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Journey of the Heart

In Focus

Preventing Deprssion : Swami Satya Vedant

Depression is a serious debilitating disease. It affects every facet of life for one suffering from it. Sadly it is also on the increase at an alarming rate. It is estimated that ten million Americans are affected by depression every year; that more women than men suffer from depression. Depression is estimated to affect as many as 1 in 8 people in their teen years.

It affects people of every color, race, economic status, or age. For some teenagers, a negative, stressful, or unhappy family atmosphere can affect their self-esteem and lead to depression. This can also include high-stress living situations such as poverty;

Osho’s observation is that, particularly in the West, the depression is going to be very deep. In the East, there have been rich people, but there was a certain dimension available. When the road to richness came to an end, they did not remain stuck there; they moved into a new direction. That new direction was in the air, available for centuries.

In the East the poor have been in a very good condition, and the rich have been in a tremendously good condition. The poor have learned contentment so they do not bother about running after ambition. And the rich have understood that one day one has to renounce it all and go in search of truth, in search of meaning.

“In the West, at the end, the road simply ends. You can go back, but going back will not help your depression. You need a new direction. The first thing in life is to find meaning in the present moment. The basic flavor of your being should be of love, of rejoicing, of celebration. Then you can do anything; dollars will not destroy it. But you put everything aside and simply run after dollars thinking that dollars can purchase everything. And then one day you find they cannot purchase anything -- and you have devoted your whole life to dollars. This is the cause of depression.
The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch.2,Q.1

As Osho explains, in the East depression has never been a problem. The poor learned to enjoy whatever little they had, and the rich learned that having wealth and glory means nothing -- one needs to go in a search for meaning, not for money. Gautam Buddha, Mahavira, and many others were at the peak of richness, but they realized that something else had to be found before death approaches. In view of conditions in the West, Osho’s guidance is that “there is no need to be in despair, in depression -- you just have to move into an unknown dimension. They have never explored it -- but as they start exploring the new dimension, it means a journey inwards, a journey to their own self. All that they have lost starts returning… The West needs very urgently a great movement of meditation; otherwise, this depression is going to kill people.”

The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch.2, Q.1

Continuing his analysis of the situation in the East and the West, Osho says the West is in a far worse condition than the East -- although many think the West is in a better condition than the East because the East is poor. But poverty is not as big of a problem, says Osho, as is the failure of richness. An ordinary poor man at least has dreams, hopes, but the rich man has nothing.

Osho’s diagnosis is that, “What is needed is a great meditation movement reaching to every person. And in the West these people who are depressed are going to psychoanalysts, therapists and all kinds of charlatans who are themselves depressed, more depressed than their patients -- naturally, because the whole day they are hearing about depression, despair, meaninglessness. And seeing so many talented people in such a bad state, they themselves start losing their spirit. They cannot help; they themselves need help.”

“The function of my school is going to be to prepare people with meditative energy and send them into the world just as examples for those who are depressed. If they can see that there are people who are not depressed -- but on the contrary, who are immensely joyous -- perhaps a hope may be born into them. Now they can have everything and there is no need to worry. They can meditate.”

The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch.2, Q.1

Two robbers broke into a bank in a small town.

"Alright," said the bigger man. "Line up! We are gonna rob all the men and rape all the women!"

"Wait a second!" snapped his partner. "Let us just grab the dough and beat it!"

"Shut up and mind your own business," said the spinster from behind the counter. "The big fella knows what he is doing!"

Commenting on this humorous episode, Osho says, “...to be a sufferer of depression simply means he has repressed too much. Depression is nothing but repression. He is depressed so much because he has not been allowed to express himself. Dynamic Meditation is expression. In expressing himself, in catharting all that has been repressed in his unconscious, he will be un-burdened; he will become saner, healthier.

The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Ch.4, Q.4


Depression is nothing but repression... : Ma Anand Bhagwati
  Ma Anand Bhagawati has been Osho’s disciple for more than 30 years. A computer hardware specialist by profession, she worked in the Shree Rajneesh Ashram’s kitchen Vrindavan, in the medical center and later, in the press office. When Osho left for America, she ran the Vihan Meditation Center in Berlin, Germany and later, in Rajneeshpuram, her work experiences ranged from legal services, to taxi driver, to ‘Twinkie’ (tour guide and press relations). During the Pune 2 years she worked in the main office.

Her home for more than 15 years has been the island of Bali, Indonesia. Always interested in writing and reading since she was a child, she now enjoys being a columnist and author. She also loves traveling to and around India as much as possible.

