Introduction: For more than twenty years I wanted to write this book, a book about the ineffable and mysterious relationship that exist between a disciple and his Master, but after having started several times, I have always dropped the whole idea and forgot my noble intentions, and for a very simple reason, and that is the inadequacy and the poverty of our language.
Let’s say the truth about this: it is very difficult to communicate with a written language, much more than with an oral transmission, because when you say it talking you have the help of your expression, the tonality of your voice, the movement of your hands, that laughter that you can have between a sentence and the next, while writing is
a “cold medium”, as acutely pointed by Marshall Mc Luhan and fully subscribed by Osho, my Master.
You can look for yourself: when you have an extraordinary experience, out of the blue, don’t you say usually that “I have become speechless”, or “I had no words…?”
And you don’t need even to go that faraway, because you just have to think at the first time you have kissed someone in his mouth…have you later told it to everybody, or have you started to explain to your partner how beautiful it was?
No, because normally we have no words to describe the experiences that have touched us deeply, and we don’t even try to find them!
I would have loved to narrate my twenty years with an Enlightened Master, but the whole thing was a little embarrassing, to say the least, because I didn’t really knew which language to use, which metaphors, which literary artifices.
At certain point I had adventured myself in a sumptuous “PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT”, just to make happy all those second hands intellectuals that I used to hang out with before meeting Osho, but then I simply gave up, because it was not reaching anywhere, and it was not capable of explaining deeply what I was trying to convey.
I have tried even with “the mystical language”, comparing the Master to a light on the path, to a silent oracle, to a modern Jesus Christ – but much more articulated- defining him “far better than Buddha itself!”, but they were all terms that were making me laughing, therefore you can imagine how much they will make the readers laughing!
I have tried in every possible way - and even impossible – to narrate this event, to communicate in which way a Master WORKS on his disciple – and how this person defend himself – but I have always failed, I admit it openly and with no shame, ‘till one day I said to myself: “and what about if we let the Master itself telling the whole story?”
The Master in fact during all these years have done nothing but seducing me, hitting me, flattering me, caressing me, giving me some heavy slap – metaphorically speaking – just to lift me up a minute later, maybe just in order to hit me again with another Zen stick, followed inevitably by another caress, a kiss, a twinkle of his eyes, that another hit…and all this for twenty years and more!
I decided then to collect all the answers that the Master has giving to me during our relationship, and even those discourses when he suddenly would bring out my name, just to give my a pat on the head, or to hit me again with one of his fatidic hammering, and offering all this to you.
I’m presenting then his words on a bamboo leaves plate, hoping that this will help you to understand much better than I could write myself what this “exemplary relationship” between Master and disciple is made of and how it works.
I call it “exemplary” because, in spite of my effort to put myself down, an ancient modesty, and a healthy realism, I had to realize at the end that my relationship with Osho has been quite ”special”, hence exemplary.
I had always refused the idea that my Master could possibly love one of his disciple more than he would love any other one, because I was perceiving him as pure love, indiscriminate, choice less, and most of all total towards all and everyone, and yet Bhagwan seemed truly to have a special affair with this Sarjano, and he was showing towards this crazy Italian an inexplicable sympathy and an even more inexplicable perseverance in hitting him.
Sometimes I would say to myself that probably I was remembering him his childhood, perhaps he had some friend resembling to me, or he was himself very similar to me, because we have both grown up – even if in different circumstances – without a solid father figure to break our balls and teach us all those bullshits that usually the fathers teach to their children, and moreover we both used to spend our days by the river – which were two different rivers, but we all know anyway that it is always THE SAME river – and we swim in those dangerous waters, or we jumped in the river from some trees,
or we were chasing the snakes to place them in our pocket and scare our friends later, on the way home…
There were many points in common about our childhood, and even for what our adolescence is concerned, from the enchantment of the river, to a premature passion for philosophy and for the great questions of life, and in fact at the age of twelve I was reading “THE NAUSEE” of Jean Paul Sartre, while Bhagwan was reading the scriptures of Buddha and the chants of Mahavira… to each of us his own way of searching, but the fact remained that both of us had started to search for their inner truth quite early, actually VERY early!
