Oshodham & Osho World Galleria : Online Magazine - Feb 15 - March 15, 2013
Towards Earth And The Sky

Times of India, New Delhi, 10 February, 2013

Love has two faces like Janus, says OSHO

Love has two faces. It is Janus-like: one face looks towards the earth, the other face looks towards the sky. It is the greatest synthesis conceivable: it comes out of lust and moves towards prayer; it comes out of mud and becomes a lotus facing the sun.

What do we mean by the word ‘love’? One thing we certainly all mean is that it has a pull in it, great energy. When you fall in love, it is not that you do something — you are pulled in. It has a magnetic force. You gravitate towards the object of your love, you gravitate almost helplessly; you gravitate even against your will. It has a pull, a magnetic field — that’s why we call it ‘falling in love’.

Who wants to fall? Who can avoid it? When the energy calls you, suddenly you are no more your old self. Something bigger than you is pulling you, something greater than you is invoking you. The challenge is such that one simply runs into it headlong.

A Transforming Force

So the first thing to understand is: love is a great energy pull. The second thing: whenever you fall in love, suddenly you are no longer ordinary; something miraculously changes in your consciousness. Love transforms you. Falling in love, a violent man becomes kind and tender. A murderer can become so compassionate, it is almost impossible to believe. Love is miraculous — it transforms baser metal into gold. Have you watched people’s faces and eyes when they fall in love? You cannot believe that they are the same persons. When love takes possession of their souls, they are transfigured, transported into another dimension.

First, love is an energy field and second, love is a transforming force; it helps you to become weightless, puts you on your wings. You can move towards the beyond. Religious thinkers will agree that love is both godliness and electricity; love is divine energy. This is the most significant experience in an individual’s life. Whether you are religious or not makes no difference; love remains the central experience. It is the most common and the most uncommon. It happens to everybody, more or less, and whenever it happens, it transmutes you. It is common and uncommon. It is the bridge between you and the ultimate.

Life, Love And Light

Remember the three L’s: Life, Love, Light. Life is given to you; you are alive. Light is present, but you need to make a bridge between life and light. That bridge is Love. With these three L’s, you can make a total way of life, a way of being, a new way of being.
A head-oriented man is cut off from the universe. He lives in the universe, but lives as if in a deep stupor. He lives in the universe, but lives as a tree that has lost its roots. He lives only for name’s sake: the sap of life is no more flowing. He has lost contact; he’s unconnected. That’s what alienation is.

The modern man feels too alienated, feels too much an outsider, does not feel at home, at ease with life, existence, the world. He feels almost as if he has been thrown into it, and it is a curse rather than a blessing.

Can You Manage Love?

Why has this happened? Too much head orientation, too much training of the head, has cut all the roots from the heart. There are many people who don’t know what the heart is; they bypass. The heart is throbbing, but the energy no longer moves through it. They bypass it; they go directly to the head. Even when they love, they think that they love. Even when they feel, they think that they feel. Of course, it has to be false.

You cannot manage love; but you can manage logic; you can be very, very efficient as far as logic is concerned. The moment love arises, you become absolutely inefficient. Logic gives you a feeling that you are somebody; love gives you a feeling that you are nobody. Love arises in you when you allow godliness to enter you. When you are trying on your own, then the whole effort is absurd.

'To Be A Little Drunk Gives Rise To Great Poetry'

Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Mumbai, 5 February, 2013

Question: Why don’t you allow non-vegetarian food in the ashram?

Answer: The question is from Swami Yoga Chinmaya. There must be some idea in Chinmaya’s mind to eat meat. There must be some deep hidden violence. Otherwise the question is coming from a vegetarian and there are thousands of non-vegetarians here. This looks very absurd, but this is how things are. The vegetarian is not a true vegetarian; he is just a repressed one. Desire arises.

But why I don’t allow non-vegetarian food in the ashram has nothing to do with religion, it is just pure aesthetics. I am not one who thinks that if you take non-vegetarian food you will not become enlightened. Jesus became enlightened, Mohammed became enlightened, Ramakrishna became enlightened — there has been no problem about it. You can take non-vegetarian food and you can become enlightened, so there is no religious problem about it.

To me the problem is that of aesthetics. Because Jesus continued to eat meat, I have a feeling that he did not have a great aesthetic sense. Not that he is not religious — he is perfectly religious, as religious as Buddha, but something is missing in him. Ramakrishna continued to eat fish; just non-aesthetic, it looks a little ugly.

Enlightenment is not at stake, but your poetry is at stake, your sense of beauty is at stake. Your humanity is at stake, not your super-humanity. That’s why it is not allowed in my ashram — and it will not be allowed. It is a question of beauty.

