Not so long ago I asked my father what were the most significant books in his life. He answered, P.D. Ouspensky’s ‘In search of the Miraculous’, and any Osho book (of course). Apparently he had read Ouspensky’s book on Gurdjieff some years before running across Osho’s picture in an alternative magazine and thinking, that man is it, I must speak to him. The following summer he was on the plane to India to spend time at the Ashram. This would have been 1978.
Of course, Ouspensky describes his own time as a disciple of Gurdjieff, and serves as an introduction to my father’s thinking of the concept of following a master, if not quite in the Indian sense of the word, then at least in practical terms a similar affair. Ouspensky’s relationship with Gurdjieff was first one of ideas and teachings, whether it later became one of the heart is difficult to tell from the book. Still, that impulse to follow a remarkable man is something a lot of sannyasins will find familiar.
For my father, Osho is the one and only guru. For me, although I share a lot of Osho background with him and still consider myself a sannyasin, I have read a little more widely in recent years, taking in much Buddhism and the books of Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and H. W. L. Poonja, among others. In a way, I am still a seeker, while he considers himself to have found all he needs. I am sure it has something to do with the formative stages of my childhood in which I first encountered Osho, as I was only 7 when we first boarded the plane to Bombay in 1979.
We were all seekers once. And those sannyasins who went to see Poonjaji in Lucknow after Osho left his body continued seeking. The real question is, do you eventually give up the search? In a way, searching implies a goal, something that is sought. In the beginning what motivated my father, and what I felt when I started studying Buddhism was a certain impulse, something from the heart.
Osho has said…
“One has to be available to many sources. It is good that you have been to Shivanand, to Ramana, to Aurobindo. It shows you have been seeking — but it also shows that nowhere could you feel at home. So the journey continues. The journey has to continue until you come to a point where you can say: Yes, I have arrived. Now there is no need for any more departures. And you can relax. Then the real work starts.
Whatsoever you have been doing is just moving from one place to another. The journey is exciting, but the journey is not the goal. One becomes enriched by the journey. You must have become enriched being open to so many sources; you must have learnt many things — but still the journey continues. Then you will have to seek again and again.”
Osho – ‘The Search – Talks on The Ten Bulls of Zen’, chapter 4, Question 2
So, does one arrive “home” when one finds the final guru?