My Beloved Bodhisattvas

On June 21, 1979, nearly nine months after arriving from Japan and beginning work full time in the Ashram, Vidya stopped Sumati and me as we entered Buddha Hall. She told us to come see her after discourse.Osho began discourse on this day with the words:

My beloved bodhisattvas . . . Yes, that’s how I look at you. That’s how you have to start looking at yourselves. Bodhisattva means a buddha in essence, a buddha in seed, a buddha asleep, but with all the potential to be awake. In that sense everybody is a bodhisattva, but not everybody can be called a bodhisattva – only those who have started groping for the light, who have started longing for the dawn, in whose hearts the seed is no longer a seed but has become a sprout, has started growing.

You are bodhisattvas because of your longing to be conscious, to be alert, because of your quest for the truth. The truth is not far away, but there are very few fortunate ones in the world who long for it. It is not far away but it is arduous, it is hard to achieve. It is hard to achieve, not because of its nature, but because of our investment in lies.

We have invested for lives and lives in lies. Our investment is so much that the very idea of truth makes us frightened. We want to avoid it; we want to escape from the truth. Lies are beautiful escapes – convenient, comfortable dreams.

But dreams are dreams. They can enchant you for the moment; they can enslave you for the moment, but only for the moment. And each dream is followed by tremendous frustration, and each desire is followed by deep failure.

But we go on rushing into new lies; if old lies are known, we immediately invent new lies. Remember that only lies can be invented; truth cannot be invented. Truth already is! Truth has to be discovered, not invented. Lies cannot be discovered, they have to be invented.

Mind feels very good with lies because the mind becomes the inventor, the doer. And as the mind becomes the doer, ego is created. With truth, you have nothing to do . . . and because you have nothing to do, mind ceases, and with the mind the ego disappears, evaporates. That’s the risk, the ultimate risk.

You have moved towards that risk. You have taken a few steps – staggering, stumbling, groping, haltingly, with many doubts, but still you have taken a few steps; hence I call you bodhisattvas.

From The Dhammapada, Vol.1, Discourse #1

After discourse, Vidya told us that we were moving into the Ashram. Up to that point, we had been responsible for our own housing. We had food passes which meant that the Ashram provided our meals but we took care of our rent (mind you in India rent is not much). But we were very happy to be moving into the Ashram. We were moving into a new bamboo structure that had been built at number 70 Koregaon Park. This was a very large house two blocks from the Ashram proper, which the Ashram had acquired and in which different facilities as well as living quarters were being housed.

By this time, I was working at the bakery and given the responsibility of being one of the drivers for the bakery. This job entailed driving a large Mercedes-Benz van with left-side steering through the streets of Poona, in a right-side steering world. I also delivered fresh hot croissants stacked on metal trays in an Ashram rickshaw. The croissants had to arrive before discourse ended because it would be very difficult to deliver them with everyone filing out into Vrindavan. Of course, you never knew when Osho would complete his discourse. It could be one hour or two hours in length, though generally they were around ninety minutes long.

Arriving during discourse would require turning off the engine, pushing the rickshaw through the front gate and down the drive to the kitchen, taking great care not to upset the stacked metal trays, all the while being as quiet as possible. With all the possibilities for mishaps, it is amazing to think the worst that happened was occasionally misjudging the ending, and having to navigate through swarms of blissed out sannyasins.


This is from the collection of stories, essays, poems and insights that is compiled to form the book From Lemurs to Lamas: Confessions of a Bodhisattva. Order the book Here.

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