On 3 July 2012, all Osholovers will celebrate Guru Purnima - the Full Moon of the Master. For this celebration, some sannyasins share their personal experience of the Master by writing about their encounters with Osho in light of what he says and recall how they found Osho’s words coming true in their lives.
I Said Hello. It Changed My Life.
Veet Asmi, Persephone Arbour
“Once you have touched a Master or the Master has touched you, something that has never been in your consciousness has happened. And from that knowing there is no way to fall back. I t is irreversible. And once you have felt it, then you know it is. And then you can see the same flame in the trees and in the rivers and in the people. Maybe it is not so clear, maybe it is clouded, hidden behind smoke, asleep, but it is the same whether asleep or awake, hidden behind a cloud of smoke or burning brightly with no smoke. It is the same flame. Once you have touched a Master or you have been touched by a Master...”
The moment I read this, my mind leaped back to my first Darshan in 1976 – my ‘introductory’ Darshan if you like. In the Pune ashram, it was very simple in those days. Darshan was held in Chuang Tzu, Bhagwan’s house. A medium sized, white-walled space, with about 30 - 50 of us (I think) sitting in a semi-circle. Quiet, still, the whole room just waiting. . The silent waiting was palpable. I was vaguely aware of a couple of orange-clad figures acting as guides and guards. Then, Bhagwan was there, in his simple white robe, sitting down, one leg crossed over his knee, one beautiful foot without a sandal. Every movement, as he sat down, was graceful. Soooo close he was to this eager, new and un-informed sannyasin.
Laxmi was at his side and beginning to call out our names, one after the other. Sitting, very alert and awake, we listened to others’ questions, and Bhagwan’s patient and wise answers. I couldn’t tell the differences within me between excitement, fear and love. All I remember is feeling totally overwhelmed to be so close to him. The only other person I remember being called up was an English sannyasin called Mallika. With a huge smile, Bhagwan asked her to teach T’ai Chi in the ashram. Then, suddenly it seemed, Laxmi called out “Veet Asmi” . . . . .and somehow I found my way to kneel in front of him, heart beating so loudly I am sure he could hear it!
He looked at me with a broad smile on his face, glanced at the piece of paper that Laxmi had passed to him and asked me about the restaurant where I worked in London. Then he said that when he came to London he would like to visit it. It was apparently mundane stuff – nothing dramatic at all. I had no questions about my inner life, meditations or some such.
Then - “Anything to say?” he asked, and the words came out of my mouth without any thoughts preceding them, “All I can think of saying is “hello!” Everyone there, including Bhagwan burst out laughing – and he said “Very good, very good” – and it was over!
That was my moment of being ‘touched by a Master’ – it changed my life.
Dying Into the Master
By Ma Anand Bhagawati
Once you have touched a Master or the Master has touched you, something that has never been in your consciousness has happened. And from that knowing there is no way to fall back. It is irreversible. And once you have felt it, then you know it is. And then you can see the same flame in the trees and in the rivers and in the people. Maybe it is not so clear, maybe it is clouded, hidden behind smoke, asleep, but it is the same whether asleep or awake, hidden behind a cloud of smoke or burning brightly with no smoke. It is the same flame. Once you have touched a Master or you have been touched by a Master...
Sufis: The People of the Path Vol. 2, Ch 9
When Osho gave this discourse I had not so long ago returned to the ashram in Pune 1 to stay forever. I knew in my innermost heart that I had made the right decision to give up all and everything that bound me to my past. I felt as free as a bird, totally accepted and loved unconditionally, I felt at home.
Passing through bright and sunny spells yet also many clouds and foggy seasons, there was always the clear light that beckoned and the knowing I was right where I needed to be in that moment. Pain, confusion, worries were mere annoying gnats on the path, soon recognized and sent on their way.
Osho gently yet firmly kept stirring the fire. Only if we would burn on all ends would we be able to experience life in its totality and splendour. And burn we did! All the way from Pune to Oregon and back to Pune, the fire was being stoked. During the last few months before he left his body, Osho intensified the evening meditations by speaking about utter urgency, encouraging us with penetrating intensity to reach the center of our being as if this were our last moment. Every night he offered an opportunity to reach the point of no return and die into the Master.
