomas. I liked all of that, not just because Osho spoke about self-doubt in my Sannyas Darshan…Scientific articles about certain parts or versions of the Bible, written when and in which language, are worth reflecting on. So many aspects about sources and influences are studied and explored freely and not influenced by Church dogmas any longer.

    In our time – between SwaMas – you can already see so many schisms and splits in our religious interpretations. Mindblowing!

    But at least we cannot spill Osho’s words.

    • Nityaprem says:

      Here in the Netherlands it is almost the season of celebrating the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, which comes close to Easter, and there are usually many live performances of the Mattheus Passion which people can go to attend. It is a bit of a celebration of classical music.

      For me my thoughts go to my grandparents, who had more of a tradition with celebrating Easter, besides the feast with the eggs and things.

  29. Lokesh says:

    I asked Chat Bot about the new SN book and it replied…

    ” ‘The Very Best and Worst of Sannyas News, Volume Two’” is a collection of articles, interviews and stories from Sannyas News, a publication associated with the spiritual movement led by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, also known as Osho. The book likely delves into various aspects of the movement, including its teachings, practices, controversies and the experiences of its followers.

    Sannyas refers to the path of spiritual seekers who have taken initiation into the movement and follow the teachings of Osho. The book may explore different perspectives within the Sannyas community, reflecting both positive and negative aspects of their experiences and the wider context of the movement.

    Given the title, it seems the book aims to present a balanced view of the Sannyas movement, highlighting both its strengths and weaknesses as perceived by its followers and critics. It could serve as a valuable resource for those interested in understanding the dynamics of spiritual communities and the complexities of following a charismatic spiritual leader like Osho.”

    • Nityaprem says:

      That’s hilarious… it seems to reason about the content from the title, that’s a bit more AI than I was expecting from a chatbot.

      I hear in the news that Apple is negotiating with Google and OpenAI to include their AI technology into the iPhone, that would be a nice thing to have with the next operating system update.

  30. VeetTom says:

    Yes, your mails were in my automatic spam-folder.
    I just rescued your address out of that silly automatic system.
    Sorry for the delay!

  31. VeetTom says:

    You are either cheating here or you’ve lost control of this board completely. Many of my comments are here waiting to be released and you always have the final words and I am put into the ditch. Let’s end that silly stuff.

    MOD:
    “You are either cheating here or you’ve lost control of this board completely.”
    Veet Tom, neither of these statements is true and I’d appreciate an apology. It’s also nonsense to claim that your comments are always ignored and “put into the ditch”.
    It is true, however, that the mod always has the final word (after listening to complaints) but that’s just how things are, there’s no practical alternative.

  32. VeetTom says:

    I originally wrote this in ‘Sannyas – Lost & Found’ (at ‘Sannyas Wiki’).

    1.
    “Someone here mentioned the fb group: Rajneesh Communes 1974-1990 – I’ve been there – for two days – and had enough of it.

    They discuss Osho receiving Blow-Jobs by one of his dancing medium-girls, and talk about a huge amount of sexually misused sannyasin children wherever. To me this is dying Sannyas mind of some hateful self-destroyers, killing their former positive memories and love maybe by trying to get back to some neutral balance in their poor lives somehow.

    2.
    A distant friend sent me the original script today which proves this thing is still circulating. I read it again, and also saw the booklist of other breakdown-cases only. I once posted some thoughts about it in that residents-group where they dicussed it first to my eyes. You did not read that until now? So let “Lord Maya” test your awareness and understanding, or just forget my mentioning this again.

    I didn’t follow this gangster story any longer and I don’t see much value in it. But to watch what may pop up inside may have some significance.

    A certain story comes to my mind again. My father – a dentist – once told me about possible complications in his job. He said that when you narcotize a female patient before extracting a bad tooth you need to be be aware to have your dental assistant by your side as a witness, because it sometimes happens that a female patient later on goes to court because she believes in having been grabbed and misused by the doctor while in deep narcosis.

    https://www.erinrobbins.life/

    3.
    It’s a tragedy – sort of – that this (possible) sannyasin Ma with no deep awareness but enough possibilties of therapy and all possible help for sexual healing – after 40 years of inner conflict – does act as if under the influence of a Harvey – Osho – Weinstein.