If you understand this many things will be clear to you. Alcohol can be allowed in this ashram but not meat, because alcohol is vegetarian — fruit juice.... fermented, but it is fruit juice. And sometimes to be a little drunk gives rise to great poetry. That is possible, that has to be allowed. In the new commune we are going to have a bar — Omar Khayyam. Omar Khayyam is a Sufi saint, one of the enlightened Sufis.


Several Trees Across Delhi And Counting

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 27 January, 2013

From the central verge on the roads to side curbs, from empty tree guards to open drains, from parks to waste lands, you name it and he has planted a trees there across Delhi and scores of places across India. Till September 30, 2012, swami Prem Parivartan, 45, has planted and facilitated plantation of 1 crore 5 lakh trees, of which 16 lakh are peepal trees (Ficus religiosa) that has earned him the moniker 'Peepal Baba'.

Influenced by his teacher, he said he planted his first set of trees at Pune on his 10th birthday. "My teacher had said, 'One person should plant at least 20 trees, only then the damage to the environment can be reversed'. I planted four neem trees initially, followed by six peepal trees," he said.

He continued planting trees all through his school and college days. He generally planted peepal trees and also those that suited the region's climate and soil condition.

"Though I plant goolar, peepal, pilkhan and also banyan and neem, my favourite is peepal for its medicinal qualities and because it supports a whole eco-system," the bike-riding 'Baba', who uses Faebook to spread the word, said.

Osho Rajnish had named him swami Prem Parivartan, when he took to asceticism in 1984 but discarded the saffron afterwards.

'Peepal Baba' said he asks people to plant trees, or help plant trees, on birthdays, promotions, marriages or even during a picnic.

"When I conduct yoga camps with the Indian Army or any educational institution, my guru dakshina (fees) is always 'plant trees with me at your own places'."

He has also volunteered to take care of the trees grown by others. Asghar Ali, 21, a cycle rickshaw puller from Mayur Vihar, has planted about 1,000 trees after he was inspired by 'Baba's' work.

"I water the plants daily during my work hours. It does take my time but I get immense satisfaction," Ali said.

Another 'follower' is Rasham Vohra, a class 7 student of Ryan International, east Delhi. He said, "I ask my classmates to give me milk sachets that I use for growing saplings."    

Summing up his zeal, the 'Baba' said, "Trees can live without us but we cannot live without trees."

Absolutely Full

The Speeking Tree, 27 January, 2013

‘If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!’ VIKRAM ZUTSHI explores this Chinese koan, popular in Zen Buddhism

The intentionally provocative line above is a koan, one of many coined by Chinese Master Linji Yixuan, progenitor of the 12th century Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism. A koan is a non-sequitur, a seemingly paradoxical statement or question that cannot be grasped by the logical mind, as in for instance, ‘What is the sound of one hand clapping?’ Its purpose is to subvert the causal nature of consensual reality, thereby inducing a sudden, intuitive insight or revelation into the underpinnings of consciousness itself. The Japanese referred to this moment of ecstatic truth as satori.

Zen Master Dogen said that in order to perceive reality, we must ‘drop mind and body’ — it is essential to drop all habits of thought and preconceptions in order to understand the truth. Therefore, ‘killing the Buddha’ symbolises the annihilation of all mental constructs comprised of name and form — what in Sanskrit is known as Namarupa — including the Buddha, in order to grasp the true nature of reality.

How It All Began

South Indian Brahmin monk Bodhidharma, who lived during the fifth century CE, is traditionally credited with the transmission of ch’an (dhyana in Sanskrit) to China, from where it migrated to Japan and became known as Zen. According to the Yoga Sutras, dhyana, along with dharana and samadhi, comprise samyama, a term that summarises the comprehensive psychological understanding of absorption in the object of meditation.

Mahayana teachings of the Prajna Paramita are basically a distillation of Vedanta, beautifully summed up in the opening prayer of the Isha Upanishad:

That is the Absolute, this is the Absolute;
From the Absolute, the Absolute becomes manifest;
When the Absolute is added to or taken away from the Absolute,
The Absolute remains.
Aum peace, peace, peace!

All About Infinity

Albert Einstein came to the same conclusion in mathematical terms with his legendary equation E = mc2. Infinity, plus or minus infinity, equals infinity. Nothing is created or destroyed in the universe. It can only change form, and correspondingly gets a new name. Energy or matter can never be created or destroyed, but only can be transformed from one form to another; from the invisible to the visible.

This is echoed in the Bhagwad Gita: All manifest and unmanifest Creation is comprised of Krishna or Parabrahma Paramatma. Nothing exists that is not Brahmn, from Brahmn or of Brahmn. Brahmn is limitless, infinite, one of a kind, and the source and receptacle of the entire cosmos. Krishna says in the Gita that the visible infinite world is just a tiny fraction of His energy. Thus, Brahmn does not undergo any intrinsic change when infinite, visible worlds come out of it.
To transcend the duality of pain and pleasure, one has to grasp the inherent emptiness of both by observing the constant rising and falling of the five skandas: Rupa or form, vedana or sensation, samjnya or perception, samskara or mental formations and vijnana or consciousness.