Perhaps, as the Master had repeated many times, we have been together in some past life too, but what matter is that this turbulent Italian has been the person to which the Master has spoken more often in all his holy career – amongst his disciple – and he was not only the one that had posed the bigger number of questions, but even the one that got more answers!
I would have loved to publish the words of the Master towards his disciple just like this, with no comment, one after the other, but some close friends has beg me to narrate at least briefly, in my own way, what was happening to me and to the Commune during the days when Bhagwan was addressing me those words, so I surrendered to it and I did just that.
I have kept the narration in third person, and for two reasons, first because I feel much better in this way and secondly because I want to be simply a witness, which is someone that just watch and then tells you what he has seen!
Beside the joke (and who is joking!?), what I’m trying to say is that after all I’ve decided to limit to the max my personal story, and to report only the most significant moments of it, hence I must have forgotten many people which were very dear to me, just to let the Master itself to speak more, with his infinite simplicity and his infinite love.
His style of expression has been represented here as faithful that is possible, with all it’s repetitions, all it’s reiterations, because I certainly do not wish to get another stick from him!
Once, during my job of translator of his book from English to Italian, I had started to cut a little here and there, to erase all his repetitions, the most redundant sentences, and even modifying lightly – but only for the peace of the reader – his statement more hazardous!
Bhagwan got to know it - I can’t even imagine how – and he slammed me openly saying that Sarjano was trying to make his words more”digestible”!
Someone has helped me to track that discourse, which was given sometimes in 1980, and I’m giving you the most salient parts, so that you can have a little taste on how things were functioning in this place!
“Just the other day I have received a note from Arup, one of my secretary, that was informing me that Sarjano, which is translating since a while my books into italian, has started to change something here and there, while doing his job, erasing a few words or adding some words of his liking.
Naturally he is just trying to make a good job, and with all the good intentions possible, because he is trying to make my discourses more logical, more intellectual, more sophisticated, while I’m a little wild type of man!
He wants to trim me here and there…You look at my beard, if Sarjano is allowed he will trim it like Nikolai Lenin, but then it will not be MY beard.
He is trying to make it more appealing, there is no doubt about his intentions, but these are the intentions which have always destroyed.
When he was told my message, that he has to do exactly as it is “Don’t try to improve upon it, leave it as it is, raw, wild, illogical, paradoxical, contradictory, repetitive, whatsoever it is, leave it as it is!”
It must be so difficult for him that he said “Then I will not translate, I would rather like cleaning work!”
You see how the mind works?
He is not ready to listen to me, he would rather like cleaning work, otherwise he has to be allowed to interpolate, to change, and to color things according to HIS idea…
Now, whatsoever you will do, you will do wrong, because what I am saying is from a totally different plane, and what you will be doing will be a totally different effort, it won’t belong to MY dimension.
It may be scholarly, but I am not a scholar, it may be knowledgeable, but I am not a knowledgeable person.
Knowledgeable people have their own ways, just small things they will do…
For example, I had said that Saraha is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism.
Now, no scholar will say it so decisively, only a madman, because you have to give proofs, you have to give footnotes, and you have to make a big appendix in which you have to give proofs, and I never give any proofs, I never give any footnotes, I never give you any sources from where… I know only one source – the Akashic Records!
So, just to make it more appealing, more digestible, he had changed it just a little, not much, that “Saraha can be said to be the founder of Tibetan Tantra, of Tibetan Buddhism… CAN BE SAID! Now this is a scholarly way, a legal way, but it destroys the whole beauty of it, it destroys its whole certainty, its decisiveness, its hammer-like quality, and hammers are not supposed to be digestible, Sarjano, it is not spaghetti!
He is a good cook, and makes beautiful spaghetti, and I don’t know much about spaghetti, but I know that Saraha is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, and I will not give any proof about it, I don’t believe in proofs, I simply KNOW!
I know Saraha, it is a personal friendship with him, and even if the historians prove something else, I won’t listen, I won’t pay any attention to them, because I KNOW Saraha!”