    It’s sad to play the “ME TOO” game with a long dead Osho. I think quite surely this is purely imaginated self-illusioning that comes from a suppressed sexuality and maybe because of sexual misuse by her father, some relative, or else – or she;s had other additional problems – who knows?

    Many Mas and Swamis have gone through lots of psychological problems before they were called by this master who used western therapy and healing methods of all kinds to free them from their past, misuse and tortures – but not all of us have used this offering totally and willingly enough.

    That close medium, dancing naked for Osho who touches her vagina and lets her do blow jobs on him & describes in her article such an exaggerated, crazy form of so-called-love-for-Osho that she pictures herself kind of his puppet without free will. She excuses her weird fantasies with this incredibly hysterical love-story. Something has gone completely nuts with her. But read and feel it for yourself while watching your bias popping up…

    Some women get completely lost in their romantic love fantasies, their buried lust and fragile forbidden ecstasy, not being able anymore to watch themselves while completely getting lost and drugged in a way. This may explode eventually when you are mentally unstable.

    Osho used women’s vivid ability to surrender and letting go in his Darshans while filling them up with energy. This poor Ma got overwhelmed and lost her mind it seems. She obviously is a cuckoo and had psychological black-outs – sooner or later.

    Men are more mind and power-oriented and won’t throw themselvs away like that – out of control…if not at war, or in a fighting mode of course. They create other blind spots and dangers to their enemies and themselves.

    Therapists and those who know a little bit of the psyche will get that point more easily. But tragically, all those traumatized elderly ladies – who completely buy into this story without a single doubt in those comments – at that certain weird Sannyas commune group – approving and cheering her up, thinking she is very courageous, adoring her with their oh so heartfelt compassion. This is really crazy stuff. Some women in rage and hate against that dirty old man who misused a beautiful loving angle of love…Weird stuff!

    4.
    In that commune-group this is not the only article on possible sexual abuse. One Dutch former Ma speaks again and again about being molested by elderly Swamis while being a teenager. I saw the documenetary on German tv some years ago. It is mostly about her mother not taking care at all and dropping her somewhere in the kids-group. Later the daughter tries to revive the feeling of being left alone by her mother and they both talk – together and alone – in front of the camera.
    This documentary film was (of course) wrapped by the producer or broadcaster in such a way to diss and blame the complete Sannyas thing. But I felt ok about the film itself because if you neglect this typical media damnation it was just a personal story about a daughter-mother conflict.

    Sannyas kids may have felt without parental loving care and were lost in a young commune with mistakes and errors of all kinds. Some stupid Swamis may even have taken advantage of young virgins who were without motherly attention and advice – I do not doubt that completely. Many things may have gone wrong and are not to be excused. Such things may pop up later on and have their right to be spoken about.

    But that group I just left – even if it tries to expose hidden injuries and violations – is more yellow press gossiping than true information and discussion. Ok, so be it. But those troubled possible victims may need real therapy or even the law, while hate and bashing in social media does not really go deep and in a healing way.

    All this may still be a phase to go through – but that ridiculous blow-job-story reveals a distracted person. If you listened to Sheela about Osho you had the same impression of bullshit produced by a mind that wants to hide instead of shedding light.

  33. Lokesh says:

    Tom, all that info and half-baked snippets of old news you have cobbled together and now want to publish has all been covered before on SN in one form or another. It is not breaking news. As for your pop-psychology interpretation of why people do the things they do, I suggest it needs working on.

    Topics concerning Osho’s Rolls Royces, Colonel Sheela Kurtz giving sannyasins a taste of fascism, and sex scandals in the communes have all reached their sell-by date because nobody wants to buy into them after 30 years doing the rounds, except perhaps a few bored souls with nothing better to do. It is all old hat. Gossip at best that has all already been gone over with a fine-toothed comb on this site to bring us to the conclusion…it was all a failed device for awakening our consciousness and a very successful device on a social level in the sense that it makes it perfectly clear that Osho said yes to almost everyone, including a lot of very stupid people.

      • VeetTom says:

        But no, as well:
        This was just an old thread at ‘Sannyas Lost & Found’ on fb. I wrote it two years ago. Because the Osho sex thing came up here on SN again I added this Blow-Job Vagina-fingering story again, that many Mas applauded over there in that residents’ group.