During the last few decades, depression seems to be spreading like a virus. Not exactly a household term when I grew up, this condition is now being diagnosed more and more often, treated with more and more medicine, speak anti-depressants which are even being prescribed for children!

Not having first-hand experience with this disorder, I started googling just to get an idea about the magnitude of this world-wide dis-ease. Amazingly I found 83,700,000 hits for the word ‘depression’, and 10,100,000 hits for ‘anti-depressants’! Just for some balance, checking the term ‘joyfulness’ yielded a mere 239,000 hits, and ‘blissfulness’ rendered a meager 97,800 references. The topmost result on the first page showed :

Welcome to depression.com
Facts about depression, including how to manage it and how to live with this medical condition.

Welcome? Not only that, the main emphasis on the first page of that website points the way with seemingly Machiavellian cunning: ‘Understand it’; ‘Treat it’; Take it day by day’. It continues, “Depression is not something you can just ‘snap out of’. It’s thought to be caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals, along with other factors. Like any serious medical condition, depression needs to be treated. Take charge of your depression, one step at a time.”

To put it mildly, I was horrified. I made a beeline to look what Osho has to say :

“Depression means that somehow anger is in you in a negative state: depression is a negative state of anger. The very word is meaningful – it says something is being pressed; that is the meaning of depressed. You are pressing something inside, and when anger is pressed too much it becomes sadness. Sadness is a negative way of being angry, the feminine way of being angry.

If you remove the pressure on it, it will become anger. You must have been angry about certain things from your childhood but you have not expressed them, hence the depression. Try to understand it!

And the problem is that depression cannot be solved, because it is not the real problem. The real problem is anger...

Once anger comes up your depression will go. Have you not watched and observed it?

– that sometimes after real anger one feels so good, alive?

... Start doing something at home. Mm? do an anger meditation every day... twenty minutes will do.”

This Is It, Chapter 5

Of course the term ‘Dynamic Meditation’ immediately comes to mind. This incredible therapeutic meditation that Osho devised is one of the best remedies to reach that anger simmering within and to get it out of the system. Hundreds of thousands have participated in this meditation since Osho introduced it in his earliest camps and their lives changed for the better because of it.

“You ask me, Krishna Teertha Bharti... He is a surgeon, a doctor; naturally this question has arisen in his mind. You ask me, "Is it justified and ethical for patients of depression to be given Dynamic Meditation?"

What else can be more justified and more ethical – because to be a sufferer of depression simply means he has repressed too much. Depression is nothing but repression. He is depressed so much because he has not been allowed to express himself. Dynamic Meditation is expression. In expressing himself, in catharting all that has been repressed in his unconscious, he will be unburdened, he will become saner, healthier.

The Dhammapada : The Way of the Buddha Vol. 7, Chapter 4, Q 4

Why do so many people suffer from depression? Why are we looking at an avalanche of cases in these modern times, when life for every individual ought to be rather improving on many levels?

“Humanity up to now has lived in a very controlled way; that's why humanity is suffering. Everybody is miserable, everybody is in anguish, tension, everybody is depressed, everybody is in a strange state, always falling apart, falling into pieces. Life seems to be just a struggle to survive somehow, not something to rejoice in, not something to dance about, not a song, not a celebration, just a drag. If you can go on holding yourself together somehow, that seems to be more than one can expect.… The so-called religious people are responsible. They have taught humanity only one way, which is a wrong way: the way of repression -- repress yourself, control yourself.”

Guida Spirituale, Chapter 13

Psychotherapy used to be recommended for people with severe depressions but nowadays it seems it is generally medication and more medication, even for lighter cases, such as just ‘feeling blue’. And is this helping people? The general public has been made believe this is so for many years but just now the results of a new study have come to light:

...and anti-depressants don’t work
An article in the ‘The Guardian’ of February 25, 2008 reports scientists have established that Prozac, a drug used by about 40 million people does not work nor do similar drugs in the same class. “The study examined all available data on the drugs, including results from clinical trials that the manufacturers chose not to publish at the time. The trials compared the effect on patients taking the drugs with those given a placebo or sugar pill.

“When all the data was pulled together, it appeared that patients had improved - but those on placebo improved just as much as those on the drugs.”

So then this is the case of the mind working on the physical body. Osho spoke about this already 30 years ago!