Bowing down in eternal gratefulness to our beloved Master on Guru Purnima Day, the day of death and resurrection.
New, Strange Experiences Start Happening
So the first step for a seeker is to fall in love with a Master, to seek a Master. If you can find a Master, half the journey is over.
In fact, the most arduous part is over. To find the Master is the basic requirement of becoming a Sufi. Sufi seekers travel for thousands of miles in search of a Master, in search of the man with whom they can feel in tune, with whom they can vibrate into the unknown, with whom they can take the first step beyond the known. So the first thing, the first and the most important thing, is to find a Master
...Then another call came to attend an introduction evening for a meditation group. We go to someone’s home near our neighborhood and are pleasantly surprised at the clarity and friendliness of this approach. They too require a period of preparation and testing before we may be admitted to the inner teachings. However, this group provides weekly instructions in elementary aspects of meditation and basic tenants of the work.
This maintains our interest. Upon the completion of the basics there is an interview process before the forming of the new class. This includes a vow of secrecy to respect the privacy of the identity of all participants and the content of the instruction.
The school itself is held in a temple behind a home in a very exclusive residential community adjacent to downtown Bellevue. We meet every Tuesday night from 7:00 to
10:00 p.m. Other nights there are classes held for more advanced studies. Here again there is an introduction period of three months to further familiarize us with what lays ahead. After this there is another, higher level of secret commitment, as there would be long into the future of our instruction. Holly’s Ba’hai beliefs are soon challenged, and she no longer wishes to continue. But I take to it like a duck to water. Re-stimulated for me is the burning desire to pursue these Bible and metaphysical studies which still fascinate me from my teen years’ interest.
The search for a master starts only when you become suspicious of your belief systems.
The Transmission of the Lamp, Ch 10
New, strange experiences start happening for me from almost the beginning. My reputation for advancement spreads throughout the school and brings a mixture of admiration and resentment. One of my instructors even tells me of his psychological struggle with the seeming unfairness of my quick progress surpassing his after many years of dedicated study. The director of the school takes a special interest and we became exceedingly close friends. She is an amazing person, a successful businesswoman and one with the bearing and grace of ‘old money wealth.’ Actually she is from a humble Pilose farm, she was raised with the ethics to be a lady, and that she certainly is. She is an incredibly powerful metaphysician who holds my respect and admiration for the duration of the rest of her life.
It is eventually revealed that we are being prepared for initiation into an ancient, secret, sacred brotherhood. When we are ready for the vows we have a good understanding of the requirements, reasons and severity of consequences to which we are committing. I only have permission to speak generally of involvement with a ‘Brotherhood’, with no further embellishments or specifics. Beyond that no more is to be said.
I can speak of an experience that is indicative of the type of things we do. We are prepared by structured, focused and controlled meditation techniques to project our consciousness to remote places to provide healing energy for those in need. Our exercises train us in mental imaging techniques with great discipline to clear our minds of all distractions, concentrate, sharpen and project thought energy using color, sacred geometric symbols and sound. The dangers of lapses in consciousness are impressed upon us as well as cautions for the misuse of the powers.
Meanwhile back at the brotherhood one of my students comes to class energetically waving a book and exclaiming that I have to read it because “...this guy writes the way you talk!.” On the cover is an Indian, bearded man dressed flamboyantly and with liquid brown eyes enticing me inward while at the same time I feel his energy penetrating into me. I am tingling all over with excitement. It is titled: ‘Yoga, the Alpha and Omega, Volume 5'’ by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. The book is siting on the seat next to me as I drive home. I resist the temptation to pull over and start reading it immediately. The minute I get home I start reading.
My heart leaps to my throat, tears came to my eyes and I stand up and dance in ecstacy for here is my heart song sung more beautifully than I can ever imagine possible. A gentle laughter arises. Then I stand there in silence clutching the book to my chest, tears streaming down my face repeating over and over and over in a seemingly unending mantra: ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’ I know without a doubt that I have found my master.