        It is not a rare thing. Just yesterday I got this comment she put on her wall for everyone to read:

        “Michelle Ropczycki
        Thomas Gärner: Oh I know Osho, I do not respect that man, I was a part of that cult!”

        • VeetTom says:

          Anyway…we know this has happened a lot and there is nothing to worry or care much about Sannyas getting dropped here and there.

          In therapy groups we may have learned these things inside and outside of “me, the watcher”. I just remembered the fabulous “layers of the onion” about the individual coming closer to the centre or not….

    • Nityaprem says:

      The whole anti-cult movement desperately wants to find some reason to add Osho to their pile of scalps, and that is why these old topics keep being brought up. The people involved in them have likely moved on by now, having had their say years ago, but because there is nothing else to talk about these old things keep being treated as current.

      It is a fact that those podcasters who make the news have their own agendas, not least Facebook who seem to enjoy spreading anything negative and controversial to drive clicks and engagement.

      In my eyes the Sannyas movement was not a cult; it may have shared a few characteristics such as having a single leader, but it was very open, people were allowed to come and go. It was not perfect, that is true, and there were some shady goings-on, but it’s all long past the statute of limitations.

      • Lokesh says:

        NP says, “In my eyes the Sannyas movement was not a cult.”

        As you believe so the world will appear. Sannyas ticks most of the boxes in the ‘Is this a cult?’ questionnaire.

        Just because some human organization is a cult does not mean it is a bad thing. It just means it is a cult.

        • swamishanti says:

          No, not a cult. A gathering of rebels, around a rebellious Buddha. A Buddhafield.

          • Nityaprem says:

            That I would agree with, Swamishanti, and well stated. It was a gathering of like-minded individuals, spiritual seekers, around a modern Buddha.

            Wikipedia states a cult is “a group which is typically led by a charismatic and self-appointed leader, who tightly controls its members, requiring unwavering devotion to a set of beliefs and practices which are considered deviant (outside the norms of society)”, while Sannyas has the leader thing, but not tight control or unwavering devotion, or much in the way of deviant practices unless you count meditation.

            I think it’s very debatable whether Sannyas was a cult, and in some ways it was just ahead of its time. Many people now do mindfulness meditation daily. Of course, the anti-cult people don’t like that, they don’t want people doing anything as recognisable as dressing all in red and standing up for what they believe in.

            But it was a unique time, the seventies and early eighties, when the counter-culture was still rumbling before it got buried in a tidal wave of materialism and easy money. Maybe something like wearing a mala and red clothes wouldn’t be as accepted today.

          • Lokesh says:

            Shanti, that sounds like cult-speak.

            There are many definitions of what represents being in a cult. Some of those definitions run along the line of a cult is a group or movement held together by a shared commitment to a charismatic leader or ideology. It has a belief system that has the answers to all of life’s questions and offers a special solution to be gained only by following the leader’s ideas.

            This is, once again on SN, a recurring topic that has been covered before.

            I view much about the Sannyas movement as having a cult-like mentality around it. Being in a cult might not necessarily mean it is a bad thing. Some cults, like Sannyas, have much that is good to offer.

            “Wear orange. Your new name is…” Another characteristic that cult members often share in common is their denial that they are a cult member. They can go to quite extraordinary lengths in trying to prove they are not in a cult.

            Nothing brings cult members together quite like denying that they are in a cult. They view the perspective that they belong to a cult as antagonistic and have a variety of stock phrases, based in lofty principles, that they readily employ to prove they do not belong to a cult-like movement. This is just another example of cult-like behaviour. You would have to belong to a cult in order not to see the warped logic applied by cult members trying to prove they are not in a cult. To someone outside of the cult their tactics of denial are obvious. Those in the cult do not recognize their warped logic for what it is and actively support one another in promoting it as the truth.

            • Lokesh says:

              Shanti writes, ‘On the path with Osho he can help you grow very quickly, dissolving into love and bliss with him.’

              Is that so? You do not exactly come across like you are someone who is dissolving into love and bliss. Far from it. Just a nudge and you are blowing your emotional poison darts all over the place and imagining the CIA is watching you.

              Meanwhile you find reports from a female sannyasin, claiming Osho was sticking his fingers down her throat, holding her throat, even drugging her – she was hallucinating all night – she was threatened to be killed, “good for a laugh”. You sound like you are on the path to becoming a paranoid schizophrenic more than anything else.