“Now much research is going into this phenomenon. A new kind of therapy is arising they call placebo therapy. A placebo is a false, pseudo medicine, with no medicinal qualities in it, but it has to be given in such a way that the patient thinks it is medicine. Not only that the patient thinks it is medicine, even the doctor has to think it is medicine, otherwise his gestures may show, may reveal the truth. The doctor is kept in ignorance; he is given just water to inject, or given just sugar pills with all the marks and names and labels of the true medicine. He knows that this is medicine. The patient knows this is medicine. And the miracle is that it works – and there is no medicine in it. The patient is healed. The very belief of the doctor that it is medicine creates an atmosphere, a psychology, a hypnosis, and the whole paraphernalia of the hospital.... What is really happening is this, that in the first place the illness has been created, it is a mind phenomenon. And in the second place, if the mind is convinced that it is going to be cured, then it is going to be cured”

Take It Easy Vol. 1, Chapter 7

I am sure the pharmaceutical companies will be very unhappy about the publication of this study and will go through great pains to have the results deep-sixed so to speak. We can only hope that the media will distribute this story even more widely so people can begin to understand what is done to them. And only out of such understanding can the urge for change grow which ultimately must lead to meditation.

Millions of Dollars are being spent in developing antidepressants and psychotropic medications and many more millions are being made by the prescription and sale of the same. On March 15, 2008 it was reported in ‘The New York Times’ that five major pharmaceutical companies reported strong gains in quarterly earnings. “... Prozac sales in the period rose nearly 17 percent, to $210 million, from $180 million in the preceeding quarter, “in spite of significant negative publicity and lawsuits.” Critics say that some people who took Prozac have experienced life-endangering side effects; many psychiatrists have said that the drug is effective and relatively safe.”

The world is awash with antidepressants, promising an easy and quick fix. And we mustn’t forget that these drugs enter into the water when they are being shed by the body; we don’t yet know how much of the chemicals survive and become part of the drinking water system again. A vicious circle indeed while meditation and a deeper understanding of man’s inner workings can be the only cure.

“The West needs very urgently a great movement of meditation; otherwise, this depression is going to kill people. And these people will be the talented ones -- because they achieved power, they achieved money, they achieved whatsoever they wanted... the highest degrees in education. These are the talented people -- and they are all feeling despair.

This is going to be dangerous because the most talented people are no more enthusiastic about life, and the untalented are enthusiastic about life but they don't even have the talents to get power, money, education, respectability. They don't have the talents, so they are suffering, feeling handicapped. They are turning into terrorists, they are turning towards unnecessary violence just out of revenge -- because they cannot do anything else. But they can destroy.

And the rich are almost ready to hang themselves from any tree because there is no reason for them to live. Their hearts have stopped beating long before. They are just corpses -- well decorated, well honored, but utterly empty and futile.

The West is really in a far worse condition than the East – although to those who don't understand, it seems that the West is in a better condition than the East because the East is poor. But poverty is not as big of a problem as is the failure of richness; then a man is really poor. An ordinary poor man at least has dreams, hopes, but the rich man has nothing.

What is needed is a great meditation movement reaching to every person.”

The Transmission of the Lamp, Chapter 2, Q 1


Seven Deadly Sins : Ma Anand Bhagwati

“Out of awareness is virtue born. Whatsoever comes out of awareness is virtue, and whatsoever comes out of your sleep is sin. If you ask my definition of sin, I will say, ‘An unconscious act, which is a reaction, is sin. A conscious act which is not a reaction -- which is a response -- is virtue.”

Come Follow To You Vol. 3, Chapter 6, Question 3

In March of this year, the Vatican published an updated version of what is considered being ‘deadly sins’ which allegedly bring about eternal damnation. The question that comes to mind is ‘why’? What is the purpose? Is it a desperate attempt to revive the corpse that this religion has become by being more modern? Trying to lure new converts into the creed by threatening them with new or only marginally altered concepts?

While taking a deeper look at the new keywords, first of all one must bear in mind that this declaration is based on the manipulations by fallible priests and the pope who are desperately clinging on to their power over mere humans by ‘putting the fear of god’ into them.

Invented by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century A.D., the original deadly sins (there is also a list of various venial sins) are punished with permanent relocation to hell after death, unless one confesses to having sinned in the last moment on one’s deathbed and receives absolution through the priest on hand.

Which makes me wonder why anybody ever bothers to put themselves through the prescribed weekly confessions in church, having to recite endless Ave Maria’s or other prayers as repentance, if the slate can be wiped clean immediately just before the final check-out. But I digress.

So what is outdated about the sins which kept priests in moralistic charge for fifteen centuries that they need to be replaced? Gluttony? Considering the increasing obesity levels world-wide one should assume this sin is very much alive and goes hand in hand with sloth!

Causing social injustice is a new sin rather than wrath, a very profound term which means vengeance, punishment, or destruction wreaked by somebody in anger. Social injustice sounds so much more cultivated, doesn’t it? Presumably this term includes war, terror and murder or is that left to be interpreted by the priests who hear the confession?

