His message to me - don't let anything distract you from your goal; pursue it aggressively.
I will never forget the day I hesitantly went to seek Osho's blessing in Pune - it was my birthday. There were scores of people waiting to see him and I chivalrously let many of them go ahead of me. To my shock, when I was almost at the end of the queue, Osho suddenly looked straight at me, got up and left!
That was his message to me - don't let anything distract you from your goal; pursue it aggressively. From that day onwards, there was a change in my life's direction.
Back in Mumbai, my films lit up the marquee but my connection with Osho never broke off - my body was in Mumbai, but my soul was there.
Although I wanted sanyas immediately, people dissuaded me because I was an actor, a public figure. But soon, an inexplicable feeling overwhelmed me. I sensed Osho's presence everywhere; one day, the call grew so irresistible that I felt I must leave for Pune immediately and become his disciple.
My heart was thumping when I was let in through the gates and walked down the driveway. As I took off my shoes at the entrance and saw Osho sitting in the distance, I felt I was being drawn into a charged atmosphere.
He looked as if he had been sitting there for a lifetime, just waiting for me. Then he smiled and said, 'So you have come.' It was as simple as that.
Osho on meditation
Meditation was important to Osho. There was no daily routine at the ashram, only meditation. That does not mean you have to take up sanyas forever.
Osho said that ultimately, meditation is not about sitting quietly; the real art of being a sanyasin is to remain in the world, enjoying its pleasures - sex included - while at the same time freeing oneself of attachment through meditation.
Not surprisingly, he was a controversial figure and wound up being dubbed as a 'sex guru' because he spoke freely on the therapeutic powers of sex!
All this may sound glamourous but it wasn't an easy path to tread. When I took sanyas, my marriage broke up. On returning to Mumbai, I rebuilt my life. I re-married and had two children. I also went back to films but my priorities had changed; fame no longer enticed me.
Shortly, I got involved in politics. This, when I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be a politician one day! These are the mysterious ways of Osho. He takes you through various journeys.
If I had to, I would do it all over again. Osho has changed my perspective of life. Today, I live life moment to moment. There is no anger or jealousy in me. Instead, there is empathy, compassion and love. I also accept others more easily.
People remark that I haven't quit smoking or drinking, but these are mere bodily habits. If they stay, they stay; if they drop, they drop.
And there is no question about whether I am still a believer of Osho. Although Osho never left behind any dictates, his teachings are with me all the time - what I experienced with him is all there within me.
And I know that no matter where I am and what I am doing, it does not matter as long as I do it totally and absolutely...
(As told to Jasmeen Dugal)