            • swamishanti says:

              I wrote a response to Lokesh’s comment from the 22 March, 2024 at 7:27 am, which was deleted by Lokesh on that day, along with several other comments. So I have had to rewrite some of them. He began with:
              “Shanti, that sounds like cult-speak.”

              I replied to his comment with something like:

              “Yes I know your perception of the master/disciple relationship is quite simplistic and you appear quite childish, with your idea that you where in a cult yet you want to hold onto Osho.

              You sometimes appear like an angry teenager arguing with Osho as a father figure. It is obvious you have a problem with him yet you cling to him. An enlightened master like Osho has a particular purpose, his help for the meditator, he also acts as protective force on the path with Osho he can help you grow very quickly, dissolving into love and bliss with him.”

              Although I can’t remember exactly what I wrote, but Lokesh’s response to that comment which was also deleted has reappeared there on the page.

          • satchit says:

            The irony is, Shanti, only a rebel can smile and say: “Yes, call me member of a cult!”

  34. VeetTom says:

    What to do?

    You suggest to copy each comment, or the reply to a reply and if it disappears…repost it to prove the liquidation?
    I am ready now to drop this question, for I am without any answer to what is happening here.

    So be it. Into your hands I commit my comments ;-)

    MOD:
    Yes, copying each comment you make would be a good idea.

  35. VeetTom says:

    I am reminded of those front row girls, screaming and fainting in a rock concert with their beloved boy-group. That started (to my eyes) at those early Beatles concerts.

    Women in ecstasy. Paramedics carrying them out of the ballroom. Girls just have that hysterical ability to surrender completely – for a while….

  36. swamishanti says:

    This sounds like an angry reaction from Lokesh.

  37. Nityaprem says:

    I know about it from videos, interviews with people, and hearing it discussed. I just think boarding schools are a terrible abnegation of the idea of loving parenting. Not that the Ranch was much better.

    The best environment, the most natural for a child, is the tribe, a group of loving and known adults from several extended families. It has been shown that tribes in ancient times were up to 150 people, and that the optimum is probably considerably lower in terms of our ability to comfortably maintain relations.

    In a way, a big problem for me as a child was the size of the Ranch. There were a lot of adults that I didn’t know or relate to, and it wasn’t always easy being thrust into new situations, like the habit of the mas in charge changing the place you worked every few months. This made it even more difficult to relate to people.

    Age 12-13 (which I was when I was there) is a difficult age to be in such an adult environment, too old to be with the little ones learning about geography and letters, too young to work a full day. It’s just in between.

  38. VeetTom says:

    Swamishanti says:
    “The comments got muddled around in the wrong order today.”

    Lately that happened a lot to me also. The continuous thread is broken quite often – and then suddenly it works again. Caravanserai works out well in this concern – but just in one comment only.
    The groups are broken as well, I tried it. A real thread and a to follow a full posting is even impossible there.

    A good board allows to open new threads for anyone – the real time-line works well – you get notified if you choose so – and time after time the old threads move to page 2, then 3 and so on. So old stuff disappears from the top pages and eyes but is not lost as well, and can be revived any time.

    But the leading few, the inner circle so to say, don’t want a new board. So we have to surrender…lol.

    MOD:
    There won’t be a new board, VT, we don’t have the resources or the expertise to manage that. SN has been on borrowed time, as it were, since Parmartha and Dharmen passed away in 2017/18. If it finally becomes more trouble than it’s worth then it too will pass away, although hopefully it’ll be somehow preserved, which of course is already partially happening via Lokesh’s fine compilations, ‘The Very Best and Worst of Sannyas News’, Volumes 1 and 2.

  39. VeetTom says:

    Hi Shanti,

    I got your comment via mail – and I can see it here on caravanserai. That area works well – just like boards usually do.
    Yes, the things you mentioned above have disappeared to my eyes as well. Remarkable!

    The mod helps me often enough and corrects my hurried mistakes whenever I in a friendly way ask him to do so…but he emphasises too often he is not deleting our comments.