“... man has never tried to remove the causes of injustice. On the contrary, in the name of justice, he has been taking revenge on the individuals who were not obedient to the social order, to the establishment, to the vested interests. They were condemned as criminals, punished -- and it was thought that justice had been restored.”

The Rebel, Chapter 9, Question 1

Obscene riches rather than greed? Well who is talking? In his fascinating book, ‘The Vatican Billions’, Baron Avro Manhattan wrote: "The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

If the Vatican considers obscene riches as a deadly sin, then this would be the moment to clean house and use those enormous hoardings to alleviate poverty, a concept always so dear in words rather than action. But this has yet to happen.

“There is no need for communism to destroy poverty; science can do it very easily, because a single machine can do the work of thousands of people. But it is not being allowed because it goes against the vested interests, and those interests are pouring their money into the churches.

Who has made the pope "bejeweled and bedecked pontiff'? Who has made Vatican the richest religion in the world, the richest church in the world? From where all that money has come? It is bribery. It is the rich people who go on bribing the church, and the church goes on preaching things which look very religious but are basically political and economical, and are against all revolutions.”

The Wild Geese and the Water. Chapter 10, Question 1

Choosing pollution is a clever move because there is no doubt that we are in dire need to rid the world of the poisons that surround us and destroy the very air we breathe and water we drink. And the environmental pollution crisis has come about because of the very greed and obscene riches! As Osho explained, it is also politics that are pollutants :

“The world can be a paradise any moment it decides! It will just have to drop a little crap: Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan, American, Russian. Politicians will not help you to do it, they will hinder you from doing it. Priests will not help you to do it, they will hinder you from doing it. All their greatness -- the president of America, the premier of the Soviet Union, the infallible pope in the Vatican... what will happen to these people?

If you drop all your conditionings, and if you remove all the lines from the map, you burn all your identity cards, your passports, your visas, and you start moving around the world absolutely freely -- it is our world -- what will happen to these idiots who are sitting on your head? They will create every difficulty.

But the time has come to face the fact; otherwise, you are on the very verge of a total global war which will destroy everybody. Before that happens, get free of all poisons -- nations, politicians, priests, religions -- and the world will be pollution-free.”

From the False to the Truth, Chapter 23, Question 2

Pedophilia? Isn’t this term already included in lust? Does that mean that ‘other lusting’ is OK? And when will the church clean up their own ranks? In an article dated March 7, 2008 Agence France-Press reported that in 2007 the Roman Catholic church in the United States paid out 615 million US Dollars for child sex abuse cases involving members of the clergy; this is 54 per cent more than the previous year.

According to Terry McKiernan, president of ‘Bishop Accountability,'’ which documents the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic church, “more than 5000 priests out of the 41,500 across the United States have been denounced for sexual abusing children since the 1950s.”

Do they hope that by singling out this term as a ‘new sin’ maybe the sexual problems among their own repressed priesthood will go away? That the priests will be scared to end up in the very hell they rage on about in their sermons?

“These are your priests. They have dominated humanity, and every day they are being caught either molesting children, or raping women, or having homosexual relationships. They don't seem to have any consciousness which is superior to yours; it may be inferior, but it is not superior. They will not allow you to evolve because your evolution will destroy their whole profession. You have to remain retarded in order that their profession continues; and they have the greatest profession in the world.”

Zarathustra : The Laughing Prophet. Chapter 9

The Vatican used to condemn and hark on and on about birth control being a sin and now the word abortion shows up. Does that mean that birth control will be finally considered an intelligent device to control overpopulation and unwanted births? Somehow I don’t think so.

“The poor have been there always; but to exploit their poverty to increase your population is sheer politics -- ugly, mean. Politics is a game of numbers. How many Christians you have in the world -- that is your power. The more Christians there are, the more power is in the hands of Christian priests, the priesthood.

Nobody is interested in saving anybody, but just in increasing the population. What Christianity has been doing is continually issuing orders from the Vatican against birth control, saying it is sin to use birth control methods; it is sin to believe in abortion or to propagate abortion, or to make it legal.

Do you think they are interested in the unborn children? They are not interested, they have nothing to do with those unborn children. They pursue their interest knowing perfectly well that if abortion is not practiced, if birth control methods are not practiced, then this whole humanity is going to commit a global suicide. And it is not so far away that you cannot see the situation.”

From Personality to Individuality, Chapter 8, Question 1

By bluntly declaring taking drugs a sin shows that the clerics don’t have a solution to find and address the root cause of the problem. Considering that even cigarettes are considered a drug (on average one in three people on this planet currently smokes), that makes 1,346 million people who take drugs on a regular basis.