This is just a little taste of what is awaiting for you later, beside to be a good excuse in order to justify the repetitions of my Master!
Try to understand this simple thing: when he was speaking to his disciples, he was not reading a written discourse, neither was he thinking about the posterity that one day would have read his words, but he was just chatting with a few thousands of friends that had come to listening him, hence it’s natural that his elocutions are repetitive and fragmented by long pauses and infinite repetitions, because – I repeat it – his intention was not to make a nice book, but to manage to communicate to some thick-heads like ours his simple truth!
I hope that this will help you in understanding a little better the journey…the journey towards oneself I mean, the journey to come back home, in the eternity that has originated us, and where, that we like it or not, we will all come back one day, each of us with it’s own timing of course!
To find a living Master can be of immense value for your growth, but you don’t have to worry about finding a Master, because it is not the disciple to choose the Master…
(and how can he – with which criteria?) but is rather the Master to choose his disciples, it will be sufficient then that you prepare yourself, and get ready to start your inner journey.
It will be useless that for this purpose you start searching for Osho, because it is dead and buried long ago, and he is alive only in the heart of his true disciples.
For the rest, the organization which carries his name is in the hands nowadays of a little group of common delinquents, which are destroying unopposed his entire heritage – but these miserable people can even step on everything, or even cancel the name of Osho from the earth, but they will never be capable to cancel Osho from my soul, and that’s enough, more than enough!
And for those who are deaf to the call, I have here a little invocation,
written by Ronald D. Laing as for the conclusion of his famous book
“THE POLITIC OF EXPERIENCE”. I want to offer it to you with all my heart:
“IF I COULD TURN YOU ON
IF I COULD DRIVE YOU OUT
OF YOUR WRETCHED MIND
IF I COULD TELL YOU
I WOULD LET YOU KNOW…”
Have a good trip, my fellow traveler!
-Swami Svatantra Sarjano
“OSHO & THE SPAGHETTI”
After having heard for hundreds of time how much Osho hated spaghetti, one day, after his last declaration on the subject, I decided to write him a letter, to which he regularly responded.
My letter was saying:
I have heard you saying that you hate Madonna, the singer, and then you hate lipstick, and this morning you said again that you hate spaghetti too!
Don’t you think you hate too many things for an enlightened being?”
The Master answer:
I don’t hate anything! It is just an expression to emphasize how stupid certain great phenomena from the West are , like this poor Madonna for example, or like this horrible lipstick that girls are wearing in millions all around the world, and why? Lips are as beautiful as they are, and what is the need to cover them with animal fat?
About your spaghetti, I must to tell you that it’s not their fault; it is just that they came to me with the wrong vehicle, that’s all.
In my early days I had a woman disciple which was an Italian, and she wanted absolutely that I taste this famous spaghetti, so one day she did it for me.
First she used this poor Indian spaghetti, that are made in such a way that they become like glue after three minutes you boil them, plus she put tons of garlic in her sauce, when everybody knows how much I hate garlic, and finally she was always wearing some heavy and disgusting perfume, that was so intense that her spaghetti had absorbed the smell of that perfume too!
When she brought me her Italian delicacy, I told her that I eat always alone, for it is like my meditation, so she left the plate and went…and I could throw immediately all her spaghetti in the toilette and flush it! But, as I was telling you, it’s not the spaghetti’s fault, it is simply because they came to me with the wrong vehicle...”
After the discourse was over, I couldn’t wait a single minute, and I rushed in search of a pen and some paper in order to write him a small note, that I send immediately to him.
The note reads:
this existence, that according to your teaching always provide, has found not one, but TWO right vehicle for the spaghetti to come to you in the proper way!
This is to tell you that Sarjano and Kuteer are ABSOLUTELY DETERMINED to prepare for you this evening a juicy plate of spaghetti, so that finally they can receive your blessings too! Get ready to welcome them as they deserve, and ENJOY!”