Buddhist soteriology, derived from the much older Sanatana Dharma, posits the five skandas as functions or attributes that give rise to the false notion of ‘self’. The Buddha taught that nothing among them was really ‘I’ or ‘mine’ and that ultimate liberation could only be realised by penetrating the nature of the aggregates as intrinsically empty of independent existence.

The Buddha explains the emptiness of the aggregates by using the analogy of a chariot identical to Krishna’s, when he gave instructions to Arjuna in the Gita: The identity of a ‘chariot’ is predicated on the aggregation of its individual parts; it comes into ‘being’ only when the five aggregates are available.

The constituents of ‘being’ too are unsubstantial in that they can only function in relation to each other; that is, their very existence is interdependent, like the chariot as a whole.

Rather than an ontological thought experiment, the chariot metaphor is a caution against conceptual literalism. Siddhartha Gautama was known to undermine the misleading character of nouns as solidified concepts possessing substance.

We’re Only Human

The human condition is a pervasive and all-encompassing aspect of Zen practice. And that is precisely what makes it so potent and transformative; the fact that there is no escape from overwhelming emotional states or human weaknesses while engaged in Zazen or meditation. That daily life, work and interactions are not separate and distinct from the practice itself. That every demon and ugly carcass from the past could arise at any given moment and the warrior has no choice but to face them, like the Buddha faced his Mara.

The mind is a receptacle for the sublime, the mundane and the ungodly — treating them all with equal diffidence, and then slaying them with the sword of insight, is the true revolution, the only jihad worth fighting.

Knowledge is Not Wisdom

Times of India, New Delhi, 27 January, 2013

An expert is not a wise man, says OSHO

The accumulation of information is not knowledge, according to the Upanishads. They call him a wise man who knows only one great element — Truth: that is, he who knows himself, because one who knows himself, knows all. When he knows himself, he becomes a mirror in which reflected images of all begin to appear. But, the fact that he knows all does not mean he must be a great mathematician or a famous chemist or a great scientist.

The only meaning is that through knowing himself he comes to know that Supreme, that purest, that occult element which is hidden within all. He knows the formula, the essence, whose play is all this.

The wise man knows that Supreme Law whose authority abides everywhere. He knows that Supreme Lord who is in everybody. He knows that Supreme Showman who holds in his hands the strings on which dance all the puppets!

Freedom From Grief

He is not an expert — he is not at all an expert. If you ask him about a particular thing, he may not know the answer. He knows the essential which is hidden in the entire Universe. He does not know each leaf, but he holds the root in his hand. He knows that deep and mysterious great life-force; and no sooner does he know that than he becomes free from grief and attachment.

This is the characteristic of the wise man, and it is a strange one. It is not his capacity to reply to your questions; it is not that he will be able to solve your problems. It is that he becomes free from the effects of grief and attachment.

A mathematician, however great an expert he may be, will not be free of grief and attachment. Let him be a great psychologist like Sigmund Freud — his mind will still be that of an ordinary man, even after learning a great deal about the mind.

It makes no difference; there is not the least transformation in his mind. He still becomes anxious, afraid, burning with anger and jealousy, and is as grieving and attached as any ordinary person.

Fund of Knowledge

The paradoxical thing is that he has more theoretical knowledge about fear, about jealousy, than perhaps any other person in the world. He has a fund of knowledge about sexuality, but even in old age, it agitates his mind as much as it does anybody else’s mind.

The upanishads do not consider such a person learned. They do not even consider his knowledge as true knowledge. They call it a bundle of information. Such a person is an ‘expert’. Whatever is known about fear is known by him. He knows about fear, but not fear itself. If he had really known fear, he would be free of it. An expert in religious scriptures knows everything about religion, but does not know religion.

Swimming Lessons

The difference is like this — that a person knows everything about swimming but does not know how to swim. Nor is it necessary for a person who knows swimming to know all about swimming.

The entire theoretical knowledge of a person will not be of any use to him if his boat is sinking and his life is in danger. At such a time, the person who knows nothing about swimming but who knows swimming itself will be able to swim and save his life.

This is why sages point out the fundamental characteristics of the truly learned person. They are the learned, the wise, who see all animate and inanimate objects in themselves and see themselves in all animate and inanimate objects. Such people become free of grief and attachment.
Two Sides of The Coin

Why has the sage grouped these two — grief and attachment — together? They are grouped together because these two are one; they are unavoidable, concomitant parts of the same mental state.