The latest UN Drug Report for 2007 cites the world population with 6,6 billion people. About 4,177 million people are of the age between 15 – 64 years and 28% of those smoke tobacco. That is 1,152 million people. Another 160 million people smoke cannabis.25 million people use amphetamines, 9 million ecstasy, and 16 million opiates.

Declaring the taking of drugs a sin won’t help anybody to come off them but it makes the sin list look good. Osho put it this way, “Unless drugs can be used as a step towards meditation they are dangerous. As they are today they are all dangerous, and no government has been able to prevent them...

The situation is the same with all our difficulties. Those who are in power are in power only because most of the humanity is sick. Either they are sick because of undernourishment, or they are sick because of wrong nourishment. Either they are suffering from drugs, or they are suffering from anxieties and other anguishes.

It seems the elite, the powerful, want people to remain as they are. Nobody wants that everybody should become a Buddha. And every opportunity should be provided -- by education, by parents, by neighbors -- every opportunity to help the person to meditate.”

The Language of Existence, Chapter 3, Question 1

Last but not least I remember listening enthralled to Osho speak on genetic engineering; a new concept back then, a household word now and as of late another deadly sin. It comes at no surprise that also Osho predicted this:

“In the Vatican they have created an academy of sciences. The purpose is not science; they will exploit it...

But the real reason is that they will supply to that pope all the necessary information, the latest in all fields of science, so that he can decide what is right and what is wrong; so he can decide whether science should move in this direction and should not move in that direction. Particularly his interest is in genetic engineering.

Now, that is going to happen sooner or later, and it has to be done. We are capable now of engineering the human child in thousands of ways. We can give him a lifelong healthy body, from the very beginning prepared to resist all kinds of sicknesses. We can arrange how long we would like him to live, how long we would like him to be young; he can be young to the very last breath.

There is no need for old age. Old age simply can be wiped out, just as sickness can be wiped out. Man can grow up to youth, and then he can remain young for a hundred years, two hundred years; three hundred years is very easily possible. Right now it can be done, but it is not being done, because nobody is interested in life. All governments are interested in death.

All governments are putting seventy-five percent of their budget into arms. Even the poor countries are in the same competition: seventy-five percent of the budget of their country. People are dying, they don't have enough to eat -- and they are creating nuclear bombs and atomic bombs.

Nobody is interested in life; otherwise all facts and research are available to show that man can at least live three hundred years. In fact scientists say, "We don't see any reason why man should have to die, because if he can manage for seventy years on an automatic renewal system, all that is needed is that his genes be reprogrammed." That is genetic engineering...

But the genes can be reprogrammed; it is only a question of putting the right idea in their minds. Those genes have a certain small mind, and that mind carries the idea of seventy years of age. If you can just put one zero more it becomes seven hundred, and those poor genes will not in any way object to adding one zero more. It is no problem for them, not a burden. And genetic engineering is now capable of this; in animals it has succeeded, so there is no reason... because the process is the same whether in animals or man.

Now the pope is worried about that. And that is one of the reasons for creating the academy, so that genetic engineering be prohibited, or the pope decides whether it is moral or immoral. And certainly I can say that he will decide it is immoral, because God gives you seventy years -- it is a God-given thing -- and you try to improve upon God and make man seven hundred years old?”

From Misery to Enlightenment, Chapter 10, Question 1

This new definition of sins is a mere political move benefiting the church and its supporters in their power games to maintain control over their sheep. Fortunately the new man is emerging and with every single one of them spreading awareness, the consciousness of this humanity is raised. The very thing the old sheep are afraid of.


Forgetfulness : The Mother Of All Sins : Swami Chaitanya Keerti
  Swami Chaitanya Keerti was initiated into Osho's Neo sannyas movement in 1971 and ever since has been dedicatedly associated with the world of meditation. He has been the spokesperson for Osho Commune International and also the founding editor of Osho Times International being published from Pune since 1975.

He is presently the spokesperson and the editor of osho world monthly magazines published from New Delhi.

He has been the editor-publisher of Osho books also. He is the author of three books on Osho: Allah to Zen, The Osho Way: In Romance with Life, and Osho Fragrance.

Swami Chaitanya Keerti regularly contributes articles on meditation and other subjects to several newspapers and magazines. He travels extensively to conduct meditation camps in different parts of the country and abroad.

Just the other day, Vatican came up with seven new sins being committed in the modern times and the believers have been warned not to commit these sins. According to the Christian Church, there were only seven sins earlier. And now the world seems to have progressed so much that seven more have been added.