(From Chapter 9 of my memoir: Revise Priorities Ahead), Life on a Spiritual Path , A Modern Day Man’s Spiritual Journey To be published 2012 contact Devananda@zipcon.net
At the Altar of My Master’s Temple
By Swami Satya Vedant
People can enter into the master. He allows people to enter into him. All his effort is somehow to bring you closer -- this is only the beginning. And if you come closer to the master and enter into the temple of the master, it becomes very easy for the master to enter your temple. And only when the master and the disciple are capable of entering into each other's being does the real religion happen.
The real religion is not where you think it is. The real religion is only in the master-disciple relationship.
Ever since Osho arrived in my life, thirty seven years ago,
I have simply let the life flow and have responded to it as well as I could. Obviously, so much has happened. But once I was taken by Osho under His wings, I never worried about life or living and have remained engrossed with Osho and the work which he asked me to carry on.
The fact is, he relieved me from worrying about ‘life’ as such and has continued to give me guidance as to which way do I need to go and how do I keep moving on. It is also a fact that, except for taking care of the routine practical matters of living, I have since then never thought of postponing anything, completing anything, or planning for anything. All just has gone on happening -- and it is still happening.
At my having his very first darshan and his initiating me into Sannyas, Osho said to me so lovingly, “Just leave everything to me, don't worry about anything, just leave it to me.” Since then he has been the real care-taker of me, my life, my living – non-stop. He, in fact, repeated the same loving and compassionate assurance a few times again as I was struggling with the realities as they kept appearing. On my part, however, in my ups and downs of living, all that has mattered to me is: am I with Him? And to that extent I have put my efforts, made decisions, and have allowed life to take me wherever it did. All along though, what one may call as “miracles”, they simply happened. And I feel, they happened due to nothing else but his grace and his blessings.
I carry a feeling of deep gratitude for my Master, beloved Osho, which is beyond words. My business is now His business. He starts it -- whatever it is, and he finishes it whenever it is finished. If I were to look through my mind, it is all so actually mind boggling.
Sometime ago, while I was being interviewed (and again recently after the body suffered strokes and as I was recovering) a question was asked to me about my feelings/thoughts about death. And I honestly shared that, the very purpose of my birth was served the moment Osho initiated me into Sannyas and accepted me as His disciple. Now there is nothing left to be done/sought/achieved/found. It now matters not when I die because the Life got its ultimate reward, its ultimate fulfilment in that auspicious moment of my rebirth. Now there remains nothing to be achieved. It is now irrelevant how long I live, how much I accomplish, what is left to be done -- none whatsoever. Because ‘living’ has happened, it is continuously happening, being with him -- physically, mentally, emotionally and if one may say, spiritually.
And here are the golden words of beloved Osho which are very dear to my heart:
“Yes, to become a disciple is to be fortunate. To find a Master is the greatest blessing that can happen to a man on the earth. It is very rare to find a Master and it is very rare, when you have found one, to surrender to him. But if it happens at all, the greatest thing has happened. More than that is not possible in life.”
Ecstasy – The Forgotten Language, Ch.17
Osho describes that what Buddha is saying about his returning as a ‘friend’ is of tremendous importance; he points out that, it is Buddha's insight when he says:
“The ancient relationship between the Master and the disciple would become irrelevant in twenty-five centuries. It was his clarity of perception -- he was not predicting anything -- just his clarity to see that as things are changing, as they have changed in the past and as they go on changing, it would take at least twenty-five centuries for the Master and disciple relationship to become out of date. Then the enlightened Master will be only the friend…
“…Once you are really in tune with me, you cannot fall out of it. But if somebody falls out of it, that simply means that I have said something, I have done something, which is not in accordance with you. You remain the judge. You have not dropped judgment. Your ego is still there.
“…So remember one thing: when you are with me, then it is a continuum, without any gap. What I say, what I do, does not matter, because you are not a judge. You love me the way I am. I don't judge you. I love you the way you are. And if it changes, then remember it is a judgment, and rather than going with me, you are trying to drag me with you. And that is not very loving. (The Last Testament, Vol.3, Ch.23).
