The Book of Wisdom Editing, The Real Story

One of the issues that sannyasins have had against the management of the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune is concerning the editing of Osho’s discourses. As anyone who was around in Poona 1 knows there has always been a certain amount of editing, basically cleaning up of grammar and syntax (arrangement of words and phrases), etc.

And as I understand it before Osho left the body he asked that names and dates be removed from the discourses. Apparently wanting the discourses not to be held down by personalities or time.

But this editing reached a new level when the beautiful U.S. edition of The Book of Wisdom (both volumes combined into one) came out with three questions from chapter six missing. Personally, I did not have any issues with the editing that preceeded this but I have to admit I was dumbfounded by this one. I could see that the questions were all concerned with sannyas but there were hundreds of questions in other discourses that did as well. So why these?

And this instance also got wrapped up into the outrage over people’s inability of sharing Osho because of copyright and then there was  all of the kerfuffle concerning the Centers and the OSHO trademark. These issues I cannot speak to but I did manage to get to the bottom of The Book of Wisdom.

Yesterday for some reason out of the blue I decided to reach out to Sarito who I knew was intimately involved with the editing of Osho’s books in Pune 2 to ask her if she knew what the story was.

Actually, she was surprised to hear that there were three questions missing and at first assumed that it must have been an error, but she decided to investigate further.

What she found out was that it indeed was a mistake. Someone took the instructions about making the discourse timeless too enthusiastically. This person thought that they should remove the reference to orange and preferred seating in order to make it “contemporary” but Sarito remembers that the criteria was to be more “timeless.”

Anyway this book ended up getting published with the questions missing. But Sarito told me that after that “there was a special meeting called to clarify that there was no need to edit Osho in this way, and that henceforth if things seemed too puzzling or ‘dated’ they could be addressed with an introductory editorial note.”

And she went on to say “that the mistake was identified and resolved and that it won’t happen again.” But she also told me that “they were struggling with a surplus of inventory of the book.”

I explained that probably one of the reasons they are struggling with surplus inventory is the word had gone out that the book had been edited in this way and sannyasins were not happy about it. I also suggested that this story should be told just to clear the air on at least this issue. So here we are.

Everyone agrees that the questions should remain and will be put back into any reprints. In the meantime, how do we use up the surplus inventory? Perhaps gifts to libraries or prisons.


2 thoughts on “The Book of Wisdom Editing, The Real Story”

  1. Yes, in 2007 I was charged with locating American sannyasins to edit books for new editions. The guidelines, aside from those mentioned, were to use American form of English and to try for balance. Some 1st edition editors had been reluctant to change/edit Osho’s words for sake of readability, syntax, grammar, etc. Others were overly zealous in trying to make edits.
    The process was quite thorough: listen to the original audio while reading the published book , with the intent to capture the original talk with minimal changes, with minimal obvious editor’s touch , other than the switch to American spelling, syntax, grammar.
    Love to all, Navaneet


  2. OSHO says somewhere do not change even one word or burn the whole thing and also, when the master has gone wolfs, comes & it happens always. If this story corrects it is really SAD. Fortunately grateful to late ( Dr.) Mrs, Dora Munasingha ( an Osho sannyasin ) had the opportunity to read more than a hundred OSHO volumes, Rebel publications. Also, three visits & 3 times participate Osho Samadhi meditation & Osho says somewhere 3 is a special number so not necessary to visit again if this story is correct. My understanding is many unfortunate cannot penetrate, understand Osho’s spoken words otherwise this type of things will never happen & they are intellectual & think only business etc.


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