I don’t know whether the other religions have paid so much attention to these sins of the past and future. The spiritualists, the moralists and the philosophers, all have been discussing their concepts of sin and they do not agree on many points or they come up with their own definitions of sin.

There’s a beautiful statement by Emerson: "Sin is not just breaking the law, but failing to discover the adventure at the very heart of living."

Osho adds: It is not just a question of breaking the law that makes you become a sinner. You become a sinner if you are not adventurous, if you are not continuously in search of your innermost being. If you are not continuously in search of a higher and higher bliss, if your life is not an adventure in living, if you have become a dead fossil -- you drag on -- then it becomes a sin.

Another great Christian thinker, Fosdick, was asked once, "What is sin?"

He replied in a very humorous way, "Sin is three things: the three letters of the word sin. 'S' stands for stinking stupidity, stubbornness, skepticism; 'N' for nagging negativity, nervousness, neurosis, narcissism, nihilism; and between the stinking 'S' and the nagging 'N' is 'I' -- the ego." Once you drop that 'I', sin disappears. Then there is no sin. But that 'I' is very stubborn. It is stupid... but very reluctant to go

What are the new sins declared by the Vatican? We have been informed that the the new deadly sins include polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely rich, drug dealing, abortion, pedophilia and causing social injustice. The Catholic Church divides sins into venial, or less serious, sins and mortal sins, which threaten the soul with eternal damnation unless absolved before death through confession and penitence. It holds mortal sins to be “grave violations of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes,” including murder, contraception, abortion, perjury, adultery and lust.

Osho has a totally different view on this subject. He says: "The original Hebrew word for sin is very beautiful. By translating it as "sin," Christians have missed the very message of Jesus. The original Hebrew word for sin is so totally different from your idea of sin that it will be a surprise to you. The root word means forgetfulness; it has nothing to do with what you are doing. The whole thing is whether you are doing it with conscious being or out of unconsciousness. Are you doing it with a self-remembering or have you completely forgotten yourself?

"Any action coming out of unconsciousness is sin. The action may look virtuous, but it cannot be. You may create a beautiful facade, a character, a certain virtuousness; you may speak the truth, you may avoid lies; you may try to be moral, and so on and so forth. But if all this is coming from unconsciousness, it is all sin.

"It is because of this that Jesus has a tremendously significant saying. He says, "If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away. It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell."

Now, if you don't understand the real meaning of sin, you are bound to misinterpret the whole statement and Jesus will look too harsh, too hard, too violent. Saying, "If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away," does not look like a statement of Jesus. A man of profound love and compassion -- he cannot say it, he cannot be so violent. But this is how Christians have interpreted him.

"What he means is: whatsoever causes you to forget yourself, even if it is your right eye.... That is just to emphasize the fact. It is simply a way of talking, an emphasis: "If your right eye causes you to forget yourself, then take it out and throw it away." He is not saying anything which has to be taken literally; it is a metaphor. He is saying that it is better to be blind than to be forgetful of yourself, because the blind man who remembers himself is not blind, he has the real eye. And the man who has eyes, if he has forgotten himself, what is the use of having eyes? He cannot see himself -- what else can he see?"

What have we really forgotten? We have forgotten our true self, our divinity, our godliness--and this forgetfulness is the only sin, all other sins are its off-springs. Forgetfulness is the mother of all sins. Gautama the Buddha coined a beautiful word Sammasati ( right remembrance) to remind us of our divinity. When we remember our divinity, it becomes impossible to commit any sin or to be sinful.

Christianity has been telling us that we are born in sin, while the Buddha declares: Remember that you are Buddha yourself. Be a light unto yourself. When we think that we are born in sin, we feel guilty and feel heavy with burden of this sin. The Buddha liberates us when he reminds us of the buddhahood of all beings. His one word Sammasati is much more meaningful than all the teachings of the priests who make the humanity burdened with all kinds of guilt. It is time to raise our consciousness to get rid of guilt of all kinds of sin and be filled with right remembrance.

To conclude I would like to answer this question: What is a real sin? The real sin is denying your own divinity. And there is no virtue greater than constant awareness of your own godliness.


When depressed, simply be depressed : Ma Prem Tao
  Living In Hawaii Paradise for the past 22+ years. Sannyasin since Poona, 1977 where she lived in the ashram until 1980. Drifted away (as far as one can drift away) after Bhagwan became Osho. Have been feeling His presence strongly all around again and know that He has returned closer during this amazing and pivotal time. Since the Ranch, she has worked as a full-time Professional Psychic and Intuitive Counselor. Creator and Host of Psychic Airwaves, a live call-in radio show on the Big Island and in Honolulu. All of this was overtaken by becoming a Spiritual Minister and Wedding Coordinator, creating Weddings A La Heart, her innovative wedding company. She has a Ph.D in living alone and is ready now to leap into the next, fabulous level of life.