    I think he may be playing games, and he likes the authority of certain friends (like Lokesh) better – so they never, ever complain. That’s fact. So doubt is needed as we the misfits may know very well…as far as I can see…

    But there also is the possibility that the Osho.org has some hidden influence here. They usually tend do decide what fits with our good image and what can be excluded – for this is a public mirror after all.

    Posted here now and sent by mail as well.

    Love.

    MOD:
    “The mod…emphasises too often he is not deleting our comments. I think he may be playing games….”

    Veet Tom, I have to emphasise this because you complain so much!

    If you think I delete anyone’s comments without good reason (eg gratuitous personal abuse, obscenities etc., ie the ‘rules’ and standards that everyone here is aware of) then you’re choosing to create and believe an untruth – and ignoring the depleted condition of this site, not to mention some people’s suspicions that it’s at times under attack from malevolent (or would-be well meaning) forces (an idea that I neither agree nor disagree with, btw).

    • swamishanti says:

      I did reply to you last night, VT, but today when I looked my comment had completely disappeared, and Lokesh deleted some comments yesterday, I have proof of that, so some of the comments ended up in the wrong order and also I noticed one of my comments with a very positive account from a Ko Hsuan student for the Loveosho podcast had also dissapeared, been trashed.

      So I have had to rewrite it.
      I also wrote that Osho.org doesn’t have any influence over this small site, that much I am sure.

  40. VeetTom says:

    My shorty: ” So be it” at 11:04 pm was a reply to Nityaprem at 5:42 pm
    “Relax, and let go.
    Make no effort.
    Be at peace.”

    The timeline goes along the time-stamp of the admin, not as a continuum and direct follow-up in real time.

  41. VeetTom says:

    I am here so often these days because my bad knee keeps me away from going out, or even driving in my freelancer job – I have to admit.

    I can see the mod coming in at least every half an hour. He has to allow each and every comment before it gets out in public – quite a fulltime job as a controle freak. Sorry, but that’s just true.

    That’s why the weird time delay of posts does happen which makes us confused because we can’t see the discussion flow like a ususal discussion anymore, that should be in natural real time.

    I am tired of this and I will pull back now. The pros and cons are mostly intelligent spoken here and the way the mod puts us all down in his kindergarten is not healthy anymore.

    What kind of group with only four people is here to be controlled that way – all the time – with every word we say? Misbehaving fools have to be controlled because they may escape from the rules any moment? This is our bad karma it seems.

    Love.

    MOD:
    Veet Tom, you’re pretty new here and might not know that SN posts have always been subject to moderation, for good reasons, examples of which are your constant complaints that show how little experience you have both of SN and of how to run such a site.

    I suggest you read the following to educate yourself a little instead of whining about being so ‘hard done by’:

    Apart from correcting basic mistakes in posts (eg spelling, grammar, use of language, punctuation, paragraphing – your own being a good example) so that they’re well presented and easily readable, as well as making sure there’s no undue personal abuse or irrelevant comments, allowing one or two people to post without prior moderation has resulted in problems like those people accusing one another of deleting each other’s posts, which is an unwelcome drain on time and energy.

    Outside interference may be inevitable unfortunately, as is a degree of system malfunction, due to the technical deterioration of the site, but such internal interference is absolutely unacceptable, hence the need to withdraw this sort of freedom rather than making it apply to all contributors.

    • Nityaprem says:

      I have a lot of experience of different forums, ranging from the uniformly well-behaved (eg Buddhist) to the highly variable (eg mental health, free-thinker) and the moderating approach is usually a result of the past behaviour of visitors.

      SannyasNews seems to me quite well run, and if the mod(s) here have decided that it’s necessary to review every comment before publishing, that is reasonable. On blogs it’s often a similar system to prevent spammers from getting in.

      • Nityaprem says:

        I’m just reminded today that a lot of spirituality is about…

        …deconditioning.

        Time is great at this, if you take enough rest and peace and quiet, you end up forgetting all the rubbish and coming closer to a natural state. A certain time of seclusion is really useful in allowing you to let go of everything that you used to think of as important.

        …celebration and joy
        Music has been my gateway to this over the morning. I love listening to upbeat party music that makes you happy. Dance is a nice supplement but just music is enough.

        …self-observation
        I find it useful to observe myself. Sometimes I see a thought or emotion and wonder where it came from, and I take a closer look at the workings of my mind. It’s about awareness of the mind.

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