And Osho’s insight is clear:
“The relationship between the disciple and the guru is a relationship of intimate trust. That doesn't mean blind faith, because the guru never expects you to believe in him -- that is not an expectation. But the very nature of the unknown is such that you cannot go a single step further without trust. Trust is required of the disciple because he will not be able to take a single step into the unknown without trusting the guru. The unknown is dark, the field is uncharted -- it is not bliss, it is not the ultimate -- and the guru is always saying, "Jump into it! Do it!" But before you can jump, trust is needed or you will not jump.”
The Great Challenge, Ch.7, Q.1
And as I distinctly recall, once in supremely blessed moments during darshan, I heard Him say: “Drown yourself completely in the Commune, don’t leave a single trace of yours. Now there is no more birth for you – enough is enough.”
I remain in deep gratitude at his feet.
I Take the Big Jump. Rejoice!
By Ma Bodhi Tara, Anja Ploetz, Paris
When the master is no longer outside you only, but inside you too -- that is real blessing. Then the disciple is pregnant, the master has come into his womb, and it will help him in times of danger, in times of discouragement, in times of darkness.
Since I met Osho, he never leaves me. He is deep inside me - 24 hours per day. Yes, it’s being pregnant with him. This changed my life significantly. Before Osho, I identified myself with all my emotions like anger, happiness, sadness, jealousy, and others. I wanted to control each situation my way. I took everything very personal and made suppositions interpretations with my mind going berserk - always in conflict or repressing the ness of how things are because it’s only the mind who whispers to you.
This is bad. You can do better, you tell yourself. Or, you tell yourself, yes you are better than this person. Show him or her who you are. The mind is always comparing and judging. And often, it gives me deep fear......the fear of not being loved, the fear of being left alone behind...abandoned forever.....not existing anymore. You also get completely attached to happy events. Then you think that this beautiful moment will last forever; or, I will always be on such a high of happiness.
Right then, Osho literally popped up into my life. The first book I read was ‘The Book of the Secrets’ about 112 tantra meditations. Then I didn’t know that the author Rajneesh is actually Osho. One of the meditations was to watch yourself acting in your real life in the marketplace like an actor/actress playing a role. This had such a deep impact on me. I tried it and it worked! I wasn’t identifying myself with the situation anymore. I simply did the best I could, watching myself, getting angry, laughing, crying, discussing, arguing, celebrating, living, loving, and being aware. It was the first time in my life that I was so happy! Yes, it works! I landed a great job! Then life teaches you that each situation is different and never to think, ‘Yes I achieved’.
Then I got hit with a Zen stick. I got so angry in a situation because I didn’t watch I wasn’t aware of what I was doing. Only at the end, I was devastated. Actually, it was the best lesson to show me not to pretend and to know that being aware is a full time job. The mind is so tricky. So I was saying to myself: ‘Osho, you are just killing me and loving me at the same time’. That was so thought as I want to be always a good, perfect lovely girl who knows everything, and who does everything right.
With Osho, I woke up to good deeds and bad deeds, soft and rough sides, taking in everything and watching all the time. And every day, I understand something new deep inside me. Since I do kundalini meditation and also carry on reading/watching/hearing his discourses, it helps me a lot in the marketplace to watch myself to be aware. Yes, Osho changed my life completely. I am ready to ‘Live Love and Laugh’ with him 24 hours a day. The master is always ‘herenow’ deep inside. So let go and trust life totally. I take the big jump. Rejoice!
I found the Source
By Swami Chaitanya Keerti
Every master has a caravan of his own -- his own people who have tasted something of his being, who have drunk the wine of his joy, who are no longer related in the ordinary ways of the world... some invisible, mysterious connections are developing. Something is transpiring between the master and the disciple which will finally dissolve the duality of both and there will remain only oneness, a tremendous silence, a profound peace, a great insight. The master is rare, very rare.
I was really fortunate to meet Osho at the young age of 21 when he was living in A-1 apartment of 26-storey building, known as The Woodlands, in Mumbai. I can say that prior to that blissful meeting I was not having any faith in any religion or guru, though I was born in a ritualistic Hindu family. Reading poems of Mystic Kabir had shaken my faith in all the religions that prevailed those days. This did not stop me from seeking the truth.