Little did I know in the 60’s what that word was to mean to me, and the journey it would take me on.

I discovered that depression is multi-dimensional. It means and relates to many different feelings and experiences and although very painful, is here in true service to us.

I was in the growth movement in the 60’s and early 70’s in London, England. Quaesitor, a center for Human Potential, arrived in London, England. the brainchild of Paul and Patricia Lowe, of future Poonam and Teertha fame, fashioned after Esalen in Big Sur, California from which all the other centers were borne. It was followed closely on by Kaleidoscope opened by Bill Grossman whose lover and center partner, Mitsou Naslednikov was later to become Ma Anand Margo. And in the basement of this abandoned and resurrected 3-story house, innovative Primal Therapy was also going on under the direction of Zulma, who was to arrive in Poona and become a sannyasin later on. What an amazing bunch were these pioneers, the lamplighters for a wave that began with self-exploration through alternative therapies and became a search for consciousness and higher love, that just kept on intensifying, spanning several continents. Our passionate search brought us to many hitherto unknown dimensions becoming a universal throb that continues to this day greater and with us more determined than ever.

I visited Quaesitor and did a group or two, but didn’t feel comfortable there and then heard about Kaleidoscope, the humbler cousin. When I arrived on the steps of Kaleidoscope Growth Center on Harley Road in Swiss Cottage, London, I had the distinct sense that I was going to be deeply involved here possibly in running this place, even though at that point I really had no idea what it was all about.

What brought me to the Growth Centers was David Boadella, considered then to be The Reichian Man in England. I had been doing Reichian therapy with him and after a series of sessions, he suggested I do some groups because of my need to talk and express my feelings. I’d experienced a kind of emotional meltdown, or as I like to think of it, an emotional breakthrough after a short trip to Canada visiting my family and estranged husband, Bill. Upon returning home to London, I felt all of a sudden that I couldn’t cope. I felt terrified to be left on my own with my three Afghan hound dogs and a house full of wonderful guys who were London medical students from out of town, boarding at my house. Nothing scary about any of this yet this feeling, that I had never felt before had overtaken me. I begged my friends who were looking after everything to please stay on a bit longer and they did. In a couple of days I was back to myself, the whole fearful episode gone and ready to take over my own life again. But it was something that I knew I had to investigate and I began looking around to see where I could get help.

“... pain is not to make you sad, remember. That’s where people go on missing.... This pain is just to make you more alert--because people become alert only when the arrow goes deep into their heart and wounds them. Otherwise they don’t become alert. When life is easy, comfortable, convenient, who cares? Who bothers to become alert? When a friend dies, there is a possibility. When your woman leaves you alone--those dark nights, you are lonely. You have loved that woman so much and you have staked all, and then suddenly one day she is gone. Crying in your loneliness, those are the occasions when, if you use them, you can become aware. The arrow is hurting: it can be used. The pain is not to make you miserable, the pain is to make you more aware! And when you are aware, misery disappears.”


It wasn’t until 40 years later that aspects of this feeling state returned. It’s an awfully painful place to be, to feel and be lost in, specially for a Leo like me. When Osho named me Ma Prem Tao I thought that He had a lot of chutzpah in doing so. Take a person with lots of will and the feeling that if something is going to happen, she needs to make it happen and stand over it until it does, and tell her to flow with the river wherever it takes her and not only that, but to let go, relax, enjoy and trust it! And then while she’s still reeling from that tell her that her name is another name for God. This particular Tao was born into a family of agnostics and God and religious curiosity were something very far away and not a part of her life at all.

Well this is what I thought much later after I came out of my Darshan Swoon absolutely in love with Him and absolutely convinced that that is the absolutely perfect name for me. How did He know that when I was a child and thought of a wise man to go to, it was always an elegant Chinese sage sitting in an exquisite forest, up against a most beautiful and unusual quirky-looking Asian tree.

In the London growth movement I was participating in groups led by Michael Barnett aka Somendra, notably the Mariners 3-month intensive, in which Vasumati and Aniketa and other beloved sannyasin friends also participated; and doing gestalt therapy with beautiful Clive Cazes originally from Gibraltar. Depression was something that came about from repressed anger. That was the theory. So beat a pillow, whack a mattress with a tennis racket, kill your parents on the cushion a few more times and that will take care of it! And indeed that level of it seemed to, at that time.