I had decided to involve Kuteer in this operation without even warning him, and when I went to tell him that we were going to cook spaghetti for Osho, he thought I was joking, but then he saw Vivek, that had come just in search of us two, for warning us:
“No garlic, please, not at all, and not even mushrooms…and…”
“And… and I know very well what I am doing, you don’t have to worry!” – I interrupt her abruptly, and then I grabbed Kuteer to bring him on the operational table.
We had a little pasta-machine in those days, that beside spaghetti could make different kind of pasta-shape too, so we decided for a little format called “CANNOLICCHI”, which is like a kind of little cylinders no more that three centimeters long, with a hole inside, just to avoid even the memories of those ancient spaghetti that he had met in those disgraceful circumstances.
As for our lovely sauce, we used a little ghee to fry slowly and tenderly some onions, so finely chopped to become invisible, to which we add some fresh home made tomato-pure’ and just a few leaves of basil also finely chopped, and that’s was it.
Our little masterpiece was ready and fragrant at 6 p.m., and it was quickly introduced to the Master, hoping for his blessings, after all these years of teasing, condemnation, hatred.
Vivek and Shunyo had come at Lao Tzu gate to collect our creation, and they brought it immediately to him, and they finally got his blessings!
The whole story got even a quotation the very next morning during his discourse! (can’t find the quote, sorry –n.d.r.)
The report of Vivek and Shunyo after they left Osho,s room half an hour later was clear and adamant: “Osho just told us to come to you and tell you how much he liked your pasta!”
I was a bit incredulous, hence I asked for more details about this fabulous meeting between the Master and the “cannolicchi”, but the two girls had no answer, and they looked quite embarrassed, on top.
As you may know, it is very, very difficult to hide something from me, for no matter how much you try to hide it – even to yourself- I can simply SMELL it, whatever it is!
I can even teach you how you can smell truths and liars for yourself, but are you ready for it? It just needs the nose of a great cook, that’s it! Then it is quite simple, and all you have to do is just “tune in” with the person in front of you and see what is there!
“Tell him that I will believe him only when he asks me for another plate!” – I told her adamantly, to which she started laughing, but at the same time I could see that she was looking a little embarrassed too, so I told her:
“Vivek, it is very difficult to lay to me, because what has happened in his room last evening is written on your face!”
“Yes…” - she said – “and what has happened, according to you?”
“I will narrate you the whole scene and I will know from your faces if I saw the real movie or if I’m just dreaming and projecting my own fantasies, get it?!
And with that I started my narration, and like a consumed actor I proposed emphatically:
“Ladies & Gentlemen, visualize this!”
Osho is sitting quietly in his room, minding his own absence of mind, and you are just so excited about the whole story, that you have already decided to bring him Sarjano,s creation together, while normally is either one of you entering his room, no need for both…but this time none of you wanted to miss this remarkable meeting between East and West, so there you go, “ KNOCK KNOCK…Osho, Sarjano’s spaghetti have arrived!”
Osho open his eyes, look at the plate that you have placed under his nose for quite sometime, than he take with his finger a solitary “cannolicchio” and he place it slowly in his mouth, then he start to chew it even more slowly, with closed eyes, to feel better its consistency and its fragrance, and finally he open his eyes and says:
“Tell Sarjano that I liked his spaghetti very much!” – and so said he closed his eyes again, and went back to his Samadhi, while you remained there steering at my plate of pasta, not knowing what to do next.
Osho opens his eyes for a minute and sees you in bewildered contemplation of the food in front of you, then he smiles and ask you: “Do you like this stuff? – more as a matter of fact than as a question, to which your eyes answer with no words, just shining!
Osho laughs and says:” You can have it, please, make yourself happy.”
And that’s how both of you rushed back to the kitchen and devoured the whole lot, moaning and giggling all along, RIGHT?”
Laughter was the answer, and a little surprise too:”Oh God, tell us the truth, were you hiding under his bed, meanwhile?”
“Sure I was hiding somewhere…c’mon, if I were in that room I would have told him that there is no way I can believe in what he said, until and unless he doesn’t ask me for MORE pasta, nothing less, just like you two would like to do now, yes!”
The two girls just couldn’t stop laughing, and that was their answer!