A recently received document from an old and dear friend has prompted the response below. This document, written by a young woman at great length, talked about the failings of the whole movement around our guru Osho, after his death. She also talked (in my opinion, totally spuriously) about the idea of creating a new commune. It was a political letter, with political and hidden personal aspirations that I found quite alarming, and based on untutored knowledge. This is my personal rebuttal, written to my friend, and also forwarded on to the young woman concerned.Dearest, brightest Bhagawati,
Thank you for what you do for us. I have just finished reading Mahadevi′s treatise on the potential ′future′ of sannyas. As an ′oldie′ sannyasin from the mid 70s, when my first Poona 1 Darshan only consisted of 15 people - I could not disagree with her more. Of course there has been, and still is, sadness at the loss of a dream. This is both natural and human. I would not dare to speak for anyone other than myself, so here goes:
When I dropped the mala, orange clothes and publicly using my sannyas (spiritual) name, it had nothing to do with leaving Osho. That is
impossible! I needed to leave the organisation. It was that simple.
Osho had helped me change my life, how could I possibly not be eternally grateful for that? Even though I rarely mention his name, what I experienced in my time with him is in my work, in the things that I write and in the way I try to live my life each day. If you multiply my experience by the hundreds of thousands like me - there you have your sangha (spiritual community). It does not need walls, or buildings, organisations or leaders. How do you hold a rainbow in your hand?
Recently, now 24 years later, I find myself reconnecting with many old and dear sannyasin friends quite naturally. I have not sought them out - but they have appeared through your efforts Bhagawati, and others - with the help of the internet. This has been heart warming and very moving for me. I think Osho would have embraced and celebrated this way of communication world wide - with a huge grin! Perhaps this is the way of the future, it certainly seems to be the way of the present moment.
Mahadevi talks (to me) like a politician, with a deep desire to persuade us to join the Party. She did not even tell the ′pointing the finger to the moon′ story correctly! I was there. It was his finger we were asked to let go of, lest we lose our way to the moon! There was no mention of ′grasping′. This is from an old Zen story that Osho used in many different contexts.
Her whole premise is that without yet another large commune, ′sannyas′ - (which is, after all, only a general Sanskrit name for seeker and not particular to Osho at all), will not save something that, in fact, doesn′t need saving. It doesn′t need saving because it is still alive and well in thousands of us all over this planet.
Each of us found our wandering way to Osho as individuals - we made of him what we did - or not. To try and collect this myriad of peoples, dreams and journeys together is madness. We experienced that madness in its beauty and its shadow. Why on earth would we want to repeat it?
Osho constantly talked about NOT following him, NOT creating another religion, about meditating in the market place, living our lives as fully as we could out in the world. Paradoxically, as was his way, a religion was created for purely political purposes and convenience; and we gladly played along for a while. Who are we to gather together to make the same mistakes all over again? This would happen. This is what does happen when thousands of people get together - as has been proven over and over again in all walks of life - globally.
We were not special. I, and many like me, were so very very lucky to have been blessed by spending time with him, being in love with him. Yes, there were also hard lessons to be learned - isn′t that what teaching is for? My belief is that it is not what I do that matters, but who I am, doing whatever has to be done! Like ordinary families, my sannyas family is far-flung. Some of us are dying, some of us live in small groups, many of us live alone as do all other sentient beings. I feel held by simply knowing that. And, as in ordinary families - it is lovely and heartwarming when I meet other members of my sannyasin family - there is an unspoken language of love that we share.
Others will find him, use him, take him to their hearts - or not. He will go down in history. I have no doubt at all about that.
Veet Moha (Tony Kendrew) wrote: "...the man born Rajneesh Chandra Mohan, whom I knew as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and is now called Osho, was by far the most influential catalyst for my understanding and appreciation of the world. The depth of his understanding and expression were breathtaking, and the transformations that happened around him profound and lasting... The mud of controversy surrounding his name is beginning to settle, but it could take a few more generations to see him clearly."
Tony′s clear and loving words helped me to make my own settlement.
With love, Veet Asmi (Persephone Arbour)