I have resisted putting a label on things, or feelings and physical body symptoms as they can relate to so many different sources and mostly often non-physical ones. It seems to me that as soon as you put a caption or a name on something, it makes it concrete and then you stop investigating. And maybe the name you have applied is not even right. Over the years I have learned many ways of addressing the to-ings and fro-ings of my emotional states. And everything at the time has helped in one way or another. From astrology, to therapies, to Arica techniques, to meditation and then more levels and types of meditation, to energywork, to the tarot, to bodywork of all kinds, to teaching others, to EFT (emotional Freedom Technique) and to my own instinctive inner knowing; methods I have brought with me from other lifetimes.

For example, one evening sitting in a group at Harley Road, I felt an asthma attack coming on and my breathing began to diminish as my chest was closing down. I decided in that moment to just let it be and do its own thing. Why I don’t know, but it came very clearly to do so. No one in the group knew what was happening. I breathed each moment to the extent I could, watching the intake become smaller and smaller. I remember thinking when I had only one more, slight bit of breath left to take in, that I might die now. Still I stayed with it. The amazing thing that happened was that in the next moment, which could have been my last, everything fully opened and my lungs were clear...all by themselves.

I can think of two more really notable experiences; one when I was 16 right after a major operation and had to deal with the pain without painkillers and the other in Poona I, when terrified I went to lead my very first (Gestalt) group as a stand-in for Pragreet, who had broken a rib or two in a fight that first morning, wondering what the heck I was going to do. These memorable experiences, actually journeys, which I don’t have room to fully describe here, both taught me in different ways about being and being still, trusting, surrendering and fully flowing with what is happening no matter what, going moment to moment, one of the most difficult things for me to do.

I can remember spending 1-2 years going to work, coming home, eating and sitting by the TV. I spoke with a psychic colleague about it and she said that so much is happening inside. A transition has begun and as always begins deep within. So that although it may look like I’m sitting around being depressed, inactive, I am allowing an inner process to take place, which is using most of my energy. I really liked that, and it made sense to me at a soul level. After all, my beloved Osho didn’t call me Tao for nothing. Flowing with what is, is a big part of the message of which my name constantly reminds me.

“...When depressed, be depressed. Simply be depressed. Don’t get depressed about your depression. When depressed, simply be depressed. Don’t fight it, don’t create any diversion, don’t force it to go. Just allow it to happen; it will go by itself. Life is a flux; nothing remains the same. You are not needed; the river moves by itself, you don’t have to push it. If you are trying to push it, you are simply foolish. The river flows by itself. Allow it to flow.”

The Book of Secrets : 112 Keys to the Mystery Within

Because of an amazing recent personal experience, I see that the true source of depression is a shutting down of the heart. Going from the whole to the partial, from the unlimited vastness that is joy and fearlessness, to the limited, contracted, two-dimensional world. In those moments I have forgotten who I really am. Something has triggered this knee-jerk protective closing. And it’s painful, this place of futility, hopelessness and contraction; this place of negative judgment. It’s helpful though as one must explore and find a way through. My desire from childhood has always been to live life to the fullest. Now when that sinking, tight solar plexus and depressed feeling comes it reminds me that I have again forgotten. I have lost sight of my Self. Something may have scared me or I have in some way diminished myself and have shut down. All that is needed is to come back in, breathe, be and feel. And then I can remember the essence of whom I truly am and have come to live fully: Ma Prem Tao, Ultimate Love. To live in the fragrance of Love. To be love, radiate love unconditionally and fully feel beloved.

“The heart is like a flower - unless it is open it cannot release its fragrance into the world. The fragrance of the heart is made up of the qualities and virtues of our spirit. Most of us have learned how to keep our heart closed in a world that would trample all over us if we let it. Being open hearted today seems to require tremendous courage. It is a courage, which comes only when we realize that no one can hurt us no matter what they say or do. They may hurt our body, but if we have realized we are spirit, nothing outside can touch us, if we so decide. Little by little practice opening your heart to those you think have hurt you. Realize it wasn’t them that hurt you. It was yourself. And it taught you not to trust and you closed your heart. A closed heart is in need of opening. And when you do, you will have begun to heal yourself...”


In my wedding ceremonies I nearly always mention in some way, leaving the past behind with any old stories or wounds or emotions, and beginning anew. And that is addressing one aspect. But today I proclaim that you and I are to remember and to look back and pick up and embrace and own all the amazing attributes and scenes and experiences and this lifetime’s lifetimes that we have been privileged to create and to live. And from this day forth to go forward in fullness and richness and accomplishment and not as empty beggars humbly asking for our cups to be filled. They are already full!!!!!

“...the Emperor is having a nightmare of becoming a beggar and is tortured by the nightmare...”

This Is The Body, Lecture 9