I was an assistant to an author of educational books who was also my teacher in school. He had always told me to follow him as he claimed to know the truth. It is quite strange that the ordinary school teachers in India also boast to be gurus while there’s nothing in their life that can be a proof of their enlightenment. They never meditate. These poor teachers give information to the students and not transformation. This became clear to the moment I read Osho discourses and later when I met him.
My school teacher asked me: “What was the need to go to Osho and become a sannyasin? Had I not given you the right teaching? What was lacking?”
I informed him that I was impressed with his informative knowledge but that was not enough to experience the truth or have self-realization. I could get the same or even better informative knowledge from millions of teachers, scriptures and other sources. Being a master is something else, something out of this world. Being a master means being a Buddha, an enlightened one.
And finally, I have found one. The master did not do anything for me but his presence is so magnetic, his magnet is so powerful that is pulling millions of seekers from remote corners of the planet. He is an illumined person whose radiance is not of his own but godliness shines through him. I informed my teacher who though I had gone mad. He told me to come back to him whenever I needed him again. After being with Osho that need never arose again.
I had found the source—or it would be better to say - the source had found me. It is such a mysterious journey that the disciple does not find the master, on the contrary the master finds the disciple. And in such a happening, the master keeps throbbing in the hearts of his disciples even after he leaves his body. The master lives on in the beings of his disciples.
Life Becomes More Beautiful, Delicious, and Extraordinary
By Rashid Maxwell
For years I had the master, Osho, as the focus of my life. His every word, his safety
and well being, his every movement were before me at all times. He was the pair of
spectacles through which I saw the world. Even when he had let go his body he was
there beside me whispering his words of challenge and encouragement.
Then one day he was gone. I did not see him, did not hear his voice; I did not miss
him, I did not even think of him. He was gone.
Had I met the Buddha on the Way and killed him? Had I lost my trust?
I did not know. Sometimes it was painful, although not the pain of one abandoned or
disheartened. More often I felt happy; independent, clear, empowered.
I think in retrospect that all of this is in the nature of the master’s dance with his
disciple. The disciple is engulfed, swallowed by the master so that now he has no
separate, old identity.
And yet I haven’t turned into an Indian. I still am prone to misdemeanours and
excesses, still erratic, wanting in maturity – but what the hell! I’m lodged in Being.
Life becomes more beautiful, delicious, and extraordinary. Now Osho is the nucleus
in every cell of which this body is comprised.
Gratitude is endless.
Dust is Gold and Gold is Dust – Osho
By Ma Deva Renuka
And as your gratefulness grows, you become more available, more open. The master can pour his whole being into you, all his blessings, his whole benediction.
“To me, dust is gold and gold is dust and one has to go through the purification process to become pure gold” said Osho when he initiated me some 31 years ago.
I was full of gratitude the day I took sannyas from Osho. For Osho to accept me with all my obscurities was the greatest gift bestowed upon me by my beloved master. I was full of aspiration, faith and trust and was willing to grow and ultimately flower at any cost in Osho’s garden of love. No doubt, there were many hurdles in my life but with Osho’s meditations and therapies, I slowly developed that certain awareness in my life which helped me to develop a deeper insight into life itself.
As time went by, my gratefulness was my daily prayer and I could feel Osho’s grace, compassion and love in everything that was happening in my life. Once our house was burgled and I lost my most expensive 24 carat gold jewellery. Some of it was given to me by my father on my 18th birthday and had a great sentimental value. Gold jewellery was my weakness. I was very sad at the time but as time went by my attachment for gold jewellery and material things dropped for ever like an autumn leaf. Immediately I remembered Osho’s words, “To me, dust is gold and gold is dust”. My sannyas name is Renuka meaning dust and like a lightening, a flash came in my mind that I myself have to ultimately become pure gold and merge with the existence. No one will be able to steal this gold. I felt Osho’s grace, compassion and was blissful. I am grateful to Osho for this incident not forgetting the burglar, the poor guy, was used as a medium to get rid of my material attachments.
Today, having travelled on this beautiful spiritual journey for over three decades, I can say that Osho is now the captain of my ship, the journey is so relaxing and full of benediction, gratefulness and ultimate rest.